Let's Get Creative With This Border Fence Thing

michele bachmann

If there's one thing the Republican presidential candidates agree on, it's that we need fences along our border.

It's the only way to keep our citizens from escaping to Canada for free healthcare, or running off to Mexico to enjoy their cheap gasoline and cold beer. Canadians are sick of footing the bill for Americans too lazy to get jobs that provide health benefits. Mexicans are tired of us vomiting all over their beaches.


The only way to keep our neighbors as friendly and passive as we're used to them being is to build giant walls between our nations.

Last summer, after President Obama remarked that some Republicans seemed to want a moat filled with alligators in addition to a fence, [Herman] Cain responded by saying that he would indeed add an alligator-filled moat to his proposed fence, which would be topped with electrified barbed wire. -- Edward Wyatt in The New York Times

They are tired of paying for other people's items, they are tired of paying for illegal immigration. -- Michele Bachmann

Good fences make good neighbors. -- 17th-century proverb

But why stop at electrifying it? Let's get creative with our border-sealing solutions. If we're going to design a real good human barrier, we should look at a few examples of other walls people have built to keep out other people they don't like.

Roughly 2,000 years ago, the Romans built Hadrian's Wall to keep out the Picts, who legendarily painted themselves blue before running screaming at you. The Picts liked raiding Britain because Britain was part of the Roman Empire and the Picts hated the Romans and their bossy, genocidal ways. You can still see what's left of Hadrian's Wall as it gently crosses the land from sea to sea, just south of the Scottish border. These days you can just step over it, and people from the National Trust spray it with weed killer occasionally so it won't get overgrown with heather.

The Chinese, of course, also have a wall. It is not covered in weeds, and you can see it from space. It's quite a tourist attraction.

Berlin used to have a wall, but it got torn down in chunks and turned into art.

tijuana beach fenceI think the problem with all these walls is that they were designed with more attention to function than to form. This is where American ingenuity and imagination can come into play. Herman Cain's thought about an alligator-filled moat along the Mexican border has real appeal on the imaginative front, though the plan breaks down when you factor in the cost of digging 1,951 miles of moat that crosses a variety of terrains and ecosystems, and then filling it with thousands of man-eating creatures. Creatures that, if they're doing their job and scaring off illegal immigrants, will need something else to eat besides illegal immigrants. I once saw a man chop up a chicken carcass and feed it to an alligator when I was visiting Mexico, so I imagine we could enter into a cooperative agreement with the Mexican government and ask them to help us feed the alligators that are, after all, keeping us drunken Americans off their beaches. If there's a drought and alligators all die off, we can line the whole thing in plastic, divert the Rio Grande, and forget our differences by turning the whole thing into a Slip-N-Slide.

Since alligators don't do well in cold weather and few people want to wear a swimsuit when it's 10 degrees below zero, our Canadian border needs a different approach. I'm thinking a star-spangled, maple-scented, all-weather roller coaster.

Hear me out. I've been to the world's biggest mall in Edmonton and guess what it has? That's right, a roller coaster. Canadians will appreciate the tourist dollars it will bring from Americans traveling north for stomach-dropping thrills rather than discount lasik surgery, and we can split the running costs, the proceeds from ticket sales, and the jobs created by this magical celebration of our separateness.

Why aren't I running for president?

Images top to bottom via david_shankbone/Flickr; superfem/Flickr

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