The Shape We’re In

In Reports from Green Lake by Brady Carlson0 Comments

The Pentagon asks tough questions about the safety of Green Lake’s shapes

A recently completed study by the Department of Defense has concluded that among the top U.S. targets for terrorist attacks is Appleton-Green Lake County’s supply of geometric shapes.

The five month, $1.6 billion study ranked the shapes as the seventeenth biggest terrorist target, just ahead of the New Orleans Superdome, and just behind talk show host Larry King.

“There are several terrorist groups whose radical interpretation of holy books leads them to believe that they must take back geometry from the so-called ‘infidels,’” read an excerpt from the 471 page report.

The document was unclear as to what the terrorists would do with the shapes once in their possession, though some analysts have suggested that taking the shapes would make it harder for students to solve proofs.

Green Lake and its neighbor city, Appleton, have one of the highest per capita geometric shape rates in the state, but top defense officials are raising questions about the security of those figures. Said one top Pentagon leader who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, “Who gets access to their triangles? And the squares? Are there procedures in place? Does anybody even know? If I may mix my metaphors for a moment, this is a major weak link in our historic effort to climb the mountain that is our Achilles’ heel. Case closed.”

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House had any official comment, other than “The answer is still ‘no comment’ so don’t call back again or we’ll audit you, your boss, your boss’s boss and your mother.”

Fears of shape-related terrorist activity nearly came to life last month at Appleton Regional Airport, where several rectangles known to have participated in recent Middle East bombings were able to pass through security checkpoints disguised as luggage tags. “Somebody didn’t do their job,” said regional security director W. Lloyd Wiskins,” and I’m just glad that FBI agents were able to apprehend the rectangles thanks to a tip from an anonymous rhombus. We don’t know for sure who let them through, but I figure it was my accountant. She screwed my taxes up royal. I take NO deductions, I ask them to take out extra money from my check and I still wind up paying six hundred bucks in ^#&$ing taxes.”

Local officials have taken extra precautions in the wake of the study’s findings. A new Appleton ordinance requires police to escort anyone traveling with more than three shapes at a time, while Green Lake has reportedly been stockpiling so-called “high-level shapes,” such as parallelograms and dodecahedrons, in the event of an attack. Both towns have asked the governor to send National Guard troops to patrol ceramic tile stores and toy block factories. “We don’t have any specific information regarding a threat, so these measures are just precautions,” said Anita Novak, the newly appointed director of the County Shape Security Task Force. “I know they may seem a little Draconian to some. They may truly be Draconian. I’m not sure myself, because I don’t know what that word means. But if they are Draconian, then Draconian means good, because these measures are, if I may mix my metaphors, really good and very great. God bless whatever country it is that we’re in right now.”

Reaction to the new regulations was generally positive, with most area residents seeing the changes as another small sacrifice worth making during a time of war. Some were less enthusiastic, such as Bill F. Rights of Green Lake, a self-described “constitutional survivalist with an attitude.” Rights, whose legal name is William F. Rigby, was arrested Friday after a rally in Water Crest Park where he showed his displeasure with “those Nazi shape-takers down at City Hall” by attempting to shoot three triangles out of a cannon. Rights was released on bond, and he promptly fled to the ditch under the Route 4 overpass, blasting Ted Nugent records at top volume and telling reporters that “they won’t hold our shapes prisoner forever. The Supreme Court’ll see to that, and if I can mix my metaphors, I’m gonna grab me a $$#!$ing beer and drink to the health of the U.S. Constitution! Cat scratch fe-vah! Yeah, I got it, baby!”

Geometry teachers comprise the other extreme, as they have made frequent and dramatic displays of their support for the new shape security measures. “Protecting our shapes is the first actual real-world situation we’ve ever had,” says Paul Ruble, math teacher at Redell Middle School. The ones we used in class were obviously phony and completely irrelevant- I mean, who ever measures the height of buildings or has to divide something into sections?- but now, geometry is relevant, and it is meaningful. We can hook the students of Green Lake into geometry for the first time. They all want to keep shapes out of the hands of terrorists, so they might finally learn what these shapes are. And we’re thrilled about that. To put it another way, if I may mix my metaphors for a moment, wow, wow, wow, wow, double wow.”

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