"Egyptian riot police are firing tear gas canisters bearing the label 'Made in U.S.A.' against street demonstrations in Cairo. … According to the canister labels, the tear gas is produced by Combined Systems International of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. … A company spokesperson did not return calls by ABC News seeking comment."— ABC NEWS, Jan. 28, 2011
Dear ABC News,
Please forgive the tardiness of this reply. My wife and I were at a knife convention in New Mexico.
As you can imagine, we at Combined Systems International take the volatile situation in Egypt very seriously.
It is the view of our in-house team of experts that, contrary to popular opinion, the "Made in USA" label on our tear gas canisters has not negatively affected America's reputation in Egypt. In fact, it is far more likely that the label has improved America's standing both at home and abroad.
To prove this point, we have come up with the following depiction of the "road not taken," which is the product of many hours of intensive improvisation. We now invite you to enter a world in which the riot control products of Combined Systems International do not proudly feature the "Made in USA" label.
PROTESTER: Oh my god, my eyes! They burn! They burn!
SHOPKEEPER: Still? But the protests ended peacefully many hours ago.
PROTESTER: I know. This tear gas lasts longer than others to which I've been exposed. Can you read the label on this empty canister?
SHOPKEEPER: It says Combined Systems International.
PROTESTER: In what country does Combined Systems International do business? I'm really impressed with the quality of this tear gas!
SHOPKEEPER: It doesn't say.
PROTESTER: Really? There's no listing of what country manufactured this superior tear gas?
PROTESTER: That's too bad. With the exciting changes happening in Egypt, I may some day be a rich man and want to buy tear gas! I guess I will buy my tear gas from China.
AMERICAN WORKER: The tear gas plant closed. I'm out of a job!
WIFE: It can't be! America makes the finest tear gas in the world!
AMERICAN WORKER: But without the "Made in USA" label, no one knows that.
WIFE: This is the third plant closing this month! First they closed the Sting-Ball Pellet Grenade plant. And then, they closed the Multiple Projectile Munitions plant. Where else can you buy equipment capable of safely shooting wood batons at a speed of 280 feet per second? If the Multiple Projectile Munitions team is not safe from unemployment, who is?
AMERICAN WORKER: No one is.
WIFE: Your training is in manufacturing chemical compounds. Without a job, what are you going to do?
AMERICAN WORKER: I will make meth in the garage and sell it to kids.
PRESIDENT: Do you know why there are rioters attacking the White House?
SECRETARY OF LABOR: It's because all the jobs for future generations have gone to China and most children are on meth.
PRESIDENT: Children? I haven't seen a child in years.
SECRETARY: That's because they look like adults. The meth they use ages them prematurely. That's established. Look! A rock just came in through the window.
PRESIDENT: These violent men and women must be restrained. Thankfully I can safely disperse them with this tear gas canister I'm throwing.
MAN: Oh no, my eyes! This tear gas is imported!
WOMAN: Ow! This foreign tear gas has not been subjected to rigorous testing!
CHILD: Ow! I'm not a man. I'm a child! And this inferior tear gas has blinded me!
PRESIDENT: I will never forgive myself.
As you can imagine, we at Combined Systems International are proud that the "Made in USA" label on our tear gas canisters has helped America avert the catastrophe outlined above.
Thank you for your interest. We hope we have answered your questions.
And, remember, if you have recently been sprayed in the face with our high-stick crowd control foam and would like to dislodge it, you are eligible for 20 percent off our two-day Foam-Off workshop!