Americans should be proud of their fine domestic tear gas.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Feb. 3 2011 6:11 PM

Made in USA

Americans should be proud of their fine domestic tear gas.

"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.

Advertisement

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?
SHOPKEEPER: Nope.
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.

—LATER—

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.

—LATER—

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!

Our Breaching Products Mean I Can Get Into Your House,

Wallace Peterson
Spokesman, Combined Systems International

Like Slate on  Facebook. Follow us on  Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 8:46 AM The Vintage eBay Find I Wore to My Sentencing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.