The U.S. Air Force recently admitted that it had begun repairs on an MX missile that last year came loose from its launch vehicle and dropped seven inches into its silo. Officials told how much the repairs would cost (about $5 million) and how long it would take (a few months, maybe more), and said that nobody was in any real danger. Farther down in the report the careful reader discovered that the multimillion-dollar warhead fell because its epoxy glue seal came apart.
That's right. Glue.
Now it takes a lot more than this little mishap to undermine the tremendous faith we have in this country's strategic defense systems, especially the strong positive feelings we hold for the MX, a weapon that we reverently refer to around here as "The Peacekeeper." But it's a little unsettling to find out that the Air Force is using glue when it should be using, say, maybe bolts or something.
So with all due respect for this nation's military scientists, we'd like to suggest a few alternatives to epoxy. Herewith, our Top Ten List of Possible Adhesives for the MX Missile:
1. A lot more glue.
2. A kinder, gentler glue.
3. On second thought, maybe a thousand points of glue.
4. A blend of pork rinds and jelly beans.
5. Rhetoric from negative-campaign expert Lee Atwater, who put the soft-on-crime label on Michael Dukakis and "made it stick like glue." (It holds for a minimum of six months.)
6. Anything not made by Morton Thiokol.
8. That stuff that holds together the tops of potato chip bags and opens only when you've reached the point of no return of maximum force so that the chips fly all over the room and you have to go back to the store and get more. (I always use scissors.)
9. Anything not made by Boeing.