Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

The Sheer Extremity Of Vetting

“Good morning, Mr. Hamzeh? Hamzeh? Am I pronouncing that right?”


“Good. American policy now mandates mispronouncing foreigners’ last names. My name is Agent Orange. How can I help you?”

“I have been told to come to this office for extreme vetting.”

“Wonderful. Let’s get started. First question. Where do you get off thinking you’re a human being?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know: deserving of safety, shelter, and the protection of law. You think you deserve that?”

“I do.”

“Wow. Nervy little fucker, aintcha? Okay, let’s keep going: you are foreign?”

“From your perspective, yes.”

“You wouldn’t happen to be Russian, would you?”


“This would be a lot easier if you were. Sure?”

“Not Russian. It is, in fact, because of the Russians that I am seeking asylum.”

“Still: it’d cut down on the paperwork something fierce. Ah, well. What kind of terrorist are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“The United States never excuses terrorism.”

“I meant that I did not understand the question.”

“You a shooter? Bomb guy? You’re not one of those truck fuckers, are ya?”


“Steal a garbage truck and drive it through a crowd. That’s just cheating.”

“No. I am none of those things. I owned a pet shop. Mostly fish and aquariums.”

“What I’m hearing is that you plan on poisoning the water supply.”

“You should not be hearing that.”

“But, I am. Loud and clear.”

“This was not what I was saying, so I don’t know why you’re hearing it.”

“Mr. Hammock–”




“Y’know what? I’m just gonna call you Mohammad, how about that?”

“That would be fine; my name is Mohammad.”

“Then I’m not calling you Mohammad.”

“I had a hunch.”

“How would you describe your feelings about President Trump?”

“I would feel very grateful towards him if he were to allow me to come to America.”

“I’m gonna show you two pictures, and I want you to tell me which one contains the larger crowd.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“It’s very important!”

“Okay, okay.”


“This is a trick question.”

“Mr, Hummus, I assure you it is not.”

“It must be.”



“Excellent work.”

“It was obvious what the right answer was.”

“Great. Lightning round: you tired?”

“So very.”


“I had lunch.”


“My pet shop was destroyed.”

“Huddled mass yearning to breathe free?”

“No and yes.”

“I need one answer.”

“I don’t want to lie. As you can see, I am neither huddled, nor a mass.”

“The Trump administration is not great at counting.”

“I am a huddled mass; I yearn to freely breathe.”

“Excellent. If Emma Lazarus was in charge, you’d be set. Man, did you pick a terrible time to be a refugee.”

“I suppose I did.”

“Early 1900’s? Shit, we were letting anyone in, as long as they weren’t Chinese. Say, you’re not a wealthy Chinese businessman, are you? I could let you right in if you were.”

“I am not.”

“Too bad. Okay, now the obstacle course.”

“The what?”


“It’s extreme vetting, sir.”

“Are those crocodiles?”

“No, sir. They are alligators.”

“Can you send me back to Syria, please?”


“Right after the obstacle course.”

“I was told that the streets of America were paved with gold.”

“Now they’re paved with alligators.”

“I see that.”


  1. Wow, I hope that somebody from Saturday Night Live reads this blog because this is better than anything they’ve been doing recently. I hope they buy it from you. Apart from the few cuss words, it’s ready to air.

    I wish I knew someone to pass it along to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.