Sunday, May 23, 2010

Disaster feared as worldwide Velcro failure spreads

Senior citizens rendered barefoot
“These people haven’t tied shoes with laces since the 20th century,” the AARP spokesman said. 
By Jim Heffernan
Here’s news you won’t find anyplace else…

In the wake of what is shaping up as the worst oil spill in U.S. history, it was learned yesterday that the government is deeply concerned about another threat that could turn the nation into turmoil: Velcro is starting to fail.

The handy hook-and-loop fastener, key to national defense as part of combat uniforms and astronauts’ space suits – not to mention other appliances on the space shuttles – began failing in January in Keokuk, Iowa, and has since been spreading to both coasts and overseas.

“We can’t explain it, but the hooks and loops just aren’t connecting anymore,” according to a source who declined to be identified because she is not authorized to speak for the National Science Foundation.

Intelligence officials reportedly are concerned that Al Qaeda or elements of the Taliban might be behind the failure.

While President Barack Obama has remained publicly silent, some of his critics in Congress and elsewhere said over the weekend that Obama’s lack of stick-to-itiveness has resulted in a weakening of Velcro nationwide.

“The president has shown time and time again his indifference to the nation’s basic needs, like the ability of our brave men and women, proudly serving in uniform on two war fronts, to slap our hallowed American flag patch on their sleeves without resorting to time-consuming and potentially dangerous needle and thread,” said Sen. Mitch O’Donnell, R-Moon.

Meanwhile, the president is said to be huddling with members of his cabinet, the Joint Chiefs and his closest aides to find ways to reverse the Velcro failure. First Lady Michelle Obama was said to be “concerned.”

Assistant Press Secretary Joshua Panchuraboldt (pronounced Josh Wa) made a brief statement to reporters acknowledging the failure and saying that the president will leave no button unbuttoned in returning Velcro effectiveness for Americans.

A spokesman for AARP, the senior citizen lobby, said millions of the nation’s seniors are unable to wear their Velcro-fastened sneakers and have been rendered barefoot. “These people haven’t tied shoes with laces since the 20th century,” the AARP spokesman said. Rioting was feared in The Villages, Fla., where many seniors reside.

Rand Paul, recently nominated as a Republican senatorial candidate from Kentucky, said the Velcro failure is a natural phenomenon and none of the government’s business. “Velcro is as Velcro does,” said Paul, who interrupted his afternoon tea to issue the statement. Paul, an eye doctor, is the son of Saint Paul.

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and losing vice-presidential candidate in 2008, said in a Wichita, Kan. speech to Tea Party activists: “How’s that hookin’ and loopin’ workin’ out for ya now?"

Vice President Joe Biden urged calm. “We got along fine without Viagra throughout most of our history, and we’ll get along fine now,” he said.

When informed the emergency was not with Viagra but with Velcro, Biden said, “What?”

Film at 10.


Anonymous said...


Just finished the book. Fun read! I posted a review (with the cover art)on my website, Click on "Mark's Reviews" on the dashboard. It's the second book down. It was great talking life and writing with you at Kaleva Hall. Ain't those Finns nice?
Mark Munger

Jim Heffernan said...

Hi, Mark...Thanks very much for the nice review of "Cooler." I've said all along it's a pretty good book to have in a certain room when you have to "use the facilities." I'm afraid you're way ahead of me on mutual book reading. I'm caught up in Tom Rothman's fascinating novel "The Imperfectionists" right now, but intend to give Willard his due soon. It was great to chat at the Virginia book event. Thanks again for the review. -- Jim

PS... My tech helper (Voula) is putting a link to your wb site on my blog