Only In America . . . TM

Copyright © 2003 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.

War Games

Fresh from their triumphant visits to Baghdad and Pyongyang, the Soccer Moms Against Conflict and Killing (SMACK) announced today that they have reached "agreements in principle" with both Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il to substitute athletic contests and board games for belligerence under a new program called Games for Guns.

"This represents an important turning point in international relations," Pam Parcheesi, President of SMACK said. "Our president has gone out of his way to demean the character and motivation of two of the world's leaders for no legitimate reason that we can see, and we speak for millions of moms across America when we say we prefer Scrabble® instead of Scuds and ping pong instead of police actions."

Parcheesi wants to hold the first round of Games for Guns in Baghdad next month. "We feel that our presence in Iraq, as well as the presence of thousands of competitors from around the globe, will be the ultimate deterrent to a U.S. led invasion of that country," she said, "and it will effectively checkmate President Bush's Guns for Oil strategy that he has been pursuing so blindly."

The opening games will consist of: Baseball in Baghdad, a round-robin baseball tournament between 18 Arab and American teams; Persian Polo, a variation of the more common game that uses camels instead of horses; and, of course, the ever-popular Syrian Scrabble®, played with heiroglyphics etched into small stone tiles.

As soon as the ice melts in North Korea – hopefully sometime in the early spring – Games for Guns will move to Pyongyang. Ping Pong will be the highlight of these games, with Mah Jong and Chinese Checkers (the Korean version) following close behind. There is also an Asian version of polo planned for the games – a solidifying similarity of sports between nations.

"The energy spent competing in these games is energy that won't be used for killing people and blowing things up," Ms. Parcheesi said, "and that will go a long way toward promoting world peace."

Not everyone is in favor of the Games for Guns, needless to say. A rival organization – Soccer Moms Against Saddam Hussein, or SMASH – thinks that the very idea of "peaceful conflict among nations on the game board instead of the battle ground" – is ridiculuous. Wilma Whacker, president of SMASH, said "the very idea smacks of naiveté in the extreme. The world's tensions will not be relieved through a few games. If that worked, then World Wars would have stopped with the advent of the first Olympic Games."

Nonetheless, SMACK is going ahead with its plans, organizing a Mah Jong instead of Missiles tournament in Seoul this summer and a Backgammon instead of Bombs match in Haifa in the early fall.

Copyright © 2003 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.