THE VAULT

Guardian Street Angels
December 16, 2007 by Julius Serpentine

Blood looks a lot better on red berets.

New Jersey is moving to become the first state in the modern era to ban the death penalty. All that awaits is the signature of Governor Jon Corzine to pass the bill into law. What will New Jersey now do with all of their death row inmates in lieu of this groundbreaking change of course? Speculation suggest it will involve a lot of blood-stained underwear and tear-stained pillows.

At Slantmouth Industries the concept of capital punishment does not exist, at least in regard to our legion of unpaid interns. While it may seem this is only following suit with standard American corporate practices (i.e. not dipping employees in barbecue sauce and dropping them in a cage with rabid homeless men), for us it has more to do with the overwhelming sense of compassion baked into the Slantmouth brand. When an intern spills the coffee of his intern superior, why publicly execute him or her when a simple punch in the face will suffice? The answer? Compassion.

Over the years Slantmouth has developed a very complex system of social corrective methods that we constantly make up as we go along. As the news of the banned death penalty spreads through the underbelly of New Jersey it is only natural that the criminal element will no longer feel a sense of accountability for their terrible actions. An increase in crime is inevitable. Slantmouth, as an active member of the human and superhuman community, would like to impart the Garden State with some of the things we have learned in keeping our headquarters a place of peace and tranquility, like the Kryptonian utopia before it blew up into tiny bite-sized pieces. It all starts with being proactive and stopping crime before it happens. We have prepared a short list of some of our tactics, contextualized for law enforcement.

1. Verbal Torment
By undermining the confidence of potential perpetrators of mischief, their will to do pretty much anything is reduced to nil. The best way to go about crushing their spirit to do crime or just get out of bed in the morning is to find some physical attribute that makes them stand out and ridicule it until they begin to uncontrollably sob, like a little girl. For example, if their ears are larger than average you may start by calling them “Dumbo, the magical flying freak show”. In case that has no effect, tell them that their ears will work as great hand grips when their cell mate is forcibly using their body as a fleshy love doll.

The point is to gradually escalate the verbal barrage until the moment when you see their resolve snap in half and excrete from their tear ducts. Each tear is a victory for justice.

2. Physical Intimidation
While most criminals are weak willed and easily brought to tears, not all are so easily intimidated into social compliance by verbal methods. Some need an immediacy that only the physical sensation of pain can provide. Much like verbal intimidation, the proper implementation of physical intimidation is a phased approach. Start off with a slap on the wrist, except replace your slapping hand with a claw hammer. Where you go from there is really up to your colorful imagination. We suggest trying fire. Criminals fear fire, just like Frankenstein.

There is no hard and fast rule about what sort of tactics are most effective. They can vary greatly from one potential convict to another. Just remember to be creative. If you find that a particular tactic may be somewhat questionable, do not consult the Geneva Convention. It is only a tool for limiting your vast imagination and will hinder the process of stopping criminals already emboldened by your lack of a death penalty. Show no mercy, unless that means injecting them with lethal chemicals. Don’t do that, because it is now against the law. Try fire.

3. Secret Roving Death Squad
It may not be prudent to discuss this so openly, however it is the backbone to any proactive anti-crime campaign. There is nothing more terrifying to the criminal element than suddenly disappearing in the night and never being heard from again. Without the looming threat of being rolled up into a carpet and thrown over a bridge, the verbal and physical attacks are not nearly as persuasive. The verbal and physical aspects should serve as the herald for the approaching death squad. This may seem like a way to get around the death penalty being banned, but if you feel state sponsored street justice is wrong then you may have to readjust our moral compass to point to “kill”. If it proves too difficult for you to start a secret Punisher-style team, there is a good chance that deep down you are actually a dirty criminal and have yet to realize it. Don’t worry. It isn’t your fault. You were just born that way.

It takes a solid commitment to stop crime. What we have presented are all tried-and-true methods, except for all the things we made up as we went along. They have worked effectively in keeping Slantmouth-related crime to a rate of .03%, which is much lower than our 54% accidental injury rate. Accidents are the price that we—and by “we” I mean Slantmouth interns—pay to bring you the world’s tastiest news nuggets and continue our successful crime fighting campaign. Don’t let the high accident rate deter you, though. Join us in putting an end to crime and shower the world with tranquility. If you are not along for the ride we will have no choice but to assume you are a criminal, in which case welcome to our wrath. It’s a lot like Disneyland but with more fire.

~Julius Serpentine