Sometimes the comics don’t appear back among all the advertising inserts in your Sunday paper: they also can hide in plain sight amid the news items:
— Take the lead story in the Washington Post, which begins:
The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said…When the expansion is complete, the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years.
— Or readers responding to a story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine on how barricading U.S. diplomats behind closed doors overseas probably doesn’t do much to spread the idea of American democracy:
I find that the desire to eliminate risk, rather than limit or manage it, interferes with the work done by our Foreign Service and local staff. Frequent, open and equal interactions with communities can’t happen behind high walls and bulletproof glass.
…says one reader now posted to Kenya.
“Diplomacy is more effective than military might,” adds a second. “Fear makes for terrible decision-making.”
Speaking of fear, the powers-that-be have banned model boats from water near the U.S. Capitol. The Post came out against the blockade on its editorial page:
The slow creep of overwrought security has left its mark on Washington. Look at the landscape blighted with barriers and bollards, the historic views lost, the streets mindlessly closed off. Now see the latest victim of officialdom’s obsession with security — model boats — and decide if you want to laugh or cry…Other cities…see model boating as a lovely hobby that brings just as much enjoyment to onlookers as practitioners. That tiny, model sailboats and submarines are perceived to be a threat is an embarrassment.
But have no fear: the Department of Homeland Security is protecting us. Those selfless patriots surfaced in a second front-page story in the Post, about freelance Santas who can make $10,000 per holiday season in the Washington, D.C.-area hustling among Christmas parties and over-indulgent parents:
Sometimes, there are no kids at all. It was only Homeland Security staffers in business attire Thursday evening as Santa Jack Arthur marched into an Arlington office party, blowing “Here Comes Santa Claus” on his bagpipes.
Santa Claus sans kids? An office holiday party on November 30? Bagpipes?
Just like the real comics, sometimes the news itself can make you laugh so hard you cry.