We usually think of the Treasury as the nerdy, straight-laced sibling in the family of jocks that is the United States of America. While the FBI is beating up kids for their lunch money and the CIA is boning a cheerleader in the back of a sports car, the Treasury is at home studying for the extra credit section of his math homework.
The Treasury Department is like the Richie Cunningham to the CIA's Fonzie.
That is true, in the sense that the U.S. Treasury is also a powder keg of vengeance and pent-up geek angst. Consider that up until very recently, the Treasury was the parent department of the Secret Service. These are the guys who wear dark sunglasses, take bullets for the President, disappear miscreants in the night and maintain alien conspiracies.
See that dude with the machine gun and kickass mustache? U.S. Treasury.
But that's not the only kickass bastard child spawned into the world from the Treasury's immense balls. By the time Prohibition came around, the Department of the Treasury exercised more jurisdiction over raids of mobsters than the Department of Justice or even the FBI. It was the Department's own Bureau of Prohibition that fielded Treasury agent Eliot Ness and his Untouchables: an elite squad of the 11 toughest, ballsiest law enforcers in the country, deliberately selected so that their collective strengths made them as unstoppable as Voltron.
They conducted raids with door-smashing snow plows, had plants and spies within the heart of the Capone empire, were public enemy #1 for the country's mobsters and--unlike their cinematic equivalents--scored a flawless victory, living their whole Timespiltters 2-esque career busting distilleries and nailing mobsters while sustaining zero casualties.
You know those guys with the huge, furry hats at Buckingham Palace? Every single American movie in which the protagonists go to England includes at least one scene mocking the fact that these guys don't move or do anything, even if you kick them in the balls.
In actual fact, it's well worth your while not to test out that particular cliche because it's not necessarily true. There's no real rule stating that the Queen's Guard aren't allowed to move, they're just so used to American asshole tourists by now that your mockery and mimicry rolls right off their backs... most of the time.
A Buckhingham guard remaining calm after a public mockery.
Rest assured, beneath that giant bearskin hat lies the highly disciplined mind of a trained professional killer, and he is just waiting, desperately hoping, for your tourist ass to step an inch out of line so that he can rip your spleen out and beat you to death with it.
A Buckingham guard, moments after strangling a tourist with their own entrails.
Yes, they may dress like shoe-buffers and Victorian-era vibrators, but the Queen's Guard are armed with machine guns, the same amount of training as any spec-ops in the British military and have seen action in engagements like the Battle of Waterloo. That's right, these dapper Dans helped ice Napoleon.
"CHIM-CHIMINEY, CHIM CHIMINEY, CHIM, CHIM, CHA-ROO!"
In sum, they're just as hardass as any other Brit with an automatic rifle. More so because they're the life guards of the Queen of England herself and, less importantly, Prince Charles. It might almost seem like those funny outfits are designed purely to distract the enemy with hilarity. Put them in regular military uniforms and you'd be less tempted to dance around them, blowing raspberries and mocking their cold emotionless stare.
The American cheerleading phenomenon seems little more than a bizarre teenage mating ritual, not to mention a vicious re-establishment of archaic gender roles. While the boys beat each other senseless on the field, the girls dance around in miniskirts.
"Look! A real sport!"
Actually, in many ways, cheerleading is the most Spartan high school sport the law allows. Its members put their lives in each others' hands, its hazard is without equal and the promise it has to offer? GLORY.
Cheerleading is hands down the most dangerous sport in high school. The intense gymnastics, lack of padding and fiercely competitive nature associated with today's routines puts cheerleaders at greater risk of catastrophic injury than pretty much anyone else, from football players to flaming sword swallowers.
Tossing a human being haphazardly into the air to spin and flip is not safe.
"Catastrophic" is exactly what it sounds like. Cheerleaders suffer broken limbs, spinal injuries, paralysis and even death. It's not just more dangerous than any of those pussy male-dominated sports, it's actually the leading cause of catastrophic injury for young women. It kind of makes you feel inadequate as a fan of your sports team; You're just cheering them. These girls are willing to die for them.
And look pretty doing it.
So, the next time you see these girls in your neighborhood knocking on doors to shore up funds, reach for your wallet and support your local cheerleader in whatever way your state or commonwealth approves.
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