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Logistically Speaking: Bizarro logistics

Nov. 7, 2005
As all Superman and "Seinfeld" fans know, there's a strange world where everything on our planet is exactly backwards the world of the bizarros. You know

Superman and "Seinfeld" fans know, there's a strange world where everything on our planet is exactly backwards — the world of the bizarros. You know you're on the bizarro world when green means "stop" and red means "go" . . . when Christmas is celebrated on July 4th . . . when

Hours of Service

Yes, on this inverted planet, it is expected that elected officials put in a 14-hour day, six days a week. Not only that, but these politicians must carry around with them electronic logs that track where they are at all times, and who they're interacting with. But wait, it gets even stranger: On the bizarro world, politicians aren't even paid. They've taken the concept of "public servants" so literally that bizarro politicians are civic-minded wards of the state who forego a salary in exchange for the high regard their citizens lavish on them.

Since their politicians are so different from our own, it stands to reason that the nature of a bureaucracy on the bizarro planet would be upside down, too. For instance: They don't have a Federal Emergency Management Agency. Instead, the bizarros have something they call the Everything Is Fine Agency. They spend so much time and money preventing any possibility of a disaster that they actually need an agency to keep track of "nothing's going wrong here" incidents. Instead of companies and local governments applying for federal aid when disaster hits, on the bizarro world money is returned to the federal government when nothing bad happens.

With their politicians so hopelessly mixed up, you can imagine what havoc they've wreaked on bizarro logistics. There is no counterpart to Public Citizen or Parents Against Tired Truckers on the bizarro world because commercial vehicles never share the road with commuters. They've actually built truck-only highways which feature rest areas at regular intervals.

In case you think these exclusive roads are paid for by highway tolls, remember — this is the mixed-up bizarro world we're talking about. Since their unpaid politicians are elected for life, they don't even have a word for "pork" — there simply are no pet projects that divert funding to a small group of people. So the bizarros spend a lot of the money they bring in every year from the Everything Is Fine Agency on infrastructure. The bizarro railroads and maritime ports and airports are funded this way as well.

On the bizarro planet, whenever it seems even the least bit likely that oil production isn't meeting demand, they just build new refineries. You could say the bizarros have their heads in the sand because that's literally what they've been doing for years — working on techniques to turn sand into oil. They actually started developing new sources of energy decades before they even needed them. What's more, they designed clean burning engines from the very beginning. The bizarros don't have a word for "smog," either.

These alternate reality creatures also have a warped view of outsourcing. To them, it makes a whole lot more sense to manufacture goods within local communities rather than have them built halfway across the globe and then shipped back to the point of consumption. The way they've built their convoluted economy, there really is no concept of cheaper labor overseas or even a Third World. And yes, as you can imagine, the language-challenged bizarros have no concept of a "sweatshop."

Obviously, the bizarro world is just a comic book fantasy. No economy could actually function the way their does — it's just too crazy, too illogical.

The ultimate punchline in every bizarro story, of course, is that they actually think that it's we, on the real Earth, in the real United States, who have things mixed up. Poor, deluded bizarros.

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