Best New Patriotic Byproduct

Bin Laden Urinal Shields

Since 9/11, we've witnessed an astounding onslaught of commercial patriotism, or maybe it's patriotic commercialism. Almost immediately after the attacks, some opportunistic company began marketing Old Glory pin-and-sticker kits incessantly on CNN. Then came Ford's "Keep America Rolling" campaign, CDs of American anthems, and all variety of star-spangled fashions, doodads, and bumper stickers. This one, however, may take the cake -- well, at least the cake of deodorant. Gentlemen visiting the restroom at Max's Diner in Oakland City Center have probably seen these very special urinal shields -- those triangular things that prevent cigarette butts and the like from clogging things up. These particular shields, sent to the restaurant not long ago by its corporate HQ, are red plastic with a picture of Osama bin Laden on one corner, and the words "Piss on Osama" in white ink. A representative for Aldran Chemical, the Burlingame manufacturer, wasn't interested in talking details, except to indicate that the product is an insignificant side business for a company that sells some 300 chemicals. "They're a novelty," he said, before ending the conversation: "I really don't have time for this." Perhaps not, but boy, is Al Qaeda gonna be pissed.

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