Attempting to defuse the controversy over the decision to place the operation of several key American ports in the hands of a company based in Dubai, Vice President Dick Cheney said today that he would personally patrol those ports with a 28-gauge shotgun.

Calling himself “armed and dangerous,” the vice president used a White House press briefing to put potential evildoers at the nation’s ports on notice.

“If anyone tries any funny business at one of our nation’s ports, they’re going to have to answer to this!” he declared, brandishing his shotgun for the benefit of reporters.

Moments after Mr. Cheney pulled out the firearm, however, the room cleared as reporters ran for their lives.

“I have never been more terrified in my life than when Dick Cheney whipped out that gun,” said NBC White House correspondent David Gregory. “I was sure I was a goner.”

In his remarks to the press, the vice president said that he would be “vigilant and on alert” for any suspicious activities at the nation’s ports: “I’ll have one beer at lunch, but that’s it.”

While Mr. Cheney’s offer to patrol the nation’s ports seemed designed to silence critics of the controversial port deal, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) said he was “not satisfied” that a shotgun-wielding vice president could provide adequate security.

“Knowing Dick Cheney, if he takes aim at a terrorist, he’ll wind up hitting a bird,” Sen. Biden said.

Elsewhere, the White House said today that it would issue its own report on the response to Hurricane Katrina, written by the author James Frey.

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book “The Borowitz Report: The Big Book of Shockers.” Creators Syndicate.


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