Bids submitted recently to the US Customs and Border Protection Agency to build Trump's notorious 2,000-mile border wall between the US and Mexico are revealed to include all manner of modifications: some happy, others ominous.
Among the many engineering and manufacturing firms attempting to expand their bottom line under the guise of well-paid patriotic duty, companies from Las Vegas and San Diego, as well as in Pennsylvania and Illinois have, according to the Associated Press, thrown their hats into the ring with proposals that run the gamut from outlandish to downright disturbing.
Leading the pack must be the bid to store nuclear waste in 100-foot (30-meter) deep trenches that would parallel Trump's proposed rampart above ground, including a side offer to turn that buried waste into energy in the form of additional nuclear power plants dotting the desert landscape.
On the energy tip, another startup company eager to cash in would cover vast portions of the wall with solar panels, presumably on the sunny southern side, redirecting that energy to homes and businesses within shouting distance, as well as providing the juice to power the surveillance, logistical and guard infrastructure needed to maintain the gigantic barricade.
Then there is a company that seeks to put a happy face on hundreds of thousands of tons of potentially ballistic concrete. It would be "aesthetically pleasing," to quote the bid offer posted by US Customs and Border Protection, on the northern (US) side, and could include hundreds or thousands of art installations using local stones, bones, plants or other found materials, in a purported attempt to make the up to 56-foot-high barrier look not so much like you are living in a prison.
Naturally, some opportunistic US companies also see the possibility of turning the up-to-22-foot wide top into a dramatic viewing platform, ostensibly with pay binoculars and interactive exhibits of historically relevant incidents — all accessible for a small fee, natch. Exit through the gift shop, please.
But by far the most outlandish idea is from a consortium of concerned citizens of both countries, who propose to not have any physical fortification at all, only health and maintenance stations spaced along the border, with libraries, museums and free high-speed wifi. Drilling and mining in the border region would be outlawed under their proposal, and a hyperloop or conventional rail transit system would be built to peacefully and efficiently speed optimistic wayfarers along.
Now that would be a beautiful thing.