Reid targets illegal immigrantsNow, the UK is lightyears beyond us in mobile phone technology (I think they have cellulars that, when stolen, will shout aloud ''Elp! 'Elp! I'm bein' pinched! Strewth!"), and the idea of texting someone them the equivalent of "'Allo, 'allo, what's all this then?" isn't so outrageous when you consider that only last month MI-5 instituted a new programme where you could sign up to receive terror and threat alerts via email on your mobile or Blackberry. Giving you, I suppose, just enough time to duck into Tesco Metro for some cheap plonk and an aubergine before hopping on the Northern Line back to your flat to hide behind the lorry up the apple and pears. But I got to wonderin', as I often do: there are American industralists and media moguls who pay very close attention to what goes on, technology-wise, in the UK and in Europe, with an eye towards adapting it to the US market.
A new clampdown is aimed at preventing "foreigners" coming to the UK illegally and "stealing our benefits" and NHS services, [British Home Secretary] John Reid has said. Reid told the BBC he wanted to make life "uncomfortable and constrained" for illegal immigrants.
The Home Office plans include a proposal to run a pilot scheme to send text messages reminding people not to overstay their visas.
"This new approach will make life in this country ever more uncomfortable and constrained for those who come here illegally," the home secretary said.
Shadow home secretary David Davis accused John Reid of giving up on trying to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, preferring to "spam them with text messages".
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: "The idea that you are texting someone, saying that we are on your trail, is just a joke. Do they have the mobile numbers of more than half a million illegal immigrants? No, of course they don't."
My point (and I do have one) is that this is exactly the sort of technology Tony Stark would be keeping a close eye on, wouldn't he? And there's a perfect use in today's modern Earth-616 for it, isn't there? Why, let's check it out in action...I think it would go something like this:
(SCENE: the middle of a battle between Spider-Man and Wolverine versus...oh, I dunno, take your pick...ninjas, Kraven the Hunter, M.O.D.O.K....don't really matter):
WOLVERINE: Fastball special, Webhead!
SPIDEY: You got it, partner! We'll take [these rejects from a Bruce Lee movie/Steve Irwin impersonator/grotesque giant floating head] down a peg or two!
SOUND EFFECT: (cellular phone ring tone: The Spider-Man theme song)
SPIDEY: Whoa, that's me. Hang on a second. (pulls out his cellular) Hey, I got a message.
WOLVERINE: Lemme see, bub. Another "special" photo from M.J.?
SPIDEY: Keep it in your pants, Canucklehead. No, look, it's a text message: "You are unregistered under the Superhuman Powers Registration Act. Please report immediately to the Negative Zone for processing and reassignment. Love, Tony."
WOLVERINE: Gosh, Spidey! I'm the best there is at what I do, but even I can't escape a threatening text message! They're sure to track you down now! How the heck're you gonna escape this one, huh? Huh? Huh? Huh?
(Spider-Man throws his cell phone into the East River)
WOLVERINE: Oh. That way. That was easy.
SOUND EFFECT: (cellular phone ring tone: "Take Off" by Geddy Lee)
WOLVERINE: Hang on, that's mine.
SPIDER-MAN: Threatening message from Stark?
WOLVERINE: Naw, booty call from She-Hulk.
I think it would be even more entertaining if you picture the whole scene performed by Chris Giarrusso's Mini-Marvels!: