PARIS — Walter Benson, a retired BOLT-117 laser-guided bomb, came crashing through the ceiling of the Louvre in Paris as part of a laser-guided tour of Europe, sources confirmed today.
“At about 1:48 AM yesterday, the first explosion happened in the level-one ceiling over Italian paintings,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, president of the Louvre. “It was the first in a series of at least 15 explosions to occur during the course of the laser-guided tour taken by Mr. Benson and his surprisingly game wife, Marie, who rode on him like Major Kong from Dr. Strangelove.
Amid the shower of debris, shrieking alarms, and panicking tourists, the couple were able to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa relatively unobstructed, according to photos uploaded to Marie’s Instagram account.
“Breathtaking,” said the caption under one photo of the painting in which a dust-covered child is seen crying beside her shell-shocked mother.
Laser-guided tourism has become popular over the past decade as waves of Gulf War-era bombs retire, according to Jan Hatzius, chief economist of the investment bank Goldman Sachs.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in, ah, this sector — woah! Look out! — in recent years due to, ah, ooo, eee,” said Hatzius, who was himself riding a laser-guided missile for reasons that remain unclear. “This strong economy means great things for tourism! Outta the way, lady!"
While local businesses have embraced the laser-guided tourism dollars, museum staff have taken to anonymous internet forums to vent frustrations with thieves who have absconded with over $400 million in art during the commotion caused by laser-guided tours, according to investigators.
“When I first read 'The Goldfinch,' I thought this was unbelievable," wrote user Geertruida, referring to a popular novel about a terrorist explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Right-wing American wingnuts do not blow up great Western art. They view it as their patrimony. And, yet here we are. Retired American military blowing up Europe like it’s World War II.”
Law enforcement officials have voiced concerns about teams of contractors deployed by the laser-guided tour companies in advance, usually at night.
“You can see here,” said Philippe Dubois, director general of France’s National Police, pointing to security footage, “a team of five men in black face paint with a zip-tied hostage shine a laser through the museum window and make calls on what appears to be a satellite phone. We believe the civilian was a local vendor who might have seen or drawn attention to the contractors. He still has not been found.”
Walter, who had smashed through the ceiling of his home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, described the tour as “great” and “fun.”
“I never really ‘got’ art, and if I’m honest, I still don’t," he said. "But the laser-guided tour allowed me to explode through art museum walls and cause hysteria and carnage wherever I went, which was what I was interested in.”