Saturday, December 27, 2003

Make your terrorism target list, check it twice

Like it? 
As if we didn’t have enough to worry about — whether our presents were expensive enough, petrified that the house is going to catch fire because nobody watered the tree, wondering if the chunks in the eggnog we bought on sale are egg or nog or neither — now there’s another fear this holiday season: terrorism.

The federal government has said intelligence officials have heard “chatter” about possible terrorist attacks in the near future. They won’t describe the nature of this chatter, except that it’s pretty serious and we’re now at orange alert level.

So we catch Saddam Hussein, and everybody feels the sweet bliss of relief. Polls show that Americans feel much safer now that Saddam’s gone. A few days later, we go from yellow to orange.

Boy! That safety was sure fun while it lasted.

Go about your business, the government said. But remember: those dirty terrorists could strike at any minute without warning! Al-Qaida is looking into using cargo planes as missiles, because security on cargo planes is slipshod on a good day! They won’t strike the cities — they’re going right after middle America! Have a happy holiday!

I, for one, took the orange alert level seriously, and moved most of the CDs in my car back inside my apartment. You never know.

If it goes up to red alert, I’ll start using the door chain.

Locally, the Fall River police were quoted in a Herald News story as saying city officials have identified “60 to 70” locations in town that could be possible terrorism targets.

I thought the same thing — thanks a lot, but are you sure? No, seriously, man. You really sure? This is Fall River we’re talking about.

The city wouldn’t identify what exactly those 60 to 70 targets are (too many terrorists read The Herald News, presumably).

They did mention Government Center, but give me a break. What’s important in there? And terrorists don’t need any cargo planes to knock it down — a stiff wind will do that job nicely. If anything, we should put a mannequin of Osama bin Laden on the roof, call in one of those air patrols, clear everybody out of the area, and let the federal government raze it for us.

So while stocking up on milk and bread and eggs (because nothing goes better with an emergency like French toast), I used my own peanut-sized brain and a little deductive reasoning to figure out what Fall River’s terrorist targets are.

Don’t share this list with the terrorists, by the way. If any ask you about it, you say, "No!"

1. The equestrian statue of Marquis de Lafayette in Lafayette Park. The terrorists would be taking out Fall River’s cavalry.

2. That miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty in Kennedy Park. It’s an itty-bitty national landmark.

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Dunkin’ Donuts.

13. Terrorists, being extremely superstitious, don’t have a 13th target on their list.

14. Those abandoned train tracks down by the Taunton River in the South End, to disrupt our lines of transportation.

15. That anonymous piece of mystery artillery in Kennedy Park.

16. That confusing and stupid rotary in the North End by the Shaw’s. I don’t think anybody will cry over this one, though.

17. Come to think of it, that rotary at the end of President Avenue is a pain, too.

18. That pole sticking out in the road by the post office on President Avenue. Not the post office — just the pole.

19. The Rolling Rock, to take out Fall River’s entire supply of gigantic boulders.

20. The Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center, to stop whatever it is that’s going on in there.

21. The overlook at Kennedy Park — just because it's new.

22. That piano store on North Main Street, to reduce our access to pianos once al-Qaida’s ground invasion begins.

23. The cop car that’s been parked at the top of Brayton Avenue for the past 37 years is a prime target.

24. Billy’s Cafe, thus depriving the city of its prime source of amazingly delicious chourico-and-chips sandwiches.

25. Gromada Plaza on South Main Street. A terrorist attack on that patch of barren, cracking concrete would turn it into a barren, cracking, concrete wasteland.

26. That humongous drive-up mailbox across from Government Center. It’s large enough to be spotted from the sky, and it’s a symbol of our postal superiority over the Western World.

27. Britland Park, if they can find it.

28. The Quequechan River. This will require al-Qaida to approach from underneath.

29 to 16,927. Various Biblical figures displayed nicely inside half-buried bathtubs, either lit with spotlights or not, would unfortunately be on al-Qaida’s list.

16,928. My own apartment’s on the list, too. Specifically, the terrorists would be after the block of feta cheese we’ve had in the refrigerator since before late August. If taken out of its Saran Wrap, it would make an excellent biological weapon.

Luckily, I’ve got the door chain — the terrorists aren’t getting it without a fight.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails