Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Rationalizing The Threat

Amid the Orange Alert warnings and hysteria about duct taping and plastic wrapping your home last week I found myself relatively unconcerned since I considered it highly unlikely that terrorists would consider my neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota a very worthwhile target. Today, in his Backfence column at the Minneapolis Star Tribune Lileks nails it right down to the suburb:

People. People! Sit. Down. Stay. Relax. Let's imagine a meeting of the terrorists in some undisclosed location. Everyone gets comfortable, they pass around the cookies, then get down to business.

"Well, gentlemen, we've narrowed the options to two. Either we throw the container into the concourse at Grand Central Station at 5 p.m., or we release it in the subway system. Either approach guarantees mass panic and death in the heart of the American news media -- yes, yes, you with your hand up, what is it?"

"No! I've a better idea. I say we release the gas on a street corner in St. Louis Park, preferably in the winter when no one is outdoors."

(Slapping of foreheads around the table; murmurs of "Of course!" and "Why did we not think of that?")

The leader speaks: "But are they not prepared for us? Do they not have the tape of the duct?"

"They do, but not all. If the wind is right we can kill four, perhaps five crusaders."

"Done! St. Louis Park it is, then!"

I'll keep a roll of tape of the duct handy just in case.

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