Saturday, March 15, 2008

PMD - Produce of Mass Destruction

From the good folks over there at indystar.com, we have today's example of the overly paranoid thought process that causes some individuals to totally overreact when encountering the slightest bit of the unknown. Their headline should say it all (but it won't): Bomb Squad Defuses Turnip.

An employee at Haller & Colvin Attorneys at Law freaked out and called 911 after opening a US Postal Service box to discover a suspicious gift bag inside. What, exactly, constitutes a "suspicious gift bag"? Was it wearing one of those disguises with the glasses, big nose and moustache? Was it hiding behind a potted palm and talking into it's shoe? They don't go into detail, but they really should; if for no other reason than a public service. I might need to know this in the future. Those shady relatives of mine at Christmas time? THEY have been known to use gift bags. What if THOSE gift bags are suspicious as well? I will have my finger poised over the "9" on my phone just in case.

So the cops called the bomb unit and they brought in a robot. The robot carried the package outside to the parking lot. Because having a bomb explode around several vehicles which could send glass and metal flying all over the place is really the safest course of action there. I guess R2D2 X-rayed it and didn't find any signs of an explosive. But just to be sure, (and because it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun) the bomb techs decided to detonate the package with a water cannon...."just to be safe", they said.

So we went from extremely hi-tech (R2D2 or C3PO removing the presumed "Gift Bag of Death" and X-Raying it, probably with a laser beam that shot right from where it's eyes would be) to extremely low tech (a bunch of guys with a big hose, spraying water at it.) Interesting. I think I'm going to start carrying a squirt gun around with me. Either that or one of those Super Soakers. You know, just in case I encounter suspcious gift-like packaging in my PO Box. Seems like it would save a whole lot of time to just take care of it myself if that's all it entails.

After said bag was thoroughly soaked, they opened it and found.....:::gasp!:::: A turnip. But not just any turnip. No, this was a turnip wrapped in lettuce green tissue paper and placed inside of a sandwich bag. Those are apparently distinctive characteristics when assuming (read: panicking) that something is a bomb. I see. Wait. No, I don't. What?

What are those guys at that law firm doing that would cause them to think that someone would want to blow them up? Think about it. You open your PO Box. There's a gift bag. You think, "Oh, God, it's a bomb!" (Then hilarity ensues.) Me? Instead of that third step there, I'm going with, "WTF is this crap in my PO Box? Look! It's crushing this week's People! Do not bend! DO NOT BEND!" But then again, that's me. I don't piss a lot of people off. Well, not a lot of people that are smart enough to put a turnip sized bomb into a gift bag and manage to weasel it into my PO Box.

The article concludes with, "It was unclear who was supposed to receive the vegetable." But it was becoming more and more clear that the vegetable might have been the smart one in this whole operation.

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