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Batteries not included for Civilian Corps

February 18, 2003|by TIM ROWLAND

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Oh forget it. Bioterrorism threat or not, I refuse to type through this plastic sheet. You can have my duct tape, too. The only use I'll have for it is to slap over Tom Ridge's mouth.

Duct tape.

And remember when everyone thought the Clinton administration was kooky?

We're to arm ourselves with scissors, plastic sheets and duct tape. At least the scissors give you some chance of inflicting injury.

Maybe we're going to stun them to death. Can you imagine the response of the terrorist as he tries to drop off the canister in the subway only to be pummeled with 3,000 rolls of duct tape?

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On a related topic, remember about a year ago when I patriotically signed up for the United States Homeland Security Citizens Corps? This was supposed to be a group of Ordinary Civilians whom the government would train to respond to terrorist events and brief on how to spot and stop terrorists in everyone's individual neighborhood.

I was very excited about this and looked forward to being the government's "eyes and ears" on the street. It took me back to the days when I used to fish decoder rings out of the Apple Jacks, and I was psyched.

Well, after receiving my letter of acceptance and thanks for joining up, I never heard another word. Not a peep. The Department of Homeland Security never called, it never wrote.

Here I was, anxiously awaiting instructions for my next mission and all I got was silence.

Until last week. I opened my mailbox and there it was, an e-mail from the Department of Homeland Securities Citizens Corps headquarters.

With trembling fingers, I opened the document to find out what my Important Assignment would be. And there - there on my computer screen was the highly sensitive mission on which I was about to embark. Right there in front of me at that very moment in time in our nation's history, my government was requesting of me to reach down deep within myself, pull together every whisper of fortitude I had and go out and - buy an extra set of batteries.

No kidding.

I must say, I was a little let down. Buy batteries? I HAVE batteries. I wanted something a little more in line with my talents. Heavens, not to brag, but I'm probably the most talented profiler in Hagerstown. I'm always judging people based on their looks. They could at the very least have stationed me at the I-70/81 interchange writing down the tag numbers of everyone who rubbed me the wrong way.

Oh, there were a couple of other things on the government's mind besides batteries. They wanted me to sit down with the family and "discuss how (we) would communicate."

My fellow Freedom Fighter in High Heels and I went through a couple of "dry runs" to get the communication thing down. She stood at one end of the living room and I stood at the other and yelled "DUCK!"

And she said "Duct? Tape? Here you go."

Needless to say, we need to work on our communication. Perhaps the government will spring for a counselor.

The Citizens Corps (I feel like I should be giving the Benny Hill salute when I type that) also suggested that we get together "a disaster supply kit with food and water," something Andrea took to mean that we should go out and buy a new refrigerator.

We could use one, considering how the one we have now has a little problem with the insulation stripping, which I had to fix - again, I am not kidding - with duct tape.

That ought to keep the terrorists from raiding the fridge.




Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.


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