Omdahl: Committee Declares War on Backpacks
“Okay, what now?” barked Old Sievert as he limped into the emergency meeting of the Community Homeland Committee carrying a fifth of cranberry juice. He claimed cranberry juice was good for his gout.
“You all know that terrorists have attacked Brussels,” Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald started with an air of urgency.
“Where is Brussels?” Old Sievert quivered. “Is that very close?”
“It’s a town over there somewhere in Europe – next to Paris, I think,” guessed Einar Torvald.
“I thought Brussels was a vacuum cleaner,” Holger Danske wondered.
“No, that’s a Bissell,” corrected Little Jimmy. He was now working on his sixth online major, this time with Del Rio University. He was in entomology, hoping to get a summer field job at the NDSU field station.
“Let’s get back to the terrorists in Brussels,” Garvey ordered. “If we don’t do something, the mayor will replace us with a new committee. “
“Everybody in town is on this committee,” countered Josh Dvorchak. “Who’s left for a new committee?”
Chairperson Ork Dorken shrugged off the question as he pointed at Garvey. “As our chief security officer, what do you suggest?”
“First, we need to screen people coming and going through town,” Garvey suggested. “Main Street is a sieve for terrorists.”
“Maybe should we put one of those airport detector outfits in the middle of Main Street,” proposed Orville Jordan.
“That’s pretty high tech for our level of incompetency,” noted Garvey. “Who would run it?”
“Max Berkin over at Neckersville Lawnmower Repair is pretty good with a wrench,” suggested Holger Danske.
“Better yet, the town should buy one of those drone things to fly over Main Street and watch for suspicious activity,” Orville added.
“That won’t work,” Einar warned. “You have to register drones and terrorists would hack the register and find out that we have a drone thing watching Main Street and they would sneak into town on the dump ground road.”
“Yup,” added Jimmy. “If they can hack Target, they can hack anybody.” He had the only computer in town.
“Backpacks are rally the weapons of choice for terrorists,” Dorsey Crank, the retired mail carrier, pointed out. “If we could strip them of their backpacks, they would be harmless.”
“I’ve been reading about outlaw days in Dodge City,” reported Old Sievert as he took another healthy snort of cranberry juice.
“Gunslingers checked their guns at the bar when they came to town. We could make everybody check backpacks and that would be the end of our worries.”
“Well, we haven’t had a bar since Dinty closed shop in 1947 so where would terrorists check their backpacks?” worried Orville.
“We could set up a booth on the road into town and make everybody put their backpacks in there while in town and pick ’em out on the way out – use an honor system,” Einar speculated.
“Honor!” steamed Old Sievert. “They’re coming to blow up our town. That’s plain mean. What kind of honor is that?”
“We should at least pass a rule against backpacks at our meetings,” Josh proposed.
“But nobody has ever come to our meetings with a backpack,” countered Einar. “Of course, Madeleine has a monster purse but we know her.”
“That’s exactly the way terrorists want us to think,” Josh persisted. “When our guard is down, some terrorist will walk into our meeting with a backpack and wipe out the brains of our whole security system.”
“I’m sure those Brussels people are planning to fight backpacks. Maybe we should ask them for help,” Dorsey suggested optimistically.
“Great idea! Wonderful idea!” exclaimed Old Sievert cheerfully as he led a migration out the door. His fifth of cranberry juice was gone, and his gout felt much, much better.
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