Monday, July 30, 2007


From the St. John's Telegram, Saturday July 28, 2007

A young person allegedly attempting to phone in a bomb threat to Marystown central high school last December had to leave a message -- and even called back -- because there was nobody available to answer the was after 3 p.m. before anybody got the message, which stated, quite simply, "You're all going to die."

No evacuation was required at that point because the students had already left...

A school staff member told the court that the principal was out of school and the secretary was off sick that day, leaving the office staff short-handed.



Sleep soundly, world. My 82-year-old terrorist mother-in-law is no longer in possession of her exploding hand-lotion.

Let me explain.

Somebody thought this was funny a few years ago:

I have my own take on the Newfoundland anti-terrorism effort.

Not long ago I was returning to YYZ from YYT and decided, in order to avoid the infamous Air Canada lost baggage disaster threat, to take my small bag with me as a carry-on. I have little experience at this business, and naturally ended up bringing a few cosmetic items which ran up against the new anti-liquid/gel regulations. Silly me.

I have nothing against those regulations mind you. I happened to be flying out of Heathrow just days after the big exploding plane plot, which prompted the new rules, was thwarted-- so I have been face to face with the harsh reality of what folks can do with some nefarious goo.

Among my luggage leaving St. John's that day was a nearly full pump-spray bottle of the now-extinct, impossible-to-buy Vidal Sassoon alcohol-free hair gel, which I had stockpiled years ago as the brand was disappearing from the market. It's like gold to me-- the only hair gunk I've ever tried that I don't get allergic to in a few weeks.

But the meticulous inspectress at the security line rifled everything in my suitcase, placed the liquids and gels in the smallest plastic bag I'd ever seen, and confiscated my Sassoon treasure. I begged. I pleaded. I offered to demonstrate its non-inflammability. It was no good. She took it away.

Damn that Bin Laden!, I hissed to myself. IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! BASTARD! I'm such an idiot! A full bottle! From my secret stash! GONE FOREVER!


Yesterday we were returning from St. John's again, this time travelling with my mother-in-law.

She's 82 years old, about five feet tall, less than a hundred pounds, frail to the point of skeletal, white-skinned and white-haired, and walks slowly with a cane.

Airport security confiscated her hand-lotion. It was way over the 30 ml limit.

Whew! We were in serious danger for a minute there. Who knows what she could have done with that little bottle of suspicious liquid.

It's stuff like this keeps us safe in our beds at night. But damn those terrorist bastards! No one is safe from little old ladies anymore!

Newfoundlanders made an outsized contribution to the big wars of the last century, and aquitted themselves with the greatest honour. They continue to punch above their weight in Afghanistan today. But let's get real people-- an octogenarian's hand-lotion is not a threat to national security. Unless maybe she's hiding it under a burka-- and she's a he....

There is but one remedy for these outrages: one must write a poem.

We overthrew the Taliban (too late to save the Buddhas).
And if Bin Laden isn’t dead, he’s cornered like rat.
We’ve backed the Kurds and helped to keep them safe from mad intrudas.
We chased down old Saddam Hussein and squished him like gnat.
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got the surge,
And now our guys are kicking ass and showing how to win.
So real signs of victory are starting to emerge,
(Unless the politicians grab the towel and throw it in).
With all our will and muscle soon the battle could be done—
But when they take my hair gel, folks, the terrorists have won.

Concerned about the borders, Dubai ports, sharia law?
Pelosi in a head-scarf kinda sticking in your craw?
Wondering if the mosque next door is preaching suicide?
Or if the loo at Burger King is where jihadists hide?
Still, NEVER FEAR! Security is tighter than a drum
In Newfoundland, where dangerous cosmetics dare not come!

If you try to depart St.John’s with goo in small amounts,
Forget it, man, you’re busted! Every millilitre counts!
Those crack investigators will probe every zippered purse
For incendiary hand-cream, and conditioner, and worse!
You may think you’re pretty clever, trying to smuggle that stuff on,
But if you’ve got extra after-shave or wrinkle goop, it’s GONE.

Our first line of defense here in the True North Strong and Free
Are the Gunk’n’Grease Gestapo who watch way too much TV.
Is your granny packing Semtex? Is that lip-gloss wired to blow?
Do they strip-search up in Newfoundland? That’s all I want to know.

We’ve chased them out of Anbar, and Diyala’s coming clean.
It took two trips to Falluja, but that’s now a calmer scene.
We’ve smoked out plots and bombers and the homeland’s not been hit.
And despite what Harry Reid says, things are looking up a bit.
But if you think that victory is just around the bend,
And on the far horizon is the hope that this will end--
Sure, Al Qaeda’s star is sinking and we’ve got them on the run,
But when a Newfie takes my hair-gel, the terrorists have won.