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    Threat Level ORANGE or Merry Christmas from NORAD: Your Tax Dollars at Work

    After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security gave us a nicely color-coded Fear Chart, so that we, the American people, would know just exactly how afraid we are. You know how Deadman was saying the other day that he uses the Weather.com minute-by-minute forecast to know when to walk his dog? That’s kind of how I am with the Homeland Security Fear Chart. Because without it, I wouldn’t have any idea how scared I was. The chart has five lovely hues: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red.

    Green means the terrorists are on vacation. Hey, everybody needs a break once in a while. On Green days, you could go for a walk late at night, in an unfamiliar neighborhood, with dollar bills stapled to the outside of your clothing. Blindfolded. Green is free-wheeling, baby. Love those Green days. No fear whatsoever.

    Blue means the terrorists are recovering from vacation. We all know that the first couple of days back in the office after a vacation are kind of mellow. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, and terrorists are no exception. There are a lot of phone calls to return and emails to read. Plus, there’s the newest manual to bone up on. We can’t expect a lot of real terrorist work to be done on the Blue days. When the chart is at Blue, we’re just living our lives. On Blue days, I’m only afraid of spiders.

    Yellow means the terrorists are hard at work plotting. Yellow is where we start to get anxious. Probably won’t happen, but could happen. Here’s where the cautious behavior starts. Yellow doesn’t mean, contrary to urban legend, speed up and blow through that light. Yellow means be alert. Anybody could be a terrorist.

    Orange means we know they have a plan. They’re coming. They might already be here! Don’t stop shopping or anything, because everybody knows you still have to be a good American. But Orange means BE AFRAID.

    Red means it’s time to take our Xanax. Because we are well and truly fucked.

    My favorite days, obviously, are the Green and Blue days. Those are the days when I feel hardly any anxiety leaving the house. Of course, since the system’s inception, we’ve never had a Green or Blue day. So, I’ve been a little stressed out these past eight years.

    I have to leave my house though. So, I put my trust in our military and intelligence services. I know they are working hard to protect me. And I know they are working especially hard when the threat levels are high. Today, the threat level is Orange. I’m fairly certain that all Americans are doing their part by shopping and I was fairly certain that the military was doing their part protecting us from the imminent Orange threat. That is, I was fairly certain until I read this.

    While perusing the news this morning, I found out that, on an Orange day, as listed on NORAD’s own Web site, our friends at the North American Aerospace Defense Command are hard at work. They’re tracking the most dangerous terrorist of all.

    Now, I’m no Scrooge. I like Christmas and all the trappings. I hum carols to myself. I buy gifts for all my relatives. I wake up on Christmas morning with that feeling—you Christmas revelers know the one. That feeling that tells you this is a day like no other. And I love it.

    But how the hell am I supposed to be snuggled in bed tonight, having visions of sugar plums, when the fear chart is Orange and NORAD is ignoring the terrorists and following an imaginary man in flying sleigh pulled by flying reindeer?


    Speak for yourself. Santa scares the bejeezus out of me. One man with a personal flying device and the capability to enter any house in the country at will. The guy lives like a hermit in the north pole with a bunch of reindeer. He toils year after year under strict deadline pressure without compensation. You have to imagine that resentment builds up. What's his breaking point?

    All I can say is that you goyim better not come crying to me when Santa puts anthrax in your stocking. (Disclaimer: I reject and denounce any negative connotations associated with the word goyim.)

    Is goyim the plural? Does that make goy the singular? Is it gender specific? Am I, for example, goya? Was Goya the near-sighted one or was that del Greco? I might start my own questions post. Or maybe I'll just ask my doctor.

    Team of doctors, O, Team.

    Pssssssssst. Santa's not real. Tasking military resources to track him would be starting a war over weapons that don't exist. Oh. Wait.

    He might be a national security concern. Santa comes here after visiting the middle east after all. Does this guy even have a passport? I'm sure Hoover created an FBI file on him as well. Maybe one of his elfs was invited to Norad to cover this once a year event. Hey, it could of been a $100,000 toilet seat.

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