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what if...

by Diannek
Hello Dread

Dread came to visit me last week. He brought his duct tape and plastic sheeting along with him. I asked him to leave but he’s ignoring me. He has taken over the spare room and has been redecorating it in Orange and Red – his favorite shades of alert.

Over breakfast the other morning he suggested that we should come up with an emergency action plan. He was wearing camouflage pants and his favorite olive green t-shirt. The gas mask made it difficult to understand him as he rattled on about our evacuation options, duck and cover drills, and decontamination rooms.

He was surprised to hear that we have no weapons on hand – even weapons of limited destruction are not to be found anywhere on the premises. He pointed out that we should keep our kitchen knives sharpened at all times, and has suggested that we look at several attack dog websites.

He’s checking on the neighbors now – each and every one of them – because you never know who might be a terrorist. Since profiling is out of the question, even my 95-year-old next-door neighbor is not above suspicion. The neighborhood kids riding up and down the sidewalk on their scooters could be hiding explosives in their backpacks. Perhaps we should have metal detectors installed to screen the mail delivery person and the UPS guy.

Always park the car police style when you go to the grocery store. You should back into the parking spot for a quick get-away in case of an attack. Keep one of those mirrors with the long handles handy for checking under the car for explosive devices, like they do at the airports now. Never assume your car is safe, or that the mall or grocery store is safe, or that riding in an elevator or getting on a plane is safe.

The ground water is probably unsafe and the very air that we breathe is not above suspicion. He was appalled that there was no Cipro in the medicine cabinet, that our small pox vaccinations are out of date, and that we don’t have a year’s supply of bottled water and canned goods on hand.

I’m becoming more distressed every day now that Dread seems to be our permanent houseguest. He never smiles, tells a joke or relaxes. He doesn’t like our friends and declines invitations. He watches too much TV. Will he ever leave? I sure hope so. Maybe if I just ignore him, he will disappear like a bad smell that eventually just evaporates.

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