by Jim Harris
“Smog and acid rain tomorrow morning, followed by gale-force winds and catastrophic flooding in the afternoon. That’s the weather, now let’s check in with Les Hazzard for today’s Danger Report.”
“Thanks, Jim. Folks who are planning to travel by air should take note that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is expanding its list of permissible carry-on items for air travel. This will include ‘teeny-tiny’ guns, baby boa constrictors (under three feet long), nose hair clippers, nano-knives, plungers, exploding cigars (no more than four per adult), Kryptonite and those little plastic swords that they stick in maraschino cherries. This could make flying just a bit more dangerous than it already is, so govern yourselves accordingly.
“On the plus side, aviation-wise, Boeing has just announced that it has a plan to fix its troubled 787 Dreamliners so the planes can resume flying. The FAA is reviewing Boeing’s proposal to revamp the 787’s lithium ion batteries to prevent them from catching fire. So welcome aboard, folks. Sit back, relax, enjoy your flight, but don’t forget to sit near the exit.
“As to your destinations, be aware that there are a number of dangerous hotspots around the globe. Try to avoid going to Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, Central America, Mexico, Antarctica … Maybe it would be easier to just tell you where you CAN go that’s safe: Liechtenstein and Tierra del Fuego.
“Elsewhere, the United Nations has just implemented new sanctions against North Korea, intended to prevent that country’s leadership from importing ‘luxury’ items such as yachts, racecars, food and Dennis Rodman. In response, North Korea is talking tough and staging large-scale military drills, although their soldiers’ only weapons appear to be mop handles, dishwashing detergent and Kung Fu.
“Of course, the ratings-hungry free-world news media can’t stop gleefully reminding us that North Korea has the world’s fifth largest army. This is the same thing they said back in 1990 about Iraq’s army, all of whom either ran away or surrendered within the first three minutes of Operation Desert Storm.
“It’s not the size of North Korea’s army that daunts, however, but the size of their rockets, and they seem to have some doozies pointed in our direction, which they are threatening to use. The best current estimate is that, with a good tailwind, they might be able to reach Oregon or Washington State, so scratch those destinations from your travel plans as well.
“Regarding meteors, it’s been almost a month now since the last meteor strike in Russia that blew out windows and injured thousands. This means that we might be overdue for some more hot lead from the black abyss of space. If you should see a meteor approaching, depending on its size, angle and speed, you should either sidestep the hurtling monolith or run in a serpentine fashion away from the lethal projectiles. It’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing. This will deflect heat and keep you from melting.
“Here in the U.S., Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate finally got the Justice Department to say that it would never use drones to kill U.S. citizens on American soil. We only do that to people in other countries. We do, however (in Philadelphia, at least), occasionally drop satchels full of explosives from helicopters onto houses containing unruly occupants, so watch out for that. If the explosives start to fall, you may want to stay with a cousin in Newark.
“Locally, there was a pro-gun demonstration down at the Federal Courthouse with a lot of fat, bearded white guys in cowboy hats and camouflage pants carrying loaded assault rifles. They all claim to be ‘the good guys,’ but you never know, so you might want to avoid that area just to play it safe.
“Overall, today’s Danger Index is a 7, although with all the media hype, it will feel like an 8, so stay focused, don’t panic, don’t drink the water, don’t eat the daisies, don’t take anything for granted, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched, don’t take any wooden nickels, don’t fear the reaper and above all, don’t worry — be happy.
“That’s the news. Good night and good luck!”