14 February 2002
There is a song in The Last Session which begins:
Somebody's friend took a trip to Chinatown
Somebody's friend found secret herbs
Somebody's friend got cured of HIV
But when I ask if I can meet somebody friend
They say "it's not my friend,
it's the friend of somebody's friend"
I thought about the song a lot today as I read the report from Reuters about the
supposed terrorist threat. (I was alerted to the article by The Bitter Hag).
The best quote out of this article, which the Hag quoted says:
"We know that a guy said that he talked to a guy who talked to a guy who said that
this guy might do something bad on today," said a U.S. official who did not want to
Huh? Now what are we supposed to do with that, pray tell?
The official goes on to fill in a bit more of the holes:
"We also heard similar things from some other means which I cannot discuss saying
that somebody with a similar name was planning something bad around now."
Well, I'm certainly glad they cleared that up!
All this talk does not go to make me comfortable. I'm about to embark on the famous
"Dumb Thing I'm Doing For Steve Schalchlin" adventure. I leave Sacramento at
6:30 a.m. Friday morning (getting to the airport around 4), flying to St. Louis, where I
change planes. Then I fly to Baltimore, where I change planes. Then I fly to Philadelphia,
where I change planes, and finally I end up in Rochester at 11 p.m.
Or so the itinerary says.
I'm taking bets on how many of those flight connections I'm going to miss, and what
time I will really arrive in Rochester. I have 50-60 minutes in each airport
(assuming we land on time), and something like 3 hours in Philadelphia (on the whole, I
would rather be in Rochester!). At some point I even change airlines.
I'm being very philosophical about it. I'm taking my own food so I can stay on the
eating plan, I'm bringing several books to keep me busy during the flights and if I get
trapped in an airport somewhere, and I'm just going to take it as it comes. If it's a
disaster, it will make a wonderful story for the journal.
(I'm also going to have to start thinking about what and how to pack. I've pretty much
figured out the "layering" thing (leggings under pants, t-shirt under sweater
under jacket)...I'm just not sure WHEN to get into this outfit. Do I try to fly wearing
all these clothes? I am assuming there is an indoor parking garage and that I won't really
have to deal with the temperatures, other than going from the car to the house, until the
But of course all of this could be moot if it turns out that one of the 8 planes I'll
be flying on over the weekend becomes a target for the guy that the guy who talked to the
other guy was talking about.
I've had good advice on what to do, however. The Hag came through with guidelines for
Just be on the lookout for some "guy" from Yemen. Or who looks like he is
from Yemen. Or could be from Yemen. Or could be from somewhere close to Yemen. Or who once
stood at the urinal *next* to someone from Yemen.
Because he might do something bad.
Thanks. I feel so much more prepared now.