Summer has finally come to New England, so I ventured into the storage closet yesterday to get out the beach gear. I was bending over to get my surfer shoes--which I use to track wayward clients through salt marshes--when a shiny metallic object caught my eye. I picked it out of the junk on the floor--a can of Spam?
"Honey," I called out to my wife. "Why do we have Spam in the closet?"
"You mean unsolicited bulk messages sent electronically?"
"No--the canned, precooked meat product made by the Hormel Corporation."
"Don't you remember," she said. "We set up a terror closet after 9/11."
Of course--how could I forget! We take terrorism very seriously here in the suburbs of Boston. The 9/11 highjackers flew out of Logan Airport and spent the night in a motel not far from our home where we'd had dinner many times with our kids. And not too long ago they arrested a Pakistani teenager one town over who was plotting a Mumbai-style assault on a popular mall in bankruptcy proceedings that our kids patronize for over-priced branded sportswear.
The ultimate Chapter 11 shopping experience!
"Now I remember," I said. "We were advised to stock a secure room that could be locked from the inside with staples in the event of an attempted takeover by Islamofacists. But why Spam?" I asked. "You hate the stuff."
"I know, but if al Qaeda is going to establish a world-wide caliphate based on sharia law . . ."
"Which they've sworn to do . . ."
" . . . one of the first things to go will be Spam. It's got pork in it!"
I hadn't thought of that, but she was right. "What else did we . . ."
"You mean me . . ." Okay, so I'm not the most conscientious anti-terrorist in the world, but I've got a job to go to every day. After this brief stream-of-consciousness interlude, I returned to our conversation.
" . . . put in there?"
"Well, the boxed set of seasons one through six of Sex and the City."
"Good call," I said, even though I have never been able to sit through a single episode. "You know when the mullahs reach Route 128, the first thing to go will be an HBO series that glorifies female promiscuity in what Jesse Jackson . . ."
"Ahem--I think you mean the Reverend Jesse Jackson."
"I stand corrected--fondly refers to as 'Hymietown.'"
"That's what I thought. 'Rob and Big' may survive, but I have to think that Sex and the City would be done for."
"So we'll be eating Spam and watching Sarah Jessica what's-her-name. What else?"
"Well, I stocked up on vodka. Liquor will be banned under sharia, and I figured it packs more alcohol per square inch than white wine."
"Right--we've got to conserve space. How about money? We may have to pay ransom for the kids if the destruction of the American Way of Life comes at a time when they're at lacrosse or baseball practice."
"Not to worry," she said. "I stuffed $200 . . ."
"Do you really think that will be enough?"
"It should be plenty. I can't spend more than a few hours with them, and I'm their mother. The Taliban will let them go for a bargain price."
I felt comforted, reassured. She'd thought of everything. Still, we can't let the terrorists rule our lives--if they do, they really have won.
"Is that envelope still in here?" I asked. "I'm a little short of cash, and I need some red wine."
She came in and rummaged around for a bit, and finally produced the envelope from behind a box of Pappagallo pumps.
"Here's $10, that's all that's left."
"What happened to the rest of it?"
"I dipped into it a couple of times when the pizza guy showed up and I didn't have any money."
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection "The Lighter Side of Terrorism"