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Jewish World Review June 4, 2002 / 23 Sivan, 5762

Art Buchwald

Art Buchwald
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Consumer Reports

RED ALERT | Like most Americans, I listen to what my leaders tell me to do. So when Cheney of the White House, Rumsfeld of Defense, Ridge of Homeland Security and Ashcroft of Justice tell me to prepare for an attack, I listen.

The next question I ask myself is, if we are attacked, what do I do? Certainly Homeland Security has plans for me.

I called the Homeland Security hotline and told the man who answered the phone, "I have heard the alert warnings and I want to get out of town."

"Where do you live?"

"Washington, D.C., right near American University."

He said, "That's a bad place to be in case of an attack."

"I know that. Could you advise me on how to escape from the area?"

"Take the Beltway."

"But isn't everyone else taking the Beltway?"

There was a pause. "Maybe you're right. Take the Bay Bridge in Maryland and drive until you hit the Perdue Chicken Ranch, and hide in a hatchery until the all-clear is sounded."

"It's pretty hard to get on the bridge on a normal weekend, much less during an alert. I'll be in my car for 10 hours and then run out of gas."

He said, "You are not being helpful. Suppose you took the subway to Reagan National Airport and grabbed a plane."

"Where to?"

"Buffalo is as good as anyplace. At least it's not a prime target."

"That is a big help."

"Don't forget North Carolina. Nobody is going to blow up Nags Head."

"How do I get from Washington to Nags Head?"

"Call the AAA. They'll tell you."

"Is this a red alert or a green one?"

"It's a red one, which means fill up your gas tank, put a dozen bottles of water in the back seat, and carry antacid pills."

"What about my credit cards?"

"Be sure to take them with you. There may be a lot of places along the line where you can use them."

"Where are you going to be?"

"In the mountains of West Virginia. Since I am one of the top people in Homeland Security, they are going to fly me out in a helicopter."

"I gotcha. Suppose I stay in the basement?"

"Good idea. When we find where the threat is I'll call you back."

"One last question. I know I should be on the alert, but what should I be alert for?"

"That's the FBI's secret."

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05/15/02: Those in depression
05/09/02: Mother's Day in the market
05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
04/18/02: Conflict of Interest
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03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
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03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

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