Stop stressing us out, dude.

Maybe I’m just a little thick-headed, but I just have this gut (hey, that’s thick, too!) feeling: Over zealous terrorists, hell-bent for bringing the Great Satan to its knees, ain’t gonna? do it by staging attacks on our little hamlet here in Nowheresville, USA.
Call me kooky, but I don’t see it happening. Maybe I’m just being over optimistic, but I don’t see the strategic benefit of ruining corn fields, coney joints and Mom & Pop commercial zones.
Mom, Dad, what’s going to happen to us?
The reason I bring this up today is I’ve had my fill of that stupid Homeland Security/Ad Council TV commercial that’s been airing nine million times a day since November. If you watch any amount of television, you know the PSA I’m talking about. (For those not in the know, a PSA is a Public Service Announcement — free advertising provided by the station.)
For the Homeland Security’s ‘Ready? campaign PSA lonely and worried kids sit on steps in front school. They look into the camera and ask questions like, ‘Mom, Dad, what’s going to happen to us when the bad people blow up New York, Washington, D.C., or Hollywood??
‘Mom, who’s going to pick us up when something bad happens??
‘Dad, how can we go home if a mean ol? terrorist blows up our house??
As the Chief Operating Officer, head bottle washer and floor sweep of the Guilt-Ridden Parents Guild, I understand the notion behind the TV spots: Be prepared for the worse, so when the worse happens there won’t be pandemonium in the streets. I just wish the powers in charge would present the message that way — straight forward without any emotional tricks. We’re all rational adults, right . . . okay, I may not be, but you are.
And, were I the head muckity-muck and I had to show that PSA, I would only air it at night when the kiddies are safely tucked away in their beds, dreaming of sugar plums dancing with one-eyed nija turtles and whatever else their young minds might conjure up.
There’s no need to further stress out our already stressed youths. Kids today have too many things to worry about, have less recess time to burn off energy and don’t need to fret over the one in a million shot that some crazed militant will detonate a dirty bomb in their neck of the woods.
They might as well have kids practice huddling under their desks in case of a nuclear war . . . oh, wait . . . they tried that once.
Wisdom of the Ostrich
It is going to come to a point when my head explodes and I will declare martial law in our household. Sorry boys, there is no more television in our home. Try reading a comic book, do your homework, play with at least one of your million toys. How about you go outside to run, skip, jump? There is life after TV.
There are just some things kids need not worry about. Ignorance can be bliss for them. Let them keep their heads in the sand as long as they can. While knowledge is power, it can also be frightening.
The Ready Campaign, like the Patriot Act, is part of Homeland Security’s attempt to keep us safe.
You too can be ready
Hop on the internet and visit the website ( to get all sorts of information on planning for the worse. You can learn about things like biological, chemical and radiation threats or what to do in a nuclear blast or other types of explosion.
The site details what to do if you are trapped under rubble: Do avoid unnecessary movement so that you don’t kick up dust. Do cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand. (Dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter. Try to breathe through the material.) Do tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. If possible, use a whistle to signal rescuers. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
Surprisingly, I saw no mention of drinking your own urine as a means of keeping your body hydrated, thereby increasing your chance of survival.
By the way, in the case of a nuclear blast, the best tip was to go ‘as far below ground as possible.?
No problem — my shovel is ready. (How’s that for some good planning?)
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