Guest column: Hometown makes the terrorist list
People here in my hometown of Austin, Texas, are not merely excited, we're ecstatic. From every corner of our city, come shouts of hip-hip hooray and hallelujah, because Austin has made "The List!"
Yes, at long last, our fair city here in Texas has been designated by the homeland security czar as one of 60 in the nation considered to be at "high risk" of a terrorist attack.
Don't you see? This means we've made it, we're an A-list city, Austin is now in the big leagues alongside New York and Washington, officially worthy of a terrorist attack.
Hey, not every wide spot in the road gets on this prestigious list, and, indeed, Austin has not heretofore been known as a dangerous place.
We're best known for our music, laid-back attitude, fun spirit, but making the list proves that we've also got a raw edge - so walk warily and stay vigilant if you come here, because, well, you know, the terrorists hate us.
We're not the only newbies on the Homeland Czar's list this year - such terrorist hotspots as Rochester, N.Y., Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Toledo, Ohio, were also added.
Now, each of our city halls gets to draw up dramatic anti-terrorism schemes that can be funded from a $350 million pool of federal grant money. I know! We'll build a 10-foot-high, 10-foot-thick wall made of jalapeÃ¯Â¿Â½o peppers all around Austin. Let Osama bin Laden's fanatical disciples try to eat their way through that!
You might consider such creative defensive thinking to be frivolous, but we Austinites are just doing our patriotic duty in Mr. Bush's "war on terror." Remember, right after 9-11, he was asked what ordinary Americans could do. "Go shopping," he told us. Well, that's exactly what we're going to do.
Thanks to Bush, Congress, and homeland hysteria, select cities like ours can now get federal financing for our shopping spree.