Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dangerous Rest Stop

          I hereby give you Arriba, Colorado. Home to more or less 200 souls. There are some grain elevators and a railroad siding, and—most important to K and me, who drive I-70 from Kansas City to Denver and back again with some regularity and also two dogs—a rest area.
          It is not, as they say, a happening place.
          And yet, here is the poster that hangs in the lobby of the nicely appointed restrooms at the Arriba Rest Area:

It's a poor photo—I know. It was in a glass case and what could I do?
          It says, "Be Alert / the eight signs of terrorism."
          Normally I would refrain from poking a little gentle fun at a poster like this; I-70 is one of the major east-west interstates, and if terrorists wanted to have a Jack Kerouackian adventure before getting to whichever coast with a major population center it is they were headed for and strapping on the explosive-laden vest and going boom in a densely populated area with the promise of 70 virgins or the streets paved with gold and no dark-skinned folk around on the other side of said boom depending upon their particular flavor of fervor, a major interstate is a perfectly reasonable place for them to be driving—and possibly even using the rest areas.
          And yet…. I have now stopped at every rest area on I-70 between Kansas City and Denver—more than once—and Arriba is the only one that sports a poster teaching us what the eight signs of terrorism are. Is it possible that it has determined that its potties are so much nicer than the ones on the Kansas side that they are a sure terrorist target? And if this is the case, can someone please tell me what the other terrorists will say when they hear their colleagues blew up restrooms? Aside from the hysterical laughing and pointing out that those boys failed Terrorist Map-Reading Training more than once?

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