A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Archive for terroism

A Mad Dream

2334~The-Persistence-of-Memory-PostersThe floor in front of me twisted and buckled madly and I felt my bowels evacuate a watery fecal gruel. I wildly scanned my memory for where I should shelter on a fourth floor building when an earthquake struck. I came up empty. I knew that lifts were out and somewhere in the deep recesses of my now terrified mind I thought of stairwells and arches. The balcony to my right suddenly gave way and amidst the dust and flickering lights I saw the door to the stairs a quick seconds sprint beckoning me, as the stench from my body finally penetrated my consciousness. I could hear the crumbling of the internal walls, the screaming of those unfortunate souls who couldn’t escape, and I thought of my own mortality. The roaring of the disintegrating building was terrifying. Each shock seemed to go on for eternity and then there was sudden silence. I relaxed and then another rumbling shock lifted the floor from under me and all around glass exploded and the screaming continued.

He stood there, in the car park, his red and black shirt sending its ominous message to passerbys. The black and chrome of his motorcycle, the weapons attached to the saddlebags, the string of off-siders, crouched in readiness around him. His widows peak didn’t make you want to giggle into your hand in mock embarrassment; it made you want to avert your eyes for fear of recrimination. He had once been a national icon as musician and poet, recently more notorious for befriending liberal-minded female patrons who funded his expensive alcohol and drug habit and elevated him to a kind of Robin Hood character. He held his arms out to me as I lurched through the smoke filled air.

“Bro! I didn’t mean for you to trash the whole building. Just do the business and vamoose. Kapeech?”

I was momentarily taken aback by his unfamiliar language; then it filtered through. I grinned, pretending that I was indeed, the man. Overhead the sound of crumbling concrete and twisted metal, tore through the strangely silent afternoon. Distantly I could hear the stirrings of the first fire appliances, ambulances, and possibly police. I could see the scanner on the back of Chris’s bike emitting signals.

“We better make ourselves invisible,” he whispered, conspirationally into my reddened ears.

I scrambled into the back of the awaiting RV and we roared off as the first of the suburban saviors screeched to a halt outside the stricken building. As I gazed out through the tinted rear windows of the departing vehicle I could see streams of survivors staggering form the building. The fools in the van with me didn’t realise they had been witness to the largest earthquake to have hit our city. They thought it was the charges that I had not yet laid; the charges that lay in the basement of the building. The charges that were sure to be discovered by the authorities when they scoured the building for survivors. As I was removing the large poster tube that contained my assassin’s rifle from my back, I saw my own motorcycle lying under a pile of rubble beside the road. The motorcycle that could now link me to that building and those explosives. I had to think of a way to get back there and remove all signs of my presence.

“Christ! What’s that smell?”

I must admit that doubts did enter my mind as I sighted down the long barrel of the heavily modified assault rifle. In the telescopic sights I had fixated who had been described to me as the enemy. She looked far from it. Flowing golden hair, those bee-stung lips, the Californian tan – she seemed as distant from an enemy as the small child playing at her feet. I squeezed the trigger and the soft thump of the bullet exiting the gun belied the enormous kick as it jerked in my hands. She reeled backward, the small child was covered in a wash of blood, horrified onlookers crouched and covered their heads with white-knuckled hands, as if that would provide them any relief. I shifted position as he had instructed me to do so and waited for the next target.

I cleared the rubble around the stricken vehicle and assessed the damage. Although the rear tire was flat, I held a portable tire repair cylinder in my hand. That would not be a problem. I could see that the headlamp and controls were twisted, but they looked usable. I inserted the repair kit over the valve and pushed the inflator. Suddenly I sensed a nearby presence and out of the side of my eye, I caught a flash of red and black. The incident in the truck would now come back to haunt me. I felt under the seat for my sidearm. It was gone.

“Looking for this bro?”

He held the nickel plated automatic out from his body at a ninety degree angle. He looked as though pulling the trigger would be as easy as twitching his eye.

“You’re not going to shit yourself again.” He said mocking me as I automatically held up my hands.

I am now asked WHY I DID IT. I answer in psychobabble, that debased and vague confessional language that allows people to imagine they are baring their souls when in fact they are exposing their shallowness. They are impressed, not so much by my advanced rhetoric (because they are all part of a trivialized educational system which equates confidence and poise with success), but by my ability to self reflect. Even if I explained myself as a demented she-wolf raised from the spawn of an alien master race, they would nod sagely, scribble unintelligibly on their paper tablets, then usher me into a rehabilitative program guaranteed to reform me to societies mores. I wondered if my neighbors back home would describe me as a friendly man, an *** (whatever it was they thought I did and it should start with a dominant vowel) who had lived in a modest home in Evansville and kept a neat lawn. He frequently jogged. “I was really surprised. As far as I knew, he was an outstanding neighbor.”  I tell them they disgust me-they are impressed that this is a sign of my ‘active return to engagement’ with ‘my social self’. Hey! I did it because I could.

I jerk awake. My body is still anchored to the bed but my brain is humming with tinnea-like constancy. What the hell did all that mean?

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Airline Travel 1

Post 9/11

She sat there in her little metal backed chair looking like the roaring in her ears was getting louder and louder.  It’s all very unsettling for me. As if I could hijack a plane with a tinfoil strip carrying four Cataflam.  And what did she mean by that crack that the little, perfectly formed orange pills bore a remarkable resemblance to Viagra? I can see the frustration on her face and the faces of my fellow passengers as they wait impatiently for this fool to clear security. First it’s the change in my pocket, then my inhaler within its metal container, then my car keys, and still that damn bleeper is still going off. I expect they thought that I should have known about all these little metal items. I feel hamstrung and a large amount of disbelief that I could not have anticipated the effect of terrorism on air travel. It hadn’t crossed my mind that the tinfoil was metallic, and that my inhaler, which I had always perceived as plastic was, in fact, metal. My hands are now shaking uncontrollably which has further incensed the now, team of women, who was scouring my body with a passion that only matches the frantic bleeping of their instruments. Glass case with metal hinges, metal frames on my sunglasses, a paper-clip lodged in the deep recesses of my money pocket (one of the peculiarities of men’s trousers). Finally I, as a gibbering wreck, make it to the comparative safety of my seat. I quickly scan the plane for dark skinned people with flowing robes and turbans but, Flight 450, on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, is Taliban free.

Then, not five minutes into the flight, a smiling stewardess hands me two beautiful, sharpened, metal weapons to slice pilots and passengers throats, poke eyes out, or cut vital pneumatic hoses.

That swarthy male steward is not fooling me at all! He has an Arab look about him with that pointed nose and sandy stare. The name Anil Prasad on his identity tag is not dissuading me from making him out to be a member of a tiny terrorist faction intent on capturing the plane and flying it into the Beehive. Why, just this morning, on National radio I heard a security expert say that NZ is a prime target as security tightens up in other countries. Terrorists will pick on weaker countries and repeat the lessons of  9/11. I bet, even now, that Mr. Prasad is secretly sweating inside his little green uniform as he anticipates that vital second to seize control of the plane and fly it into the American embassy in Wellington, or maybe an expensive visiting yacht, or maybe a KFC outlet.

And what about that tangata whenau in the beanie, black Levi’s and dirty dogs with the barbed wire tattoo around his neck. Has he been brainwashed by Tania Turea and is now intent on copying his Arab cousins?

Now the intercom is calling out for anyone who has left a set of keys behind in security. Suddenly its upgraded to a pair of Mazda keys. Is this some secret code that only Mr. Prasad can decipher. ‘We have control of the aircraft, Anil. Break out the metal cutlery and overpower the flight crew in the rear of the plane. Anil seems remote and distracted, as if maybe, he’s forgotten the code.  Another announcement. ‘Congratulations to the Northland hockey team on their runner up placing out of 24 teams at the National Champs.’  Does this mean that the plan is aborted and will be run again in 24 hours? Or is it that target 24 is to be chosen? My palms have gone all sweaty and I can feel the world starting to spin as I come to the realization that this may be the last moment of my life. Why did I choose to fly? Knowing that I could be brutally plastered against a US made building somewhere hundreds of miles from my own home. I try some cognitive reconstruction but it all sounds like psychobabble.

The pilot’s voice comes on as we descend into thick fog. ‘We are about eighty kilometres south of Wellington and there are a number of planes waiting to land in front of us so we are going into a holding pattern.’ I look out the window and we are indeed flying in thick white soup. Motionless, it feels as though the plane is hanging suspended in a moment of time. I start to think of other scenarios. A nuclear device exploded above-ground or a new electromagnetic type bomb that can be built with bits from Dick Smith and can wipe out all machines and vehicles with electronic monitoring systems. Like large 747 aeroplanes. Maybe this has happened and we are suspended in limbo. A kind of time warp. My mind starts spinning around all the possibilities.

Gradually I forget about terrorists, bombs, Osama bin Laden, and mad dog Bush. Suddenly, another announcement as the plane jerks violently in the air. ‘Ladies and gentlemen we are now descending into Wellington airport. Conditions on the ground are not good. Strong southwest winds, heavy rain and very cold temperatures with very poor visibility. I will approach cautiously but I may have to power up and abort the landing if conditions are too bad. I’ll have a second go and if that fails we have enough fuel for thirty minutes flying so we will have a go for Christchurch airport where conditions are much better. Things could get bumpy, so hang on.’

A collective hush falls over the cabin. We are all confined in the same small tin coffin. We are to be incinerated in a sudden ball of fire or worse, drowned, as helplessly we try to find the flotation device so thoughtfully hidden beneath our seats. Suddenly all thoughts of hijacking by angry Arab terrorists fade into the background as we pitch from side to side and then descend rapidly with a thump. I look below and a cold angry ocean peers back at me, and then I see gloomy Wellington streets as we round the point at Oriental parade and descend toward the airport. The plane drifts sideways and then shudders and shakes. I am aware that my knuckles are white and I have worn a groove in my armrest. My sphincter muscle is working overtime. Clench, unclench. The runway seems to scream up at me and then we are down. A perfect landing and the passenger compartment  breaks into prolonged applause and I even notice a small smile of relief on the face of the obviously Indian Anil Prasad.

Travelin by Air

She sat there in her little metal backed chair looking like the roaring in her ears was getting louder and louder. It’s all very unsettling for me. As if I could hijack a plane with a tinfoil strip carrying four Cataflam. And what did she mean by that crack that the little, perfectly formed orange pills bore a remarkable resemblance to Viagra? I can see the frustration on her face and the faces of my fellow passengers as they wait impatiently for this fool to clear security. First it’s the change in my pocket, then my inhaler within its metal container, then my car keys, and still that damn bleeper is still going off. I expect they thought that I should have known about all these little metal items. I feel hamstrung and a large amount of disbelief that I could not have anticipated the effect of terrorism on air travel. It hadn’t crossed my mind that the tinfoil was metallic, and that my inhaler, which I had always perceived as plastic was, in fact, metal. My hands are now shaking uncontrollably which has further incensed the now, team of women, who was scouring my body with a passion that only matches the frantic bleeping of their instruments. Glass case with metal hinges, metal frames on my sunglasses, a paper-clip lodged in the deep recesses of my money pocket (one of the peculiarities of men’s trousers). Finally I, as a gibbering wreck, make it to the comparative safety of my seat. I quickly scan the plane for dark skinned people with flowing robes and turbans but, Flight 450, on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, is Taleban free.Then, not five minutes into the flight, a smiling stewardess hands me two beautiful, sharpened, metal weapons to slice pilots and passengers throats, poke eyes out, or cut vital pneumatic hoses.

That swarthy male steward is not fooling me at all! He has an Arab look about him with that pointed nose and sandy stare. The name Anil Prasad on his identity tag is not dissuading me from making him out to be a member of a tiny terrorist faction intent on capturing the plane and flying it into the Beehive. Why, just this morning, on National radio I heard a security expert say that NZ is a prime target as security tightens up in other countries. Terrorists will pick on weaker countries and repeat the lessons of 9/11. I bet, even now, that Mr. Prasad is secretly sweating inside his little green uniform as he anticipates that vital second to seize control of the plane and fly it into the American embassy in Wellington, or maybe an expensive visiting yacht, or maybe a KFC outlet.

And what about that tangata whenau in the beanie, black Levi’s and dirty dogs with the barbed wire tattoo around his neck. Has he been brainwashed by Tania Turea and is now intent on copying his Arab cousins?

Now the intercom is calling out for anyone who has left a set of keys behind in security. Suddenly its upgraded to a pair of Mazda keys. Is this some secret code that only Mr. Prasad can decipher. ‘We have control of the aircraft, Anil. Break out the metal cutlery and overpower the flight crew in the rear of the plane. Anil seems remote and distracted, as if maybe, he’s forgotten the code. Another announcement. ‘Congratulations to the Northland hockey team on their runner up placing out of 24 teams at the National Champs.’ Does this mean that the plan is aborted and will be run again in 24 hours? Or is it that target 24 is to be chosen? My palms have gone all sweaty and I can feel the world starting to spin as I come to the realization that this may be the last moment of my life. Why did I choose to fly? Knowing that I could be brutally plastered against a US made building somewhere hundreds of miles from my own home. I try some cognitive reconstruction but it all sounds like psychobabble.

The pilot’s voice comes on as we descend into thick fog. ‘We are about eighty kilometers south of Wellington and there are a number of planes waiting to land in front of us so we are going into a holding pattern.’ I look out the window and we are indeed flying in thick white soup. Motionless, it feels as though the plane is hanging suspended in a moment of time. I start to think of other scenarios. A nuclear device exploded above-ground or a new electromagnetic type bomb that can be built with bits from Dick Smith and can wipe out all machines and vehicles with electronic monitoring systems. Like large 747 aeroplanes. Maybe this has happened and we are suspended in limbo. A kind of time warp. My mind starts spinning around all the possibilities.

Gradually I forget about terrorists, bombs, Osama bin Laden, and mad dog Bush. Suddenly, another announcement as the plane jerks violently in the air. ‘Ladies and gentlemen we are now descending into Wellington airport. Conditions on the ground are not good. Strong southwest winds, heavy rain and very cold temperatures with very poor visibility. I will approach cautiously but I may have to power up and abort the landing if conditions are too bad. I’ll have a second go and if that fails we have enough fuel for thirty minutes flying so we will have a go for Christchurch airport where conditions are much better. Things could get bumpy, so hang on.’

A collective hush falls over the cabin. We are all confined in the same small tin coffin. We are to be incinerated in a sudden ball of fire or worse, drowned, as helplessly we try to find the flotation device so thoughtfully hidden beneath our seats. Suddenly all thoughts of hijacking by angry Arab terrorists fade into the background as we pitch from side to side and then descend rapidly with a thump. I look below and a cold angry ocean peers back at me, and then I see gloomy Wellington streets as we round the point at Oriental parade and descend toward the airport. The plane drift sideways and then shudders and shakes. I am aware that my knuckles are white and I have worn a groove in my armrest. My sphincter muscle is working overtime. Clench, unclench. The runway seems to scream up at me and then we are down. A perfect landing and the passenger compartment breaks into prolonged applause and I even notice a small smile of relief on the face of the obviously Indian Anil Prasad.