Bring 'em on 

I’ve learned from a reliable source, probably the same one that told him, that my name is on that same al Qaeda “hit list” that Bill O’Reilly claims that his is on.

In fact, my name is higher up on the list. That means I’m a higher priority target, and Bill is said to be having a hard time accepting that. The jihadist crazies would smithereen a soft-spoken nobody who minds his own business out in the wilds of Arkansas before they would HIM? Ridiculous. Hasn’t he earned the right to get blown up long before I do?

Well, he can whine all he wants to that our respective target ranking only means that the al Qaeda list is alphabetical, with the Lancaster “L” coming before the O’Reilly “O” or “R.” But that’s disingenuous and everybody knows it. Everybody knows that al Qaeda doesn’t even use our alphabet. They use one in which American proper names look exactly alike — it’s all circles and crescents and footballs, with mysterious dots and slashes — and have nearly the same literal meaning.

That literal meaning is “pig-ape,” and all us American pig-apes are pretty much one big ugly creature to al Qaeda. It distinguishes us one from the other only in rare cases such as needing to make up a hit list, and then it identifies individual pig-ape targets with some secret punctuation or italicizing that allows insider al Qaedas to read the “pig-ape” as “really laughable pig-ape” or in my case “pig-ape jerking off down in the boonies” or in Bill O’Reilly’s case “big stinky wind from camel’s hiney on Fox TV.”

So you see that Bill’s alphabetical-accident argument is just more of that ill wind from yon dromedary.

The al Qaedas are some sly rascals, and they don’t make up hit lists just to amuse themselves, the way we make up Top 10 lists. Their lists are purposeful and well thought out, if humorless, and they have practical, cold-blooded reasons for making me a higher-priority hit-list target than Bill O’Reilly.

Bill lives and produces the stinky camel wind in New York City, for instance, and al Qaeda is no longer much interested in killing and scaring the bejesus, or just the jesus, out of New Yorkers. It’s been there and done that.

But what it hasn’t done is strike terror in the bucolic heartland, poisoning our big old silver water tanks and sliming our fruitful fields and picturesque cutovers with suicide-bomber gore. And that’s its real ambition, its heart’s desire, at least according to five years of freaked-out Homeland Security alerts.

What better way to terrorize middle America than to strike a middle South small town named for the small-brained Union general most remembered for having said that the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim? (He might have said Indians but true al Qaeda fanatics know what he meant.) That general would be Phil Sheridan, a Brit Hume ancestor whose name in al Qaeda, by an even odder coincidence, also means “camel poots and lots of ’em and bad.” And the small town would be Sheridan, Ark., my hometown.

Strike at Sheridan, Ark., and it will strike back at you. Al Qaeda knows full well that we will throw up breastworks here at the first whiff of camel and from behind them pop away with deer rifles and old shotguns, chunking rocks if it comes to that. We’ll give them the what-for we intended to give Fred Steele but forgot. They might beat us by another one of their cheap unfair terrorist tricks but they won’t make us like it, and another thing al Qaeda knows is that I’ll be in there popping and chunking with my fellow heroic townspeople. Yes, Ol’ Moi. Think Randy Quaid in “Independence Day.” And if they can take me out in a situation like that, it will be a big blow to American morale.

On the other hand, if they took Bill O’Reilly out it would probably only improve American morale. American people would say, Well, we hate the sons-a-bitches but they did us a favor there.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’ll never make the upper echelon of Fox lying blowhards, or breathe even the semi-rarefied air of local media celebrity in the company of Dave Elswick and Philip Martin and them, but I did win a higher place on that al Qaeda hit list than Bill O’Reilly did, and in the recent Best of Arkansas competition in the Arkansas Times I was a runner-up in the Best Newspaper Columnist voting behind Wally Hall, who, if you can believe it, is also on the al Qaeda hit list, also ahead of poor old sucking-hind-teat Bill O’Reilly.

I’m no Bill O’Reilly and Sheridan is not New York but it’s exactly because we’re sort of Nobody and Nowhere that al Qaeda made out that list the way it did. They’re a crafty bunch. They think outside the box like that — while, inside the box, our President Alfonse and Defense Secretary Gaston can’t find their ass with all four hands.



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