> Fans Doug Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
> may remember the
> specific steps one should take in an emergency, such
> as to escape at
> the last moment from a planet that is about to be
> 1. Don't Panic.
> 2. Get a large towel.
> 3. Drink four large beers, or something equal to it.
> 4. Lay down on the grass with the towel -- chew on
> it if you are
> 5. Relax and wait for the next passing space ship to
> beam you aboard.
> The Hitchhiker's Guide helps me to understand the
> seriousness of the
> present situation. In the last two days I have heard
> and seen on
> television our government officials giving this
> advice, in the face
> of the coming emergency.
> 1. Don't panic.
> 2. Get some duct tape.
> 3. Get a sheet of plastic.
> 4. In case of an actual terrorist attack, get naked.
> That's right,
> naked. The guy on TV said clothing makes a chemical
> attack worse
> because it holds the stuff on you for a long time.
> So, he said, get
> 5. This will show the terrorists we are not
> 6. After you have done the above steps, if you feel
> strange or funny,
> go to the hospital.
> Just to make sure we had the steps memorized
> properly, some friends
> and I conducted a Terror Response Drill. About the
> time we completed
> step four and were just getting into step five,
> above, we began to
> recognizes some of the symptoms, so we thought maybe
> there had
> actually been a sneak attack while we were showing
> our anti-
> intimidation pose. So, we took our protective roles
> of tape and
> plastic and went to the emergency clinic.
> We knew we were right, about the attack symptoms,
> when we saw the
> looks of alarm on the faces of the emergency room
> The Triage Nurse talked to us first, she seemed
> especially upset -- I
> guess we were the first victims of the attack to
> show up.
> "Describe your symptoms" she told us. "Tell me what
> "We were following the directions on the checklist I
> wrote down from
> the TV shows, that's when we started noticing the
> symptoms," I
> said. "We were standing there naked, just like the
> guy on TV said,
> holding the plastic and duct tape when we began to
> feel strange, or
> "Do you still feel strange or funny?" the nurse
> "Yes." we chorused.
> "Do you suppose it has anything to do with the fact
> that you are
> naked in public and carrying around duck tape sheets
> of plastic?" her
> piercing questions continued. And she called it duck
> tape, too, not
> duct tape, so I wondered how much she really knew
> about anything.
> "Well, um, uh, er," we responded.
> "Let's try this," she began proposing an experiment.
> She took a hospital gown and a set of pajamas from a
> closet. "One of
> you put on the gown, one put on the pajamas, and one
> simply stay
> naked for a little while longer."
> I will skip all the complicated notes that always go
> with a
> scientific experiment -- and cut to the bottom line,
> so to speak.
> The one in pajamas felt a little better, but still
> kinda silly.
> The one who stayed naked didn't notice much change,
> except she
> thought maybe she had lost a few IQ points because
> she was feeling
> very stupid.
> The one in the hospital gown felt much worse -- very
> strange, very
> "I'm not surprised," the nurse said, "hospital gowns
> always make
> people feel strange -- and intimidated. It's part of
> the hospital
> psychology to keep patients in line."
> While we were occupied with the experiment, so other
> staff snuck up
> behind us with seditive syringes. We woke up in
> hospital beds about
> the time some family members came to get us.
> We went home with another set of directions.
> 1. Throw away the plastic sheets and duct tape.
> 2. Stop watching so much TV, or at least pay closer
> attention to what
> we do watch.
> 3. Do not go outside without a responsible family
> 4. Next time one of us feels like starting an
> anti-terrorism group,
> consider enrolling in a good sex education class