Editor's Column: Terrorists no match for ferry system

Osama: Greetings, Omar and Saladin, peace be with you. But not until I chastise you for failing your assignment. Why did you not blow up a Washington State ferry? And why are your pictures plastered all over the news?

Omar: Greetings to you, Osama. As you know, Saladin and I are veteran terrorists with experience in Pakistan, Iraq and Great Britain. But we had no idea the Washington State Ferries assignment would be so difficult. We apologize for our failure, and subject ourselves to your mercy.

Osama: So tell me, what went wrong?

Saladin: The bomb making went very well, after that, nothing. First, we approached the ferry terminal in Seattle and saw bomb-sniffing shitzus.

Osama: You weren’t stupid enough to get caught there, were you?

Saladin: No, of course not. We simply turned around and headed north, guessing there would be no dogs in Mukilteo. Homeland Security must think terrorists are all idiots. So we proceeded to wait in the ferry line.

Omar: And wait, and wait, and wait. It was Thursday, which we found out is the “new Friday,” according to the regular ferry users we met in line. We got hungry and bought a late lunch at Taco Bell. It was where the line ended.

Saladin: Yes, it took hours to reach the ticket booth. And then misfortune struck again.

Osama: What was that?

Omar: We did not have enough money. Mistakenly, we thought a one-way ferry ticket for our small truck and ourselves wouldn’t cost too much. We brought $20, but spent $5 of that at Taco Bell. The ferry ticket for our truck and ourselves came to $24.50. How do Americans afford such prices? We were stuck.

Osama: So you quit?

Saladin: In the name of Allah, no! We are not quitters. We abandoned the truck and carried the bomb in our backpack. We caught the ferry just as it was departing for Clinton.

Osama: But you didn’t blow up the ferry?

Saladin: We were about to, but then we heard the deep, melodious voice of Allah, warning us to not abandon our backpack, and to enjoy our trip. We were very frightened.

Omar: Yes, we were afraid Allah was against us this day. Only later did we learn that what we heard was a recording by Dave Niehaus, voice of the Seattle Mariners. He certainly sounds like Allah. And by then, the ferry was already unloaded.

Osama: So you quit?

Saladin: Did Muhammad quit after one wife? Of course we did not quit. We hitchhiked to Keystone, thinking we could sink a ferry there.

Osama: How did that go?

Omar: Fine, to a point. We snuck onto the ferry and placed the bomb below deck, where it would do the most damage. Then we prayed and waited for our trip to paradise.

Saladin: But paradise was not to be. We were on a boat called the Illahee, which was built 80 years ago. Leaks like a sieve. It leaked saltwater all over our bomb, turning it into a dud. So we went up to the top and enjoyed the view. It was beautiful. Blue water, dolphins, mountains. Allah was certainly watching over us.

Omar: So was a CIA satellite. That’s when they got the pictures of us and plastered them all over the TV and newspapers.

Osama: Very well, it sounds like the circumstances were beyond your control. We’ll make your next assignment a simple one, without the complications posed by the curious Washington State Ferry System.

Omar: No thanks, we quit. Our terrorist days are over. We’ve got two tickets to the next Mariners game. We want to be close to Dave Niehaus.

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