Monday, May 28, 2007

Code orange

When I flew out to SoCal last week, I heard a strange thing over the loudspeakers at the airports. A serious voice announced that the Homeland Security people had put out an orange alert. Now, according to their website, an orange alert means "high" risk of terrorist attack.


First off, I'm not a huge fan of flying to begin with, so this extra "you may die" information isn't that helpful.

Second, what am I supposed to do with this knowledge? Why are they telling us it? There are five color alerts (I had to look that up, but I figured at the time that orange wasn't good). Maybe Homeland Security people should give us instructions on how to react to each color. Here are some ideas:

Green: Make all the bomb jokes you want. We'll laugh.

Blue: Glare at fellow passengers.

Yellow: Eat a good meal, it might be your last.

Orange: Run to the nearest airport kiosk and start dumping out water bottles.

Red: Initiate immediate racial and ethnic profiling.



S.S.Stone said...

I recall your brother posting something about this threat...scary situation.Glad you have a sense of humor about it*smile*

About racial profiling. I think they practice that without any type of alert.

Ben said...

In Paris, the only way we'd know that the terrorist threat was high was that they would bolt down the lids on all the trash cans (in train stations)that hadn't already been changed for see-through plastic bags.

Statistically (not that I know anything about statistics), you have much more of chance of getting creamed out on the highway. Why doesn't that strike the same kind of fear into us?

Brad Wright said...

Sarah, you're right about racial profiling... sadly.

Ben, they really bolt down the garage can lids? How do you use them, then? Bring a wrench with you when you wanted to throw away a candy wrapper?

Kim said...

I fly quite a lot, and I can't recall the last time I heard a threat level other than orange being announced.

I'm always reminded of Spinal Tap: "yes, but this one goes to 11."

Brad Wright said...

Maybe it's always orange? That's the first time I've heard one of those alerts (I work hard at not flying much). I *love* the reference of going up to "11"... I used it last week in fact in a conversation about merit pay.

Ben said...

You just throw all your trash on top of the bin, or around the bin or wherever. But this is Paris, where trash and dog doo are just left on the sidwalk to be cleaned up every morning by special sidwalk cleaners (like glorified golf carts.) No matter how much the city govt begs, people have let their dogs . . . They even have special motorcycles with special vacuum cleaners mounted on the back. But no newcomer is fully initiated until they've stepped in it ;-). Does this take your mind of code orange?

kent said...

homeland security ought to the same system hospitals use for pain. 0 = smiley face, 10 = freaked out face. it is easier and it is more interesting

Knumb said...


Good winds at Marshall Launch

Code Brown through Sept., btw.

Brad Wright said...

The smiley face... I like that. Though, from what Kim says about orange alert, they would only need one, sour face.

Sweet about Marshall.