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The purpose of terrorism...

A Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie story by Greg Swann

Host: --coming up on the top of the hour and you've got it tuned to WARY talk radio, the voice of the voiceless, 910 on your AM dial. We're talking about the Amtrak sabotage and domestic terrorism in general. Why don't you give us a call and let us know what you think? And we have... Concerned Citizen in Glendale. Go ahead, Concerned Citizen.

Concerned Citizen: Bob?

Host: Yes.

Concerned Citizen: Bob?

Host: Go ahead. Speak your piece.

Concerned Citizen: Bob?

Host: Go ahead, Concerned Citizen.

Concerned Citizen: Am I on?

Host: Not any more... Next up is Verdict Backlash in Evansville.

Verdict Backlash: Bob, I think OJ really did do it.

Host: Old news.

Verdict Backlash: But I think he got away with murder!

Host: Old news. Old news.

Verdict Backlash: Old news? What could be more important than the destruction of the criminal justice system?

Host: Listen, we're talking about the terrorist sabotage of the Sunset Limited. Who do you think derailed the train?

Verdict Backlash: I think OJ did it.

Host: OJ? A note was found at the scene signed by Sons of Gestapo. Who do you think is behind the Sons of Gestapo?

Verdict Backlash: OJ. OJ and Cochran. And Louis Farrakhan.

Host: I see. Yet another insightful analysis of the news. And we have... the Canny Granny in Caldwell Heights. I thought it was sabotage from the first, Granny. When I woke up and heard about that horrible train wreck, the first thought that ran through my mind was--there's got to be more to this story. How about you?

Canny Granny: Well, Bob, I knew it was sabotage.

Host: How'd you know it?

Canny Granny: Oh, in my heart, I guess. When you get to be my age--

Host: Yeah, yeah. But doesn't it make you feel just a little bit paranoid, that when something bad happens, you automatically think it's foul play?

Canny Granny: Well, no...

Host: And what about this domestic terrorism angle? On the one hand, we've got to do something to stop these creeps. On the other, what'll become of us if we do? Which should we fear more, terrorists or a police state? Any thoughts on that, Granny?

Canny Granny: Well, no...

Host: You're deep, darling. And we have Flame Bait in Turkey Creek. Tell it to the world, Flame Bait.

Flame Bait: The Feds did it.

Host: Say what?

Flame Bait: The Feds. You know, short hair, dark suits, chewing gum. The Feds.

Host: You're saying the federal government sabotaged the Sunset Limited and killed one person and injured dozens more? What for...?

Flame Bait: Why'd they bomb that building in Oklahoma City?

Host: Hold it! Too many questions!

Flame Bait: Listen, Bob. You're being handed a buncha crap. Can't you see that? What is this Sons of Gestapo crap? Gestapo means "state police". Are you going to tell me that some moron is going to derail a train so he can write hate mail to the BATF and sign it "state police"? The BATF is the gestapo, Bob!

Host: ...So what are you saying?

Flame Bait: The Feds sabotaged the train. It's way the hell out in the desert; nobody can get there. Besides, you'd need to know a lot about the mechanics of railroading, which isn't something your average neo-Nazi punk has studied up on. The Feds sabotaged the train and the Feds planted the note. Simple.

Host: But why...?

Flame Bait: To get their lousy anti-terrorist legislation passed. Even after blowing up their own office building, they couldn't get people to support a police state. So now they've wrecked a train and blamed it on Nazis. If they have to, they'll nuke a city and blame it on the Arabs or the drug cartels. You watch, Bob.

Host: Kind of explains everything, doesn't it? In a neat, tidy little package.

Flame Bait: You bet.

Host: Everything!

Flame Bait: Yup.

Host: Everything that happens is support for your theory, isn't it?

Flame Bait: Now you're getting it, Bob!

Host: And nothing ever, ever contradicts it?

Flame Bait: Never.

Host: ...Everything, everywhere is just more proof of the indisputable truth of Le Grande Conspiracy. Nothing is coincidental and no one anywhere is uninvolved. Each and every one of us is just a pawn in a game we can never hope to understand.

Flame Bait: ...

Host: Everyone is just one more juicy morsel of kookfood for Flame Bait in Turkey Creek!

Flame Bait: ...

Host: You there, Flame Bait?

Flame Bait: ...You're in on it, aren't you?

Host: Move closer to your radio because I'm going to whisper: I'm in charge... And now we have the Big Boss in Cyprus Springs.

Big Boss: I... uh... I agree with that other guy. I think... I think OJ did it!

Host: I think OJ and vodka did it. And it's Just Plain Bill in Aurora.

Just Plain Bill: Bob, this doesn't make too much sense to me.

Host: Doesn't it?

Just Plain Bill: No. Supposedly, the train was wrecked by neo-Nazi terrorists out to get back at the FBI and the BATF. How does wrecking a train do that? Blowing up that building might make sense, since there were supposed to be BATF guys in there. But what point is there in wrecking a train?

Host: Terror. The purpose of terrorism is terror.

Just Plain Bill: Wait... I'm questioning the assumption and you're answering me by repeating it. Does that make sense? I mean, if we say that goblins stole the candy, we can't say that the proof is that that's what goblins do. Can we?

Host: You're losing me.

Just Plain Bill: It just doesn't make sense, that's all.

Host: I've just been handed a news item that suggests that the sabotage may have been the work of a disgruntled ex-employee and the note from Sons of Gestapo is just a red herring. What would you say about that? What if it was just a working stiff with a grudge?

Just Plain Bill: That'd be pretty boring, Bob.

Host: Yes... So it would... But what about this? What if it was really space aliens who wrecked the train? What if the sabotage of the Sunset Limited is just the first step in an alien invasion...? Hey, wow! That made the phones light up! We're almost out of time, but we'll pick this up tomorrow with a special show: Space Terrorism--what can be done? Until then, I'm Bob Car--

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