My youngest nephew is a few months shy of three years old. Which means clothes I gave him for Christmas that fit him now won’t by the time he reaches that milestone birthday. It means that his eyes lit up (I now know what that phrase means) when the mechanical gorilla I also gave him let out a mighty roar and set out across the dining room table to fall, literally, into his arms. Being almost three means a nascent interest in other living things, such as my semi-comatose dachshund, who sleeps, eats, does his business and sleeps some more. But more than anything else it means my darling nephew has a great and abiding interest in bodily functions.
At his preschool he is encouraged to sit on the potty, but the daily reports my sister and brother-in-law receive from my nephew’s teachers indicate that while he happily complies with the suggestion that he sit, sitting is all he does. The good stuff he saves to be off-loaded at home by his mommy or daddy. When he visits me, or I visit him, he gleefully raises both hands high over his head when a sudden change in the ambient atmosphere prompts me to suggest that “anybody with poo-poo in their pants raise their hand.” And when my ancient doggie is ready to relieve himself, my nephew starts jitterbugging to his own refrain of “Puppy po-poo! Puppy po-poo!” unable to contain his excitement at the prospect of watching the old dog squeeze off a few rounds.
So you can imagine that the talk this Christmas with family gathered for the holiday focused more on defecation than on deficits or other news. Classy, I know.
It was only the awful news of how close the passengers on Northwest flight 253 came to being blown to bits in the air over Detroit that put down the lid on our conversations. The early reports of a jihadist’s failed explosion appropriately lauded the heroism of passengers and crew. I hope that Todd Beamer and his fellow brave souls are smiling down on them. But then the news shifted to an investigation of the Muslim terrorist, and of how apparently simple it was for him to have boarded the plane wearing an explosive device as a diaper. Paid cash for a ticket? Check. One-way ticket? Check. Luggage? Nope. What part of “I am going to kill the people on this plane” did the “screeners” not understand when they let this creature board flight 253?
Soon that creature was, inevitably I suppose, dubbed the “trouser bomber.” I can’t be bothered tracking down the first pundit to use the term, but it certainly gained traction fast and appears to be as solidly implanted in the language as the term “shoe bomber.” One can only pray that there is not an Al Qaeda cell hidden in some cave busily sewing garments for undershirt, weskit, and pantyhose bombers to come. Apparently clothes do make the terrorist.
This morning ABC News took in the lead in fashion/jihad reporting by giving us all our first look of the terrorist’s somewhat worse-for-the-wear underpants. At least that’s what I thought I heard as the television blared in the background. And no, I did not look up from what I was doing to get a glimpse of the charred remains. But the news did get me back to thinking about my nephew and how his diapers will now be considered potential weapons of mass destruction whenever he and his parents attempt to board an airplane. It’s difficult to imagine a flight attendant asking passengers to “raise their hands if they have a detonator in their pants.”
The trouser bomber has reminded us that jihadists are out to flush all Americans down the toilet. If we are smart we will find a way to wipe them out once and for all.