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Food Terrorism

Leave No Frying Pan Behind

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The front line in the war on terrorism can be found at airport security checkpoints around the country. In order to safeguard American travelers, carrying a pair of nail clippers has become an act of sedition. It turns out, though, that nail clippers aren't banned because someone thinks an aircraft could be commandeered using a grooming aide; the real reason is that a suicide hijacker is promised 72 afterlife virgins and it's assumed terrorists will want to look their best before blowing themselves up.Based on recent events, the profile for hijackers has apparently grown to include "likes to prepare omelets for (ex-)virgins the morning after."

Food Network personality Alton Brown (Good Eats) was flying home from Allentown, PA last week where he had appeared at a food and wine festival doing some sort of egg-related demonstrations. Like many professionals, he brought his own tool to work, in this case a 10-inch Calphalon skillet.

When he tried to board the plane, a security agent arbitrarily decided that the pan in Brown's carry-on was a weapon and would not be allowed on the plane. From Brown's website (AltonBrown.com): "I'm not saying that a plane couldn't be hijacked with a frying pan. . .I'm sure in the hands of a trained ninja, it could deal out as much death as an AK-47. . .I surrendered the pan and can only hope that one day (the agent's) wife will liberate herself from his tyranny by introducing it to his head at high velocity."

Also barred from the same flight was the "72-Virgins Dance Team" of Mecca Heights, GA who appeared at the same food festival. Their chastity belts kept tripping the metal detector and no key was available.

About 1300 soldiers from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division moved to seal off the town of Fallujah, located west of Baghdad, last Sunday. Operation Spartan Scorpion's mission was to raid the homes of suspected militia leaders and search for illegal weapons; no omelet pans were discovered.This campaign follows a combat operation begun earlier last week in an area north of Baghdad along the Tigris River, code-named Peninsula Strike, against what Central Command described as "Baath Party loyalists, paramilitary groups and other subversive elements."

Both operations were in response to persistent guerrilla attacks against US troops. Fortunately, no American was killed in either of those operations, but it should be noted that 47 US soldiers and hundreds of Iraqis have been killed since President Bush effectively declared the war over on May 1 with a hearty "Mission accomplished."

Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Mohammad Omar, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Alton Brown's skillet remained unavailable for comment.

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