Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Feds Foil Clever Male Fraud Scheme

by John Ottley, Jr.

Postal workers streamed out of the poison letter intercept facility
like a fire ant hill run over by a peanut harvester.
Alarms shrieked.
Strobe lights flashed.
So many 911 calls almost locked down the system.
Letters with suspicious pellets addressed
to the entire Congress, judiciary, and White House:
biggest terrorist mailing in history.

Authorities wondered why Oscar Benton Ceetie,
of (appropriately) 1842 Odd Fellow Lane
in Crowley, LA,  used personalized return labels.
No self-respecting radical could be that stupid.
High brow FBI profilers said he had a death wish.

In the dark of a Cajun moon
ninja-clad federal agents waited outside Ceetie’s house
for their green radium watch dials to hit 2:30 a.m.
This ought to be easy.
The guy didn’t even have a pit bull watchdog.

Oscar staggered to the door in his plaid nightshirt,
hands shielding his eyes from high-intensity tactical flashlights.
Black tasers at the ready, they demanded,
Are you Oscar Ceetie?
Yes, but wha, what’s this all about?
We think you know, Mr. Cetie. Your ricin-laced letters arrived yesterday.

I believe there’s a mistake, officers.
Those were rice in letters.
That’s what we said. Now hands over your head.

Look, our Chamber of Commerce likes to say
we’re the rice capital of the world.
We’ve hosted the International Rice Festival since 1936.
Our town motto is “Rice is Life”.
What does any of that have to do
with trying to assassinate the entire government?

Well, everything!
Did you actually open my letters?
We don’t do that anymore. Our advanced technology
has saved countless politicians by detecting tell-tale castor beans.
No doubt the threatening message inside would have exposed
the workings of your twisted mind.
No, we have you dead to rights, mister.
Those “beans” were grains of rice, not ricin for pete’s sake.
The accompanying note was rice recipes
from La Bouche Creole, our cooking bible.
I just had this idea that, if we could get folks eating more rice,
it would help our overweight problem.
We could start by getting our leaders on a rice diet.

The bewildered Feds holstered their 9 mm Glocks,
rolled their eyes, raised their hands hopelessly,
and looked to the Crowley Police for support.
The locals stared intensely interested at their shoes.
Someone texted the Hoover Building,
shook his head at the reply.

The red-faced feds piled back into their tinted window SUVs,
threw up gravel as they roared off,
leaving Oscar (nickname O.B.) Ceetie with a copy
of the only charges they could think up:
a bill for insufficient postage.

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