Tuesday, November 30, 2004

No Cranberry for Mitch's Nonna

Editors' note: Thom was under the influence of cold medicine when writing this blog.
Three weeks ago, when Mitch was checking flights from the recently-proclaimed new country of Ski Colorado to the small town of Waco, Texas, he had no idea that Tom Ridge, Yahoo!, and his grandmother's Thanksgiving turkey would all be out to get him.

It started harmlessly enough with the Internet (doesn't it always?). Mitch sat at his computer, humming the refrain from "Over the River and Through the Woods" while he waited for Bill Shatner's disembodied head on priceline.com to tell him that his bid on a plane ticket was the winner. Bill was taking longer than usual, so Mitch opened another browser window and started playing with Yahoo! Map's driving directions. I had teased him previously that his trip to visit his Nonna during Thanksgiving was really just a ruse to give him an alibi while he slipped over to Crawford to see if he could sneak on The Ranch and catch a glimpse of the Bush twins skinny dipping in the stock pond. He had heard that the tabloids pay big money for photos of the Younger Bush bushes. Curiosity won out, and Mitch entered a starting point and a destination.

The starting point: Nonna's sleepy village of Lorena.
Destination: Crawford.

It was a short drive and he chuckled to himself that it would be fun to head over there on Friday just to take a photo of the front gate. Behind the scenes, though, past the silicone and diodes, the "Crawford" red flag had been raised by Yahoo! Maps which signalled the Homeland Security databases to compare the IP address of Mitch's computer with his political affiliations. It glided smoothly past the harmless "college ski club," "Italian American," "internet hacker," and "NAMBLA," but hit a snag by a recent addition to his homeland security file: "Turner/Phelps contributing editor."

When Mitch arrived at his Nonna's house on Thanksgiving morning, Tom Ridge and his SS team (Secret Service) were waiting for him. No sooner had he said "Ciao," to his aged grandmother, than they leapt out of her red tip photinia bushes and dragged him off to their secret interrogation safe house just outside of McGregor. After several hours of questioning, finger-printing, and full body cavity searches, the unmarked SS black van pulled up to Nonna's house and pushed a bewildered and sore Mitch out onto the front lawn.

While Mitch was in custody, his grandmother continued to cook the Thanksgiving feast, but had been so distraught that she forgot to turn the oven temperature from a balmy pie-baking 325 degrees, to the turkey-roasting 385. The resulting salmonella poisoning from undercooked poultry landed Mitch in Waco's Holy Sister's Hospital for the remainder of the weekend where he received heavy doses of antibiotics and a full reconstructive rectalectomy for the SS damage done to his rectum.

His ultra-liberal Summit County lawyers entered the fray Monday morning, and Tuesday morning, Tom Ridge announced his resignation.

The least we can do is thank Mitch for taking one for the team and give Tom a hearty, "Good-bye."

On a side note:

Check out the amount of time Yahoo! Maps says it will take to drive 29.3 miles. Don't they realize that this is Texas? Driving time in Texas is always one mile = one minute, if not less. Sheesh.

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