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By Pam Burke 

A voice of reason in a world gone absurd


Call off the Border Patrol, send home the National Guard, I am the front line against terrorism 'round these parts. In fact, according to Nepal Airlines' standards, I should be getting a Congressional Medal of Honor for carrying on every day, fighting the good fight, battling the forces of evil in a world gone mad, for I am the mighty mouse killer.

The Associated Press reported Monday that flight attendants on a Nepal Airlines flight to Bangkok saw a mouse in the pantry and halted departure of the plane to search for the intruder. When their efforts failed to turn up the unticketed passenger, the flight was canceled, passengers evacuated and the jet towed to the hangar where professionals mounted a full-scale search to apprehend the culprit. A mouse.

Let's review. An entire jet airliner flight was canceled, quit, stopped, ceased, aborted, because one, single, solitary, lone mouse was on board the plane. Business was halted, family reunions canceled, vacation days wasted, drug runs delayed, whatever brought people to that flight on that day and time, was disrupted because one tiny mouse was on the plane.

Isn't that the type of reaction reserved for when a suspicious character has a couple pounds of C-4 and a ticking clock strapped to his chest in seat 23G.

We have seen the new face of terrorism, folks, and it is Stewart Little's. Let the profiling begin.

If I shut down for the day around my place every time I saw a mouse that I had yet to catch, I'd be on permanent lock down from life. Not that a little vacation doesn't sound attractive, but I would be seriously embarrassed if I said, "Uh, no, sorry, I can't feed horses today, I saw a mouse in the barn. Call in the SWAT team and contact me when you've got this marauder mouse in custody."

Of course, if I went that far, I'd have to go all the way: "Oh, hey, when they're done there, could you have the SWAT studs go ahead and run a perimeter sweep around my house? I saw signs of a mouse under the kitchen sink.

"What? They already did and found that my home is completely inundated by some Mickey Mouse terrorist cell that's using the crawl space as their stronghold? Aw, hell, bomb the beejeepers out of it. I'll start over with a new home."

OK, sure, I get it. The mouse was in the airplane's pantry. Who wants to eat food that a mouse has been rummaging through? Not me, either. But you cancel a whole flight over it? Naw, just bring in a new truckload of peanuts, give everyone a complimentary packet of sterile wipes and get on with the business of flying my buns to my destination.

You want to know the real irony about the whole failed search and destroy Mickey situation? The airliner was sitting at the airport in Katmandu.

Katmandu, people! Don't you think someone would've caught the connection? Like maybe the pilot:

"Tower, this is flight 357 out of Katmandu requesting a flight cancela— What do you mean you can't hear me? I said flight 357 out of Katmand— Wait a minute that reminds me of something. Katmandu, Katmand, Katma, Kat — Cat!

"Tower, this is flight 357 out of Katmandu requesting a feline-ninja hit squad to accompany this flight to Bangkok."

(Is their a Nobel Prize for practical solutions in an increasingly hysterical world at


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