Bombs are frightening, and there are some folks out there who -- out of paranoia or tattoos fueled by youthful indiscretion -- see Ted Kaczynski's mugshot whenever they close their eyelids. Therefore, nowadays just about anything and everything can be interpreted as a bomb threat. Here's some of the most oddball shit to recently be mistaken for deadly explosives. We're surprised the whole world doesn't crash to a halt whenever a television station airs a Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
#4. Modern Art
In June, artist Russell Jaffe received a call from police after a piece of his artwork -- a smashed television he wrapped in poetry containing such zanily scrawled phrases as "IT IS YOU MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE" -- shut down downtown Iowa City for several hours. What happened? A buyer who had recently purchased the artwork from Jaffe left the piece in a "community exchange" booth near the Iowa Arts Festival, and somebody reported the objet d'art to the police. They proceeded to annihilate it with a robotic water cannon, the kind of critic nobody warns you about in art school.
"Seriously, I'm just so over postmodern hobo-nism." -HydroBot7500, Iowa City PD, HuffPo/Arts Asst. Ed.
Just recently, Al Jazeera released a leaked government report on the days leading up to Osama bin Laden's surprise bullet party with SEAL Team 6, providing an illuminating look at how the terrorist leader stayed hidden for an entire decade. This 300+-page file reveals that bin Laden's methods of evading capture often amounted to cartoonish buffoonery coupled with blind luck, making him closer to George Bluth than Jason Bourne on the scale of fugitive masterminds. Here are some of his most nefarious tactics ...
#4. He Wore a Silly Hat to Avoid Satellite Detection
Today's babies are born into a world of economic uncertainty, political gridlock, and '90s-kid parents who think "Britney" is the correct spelling. Also, most disturbingly, parents love naming their babies after the shit they see on TV and forgetting that humans tend to stick around a lot longer than the average ratings sensation. That's why in about 20 years you'll see a lot of embarrassed adults with baffling names like ...
#5. Khaleesi (from Game of Thrones)
Just in case you're too cheap to get HBO, "khaleesi" means "queen" in the fictional language of the Dothraki from Game of Thrones. Despite being more of a title than a name, last year the word showed up on the birth certificates of 146 American baby girls whose parents apparently anticipate them to blossom into sexy dragon ladies who get nude a lot.
It's no secret that the citizens find it hard to feel anything beyond phantom intestinal discomfort when "government authority" mixes with "Internet stuff." And if the U.S. government's recent efforts to connect with the populace by expanding its social media presence are any indicator, Americans are about to feel a lot gassier.
#4. Police Departments Have Begun Live-Tweeting Patrols
"Tweet-alongs" are becoming a popular way for police officers around the country to show us what it's like to go out on patrol by sharing unsolicited case-related information with the entire world for absolutely no reason whatsoever. While this is an attractive initiative from a PR standpoint, it is perhaps not the most practical idea, because the police occasionally depend on everyone in the world not knowing exactly what they're doing at any particular moment.
"Was the rock thing in frame? Do you want me to loop back?"