Sunday, December 28, 2003


(courtesy of the Citizen Intimidation Agency, hereinafter "CIA"; inspired by reality)

T: Teacher (devout CIA employee) J: Johnny Composite Eyewitness

T (entering room): Welcome class! So glad to see you all this morning. I trust your ride here wasn't too bad, huh? (smiles) Did you get to ride in a big bus?

J: Bus...

T: Ye-e-es! It was big and SHINY, wasn't it?

J: Shiny! (smiles)

T: Well, I hope you all came ready to learn! We have a lo-o-o-ot to cover today. So! Who brought... a PENCIL?

J (looks down at pencil in his hand): Pen-cil.

T: Good! Here is a bra-a-and new pad of paper for you to write on.

J: Pa-per.

T: OK class, today we're going to watch...a MOVIE!

J: AAAAAH! MOVIE!! MOVIE! (bangs pencil on desk)

T: Yes! And it's a really special movie! We -- the CIA -- made it really special, just for you. The FBI helped us too. This movie is really important, and we want you to be sure you remember what's in the movie. OK? So take good notes while you're watching the movie. (smiles) Can you do that?

J: Ummmm... ummm... (hurriedly) cah-I-go-bafroom?

T: Bathroom? Oh, Johnny, didn't you go before you came to school?

J: Uhhhhhhh... mmm, hee hee, yeah, I did. I f'rgot.

T: OK. So we can watch our movie now, right?

J: Mmmm... yeah kay. Movie.

T: Good. Now, eyes front! (starts movie of CIA animation depicting TWA 800 "zoom-climb" theory)

T: Now, who can tell me wha-a-a-at... THIS is? (pointing to plane)

J: Mmmmm......mmmmmmmmmmm.... MMM! I know!

T: Yes Johnny?

J: It's SHINY!

T (chuckling): Yes, it is shiny! But that's how it _looks_. Can you tell me what it _is_?

J: Mmmmmm... it's BIG!

T (chuckling again): Well, yes, that's right Johnny, it IS big. It's big, and...

J: and SHINY!

T (smiling a bit wanly): Yes, big and shiny. Well, OK, this big shiny thing... now what do you suppose it could _be_?

J: Ummmmm.... it's... ummmmmmmm... a bus? (looks concerned)

T: No, Johnny, it's not a bus, but it _is_ big and shiny, like a bus. What else do we know that's big and shiny?

J: Mmmmmmmm.... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... mmmmmmmmmMMMMMMISSILE!!!

T (becoming angry): NO! It's NOT a missile!

J: Not... a missile?

T: No, it's not a missile! Now what do we know that's big, and shiny, and it's not a bus and it's NOT a missile?

J (tentatively): It _looks_ like a missile...

T: NO, Johnny! It's NOT a missile! OK? Not a missile. (regaining composure, barely) Now _other_ than a missile, and a bus, what's big and shiny? And goes up in the air like this? (points at the plane)

J: Ahhhhhhhhh.... (rolls head back, squishes his nose up with a finger pressed flat against the bottom of it, and speaks in nasal tone) Naybe it's a secret nissile. Heeee, hee.

T: Johnny! I told you, it's NOT a missile! It isn't any kind of missile at all, not a secret one or anything else. OK? Now think hard. What looks like this (points to plane again) but is _not_ a missile or a bus?

J (excitedly): I-saw-a-missile-one-time!-It-was-big-and-shiny-and-it-went-WWWOOOOOOSHHHHHH...

T (interrupting): JOHNNY EYEWITNESS!! Do NOT make me call your mother!!! I _will_ send you home if you don't stop fooling around!

J (moodily): 'kay. (seems less than convinced but is quiet)

T (sighs loudly): Alright, now concentrate.

J (frowns): Connnnn...

T: Concen--oh, ah... PAY ATTENTION.

J: Ho-kay.

T: Good. Now, one more time: what is this? (points to plane)

J (looks thoughtful for a moment, then raises hand): Um... a missilebus?


(remainder of tape, approx. 4 seconds, garbled)


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