Hold the Trial Here!

This scares me, but i agree wholeheartedly with Newburgh Mayor Nicky Valentine. He says we should host the trial of accused 9/11 instigator Sheikh Khalid Mohammed, and he’s right. No other city seems to want it, and it poses a unique opportunity for Newburgh.

In today’s Record we have people quoted to the effect that we would be putting the city at risk if the trial were held here.

HUH!? Terrorists are gonna come to the trial?! That’s like saying we should kick out St. Luke’s Hospital, because it attracts sick people.  Or that we should say no if we were offered the Pillsbury Bake-Offs, on the grounds that someone could start an oven fire.

Would we turn down a shot at hosting the Olympics for fear that Tonya Harding might come and kneecap someone? Would we refuse to host an embezzlement trial, thinking that accountants would overrun the city? A divorce trial, because it might attract Larry King? It’s equally crazy to think that terrorists would flock to a trial of a terror suspect.

And if they did, so much the better: We could catch them all in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, here is a chance to show the world that in the U.S., we are governed by the rule of law, and that the wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they are still turning. With the trial complete and this creep Mohammed safely behind bars, Newburgh would be known as the place where he was nailed, in a scrupulously secure and fair trial that we could all be proud of.

By the way: Wouldn’t it be perfect if Mohammed ended up sharing a cell with his teammate, Scott Roeder of Kansas City?

Welcome, Department of Justice!

p.s. If nothing else, a terror trial here would keep our police officers out of the Evidence Room, thus giving us a much better chance of convicting drug dealers.

Gestures People Don’t Make Anymore

You know what people don’t do anymore? And we used to do it all the time, as kids.

When we were trying to show, in a self-mocking way, that we were very proud of ourselves, or describing someone who was very proud of himself, we’d fold up the fingers (not thumb) of one hand the way you do when you’re just starting to make a fist, hold them in front of our wide-open mouths and make a voiceless, “Hah!” onto them (like you do to your eyeglasses when you’re about to wipe their lenses), and then we’d rub those fingernails several times very quickly up and down the middle of our chests.

We’d do this after some small public recognition, like a teacher saying, “Oh, Genie, thanks for shutting that door during the fire drill!” And then we’d perform this gesture while replying with a little irony, like, “Oh, I know; I’m quite a saint, actually.” Usually spoken with the best imitation we could do of a  British accent.

Did we think that ritzy, upper-class people all had shiny fingernails, and we were polishing ours now, because we had become like one of them?

Or what?

And when and why did that gesture die out? I haven’t seen anyone do that in years.

Please, all you Scholars of Gestures (SOGs), get to the bottom of this for me, would you?