I'm beat but I have to get this out now. Tomorrow I won't want to do it.
So, here I am, at 1500DCT, with an Easter card with brown and white powder in it. I bag it up. After about an hour and a half I reach a doctor friend by phone to find out what I should do. We agree that the principal potential threats are ricin and anthrax. "Probably just birdshit," he says. "Right." "Just watch for symptoms and get to the hospital if you start to develop any." "Right." "I'll call (someone in the Coroner's office) to find out what to do with the card and call you later." "Thanks a lot."
Sometime after five he calls back. I'm to call 9-1-1 for a cop to come by, pick it up and take it to a postal inspector. Sounds simple, right?
Hoo, boy, howdy.
The last fire truck, cop car and the SUV containing the FBI WMD expert finally left about 23:30CDT. There were at one point 14 vehicles with flashing lights outside, a neighborhood crowd, a cameraman from Channel 13 and a reporter from the Pinson News. (Everyone will spell my name right in their reports but the Pinson News.)
Remember the scene in Monsters, Inc. when the sock from the human world gets stuck on some hapless monster? You now have some sense of what it was like. Oh, they didn't do the strip and dip on me, but they approached my beat-up Blazer like it contained the entire Iranian nuclear program.
At one point, I offered to go fetch the zip-lock from the Blazer myself and drop it in one of their HAZMAT diaper bags. They looked stricken, as if I had just proposed that each of them take off all their clothes and run down the street screaming, "Look at me!" "What?" I asked. "You don't do trick-or-treat?"
No, they all assured me, they did not, and the youngest cop who took the report, looked like he would shoot me if I went near the vehicle.
I'm going to leave out most of the crap I had to go through, but the next time this happens, rather than go through what I just did, I'm going to mutter under my breath that the public health folks can go diddle themselves and I'm going to bury it in the front yard under the bushes. Sheesh.
The FBI, it seems, has jurisdiction for all WMD, even if it is birdshit, which it may not be, so OK. Said birdshit is now on its way to the lab in Montgomery. And I will have to be answering some Fibbie questions tomorrow by phone. (Yes, I will tape it.)
What a day.