The EFM Feature

The other day, I was riding the Metro (the subway in Washington, D.C.) home and for whatever reason, it stopped moving. We happened to be at a station, and the doors were open, so I could hear what was going on outside. Several times, the station intercom blared an announcement that there was a “Code 34″ and that all supervisors should await instructions as to how to proceed…whatever that means. Then our train operator announced that “We will be moving momentarily” (that’s what they always say) but there is “a train in front of us.” But we were sitting at a station, and the next one wasn’t for a while, so that didn’t seem quite right.
Of course, “the other day” happened to be July 3–right after the three attempted, and one successful, terrorist attacks in Great Britain. In response, security was apparently getting tighter on our side of the pond, and there were fears of copycat attacks over the holiday. So I’ll admit it: As I sat on that stopped train–which, naturally, did not move “momentarily,”–I wondered if “Code 34″ meant “someone just blew himself up in the tunnel.” Which made it seem like a good time to say some prayers for our nation and its leaders.
After we sat there for a while, it turned out that the problem was a malfunctioning switch. Eventually, we got moving again, and I got home as if nothing had ever happened. But I have to say–it was disconcerting. And you know what? Something else is disconcerting, especially when you live, as I do, in one of the places most likely to be targeted if what happened in the UK (or happens in Baghdad) comes our way. Instead of talking about how to keep our cities free of jihadists’ car bombs, we’re trying to figure out why Governor Romney didn’t single-handedly dismantle hotel room porn during his time on the Marriott board and hanging on Senator Edwards’ stylist’s next words.
In these dangerous times, don’t we have bigger things to worry about?

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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