Wednesday, September 24, 2008

shambles p.i.: the explosive truck edition

Any good follower of this objectively retarded space on teh Webz should know by now that I bike commute to work every morning. If you're a really regular reader (I love you), you should even know my route, which brings me up and down Connecticut between Woodley Park and Van Ness almost every morning and night. What you may not know, however, is that I think I might be risking my life taking said route each day. Not because of the cars, which sometimes actively try to take me out. Nor because of my blatant disregard for the law. Not for the egregiously evident potholes, complete lack of bike-lane or even my blatant negligence of my own safety (I'm kind of an idiot).

Nope. I think I risk my life each day because every morning around 8:45, I am confronted by a bevy of police cars and two trucks labeled "explosives" barreling down Connecticut toward downtown.

Hey terrorists! Here comes your target!

Whoomp! There it is!

Thank gods you missed again this time, terrorists. Until tomorrow!

Seriously, what the eff is going on each day that two trucks full of explosives need to rush downtown so fast that it becomes just a blur on my low-budget camera? What is going on in this town?!

More importantly, if you're going to be sending explosives back and forth on a busy city thoroughfare, why in all hell would you draw so much attention to it? Loud sirens, flashing lights and a big yellow "EXPLOSIVES" label act as a virtual Evite to any semi-resourceful terrorist. I mean, who needs to strap explosives to themselves when you have two trucks whizzing down a busy road full of drivers, pedestrians and ME?!

I feel safe. Truly. Thanks, DC. Crack job.

And I know I'm not the only curious soul to notice this daily, trinitrotoluene fiasco. Christopher Orr over at The New Republic blog also wonders what the eff is going on:

On my morning commute today I was passed on Connecticut Avenue by a police motorcade accompanying a couple of pickup trucks carrying metal crates vividly marked "Caution: High Explosives." It was at least the dozenth time I've witnessed this exact sight -- the volatile caravan speeding downtown on Connecticut with sirens blazing -- in the last couple months, and the fifth or sixth time I've seen it in just the last two weeks.

What could account for such a bottomless appetite for TNT? Is someone planning another Gunpowder Plot? Anyone able to provide firsthand knowledge, informed speculation, or idle conjecture is invited to do so in comments. But until this mystery is unraveled, I'd strongly recommend staying away from the Capitol on November 5.

My rebuttal to Mr. Orr is, just stay away on Nov. 5? I suggest staying away from the Capitol everyday. Not just because of the truckloads of explosives that may or may not be destined for it, but because the Capitol is filled with jagbags. Speaking of, I need to haul ass down there (pity me). If those damn explosive trucks weren't definitely breaking the sound barrier, I'd think about grabbing onto one and letting it tow me and my bike down there. I mean, if al-Qaeda hasn't caught on by now, I don't foresee any problems. Right? Anyone? Bueller?

But flawless transportation plans (and overused 1980s movie references) aside, I ask again, what the eff is going on here? The commenters on Orr's blog understandably had no idea. Construction? A grand scheme to take this city out? New Republic commenter Andy Daglas probably postured the best guess: "Has there been a commiserate uptick in orders for rocket skates, anvils, and side-of-a-mountain black paint?" Meep! Meep!


nate said...

Hey, if your job consists of driving explosives through DC morning traffic on a regular basis, you might as well have some fun with. You're lucky they're not slaloming through the oncoming cars.

Marissa said...

True. But that still doesn't allay my curiosity, for what could so many trips up and down Connecticut Ave. be necessary!?!? I think it's time for some investigatory work...

Peter said...

It's pretty awesome that they don't really vary their route either. Maybe this is a red herring terrorist target - the trucks are really just filled with sand and driven by robots, so that when the terrorists attack the stupidly obvious and easy target, they'll be laughed out of heaven and denied their virgins for failing to kill anyone.

The Sober Pundit said...

That is truly weird and disconcerting. I thought it was eerie that I often get stymied by Dick Cheney's motorcade on my walk home from the Woodley Park metro. But this is really strange. Maybe the trucks are delivering the explosives for Dick Cheney to eat for breakfast every morning?

Marissa said...


I would never wish a robot any harm.

the sober pundit--

I bet he sprinkles his explosives in orphaned babies.

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing this a couple of times a week for at least the last month. Any ideas anyone? Always three police cars, two trucks.

Anonymous said...

Explosives fall under Hazardous Materials, and as such are regulated by Department of Transportation and must be labeled in transport. I work for DoD - and deal with HazMat fairly often -I am not that big of a dork to just 'know' this information :) Did you happen to catch the number on the orange placard? That would help narrow down exactly what type of 'explosives' we are talking here. For explosives, 1.1 = bad 1.5 = no big deal - and there's a gammut in between. I don't know where/why they are transporting this stuff at the same time everyday, but I don't think it is anything too out of the ordinary. Armories need bullets, construction sites need explosives, and Dick Cheney needs his fix. Anyway, love your blog.

Marissa said...

Damn! I didn't see any numbers...

Strangely, though, I haven't this caravan at all this week. Perhaps, the master plan is in Stage 2...

Dhartagnan said...

Nobody's talked about the weirdest part of this phenomenon: not where these explosives are going, but where the fuck are they coming from?

Is there a store-house of tnt and explosives in some nondescript building in downtown DC (which should make any semi-resourceful terrorist even more wide-eyed) or, even more ridiculous, is there a factory for high-explosives in DC that is making rush deliveries everyday?

All budding mad scientists hope for the latter (and that there's a price-break for buying in bulk).