By Ned Hickson
As a journalist, I'm trained to recognize even the most subtle signs of trouble.
A misspoken word.
A reluctant glance.
A horde of slobbering rabbits.
Thanks to my training and experience -- and several highlighted newspaper clippings sent in by concerned readers -- I have painstakingly pieced together what I, as a member of the conservative media, believe is undeniable evidence that rabbits are planning to take over the world.
How? By radiating themselves and producing offspring roughly the size of Volkswagen Beetles.
You're probably thinking this could never happen.
At least not outside of New Jersey.
But at this very moment, according to a recent BBC report, rabbits living near a nuclear plant in Caithness, Scotland are under surveillance after EPA officials discovered what they described as "bunnies hopping in and out of solid waste pits." In addition, investigators found rabbit feces that, for months, had been mistaken for "small piles of Trix cereal."
According to the report, the UK Atomic Energy Authority has been told to use any means necessary to fix the problem and keep rabbits from burrowing into the waste pits. Some biologists, like Dr. Yam Higginsworth, warn it may already be too late.
"In my opinion, come spring, the surrounding woods will be littered with rabbit pellets the size of basketballs," Higginsworth predicted. "From an ecological standpoint, this is not good."
The parliament of neighboring England has demanded the Scots formally present a plan for dealing with the threat before the Queen's scheduled annual holiday in the Scottish Highlands this October.
"Suffice it to say, the Queen of England will not vacation anywhere there is a chance -- however remote -- she will have to fight a giant rabbit," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
In a statement issued from the White House, President Bush expressed his concern, as well as his willingness to discuss how best to deal with the problem, based on his past experience dealing with, "What he still believes were giant jack-o-lopes," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. When asked if there was any evidence to support the President's claim, Snow said there wasn't, but that the CIA was in the process of obtaining a postcard from Texas depicting a man riding a jack-o-lope on the high plains.
In an awkward moment, one member of the press corps asked if a twenty-five-cent postcard was really enough evidence to justify the President's claim, to which Snow retorted, "Are you new here?"
Residents of Scotland see the world's escalating concern over the threat of giant, frequently fornicating radioactive rabbits as unfounded. As one man outside of a pub in Edinburgh put it, "I've been seeing giant rabbits around here for years."
On Monday, the first draft of Scotland's plan is expected to be completed.
"We have every confidence that Scotland will devise a comprehensive, effective plan to deal with this situation," said Brown. "But even if they don't, we're still sending Charles and Camilla."
You can write to Ned Hickson at:
The Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439.