What a terrorist looks like

A young couple got on the bus with me last night. They were Caucasian, in their early 20s, and they looked very... well, rural Southern. Each of them had about four mismatched cloth bags that were crammed full of whatever it was they were carrying around with them. The woman was average looking to almost pretty, but looked very worn down. The man had the kind of facial features I've come to associate with, well, shall we say a family tree that does not branch very much -- big nose surrounded by squashed looking features all clustered too close to the center of his face.

His hair was brownish blond worn cropped very close, maybe half an inch in length all over his bulbous head. His ears were noticeably protuberant, and his eyes seemed to bulge slightly when he was emotional.... which, in the five minutes they shared the bus with me, he frequently was.

He announced to no one in particular that he had just gotten out of the hospital for liver failure and found his roommate had thrown him out. "Because I didn't call the fool for three days!" he exclaimed.

My immediate presumption was that there was a lot more to the story than that... perhaps, if one substituted 'county lock up' for 'hospital' and thirty or ninety days for three, one would have gotten closer to the truth... but I honestly have no idea. As Steve Englehart's Thor has been known to intone, "A man can be too cynical."

Anyway, this guy puts down the luggage he's carrying, helps his companion with her luggage, then starts waving his arms around. "That cop said WE had suspicious bags", he declared to all and sundry. "Us! Now I know we got a lot of bags. And I know somebody just blew up the Boston Marathon thing. But I said 'do we look Muslim to you? Do we look like terrorists?"

I had to check myself, because I badly wanted to say something. My effort to remain silent was greatly aided by the fact that about half a dozen responses wanted to leap from my lips at once:

"Anyone can be a Muslim, doofus."

"Most Muslims aren't terrorists, jackwit, just like most Christians aren't."

"You look like you could be Timothy McVeigh's illegitimate son, so, yeah, you DO look like a terrorist to me."

"What does a terrorist look like, dumbass?"

But I didn't say anything, and he and the woman with him got off the bus a few minutes later.

But this is why I hope... and would pray, if I thought there was a God that listened and cared... that whoever we eventually discover is behind the Boston bombings, turns out to look like my short term busmate's second cousin.

Because otherwise, the shit's going to fly.

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