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Volume 68, Issue 99, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 


The real terrorists are toastable

Alex Wukman
Opinion Columnist

America is looking outside itself for enemies when the real enemies are lurking in the heart of the dream. Itis not the corporate chief executive officers who despoil the environment, or even those in the radical religious right who want everyone marching to the same rhythm-less beat. No, the true enemy of the American publicis safety is far less vocal, far more insidious.

The enemy is bagels. Yes, bagels. This is because, statistically speaking, each year in the United States more people are injured in bagel-slicing accidents than in terrorist attacks.

Itis true -- bagels are among the most hazardous of all the breakfast foods. Eggs are nowhere near as dangerous. Sure, they increase in cholesterol and cause heart attacks, but how many people are injured cutting eggs? Not many. However, at least once a day someone somewhere cuts his or her hand in a routine bagel-slicing incident.

How many times must we, the American public, suffer the horrors of having our quiet morning routine rent asunder by the treacherous beast lurking in our toaster? It is immoral for anyone -- especially an elected official -- to put the well-being of the average American at risk through such a lackadaisical manner as the one displayed by the current administration.

We must demand action on this. We must form a special-interest group for bagel attack survivors. Something with a catchy name, perhaps; it would have to be an easy-to-remember acronym. Maybe "Survivors of Attacks by Bagels and Other Assorted Breakfast Pastries" -- SABOABP. No, too weird.

The name can be worked out later. What is important is action. We need action. We need to write Capitol Hill, stage a fundraiser, file a 501(c)3 form and get a lobbyist. It is imperative that we get a lobbyist. After all, everyone has a lobbyist.

The auto makers have a lobbyist, the airlines have a lobbyist, the dairy farmers have a lobbyist -- so do the cattle growers and fast-food industries; even the professional lobbyistsi association has a lobbyist. We, the Survivors of Attacks by Bagels and Other Associated Breakfast Pastries, must have a lobbyist.

Especially if we want to get any money, and we do. We want money to pay those steep medical bills -- the ones for the damage to our hands, as well as for the pain, suffering and mental anguish that sprang from the traumatic experience of having to watch as the doctor stitched up our hands and told us, "It might be a good idea to switch to the pre-sliced frozen brand."

How dare anyone suggest that we make a change, a small sacrifice in the name of our own health and welfare? We should sue the doctor for even suggesting such an outlandish and positively un-American idea.

In fact, we will. Right after we finish suing Mrs. Bairdis for not putting a warning on the package of bagels saying we might injure ourselves by slicing them. Take a look -- there isnit a warning label anywhere.

That gives us the legal grounds to receive a large sum of money. We might even be able to get it passed into law that bagels have to be easier to slice -- either that or claim that President Bush and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge donit have the safety of the American public at heart.

If they did have our safety and security on their minds, they would give everyone in America plastic knives with which to slice their bagels. This only shows that the current administration is focusing on something other than the safety of its citizens.

After all, how many people in the United States did Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein injure in 2002? Not very many -- in fact, it was nowhere near as many as the Lenders Corporation did through its negligence.

Wukman, a junior creative writing major, can be reached at


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