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Mountain Mailbag

Further signs of the complete dissolution of reality as we know it came in a news story you may not have read last week. According to AP reports, the FBI recently issued a nationwide anti-terror warning to law enforcement agents asking them to be on the lookout for people toting, of all things, The Farmer’s Almanac.

Yes, the very same Farmer’s Almanac, dating back to 1792, which advises you on the best day of the year to plant the begonias, plus handy hints on tide tables, sunrises and sunsets, not to mention some great recipes for peach cobbler.

According to the FBI, the annual publication ” favored as a last-minute Christmas gift for hard-to-shop-for Great Aunts, as it’s sold conveniently in both book stores and hardware stores ” is so chock full of pertinent information on dates, times and national holidays that it’s a practical do-it-yourself guide for terrorists who may be unfamiliar with America’s many holidays.

Those who’ve read the Farmer’s Almanac (typically they can be found in your Great Aunt’s bathroom) may suspect the FBI is confusing the time-honored publication with the somewhat lesser-known “The Anarchist’s Cookbook,” which does in fact provide useful information on making pipe bombs or manufacturing your own “West Side Story”-style zipguns out of old pipe and paperclips. The Farmer’s Almanac generally seems as benign as a four-hour marathon of “The Antiques Roadshow” on PBS … but who knows.

One can only hope that the FBI’s statement did not lead to hundreds of unnecessary full-body searches of those toting the Farmer’s Almanac in airports over the holidays ” namely, a lot of Great Aunts. Strange days, indeed.

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