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Has Stupidity Been Banned in Boston?

June 6th, 2007

Terror-related Stupidity Strikes Boston Three Times in a Row

While I have long recognized that there is plenty of stupidity in the world, the Boston, Massachusetts area seems to be generating more than its fair share recently. One of my favorite sites, Homeland Stupidity, has uncovered yet another fake bomb scare in which city officials have grossly overreacted and saddled businesses and taxpayers with unnecessary costs.

Apparently a faxed document that was sent from Bank of America’s corporate office to one of its branches in the greater Boston area prompted one of the bank employees to call police when she saw a clip art illustration of something that looked like a bomb with a fuse being lit. It turned out that the document was actually an internal marketing brochure informing employees about an event called Small Business Commitment Week. But because the fax machine malfunctioned, some of the text did not print out properly, at which point the employee on the receiving end focused on the little picture of the bomb and decided to go into panic mode. The heading above the picture was supposed to read “The Countdown Begins”.

When police received the call from the bank, they evacuated not only the bank building itself but also some 15 other businesses and a day care center. The evacuation lasted over two hours, running into lunch hour and costing restaurant owner Nick Markos an estimated $1,000 to $1,200 in lost business due to the fake bomb scare. Needless to say, Markos was not amused and commented that the female bank employees should have used more discretion in handling the situation.

Interestingly, this was not the first time that city officials in Boston have overreacted to non-bombs. Back in January, police bomb squad units closed down a subway station and parts of Interstate 93 for over two hours in order to remove an electronic sign that closely resembled a Lite Brite toy and blast it with a water cannon. Amazingly, state officials continued to defend their stupidity even after realizing that there were no dangerous devices in the area. In order to recover costs related to the incident, they threatened to take “any and all legal action” against Turner Broadcasting Corporation, who sponsored the placement of the signs as part of its campaign to promote the television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Turner later settled out of court with the city by paying $2 million.

Approximately one month later, city officials again proved their incompetence by blowing up a “suspicious device” that turned out to be a harmless traffic counter. It is not known at this time whether the city has tried to collect any money from the owner of the traffic counter for the cost of the detonation.


One Response to “Has Stupidity Been Banned in Boston?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Michael Hampton

    Don’t count on it. Stupidity is a requirement for government service. It seems that in Boston, the general amount of stupidity is just much higher than normal.

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