I don t know about anyone else, but I feel so much safer now that the Homeland Security czar has come up with this absolutely brilliant idea of a color code to help fight the war on terrorism. My, if that wasn t money well spent I don t know what is. Yes, a different color scheme for each level of terrorist threat ought to really just wipe it out altogether. Red for high alert, orange for almost as high, etc. I think green is supposed to be the lowest alert, and I do believe I read some where that Tom Ridge or some one of his ilk made the com ment that he hoped some day we would always be in the green zone. Which I al ready am the kind of green one turns when one is about to throw up because one has to put up with this kind of bi zarre mentality. So I am com ing up with my own personal color code. First of all, there s the Code Red, White, and Blue that signals and warns of Attorney General John Ashcroft lead ing the staff of the Justice Department during morn ing meetings in patriotic songs that he writes himself. When some one sent me that story, I thought it was from Satirewire.com or The Onion, but, as it turns out, this is true. He actually tries to get his staff to sing along with him. Some thing about watching an eagle soar. I don t know about that, but the very idea makes a certain part of my anatomy sore. One employee was quoted as say ing he would not sing along because the songs suck. Ashcroft is dangerous and a menace to society, not to mention the fact that he looks like a very hung-over and puffy-faced Ray Bolger. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we are nuts. Then there s Code Purple. This is to send the message throughout the nation that our children are in danger of that gay Teletubby s particular type of terrorism. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to allow your kids to watch whole some kids shows, here they come with a character that has rocked the world of the Christian fundamentalist right. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we re nuts. And then there s Code Teal. I believe that was the color of the outfit Paula Jones was wearing when she claimed then-President Bill Clinton done gone and run his hayaaand up my culottes. And speaking of old Paula, how about that fight, after all, with the lovely Tonya Harding? It was okay, but the pre-match and post-match interviews should be sealed in a time capsule for eternity so that civilizations thousands of years from now can know what an advanced society we were. I ve never heard anyone outside an Appalachian insane asylum do quite what Paula does to the English lan guage. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we re nuts. I must say, however, that I do love her. I m try ing to think of a color code for Tonya Harding s hair, but since it s not a color found in nature or at any paint store, that one may take a little more research. Of course, there s Code Black and Blue, of which Harding s boy friends are notified when she s about to hurl a hubcap at one of their heads. And then there s just plain Code Black, sent out every two hours when one of Bush s buddies drills for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Ref uge. I just hope that Colin Powell knows all about this new color code and is going to take some steps to come up with something that remotely resembles an intelli =gent plan. In the meantime, here s a brief look at what s go ing on around town this week. And I mean brief, because I am really in a hurry. This afternoon there s a booksigning at Burke s Book Store by local attorney and author John McQuiston, who ll be putting the old John Hancock on copies of his lat est work, Knowing Beyond Words: Reflections on the Inexpressible. The independent film Normal to Oily, Michael Schmidt s and David Horan s story of a dead grandmother who tries to call God from a cosmic telephone booth, is showing a Malco s Studio on the Square. The Memphis Grizzlies are playing Minnesota at The Pyramid tonight. They Might Be Giants are at the New Daisy. And Fred Whitber & Rusty Lemon Acoustic Duo are at Alex s.