- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 8, 2001

From D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams to the rest of America comes the following reassurance this week: You have nothing to fear in the city but the rats, potholes and exploding manholes.
So please come back. Wear a hard hat and rubber gloves if you must. Pack a first-aid kit, along with a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a roll of toilet paper.
Check out the sights. Dine at one of our many exquisite restaurants. See Popeye Jones at work with the local NBA team. You can't miss him. He is the one with the incredibly large hearing devices. Buck yourself up. Do your part for America's economy and try to have some fun.
The city is as safe as it ever was before the area was hit with a one-two punch: the awfulness of September 11 at the Pentagon, followed by the anthrax attacks that resulted in the death of two local postal workers.
The machine-gunners appear to mean business as they survey the arteries around the Pentagon from a perch atop their vehicles. The mail seems to be anthrax-free again, ever poised to deliver its daily dose of bills, credit-card pitches and exciting investment opportunities.
Never mind the workers in their spacesuit-like outfits. They are friendlies who live by the creed that a blast of chlorine dioxide a day keeps the anthrax doctor away.
Osama bin Laden can't keep a great city down, especially one stuffed with lawyers, lobbyists and the hardest-working meter maids in America.
Go ahead, park over there, just a couple of feet from the fire hydrant. We dare you. Our meter maids carry a wide variety of measuring tapes, along with a lifetime supply of ink pens. Guessing wrong around a parking space is the leading pastime in the city. Don't let it bother you. This is our "return to normalcy."
Reagan National Airport is up and running again, managing at least two or three flights a day. In case you have not received the word yet and apparently some of you have not you are not permitted to board a flight with seven knives and a stun gun. Long fingernails, women, are also a no-no.
If you plan to rent a car from Alamo, remember to check it for a 4-foot python. Unfortunately, one woman, a flight attendant, forgot to do that last summer and wound up going head-to-head with the python on Interstate 95, even after providing a complimentary drink and bag of peanuts to the creature.
Otherwise, you can take Metro and leave the driving to our sleepy-headed operators. Metro's security is excellent, led as it is by the food-sniffing types in uniform. The Snack Police will not hesitate to arrest a person carrying an unloaded french fry.
This is our city. We love our city, quirks and all.
We're starting to feel lonely. It seems the only visitors we ever get nowadays are the blame-America crowd stuck on a bad acid trip from the '60s. You know the spiel: Make love, not war. Just give peace a chance. An eye for an eye and the world goes blind.
The terrorists kill us, and the first words out of the mouths from the blame-America crowd are, "We're sorry we ever offended you, Mr. Terrorist."
Paging Jane Fonda, your designer-made burqa is ready to be picked up.
Try to behave around the overworked officers of our Metropolitan Police Department.
Their caseload is ridiculously full. They have moved from the Chandra Levy case to guarding the buildings and monuments thought to be potential targets of the terrorists. Other than Gary A. Condit and the thugs in our midst, no one is too pleased to have the police meeting federal responsibilities instead of the ones in all our fine neighborhoods.
This is all new to us. We eventually will resolve it. Regardless, we are open for business. Consider this a written invitation. Our mayor needs you. We need you. We promise to be on our best behavior.
We do not bite unless provoked, and we take regular showers.

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