So having just been mildly chewed out for not placing my cosmetics (neatly stored in a quart-sized Ziplock bag) outside and on top of my purse during the security screening at Oakland Airport … (and having received about a dozen copies of a guidebook entitled Terrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies: a Field Guide for Media on which I respectfully whited-out \”Media\” and wrote various friends’ names in place, then handed copies out as housewarming gifts) … I was more than a little amused to find out that my favorite antagonistic moon men from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, my favorite adult-themed TV show about fast food items sharing a house near the Jersey turnpike, were at the center of a terror alarm.

According to CNN, small LED boards bearing the boxy, digitized figure of Ignignokt (or his identical sidekick, Err) had been placed around Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Philadelphia, supposedly as a guerilla advertising tactic to plug the brilliantly random show.

But only Boston noticed. And freaked out. (Come on, Boston. I might have expected this kind of hysteria from Atlanta, but …)

There’s nothing funny about terrorism. But there is something funny about misplaced paranoia (because paranoia can at times be completely reasonable), specifically when said paranoia involves cartoon characters who have uttered such golden nuggets as:

\”Two dimensions? That’s cute. On the moon we have five … thousand!\”

\”Using a key to gouge expletives on another’s vehicle is a sign of trust, and friendship.\”

\”On the moon our weekends have evolved to seven days. And we live off of checks from the government.\”

\”Steal those DVDs. Smoke while you are doing it.\”

\”Sorry, meatman. We forgot your needs in pursuit of our own.\”

\”Those are Loverboy lyrics, Err. And Loverboy has always sucked.\”

A little background: the “Mooninites,” as they’re called, do nothing but needle the Aqua Teens. They steal porn, they set fire to furniture and on rare occasions try to ensnare their friends in bizarre pyramid schemes.

So, having seen a co-worker forced to throw out a tube of trial-sized lip gloss at the airport (on pain of having to wait again in a 20-minute security line), and having seen bridges across the Charles River closed due to a Lite Brite mishap, all in the span of a week, I’m forced to conclude that yes, Virginia, the terrorists have won.

Yes, it is incredibly stupid to put a battery-powered sign of vague purpose under bridges in large cities without first telling the authorities. At the same time, I’ve been fed advertising while sitting inside a bathroom stall, while checking my text messages and while reading what I assumed to be honest-to-God feedback on my blog. But to see Ignignokt (or Err) staring down at me from inside the leave of a bridge would be a rare pleasure.

I guess my next question would be…does this mean they’re making new Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes? Cause I done worn those four seasons of DVDs down.

Posted by Saundra Sorenson, Jan. 31 at 4:51 p.m.