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Thistles drive security bugs

"It's time to act," Johann Korianski announced dramatically at a special gathering of the Homeland Security Committee as the last members straggled into the hot community hall and selected chairs from a wide range of choices made possible by generous donors. Actually, the chairs came from people who were too embarrassed to keep them in their homes.

"The county agent is getting 6,000 of those weevils that kill Canadian thistles," Johann explained. "That isn't many weevils so we need to ask for some quick. They say that Canadian thistles are increasing by 7 percent a year and by 2020 there won't be room for vegetables. This is a security issue."

"I heard that the government is in charge of the thistle fight in Canada and it doesn't work," alert Officer Garvey Erfald opined.

"Who told you that? Somebody from Canada or somebody in the United States?" demanded Johann in an aggressive tone of voice.

"That's what they were saying at the Old Hogs saloon in Darby," responded Garvey defensively.

"I don't think arguing about Canadian thistles and weevils is worth the time of day," Einar Stamstead said impatiently.

"That's because you don't have any thistles at your place," Johann shot back. "Some of us in the wet end of town have a lot of thistles and would like some help."

"Who knows anything about these weevils?" Committee Chairperson Ork Dorken asked rhetorically. "They could lead to all kinds of other problems, like those pythons in Florida. When the weevils run out of Canadian thistles, maybe they'll turn on vegetables."

"Don't you worry about that," Johann replied. "We have enough thistles to keep them busy until earth warming drives them back to Canada."

"It seems to me that we won't consider weevils until we've solved all of the worse problems we can think up," noted Madeleine Morgan, chairperson of the Open Arms Welcome Wagon. "We should solve today's problems today and leave tomorrow's problems for tomorrow." She had read a lot of philosophy during the long winter.

"We all want to solve this problem, but I think it would be smart to get about 10 of these weevils and watch them for a few years until we know they are safe for vegetables," suggested Old Sievert. He could wait. He didn't have a thistle problem at his place.

"Sounds like a great compromise," affirmed Einar as he rose to his feet, loosening a sweaty shirt clinging to his back. "We shouldn't rush into this thing." Very few thistles at his place either.

Little Jimmy was mortified. At 16, he was very likely the only one in the hall who would be around to witness the complete thistle takeover in 2020. Without weevils, his choices looked like joining his folks who were prospecting for gold in Alaska or going into the weevil-breeding business.