We in the DC area have grown accustomed to the occasional troubles and tragedy, whether they are guy drives a van filled with gasoline to the White House, or guy drives a tractor into a reflecting pool, or guy drives a not-van around peeling caps at unsuspecting Michael's patrons, or, you know, worse. We've gone through a lot together, and while we've occasionally needed a little comfort and a little cheer, we've persevered, even as New York City gets all the attention.
One of the ways in which we've managed to eke out an existence that balances the need to get through out day sanely with the need to be hyper-informed about every possible thing that could go wrong has been bourbon. But barring that, we've quickly learned how to make color-coded charts that indicate threat level part of our daily routine. Which is why, the next time we suffer from multiple mercury spills that defy explanation, The DCeiver has made it so we'll be all ready and happy, with the new Patented Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index. Let's walk through the steps...
LEVEL ONE: HERMES
(Everything is fine and dandy.)
When the threat level is at Hermes, you know there's nothing to worry about. Hermes was the Greek god of messengers and homoerotic costumery. It's still many a century before the Romans will even take the God and rename him Mercury. We're that far away from any kind of threat. And, don't forget, Hermes is also the name of one of those hoity-toit shops that only the ultra-rich patronize (and the name isn't quite as crazily fear inducing as Bang and Olufsen). So, keep that in mind, and when the Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index is at Hermes, you can stay as happy and contented as any of the white suburbanites now gentrifying the street you used to live on.
LEVEL TWO: MERCURY REV'S DESERTER'S SONGS LP
(Stay alert for Mercury-related developments)
There's something odd in the air in the city today. The feeling like a freak mercury-related accident could happen at any minute. You may be a bit unnerved by the psychedelic leanings and the use of the mellotron. It's a weird, arresting day. The kind of day we raise the Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index to the cover of Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs LP. Yet, if you just allow yourself to listen and get lost in it, it starts to feel a bit more grounded, steeped in a very soothing beauty. Yeah, relax. If there is a mercury spill out there, it's probably just a tiny, science-class mishap. Wait--you think--they actually teach science in DC's schools? Shhhhh. Don't think about such things. Relax and bliss out--this isn't some crap like the Olivia Tremor Control puts out.
LEVEL THREE: Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin in Mercury Rising.
(I can't believe I paid six-fifty for this crap!)
Now things are getting sort of hectic and confusing. It seems like a standard-issue genre flick, typical thriller, baseline story about the troubled cop who ends up "taking on the system." But you start to lose your bearings as the day goes on. Multiple plot holes. Situations that just seem confused and overcomplicated. And why would Kim Dickens character just get totally involved in this situation out of the blue like that? Now is the time, I'm afraid, to raise the Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index to Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin in Mercury Rising. When you think about it, asking yourself "How can it be that there have been multiple mercury spills in one place within a few weeks' time" is sort of the same thing as asking yourself "If the only person who could crack the government's code was an autistic kid, why would they even worry? Why kill an autistic kid?" It doesn't make sense. Cling to your loved ones and promise then that next time you'll all go see Along Came a Spider or some shit like that.
Whether you are aware that the Mad Hatter character is so named because hatmakers in the olden days used to clean their wares with mercury and went nutty because of the constant contact with the substance or not, you can bet your sweet ass that when we raise the Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index to Tom Petty Dressed As The Mad Hatter, and you see Petty's aesthetically unappealing face frozen in that hideous rictus, you don't need to know jack about haberdashery to know that everything has gone completely shithouse on the mercury spillage front. Holy shit! Do you need a gilded fucking invitation from the King of Norway to start fleeing? You best start running for for life, bitch!