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Sidestepping calamity - Justin Boron

I was on the verge of total disaster just hours before I had to catch a flight to Los Angeles. I woke up to unpacked bags, none of my clothes ironed, and some strange cat I had never seen before, begging me for food.

Scrambling to get ready, I grabbed piles of clothes and shoved them into my bag. This was not headed anywhere good, I could tell.

In a matter of 15 minutes, I had hastily run a hot iron over some shirts and crammed four days of clothes into a small back pack.

But this was just the beginning of my trouble.

Bursting through the front door, I was confronted by a federal law enforcement agent with an un-holstered gun. He flashed an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms badge and meanly interrogated me for the next five minutes.

Without giving his name or badge number, he fired at me crude questions about the personal life of my neighbor Link. I definitely was not prepared to answer these questions.

What was the meaning of this delay?

I had heard that Link was making bad noise about the neocons at some high-end government function downtown. He was making wild assertions like that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be Bush's successor or that Hillary Rodham Clinton would have her revenge.

The federal agent had most likely come for some form of retribution.

I had had enough of him though. This wasn't my concern, and it was distracting me from catching my flight.

If he wanted to raid Link's house and confiscate his $20,000 collection of medieval weapons, then so be it.

But he would not drag me into it.

The last thing I wanted was to be around when they rammed into Link's apartment. They had no idea what they would be up against. My blade fanatical neighbor is not the type to go quietly.

There would be bloodshed, TV news cameras and helicopters, feeding their breathtakingly, live Sky Cam shots to anxious onlookers about to take a bite of their Friday steak dinner.

It would be a spectacular sight on par with the likes of the White Ford Bronco debacle, or even better the Waco incident.

A few seconds of sympathy swept through me.

Maybe Link had it coming to him. But no one deserves to be unexpectedly confronted by a federal agent. Not this early in the morning, I thought.

My sensitivity left quickly though, and I made my escape.

I brushed by the ATF man while he was narcissistically distracted by his gleaming gold badge.

He said, "Hey wait !" But, I had already turned over the engine, pressing down on the accelerator and leaving him to face the carnage ahead.

I would be safe on an airplane. He would be dealing with bullet-ridden bodies and a massive news media backlash.

Good luck to him.

Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or jboron@news-daily.com .