Once in awhile a story breaks that I find it very hard to hold my opinion.

Today we had such a story.

The story of the Tipster and the Jokesters.

Over my morning coffee, I read about the closing of Alligator Ally due to a terrorist threat. I felt that odd pit in my stomach as I read the details.

Later on at the office, when I found the time to go to the various news websites and catch up on some more details, I found my laughing a bit.

The police had just “detonated” some medical supplies that apparently had had some explosive type residue. The detained men were medical students on their way to training from Illinois to Miami. All three citizens of the United States.

It was just about at that point, the Fox news site had an article declaring the Tipster, Eunice Stone, a hero for doing the right thing and in the same breath, sources claimed the Jokesters, the three men of National focus, had retaliated against the stares of Ms Stone and basically gave her what she apparently wanted to hear.

According to the men, they are sick and tired of everyplace they go, they get “the look”. You know, the look everyone gives middle easterners since 9-11.

The look of fear, disgust and uncertainty.

So sitting in Georgia, at a Shoney’s restaurant, they could not take it any more and had some fun.

Well, that fun turned into seventeen hours of interrogations, closed highway, searches, robots ….. certainly not the punch line they had intended.

Ms Stone thought there was a real threat from the gentlemen based on what she overheard. She is quick to say she was not in the habit of eavesdropping but she was scared and so she called the Georgia Highway Patrol.

That is what we are urged to do. Report any and all suspicious activity.

Herein lies my concern.

Racial profiling at its finest.

Did Ms Stone bother to take into consideration that she was staring at these men?

Did she consider why she was staring at them?

Was it because they were Middle Eastern looking?

Of course it was.

If common sense would have prevailed, Ms Stone would have realized that three potential terrorists would not have been sitting at a table separated only by thin lattice and conversed loud enough for her to hear about celebrating 9-11 the night before and then making a point to say they were going to ‘take something down’ on 9-13. In English no less!

If Ms Stone had caught occasional glimpses of these men as she claimed to have, could she not see the look of humor on their faces? Maybe Muslim faces don’t exhibit humorous features, only diabolical ones.

If these three men had been Caucasian, she never would have stared.

They never would have hit the breaking point and started their little fun at Ms Stone’s expense.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

Be vigilant, but use common sense.

To the Tipster – do not stare. It is not polite. Do not assume because they look like “possible middle eastern men” that they are out to get us. If you would have choked on your dinner, those men would have saved your life.

  To the Jokesters – times have changed in America, sad to say. Next time you are being stared at or watched out of the corner of people’s eyes, smile and say Hello. Do not be intimidated. And most importantly, do not make a joke out of the September 11 tragedy for any reason.

You want to have a little fun in an uncomfortable situation, order unsweetened tea in Georgia.  It drives them nuts!

Common sense, people ---  use your common sense.