Thomas Wictor

A note to prospective burglars

A note to prospective burglars

One of the cute little tricks burglars use is to read obituaries and then hit the house when the owners are attending the funeral and reception.

Couple of points I’d like to make.

One: I can’t attend Mom’s funeral and reception. I’m going to be home. The Meniere’s is getting worse, either permanently or situationally, so I can’t go anywhere and stand or talk for long periods. Also, there are people who will be attending that I don’t want to see. Ever.

Two: I am extremely well defended. Though I get dizzy when I stand for too long, I can patrol our three houses. Which I will be doing.

Three: If you try anything while my family is paying its last respects to my mother, I won’t call the cops. Instead, I’ll hold you in my house and then turn you over to my brothers Eric and Tim.

Eric arrived from the Netherlands today to attend Mom’s service. Like Tim and me, he despises criminals. He loved CeeCee, and he would be quite upset at anyone who besmirched her day.

You know what’s fascinating about Europeans? Scratch a European, and you expose a Gaul, a Viking, a Pict, a Norman, a Varangian, a Celt, a Goth, a Vandal, or a Hun.

Eric is a redhead, like Tim. Some people call redheads “gingers” and make fun of them as being somehow anemic and delicate.

A partial list of redheads includes:

Napoleon Bonaparte
Queen Boadicea
Oliver Cromwell
George Armstrong Custer
King David
Dwight Eisenhower
Elizabeth I of England
Erik the Red
Genghis Khan
Ulysses S. Grant
Prince Harry of Wales
Henry VII
Andrew Jackson
Thomas Jefferson
Rob Roy MacGregor
Marshal Michel Ney
Chuck Norris
Rorik of Dorestad
William Tecumseh Sherman
George Washington

If you pay me a visit while Mom’s service is taking place, you’ll also get to meet Eric and Tim. For context here’s my favorite story about the Dutch.

Nine heavily armed Moluccan terrorists hijacked a Dutch commuter train on May 23, 1977, taking fifty-four passengers hostage. We lived in the Netherlands at the time. The Dutch negotiated with the hijackers for almost three weeks, but the terrorists became increasingly agitated and belligerent. In a similar train hijacking two years earlier, Moluccan terrorists had murdered three hostages.

On June 11, 1977, the Bijzondere Bijstands Eenheid (BBE)—now called the Unit Interventie Mariniers (UIM)—of the Royal Dutch Marine Corps launched a rescue operation in conjunction with the Dutch police, army, military police, and air force. At 5:00 a.m. two F-104 Starfighter jets flew low over the train with their afterburners on. Having heard the roar of Norwegian Starfighters spooling up from miles away, I can tell you that the sound would’ve been deafening. The entire train would’ve shaken.

The Starfighters made the passengers hit the deck. Prior to the assault, the BBE had placed listening devices on the train and used other still-classified methods to pinpoint the locations of the terrorists. When the passengers lay on the floor, two army machine gunners opened fire on the areas of the train where the hijackers crouched. The machine gunners used 7.62 mm armor piercing bullets in order to kill the terrorists. They were not given the option to surrender.

Snipers of the BBE killed the terrorists who tried to flee the train compartments that were under machine-gun fire. At the same time, an assault force of BBE operators stormed the train, armed with 9 mm Uzi submachine guns and .357 magnum revolvers loaded with hollow-point bullets. On the train the BBE engaged the terrorists in close-quarter combat, killing two and taking three prisoner. Six terrorists were killed, along with two passengers.

The Moluccan community, a surviving terrorist, and a Dutch reporter claim that the BBE “executed” four of the terrorists, who somehow lived through the barrage of machine-gun and sniper fire. Strangely, the same men accused of murdering four terrorists let three others live. Why? No idea. If my plan were to murder terrorists, I certainly wouldn’t leave three alive as witnesses to my crime. Since I’m too stupid to figure out this particular conspiracy theory, I’ve dismissed it from my feeble mind.

Some Dutch journalists have said that the fifty hostages on the train were in “no immediate danger” while being held under the guns of nine terrorists, and the assault should thus have never taken place. People say lots of nonsensical, childish things that have no bearing on reality. The leader of the terrorists, Max Papilaya, was a Dutch government employee who’d used his access to read official reports of how the train hijacking of 1975 had been handled.

Papilaya prohibited his group from talking with the hostages, preventing the terrorists from developing empathy for their victims. He knew from his research that the Dutch government had played on this empathy in the 1975 hijacking; therefore Papilaya himself ensured that the 1977 hijacking would end violently, since he telegraphed to the Dutch that the hijackers were inflexible and ready to kill.

This is how the Dutch roll when protecting the defenseless.

Moluccan and Dutch opponents of the operation complained that some of the terrorists had been shot over a hundred times.

So what? They shouldn’t have hijacked a train. Especially a Dutch train. Sometimes plans go awry when you screw with the wrong people.

Don’t make Eric angry, prospective burglars. I told him about the home invasion that Mom and Dad suffered; he was very upset.

And he’s got the same blood in his veins that flows through the Unit Interventie Mariniers.

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