In the office pool on who was torturing the University of Pittsburgh with bomb threats early this year, thank goodness I had the foresight to pick "Scottish man in Dublin with multiple sclerosis and hatred of England."
Other people put their money on transgendered couples, ex-football coaches, Big East commissioners, longtime Oakland residents living next to student housing, a freshman computer science major whose first girlfriend just dumped him, and everyone in the world who has ever been associated with West Virginia University.
Now I'm not saying I was smart enough to specifically name Adam Busby as the suspect, prior to his being indicted here last week for allegedly emailing a series of 40 false bomb threats last spring. I'd never heard of him -- I'm more a student of seething resentment in Wales for her majesty's empire -- but it makes perfect sense that the threats came from someone whose main mission is to win Scotland's independence from Britain.
After all, Pitt officials have never once publicly condemned anyone from England, though I believe an associate provost attending a recent James Bond movie was overheard saying none of the other British actors in the role are one-tenth as good as was Sean Connery, who is, of course, Scottish.
Looking to satisfy those who hunger for a motive for why Mr. Busby might have picked Pitt students' lives to ruin for weeks, I went hacking into his computer.
It wasn't as hard to do as you'd think -- he's evidently the only one in the world who uses "wheelchairboundScottishterrorist" as his computer password.
Here's one piece of wild writing we found from early this year, though it's probably not the full story:
• • •
Another day of living under the queen's thumb, and still, no one from Pittsburgh so much as sends a "Yinz Scots got it tough" message in solidarity, even though it was our people and the Irish -- but mostly our people -- who made that city one of the greatest in the world. This is more galling than anything in Galway. (Hey, that's some good Scots-Irish humor, if I say so myself.)
I'm not sure why those folks in Pittsburgh rankle me so much, as opposed to their peers in, say, Milwaukee or St. Louis or, hell, Honolulu. Maybe it's how they keep showing up on all those multicity lists of "best places to live" or "best places to retire" or "best places to find women who wear football jerseys." Well, here's one list they've never made: "Best city that stands up for Scottish rights, and not just because they have a Scottish Rite."
My mind has rummaged for how I can show my displeasure with the Steel City. I wouldn't mind, for instance, showing up at every Steelers bar in Europe and running out on the tab. In this blasted wheelchair, however, I'm a bit encumbered from making a quick getaway.
I thought about sending over a team of immigrant steelworkers to work undercover sabotaging the city's manufacturing sector. If planned right, I could force the collapse of Pittsburgh's steel industry!
Then I did a little more research. No point in discussing that any further.
It seems, for whatever reason, the city has moved on to focus on health care and higher education.
Believe me, I've thought about doing something to destroy the reputation of the major health care institutions there, but after reading through newspaper articles, I've come to realize those entities are accomplishing that goal quite fine on their own, thank you.
My best alternative is mulling something terrible to disrupt one of their academic centers. It just wouldn't be right, however, to do anything to Carnegie Mellon, considering that fine institution's Scottish ties.
While there are a lot of small colleges there, I'm not sure that disrupting lab activities of a bunch of future nurses at Carlow makes any kind of splash.
So that leaves the folks at Pitt. I wish I could come up with some good reason to really, really hate them, in order to justify making their lives miserable.
I've tried reaching out to this Paterno fellow, whom I understand has always had it in for them, but he won't respond to any of my emails. Are there really still people in the world who don't do email? Sheesh.
I guess I'll drop a few, or 40, bomb threats their way and see what happens. If I'm lucky, I'll become a hero to some of the students for disrupting their finals, forcing their postponement, when they hadn't really studied for them anyway. Maybe they won't see it that way, but hey, only one way to find out.
It's like William Wallace said before going to battle in "Braveheart": "I'm going to pick a fight."intelligencer
Gary Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255.