Section One: The Building Blocks of the Core Principles
Chapter 1: Why Terrorism Is a Bigger Threat Than Any Threat Any Nation Has Ever Faced in the History of the World, Ever
Chapter 2: Planning Your Family Antiterrorism Drill: What to Do When Little Lucy Can’t Assemble Her Matador 25B Antitank Rocket Launcher in under 37 Seconds
Chapter 3: Hand-to-Hand Combat: Actually Fighting Terrorists in Your Living Room—Six Incapacitating Holds Involving a Spatula
Chapter 4: Places You Can No Longer Go: Airports, Stadiums, Outside
Chapter 5: If Your Child Brings Home a Suspicious Playmate
Chapter 6: Hostage Negotiation: What to Get for the Terrorist Who Has Everything
Chapter 7: Tips for Teens: What to Do If Your Teen Gets Invited to Participate in a Terrorist Attack and All the Cool Kids Are In On It
Chapter 8: Securing Your Home: Booby Traps, Land Mines, and Strategic Mail-Opening Strategies
Chapter 9: Moats: How to Make Them, Are They Still Useful?
Section Two: The History of Terrorism and What Your Government Is Doing to Stop It
Chapter 10: A History of the World Before 9/11: All in All, a Pretty Smooth Ride
Chapter 11: A History of the World After 9/11: Evil Makes Its Entrance
Chapter 12: No-Longer-Relevant Concepts: Civil Liberties, the Multi-Party System, Karaoke
Chapter 13: Invading Iraq: It’s the Thought That Counts
Chapter 14: The Color-Coded Terror Alert System: Giving Citizens an Exact, Rainbowy Gauge of How Fearful to Be at Any Given Moment
Chapter 15: Making New Friends throughout the World: Kidnapping, Secret Detention, and Torture
Special Alert! Creating a Shadow Family: Important Note Just for Dad
Chapter 16: Avoiding God’s Wrath by Banning Gay Marriage
Section Three: A Bunch of Chapters We Decided to Put in Section Three
Chapter 17: For Parents: A Special Chapter Just for You
Chapter 18: Are There Terrorists in Your Own Family? No? Are You Sure?
Chapter 19: Good Morning! Checking for Bombs under Your Car
Chapter 20: Learning to Live after All Civilization Has Been Destroyed
Special Alert! Terrorist Preparedness Quiz
Chapter 21: Training Your Dog: Detecting Explosives, Interrogating Detainees
Chapter 22: Making Your Own Color-Coded Terrorism Alert Chart: Is Heightened
Danger of Radiation Exposure More of a Lavender or a Robin’s Egg Blue?
Special Alert! Antiterrorist Fitness
Section Four: All the Other Chapters That Didn’t Appear in Section One, Two, or Three
Special Alert! Halftime Mid-Book Pep Talk
Chapter 23: Surveillance Cameras: Deterring Nuclear Attacks and Finding Out Who’s Been Stealing Your Newspaper
Chapter 24: Intelligence Gathering: Suspicious Organizations, Informant Networks—Is Water-Boarding One Word or Two?
Chapter 25: Baking Your Way to Homeland Security: Pineapple Upside-Down Flag Cake and Other Patriotic Arts & Crafts
Chapter 26: What Are You Good At? What You Can Do to Combat Terrorism as a Lawyer, Actor, or Someone Who Just Knows Their Way Around a Kiln
Chapter 27: Varying Your Routine—Different Routes to School, Church on Thursday, Starting with Dessert
Special Alert! Personal Risk Assessment Assessment
Section Three: Several Chapters That Would Have Been More Appropriate for Section Three Although We Overlooked It at the Time
Chapter 28: The False Alarm Chapter: Fireworks, Jackhammers, and Misplaced Keys
Chapter 29: Days to Be Extra Scared: Holidays, Millennia, Days of Indictments of Major Congressional Leaders
Chapter 30: Is It Possible for America Itself to Engage in Terrorism?
Chapter 31: Thinking Like a Terrorist: Freedom Hating, Grudge Holding, and the Whole 72 Virgins-in-Paradise Thing
Chapter 31A: Just for Terrorists—If You’re Not a Terrorist, You Can Skip This Chapter
Chapter 32: Speaking to a Terrorist: How to Say “Naked Human Pyramid” in Arabic
Chapter 33: Ethics in the Post-Geneva Convention Era
Chapter 34: Religious Chapter
Special Alert! Final Exam
Appendix: All the Boring Stuff You Don’t Have to Read
Including the Bibliography, About the Authors, and extensive, graphically illustrated sexual material you wouldn’t be interested in.
Special Alert!: Terrorist Preparedness Quiz
Here are a few of the questions you will have to answer (they are not optional).
1) In 25 words or less: Why are you taking this quiz when you could be preparing to fight terrorism?
2) Yes or No: Do you fully support all the actions taken by your government in the War on Terrorism?
2A) Why not?
2B) What makes you think you’re such an expert on foreign policy all of a sudden?
3) Fill in the blank: Terrorists do the evil things they do because they ____ freedom.
4) On the other hand, I, personally, ____ freedom.
5) Multiple choice: One of America’s flaws is that it is:
A) Run by the Jews.
B) Tolerant of all religions, even the evil ones.
C) There are no flaws.
6) Which of the following interactions with your neighbor is a Suspicious Interaction?
A) Your neighbor knocks on your door, asks, “Can I borrow a cup of sugar?”
B) Your neighbor knocks on your door, asks, “Can I borrow a cup of sugar, and do you have any enriched uranium?”
C) Your neighbor knocks on your door, asks, “Can I borrow a cup of sharp, metallic objects or other shrapnel which I can use to make the improvised explosive device I’m working on in my garage more deadly?”
If you answered B) and C) are Suspicious Interactions, you’re already on your way to becoming an effective counterterrorist fighting machine!
Q: After reading this book so far, it seems to me that while terrorism is clearly something to be concerned about, maybe you guys are letting your fears get the best of you. Aren’t there lots of other things just as threatening, if not more so? Is there any chance you’re letting your paranoia about terrorism cloud your judgment to the point where you’re no longer thinking rationally? If we allow terrorists to terrorize us, haven’t the terrorists won?
A: We don’t accept questions from terrorists.
The co-author of The Ultimate Counterterrorist Home Companion, The Bad Driver’s Handbook, and The Dog Ate My Resume has recently graduated from college with no idea what he’ll do with his life. This means he has plenty of time to tell you what you should do with yours. Also having not yet made any major life decisions, he has not yet made any major mistakes. He is currently working on his resumé.
The co-author of The Ultimate Counterterrorist Home Companion, The Bad Driver’s Handbook, and The Dog Ate My Resume squandered a perfectly good college education by becoming a writer for such TV shows as Saturday Night Live and Not Necessarily the News, for which he has won two Writers Guild of America awards. He is currently avoiding useful activity as one of the three writer/editors of Ironictimes.com, an online satirical weekly. He encourages young writers to pursue their dreams, but also to learn a more dependable trade, like armed robbery.
“In these difficult times, it’s comforting to know that we can all own our own copy ofThe Ultimate Counterterrorist Home Companion. Any guide that bears the subtitle “Six Incapacitating Holds Involving A Spatula And Other Ways To Protect Your Family” is an essential addition to any library.”
— Quickstop Entertainment
“The new book, ‘The Counterterrorist Companion,’ is an amusing reminder that the most potent weapon in the fight against terrorism is to not be terrorized. Whether we agree on the precise nature of the legacy of 9/11, one thing’s hard to dispute: terrorism is the sun of the U.S. political universe and the issue around which all other issues orbit. And now, along comes Zack and Larry Arnstein’s book, The Ultimate Counterterrorist Home Companion, a welcome gift for the citizen-soldier. The 165-page “manual” is a quick read, providing a hilarious antidote to the fear-mongering fueling the “war on terror,” prodding us to lighten up, poking fun at the powers-that-be, while offering a subtle reminder that deserves to be taken seriously: nothing is more subversive to power than to laugh in the face of it – be it the power wielded by terrorists or the power abused by governments everywhere. . . . Unless you’re as uptight and humorless as Ann Coulter, you’ll find the Counterterrorist Companion an amusing reminder that the most potent weapon in the fight against terrorism is to not be terrorized.”
— Sean Gonsalves, AlterNet
“Just when you thought it was safe to emerge from your bunker comes father/son writing team Zack and Larry Arnstein with their new book, The Ultimate Counter-terrorist Home Companion.”
— Sarasota Herald Tribune