Florida has been getting a lot of press lately. Pastor Terry Jones is getting his 15 minutes for threatening to hold "International Burn a Koran Day" on September 11. The pastor runs the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida -- a church so small that his entire congregation could fit on a bus.
The quran burning has since been cancelled.
No matter, he got the world's attention.
CNN and The New York Times reported on it, as did about 150 media outlets around the world, according to Jones. Protests were held outside the U.S. embassies in Jakarta and Kabul. General David Petraeus, the US military commander in Afghanistan, wrote an email warning of the possible impact of Jones's planned event; White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama all made statements reinforcing his concerns.
In the midst of all this, an elementary school was on a 3-hour lock-down in Orlando, Florida, last week. A suspicious object outside the school had everyone on high alert.
What was it?
An object so scary, so obviously out-of-the-ordinary on a school's grounds, that little children had to sit in fear, locked down, and the cops had to be called: a child's stuffed toy pony.
According to news reports, people said they saw "things hanging off of it." (A mane, perhaps?)
Not to worry, the bomb squad (accompanied by specialized bomb robots) got in on the action, and blew that sucker from here to Afghanistan.
(Warning: Video should not be viewed by small children with stuffed ponies.)
I'm glad that wasn't my daughter's pony.
Then again, maybe there's a lesson to be learned here: When a fringe figure with a handful of followers threatens to burn a sacred religious book, or a soft, cuddly toy pony loiters on the playground long after the kids have entered a school, you can never be too careful.
Sometimes the smallest things deserve the most attention.
Or do they?