NATO 3: Mayberry Meets the Three Stooges (Video)


Dear Homer:

Well, the trial of the NATO 3 ended last night with the three guys being found not guilty of terrorism.  They were found guilty of something called mob action and they’ve got to go back to see the judge in a couple weeks for sentencing.  I’d like to say that the whole story was something like “CSI Meets al Qaeda,” but it was more like “Mayberry meets the Three Stooges.”

Remember I told you about the NATO 3 before I left Bent Fork, Homer?  Brent Betterly, Jared Chase and Brian Church left Florida to join in on the demonstrations in Chicago.  The NATO Summit was being held and thousands of folks were on the street to protest.  I haven’t seen so many people running around downtown since Lula Mae’s pig got loose and no one could catch it.

These three goofballs took a slingshot, a ninja throwing star and a $9.95 bow and arrow and set out to Chicago.  There they managed to get themselves charged with terrorism.  Don’t think I’m being mean by calling them goofballs, Homer.  It’s a term of endearment. You see, one of the NATO 3, Brent, is a friend of mine from back in the day when we camped out in McPherson Square in Washington with about 300 others during OccupyDC.

If you don’t know what goofballs are Homer, look it up.  Oh yah, I forgot.  You tossed your dictionary into the fireplace when you asked the preacher how to spell something and he told you, “Look it up.”  I can still see the sparks flying when you threw it and yelled, “How the hell can I look it up if I don’t know how to spell it?”

Anyway, back to the story. The city-slicker prosecutor’s office wanted to paint them to look more like al-Qaida terrorists.  Instead of Larry, Moe and Curly, think of Hussein, Gaddafi and bin Laden.  You see, Homer, Chicago had spent – and bragged about spending – millions of dollars to protect the global leaders who were streaming into Chicago  like Betty Lou and the other ladies heading to The First Baptist Church for the annual rummage sale.

The cops in Chicago weren’t the sharpest tools in the woodshed either.  They were kinda like Andy and Barney.  Well, at least when Andy has to go into Mount Pilot on “Sheriffin’ business” and leaves Barney in charge.  Only this time, Barney couldn’t find Gomer to deputize, so he deputized his girlfriend, Thelma Lou, instead.

Standing in for Barney and Thelma Lou were Mehmet “Mo” Uygun and Nadia “Gloves” Chikka.  Yah, Homer, I’m not making that up.  Those really are their names.  These city people come up with some weird monikers. Another thing I’m not making up is just how bumbling two of “Chicago’s finest” were.

Somehow they got hooked up with Brent, Jared and Brian and figured that the three twenty-somethings from Florida had a wickedness about them and weren’t up to any good.  So in the middle of drinking beer and smoking pot, Mo and Gloves concocted a plan where the three goofballs would make Molotov cocktails to destroy Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters.  Yah, I know.  I think the idea of a Molotov cocktail bringing down a 30-story skyscraper is silly too.  But it’s all Mo and Gloves could come up with.

Problem one, Homer, the three banditos didn’t have any gasoline.  Beer bottles, they had.  Pot, they had. Vodka, they had.  But they didn’t have any gas, a key ingredient.  It’s what puts the cocktail in Molotov.  Mo suggested they siphon some out of Brian’s car.  Brian works hard panhandling for his money, so he wasn’t about to let anyone take petrol from his Ford Taurus.  Mo suggested and yah, it was Mo according to the secret recordings they made  Mo suggested they go buy some.  Now, there’s a thought.  Just then another problem popped up.  The three “terrorists” didn’t have any money.

So Mo lent them a few bucks and off they went down to the corner gas station.  With the convenience store’s cameras rolling, Mo and Brian walked up to the gas pump and filled the jug.  Well, not quite filled.  They got $3.75 worth and went back home.

Once they got there and started to pour the gas into the beer bottles, the three junior rocket scientists figured they had another problem.  They didn’t have any fabric they could use as wicks.  What’s a good Molotov cocktail if you don’t have any way to light it off?  Mo, though, came to the rescue.  Taking the bandanna from his neck, he tore it into four strips.   Our three heroes still hadn’t caught on about making the “incendiary devices.”  Instead of putting one end of each strip into the bottle and leaving the other end hanging out, they decided it would be better to stuff the entire strip of cloth into the gas and let it marinate over night.  Yah, Homer, you can see the problem with that idea.

That’s about it for now, Homer.  Chicago’s big “terrorist” trial is over.  The jury decided that the three had actually caused less trouble than the time Billy Bob got sick and threw up in the punchbowl at that big society wedding last year.

What did Chicago get for their millions of bucks?  Three beer-drinking stoners who kept eyeing “Gloves” the way Farmer Brown’s bull keeps eyeing the cows when it’s, well, when it’s “that” time. A slingshot, four beer bottles and a ninja throwing star?  Yep.  Sounds like Chicago got a good bargain for their money.

Me?  I’m catching the Greyhound back home tonight and I’ll stop by and see you sometime next week.  Then I’ll tell you about the slingshot that the prosecution tried to say was a “weapon of mass destruction.”

I expect someone to make a movie about the NATO 3.  They could call it Mayberry Meets the Three Stooges.

Your friend,


Editorial by Jerry Nelson


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Chicago Tribune
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