The tortuous melodrama that has become the life of pop icon Britney Spears took an even more bizarre turn on Thursday when the beleaguered singer emerged from a California psychiatric hospital and was immediately targeted by a suicide bomber.
The well-known star, accompanied by private security agents and her sisters Normdney and Tuscney, checked out of a top-end Malibu dependency treatment center at 11:36 yesterday morning. As they were walking to a waiting limousine, a young poorly-shaven man wearing a backpack rushed toward the group shouting incoherently and dove to the sidewalk directly in front of the three women while clutching wildly at his jacket.
Policemen stationed nearby to control the expected but unmaterialized crowd of fans and paparazzi subdued the attacker and took him into custody, where it was determined that his knapsack contained twenty sticks of dynamite wired to a detonator in his pocket. The latter failed to function properly, which saved Miss Spears's life.
A police spokesperson later explained what had happened: "After several hours of interrogation it was determined that the man was in fact an Al Queda operative who had botched his mission. He had been sent to this country from Wajiristan, carrying a map of the United States and hand-written instructions which have been translated as follows: 'Proceed to the large city on the northeast coast, the seat of all significant power. There, locate and terminate a short, bald stooge of the oligarchy whom you will find emerging from a high-security building surrounded by bodyguards, and whose unrelenting histrionic posturing and unconscionable rhetoric are an affront and an abomination.'
"First we thought the guy had just got his directions mixed up, but then we noticed that his map was printed upside down. So it dawned on us: he had actually been sent to the US to kill Vice President Richard Cheney in Washington. He had that description, and then when he saw Miss Spears -- well, you can see how he made the mistake..."