Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff announced yesterday that the five colors on the terror alert scale just aren't enough, and plans to add a sixth color - lavender - to the list. The new color is to be put between white, or "normal", and green, or "guarded". Chertoff later stunned his friends and family by adding that the new threat level will signify a national condition of "fabulous".
Some are even claiming that the addition of the new color may be the Secretary's way of coming out of the closet without actually saying it.
"Frankly, we're a little worried about the Mikester", said a Chertoff family friend, who wished to remain anonymous. "Lately, he's been really getting into collecting Cher memorabilia on eBay and obsessing about the throw-pillows in his living room."
Attending several Broadway premiers with Liza Minelli's former husband David Gest hasn't exactly stopped the incessant Chertoff "is he or isn't he" rumor-mill, either. Some are saying Gest may have even been the one to choose the new terror alert color.
"I just don't want this terror alert system to become too personal," according to a well known US Senator, who, again, wished to remain anonymous. "We've tried to inform the Secretary that the colors don't necessarily need to 'work' together. This is a terror alert system, and Chertoff is now treating it as if he's Elton John's interior decorator, for God sakes!"
Rumors of further additions to the threat-level meter, including "paisley" and "taupe", are persistent inside the Department. Sources also say that Chertoff has ordered new uniforms for all federal airport screeners, allowing them to pick from one of five "Village People" outfits.
In the meantime, questions concerning the new color on the threat level meter persist. "I know what the rumors are, and they're totally unfounded. Now if you don't mind, I have to give a briefing on the current status of the terrorist threat," Chertoff replied, as he and Andy Dick entered a party in Greenwich Village for the cast of the play "Rent".
For now, most people, including this reporter, think these "rumors" are simply ploys by opponents of the Bush Administration for personal and political gain.