It's happening. It's finally happening. (Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post)
It’s happening. It’s finally happening. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

We were supposed to keep it under wraps. We were supposed to suppress it. In England, the Argus newspaper ran a correction about it. The correction ran as follows:

This is a lie. The 21st century WILL be remembered for a terrible war between mankind and goats. The Goat War is upon us, any day now. Wake up. Have eyes!

U.K. newspapers seem better attuned to the imminent threat. A headline from last year’s Metro.co.uk noted that in Gresham, Ore., police were “thwarted by goat stuck on roof who ‘only respects one man.’ ”

Here is a goat terrorizing a young paperboy. Anderson Cooper is right on the money on this one, noting that this goat is the stuff of nightmares.

This is the beginning.

Now we’re hiring goats to fight fires? What makes you believe those goats are not setting those fires in the first place? San Francisco, wake up! Increasing your herds, letting them flex their personalities, letting them visit with children? This is how it begins.

Goats, through our history as a species, have personified one thing: pure evil. In Volume I of his “Zoological Mythology,” Conte Giuseppe Angelo de Gubernatis (his name is long enough that I trust him implicitly) writes: “The devil, as we have observed, also has a predilection to embody himself in a ram, a lamb, or a he-goat.”

We thought the goats were kidding. They were not. Goats seldom kid.

One incident might be a mistake. Two could be carelessness. Three or more — that’s a pattern. Also, Elvis was a Capricorn.

“But wait, Alexandra,” you are saying, “this sounds like a loose web of conspiracy theories and misreadings of headlines that you are stringing together to produce a state of unrealistic goat panic. Maybe you should take a nap or sit down or something. You seem jittery and keep mumbling things.”

To you, I say, “GRAAARHHRHGH.”

This was our last warning.

Here is a preview of the battle cries that will, doubtless, haunt us into the long winter evenings as we huddle in terror. “That sounds like Uncle Pete,” the children will whisper, timidly.

“No, Marsha,” we will sigh. “That is a goat. It is trying to get in.”

I understand your average goat’s psychology. You could say that I get your goat.

It all started with our secret military goat experiments.

Those men who stared at goats were actually providing a vital service. They were keeping the goats in check. There is a facility called Goat Lab with a hundred “de-bleated goats.” De-bleated! So we can’t tell if they’re coming.

In “The Men Who Stare At Goats,” Jon Ronson writes:

It was apparently determined within Special Forces that it was just about impossible to form an emotional bond with a goat. In fact, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), goats have historically made up an unusually large percentage of the estimated million animals on the receiving end of covert experiments within the army. Most goat-related military activity remains highly classified, but from time to time some details have leaked out. When an atomic bomb was detonated in the sky near Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific in 1946, for example, most of the four thousand animals that had been dispatched by the military to float around underneath the explosion on a boat known as the Atomic Ark were goats. They wanted to see how the animals would fare with the fallout. They fared badly. Additionally, several thousand goats are currently being transformed – on an air force base – into a weird kind of goat/spider hybrid.

Yes, this last is supposed to produce a kind of goat-based spider silk that will be versatile and handy for bulletproof vests, but I don’t care. Everything is terrible. We can’t form emotional bonds with goats. Secret experiments have left thousands of radioactive, de-bleated goats in their wake. We can’t tell if they’re coming, and they’re coming for blood.

Tell me you aren’t a little afraid of the Goat War now. There will be bulletproof goat-spider hybrids, baaing for vengeance.

One of the men at Goat Lab stopped a goat’s heart once. But only the once. It took a lot out of him. He was our last hope, and I think we defunded him.

If there is a Goat War, I am not optimistic about our chances of survival. I could not take on a radioactive spider goat to save my life. I can barely take on a regular spider. Once I allowed one to share my shower for several months because it was just a shade too large to kill comfortably with Kleenex. Take on a goat? I can’t even butt in line.

Ronson’s book includes a chilling section where a man named Glenn says the military would “never admit to having goats.”

We need to know what they know, because the time of reckoning is at hand. Until I hear otherwise, I am going to assume that there is a mutant goat army. Possibly they are in communication with the San Francisco goat firefighters. That’s right — we are letting the goats learn to fight fire. What weapons will we leave ourselves? Already they don’t respect us.

If you don’t believe in science, here is some mythology to back me up, in the form of another quote from the Conte: “[T]he goat, which deprives others of sight, has itself the property of seeing everything; this is the case, because the goat, being the sun enclosed in the cloud or gloomy night, sees the secrets of hell, and also because, being the horned moon or starry sky, it is the spy of the heavens.”

The goat sees the secrets of hell! The goat is the spy of the heavens! What are we doing teaching them to wield fire?

No goat war? HA!

If you believe that, you are a mindless sheep, and it is time we separated the sheep from the goats.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.