A young man in Seattle recently write to me:
The other day I was asked to do the now common act of taking off my shoes at the airport security screening. As I deposited my shoes in the tray, a sense of utter absurdity washed over me. I have to take my shoes off and have them scanned by an X-ray machine because some guy tried to blow up an airliner with his sneakers. And I thought, I feel like I’m in a world not even Kurt Vonnegut could have imagined. So now that I find I can ask you such questions, tell me, could you have imagined it? (We’re in real trouble if someone figures out how to make explosive pants.)
I wrote back:
The shoe thing at airports and Code Orange and so on are world-class practical jokes, all right. But my all-time favorite is one the holy, anti-war clown Abbie Hoffman (1945-1989) pulled of during the Vietnam War. He announced that the new high was banana peels taken rectally. So then FBI scientists stuffed banana peels up their asses to find out if this was true or not. Or so we hoped.