– The US State Department, working 24 hours a day to make America just a little bit better place to work and live, has developed an exciting new chemical spray formula called "essence of skunk." The exciting aerosol breakthrough will allow high-ranking government officials to sprinkle marijuana crops with a putrid scented agent which is so potent that a State Department war-games room had to be cleared for two whole working days after a successful demonstration. The chemical will serve as a "marker" to warn by smell of any drug leaf that has been previously sprayed with paraquat.
With all these federal bombers in the air, it's little wonder that Commissar Haig seeks to step up our DE-fense. But the tactics make one wonder. If the feds really, truly desired to eliminate marijuana smoking as serious competition to Seagrams 7, why wouldn't they simply nationalize the grass industry, hand them a billion-dollar subsidy, and appoint Lee Iacocca as chairman and chief executive officer?
– But the Russians will never be outdone. They're pretty uptight, you know, about the way The Great Right Hope has gotten real nasty about the Kremlin's Red Meanies and their unnerving penchant for Afghans and all like that, and they ain't gonna stand for this nonsense no more. So they have hurled a counterthreat to President Reagan and his staff. The Great Red Hope is now promising that if We don't cool it on this hard-line foreign policy stuff, They aren't going to let any more Jews leave. (Is this the policy that some of Mr. Reagan's more "conservative" supporters had in mind?) But roll this Soviet sputnik around on your tongue for a while: The worst, most lethal threat they can make today is a pledge that, "Okay, if you don't want to play ball, nobody leaves. Have that one on your conscience!"
– Much to your surprise, undoubtedly, one American who hasn't gone anywhere lately is the highly self-touted John Anderson, one-time candidate for president on the Pious Party ticket. The part-time evangelist and midwestern congressperson has been right here, however, the whole time since his embarrassing flop in last November's laugher and has been quite active in many worthwhile causes other than counting his millions in tax loot absconded with the active assistance of the Federal Elections Commission. He has been teaching (no, not preaching) at the preeminent Stanford University. The course was dubbed "Congress in Transition" and attracted a healthy 576 students on opening day, April 1 (a date no doubt chosen for its significance). By the third week of class, however, an even better estimate of Mr. Anderson's awesome talents was available, and students were flocking to the lecturer's office for permission to de-enroll. (Half of them did.)
But there may be a brighter future for the silver-haired orator: to wit, the amazing rehabilitation of Bobby Seale. The one-time Black Panther military expert and enthusiast of the popular "Burn, Baby, Burn" revolutionary war-cry, Seale has taken to a new way of life. He is currently writing a cookbook to be entitled: "Barbecuing with Bobby." Don't burn it, baby!
– Retiree Robert Acheson, a 64-year-old man who subsists with his wife solely on their Social Security "insurance" payout, was nailed with a $1,250 penalty on the strength of purely circumstantial evidence: 400 pounds of marijuana growing in the Acheson's back yard; 300 pounds hanging on the clothesline in the garage (you really should never put it in the dryer). And the Acheson couple weren't even hooked on the fibrous weed. They raised it to pay their property taxes.
-And in Phoenix, Arizona, another lawbreaker was dissimilarly apprehended by a 77-year-old grandmother. Gladys Kastensmith awoke to the sounds of a man attempting to shove his crawling bod through her doggy door. The alert sportswoman grabbed a .38 revolver and pumped three salvos into the air. The would-be burglar scampered off, only to return through another door (maybe she had two dogs) and confront the elderly lady. The elderly lady, however, was waiting for him. According to police radio room supervisor John Lynch, "She had him down on all fours and told him if he: moved she'd shoot him. He moved, and she said (to the officer on the phone), 'Just a minute, honey,' and then kablam!" The markswoman only had to fire the one shot to keep the intruder pinned to the ground, the position in which police found 28-year-old David Snead, still on all fours, when they arrived. They also found Mrs. Kastensmith "sitting there in her rocking chair, drinking a glass of bourbon," firearm in hand. Now this is just the sort of thing we need gun control to eliminate. Ban Grandma Kastensmith's hand-gun now!
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".