It was a sad remembrance of the '60s, when counterculture was king. Even the acrid smell of marijuana in the air didn't enliven yesterday's opening of the Yipster Times' Washington Office. Otensibly, the gathering of Yipies and their sympathizers - mostly suburban teenyboppers with nothing to do on a snowy Sunday - signaled plans for the Yippie-sponsored Inauguration of Nobody and the Counter-Inaugural Festival to be held Jan. 20.
"We're expecting thousands of people," said a young man with tousled yellow hair and called Steve Yippie "We want J. C. to get used to us."
If yesterday was a preview, then President-elect Jimmy Carter only has to come to grips with a handful of young men in T-shirts emblazoned with the seven-leaf cannabis plant and several laid-back young women, all of whom said they were planning on going back to college. They drew a total of 40 to their opening.
"Yeah," agreed Aron Kay, a Yippie writer from the New York office, known as "Pie Kill" because he goes round throwing pies at people for money. "I don't trust Carter. I don't feel safe anywhere. It's the outrageous Yippies they're after one day, the next, they're after the NAACP or the ACLU." Kay's most recent pie recipient was Daniel P. Moynihan.
Nobody was interested in Pie Kill's recollections, however. Mostly the group wanted to talk about how their subscribers have been "harrassed" by the police and the problems of building a giant, fire-proof peanut for their inauguration. The District police had informed the group that any floats had to be fireproof.
William Kunstler, the famed counterculture lawyer hadn't come down for the opening or for the planning session, but two of the New York staff members, Robert Druskin and Robert Mitchel, did. Mitchel, with long hair and glasses, and Druskin, with just long hair, had a good decade and a half on most of the other staff members. Druskin was smoking, but Mitchel raucously explained the Yippie philosophy to a group.
"It's a state of being, a state of mind," he said to a nonplussed young woman. "It's joie de vive. A lot of people are really Yippies and they don't know it."
"They will after the inauguration," said Steve the Yippie.
"First, we're going to hold a counter-inauguration at the Sylvan theater on the Mall," he added. "We're all going to take the inaugural oath, then it really will be the inauguration of nobody. Then we're going to retire to a church. Which church? We don't know that yet, but there will be a lot of people and they'll want to lie down and rest and get some food. You know that free food is one of the Yippie philosophies."
Then a young woman brought in a plate of brownies and there were loud huzzahs as the planners of the counter-inaugural fell to.