"KOOKS Incorporated, Smiley speaking."

"Mr. Smiley, I saw your advertisement in the newspaper where you said you could get me on the evening news."

"That's correct. We can get you on the local news for $200 and national news for $2,000."

"Could you tell me a little about your operation?"

"Well, as you know, the stations are fighting for ratings and the kookier you are, the more chance you have of making the news. For example, if you made a statement that God doesn't hear the prayers of Jews, we could get you on all three networks."

"I'm willing to say it."

"It's too late. Someone already said it."

"Suppose I said that God does listen to Jewish prayers?"

"That would make you sane, and no one would want to put you on the air. You're going to have to come up with something that no other kook has thought of."

"What if I organize a paramilitary organization with some friends and we hold some maneuvers in the woods, to prepare for a Russian invasion?"

"That's already been done by one of our KKK clients. We got three minutes on a national network with that story."

"Suppose I jumped off the World Trade Center wearing a parachute?"

"It's too late. A guy already did it. Of course, if your parachute didn't open it would make a good film sequence."

"But then I wouldn't be around to see myself on the evening news."

"Yes, that would be a drawback. Can you drive a motorcycle?"


"Good. How would you like to take a flying leap over 12 Greyhound buses?"

"I don't think I'd like that."

"The Greyhound Bus Company isn't too thrilled about the idea either. Our problem is that so many kooks have been getting on television lately that you really have to be outrageous to get them to send out a crew. Why don't you start a movement to ban the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution in the schools? That would get you on the air."

"National or local?"

"Local at first, but it's the kind of story that the national news organizations like to pick up. The thing to do is call for the banning of all textbooks that mention Darwin and the firing of any teacher who refers to him in the classroom."

"How big does my movement have to be?"

"You can start with your own family. When the reporter asks you how many people support you, you can tell him thousands. They never check on a kook's figures as long as they get good film out of it."

"That doesn't sound too bad. I'll bet after I appeared on television I could get a lot of people to join the anti-Darwin movement. Maybe I could even make money on the side."

"Kooks Inc. will help you do it. We had a client who demanded every copy of 'Catcher in the Rye' be burned in his district's libraries and we not only got him on TV, but he raised $100,000 to censor every book that was bought by the county. He now publishes his own blacklist and he's pushing book-censoring kits all over the country."

"You sold me. What's my next step?"

"We'll send you a speech you can read at the next school board meeting attacking Darwin. Then we'll tip off your TV station that a religious fanatic is going to disrupt the proceedings."

"Will the TV people show up?"

"Of course they'll show up. They have to cover the news."