Undoubtedly, many theories will be advanced to account for the events of recent months. Some followers of conservative moral philosopher Allan Bloom may blame it on social decay. A few economists may believe it has something to do with the opening of the London commodities market -- the Big Bang -- making it possible to speculate 24 hours a day. And some scientists may attribute these eerie happenings to leaks in the ozone layer, permitting dangerous rays to enter the atmosphere unfiltered.
The latter theory comes close, but the truth seems to lie beyond -- in a previously undiscovered and invisible protective ring around the planet called the Bozone Layer.
When the bozone is frayed, random rays cause disturbances on Earth. What's especially alarming is that there is no known way to protect oneself against the deterioration of the bozone. Sunglasses and wide hats, as prescribed by Interior Secretary Donald Hodel, have, for example, so far proved ineffective.
Consider: An unusual bozone leakage seems to have occurred over Fort Mill, S.C., where Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker had to desert their Praise the Lord (or People That Love) ministry after Jessica Hahn said the evangelist had lured her into an episode of hotel-room sex, for which she was later paid $265,000 in hush money. Then more Jim Bakker accusers stepped forward to cite homosexual trysts, and Tammy Faye's crush on country singer Gary ("Monster Mash") Paxton was revealed. Oral Roberts took the Bakkers' side. Meanwhile, Roberts, who had once conversed with a 900-foot-tall Jesus, was saying on television that Jesus had told him he would be checking out early if $8 million wasn't promptly sent. Jerry Falwell took over PTL, while Tammy's mascara ran.
Rays unblocked by bozone next hit the good ship Monkey Business, bound for Bimini. On board: Gary Hart and Donna Rice. She was famous for two lines on "Miami Vice." He was famous as the Democratic presidential front-runner. At his Capitol Hill townhouse, Hart discussed campaign financing with the erstwhile seminude poster girl and occasional date of Saudi sybarite billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. In the middle of their conversation, Hart happened to wander outside to explain the details of their deliberations to Miami Herald reporters. The next thing he knew he was out of politics. Richard Nixon wrote him a congratulatory letter, praising his outburst at the press.
Washington was exposed to a bozone flare-up last month. Fawn Hall explained how to smuggle documents out of the White House by hiding them in your clothes. Elliott Abrams revealed he'd changed his name to Mr. Kenilworth in order to solicit $10 million for the contra cause from the Sultan of Brunei. But, uh oh, Mr. Kenilworth gave the Sultan's man Friday the wrong secret Swiss bank account number.
Oliver North then proclaimed himself to be a liar, challenged terrorist Abu Nidal to a mano-a-mano duel, explained that he was working through what happened in Vietnam in Nicaragua, and was hailed as a national hero. The absent-minded John Poindexter remembered that Ronald Reagan knew nothing about the contra diversion, and the White House said the president was relieved by this information. The chief executive then gave a speech saying he would not be covered by "dust and cobwebs" -- and departed for his California ranch. On the way, an errant airplane almost hit the First Helicopter. Aides said the president wasn't aware of anything.
Meanwhile, over England, the bozone wore thin. At Ascot, the Duchess of York and the Princess of Wales shoved umbrellas into the rumps of passers-by. Fleet Street unreliably reported at length on Di's "affair" with a London banker. Was Fergie leading Di astray? The upright Margaret Thatcher swiftly acted to ban Peter Wright's "Spycatcher," a book exposing nefarious plots of British intelligence. The tome was suppressed -- and selling very well on every other London street corner.
There seemed to be another bozone spray last week over Memphis, the mecca of a fast-growing religion whose central figure is Elvis Presley. The gates of Graceland became a wailing wall for pilgrims. Perhaps not surprisingly, a great many of the faithful were natives of the bozone-thin United Kingdom.
Within days, bozone holes suddenly opened from Machu Picchu to Stonehenge. Thousands of followers of a prophet named Jose Arguelles congregated for a "harmonic convergence," inspired by his readings of the stars and the Mayan calendar. The point was to usher in a New Age.
When the mass humming died down, the world learned that Olliemania had been overtaken by a new T-shirt enthusiasm: Spuds MacKenzie, a nonbarking bull terrier with a black eye, said to quaff Bud Light. This dour creature, promoted as the ultimate "party animal," was taken up this summer as the true symbol of the arfless New Age.
As fall draws nigh, there is scant evidence that the bozone effect is diminishing. There are signs that a massive Bozone Convergence is gathering over Iowa, site of the first presidential caucus. And just the other day, CBS' Dan Rather called former ABC reporter Charles Glass "a young American who says he was a hostage." ABC's Ted Koppel called the remark "beneath contempt." Perhaps Rather and Koppel will debate on "Nightline" with Robin Leach as interlocutor.
Meanwhile, the bozone shield suddenly vanished over the irradiated National Press Club, where Morris the Cat's bid for the presidency was announced by his campaign manager, Eleanor Mondale. But will Morris debate Spuds?