Introduction: In “Tales of Politics” (October SUN) I recounted how I first met that fabled fount of knowledge, The Wizard. In this installment I disclose more of the secrets conveyed to me by The Wizard, the former Harold Stassen advance man who knew the answers about power.

“My aunt passed away as a result of athlete’s foot,” I was telling the man in a dayglo toga at the urinal next to mine. The person they called The Wizard and I were standing in the grimy men’s room of the Greyhound Bus Station in Ishpeming, Michigan. This is where The Wizard met visitors.

The Wizard had been going on and on about the secrets of power. “The Dalai Lama,” The Wizard was saying, “now this is a heavy dude. But the Tibetans in general are unusual. You see, they are among the human beings on earth who trace their ancestry to Atlantis. It is my supposition that the people of Atlantis had a different planetary heritage than most of the humans on this earth. While most humans can trace their origins in this solar system to Mars, those from Atlantis came from a planet beyond Mars, Atlas; it’s the asteroid belt now.”

“I’m not encouraging interplanetary racism, you understand,” said The Wizard.


Wednesday, December 15, 1976

The Wizard and I had gone to the Ishpeming Civic Center to see a Hasidic wrestling star battle it out with Flying Pedro Peterson, the Colombian Bullet. We ate a bag of popcorn together and after the fight we blew our minds out by snorting Pepto Bismol.


Tuesday, December 21, 1976

We spent the morning thumbing through the magazine TURKEY WORLD. The Wizard was getting sexually excited by the turkeys.

I looked at The Wizard. “You don’t tell me you’re attracted to turkeys?”

The Wizard smiled, and declared: “Young man, when you speak of politicians, you speak of turkeys. Turkeys have little brains. They care but to eat apples and hang out in a group. They are dumb and fat.”


Wednesday, December 22, 1976

“In politics, if they’re not crazy already the system gets them crazy,” The Wizard was saying. We had taken a long walk, in back of the high school in Ishpeming. We came across many perverted high school students. This is the way it is in America in the 1970’s, I was telling The Wizard. “This is a planet of perverts,” I said.

“Now take it easy,” said The Wizard, his toga flowing in the soft December breeze.

High up on a hill, we caught sight of downtown Ishpeming. “Here in Ishpeming it’s like every place else in America,” The Wizard was saying. “Too absurd to take seriously.”

“I ask you, Wizard,” said I, feeling a strange sensitivity on my navel. “Isn’t man special?”

The Wizard looked down at his hands, and smiled, “There’s nothing special about man but his ability to lie.”

“But how are we going to have peace on earth?”

“Ultimately, you’ll have to sell it like soap.”


Friday, December 31, 1976

It was New Year’s Eve and The Wizard had invited to his residence — a mobile home in imitation Spanish stucco — myself and a close friend, indeed his only close friend, Bernard Eggroll, the swami and tree dentist.

Around the formica table in the trailer’s kitchenette, we sat. The Wizard opened a bottle of wine, his favorite, Gallo ’76, and was saying: “I think sexual excess is part of the divine plan.”

Eggroll nodded. I had not seen Eggroll before this night. He had on a T-shirt with the capital letters, CCCP, which was confusing. Eggroll mentioned that he sometimes “trafficked in hot wedding gowns” to support his spiritual habits.

“It is time you be taken on a tour of some of the higher dimensions of politics,” said The Wizard, as he walked to the midget refrigerator in the trailer. From the refrigerator he took a strange combination of ingredients: Minute Maid frozen orange juice, one large piece of Shiloh Farms organic whole wheat bread with raisins, a flask containing a solution which foamed and smoked, and two starfish. He dumped it all into a blender. Then, slowly, he added eleven Alka Seltzer tablets and a pinch of merthiolate and started the machine.

However, he forgot to put the top on, and a lot of it came flying out over the trailer ceiling.

He quickly started it again with the top on. The noise was eerie. After ten minutes he poured the contents into three large goblets.

“Drink this my friends,” said The Wizard.

“You have to be kidding, Wizard,” I said.

“Drink this to reach the next level.”

So I got it over with quickly. Then Eggroll chugged his down, and lastly The Wizard.

It is difficult to describe what happened next. The mobile home began tumbling over the long way. We were being thrown from the kitchenette 80 feet down to the bedroom, then back to the kitchenette, and back to the bedroom and suddenly we were all just thrown entirely from the mobile home. We landed under a weeping willow tree and sat there for a few seconds before a huge wind came howling up. The Wizard said I should jump on his shoulders. I did. And we left the trailer park, heading out on to Richard Nixon Turnpike in Ishpeming. It began pouring rain. The Wizard was trekking down the highway. Riding on top of him I got thoroughly soaked and sneezed a lot. Bernard Eggroll was following. “Flow with the energy,” The Wizard called up to me. “Let the rain go through you and irrigate you.”

Then, thunder and lightning. I was scared to death over lightning, particularly lightning coming down just a few yards from me, like this lightning.

I started to cry. “Don’t cry,” screamed The Wizard. “Open your ears to the thunder, your eyes to the lightning. Let it energize your molecules.”

Tears continued to flow down my cheeks. But I stopped sobbing.

“You sure are considerably crackers,” I yelled to the Wizard. “Weather is like life,” said The Wizard. “And politics moves like a storm. You must understand how to draw from the power, not let the power draw from you. You must understand how to flow downstream, even though there are many waterfalls on this river. You must know how to do this and avoid high blood pressure.”

“Why?” I asked.

“This is a good question,” said the Wizard.

Then he put up his hands — almost sending me falling backward off his back. Suddenly, the rain and the thunder and the lightning stopped and the sun came out. A bright blue sky. A rainbow. I was impressed.

Ahead of us was the Ishpeming Golden Dragon Feather, a Chinese restaurant. We went in, leaving a pool of water as we walked. Over wonton soup and cream cheese and jelly sandwiches we discussed what we saw.

“Humans and monkeys are the only animals that can smash mosquitos with their bare hands,” said The Wizard.

Bernard Eggroll agreed.

“I have much to learn,” I said.

“You sure do,” said The Wizard.