mutant something something

Ed Trice, dean of Bay Area conspiracy journalists, saw himself as the needle that drew the Red thread through the “bewildering assortment of youth protest movements,” the same red thread he used to outline the “tip of the iceberg of campus disorders.” Red Threat, Red Threads, Militant Youth in America, was the working title of his half-completed book.

Now, under the influence of his friend Chuck Morris at the Concept Interpretation Agency, Trice was reworking his concept. He still believed that exposing which campus activist attended a World (“Communist”) Youth Festival, which one “consorted with Red bigwigs in Havana”, or better yet travelled to Hanoi with Herbert Aptheker (“top U.S. Red strategist”), was a useful heuristic device, helping Mr. and Mrs. America distinguish between “real enemies” and “well-meaning, misguided, would-be reformers.” However, Chuck might be right. He prepared alternative titles:

Mutant Youth, America’s Hidden Threat.

Them: America’s Mutant Generation.

Home-Grown Mutants: America’s Toxin.

Militants and Mutants: America’s Dangerous Youth.

Trice was at his desk at the San Francisco Examiner reviewing cases handled by members of the National Lawyers Guild (a single Trice sentence labled the Guild both “communist-organized” and “the legal bulwark of the Communist Party”) on the theory that any client of theirs had to be a Red, when the mail-cart kid dropped off a manila envelope containing four sheets of xeroxed checks from the Castle Bank and Trust in the Bahamas, made out to, what a coincidence, Cathy Cohen (who actually worked for a member of the National Lawyers Guild, Charles Garry) and her boyfriend and a photocopied memo from someone to someone else claiming the two were paid CIA agents.

He dribbled the idea around his desktop. Revealing this would certainly destroy the bona fides of Cohen and O’Shea. However, if Cohen and O’Shea were CIA, they were heroic infiltrators who were not, as Trice’s articles had proved, attempting “to completely destroy our form of government.”

A quick call to Chuck Morris settled all.

“It says SOG?” said Chuck.

“Yeah. Ober at SOG.”

“Sent to you by?”


“Do you want to be staked out in the sun with your eyelids cut off?” asked Chuck, “Metaphorically speaking.”

“No, Chuck.”

“Then trash it.”

Ed did, in the teletype disposal bin. Just to be on the safe side, he decided to go easy on Cohen and O’Shea in his chapter on the Movement Liberation Front in (how about this?) Mutant Plague: America’s Toxic Youth.