San Francisco Yellow Pages, 1986: In the Yellow Pages that year you’d find listed “Third Ear Telepathic Answering Service” at 221-3333. If you called it you might hear this —
“Hello and thank you for calling Third Ear Telepathic Answering Service, the modern telepathic answering service that can help you move your merchandise!
“I am your Host and Operator Ruru the Guru, speaking to you direct from the Himalaya Hideaway.
“Earlier today somebody asked me, ‘Ruru, what do you like to do for fun?’
“Well, you know, just being a fourtheenth-plane saint in the astral plane doesn’t stop a body from enjoying a little fun, gracious no!
“No, mind, what with ferrying your telepathic messages to anyone anywhere in the world at any hour of the day or night, I don’t spend a lot of time goofing off, as you’d imagine, but remember, time in the astral plane flows funny, so there’s always room for jello, so to speak.
“Now, to answer your question, for fun I like to whittle in my spare time. Sometimes I make little seabirds and stand them up on a little wire above a rock. Several gift stores in major cities carry these; you may have seen them. Next time you’re in one of these stores just ask the clerk if it’s a genuine Ruru the Guru seabird. I’m sure they’ll tell you, unless they’re, you know, secretive.
“Me and my buddy, Babba Jamas, like to play pool and pinball sometimes, down at the Himalaya Arcade in the gulch. You know, catch a pizza sometimes. I never know for sure whether he’s cheating, of course, but that’s just part of the wonder of living in the astral plane.
“The astral plane itself is quite entertaining. Just on the way to work or to the laundromat you can see most anything passing by. Yesterday Adolf Hitler — or maybe one of his doubles — was being drug through some cactus by a crowd of English schoolboys crying out, ‘Bloody bugger!’ And the day before that it was a bunch of Jamaicans playing a game with a rabbit, two washtubs, and some hubcaps.
“Sometimes I like crosswords, and as it happens, I’m stumped on number 26 across right now.
“Would you happen to know a twelve-letter word meaning ‘an imaginery beast invented by Lewis Carrol in the poem Jabberwocky’? It begins with ‘band’ and ends with ‘snatch.’
“Wait a minute, wait a minute! Several of you are telepathing the answer right now! …
“Why, of course! Bandersnatch!
“I wonder why I didn’t think of that … Well, as you can see, I just have lots of fun, most all the time.”