Albert Hofmann died yesterday, at the ripe age of 102. This is significant for two reasons, one being that Hofmann was the “discoverer” of LSD in the 1940’s. I’ve never read any of Hofmann’s books, but Timothy Leary quotes and discusses him at length in his autobiography Flashback. Hofmann, like Leary, remained convinced throughout his life that when used in controlled settings, LSD could be a powerful way to treat various forms of mental illness. I, on the other hand, remain convinced that in uncontrolled settings LSD could be a hell of a lot of fun.
The other reason Hofmann’s death bears mentioning here is that he was the captain of my Fantasy Death League Team, otherwise known as Tupac, or Not Tupac. This means that, in the nearly three months since we drafted 180 people as likely candidates to pass on, only three have done so, and they were all drafted by me (Hofmann, Charlton Heston, and Arthur C. Clarke), giving me 52 points to everyone else’s donut. I’m enjoying this mini-run of deathly foresight, but at what point does it start to get creepy? I’m like that Haley Mills Osmond kid from The Sixth Sense!
Naturally, difficult roster decisions have to be made now. After much deliberation and input from our team scouts, Bobby Brown gets the call-up to the active roster, and Betty Ford assumes the mantle of Team Captain.
Finally, I now also have a legit argument for the Birds of a Feather Bonus, which to recap is a bonus of 25 points (I think) to the person who can make the most persuasive argument they can about how two of their deceased are linked. The strongest link for the year gets the bonus. Of course, if I’m the only one with any deaths I won’t have to stretch too hard to get to that point. But now I have this: Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was famous during its theatrical showings for the way the color sequence toward the end of the movie would entice people tripping on acid to go to the front of the theater, lay down on the floor, and basically trip out on all the colors, which caused Charlton Heston, seated in the front row, to scream “Get your hands off of my popcorn, you damned dirty acid freaks!”
The Clarke/Heston linkage is irrefutable, and may well win this league for me before all is said and done.