The year was 1968, the year after the summer of love. Residents were falling in love with their new homes. Visitors flocked to Bolingbrook to read the “far out” stories in the Babbler. Publisher John Olson loved his expanding staff and the Babbler’s new office across from Totura’s foods.
Nineteen-sixty-eight was also the year of violence and chaos. Inside Bolingbrook, space hippies tried to corrupt the minds of our children. Outside, unsavory elements edged on by communist mind control satellites rioted in the streets of Chicago. Young people turned to crime, rock music, and drugs.
Bolingbrook residents demanded order. Bolingbrook’s politicians delivered: They founded the first police department in 1968. Trustee Robert Schanks then led a rebellion against Village President Jack Leonard to buy a new police car.
Then later in the year, Schanks unleashed Bolingbrook’s ultimate tool for law and order. He introduced it during his first and only in-depth interview with the Babbler.
Village President Schanks unveils the Men in Blue!
A Bolingbrook Babbler exclusive!
We were warned to expect something unusual when Village President Robert Schanks summed us in for an exclusive. So we hid one reporter in his office while another reporter conducted the interview. As you will see, our hidden reporter came out with the story Schanks doesn’t want you to read!
(Update 2017: Revision based on a clearer copy of the original issue.)
Schanks: Thank you for coming here on short notice.
Reporter: No problem. I’ve always wanted to interview you, but you never returned my calls!
Schanks: Are you the one who calls around midnight?
Reporter: You bet. Because you never take my calls at work, before work, during dinner, after dinner–
Schanks: I get the picture.
Reporter: So, is it true that the Bolingbrook police will be given special training to deal with the local space hippie commune?
Schanks (chuckles): No. I have something better.
(Two men, wearing blue sunglasses and blue suits, walk into the office.)
Reporter: Wow. Those are some far-out suits!
Schanks: Behold! The Men in Blue. They are Bolingbrook’s newest weapon against alien criminals and those who would expose Clow UFO base.
Reporter: Um, I think the suits are cool, but don’t you think they would stand out… Especially around all the cornfields? Won’t people start asking questions, and then turn to the Babbler for answers?
Schanks: Of course they’ll stand out. It’s so they’ll distract residents from the Girls in Green.
Reporter: Girls in Green?
Schanks: Enough about the Girls in Green! Ask me about the Men in Blue.
Reporter: Um, OK. What are these Men in Blue?
Schanks: They’re prototypes for the next generation of Men in Black. The Bilderberg Group provided them to us so we could test them out. These fearless enforcer clones are the key to maintaining local autonomy over Clow UFO base.
Reporter: I thought the Men in Black were the enforcers at Clow UFO Base.
Schanks: The Illuminati and the federal government are diverting resources to the war against alien communism. A young man sent me a letter saying that we should assume control over Clow’s security. By turning over Clow’s law enforcement to us, we’re helping the war effort and saving money. Next question!
Reporter: Are there any Women in Blue?
(Schanks and his advisor look at each other for a few seconds. They burst out laughing. Moments later, Schanks looks at the reporter.)
(2017 note: Remember this was 1968!)
Schanks: Next question, and be serious this time.
Reporter: So these Men in Blue will intimidate and harass anyone who tries to expose the truth about aliens in Bolingbrook?
Schanks: They will use the latest technology to persuade residents to preserve the status quo, and maintain law and order.
Reporter: Why are you telling me this? Doesn’t granting an exclusive interview with the Babbler defeat the purpose of the Men in Blue?
Schanks: Because you’re not going to tell Bolingbrook about the Men in Blue.
Reporter: You can’t stop me! I’m with the Babbler. I’m sworn to report the truth to Bolingbrook, no matter how unbelievable it is!
(A Man in Blue approaches the reporter.)
Schanks: This is really a test of their memory-altering slap!
Reporter: You can’t be serious! That’s un–
(Man in Blue slaps the reporter. The reporter looks dazed.)
Man in Blue: You came here to interview the Village President about Beaconridge. The village president denied that Beaconridge is being built over an ancient nuclear waste dump. His argument was persuasive that you are going to write an article defending Beaconridge. You’re even going to say that residents who move to Beaconridge will be the healthiest residents in Bolingbrook!
Reporter: Thank you Mr. Schanks! I’m going to spread the good news about Beaconridge! This will be my best article ever! Thank you!”
Schanks: We are going to use a different method to alter the memories of women, right?
Today, the Men in Blue still maintain order at Clow UFO Base and contribute to a coverup of Bolingbrook’s alien visitors.
Tomorrow: Thomas Groseth unknowingly starts on a path that will threaten the political stability of Bolingbrook!