I'm not sure if this happens to anyone else, but I received this strange email not too long ago:
"Hi Jenny, I was a friend of your dads. Asked me if I wanted to buy the caboose....wanted me to storm the Phil Donahue Show as a terrorist...other stuff....this may seem like a stupid question, but, did your dad die and when? Thanks."
The problem with planting your own obituary in the New York Times prematurely is that nobody knows for sure what the truth is. This was my father's intention. His way of achieving immortality. Thanks to IMDB, emails of this nature are somewhat frequent.
My dad made me eat hair when I was a kid, claiming it was high in protein. He thinks that mothers who breast-feed babies in public are committing indecent acts with their 'naughty nipples.' He formed the KKK Symphony Orchestra to promote a kinder, gentler Klan, founded Omar's School for Begging for those who need cold hard cash and fast, and he promoted Euthanasia Cruises for folks who want to expire with others in luxury.
Yep, that's my dad. Where the fantasy ends and reality begins, no one knows for sure. One thing I do know is that fifty years later, Alan Abel is still cited for concocting one of the most famous pranks in history, The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, in 1959.