The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test:
"Black Shiny FBI Shoes"
This literary masterpiece by Tom Wolfe is set up brilliantly by the very first chapter entitled "Black Shiny FBI Shoes." In this opening chapter we discover just exactly what is going on in the U.S. in the 1960's. Not even the entire United States but mainly California, because, according to Kesey, "New York is about two years behind."
The story begins in the back of a flatbed pickup truck traveling out of San Francisco, Wolfe describes the city as "bouncing down the hill." And beneath the city lights, thousands of people staring at this truck. In the back of the truck is Wolfe, a man named Cool Breeze, and an Indian woman named Lois Jennings. Cool Breeze is trying to not draw attention to himself, and failing at that, dressed in a dwarf hat covered in feather and fluorescent colors.
Lois, facing them from the front of the bed while kneeling, has a large silver disc in the middle of her fore head and a Colt .45 revolver in her hand. And as they pass those thousands of onlookers she points and fires, but no real worry is needed, it's merely a cap gun. At the wheel is Lois's partner, a man named Stewart Brand. He bears the same silver disc in the middle of his fore head under his golden hair and it goes well with the Indian beaded necktie around his neck, draped over his bare chest. They all speed away from those thousands of onlookers who stare at the back of this truck with the bumper sticker, "Custer Died for Your Sins" pasted on the bumper.
It is here that Wolfe begins to explain to us why he is in San Francisco and what brought him here.