Ask The Fiddler #16: The Cloak of Invisibility

Filed under: Satire

fiddler-75Editor’s Note: Ask The Fiddler is a lifestyle advice column that aims to remedy more chaos and confusion than it creates. Questions may be submitted to us here at Art of the Prank, and good luck.

Dear Fiddler:

Given the terrors of today”™s environment, I get the jitters in airports, schools, shopping malls, and on city streets. I would like to know how to become invisible.

Phil in Ashville

Dear Phil,

You and what army.

As you probably guessed, the U.S. Army.

invisible tankBut they haven”™t quite got it down yet. The current state of the art is theoretical and mainly involves camouflaging troops and weapons to avoid electronic detection.

So it looks you”™re gonna have to go with hoodoo and voodoo. A search should reveal a fair number of sites making promises that they likely can”™t keep. Spells and incantations, that sort of thing.

One vendor assures you there”™s no “mumbo jumbo or hocus pocus” to the method offered (at a price), you won”™t get stuck in some other dimension or astral plane. While the seller eschews “reprehensible behavior” on the part of those who become invisible, an illustration shows an invisible man lifting a woman”™s skirt.

I wouldn”™t worry too much about getting stuck in some other dimension. You know, there”™s a lot of scientific controversy over whether there is any such thing as a multiverse and all that quantum stuff. Quite likely a lot of it is just academic thumb-sucking, interesting science fiction but that”™s about it. Which gives me an opportunity to recommend a new book, Biocentrism.

This book will provide a fascinating perspective on the quantum issues. You don”™t really need to read it, though. You could just give your brain a spin in a blender, same result.

But back to our theme. A lot of stuff on the Internet assumes you don”™t mean “you can”™t see me” invisible but rather you are asking about privacy. Like, you want to become invisible to bill collectors or the government. They advise that you sell your home, disconnect socially, deal only in cash and so on.

Probably the best-known invisibility story that may not be fantasy or a ghost tale involves unified field theory and the U.S. Naval destroyer escort Eldridge. The ship disappeared from a port in Philadelphia in 1943 and reappeared in port at Norfolk, Va. Half the surviving crew went nuts and the rest were brainwashed to keep them quiet. A few of them spontaneously combusted a while later. Several witnesses have come forward, but not so far forward that they have much credibility. Persons of a skeptical nature tend to see the “Philadelphia Experiment“ as bullshit.

The most promising current invisibility technology is a little tricky. You would have to control the environment where the event is taking place. According to masterminds at MIT, invisibility can be achieved by slowing down and speeding up light, and that can be done with mirrors.

But back to the military. While they haven”™t achieved invisibility, they”™ve found a way to sort of disappear by altering perception. The result is tanks disguised as cows. Probably not what you had in mind as a shield in terrifying times. But it does offer some amusing possibilities. I”™m thinking, if it works for tanks, well, wouldn”™t it work for cars, too? “Attention all units, be on the look-out for a black and white Holstein clocked at 120 on the Interstate.”

Yours truly,

The Fiddler

Remember our motto here at camp: “If you take advice from The Fiddler, you need advice.” Send comments and questions to: Art of the Prank.


The Fiddler is a creation of W.J. Elvin III