Abominable snowmen

SOME strange areas of urgency are developing in the superpower race. The Soviet Union is pushing hard to be ahead in the field of modern science. It is first to establish a space station and is ahead in man-time in space. The USSR is also believed to be ahead in preparing a manned flight to Mars.

But here's the latest area in which the Soviets have taken the lead: They are first to create an official society within their Ministry of Culture to find the abominable snowman. The abominable snowman, as most every tabloid reader knows, is also known throughout Asia as yeti. The Soviet news service Tass says there have been at least 100 sightings of this human-like monster in various out-of-the-way places, although the sightings have been made, apparently, by no one with any great reputation for sobriety.

What has official Washington been doing to challenge the USSR in this field? Zilch. Americans are taking second place in still another enterprise. The administration has piled up a $3 trillion deficit, spending money on heaven knows what. But not one cent has been allocated to finding an abominable snowman. Soon the Russians will not only be ahead in tanks, atomic bombs, and spacecraft, but abominable snowmen as well.

According to reports, this creature resembles prehistoric Neanderthal man. For some unexplained reason he has not progressed much since 50000 BC, but he probably carries a big club to bash polar bears in order to survive. He must be terribly shy. For thousands of years he has made no meaningful contacts. People from outer space have allegedly done better.

If the Soviets do capture a cooperative yeti roaming around Siberia, he might well be eligible for Soviet citizenship with all the privileges that entails - a job, an apartment, and restricted traveling privileges. Chances are that he would not be permitted to visit relatives in Finland, or wherever.

There is always the possibility he might defect to the United States. This would even things up a bit. An abominable snowman isn't a space station, but it's something.

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