Ken Wiederhorn, a director who a few years ago won an Academy Award for Best Short (starring Melinda Peterson!), and later had the great good sense to cast Phil Proctor as the therapist/rapist in a cool episode of "Freddy's Nightmares" -- sent me these goodies:



A 490-pound gorilla grew ornery after a long day of travel and forced a Delta Air Lines jet to abandon its takeoff plans, delaying 82 human passengers, authorities said Wednesday. Vip, (for Very Important Primate?) on his way from Boston to Seattle, was expected to resume his trip in a heated van Wednesday after forcing a pilot to abandon takeoff plans late Tuesday in Salt Lake City. As the flight was taxiing to the runway for its scheduled evening departure, passengers and crew members heard the travel-weary Vip rattling his reinforced aluminum cage.



Ecuadoran feminists reacted with outrage Wednesday to declarations by Energy Minister Alfredo Adum that he would like to live naked and prey on women like a caveman. "I'd grab any woman I liked by the hair, take her back to my cave and devour her. I'd satisfy my sexual and physical appetites because in those days you ate women in both senses," the minister told Ecuadoran magazine Vistazo. Berenice Polit, of the feminist group Women for Democracy, condemned Adum's comments as sexist.



As I write this edition, "Santa Ana's coming to town!" That's right, we're suffering from the firestorms that usually occur at this time of the year, and right now, poor Malibu is burning again...

On Channel 2, a few minutes ago, Entertainment Reporter David Sheehan interviewed Shirley MacClaine on the hot spot near her apartment property adjacent to "The Colony." She complimented him on his hair, which was whipping in the wind, and the fact that he was "passing himself off as a real reporter." He then helped her with her luggage as she fled the scene.

Don't you love show business?



An obit appeared in the L.A. Times today which chronicled the passing of actor Jason Bernard who died of a heart attack at the age of 58 while driving in Hollywood.

What the story didn't tell was the bizarre nature of his death which I know of because my good friend Paul "Cheers" ( 2 "lls" please) Willson was playing a City Health Inspector opposite Jason on the UPN sitcom "Malcolm and Eddie" at the time of his ascent to stardom.

Jason appeared as a con man who was hoping to take over Malcolm & Eddie's Bar and Grill by faking a fall. When he returned in a neck brace and arm sling to taunt the boys, they threw a heavy bag of onions at him and when he caught it, they snapped a picture to prove he was a fraud.

Unfortunately, he then drops dead of a heart attack! Paul then had a "Bernie"-like scene with Jason's dead body propped up in a chair.

All I can say is -- that's acting! But Paul adds, "Never play a character with a disease you could die of."



According to last week's Westside Report in the L.A. Times, you can see the following plays which are presently running indefinitely: "Sordid Lives" at the Theatre/Theatre, about a gay Texan who announces to his family that he's coming out of the closet, written by Del Shores, a Texan who announced to his family that he was coming out of the closet by writing this play; and "The Wandering Whore," which is playing nightly on the streets of Hollywood.



The Times also featured an article by Vanora Bennett about deterioration in post-Soviet schooling:

"Yuliya Parhomenko scratched her head anxiously when asked what she knew about Vladimir I. Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union . . . ‘Lenin?’ the 10-year-old repeated with wonder. ‘Well . . . he's dead . . . and he used to play with a band called the Beatles. . .’"

The writer of the revealing (but depressing) article proceeded to note that today's textbooks are somewhat more realistic than they used to be in the Red Old Days.

Here's an example from Grigory Oster's "Arithmetic Exercise Book" (which is eerily paralleled by John Lovetz as a teacher in a current TV spot for "Highschool High.")

"Criminals spend 13 minutes in a bank. They take two minutes to tie the bank manager to a chair, three minutes to break into the safe, and seven minutes to stash the cash in a sack. How many minutes do they have left to surrender to the police and leave the bank with their hands up?"

The answer, of course, is "none," because the Militia blow their friggin' brains out.



Another article by Times staff writer Diane Haithman reveals the travails of the touring Bolshoi ("Big") Ballet and Orchestra company, presently playing with "Country Tonight!" at the Las Vegas Aladin Hotel.

I think the entire story is summed up by a quote from executive director of the Bolshoi Vladimir Kokonin, who says:

"We are in Las Vegas now, where they have an artificial New York, an artificial Cairo, an artificial Rome. But now has arrived the REAL Bolshoi, and people won't go to see it. Why? Crazy world! It is a very strange situation for us -- no public, for first time in history of the Bolshoi."



Robert S. McElvaine, who wrote "What's Left? -- A New Democratic Vision for America" penned the following as part of an article in the L.A. Times Metro editorial page about the effects of advertising on our society:

"To ‘just do it.’ or not to ‘just do it:’ that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the society to suffer
The come-ons and temptations of outrageous commercials,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubling self-indulgence,
And by opposing, end them . . ."



The Grill Lovers Catalogue offers Chili Pepper and Eggplant Bar Stools for $89.00 apiece, and a "BeerBell" which is a 20 oz. mug affixed to a 1-1/2 lb. iron dumbbell. It's Dishwasher safe for only $12.99.

But my favorite gifts are still offered by the Lifestyle Fascination, (Inc.) Catalogue which offers a Salon-style Hair Dryer "great for drying wigs, too," with Built-in Stereo Speakers for TV and music for only $69.95.

A "Remote Blocker" with new infra-red jamming technology allowing you to stop a chronic channel-surfer for $24.95.

A Japanese Ceramic Waist Belt that uses 24 magnets to help "energize your metabolism and end backpain . . . and constipation" all thanks to a high-tech alloy called "Bioceramic" processed from natural zeolite -- have you ever heard of unnatural zeomite? -- whose "rays can energetically stimulate your cellular activity . . . helping your body dispel more effectively harmful toxins and waste materials." (Why can't I get a job writing this stuff?)

A motion-detecting Giant Electronic Frog which "ribbets" passersby with a friendly greeting and alerts you to any unwelcome guests. The "Radar frog" is available for $29.95. and runs on 2 AA batteries -- but does it come with a six-pack?!

And for women only -- a patented Kegelcisor which cures incontinence "while enhancing intimate pleasure." It's described as "a seven-inch series of spheres and cylinders . . . made of smooth, sanitary surgical stainless steel designed to firm up your pubococcygeus muscle."

Gals can even "work out" with it while watching TV, listening to music (while drying your wig?), talking on the phone, or just -- "relaxing." And get this:

"Complete instructions are included, and your satisfaction is fully guaranteed -- (perhaps even more so than for any other product we sell) -- so order today!"

It's only $79.95, and I'll bet it makes a great "stocking stuffer"!



And finally, with the Holidays casting their ominous shadow o'er us all -- here's a "no-brainer" recipe from "Quick Meals For Busy Days" by Nathalie Dupree (Clarkson Potter $22.50) for an Almond Roasted Cheese Log:

"Cut the cheese in half lengthwise, roll each half in a nut-crumb mixture made of --"

Oh, Hell, I'm getting hungry. Buy the book...


Fill Up Proctor


Published 10/23/96


© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor