These comments were compiled by writer Debra Shore and passed on to us by Wayne "On My Parade" Newitt:
Grand Canyon National Park: Was this man-made? Do you light it up at night? I bought tickets for the elevator to the elevator to the bottom--where is it? Is the mule train air-conditioned? Why did the Indians only build ruins? So where are the faces of the presidents?
Everglades National Park: Are the alligators real? Are the baby alligators for sale? Where are all the rides? What time does the two oíclock bus leave?
Mesa Verde National Park: Did people build this, or did Indians? Why did they build the ruins so close to the road? Do you know of any undiscovered ruins? What did they worship in the kivas--their own made-up religion? Why did the Indians decide to live in Colorado?
Carlsbad Caverns National Park: How much of the cave is underground? So whatís in the unexplored part of the cave? Does it ever rain in here? How many Ping-Pong balls would it take to fill this up? So what is this--just a hole in the ground?
Yosemite National Park: Where are the cages for the animals? What time of year do you turn on Yosemite Falls? What happened to the other half of Half Dome? Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?
Denali National Park: What time do you feed the bears? What time do they let the animals out in the park? Whatís so wonderful about Wonder Lake? Can you show me where yeti lives? How often do you mow the tundra? How much does Mount McKinley weigh?
Yellowstone National Park: Does Old Faithful erupt at night? How do you turn it on? When does the guy who turns it on get to sleep? We had no trouble finding the park entrances, but where are the exits?
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Donít you think the polluted sky makes a much prettier sunset?
A group of European visitors came into the Wawona ranger station in Yosemite National Park and said, "Our car is parked at the trail head and itís been blown up by terrorists." Though rangers expressed some doubt, the visitors insisted that a bomb had exploded in their car and that they could see powder residue from the explosives. Investigating rangers indeed found that a door had been torn off and a powder-like substance--pancake flour--was strewn about the car. "They were quite embarrassed when we showed them the bear prints," the ranger said.
"If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. Itís a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.
"To one degree or another, everybody is connected to the Mystery, and everybody secretly yearns to expand the connection. That requires expanding the soul. These things can enlarge the soul: laughter, danger, imagination, meditation, wild nature, passion, compassion, psychedelics, beauty, iconoclasm, and driving around in the rain with the top down. These things can diminish it: fear, bitterness, blandness, trendiness, egotism, violence, corruption, ignorance, grasping, shining, and eating ketchup on cottage cheese.
"Data in our psychic program is often nonlinear, nonhierarchical, archaic, alive, and teeming with paradox. Simply booting up is a challenge, if not for no other reason than that most of us find acknowledging the unknowable and monitoring its intrusions upon the familiar and mundane more than a little embarrassing.
"But say youíve inflated your soul to the size of a beach ball and itís soaking into the Mystery like wine into a mattress. What have you accomplished? Well, long term, you may have prepared yourself for a successful metamorphosis, an almost inconceivable transformation to be precipitated by your death or by some great worldwide eschatological whoopjamboreehoo. You may have. No one can say for sure.
"More immediately, by waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe. And on a day to day basis, folks, it doesnít get any better than that."
By Tom Robbins, Esquire, October, 1993 (page 164) as forwarded by Michael "Iím not allowed to argue unless you pay for another five minutes" Dare.
The Science File page of the Times on November 21st, featured a scary article about deformed American amphibians in which Marla Cole reveals that "extraordinary numbers of deformed frogs -- some with as many as nine legs and one with an eye growing in its throat -- have been confirmed. Although concentrated mainly in the Midwest, they are also popping up here in California. On the other seven-fingered hand, however, worldwide no deformities to this extent have been reported. "Theyíve just exploded, and itís the suddenness of it [thatís so disquieting]" says state pollution agent Ralph Pribble.
All this, next to a picture of cosmic rubble taken by the Hubble that represents one galaxy smashing vertically into another at about one million mph.
I told God he should have stuck to the 555,000 mph speed limit!
"It isnít pollution thatís harming the environment. Itís the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." (Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle). . .
In the Survival Russian language section of this monthís issue of "Russian Life" are a bunch of amusing expressions related to smoking.
"Most Russians over thirty," writes Mikhail Ivanov, have heard the lyrics from a famous wartime ballad, "Iíll remember the infantry and my beloved company, and you for sharing your tobacco with me." And, adds Alexander Griboyediov in his play, Woe From Wit: "The smoke from my motherland is sweet and pleasant."
Although there is a campaign against smoking in modern Russia, the people consider it a smoke screen and answer such sayings as "One drop of nicotine can kill a horse," with the riposte, "But weíre not horses, are we?" and "smoking is a slow death," with "But then, weíre in no hurry!"
And of course there is a popular greeting that belies the typically ironic Russian attitude, delivered particularly to those whoíve survived a narrow scrape or have been rescued after an accident.
It goes, "Still alive, smoker?"
"Penn beat me badly. Heís a real move-monkey. He promised to show me the real work, but Iím such a finger-flinger, I couldnít shade my hand-washing if I tied one behind my back; and if you burn me, Iím sure to flash. My final load is always spring flowers. Iíd better stick to the old zig-zag"...
(Inspired by L.A. Speakís "Magic Castle Lingo")
(From my funny file by Lee J. Merkel):
Part Won: The Ancient Armies of Ten-hut -- Early in human occulture, the first Egg-gypsy dinersty arose, with a coddled Phurrow starting a Byzaness of traveling sailsmen who rowed the seize of hystery, then sank like a navel worship hitting a pier amid a mudditerrainyan storm.
For centuries, slaves were under the yolk of the Egg- gypsies, laying down their bodies to erect manuments to death along the Nihil River. For those undreads of years the Fearoah was the Tributary of the Nihil, assuming the peopleís gilt as his own. "His Owner," they culled him, cleanly the soul Alpha to the unwashed deltas.
Life along the Nihil was a crocidyllic dream. Nihilistic floods laved the shores with fertile muck, turning groan men into farmersí fields and letting bounders get their digits on a mud pi. It was a land where rules and other effluvia were carved in stone, a civilization of macrochips.
Other chip-makers could be found chiseling for royal clients in the cities of Mashopotatia. The Sue-Maryians, a gritty people, watched their symbolization grow out of the river mud, which they used for wedging half-baked ideas into clay tablets.
And finally, and I mean "finally," from Marv Iím Animated" Wolfman, the answer to the question, how will the media report the end of the world?
USA Today: WEíRE DEAD
The Wall Street Journal: DOW JONES PLUMMETS AS WORLD ENDS
National Enquirer: O.J. AND NICOLE, TOGETHER AGAIN
Playboy: GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE
Microsoft Systems Journal: APPLE LOSES MARKET SHARE
Victoriaís Secret Catalog: OUR FINAL SALE
Sports Illustrated: GAME OVER
Wired: THE LAST NEW THING
Rolling Stone: THE GRATEFUL DEAD REUNION TOUR
Readers Digest: ĎBYE
Discover Magazine: HOW WILL THE EXTINCTION OF ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT AFFECT THE WAY WE VIEW THE COSMOS?
TV Guide: DEATH AND DAMNATION: NIELSON RATINGS SOAR!
Ladyís Home Journal: LOSE 10 LBS BY JUDGMENT DAY WITH OUR NEW "ARMAGEDDON" DIET!
America Online: SYSTEM TEMPORARILY DOWN. TRY CALLING BACK IN 15 MINUTES.
Inc. magazine: TEN WAYS YOU CAN PROFIT FROM THE APOCALYPSE
Microsoftís Web Site: If you didnít experience the rapture, download software patch RAPT777.EXE.
© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor