"The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you're off it."
(Jackie Gleason)

 

MY LIFE IN ART

Melinda and I are still on the "Meat and Martini Diet" (also known as Dr. Atkins' high protein, low carbo regime). I've trimmed down considerably and Mellie's blood sugar levels are much more manageable, and we can still eat all the bacon and eggs and steak and fish and salads and spinach and asparagus we want, washed down by decaffienated coffe and tea with whipping cream (which has less carbohydrates than skim milk). Of course, that's all we can eat.

My mom had her Mother's Day meal with her sister and best friend at -- Goshen General Hospital. They're all in good health, thank Grid, but the chef there, Willie Cole, is a great southern cook; and when mom was recently in the hospital for a medical reason, she said, "I never felt so bad and ate so good." (She actually said "ate so well," but it sounds funnier the way I wrote it, don't you think?)

Last week, Melinda and I saw the justly renowned touring production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, choreographed by Mathew Bourne. It has male swans, studly swains, topless dancers (male), and hot stately ladies and a Queen, and is set quite unsettlingly, in the palace, parks and dives of early 60s England. It's an eclectic delight: a spoof of the Royal family including a dead-on parody classical ballet featuring the Moth Princess and her Butterfly Handmaidens, and mixes contemporary jazz, disco and balletic dance styles in a mind-tickling array. It's a hoot! Don't miss it if it comes your way; it re-defines and re-invents dance in the best possible manner. (But why is the Swan Prince all scratched up in the last act before being pecked off by his rivals? And why did poor little Robin Williams get mortally stabbed in the last scene of Branaugh's Hamlet?)

We were also honored to have been invited to the Museum of TV and Radio's recent celebration of Norman Corwin. After two brilliant seminars, a lavish dinner made possible by Bob Ahmanson included highlights like Stan Frieberg's sweet and witty homage, during which he revealed that at his birth, the nurse was such a great fan of radio, she tuned into "Young Doctor Malone" in the delivery room. Thus, said Stan, "I was born a Leo with Lever Brothers rising." Roar on!

 

 

THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND

The Top 15 Changes in England Under a Non-Conservative Parliament:

 

15.

New head of British Intelligence? Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery.

14.

Scandal-plagued Windsors removed from throne, replaced by scandal-plagued Kennedys.

13.

Emma Thompson forced to return to her natural hair color.

12.

Driving on either side of the street now okay, if you know what I mean.

11.

Judges allowed to exchange wimpy white wigs for Dennis Rodman model.

10.

Steak & Kidney Pie replaced by Summer Vegetables & Kidney Pie.

9.

Beer will now be served cold, like God intended.

8.

Raisins added to gruel in school lunches.

7.

Maggie Thatcher "Swimsuit" Edition shower-curtains finally removed from Parliament locker-rooms.

6.

Secret plan to assassinate Spice Girls gets postponed indefinitely.

5.

Time to do a little downsizing on Prince Charles' ears.

4.

Government loan to Ringo to head off slide into Psychic Hotline commercials.

3.

Musicians union forced to admit Linda McCartney.

2.

Major cutbacks to their *BIIIG* SCAAARY ARMY!!!

-- and the Number 1 Change in England:

 

1

Massive infrastructure project begun on citizens' teeth.

 

 

A PROCTOR BY ANY OTHER NAME

And speaking of England, this is a true story from Hugh Heinsohn: One day during an examination at Cambridge University, a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him Cakes and Ale. The following dialog ensued:

Proctor: I beg your pardon?

Student: Sir, I request that you bring me Cakes and Ale.

Proctor: Sorry, no.

Student: Sir, I really must insist. I request and require that you bring me Cakes and Ale.

At this point, the student produced a copy of the four hundred year oldLaws of Cambridge, written in Latin and still nominally in effect, and pointed to the section which read, roughly translated from the Latin: "Gentlemen sitting at examinations may request and require Cakes and Ale".

Pepsi and hamburgers were judged the modern equivalent, and the student sat there, writing his examination and happily slurping away. Three weeks later though, the student was fined five pounds for not wearing a sword to the examination.

 

 

WHO'S TURN IN THE BARREL?

In another very "California" article, L.A. Times staff writer John Glionna profiles a Scotsman named Robert Richie as a "learned professor of the beach," writing a book on "The Evolution of Beach-Going Etiquette." During Richie's research on pirates, he came up with a rather disquieting fact -- "Seventeenth century pirates were afraid of the water." Since they couldn't see beyond the surface of the ocean, they feared the monsters that lurked beneath the waves, unlike the educated gentry who would plunge naked into the briny as long as they were in "a horse-drawn barrel that was backed into the water. People... took off their clothes inside and then went naked for a quick plunge. But they got right out again and redressed inside the barrel." They also drank salt-water in those days which doctors prescribed as being good for one's health. Ridiculous, isn't it! Now at last we know that a good snootful of oxygen is what you really need!

 

EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG!!!

Soon, you may be able to go into a 'gen bar for a shot of O2. Already popular in Canada, celebrity activist, porn king and serial killer, Woody Harrelson, has invested in an L.A. location for an Oxygen Saloon and Spa. Or, you could dress up like the living dead and party all night at Orsini's restaurant, as reported in Westside Weekly by Rachel Fischer. "I myself do not get into blood drinking, but I know people who do," says "Blue," whose real name is Pug La Hart. "I'm mainly a psychic vampire [who] feeds off other people's energies." (And in Hollywood, that means she can keep going and going and going. and going...)

Also in Hollyweird news, the film council banned gunfire for a movie slated to be "shot" at the L.A. Insurrection intersection. "It is not good for people to see these movies," said Councilman Nate Holden. "They shoot, shoot, shoot. They kill, kill, kill. Are they shooting Donald Duck down there? I don't think so."

 

 

THE GOLDEN HIND RIDES AGAIN

And from the latest issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, there is a review of Professor Courtney Brown's "preposterous book" "Cosmic Voyage: A Scientific Discovery of Extraterrestrials Visiting Earth." My favorite excerpt follows: "Another group of Martians has been taken by the Greys to an unidentified village in South America, where they live disguised as Native Americans." Now, did Courtney see the Firesign Theatre's film of "Everything You Know Is Wrong!"? Or -- are those "natives" pictured in the Crumhungers' home movies, really...Martians? AND SPEAKING OF MARTIANS...

We all know of Orson Welles' (and David Ossman's) "War of the Worlds" broadcast, but how many of us have heard of a similar incident that transpired in South America (sic) in 1949? In an article on "Collective Delusions" in the aforementioned magazine, Robert Bartholomew writes, "In the vicinity of Quito, Ecuador, a radio play based upon the 'War of the Worlds' resulted in tens of thousands of frantic residents pouring into the streets and fleeing for their lives, or preparing to defend themselves against Martian gas raids." (If only they had Oxygen Bars back then, eh?) "[The] program was highly realistic, including the name of a local community, Cotocallo, as the Martian landing site... "It was so convincing that police rushed to Cotocallo to repel the invaders. Quito was left with a skeleton police force that was unable to prevent an angry mob from burning down the building housing the radio station that broadcast the drama. Fifteen people were killed, including the event's mastermind." (Since Welles was being ripped off, I think that's "poetic justice," don't you?)

 

 

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH...

 

The Top 16 Items from the Would-Be "Republic of Texas" Constitution

 

16.

Tax code deduction for one hostage takeover/standoff per family, per year.

15.

Every Thursday: 2-for-1 drinks at Hooters!

14.

Nobuddy shuld be descrimnated aginst, less'n he's from New York or is just kinda differnt in some way.

13.

Barbecued ribs are legal tender for all debts.

12.

You have the right to be on the cover of Trailer Park Magazine.

11.

Citizens to receive one vote per gun owned.

10.

Constitutional amendment requires 2/3 majority of both houses of legislature. Either that, or Tom Landry's say-so.

9.

The right to bare breasts, but only on cable, dammit -- not in real life.

8.

Vegetarians count as 3/5 of a person.

7.

Freedom of religion: you can worship the Cowboys *or* Willie Nelson.

6.

Civil disputes not be resolved in court shall be settled by a chili cook-off.

5.

Freedom of Delusion.

4.

No citizen will be charged extra for gravy on French fries.

3.

Cold beer cans can be used as "testicular temperature regulators" when operating a motor vehicle.

2.

State bird: Raised middle finger.

And the Number 1 Item in the "Republic of Texas" Constitution...

 

1.

Congress shall make no law restricting the size of hats or belt buckles.

 

 

AND SPEAKING OF CLOWNS

The Top 10 Signs You've Hired the Wrong Clown for Your Child's Party:

 

 

10.

By the end of the party, he's got every kid doing the "pull my finger" trick.

9.

Clown car must be started with breathalyzer device.

8.

Props for his "disappearing" trick: a moving van and your wide-screen TV.

7.

Scares the kids during the "Severed Limb" trick.

6.

Tells the kids he killed Barney in a fight in Newark.

5.

Didn't bring any balloons, but manages to twist your dachshund into other animal shapes.

4.

Not exactly the Peewee Herman impression you were expecting.

3.

Wears a T-Shirt that says, "Drug-free since March!"

2.

Price list includes "Lap Dance" and "Around The World."


And the Number 1 Sign You've Hired the Wrong Clown for Your Child's Party...

 

1.

All the balloon animals are ribbed and lubricated.

[The above lists are all copyright 1997 by Chris White and Ziff Davis, Inc. The Top Five List-- top5@walrus.com -- http://www.topfive.com]

 

 

I know I'm turning this out at an appalling rate, but somebody has to do it -- and it's FREEEEE! My Rx? Print it out and read it on "the throne."

 

 Doctor Proctor 5/12/97

 

Published 5/12/97

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor