"Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you?
But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window."
(Steve Bluestone)

 

INITIALLY . . .

Jerry "Star Of Vengeance" Stearns tells me that in cybertalk "_PGP_ " (my initials) means "Pretty Good Protection."(No comment from moi, "the Total Tool ...PP) It's a configurable scrambling program (What?) that allows people to send a message that no one else can read, classified by the government as "armaments" and therefore not exportable, (huh?) so you can't put it up on any of the usual FTP sites, (are you putting me on-line?), unless you want to deal with the FBI. . . (Or more initials. . .)

 

 

WRITE ON

Jerry also sent the following: "During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about US $1 million. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on earth." (I bought one, but it was so small, I lost it. it looked like a silver suppository. PP)

"The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil. "

 

 

WHICH REWINDS ME...

....I went to a terrific wedding reception last year for my producer/pal Charles Lippencottt and his artist bride, Geraldine Ludair, and there I met a writer (who's name I cannot remember) and he told me a great story about the X-USSR.

When stationed in Moscow as a correspondent, he needed a new passport picture over a weekend, and he was informed that there were only two "Automatic Foto Stations" in the entire city.

He took a Metro to the nearest one and found that it was "Out of Order," so he had to quest further until he found one which appeared to be in perfect working order. SOP, he sat down in the machine, inserted the proper number of coins, smiled and had his portrait taken "in a flash."

After waiting outside of the apparatus for the required period of time, from a curtain covering the back of the stall, a hand suddenly appeared with his picture.

(No wonder it fell over...)

 

 

NOW THAT'S A BAAAAD VIRUS!!!

ATTENTION: Here's the latest breaking news on the GOODTIMES virus.

It turns out that this so-called hoax virus is very dangerous after all. Goodtimes will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream goes melty. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, screw up the tracking on your television and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you try to play.

It will give your ex-girlfriend your new phone number. It will mix Kool-aid into your fishtank. It will drink all your beer and leave dirty socks on the coffee table when company comes over. It will put a dead kitten in the back pocket of your good suit pants and hide your car keys when you are late for work.

Goodtimes will make you fall in love with a penguin. It will give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will pour sugar in your gas tank and shave off both your eyebrows while dating your girlfriend behind your back and billing the dinner and hotel room to your Discover card.

It will seduce your grandmother. It does not matter if she is dead, such is the power of Goodtimes, it reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear. It moves your car randomly around parking lots so you can't find it. It will kick your dog. It will leave libidinous messages on your boss's voice mail in your voice! It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.

Goodtimes will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the toilet seat up. It will make a batch of Methanphedime in your bathtub and then leave bacon cooking on the stove while it goes out to chase grades choolers with your new snowblower.

(From Larry "I'm Not English" Belling via Alex"Guess Where I Come From?" Kosinsky and Manny "The Mensh" Klausner)

 

 

DON'T ASK. . .

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer: I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever. --
(Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss Universe contest)

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are. --
(Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show, August 22)

I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
(David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, on accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.)

Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.
(Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign)

I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body.
(Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball player)

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
(Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC)

The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history...this century's history...We all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century.
(Dan Quayle, then Indiana Senator and Republican vice-presidential candidate)

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe.
(Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia)

After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of David Steele to the post.
(Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington, Rhode Island)

-- Thanks to Diane Reese, who was wise enough not to say anything.

 

 

STAR WARS, THE RESTORED EDITION

"If I ever become an evil overlord" (From a friend of Mike Harris who put in a PBM game (whatever that means) , edited by Evgeni Volokh--

  1. My legions of terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing ones.
  2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
  3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
  4. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box.
  5. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?," I'll say "No" and shoot him.
  6. All slain enemies will be cremated, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.
  7. My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them as members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.
  8. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.
  9. I will never, under any circumstances utter the phrase "But before I kill you ."

 

 

IT"S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL. . .

If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:

There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere (North and South) and 8 Africans. 51 would be female; 49 would be male. 70 would be nonwhite; 30 white. 70 would be non-Christian; 30 Christian. 50% of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people and all 6 would be citizens of the United States. 80 would live in substandard housing. 70 would be unable to read. 50 would suffer from malnutrition. 1 would be near death, 1 would be near birth. Only 1 would have a college education. No one would own a computer.

(When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.) -- Frank Reid <reid@indiana.edu>

 

 

"Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."
PROCO 97

 

Published 1/29/96

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor