"Better to be uneducated than educated by your government"
(Thomas Jefferson)



-- So quotes Penn Jillette in his response to a recent NPR/PBS funding petition I democratically forwarded to "da group." He goes on to say, "I can't tell you how against PBS and NPR I am. Boy, they should die. Why would we ever want state art and state information? Beats me." And this sentiment is echoed by contributor Mike Harris, who says, "The cuts don't go anywhere near deep enough. A nickel is too much tax money to subsidize my hack competitors in the art 'community.'" I appreciate outspoken feedback like this; and after I work in Norman Corwin's latest radio play for NPR next month, I'll tell you how I feel...




Gregory Guy Crowe wrote that a poll conducted among INFOCUS Magazine readers had established "waka" as the proper pronunciation for the angle-bracket characters "<", though some readers held out resolutely for "norkies." Appropriately, the following poem by Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese of Calvin College & Seminary of Grand Rapids, MI, appeared recently:


<> !*''#
%*<> ~#4


"Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH."





Kerry Millerick submits this item from the Wall Street Journal and says, "If this isn't a story for PP, what is??"

The tile under the urinals in the International Arrivals Building at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport has that familiar lemony tinge; rubber soles stick to it. Over in Amsterdam, however, the tile under Schiphol's urinals would pass inspection in an operating room, but nobody notices. What everybody does notice is that each urinal has a fly in it. Look harder, and the fly turns into the black outline of a fly, etched into the porcelain. "It improves the aim," says Aad Kieboom. "If a man sees a fly, he aims at it."

His staff conducted fly-in-urinal trials and found that etchings reduce spillage by 80%, and the Dutch firm will do the same for us. "We will put flies in the urinals -- yes," Jan Jansen says in a back office at the Arrivals Building. "It gives a guy something to think about. That's the perfect example of process control." (Talk about yellow journalism...)




And from new subscriber/contributor, Richard Dubin, comes this weirdly similar sighting -- The Veluws Museum at Harderwijk in the Netherlands is staging an exhibition from May 17 to November, with exhibits showing the ascent of man through toilets, from stinking latrines to self-cleaning machines, featuring bed pots, holed chairs, lavatories, toilet paper and diapers as well as accounts of how people defecated throughout history. Visitors can read scatological jokes on posters at the museum entrance, study plastic models of human and animal excrement, stick their nose up the behind of a hippopotamus or play flipper with the intestines of a zebra. The museum also takes a more serious tone by showing the problem of dogs defecating in cities and condemns environmental damage caused by improper waste disposal.

"What do we have more in common than excrement? Young, old, human being or animal, we deal with it everyday," the museum says in a promotional brochure. (DUBIN'S ADVICE: Book early. Between the toney turds and the tulips there will be a crowd.)




Also from Dubin: According to a September report in Toronto's Globe and Mail, the University of Toronto's medical school employs actors and other people for $12 to $35 per hour to be "practice patients" for its students. Bob LeRoy, 45, commands the top pay because he is a rectal-exam patient. Said LeRoy, "I always hope the student with the biggest finger goes first."

And Dubin adds dubiously, "in New York (can it be that different in Canada?) the casting call for "rectal-exam patient" (with no pay and absolutely no respect) would draw a pre-dawn line of eager thesps from Shubert Alley to somewhere in Yonkers. Way up in Yonkers, if you get my drift. "




And while we're at it, my honorable moniker, Proctor, does not derive from the Greek rootwork 'proctos' as in "proctoscopy" but is a contraction of the Latin word "procurator" contracted to "proc(ura)tor." It means manager, agent, deputy or, uhm, "procurer" and only became an admired and respected appellation when proctors were employed by the Roman Church to acquire goods and services from the lait, even acting as a legal representatives or ecclesiastical lawyers. So -- I'm not an asshole, just a pimp. Let's have some respect.




"British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply" is the first in Dolly Garlo's contributed cache of naughty news banners, (probably from "Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim," compiled by Gloria Cooper, Dolphin Books 1980):

"Stud Tires Out... Prostitutes Appeal to Pope... Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over... Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again... British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands... Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms... Eye Drops off Shelf... Teacher Strikes Idle Kids... Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead... Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66... Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax... Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told... Miners Refuse to Work after Death... Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant... Stolen Painting Found by Tree... War Dims Hope for Peace... If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While... Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures... Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge... Deer Kill 17,000... Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead... Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide... Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge."




Frank M. Bland explains that the GCSE national exams are given 16-year-old Brits, and what follows are excerpts of some of the more "colourful" answers from the Ministry of Education:

"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water... H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water... When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.... Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, then expectoration... When you smell an odourless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide... Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state." (Free State is a term used for the Republic of Ireland.)

"The body consists of three parts: the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, a, e, i, o, and u... Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars... The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana." (OK, that one is true...) "The pistol of a flower is its only protections against insects."




Dan Dean says that a guy goes into a bar. He's sitting on the stool, enjoying his drink when he hears, "Say, you look great!" He looks around - there's nobody near him. He hears the voice again, "No really, you look terrific." The guy looks around again. Nobody. He hears, "Is that a new shirt or something? Because you are just absolutely glowing!" He then realizes that the voice is coming from a dish of nuts on the bar. "Hey," the guy calls to the bartender, "What's with the nuts?"

"Oh," the bartender answers, "They're complimentary."




Avery Schreiber wrote to comment on Harry Blackstone Jr.'s recent demise. "I didn't know he'd gone. I had a nice sometimes relationship with him, and once we discussed one of his father's illusions that captivated me as a kid. He covered a baby elephant with a fine silk cloth and when he snapped it off, the form of the elephant was still there in what seemed like a hundred butterflies... they dispersed, landing on the curtains and in the audience... He said he had heard of it from many people who had witnessed the illusion, but didn't get the trick behind it from his father." (Well, he will now, Ave, and maybe the trick behind everything...)




Here are Ten reasons chocolate is better than sex, according to Larry "Buzzy" Lantz:

  1. You can GET chocolate.
  2. "If you love me, swallow," has real meaning with chocolate.
  3. Chocolate satisfies even when it has gone soft.
  4. You can make chocolate last as long as you want.
  5. You can safely have chocolate while you're driving.
  6. Two people of the same sex can have it and nobody cares.
  7. The word "commitment" doesn't scare chocolate.
  8. You can have chocolate on top of your desk or workbench and fellow workers won't complain.
  9. You can even have chocolate in front of your mother.
  10. If you bite the nuts too hard the chocolate won't complain.






PP 5-28-97


 Published 5/28/97

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor