"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
(Decca rejecting the Beatles in 1962)

 

 

 

WHO AM US ANYWAY?

Dear friends, "Show Bidness" has been good to us recently. I performed the role of the voice of Forgo, the brother to the mad Greek chef Yorgo (played by Second City's Steve Carell) on "Over The Top" starring Tim Curry and Annie Potts; and Melinda is off to the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut to do a play called "My Father's House" starring James "These Boots Were Made For Stalking" Farentino. In the meantime, preparations continue apace for the upcoming Firesign CD, "The Mark of Bozo."

One of the joys of working in a sitcom is to meet the Fireheads who come up to say hello. On "Over The Top" I was gratified to learn that Mr. Curry is a fan, as well as the very funny Mr. Carell, the head writer and several others on his team, two directors of photography, several extras and the show's producer!

The show airs on ABC every Tuesday at 8:30.1

Soon, I hope to be doing character voices on Disney's "Tarzan" and the "Rugrats Movie," and presently am preparing for my appearance in San Francisco on Monday the tenth at the gala InVision opening ceremony and awards presentation at the Yerba Linda Theatre.

Fellow Firesigner David "Don't Call Me Catherwood" Ossman has been cast as one of the ant elders in Pixar's "A Bug's Life" which I've also been voicing; Phil "Mr. President" Austin has just completed a treatment for a T.V. series and between voice-over jobs is busy preparing material for his issue of FIREZINE #4; and Peter "Not the other Peter Bergman" Bergman, is frequently on the road regaling corporate gatherings with his witty and prophetic observations of "Y2K," the new Millenium, while reving up "Driven," his new "Riven"- based CD-rom parody. Go Firesign, go! And now for the real news --

[1. Not anymore. - RJA, Ed.] 

 

COMPUTERIZED STATES OF AMERICA

REDMOND, Wash. - Oct. 23, 1997: In direct response to accusations made by the Department of Justice, the Microsoft Corp. announced that it will be acquiring the federal government of the United States of America for an undisclosed sum. "It's actually a logical extension of our planned growth", said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, "It really is going to be a positive arrangement for everyone."

Microsoft representatives held a briefing in the oval office of the White House with U.S. President Bill Clinton, and assured members of the press that changes will be "minimal." The United States will be managed as a wholly owned division of Microsoft, an initial public offering is planned for July of next year, and the federal government is expected to be profitable by "Q4 1999 at latest", according to Microsoft president Steve Ballmer.

In a related announcement, Bill Clinton stated that he had "willingly and enthusiastically" accepted a position as a vice president with Microsoft, and will continue to manage the United States government, reporting directly to Bill Gates who dismissed a suggestion that the U.S. Capitol be moved to Redmond as "silly" but went on to say that the House and Senate would "of course" be abolished. "Microsoft isn't a democracy," he observed, "and look how well we're doing."

When asked if the rumored attendant acquisition of Canada was proceeding, Gates said, "We don't deny that discussions are taking place.".

In a related story, Microsoft announced a 54 million dollar lawsuit against Tamagochi maker, Bandai, claiming that the Tamagochi (the Japanese electronic pet that's all the rage with the kids) is an infringement of its intellectual property.

"Software that needs constant, even hourly attention, or else it dies?" said a Microsoft spokesperson, "Sounds like Windows to me. This is clearly an infringement on our technology." Bandai refused to comment on the suit.

 

 

COMPUTERS A LA SEUSS

 

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say.

 

If the packet hits a pocket on the socket on the port
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.
If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash
Then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

 

You can't say this? What a shame, sir.
We'll have to find you another game sir.

 

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause a sure as I'm a poet, that sucker's gonna hang!
When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flush your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM
Quick turn off the computer and be sure to call your mom.

(Various sources!)

 

 

MEN/WOMEN SAME/SEX

Responding to my letter in the L.A. Times, writer Michael Dare wrote, "My local Bookstar has "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" on sale. They put a sticker on the cover so that it now reads 'Men are from Mars, Women are 30% off.'"

And then Daikin "Soul Man" Matthews added, "For the record, dear Phil, even Venusians is a euphemistic cop-out. Based on standard formation from the Latin genitive, i.e. Jupiter, Jovis (ergo Jovians), Mars, Martis (ergo, Martians), it should be Venereans or maybe Venerians, (from Venus, Veneris). But no one wanted to suggest anything remotely sexual about our (as yet non-existent) planetary partners, so Venusians was formed." Too much information?

 

 

JUST LIKE THE PRESIDENT

President Calvin Coolidge once invited friends from his hometown to dine at the White House. Worried about their table manners, the guests decided to do everything that Coolidge did. This strategy succeeded until coffee was served. The president poured his coffee into the saucer. The guests did the same. Coolidge added sugar and cream. His guests did, too. Then Coolidge bent over and put his saucer on the floor for the cat. (Thanks to Esther)

 

 

THE SOUND OF MUSAK?

From Garry Margolis, in the Oregonian, "bloopers by actual music appreciation students at Clemson, who attend classical concerts and write reports like these:"

The acoustics were great. Everything that flowed from the singers' mouths was crystal clear... Altos and sopranos were divided by the men, whose various parts were sort of sectioned off... There are some ejaculation passages that make the audience stay awake... The piece started slow, as if there was something missing, preventing happiness. As I heard the melody, thoughts raced in me of the distance between my dog and myself... The musicians instilled a suffering to the work that made you feel as if you were suffering yourself... I will review two versions of Haydn's String Quartet by two different composers, "Julliard" and "Quartet." I think the performance by Julliard is superior to the one by Quartet... The special sound of the vilins playing pissicatto, blending the melodies to creat a more vivily sound... the convination of vilin and flute... It was increible... I enjoyed certain parts of this concert and had to bare other parts.... Even death can, if you try desperately enough, be triumphed.

 

 

ANOTHER BURNS DOCUMENTARY?

In research for voice work on Steven Speilberg's Dreamworks film "Amistad," about the trial of 53 young West African men and women unjustly accused of murder and mutiny in 1839, I came across a curious bit of material in "The American Heritage History of The Making of the Nation."

It's an address "on the Effects of Ardent Spirits" delivered by Jonathan Kittredge in the village of Lyme, New Hampshire, January 8, 1827 and it seems to offer a very early example of and curious explanation for the highly debatable occurrences of "spontaneous human combustion."

Kitteridge says, "Out of the number of the intemperate in the United States, ten thousand die annually from the effect of ardent spirits. And what a death! To live a drunkard is bad enough, but to die so, and to be ushered into the presence of your angry Judge only to hear the sentence, 'Depart thou drunkard!' Ah! language fails..."

Though apparently not to Mr. Kittredge, who proceeds: "Some are killed instantly, some die a lingering, gradual death, some commit suicide in fits of intoxication, and some are actually burnt up."

Kittredge then quotes from another source as follows: "It is the case 'of a woman eighty years of age, exceedingly meagre, who had drunk nothing, but ardent spirits, for several years. She was sitting in her elbow chair, while her waiting maid went out of the room for a few moments.

"'On her return, seeing her mistress on fire, she immediately gave an alarm, and some people coming to her assistance, one of them endeavored to extinguish the flames with his hands, but they adhered to them, as, if they had been dripped in brandy or oil on fire.

"'Water was brought and thrown on the body in abundance, yet the fire appeared more violent, and was not extinguished, till the whole body had been consumed. The lady was in the same place, in which she sat every day, there was no extraordinary fire, and she had not fallen.'"

Alas, no such scene is in Mr. Speilberg's film. Burns me up!

 

 

IT DOES NOT COMPUTE...

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you; we just want to do it... And they said, no. So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"-- Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs on attempts to promote his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

 

 

THE BILINGUAL DEBATE CONTINUES...
  1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
  2. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."
  3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.
  4. In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."
  5. The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem -- Feeling Free", was translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty."
  6. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read English.
  7. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
  8. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).
  9. In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into "Schweppes Toilet Water."
  10. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave" in Chinese.
  11. We all know about GM's Chevy Nova meaning "it won't go" in Spanish markets, but did you know that Ford had a similar problem in Brazil with the Pinto? Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals."
  12. Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos. Later they found out that in slang it means "big breasts."

Cnaciba to Mr. Voices, which means "screw You" in New Mexican...

 

(11/1/97)

Published 11/01/97

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor