"Tune in 'Today,' tomorrow, tonight!"
(Voice-over Copy)

 

THE HOST

My gig as host this past Monday of the NewMedia magazine InVision Awards at the beautiful 750-seat Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, was an unbridled success. The international audience was composed of the crumb de la crumb of new media minds, with the Gold Award nominees sharing the stage with me, rising from their tables to receive trophies.

I enjoyed improvising throughout the evening and poking gentle fun at the proceedings, while the audience seemed to particularly enjoy a parody of the popular programs of the new millennium, which I read from a futuristic, shiny copy of the DV Guide, noting that on NBD, we still had reruns of "Cyberfeld," on CDS, "Chicago Hoax," where robotic surgeons removed your brain in the privacy of your own entertainment center; and "ER" was still running too, but now it stood for "Erzatz Reality." There was also the "Tech's Files", horrifying stories of how nerds, propeller-heads and dweebs were worshipped like gods.

And "Clone Improvement" with Tim Alien; Kelsey Avatar in "Phaser", "Un-Cybill" starring Cyber Shepherd and a film on BGN, (the Bill Gates Network), featuring a digitized George Burns downloaded to do a "bit" (I mean as a "byte") in "Oh, God -- Oh, Gates," the story of Mr. Bill's reign as Digital Dictator of the Computerized States of America.

On the All Nude Network, there's "Up All Night" with Lara Croft; "Saturday Not Live" is still on, with the original motion-captured cast headed by C.D. Chase; and finally "Monday Night Football" on ABD -- the Greenbay Hackers versus the Palo Alto RAMs.

Afterwards, Hal Josephson, Executive Director of this year's three-day festival (and loyal Firesign booster) led us across the way for champagne and a hands-on demonstration of the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners, chosen out of 810 entries. I was particularly intrigued by Dreamworks "Neverhood" which presents a smoothly interactive and comic claymation fantasy and the classy and informative "Les Impressionistes" from France which also won "Best of Show." As my new Ozzie pal and festival judge, Richard Heale pointed out, it was a tough decision. As I said, "How does one choose between "History of the Holcaust" and "Pepsi World...?"

Next year, the entire Firesign may perform Shakespeare's long-lost interactive comedy "Anythynge You Want To" at the old same place...

 

PRAY FOR US

"The human brain may be hard-wired to hear the voice of heaven." says The L.A. Times. "In a provocative experiment using patients suffering from an unusual form of epilepsy," the "God Module" temporal lobe seems to be the site of "religious expression."

Meanwhile, Epileptical and Mormon-owned Brigham Young University "pulled four nudes" from a traveling exhibitionistic exhibit by French sculptor Auguste Randy Rodain because Museum of Art Director Campbell Gray felt that "the nature of those works are such that the viewer will be concentrating on them in a way that is not good for us." He was also responsible for pulling nude scenes from a screening of that filthy film "Schindler's List."

Wonder how he'd have felt about the announcement last night on our local channel 13: "Premature Ejaculation! Tonight at 10:21!"

 

GO FISH!

A Protestant Christian lived in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood; and end of every work week, he would barbeque juicy steaks in his backyard, tempting those in the surrounding houses who were prohibited from consuming red meat on Fridays.

So, his neighbors vowed to convert the Protestant to their faith and after several months, they succeeded. On Baptism Day, the priest sprinkled Holy Water on his head and intoned, "You were born a Protestant, you were raised a Protestant -- now you are a Catholic."

But the following Friday, the man was again at his pit barbecuing the most delicious steaks. As his Catholic neighbors came over to chastise him for his sin, they saw him sprinkling water over the steak, saying, "You were born a steak, you were raised a steak, now -- you are a fish." (Blessings to Magic Mike).

 

MODEL CITIZENS SPEAK

"I love the confidence that makeup gives me." Tyra Banks

"Once I got past my anger toward my mother, I began to excel in volleyball and modeling." Gabrielle Reece

"I think most people are curious about what it would be like to be able to meet yourself -- it's eerie." Christy Turlington

"When my Azzedine jacket from 1987 died, I wrapped it up in a box, attached a note saying where it came from and took it to the Salvation Army. It was a big loss." Veronica Webb

 

MR. BILL'S HUNGRY FOR REVENGE!

Microsoft's TV Dinner: You must first remove the plastic cover. By doing so you agree to accept and honor Microsoft rights to all TV dinners. You may not give anyone else a bite of your dinner (which would constitute an infringement of Microsoft's rights). You may, however, let others smell and look at your dinner and are encouraged to tell them how good it is.

If you have a PC microwave oven, insert the dinner into the oven. Set the oven using these keystrokes: \mstv.dinn.//08.5min@50%heat//. Then: ms//start.cook_dindin/yummy\|/yum~yum:-)gohot#cookme>.

If you have a Mac oven, insert the dinner and press start. The oven will set itself and cook the dinner.

Be forewarned that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case your oven must be restarted. This is a simple procedure. Remove the dinner from the oven and enter <ms.nodarn.good/tryagain\again/again.crap>. This process may have to be repeated. Try unplugging the microwave and then doing a cold reboot. If this doesn't work, contact your hardware vendor.

Many users have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger than the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of which are empty. These are for future menu items. If the tray is too large to fit in your oven you will need to upgrade your equipment.

Dinners are only available from registered outlets, and only the chicken variety is currently produced. If you want another variety, call Microsoft Help and they will explain that you really don't want another variety. Microsoft Chicken is all you really need.

Microsoft promises a dessert with every dinner after '98. However, that version has yet to be released. Users have permission to get thrilled in advance. Microsoft dinners may be incompatible with other dinners in the freezer, causing your freezer to self-defrost. This is a feature, not a bug. Your freezer probably should have been defrosted anyway.

 

BUM POOR STICKLERS

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

He who hesitates is probably right.

Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.

Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.

The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

Don't sweat petty things...or pet sweaty things.

Money can't buy love. But it CAN rent a very close imitation.

Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned.

Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

Black holes are where God divided by zero.

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

 

LOOK WHO'S STALKING...

The Top 10 Signs You're Being Stalked by Martha Stewart:

10. You get a threatening note made up of letters cut out of a magazine with pinking shears, and they're all the same size, the same font, and precisely lined up in razor-sharp rows.
9. That telltale lemon slice in the dog's water bowl.
8. On her show she makes a gingerbread house that looks exactly like your split-level, right down to the fallen-over licorice down spout and the stuck half-open graham cracker garage door.
7. You find your pet bunny on the stove in an exquisite tarragon, rose petal & saffron demi-glace' with pecan-crusted hearts of palm and a delicate mint-fennel sauce.
6. The unmistakable aroma of potpourri follows you even after you leave the bathroom.
5. You discover that every napkin in the entire house has been folded into a swan.
4. No matter where you eat, your place setting always includes an oyster fork.
3. Twice this week you've been the victim of a drive-by doilying.
2. You wake up in the hospital with a concussion and endive stuffing in every orifice.

and the NUMBER 1 Sign You're Being Stalked by Martha Stewart:

1. You awaken one morning with a glue gun pointed squarely at your temple.

HOWARD, THE DUCK

Howard had felt guilty all day long. No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn't. The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming. But every once in a while he'd hear that soothing voice trying to reassure him: "Howard, don't worry about it. You aren't the first doctor to sleep with one of your patients and you won't be the last."

But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality: "Howard -- you're a veterinarian." (The Lloydster)

 

YESTERDAYS...

In my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. (Bill Flavin, Alexandria)... We didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated. (Jon Patrick Smith, Washington)... In my day, attitudes were different. For example, women didn't like sex. At least that is what they told me. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)... In my day, we didn't have virtual reality. If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him. (Sarah M. Wolford, Hanover)... When I was your age, we didn't have fake doggie-doo. We only had real doggie-doo and no one thought it was a damn bit funny. (Brendan Bassett, Columbia)... In my day, we didn't have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms. (Diana Hugue, Bowie)... Kids today think the world revolves around them. In my day, the sun revolved around the world, and the world was perched on the back of a giant tortoise. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)... In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond. Oh, wait. Yes we did. (Peg Sheeran, Vienna)...

Thanks to "suspects-l-request@netcom.com" and ex-comrade Volokh.

 

DON'T BUG ME!

According to The Sampler, Lower F3 on the harmonica is said to be exactly the same frequency as the mating call of the Mediterranean fruit fly. Talk about playing blues on the fly...

 

BREAK A LEG - GOOD CAST

Melinda Peterson IS the nurse in "My Father's House" at the Seven Angels Theater at the Hamilton Park Pavilion in Waterbury, CT through the end of the month. For ticket information call (203) 757-4676.

 

AND HE'S OFF!

Farewell to Eddie Arcaro who won 4,799 races during his 30-year career.

(11/15)

Published 11/15/97

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor