"Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he sits all day in a boat drinking beer with his buddies."
(Thank you, Esther Hersh)



'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.


Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!?
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.


So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.


Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets... they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football... someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.


So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere... even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.




At a recent computer expo, Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry announcing, "If General Motors had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 mi/gal."

General Motors responded to this comment by saying, "Yes, but would you want your car to crash twice a day?"





All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.


There's not half the files there used to be,
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly.


I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.
Now all my data's gone
and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.


The need for back-ups seemed so far away.
I knew my data was all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.


(Eugene "I am the law" Volokh)




MORE things you would never know without the movies: All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555... The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they will fall in love... All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No-one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty... When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are your best weapons... Honest and hardworking policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement... Having a job of any kind will make a father forget his son's eighth birthday.

Kitchens don't have light switches. At night, open the fridge door and use that light instead... When staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear... Creepy music coming from a cemetery should always be investigated more closely... Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant... A cough is usually the sign of a terminal illness... Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings -- especially if any of their family or friends have died in a strange boating accident... If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert in Nuclear Fission at age 23.




How bad a mistake can you make on your resume? Here are some examples:

Qualifications: No education or experience... Disposed of $2.5 billion in assets...

Accomplishments: Oversight of entire department... Extensive background in accounting. I can also stand on my head!... My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable... Education: Curses in liberal arts, curses in computer science, curses in accounting... Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store... My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.

Personal: Married, 1992 Chevrolet... I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse... I am a rabid typist... Created a new market for pigs by processing, advertising and selling a gourmet pig mail order service on the side... Exposure to German for two years, but many words are not appropriate for business... Proven ability to track down and correct erors.

Personal interests: Donating blood. 15 gallons so far... I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely nothing and absolutely no one... References: None, I've left a path of destruction behind me... Strengths: Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer.

Don't take the comments of my former employer too seriously, they were unappreciative beggars and slave driver... Procrastinate--especially when the task is unpleasant... I am loyal to my employer at all costs. Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voicemail... Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty!!

(Mmmm Wolfman)




And, excerpts from classified sections of city newspapers from Mr. Heinsohn:

Illiterate? Write today for free help... Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you'll never go anywhere again... Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included... 3-year old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred... Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children... .Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel... .Stock up and save. Limit: one... Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale... Handmade gifts for the hard-to-find person... Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating... Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and salary... Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00... For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers... Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition... Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours... Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too... We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand... For sale. Three canaries of undermined sex... Great Dames for sale... Vacation Special: have your home exterminated... Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast... For Rent: 6-room hated apartment... Man, honest. Will take anything... Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated. Come here first... Wanted: Hair cutter. Excellent growth potential... Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink... Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.. And at last, the Superstore-unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.




To Stephane Grappelli, brilliant French Jazz violinist about whom Leonard Feather wrote in 1985: "If jazz had been born in France this is how it might have sounded." And to actor/producer William Alland who appeared as the shadowy reporter in "Citizen Kane" and produced "It Came From Outer Space," "Creature From The Black Lagoon," and "The Mole People."




To David Ossman, who's here to continue the writing on The Firesign Theatre's "Mark Of Bozo" until our Christmas break -- the return of my wife, Melinda on Monday and my mother, Audre on the 19th...

Happy Holidays!



Published 12/04/97

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor