"Know how to piss off an actor? Give 'em a job...for Xmas."
(Victoria Carrol)

 

A JOLLY CATCHUP

'Yes, I'm as dizzy as you are this holiday, and didn't it kind of sneak up this year and hit you in the back of the neck with a wet snowball?

My mom arrives from Goshen, Indiana tomorrow (yes, Virginia, there is a land of Goshen) and this may be the last PP of the year. So -- GO SEE THE NEW BOND MOVIE, "Tomorrow Never Dies." It's wonderful fun, full of "oh-oh" moments, brilliantly orchestrated action sequences and wonderful, mordant writing by Bruce Feirstein. You'll particularly enjoy the "cunning linguist" segments... And thanks to Bruce and his brilliant wife, Madeleine, for inviting us to the lavish opening night festivities at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

It was a thrill to meet nice guy Pierce Brosnan and barely dressed Michelle Yeoh and magical Ricky Jay, etc. -- but when we found ourselves sneaking smokes on the terrace with Jennifer Tilly and David Schwimmer and Stephan Shaeffer (Claudia's brother) and physicist James Spottisworth (the director's brother)... well, we were glad to be there...

 

MIND YOU NOW!

After a year on the film festival circuit, the film "Menno's Mind" finally made its cable television debut. It will air again on The Movie Channel Sunday, December 21 at 10:40. More airdates will follow. For those of you without cable, it'll be released on video in about 6 months. "Menno's Mind" was produced by Larry Estes and written by Mark Valenti. It stars Bill Campbell, Stephanie Romanov, Corbin Bernsen, Michael Dorn, Robert Picardo, Marc McClure, Robert Vaughn and Bruce Campbell (and features Richard Speight, Jr. and Phil Proctor!).

I also recently played two voice-over leads in ActiVision's upcoming CD-Rom "BattleZone" under Charles de Vries keen direction, although the obligatory shutup clause prevents me from r-e-vealing any more...

 

* * * A T T E N T I O N * * *

As many of you know, each year the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a better-working and faster Internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 12:01 a.m. GMT on December 8 until 11:59 p.m. GMT, December 9. During that 24-hour period, five powerful web-crawling robots situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any data that they find. In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do the following:

  1. Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their Internet connections.
  2. Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the Internet. DP managers may take the day off.
  3. Disconnect all disks and hard drives from any connections to the Internet, and use protection on your floppy.
  4. Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any way; don't even think about it.
  5. If you inadvertently connect to the Internet during the above times, run DESANITIZE.EXE immediately. Count all your files to be sure none are missing.

We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam. We thank you for your cooperation.

(Thanks to Michael Dare)

 

SANTA - 'CAUSE

An Engineer's Perspective:

  1. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.
  2. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into he sleigh and get on to the next house... we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second --- 3,000 times the speed of sound.
  3. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds --- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
  4. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance --- The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now. Merry Christmas!

 

BAH HUMBUG CHRISTMAS

T'was the night before Christmas - Old Santa was pissed.
He cussed out the elves and he threw down his list.
"Miserable l'il brats, ungrateful wee jerks!
I have good mind to scrap the whole works.
I've busted my ass for damn near a year.
Instead of "Thanks Santa"- No - what do I hear?
The old lady bitches cause I work late at night;
The elves want more money - The reindeer all fight.
Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids.
Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS.
And just when I thought that things would get better
Those IRS bastards went and sent me a letter.
They say I owe taxes - if that ain't too funny.
Who the hell sent Santa Claus any money?
And the kids these days - they're really the pits;
They want everything, those greedy young twits.

I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds;
Assembling dolls, their arms, legs and heads.
I made tons of yo yo's, not a request for them.
They want computers and robots... What am I, IBM!?
If you think that's bad, just picture this --
Try holding those brats with their pants full of piss.
They pull on my nose - they grab at my beard
And if I don't smile their folks think I'm weird.
Flying through the air, dodging the trees,
Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees.

I'm quitting this job, there's just no enjoyment
I'll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment
There's no Christmas this year, and I'll tell you the reason:
I found me a blonde -- I'm going SOUTH for the season!!"

 

HAVE YOURSELF A LEGAL LITTLE XMAS

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.) The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination. However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

Respectfully submitted, Lawyer Grinch (and Anna Mathius!)

 
(12/19/97)

Published 12/19/97

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor