"They say celebrity deaths come in trees..."



Well, unlike some of you, we survived Christmas and New Years -- with my 83-year-old optically challenged Mom, no less -- and are staggering forward into "The Year of the Firesign." Indeed, the group re-assembles the week of the twelfth (unless Austin skis into a tree) to continue the writing process; and I here predict: there is a recording session in our future.

Although my mother has macular degeneration that left her with only peripheral vision, if she sits in the first rows she can actually see a film, so we treated her to screenings of Titanic, Ulle's Gold, As Good As It Gets, Deconstructing Harry, Wag The Dog (for which I did voices) and For Richer For Poorer -- a personal fave since Allen and Alley hide out on an Amish farm with the Yoders, my Amish-Irish mother's maiden name.

We enjoyed each and every film for different reasons, and as Oscar grows nearer, I may let you know why and create more controversy than repeating political jokes!



And a thank you to Richard Arnold, who writes that he is currently re-designing the Planet Proctor Web site and waiting for this very issue to spring his changes on an unsuspecting public. Go. For now, I'm going to continue to write as I have in the past -- a mixture of submissions and personal observations, and I thank you all for your tiring efforts in keeping my mailbox abrim with news, jokes, puns and useless information, some of which I'm going to throw right back at you right now. Enjoy:



How many members of your sign does it take to change a lightbulb?

ARIES: Just one. You want to make something of it?

TAURUS: One, but just *try* to convince them that the burned-out bulb is useless and should be thrown away.

GEMINI: Two, but the job never gets done--they just keep arguing about who is supposed to do it and how it's supposed to be done!

CANCER: Just one. But it takes a therapist three years to help them through the grief process.

LEO: Leos don't change lightbulbs, although sometimes their agent will get a Virgo in to do the job for them while they're out.

VIRGO: Approximately 1.00000000 with an error of +/- 1 millionth.

LIBRA: Er, two. Or maybe one. No! On second thought, make that two. Is that okay with you?

SCORPIO: That information is strictly secret and shared only with the Enlightened Ones in the Star Chamber of the Ancient Hierarchical Order.

SAGITTARIUS: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burnt-out light bulb?

CAPRICORN: I don't waste my time with these childish jokes.

AQUARIUS: Well, you have to remember that everything is energy, so...

PISCES: Lightbulb? What lightbulb?



Recently a guy in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre. However, after planning the crime, and getting in and out of security, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could have masterminded such a crime and then made such an obvious error, he replied (brace yourself... this is going to hurt): "I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh"

While the investigation was going on a heavy wind blew up, and the museum's custodian, a tiny woman who had the job of sweeping up outside, was preparing to step out and do her job. A reporter jokingly remarked that she'd have to put heavy rocks in her shoes to keep from getting blown away. To which the lady replied, "You mean, now I weigh me down to sweep?"



A few months ago, Howard Stern hosted Julie Cailini ('96 Playmate of the Year) and Stacey Sanchez ('97) for a morning of sordid joviality. The ladies, promoting their calendars, answered ten questions from Howard, ostensibly to demonstrate how important it is for them to stay up on current affairs "as role models for young women". Here we go:

Q: Who is the President of Russia?

Julie: Gorbachev.
Stacey: Gretzky.

(Correct answer: Boris Yeltsin)

Q: Define the meaning of NAACP.

Julie: Something, something, for Certified Pianists.
Stacey: It's some kind of police organization.

(Correct answer: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

Q: Who was the inventor of the lightbulb?

Julie: I know Edison invented the telephone, but I can't remember the lightbulb guy.
Stacey: I don't know.

(Correct answer: Thomas A. Edison)

Q: Who is the Speaker of the House?

Julie: Gore something-or-other.
Stacey: Bill Clinton.

(Correct answer: Newt Gingrich.)

Q: Define the meaning of the letters CIA.

Julie: I don't know.
Stacey: Certified Investigation Association.

(Correct answer: Central Intelligence Agency)

Q: What is the center of our solar system?

Julie: The Equator.
Stacey: The Moon.

(Correct answer: The Sun)

To make it easier on the girls, he switched to "industry related" queries:

Q: What do the initials "DK" stand for? (Both knew it was fashion designer "Donna Karan.")

Q: What is "Cristal?" (Both knew it was an elite champagne.)

Q: What car company has a model known as a 911? (Both knew it was Porsche.)

Q: Whose face is on the $100 bill? (Both knew it was Ben Franklin.)



And now, dear non-subscribers, here's "The World's Easiest Quiz" from this month's Funny Times:

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2. Which country makes panama hats?
3. Where do we get catgut?
4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October revolution?
5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6. The Canary islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7. What was King George VI's first name?
8. What color is the purple finch?
9. What country do Chinese gooseberries come from?
10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?



1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.
2. Ecuador.
3. From sheep and horses.
4. November, since the Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.
5. Squirrel fur.
6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria -- Island of the Dogs.
7. Albert. He respected Queen Victoria's wish that no future King should be called Albert.
8. Distinctly crimson.
9. New Zealand.
10. Thirty Years, of course -- from 1618 to 1648.



Well, according to the movies...

If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beast, the mayor's first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition. If being chased, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick's Day parade (at any time of the year), and if you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.

Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment. The Chief of Police is always black and will always suspend his star detective - or give him 48 hours to finish the job. (A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.) Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite; and during all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

Interbreeding is genetically possible with any creature from elsewhere in the universe, and most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization. Although in the 20th century it is possible to fire weapons at an object out of our visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology but a single match will still be sufficient to light up a room the size of a stadium.

Even when driving down a perfectly straight road it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments. It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting. When paying for a taxi, don't look at your wallet as you take out a bill - just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.

No-one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock, and cars that crash will almost always burst into flames. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors. When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage and a man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long. Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds - unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside; but an electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur, will cause no lasting damage to an eight year old child. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one and most dogs are immortal.

You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language as a simple German accent will do. Indeed, when they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it. Medieval peasants had perfect teeth. It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.



An explorer in the deepest Amazon suddenly finds himself surrounded by a bloodthirsty group of natives. Upon surveying the situation, he says to himself, "Oh God, I'm screwed."

Suddenly a mighty voice booms out: "No, you are NOT screwed. Pick up that stone at your feet and bash in the head of the chief standing in front of you."

So the explorer picks up the stone and proceeds to incapacitate the chief. As he stands over the body surrounded by stunned savages, the mighty voice voice booms out again, "Okay... NOW you're screwed."



...prints so many delectable items in his "Only In L.A." column that I'm often tempted to reprint them, but this one is particularly pertinent to the fanatics who read this rag: "Regarding the discussion of movies that are re-titled in foreign countries, film historian Lee Harris reports that 'when the Three Stooges were touring the British Isles...a theater owner in Dublin explained to them that their names would appear on the marquee as The Three Hooges (since) stooging meant having an elicit affair with a girl.'"

Did he also know that of the six men who made up the Three Stooges, three of them were real brothers? (Moe, Curly and Shemp.)



In my travels to Norway, I've also run across popular American TV shows and cartoon strips which in translation, may give you a clue as to their U.S. counterparts: Uncle Screw... Long Bone... The Bully and The Blonde... Home, Sweet Home... Three at the Top... Snipp and Snapp... Oolie, Doolie and Doffin... and Heland and Hallard (The whole one and the half one).

The answers: Uncle Scrooge... Goofy... Moonlighting... All In The Family... Three's Company... Mutt and Jeff... Huey, Dewy and Louie... and -- Laurel and Hardy.



An issue dedicated to all the useless information I've collected from YOU, the faceless cybermass. You have been warned!!!


"Switching agents is like changing deck chairs on the Titanic"
(M. Kaplan)


1996/2002 by Phil Proctor