"Now let me get this straight--the trees will kill people like Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy
and they want us to STOP logging?"



Cristofer Morley writes, "Have you noticed the incredible irony? Reagan fired 11 thousand air traffic controllers for going on strike, and now they're trying to name an AIRPORT after him?....boggles the mind!"

From The Miami (Fla) Daily News: "Today's names in the news, and how to pronounce them": SYNGMAN RHEE (President of Korea) -- pronounced Sung-mahn Ree -- JACQUES FATH (French fashion designer) -- pronounced Ellsa Skee-ah-pah-rell-ee (Jarrett)

RUMORGATE? "In the news game these days, we don't have the staff, time, interest, energy, literacy, or minimal sense of responsibility to check our facts by any means except calling up whatever has been written by other hacks on the same subject and repeating it as gospel." John LeCarre, "The Tailor of Panama," 1996 (noted by the erudite Carl Gottlieb)

From The Columbus (Ohio) Citizen: "What does the thread count printed on the label of bed sheets and pillow cases indicate? -- The massacre of Fort Mackinac in 1763 by Chief Pontiac of the Ottawas."

"Nothing is more spiritual than a hamburger." Ernest Holmes



  1. First, pick the weekday you like most by number: (ex. Sunday = 1, Monday = 2, etc.)
  2. Multiply this number by 2.
  3. Add 5.
  4. Multiply this number by 50.
  5. If you have already had your birthday this year, add 1746. If you haven't, add 1747.
  6. Subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should now have a three digit number:

* The first digit of this was your original number (your favorite day).

* The second two digits are your age!

(This is the ONLY year it will EVER work...)



A soldier, returning from action on the Marne carried a solitary bullet with him as a memento of the war. He always carried it over his heart to remind him of friends he had lost in the conflagration. He was marching in the big End of the War parade in New York City when suddenly a mad evangelist hurled his Bible from the thirtieth story of his hotel, and it struck that soldier right on the chest. If it hadn't been for that bullet, that Bible would have gone right through his heart! (Submitted by Averyimp)1

[1. Footnote: as any Woody Allen fan knows, and as Penn Jillette pointed out in an email to Phil, Mr. Allen is the author of this joke, although this is a variation of the one he used to tell in his nightclub days. - RJA, ed.]



According to the US Navy, "Classified material shall be considered lost when it cannot be located."

A group of US Navy officers, assigned as an advisory group in Taiwan, searching for a name for their new officer's club, finally settled on "TAI-WAN-ON."

On patrol, the Officer of the Deck asked the starboard lookout what he would do if a man fell overboard. "I would shout 'Man overboard.'" The OD then asked what he would do if an officer fell overboard. The sailor paused, then said, "Which one, Sir?"

A rather old minesweeper was cruising a lonely stretch of the South Pacific and was overtaken by a new Australian cruiser. All the US sailors admired the new ship and the Captain sent a blinker-light message to the Aussies: "You are beautiful." Less than 10 seconds later, the Aussie ship blinkered back: "I'll bet you say that to all the ships."

A woman, married to a Navy Pilot, inquiring about an increase in their monthly allotment for living quarters received the following letter: "Class Q allotments are based upon the number of dependents, up to a maximum of three. If the birth of a child will mean your husband is entitled to more quarters allowance, notify him to take the necessary action." (Pete Zimowski)



A story in the always bizarre Westside Weekly section of the L.A. Times profiled an elderly actor named Monty Ash presently playing the ancient servant Firs in a local staging of "The Cherry Orchard."

I happened to work with another great old thespian years ago in New York in the "Orchard" featuring Abe Vigoda, and our "Firs", whose name now escapes me, was the man who started the free shoes giveaway for all new members of Actors Equity. Anyway, Mr. Ash and playwright Frederick Schlick met with the legendary Mae West, back East in her New York apartment, since she wanted to play a whore in Schlick's "The Joy of the Serpents."

Sitting on her bed, because no chair could be found, they were treated to Mae's entrance "wearing nothing but a gorgeous black negligee." Schlick confided to Ash, "You know Monty, I'm not sure what she wants. My pen or my penis."



The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes is a compendium of folklore and historical fact behind traditional English nursery rhymes. The vast majority date to the 1700s and 1800s, but about 10% of them are older, and a small handful are medieval or even more ancient. For instance, "Hickory, Dickory Dock" and "eenie, meenie, minie, moe" both retain traces of the British Celtic numbering system which lingered on in remote places after the Anglo-Saxon take-over.

"London Bridge" turns out not to be a benign song, but rather to symbolize a dark horror. The rhyme goes, "London Bridge is falling down, etc. etc... Build it up with bricks and clay, etc... bricks and clay. will wash away, etc..." and many building materials are then proposed, ending with silver and gold. "Silver and gold will be stolen away, etc... Then set a man to watch all night, etc... Suppose the man should fall asleep? etc... Give the man a pipe to smoke, etc."

It turns out that a rhyme almost identical to this one is known in every European language, so each culture had this idea that bridges might fall down due to supernatural forces unless there was a person to guard and watch it. This led to the horrible medieval custom of walling up a living person in the foundation, with a crust of bread and a candle (representing the pipe), to help them "stay awake" and keep watch.

When the ancient bridge at Bremen was torn down in the 1800s, the skeleton of a child was found in the foundation and many other bridges across Europe had oral traditions of people or children being walled up alive within them. This sacrificial aspect still survives in the children's play accompanying the song, where two players join hands and raise them in the air, signifying the bridge, while others pass under the joined hands, and at the end of the song the hands come down and "catch" someone -- the symbolic sacrifice. (Heinsohn)



The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major US research university. The element, tentatively, named Administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of O. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons. It is also surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second. Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities and can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Attempts to determine how Administratium can be controlled are not promising. (Hal Josephson)



The best argument I've heard against the California ban on smoking, was the comment of the manager of The Waterfront, San Diego's oldest bar, as quoted in the L.A. Times.

"You know how, at a neighborhood bar, people start talking, start joking, and they get on a roll, like a wave? Now, every few minutes, people are going outside for a smoke...

"Guys are only there for half a joke, then they take off."



Dayton C. Fouts, recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as "the world's longest tenured Santa Claus" has died at the age of 85 after portraying the jolly old elf for 60 years, beginning in 1937. He choked on a cookie.



(The late) John Pernicky and his friend, (the late) Sal Hawkins, of the great state of Washington, decided to attend a local Metallica concert at the Gorge, Washington (Gorge Washington?) amphitheater. Having no tickets (but having had 18 beers between them), they thought it would be easy to "hop" over the nine-foot fence and sneak into the show. They pulled their pick-up truck over to the fence and the plan was for (the late) Mr. Pernicky (who was 100-pounds heavier than Mr. Hawkins) to hop the fence and then assist his friend over.

Unfortunately for (the late) Mr. Pernicky, there was a 30-foot drop on the other side of the fence and having heaved himself over, he found himself crashing through a tree. His fall was abruptly broken, (along with his arm, as it were) by a large branch that snagged him by his shorts. Dangling from the tree with a broken arm, he looked down and saw some bushes below him. (Possibly) figuring the bushes would break his fall, he removed his pocketknife and proceeded to cut away his shorts. Finally free, Mr. Pernicky crashed into the Holly bushes and without the protection of his shorts, a Holly branch penetrated his rectal cavity (OUCH!!). To make matters worse (?), on landing, his pocketknife penetrated his thigh 3-inches.

(The late) Mr. Hawkins, on seeing his friend in considerable pain and agony, decided to throw him a rope and pull him to safety by tying the rope to the pick-up truck and slowly driving away. However, in his drunken haste, he put the truck into reverse and crashed through the fence, landing on his friend and killing him.

Police arrived to find the crashed pick-up with its driver thrown 100-feet from the truck and dead at the scene from massive internal injuries. Upon moving the truck, they found John under it, half-naked with scratches all over his body, a holly stick in his rectum, a knife in his thigh, and his shorts dangling from a tree branch 25-feet in the air.

Congratulations gentlemen, you won... THE 1997 DARWIN AWARD


"Justice is incidental to law and order."
(J. Edgar Hoover)


Published 2/02/98

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor