"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's
falling on his face and not Gary Cooper."
(Cooper rejecting the lead in "Gone With The Wind")

 

OSCAR, WE HARDLY KNEW YE...

"One question, and I don't mean to seem disrespectful, but who else was surprised that Shirley Temple was alive? Shocked the hell out of me." (CineZine2@aol.com)

And from irrepressible producer and studio mascot, Sam Longoria, these fast tales of Oscar past and present-past:

"I remember being in the Shrine backstage men's room years ago, using a urinal between Charlton Heston and Jack Nicholson. I said 'I suppose this is a bad time to ask for an autograph.' Luckily for me, this produced a laugh from them. This was interrupted suddenly by the TV announcer on the monitor announcing 'The Academy Awards!'

"Mr. Heston said 'I'm on!' Zip! He washed his hands, and ran out onstage. Jack and I watched his opening remarks on TV, as Mr. Heston slowly wiped the palms of his hands on his tuxedo lapels in front of half a billion viewers, drying them.

"I flirted with Claudia Schiffer again, and went to some parties and tottered into the recording studio the next morning, still en tuxedo, to tell the Firesign Theatre, all about it. I've been helping out as they make their newest and funniest comedy record. "

"They are just swarming in here like rats to honey." (Joan Rivers on E!'s Oscar Pre-Show)

 

NOTES ON THE PHLIP SIDE

Over the years that I've been producing the peripatetic Planet, many have asked where I found the time to do it. Well, recently, the answer has been "Never." Between the Firesign CD, voicework and punching up scripts for the Minicon, I've had to let several editions go. But, we finally wrapped the Firesign "RadioNow" album, on April Fool's day, no less, a year to the day that the ur-material was aired on the nationally syndicated "Radio Today." And even after dumping over 800 messages from my bursting inbasket, there's plenty of stuff left over to share with you, so here goes:

 

PASSOVER EASTER? NEVER!

When asked to describe Easter, the third-grade student said: "Easter is the Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Jesus and his disciples were eating the last supper; and then he was deceived and turned over to the Romans who took him to be crucified, where he was stabbed in the side, made to wear a crown of thorns, and nailed to a cross to die. He was buried in a nearby cave which was sealed off by a large boulder. Every year the boulder is moved aside so that Jesus can come out, and if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter."

 

MINICON/MAXIFUN

And I spent this Easter weekend in sunny Bloomington, Minnesota with three thousand, one hundred and fifty aliens at the thirty-third annual Minicon Science-fiction Convention, as guest presenter at the second annual Mark Time Awards for best SciFi Audio Production. Dave Ossman and I gave the Gold to Snoose Productions' "Primitive James" and Cephalopod's "Apotheosis Saga," the Silver to Star Quest's "Martian Odyssey" and Steve Ziplow's "Magicnet" and special awards to the Atlanta Radio Theatre for "The Brides of Dracula" as best Horror-fantasy and to Peter Stenshoel for best Sound design, in Cat Simril's "Neal Amid" starring Phil Austin.

Then Dave, my talented wife Melinda Peterson, and I participated in two "live" radio plays with Brian Westley, Dave Romm, Jane Yolen and Brian Price before the delirious crowd. The twin-tower Radisson was converted into a virtual "spaced station" for the event, and other duties included participation in a panel on Humor in Science-fiction with Dave, organizer Jerry Stearns and writer-jester John M. Ford; and a workshop on How to Produce a Radio Play with "Producer" Dave, "Sound Effects Director" Jerry, and "Star" Melinda. The other roles and personnel were recruited from the audience, and the results were absolutely astounding.

Other highlights for me included an autograph session with Fred "Mr. Firezine" Wiebel, posing with the winners of the Masquerade Ball for our '99 New Years card, and an abduction by an alien (I think he was Canadian) to another level of reality -- the eleventh floor -- where a wild and wicked side of the "Dungeon and Dragon" role-players, revealed to me the true meaning of "getting medieval on your ass." And I thought Hollywood was weird.

 

MINNESOTA COMES TO TERMS

And from Jerry Stearns, producer of "Sound Affects" comes this Lake Woebegone Guide to Computer Jargon:

Log on: Making the woodstove hotter.

Log off: Don't add wood.

Monitor: Keep an eye on the woodstove.

Download: Getting the firewood off the pickup.

Micro chip: What's left in the bottom of the bag.

Megahertz: What happens when downloading you drop a log on a toe.

Floppy disk: What you get from piling too much wood.

RAM: The hydraulic thingy that makes the woodsplitter work.

Hard drive: Getting home in a snowstorm.

Prompt: What you wish the mail was in a snowstorm.

Windows: What you close when it's 30 below.

Screen: What you need for the mosquito season.

Byte: What the mosquitos will do to you if you don't have a screen.

Infrared: Where the leftovers go when Fred's around.

Modem: What you do to the hayfields.

Dot Matrix: Farmer Matrix's daughter.

Lap top: Where little kids feel comfy.

Keyboard: Where you hang up your keys.

Software: Plastic eating utensils.

Mouse: What eats the grain in the barn.

Main frame: The part of the barn that holds the frame up.

Port: Fancy wine tried once by Farmer Matrix.

Enter: "C'mon in."

Random Access Memory: When the wife asks how much that new rifle cost, you can't remember.

 

WHICH CAME FIRST IN MY BOX?

From numerous sources, including Edgar Bullington, President of the Funny Names Club of America, this scientific joke:

A chicken and an egg were laying next to each other in bed. The chicken was smoking a cigarette, and with a very pissed-off look the egg said, "Well... I guess that answers THAT question!"

 

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE?

The following is from an actual site for "Radikal, a German newspaper from -- and for -- the radikal/autonomous left" that Kerry Millerick's technopal Chaz Austin of Austin Digital Media Consulting, stumbled upon while surfing for a client.

"Since that us the people of SPG kindly an e-mail-address (radikal@dds.nl) has furnished, we have gotten more than 2 megabytes mails in the meantime. From it, 40 direct letters were only approximately at us however, from which on the other hand only 4 (!) a concrete inquiry contained. That appears on the first gaze therefore, to be e-mail excluding a technical playing. The sparse application also lies surely at it however, that we have not yet commented on the e-mail-address.

"The mailses, that reach the calculator, on which SPG has furnished our e-mail-address, are referred per diskette at us. Because we are connected itself with the internet online nowhere therefore, that means, that you can receive no electronic answer on your e-mails. Actually harms, because the possibility of the direct answer does exactly the communication so attractive via e-mail.

"Concretely that means, that the communication doesn't become faster between you and us through it. And furthermore you can also enclose the e-mails no coal, because the Cyber-Bank refuses up to now, us, to furnish a Cyberbuck-Konto. The mailen also is not surer than the mail-way, known-proves then the Internet is not secured against Mithorversuche at all. To what can the e-mail-address be good therefore then? Also here, the modern technology helps us again. With the program described in the vorrangegangenen contribution "PGP" can her/its/their your mails codifies. Our to it required "public key" will publish we in a short time."

As Chaz adds, "This is how wars get started."

 

MUSICAL VIRUS WARNING!!!

If someone tries to teach you a tune called "Join The Crew," cover your ears and don't listen to them at all costs. This is not a traditional jig or reel, but a Balkan Virus in 13/8 time whose deceptive counter-Celtic rhythms will erase all tunes in your memory and the memory of anyone who hears it and replace them with a random excerpt from "Your Pets Can Sing 2."

Please send this message to as many musicians as you can. This is a new virus and is unknown to most people. There have been reports from at least 42 cities worldwide of sessions that have been ravaged by this virus, and up to 300 former session musicians are now only able to look at their instruments helplessly while saying "woof, oink, quack" in a vaguely musical manner.

Also, if you receive a tape or CD entitled "Penpal Greetings," throw it out and DON'T LISTEN TO IT!!! This is a warning for all music lovers. The album appears to be traditional in nature, but by the time you listen to it, it is too late. The "Trojan Horse" virus will have infected the boot sector of your CD or tape player.

It is a self-replicating virus, and once the CD or tape has been played, it will automatically attach itself to any other CD or tape you play. The virus will overwrite all of your music and replace it with a random 5 second excerpt from Snoop Doggy Dog's latest album, that will repeat continuously for the length of the CD or tape. This virus can be passed easily by simply lending a tape or CD to a friend, and has the potential to completely destroy all the CD's and tapes in the world. (Gary Berkson)

 

AN ELEVATING EXPERIENCE?

An Amish boy and his father were visiting a mall and were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again. The boy asked, "What is this father?" and he responded, "Son, I've never seen anything like this in my life, I know not."

As they watched wide-eyed, an old lady in a wheelchair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room; then the walls closed, and the boy and his father watched small circles of light with numbers above the wall light up, stop and then light up in the reverse direction. Suddenly, the walls opened up again -- and a beautiful 24-year old woman stepped out.

The father said to his son, "Go get your Mother." (Thank ye, Harris Mike Harris)

 

A TAXING TIME FOR ALL

If you haven't filed yet, just use this new short form W-2-CFSAP:

1. Name: _____________________________________

2. Social Security Number: _______________________

3. How Much Did You Make In 1997: ______________

SEND IT IN!

Signature_____________________________________

Date_________________________________________

 

HELLO/GOODBYE

Happy Birthday to Phil Austin, who is older than we think, and to my darling daughter Kristin, no longer a teenager! Happy Birthday to the Buddha (no cards, please). And farewell to singers Tammy Wynette, Wendy O. Williams and Rob Pilatus -- or did someone else die in his place?

And farewell to the "Face on Mars," which new "hi" resolution photos from the Surveyor reveal to be an asymetrical mesa -- with a weirdly straight edge. Wait a minute! If you hold the picture on page 71 in the April 20th "Newsweek" upside down and view it from the lower lefthand corner, you can see that's it's clearly a massive sculpture of -- two Easter bunnies! So that's where that cwazy wabbit comes from... not to mention Marvin the Martian... whom, come to think of it, we met at the Minicon. But that's another story.

See you in cyberspace...

 

Published 4/14/98

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor