"Imagination is intelligence with an erection"
Victor Hugo

 

FIRESIGN IN THE NEWS!

First off, does Linda McCartney's debated demise definitively answer the age-old FT question, "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?"

Then, Houston's Mayor Lee P. Brown suspended the city's affirmative action director, Lenoria Walker (by her thumbs?) for referring to a city councilman (who is a dwarf), as a "midget." Said Councilperson Joe Roach, interviewed while doing some repairs to his computer, "I'm crushed. Hand me the pliers."

And our latest album, which we finally "mastered" this week, is coming true faster than we can release it with recent articles about "jack-butted police" to monitor compliance with new smoking regulations; Joe Camel "on the Lam"; plagues of grasshoppers "as big as houses" -- and now, a reference in "Danny Vanilla's Princess Goddess" report about "celeberatzis taking pictures of themselves" which manifested in Mike Downey's L.A. Times column this week, titled "Paparazzi Stopper May Be More Than a Flash in the Pan." (Paparazzi, by the way, is wordplay by Fellini on the Italian for "mosquitoes.")

Visiting the 12th Annual Invention Convention at the Queen Mary, Downey saw a Hoodlum Welding Hat, "made to resemble a bulldog, a skull or a gorilla" and a Western Hard Hat, shaped like a Stetson and reminding us of General Y2K's comments to Harold Hiphugger on RadioNow's "NightWhispers" show, that in the new millenium "we'll make coffee the old cowboy way -- boil it up in your hat!"

But Mike was most taken by the Anti-Papparazzi Cap designed to flash back at a photographer when he snaps at it, thus ruining the picture! That, and a "flashy" brooch for the ladies, was invented by Dr. Joseph A. Resnick who also invented the "talking tooth" for throat cancer patients. But Mike, did you espy any Eyeball Hats?

If any or all of this sounds enigmatic to you, dear friends, just be patient; the Rhino CD will be out in September!

 

'VENTING

Also, on a previous Planet, I wrote of Japanese inventor Kenji Kawakami, who created "Baby Mops" by attaching them to clothing so an infant can clean the floor as he crawls. Other patented inventions include Hungarian condoms that play the Internationale ("Arise ye workers"), a ladder to help spiders escape bathtubs, chocolate shock-absorbers and a toothpaste that glows in the dark to reflect headlights.

Now, correspondent Larry "Pip-pip" Belling reveals that there are two books of "Chindogu" or "Weird Tools," about bright ideas that seem to have merit but on closer examination are revealed to be totally useless. This includes eyeglasses with mini-funnels for eye-drops; full-body umbrellas; portable stop signs to cross busy streets; duster slippers for cats and T-shirts with graphs so you can show someone where to scratch your back --"A little higher, to D-3!"

Check out http://www.pitt.edu/~ctnst3/chindogu.html for more.

 

AND NOT SPEAKING OF THE THEATRE

(From Canyongirl, things that are NEVER said):

 

ELLEN, WE HARDLY KNEW YE...

In honor of Ellen's last show, this yee-haw-haw...

An old cowboy dressed to kill with cowboy shirt, hat, jeans, spurs and chaps went to a bar and ordered a drink. As he sat there sipping his whiskey, a young lady sat down next to him. After she ordered her drink she turned to the cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?" To which he replied, "Well, I have spent my whole life on the ranch, herding cows, breaking horses, mending fences, I guess I am."

After a short while he asked her what she was. She replied, "I've never been on a ranch so I'm not a cowboy, but I am a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning I think of women, when I eat, shower, watch TV, everything seems to make me think of women."

A short while later she left and the cowboy ordered another drink. A couple sat down next to him and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?" To which he replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian." (Forwarded by Edgar Bullington.)

 

PLANET STUPID, THE SEQUEL

Fire investigators on Maui have determined the cause of a blaze that destroyed a $127,000 home last month was a short in the homeowner's newly installed fire prevention alarm system. "This is even worse than last year, when someone broke in and stole my new security system," lamented the distraught homeowner.

A man walked in to a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Shop, and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

"My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!" gasped the frantic man on the phone. "Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No, you idiot!" the man shouted, "This is her husband!

A bank robber in Virginia Beach got a nasty surprise when a dye pack designed to mark stolen money exploded in his Fruit-of-the-Looms. The robber apparently stuffed the loot down the front of his pants as he was running out the door. Soon after, "He was seen hopping and jumping around with an explosion taking place inside his pants." Police have the man's charred trousers in custody...

A stripper at a stag party in Cosenza, Italy, failed to jump out of the cake on cue. Gina Lalapola, 23, had suffocated after waiting an hour inside the sealed confectionery.

In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. Hmmm... wonder what he uses for a knife? (Thanks to the "sharp" Kerry Milerick.)

 

GOTTA GET ON THAT LIST!

For 42 years, New Scientist magazine has been documenting some of the more outlandish feats passed on by the scientific community. Several concern the lengths to which some men will go to show how macho they are, like Pierre Pumpille, from Lyon, who shunted a stationary car two feet by head-butting it. "Women thought I was a god," he explained from his hospital bed.

But he was outdone by 30-year-old Polish farmer Krystof Azinski who'd been drinking with friends when they stripped down and test their strength. Initially, they hit each other over the head with frozen swedes (turnips, I think) but then one man seized a chainsaw and cut off his foot. Not to be outdone, Azinski grabbed the saw, shouted "Watch this then!" and chopped off his own head.

 

AND SPEAKING OF DRUNKS

And among several verified reports from the animal kingdom according to Robert Uhlig in the Daily Telegraph is an account of inebriated elephants at Kruger National Park who figured out how to get drunk by eating huge quantities of marula fruit, drinking large quantities of water and then "jogging" to aid fermentation.

Ronald K. Siegel, a UCLA psychopharmacologist (say that on acid), adds that the beasts then behave very much like people by isolating themselves, behaving aggressively, or becoming overly passive. In his 1988 Dutton book "Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise," he notes that "the mongoose, when grieving over the loss of a mate, or when its burrows are wiped out by a monsoon, will very often eat a plant that has a psychedelic qualities." Furthermore he's observed water buffaloes eating poppies and lab rats who drink more proffered alcohol before feeding and bedtime. "Happy Hour and Nightcaps, Pinky."

His conclusion? Animals get high for the same reasons we do -- "to change the way we feel." By using CAT scans on the "3-pound sack of chemicals and natural opiates and stimulants" we call our brain, sober scientists can trace the surge of pleasure caused by the activation of dopamine, which transfers messages from one nerve cell to another, also created by the way, when a mother breast-feeds a baby, or we eat regular food, both "behaviors required for survival."

"Our drive to medicate ourselves is natural; a basic part of the way we are wired. We need to think of drugs as a way to treat the human condition, and make them safe." (From an article in the L.A. Times by Kathleen Kelleher)

 

WRITERS' BLOCKS

A writer dies, but due to a bureaucratic snafu in the afterworld, she's allowed to choose her home for all eternity -- Heaven or Hell. Being a very shrewd dead person (she is a writer, after all), she asks St. Peter for a tour.

Well, Hell is first, where she sees rows and rows of writers chained to desks in a sweatshop as hot as a thousand suns. It's your standard Hell scene -- fire licks their fingers as they're whipped by demons with chains. "Ok. I get it," she says, "Next?"

In a moment, they're whisked to Heaven, where she sees rows and rows of writers chained to desks in a room as hot as a thousand suns. Fire licks the writers' fingers as they try to work, demons whip their backs with chains. "Hey, what gives, Pete?" asks the writer, "This is as bad as Hell!"

"Yes," St. Peter replies, "but here, your work gets published." (Thanks to Stef Donev.)

 

KISS OFF

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can. Also, grant me the patience to deal with idiots, fools, and the ignorant. But most of all, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today, as they may be connected to the ass I might have to kiss tomorrow."

 

Published 4/28/98

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor