"At Microsoft, quality is job 1.1b3"
(Margolis)

 

FIRESIGN OF THE TIMES

Well, last year, Firesign was selected as one of the "50 Greatest Acts of All Time" in Entertainment Weekly, and now, media guru Greil Markus has placed us among 30 best "Records About America" in the Thirtieth Anniversary issue of The Rolling Stone. (We're working our way up the list.)

Grouped with such notables as Dylan, Ginsberg, Springsteen, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Pere Ubu, he lists "How Can You Be" as number 28 and writes,

"Oh, didn't you hear? The U.S. lost World War II. But, hey, if you lived here, you'd be home by now." Check it out.

 

PROCO'S PROGRESS

Work continues apace on the "RadioNow" booklet, tour and plans for an upcoming Rhino photo session with lensmaster Henry Diltz. Ad copy and biographies for the RadioNow Staff are flying back and forth; and those that don't make it to the 16-page foldout booklet will probably appear here or on the Firezine website.

I had a busy time in radio myself last week, cranking out 12 voice-overs ranging from the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Center in Florida (Paging Dr. Goofy!") to some local "tongue-in-cheek" McDonald's TV and radio spots.

I also had the pleasure of participating in a book-signing event at the Dangerous Visions Bookstore in Sherman Oaks with my old pal Harlan Ellison. They were filming the event for a segment of "Masters of Fantasy" on the Sci-Fi Channel, and the director, Jon "Menno's Mind" Kroll was kind enough to cover our reunion. While there, Harlan wrote a short story right on the spot, which is something he apparently does regularly. He sported a T-shirt that read: "I am a professional writer. Don't try this at home."

Also attended a Jimmy Dale Gilmore concert at McCabe's in Santa Monica. What a hoot. At one point he said, "Thanks for comin' -- and stayin'. I wrote this song so long ago I can't remember writing it." An unforgettable evening...

 

WHAT THE HELL

From the always fun "This Is True" by Randy Cassingham, this entirely rewritten re-written item, originally written by some guy at AP:

Jim Ley, President of the Chamber of Commerce in Hell, Michigan is afraid that his little town will be going under because an overpass on the road to Hell may have to be closed for maintenance.

"It'll kill us," says Ley.

"Hell's Bells," say we; at least they don't have to repair the town's church steeple.

 

E-BOLA: END THE PLAGUE!

Well, thanks to some e-xpert help, I finally figured out how to use the blind copy (Bcc) option in my mailings. I hope you're all grateful! Now, I want e-veryone to do it! It saves us all the tedium of scrolling past the ancient history of a note's progress and protects the r-e-cipients anonymity. The secret? Only the first name has to be typed in and then the rest can be hidden. I just send it "to me" and add the group. Do it now!

And here's a concept: what about "e-liminat-e", a program that would recognize old jokes and other material you've r-e-ceived before, and out them before they reach your inbox? There's a patent that'd get you early retirement! In any event, I'm cleaning out my inbox for the rest of this orbit and apologize if you've see any of these before.

 

VIAGRA UP-DATES

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the developer and manufacturer of Viagra, the first oral pill to treat impotence, has issued an urgent warning to all men taking (or thinking of taking) sildenafil citrate. It seems that excessive ingestion may lead to severe eye problems and if men exceed the recommended dosage, they may become cockeyed.

Nonetheless, Entertainment Weekly magazine reports that agents are promoting the following as potential viagra spokesmen: Rod Stewart, Jerry Springer, Magic Johnson, Woody Allen, Alan Thicke, Joe Cocker, Bob Packwood, Chris Rock, Willie Nelson, Oliver Stone, Peter O'Toole, John Popper, Bono and Andy Dick.

And Jerry Stearns asks, "What do you get when you take Viagra with your iron pills?"

And answers, "True North."

 

LICK ME, YON SWAIN!

A drama by Will Shake-a-Spear from Monica Lewinsky anagrams supplied by Rob Hayes (or is it a farce?):

She: "My loins win cake! We lick noisy man. (Wink) Claim no, yes?"

He: "Slim wick, anyone? Lays on mine wick. Licks on my weani.."

She: "I win, smoky lance...Came on wily skin!"

He: "Only I came (Winks)...

She: "Lick me, yon Swain!"

 

GOGH ON WITH YE

It's been discovered that artist Vincent Van Gogh had many relatives:

(Thanks to Mona Marshall)

 

WHAT A MOTHER

With the release of Rhino Pictures' first flick, "Plump Fiction" I thought this note from Susie Kaufman was worth hauling out, even though Mother's Day is just a mammary.

"He wrote me sad Mother's Day stories," says Connie Zastoupil, director Quentin Tarentino's mom.

"He'd always kill me in the stories and tell me how bad he felt about it; it was enough to bring a tear to a mother's eye." Makes me wet, too. (Hey! That's blood!)

 

TAKE A HEADER

Grandmother of Eight Makes Hole in One... Two Sisters Reunite after Eighteen Years at Checkout Counter... Deaf Mute Gets New Hearing in Killing... Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers... Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted... Quarter of a Million Chinese Live on Water... Farmer Bill Dies in House... Iraqi Head Seeks Arms... Eye Drops Off Shelf... Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax... Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests... Miners Refuse to Work after Death... Two Soviet Ships Collide--One Dies.

 

PUSSY POWER

(Probably from that site that runs contests for this sort of thing, don't you think?)

"Top 16 Signs Your Cat is Plotting World Domination"

16. Sits on your newspaper in the morning and carefully reads the coded message that Garfield sends out every day.
15. Used to sleep on top of TV, now monitors CNN 24 hours a day.
14. Notably absent from home during surprise feline invasion of Poland.
13. When you enter the room, Snowball and the other members of the Tri-Cateral Commission stop talking and begin playing with yarn.
12. Behind the couch you find a forged passport, plane tickets, and nine suicide bombs.
11. What you thought was "heat" is actually a four-legged goose step.
10. Well, *somebody* subscribed to alt.cats.world.domination.
9. Autopsy of the last mouse left on your doormat reveals "tattoo" to be blueprint of the UN Building.
8. Constantly petting that bald man he keeps on his lap.
7. Kitty Chow spilled on the floor spells out "Drop the car keys and leave the door open or the dog gets it in the head."
6. Then -- dead mice in the kitchen. Now -- dead third world dictators in the basement.
5. Judging from the kitchen, he seems to be working on some kind of "land mine" technology.
4. Fluffy is now sleeping only 21 hours a day, down from 23.
3. Has recently been acting somewhat... aloof.
2. What your cat lacks in charisma and good looks, he makes up for with his ruthless handling of rival software companies.

and the Number 1 Sign Your Cat is Plotting World Domination...
1. Somehow, you're now subscribed to "Pussy of Fortune" magazine.

 

CIO TO...

Ol' Dead Eyes. And to Nat Perrin, TV writer and producer of the "Adams Family," a former Groucho Marxist and tapper for such classics as "Monkey Business" and "Duck Soup" as well as Olsen & Johnson's "Hellzapoppin." And to Gene Fowler Jr., Academy Award nominee for editing "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World" (he took out one of the "Mads") and director of "I was a Teenage Werewolf" and "I Married a Monster from Outer Space." And to Roy Rowan who introduced all the Lucile Ball shows. And to Horace Dasher Quigg, "globe-trotting" UPI correspondent for half a century. And good riddance to Seinfeld. (haha)

 

SIGNING OFF

From "Jolly Olde England" as forwarded by Bob Lovejoy:

"If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons."

"Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken," and "After tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board."

"Automatic washing machines: please remove all your clothes when the light goes out. Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of."

"Bargain basement upstairs. We exchange anything - bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?"

"Out to lunch: if not back by five, out for dinner also."

"Smarts is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome."

And outside a new town hall to be opened by the Prince of Wales:

"The town hall is closed until opening. It will remain closed after being opened. Open tomorrow."

Notice in health food shop window: "Closed due to illness."

"We can repair anything. (Please knock hard, as the bell doesn't work)"

 

"Life is like a shit sandwich. But if you've got enough bread, you don't taste the shit."
(Jonathan Winters)

 

Published 5/18/98

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor