"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is
no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd."
(Bertrand Russell)


In the beginning was the plan. And then came the Assumptions. And the Assumptions were without form. And the Plan was without substance. And darkness was upon the face of the Workers. And they spoke among themselves, saying, "It is a crock of shit, and it stinks."

And the spokesperson went to their Supervisors and said, "It is a pail of dung, and we can't live with the smell."

And the Supervisors went to their Managers, saying, "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

And the Managers went to their Directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its strength."

And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."

And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying onto him, "This plan will actively promote growth and vigor of the company with powerful effects"

And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good. And the Plan became Policy.

And that is how shit happens.


"If the competition were drowning,
I would shove a hose in his mouth"
(Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's)


Tulis' McCall's wonderful one-woman show "Running With Scissors", directed by yours as truly as possible, starts a 6-week run on June 8th, Tuesday and Wednesday nights only at 8pm, at the beautiful Court Theatre, one-and-a-half blocks North of Melrose, at 722 N. La Cienega. Tickets are $20 (previews on 6/1 and 2 only - $15 ) and can be ordered at TipsMcC@Yahoo.com or by calling 310 41-TULIS.

I was also asked to direct the Antaeus' Company's NoHo Arts Festival play this year, assisted by the loverly Melinda Peterson. It's a one act written in 1720 by Marivaux -- enjoying a long run -- entitled "Robin, Polished by Love" which I workshopped before touring with Firesign, and will be presented on Saturday, June 12 @ 12:30 and again on Sunday, June 13 @ 5:00 at the tented outdoor festival stage near Lankershim. It's free!

The cast, in order of appearance (and disappearance) includes fellow Anteans Alicia Wollerton, Janellen Steininger, Anna Mathias, Jonathan Nichols, Marcelo Tubert, Emily Chase, and un-Antean, Paul Willson. If you want to laugh your tights off, be there. Did I say it's free?

"I broke even! Thank God! I really needed the money"
(Late "Lollypop kid" Jerry Merrin, at the racetrack)


A question for Jon Lovitz, whose national Yellow pages ads are a hoot: "The first word in any Yellow Pages listings is -- what?"

The answer? "ABORTIONS."

Check it out!

"On Rocky and Bullwinkle, we offended everybody
but in a nice way"
(June "Rocky" Foray at the Luna Park "R&B Movie" wrap party)


In an article in the LA TIMES by Sebastian Rotella, 5/17/99, concerning strange names in Brazil, I hereby nominate the following to be added as honorary members of the FNC International:

Xerox, Skylab, Nausea, Colapso Cardiaco, Concetta Trombetta Diletta, Marafona ("prostitute"), Onurb Bruno, Antonio Treze de Junio de Mil Novecentos e Dezesette ("June 13, 1917") and -- Tchaikowsky Johannsen Adler Pryce Jackman Faier Ludwin Zolman Hunter Lins.

Nonetheless, Rotella points out that since state laws ostensibly prohibit names "that could expose children to ridicule," a carpenter in the town of Salvador was forbidden from naming his son "Rambo," or even the mother's compromise, "Sylvester Stallone."

"The defiant father told reporters that he would inscribe his son in another city, declaring: 'He's my son, and I'll name him anything I want.'"

And less we feel too superior, a recent caption under a picture from the Associated Press reads, "Five-year-old Tommy Bubonic looks at flowers placed where the driver of a big Cadillac intentionally plowed into the playground of a day care center..."

He's my son, damn it!

[Go to next column to continue reading]


One day, a wealthy family man took his son on a trip to the country so he could see how poor country people were. They stayed a day and a night in a very humble farm house. Once back home, the father asked the son: "What did you think of the trip?"

"Very nice, Dad."

"Did you noticed how poor they were?"

"Yes, Dad."

"And what did you learn?"

The boy thought for a moment and then said, "I learned that we have one dog in the house and they have four. We have a fountain in the garden and they have a stream with no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our garden goes to the edge of our property and they have the entire horizon as their backyard. Thank you, Dad, for showing me how poor we really are."

"When asked what made him happy, George Burns replied, "A good cigar, a good meal... and a good woman or a bad woman. It depends on how much happiness you can handle."
(Charles Gouaux in The Journal of Psychohistory, Spring 1999)


A man who worked for a fire station came home from work one day and told his wife, "You know, we have a wonderful system at the fire station. Bell 1 rings and we all put on our jackets. Bell 2 rings and we all slide down the pole. Bell 3 rings and we're ready to go on the trucks. So from now on we're going to run this house the same way. When I say Bell 1, I want you to strip naked. When I say Bell 2, I want you to jump into bed, and when I say Bell 3, we're going to make love all night."

The next night he came home from work and yelled "Bell 1" and his wife took off her clothes. He then yelled "Bell 2" and his wife jumped into bed. Then he yelled "Bell 3" and they began to make love. After 2 minutes, his wife yelled "Bell 4!" The husband said, "What's this Bell 4???"

And the wife replied "More Hose!!!"

"Too many balls. Not enough life."
(Juggler-mathematician Ronald Graham, quoted in the LA Times "Science File" by writer K.C. Cole - 5/20/99)


"Quicksand! Any person passing this point will be drowned by order of the district council! The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges! Beware! I shoot every tenth trespasser, and the ninth one has just left."

"Due to increasing problems with litter, louts and vandals we must ask anyone with relatives buried in the graveyard to do their best to keep them in order. For anyone who has children and doesn't know it, there is a day care on the first floor."

"There's a nice saying: I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous." (Graham again - ibid)


Public reactions to "$tar War$, the Phantom Menace" from the L.A. Times:

"This is not about Christianity. This is not about Hinduism. This is about something else." (Gary Copeland, Fountain Valley)

"Obi-Wan taught us about life, man." (Houston's Tom Sheene)

"It's like God has smiled on us. . . It's something people relate to more than Daniel and the Lion's Den and that type of stuff." (Mike Jacobs of Toronto)

"Feel, don't think"
(Liam Neeson as the Jedi)


Offstage at last -- veteran character actor Henry Jones, who's career scanned a half a century; and whom I saw "live" in the "Bad Seed" on Broadway. I'll never forget his "prolonged final syllables [and] sleepy eyes" (as he was described in the L.A. Times obituary).

And also from the same paper, a story from Belgrade:

"Dojcin Brankovic died in 1991, and the stone erected then had a place for his widow, Zlatinka, with her name and birth year, 1917, already etched. She died from a bomb that missed the telephone exchange, her family grave site broken by the bomb that missed the fuel depot."

And finally, a belated adios to the immortal Senor Wences, who when asked about death said, "It's easy. It's difficult."

"A day without sunshine is like night."



(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 5/26/99