"Carol, I can't work in a sewer. I come from California"
(Orson Welles to "Third Man" director, Carol Reed)


A new computer virus is spreading throughout the Internet! Named "Strunkenwhite" after the authors of a classic guide to good writing, it returns e-mail messages that have grammatical or spelling errors. The virus is causing something akin to panic throughout corporate America, which has become used to the typos, misspellings, missing words and mangled syntax so acceptable in cyberspace.

A top executive at a telecommunications and long-distance company, 10-10-10-10-10-10-123, said: "This morning, the same damned e-mail kept coming back to me with a pesky notation claiming I needed to use a pronoun's possessive case before a gerund. With the number of e-mails I crank out each day, who has time for proper grammar? Whoever created this virus should have their programming fingers broken."

A broker at Begg, Barow and Steel said he couldn't return to the "bad, old" days when he had to send paper memos in proper English. "When you're buying and selling on margin, I don't think it's anybody's business if I write that 'i meetinged through the morning, then cinched the deal on the cel phone while barreling down the xway.'"

If Strunkenwhite makes e-mailing impossible, it could mean the end to a communication revolution once hailed as a significant timesaver.

"There are more collect calls on this day
(Father's Day!) than any other day of the year"
(from "Phil's Phunny Facts")


Test answers from Hell... "The Earth makes one resolution every 24 hours. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the organ of the species. The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made man think. Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards. A magnet is something you find crawling all over a dead cat.

To remove air from a flask, fill it with water, tip the water out, and put the cork in quick before the air can get back in. To collect fumes of sulfur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube. The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars. The dodo is a bird that is almost decent by now. The cuckoo bird does not lay his own eggs.

Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them. Algebraical symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about. Geometry teaches us to bisex angles. A circle is a line which meets its other end without ending."

"If I had two faces, would I use this one?"
(Abraham Lincoln responding to a debater's
taunt that he was "two-faced")


These hand-signed interspecies exchanges are by Barbara Hiller from "The Journal of the Gorilla Foundation."

Koko: Me clown.

Barbara: You are a funny clown.

K: Clown nose you.

B: You're a clown nose.

K: Koko good.

B: I'm teasing you. You're very pretty.

K: Koko gorilla good.

B: Now, Koko, what do people put on their hands when its cold?

K: Stethoscope.

B: Koko, that's weird.

K: Think funny.

Contributions to "Save the Gorillas" can be sent to Box 620530, Woodside, CA 94062-0530 -- and go see "Tarzan" on Father's Day.

The California Lottery Commission, who recently
doled out $80 million to a soccer-playing, deer, elk
and dove-hunting 40-year-old machine shop supervsor
nicknamed "Chava," offers a booklet on how to cope
with sudden wealth. It's called "Screw You, I'm Rich."
(Scrooge McProctor)


How many Charismatics does it take to change a light bulb?

"One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness."

How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?

"None. God has predestined when the light will be on. We simply pray the light bulb will be one that has been chosen to be changed."

How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?


How many neo-orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?

"No one knows. We can't tell the difference between light and darkness."

How many TV evangelists does it take to change a light bulb?

"One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation today."

How many liberals does it take to change a light bulb?

"At least ten, as we need to hold a debate on whether or not the light bulb exists; and if we agree upon that, we still might not change it to keep from alienating those who might use other forms of light."

[Go to next column to continue reading]

How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?

"None. We use candles."

How many United Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?

"We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb (or light source, or non-dark resource), and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted -- all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence."

How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?

"Was ist das?"

In North Platte, Nebraska, mayor Jim Whitaker promised
he would "walk naked through the streets" if citizens
raised $5,000 for an animal humane society.
When they did, he adopted a dog, named it "Naked,"
and took it for a walk.


"Jar Jar is definitely gay!" proclaimed the Village Voice displaying a limp-wristed Jar Jar carrying a handbag on the front page and leading journalist Bill Hoffman to investigate the charge in a NY Post article.

"Jar Jar is definitely not gay," the Bronx-born voice of J-J, Ahmed Best told Hoffman. "He's not homo anything. But if people feel pride in thinking that he is the first gay character in 'Star Wars,' then that's fine."

And Dan Wilson, of the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in the West Village, adds "We'll just have to wait until Episode 2 comes out. Maybe Jar Jar will get together with C-3PO."

Director George Lucas asserts that 'Star Wars' is a fantasy movie set in a galaxy far, far away... To dissect [it] as if it has a direct reference to the world that we know today is absurd."

Falwell! Where are you when we need you?

"If you're born again, do you have two bellybuttons?"
(Anonymous Bosch)


Excerpted from resumes handed out in a recent Showcase at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood, thanks to our funny pals, Greg Benson and David Hussey:

"Typing, driver's license, good with kids and singing off key, bilingual, Ritual mask work, historical dance stylings, pratfalls, Military Rifle Twirling, Bullwhip Cracking. 100 m Joggling World Champion..."

I can just see the casting call: "Independent film-maker, Crane Derrick, is looking for a licensed mask-wearing, rifle-twirling, bullwhip-cracking juggling jogger willing to do pratfalls. Must be good with kids, able to type while dancing historically, and sing off key."

Don't call us.

"I'd wear a pickle suit and carry a billboard
to get my music noticed."
(Randy Newman)


From Steve Harvey's "Only in L.A." (in the Times of the same name), comes this funny but somehow accurate list of mangled local city names: Canoga Pork, West Ills, Manhattan Ditch, Monsterey Park, Isuzu -- and my personal favorite, Stupid City!

I, of course, live in Heavenly Bills.

"There's something about me that makes a lot
of people want to throw up"
(Pat Boone)


Screaming Lord Sutch, 58, the leader of Britain's most durable political fringe group, the "Official Monster Raving Loony" party, was found dead Wednesday at his London home, an apparent suicide, the BBC reported.

Before he went into fringe politics, Sutch headed a rock band called "The Savages", in which stars such as Noel Redding from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Keith Moon of The Who, and guitar legend Jeff Beck, played early in their careers.

Sutch, who stood unsuccessfully for Parliament more than 40 times from the 60s on, campaigned in the '97 general election under the slogan "Vote for Insanity, You Know It Makes Sense," with a platform that included "heated lavatory seats for pensioners" and "extending the Chunnel to Guernsey and Switzerland" to grant Britains "tax-haven status".

Sutch once said he had originally established his party for people who didn't want to vote, so he could declare himself the winner "if more people stayed home than went to the polls" and once bet five pounds ($8) that he would become prime minister, at odds of 15 million to one.

A spokesman for present Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "Screaming Lord Sutch will be much missed. For many years he made a unique contribution to British politics.''

A spokespider for Surrealist Party leader George Papoon said, "I lost an arm and a leg betting he'd win!"

"Big guy, big shotgun! Big guy, big shotgun!"
(A survivor of the recent Las Vegas
supermarket massacre. -- AP)



(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 6/6/99