"She taught Lincoln how to love - and to like it!"
(Said of Mary Todd in a lurid ad promoting the 1930's movie, "Abraham Lincoln" by D.W. Griffith)


I seldom plug things other than ME, but if you live in Southern California, go see "The Summer Moon" by John Olive on the small stage at South Coast Rep. It's a wonderful, moving, funny, poetic cross-cultural fable built around the introduction of Japanese trucks and cars to the American market, brilliantly performed by Greg Watanabe, Tamlyn Tomita and John Linton. As alumni of the company, Melinda and I were invited to the company preview, not knowing what to expect, and we loved it. If you're interested, call the box office at (714) 708-5555.

(By the way, a "PROPS FUN FACTS" poster backstage at SCR reveals that "The oddest prop ever built [by our prop department] is a 16"long, bronze phallus from 'What the Butler Saw'." )

We also recommend "Mr. Allen, Mr. Allen" by Arnold Peyeser at the Whitefire Theatre on Ventura, which stars Jack "Rugrats" Riley in a charming slice-o-life about the brilliant radio years of comedian Fred Allen. (323.655.TKTS)

"I find TV very educational. As soon as someone turns it on, I immediately go to the library and read a good book"
(Groucho Marx)


When we were recently in London, they were airing the first in a 6-part series called "Pornography: the Secret History of Civilization." The title refers to the fact that when in the mid-19th Century archaeologists discovered sexually explicit statues and paintings from the ruins of Pompeii, they were immediately locked away in what became known as "The Secret Museum" and soon thereafter in 1857, the Victorians passed the Obscene Publications Act, defining "pornography" as we know it. The "programme" will also reveal that the Victorians were not really repressed about passion, they were rather "passionate about repressing."

Contribute to your Public Broadcasting Network and maybe you'll get to see Pan copulating with a goat, too.

"Martini is my favorite drink, one or two at the most.
Two, I'm under the table; three, I'm under my host"
(Dorothy Parker)


British Child Support Agency reports regarding patronage:

  • I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party, if this helps.
  • I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks.
  • I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact the BMW service stations in this area and see if anyone's brought in a car that matches that description.
  • So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is that I watched a cooking show about eggs earlier in the evening. If I'd have stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at [address given], mine might have remained unfertilized.
  • From the dates, it seems that my daughter was conceived while I was on holiday at Euro Disney. Maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom.
  • I have never had sex with a man. I am awaiting a letter from Pope confirming that my son's conception was immaculate and that he is Christ risen again.

(From Garry Margolis)

"Relive those moments you can't remember!"
(L.A. Hardrock Cafe Billboard)


Popular costumes from the LA Times Westside Weekly section:

  • "I'm going to be Jerry Hall because I'm getting a divorce, too."
  • "I'm going to be a soldier, so I can relive some bad memories."
  • And a 20-year-old girl responded, "A male 70s pimp; and my boyfriend, who is a little shorter than me, will be my prostitute."
  • The most common male costumes were "Austin Powers" characters, the Cat in the Hat, members of the band KISS, and Zorro; for women, Felicity Shagwell, Lucy, Medusa, Cleopatra and Wonder Woman.


A tall well-built woman with good
reputation, who can cook frogs
legs, who appreciates a good fuc-
schia garden, classic music and tal-
king without getting too serious.
But please only read lines 1,3 and 5.

"Good cowgirls keep their calves together"
(Bumpersticker - from outwestnewspaper.com)


According to Associated Press, a popular brand of Canadian-made doggie treats are being recalled because they may be tainted with salmonellas, and we all know that dogs hate fish. Pet Valu International pulled the following aptly-named "Rollover" products from the shelves: garlic-flavored pig ears, cheese-flavored pig ears, five-inch chews, lambie chunks and smoked or plain doggie chew hooves.

The article concludes that "Salmonella-tainted treats are not considered a risk for dogs, but pet owners could get infected." Made me howl.

"Never trust a dog to watch your food"
(Patrick, age 10)


Continuing the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, it was announced today that Christmas and Chanukah will merge. An industry source said that the deal had been in the works for about 1300 years, ever since the rise of the Muslim Empire. It is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Chanukah was becoming cost prohibitive for both sides, so by combining forces, the world will be able to enjoy a consist high-quality of service during the Fifteen Days of Christmukah, as the new holiday is being called.

As part of the conditions of the agreement, the letters on the dreydl, currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming unintelligible to a wider audience. Also, instead of translating "A great miracle happened there," the message on the dreydl will be the more generic "Miraculous stuff happens." In exchange, it is believed that Jews will be allowed to use Santa Claus and his vast merchandising resources for buying and delivering their gifts. In fact, one of the sticking points holding up the agreement for at least three hundred years was the question of whether Jewish children could leave milk and cookies for Santa even after having eaten meat for dinner.

A breakthrough came last year, when Oreos were finally declared to be Kosher. All sides appeared happy about this, although massive down-sizing is expected, with lords-a-leaping, maids-a-milking and elves being the hardest hit.

He then closed the press conference by leading all present in a rousing rendition of "Oy, Come All Ye Faithful." (From Janet Foreman)

[Go to next column to continue reading]

Seen in L.A., a homeless man with a cardboard sign reading: "Homeless, hungry, please help. God bless." On the other side it says: "Or, visit my website at www.hobo.com"


  1. Describe your problem:

  2. Now, describe the problem accurately:
  3. Speculate wildly about the cause of the problem:

  4. Problem Severity: A. Minor B. Minor C. Minor D. Trivial
  5. Nature of the problem: A. Locked Up B. Frozen C. Hung D. Strange Smell
  6. Is your computer plugged in? Yes___ No___
  7. Is it turned on? Yes___ No___
  8. Have you tried to fix it yourself? Yes___ No___
  9. Have you made it worse? Yes___
  10. Have you had "a friend" who "knows all about computers" try to fix it for you? Yes___ No___
  11. Did they make it even worse? Yes___
  12. Have you read the manual? Yes___ No___
  13. Are you sure you've read the manual? Maybe___ No___
  14. Are you absolutely certain you've read the manual? No___
  15. If you read the manual, do you think you understood it? Yes___ No___
  16. If 'Yes' then explain why can't you fix the problem yourself:

  17. What were you doing with your computer at the time the problem occurred?

  18. If you answered `nothing' then explain why you were logged in:

  19. Are you sure you aren't imagining the problem? Yes___ No___
  20. Does the clock on your home VCR blink 12:00? Yes___ No___ What's a VCR?___
  21. Do you have a copy of 'PCs for Dummies'? Yes___ No___
  22. Do you have any independent witnesses to the problem? Yes___ No___
  23. Do you have any electronics products that DO work? Yes___ No___
  24. Is there anyone else you could blame this problem on? Yes___ No___
  25. Have you given the machine a good whack on the top? Yes___ No___
  26. Is the machine on fire? Yes___ Not Yet___
  27. Can you do something else instead of bothering me? Yes__

(Ivan Berger)

"I've finally figured out why this whole Year 2000 problem is causing so much trouble. Fixing it depends on programmers finding a date. This isn't exactly one of our classic strengths"
(From Gary Margolis)


I recently noted an interesting item in the last issue of the Writers Guild West Member News that I thought I should pass along. According to Tom Burnam's "Dictionary of Misinformation," the phrase "In the beginning was the word" is often interpreted as referring to God's primal pronouncement; but in Greek, the word "word" which is "logos," actually refers to a communion between the divine and the secular realm.

A more accurate translation, thus, would be: "In the beginning was a communication between the divine world and the world on earth."

"I used to be an agnostic.
Now I'm a diagnostic.
See, I think there's something wrong
with God, but I have to figure out what it is"
(Doxey Kemp)


As director of communications [for the Taco Bell Corporation] I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company's training programs and materials. In the body of the memo one of the sentences mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals. The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR director's office, and told that the executive vice president wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn't stand for "perverts" (pedophilia?) working in her company.

Finally he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired -- and the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR manager was fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his dictionary, and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it. Two days later a memo to the entire staff came out - directing us that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday newspaper could be used in company memos.

A month later, I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper.

"If you think lines are long for the
Magic Mountain ride,
wait til 'Disneyland Hong Kong' opens in a
country with one billion people!
This reminds us, Disneyland is a
people trap owned by a mouse"
(George Mair's La La Land)


An aging man lived alone in Ireland. His only son was a political prisoner in Long Kesh Prison, and he didn't know anyone who would spade up his potato garden. The old man wrote to his son about it, and received this reply, "For HEAVENS SAKE, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!!!!!"

At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen British soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden, but didn't find any guns. Confused, the man wrote to his son telling him what happened and asking him what to do next. His son's reply was, "Just plant your potatoes." (From Peg McMahon)

"I believe that this nation should commit itself..."
(JFK, 25 May 1961)


Mary Kay Bergman. A bright spirit and a clear voice stilled. A tragic loss.


(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 11/15/99