"Do you know what would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men? They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and, brought practical gifts"
(Phil's Funny Facts)


I'm off to points East for theatre and grog,
And to see my dear Kristin, in Chekhov's "Ivanov."
We return end of month but Firesign did contrive
To put me (New Year's morn) onto KPFK live --
There, we'll broadcast a show to play o'er your TV,
If you watch "T'Rose Parade" and hit mute, then you'll see
The true story of Two Thousand and the years that will come;
And at last, when we're finished, I'll bet you'll be numb.
But I still haven't packed and don't have time for much fun,
So accept this poor poem and thanks, now I am done...


Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all... and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2000, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

NOTE: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

(From, but not by, Edgar Bullington)


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except Papa's mouse.
The computer was humming, the icons were hopping,
As Papa did last-minute Internet shopping.

The stockings were hung by the modem with care
In hope that St. Nicholas would bring new software.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of computer games danced in their heads.

PageMaker for Billy, and Quicken for Dan,
And Carmen Sandiego for Pamela Ann.
The letters to Santa had been sent out by Mom,
To santaclaus@toyshop.northpole.com

Which has now been re-routed to Washington State
Because Santa's workshop has been bought by Bill Gates.
All the elves and reindeer have had to skedaddle
To flashy new quarters in suburban Seattle. (Billville?)

After centuries of a life that was simple and spare,
St. Nicholas is suddenly a new billionaire,
With a shiny red Porsche in the place of his sleigh,
And a house on Lake Washington that's just down the way

From where Bill has his mansion. The old fellow preens
In black Gucci boots and red Calvin Klein jeans.
The elves have stock options and desks with a view,
Where they write computer code for Johnny and Sue.

No more dolls or tin soldiers or little toy drums
Will be under the tree, only compact disk ROMS
With the Microsoft label. So spin up your drive,
From now on Christmas runs only on Win95.

More rapid than eagles the competitors came,
And Bill whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, ADOBE! now, CLARIS! now, INTUIT! too,
Now, APPLE! and NETSCAPE! you are all of you through,
It is Microsoft's SANTA that the kids can't resist,
It's the ultimate software with a traditional twist -
Recommended by no less than the jolly old elf,
And on the package, a picture of Santa himself.
Get 'em young, keep 'em long, is Microsoft's scheme,
And a merger with Santa is a marketer's dream.
To the top of the NASDAQ! to the top of the Dow!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away - wow!"

And Mama in her 'kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
The whir and the hum of our satellite platter,
As it turned toward that new Christmas star in the sky,
The SANTALITE owned by the Microsoft guy.
As I sprang from my bed and was turning around,
My computer turned on with a Jingle-Bells sound.

And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates
Next to jolly old Santa, two arm-in-arm mates.
And I heard them exclaim in voices so bright,
Have a Microsoft Christmas, and to all a good night!

[Go to next column to continue reading]


Slot Machines -- Cash Lost in 'em

Animosity -- Is No Amity

Mother-in-law -- Woman Hitler

Snooze Alarms -- Alas! No More Z's

Alec Guinness -- Genuine Class

Semolina -- Is No Meal

The Public Art Galleries -- Large Picture Halls, I Bet

A Decimal Point -- I'm a Dot in Place

The Earthquakes -- That Queer Shake

Eleven plus two -- Twelve plus one

Contradiction -- Accord not in it


Dogs tags ring, are you listening'?
In the lane, snow is glistening'.
It's yellow, NOT white - I've been there tonight,
Marking up my winter wonderland.

Smell that tree? That's my fragrance.
It's a sign for wand'ring vagrants;
"Avoid where I pee, it's MY property!
Marked up as my winter wonderland."

In the meadow dad will build a snowman,
following the classical design.
Then I'll lift my leg and let it go, Man,
So all the world will know it's mine-mine-mine!

Straight from me to the fencepost,
flows my natural incense boast;
"Stay off of my TURF, this small piece of earth,
I mark it as my winter wonderland.

(From Spot)


Twas the night before Christmas, da whole house was mella,
Not a creature was stirrin', cuz I had a gun unda da pilla.
When up on da roof I heard somethin' pound,
I sprung to da window, to scream, "YO! Keep it down!"
When what to my wanderin' eyes should appear,
But da Don of all elfs, and eight friggin' reindeer!

Wit' slicked back black hair, and a silk red suit,
Don Christopher wuz here, and he brought all da loot!
Wit' a slap to dare snouts, and a yank on dare manes,
He cursed and he shouted, and he called dem by name.

"Yo Tony, Yo Frankie, Yo Vinny, Yo Vito,
Ay Joey, Ay Paulie, Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!"
As I drew out my gun and hid by da bed,
He flew troo da winda and slapped me 'side da head.

"What da hell you doin' pullin' a gun on da Don?
Now all you're gettin' is coal, you friggin' moron!"
Den pointin' a fat finga right unda my nose,
He twisted his pinky ring, and up da chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, obscenities screamin',
Away dey all flew, before he troo dem a beatin'.
Den I heard him yell out, what I did least expect,
"Merry Friggin' Christmas to all,
And yous better show some respect!"


Thespian Desmond Llewelyn, most famous for his long-playing role as "Q" in the eternal James Bond film series, died yesterday in a head-on collision in Great Britain as he was driving home from a book-signing of his "auto"-biography. Guess he wasn't driving in a Bond car, or he would have ejected. We will miss him, but John Cleese will have to do.


Yes. Please refrain from sending me any email until I return on the twenty-ninth. When I go off on a personal trip, I am officially "off the beeper" and that means off line and off center as well.

I hope you've enjoyed this fourth year of the Planet, and if you ever want to "stop it and get off," just let me know and I'll gladly oblige. I do try to be original but this is also a spot for the best of spam, and though I try to add new flavors to old recipes, I realize that some of you may have already tasted the dish and want to try something new.

Have a Merry Whatever --
And I'll see you in the year 2000,
or something like it.


(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 12/20/99