"It seems a little ridiculous now, but this country was originally founded as a protest against taxation"
(Bits & Pieces)


"Marijuana Issue Sent To A Joint Committee... Gators To Face Seminoles With Peters Out... Married Priests In Catholic Church A Long Time Coming... Messiah Climaxes In Chorus Of Hallelujahs... Governor Chiles Offers Rare Opportunity To Goose Hunters... Governor's Penis [read:'Pen Is'] Busy... Long Island Stiffens For Lili's Blow... Textron Inc. Makes Offer To Screw Company Stockholders... Starr Aghast At First Lady Sex Position... Thanks To President Clinton, Staff Sgt. Fruer Now Has A Son... Clinton Places Dickey In Gore's Hands... Clinton Stiff On Withdrawal..." (From Mr. KABC)

"My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will never, never surrender to what is right"
(Dan Quayle)


Hillary Clinton died and went to heaven and as she stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates she saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. "What are all those clocks?" she asked and St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said Hillary, "Who's clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved indicating that she never told a lie."

"And that one?"

"That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have only moved twice telling us that Abe only told 2 lies in his entire life."

"Where's Bill's clock?" Hillary asked.

"Bill's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

"Publicize your business absolutely free! Send $6" (Entrepreneur Magazine)


Once a year, the collectors of antique tents in Germany get together for a rally. Last year, the organizers decided to hold it in Mainz, but the local burghers took a dim view of so great an influx of tourists ruining their turf with tent pegs. They even had an anthem:

"Let Old and Quaint Tents Be Forgot and Never Brought to Mainz!"


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A friend's grandfather came to America from Europe, and after being processed at Ellis Island, he went into a cafeteria in New York City to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order. Of course, nobody did. Finally, a man with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and told him how things worked.

"Start at that end," he said, "and just go along and pick out what you want. At the other end they'll tell you how much you have to pay for it."

"I soon learned that's how everything works in America," Grandpa told our friend. "Life is a cafeteria here. You can get anything you want as long as you're willing to pay the price. You can even get success. But you'll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you You have to get up and get it yourself." (Bob Lloyd's "Over the Transom")

"I just got Arkansas' new state quarter – two dimes and a nickel taped together" (O.T.T. agin')


In a book called "When My Grandmother Was a Child" by Leigh W. Ruttledge, we learn that:

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented. There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

The American flag had 45 stars, and Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet. Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California which was only the twenty-first most populous state with a mere 1.4 million residents. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty -- a handful of ranchers and their families.

Yet eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one full-time servant or domestic. More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home, where a mere 14 percent had a bathtub. Most women washed their hair once a month using borax or egg yolks for shampoo. Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine, and marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were apt to become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour, of the sewing machine's foot pedals. They recommended slipping bromide which was thought to diminish sexual desire, into the women's drinking water. Insulin, and antibiotics and plutonium, hadn't been discovered yet.

The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven. There were about 230 reported murders annually. The five leading causes of death were: Pneumonia and influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart disease, and Stroke. Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education but attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard." Only six percent of all Americans graduated from high school. One in ten US adults couldn't read or write.

Drive-by shootings-in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses firing at random at whatever caught their fancy, were an ongoing problem in cities in the West and there were only 8,000 cars in the US with only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph.

A worker made between $200 and $400 per year and the average wage was twenty-two cents an hour. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000, and a mechanical engineer about $5000. Sugar cost four cents a pound; eggs were fourteen cents a dozen; coffee, fifteen cents a pound. Only 8 percent of the population had a telephone, and a three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

Punch-card data processing had recently been developed, and early predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the government to help compile the 1900 census.

[Go to next column to continue reading]

"He who gives up his freedom for safety deserves neither freedom, nor safety"
(Thomas Jefferson)


Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed amputating the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without it they'd not be able to draw the renowned English longbow -- or "pluck the yew" -- against them, as the weapon was constructed from the native English yew tree.

However, much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking them by waving their middle fingers at the defeated enemy crying, "PLUCK YEW! We can still pluck yew!"

As this was not easy to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning gradually changed to a labio-dental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter.

And finally, because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow the symbolic gesture gradually became known as "giving the bird."

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us"
(George Orwell)


Careful viewers of the video release of Disney's Tarzan have noted that Clayton's death scene at the end of the film has been eliminated. In the theatrical version the shadow of Clayton's hanging body was clearly seen; on the video version, the villain's death is inferred.

G. Michael Dobbs, the author of "Animation Planet," asks why:

"The film was a success and was viewed by a lot of little kids. Tarzan is one of the few Disney features of recent memory that was not criticized by the politically correct police or the religious right. So why make the cut now? Anyone care to make a guess?"

"The script is too bloody and thirsty"
(Samuel Goldwyn to James Thurber)

"I'm horror and struck"
(James Thurber to Samuel Goldwyn)


From "Autoweek", this is what it costs to buy a gallon of --

Milk @ a quart for $1.59 = $ 6.32

Lipton Ice Tea @ 16oz for $1.00 = $ 9.52 per gallon

Ocean Spray @ 16oz for $1.25 = $ 10.00

Gatorade @ 20oz for $1.59 = $ 10.17

Diet Snapple @ 16oz for $1.29 = $10.32

Evian water @ 9oz for $1.49 = $ 21.19 per gallon (for water!)

Scope @ 1.5oz for $0.99 = $ 84.84

STP Brake Fluid @ 4oz for $3.85 = $123.20

Whiteout @ 7oz for $1.39 = $254.17

"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean"
(Arthur C. Clarke)


A: Midrash
Q: What is a Middle East skin disease?

A: The Gaza Strip
Q: What is an Egyptian Belly Dance?

A: A classroom, a Passover ceremony, and a latke
Q: What is a kheder, a seder, and a tater?

A: Sofer
Q: On what do Jews recline on Passover?

A: Babylon
Q: What does the rabbi do during some sermons?

A: Kishka, sukkah, and circumcision
Q: What are a gut, a hut, and a cut?

"I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me – they're cramming for their final exam"
(Source lost in cyberspace...)


Can fat people go skinny-dipping? Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? Can you be a closet claustrophobic? Why is the word abbreviation so long? Is there another word for synonym? Is it possible to be totally partial? What's another word for thesaurus? If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success? If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap? If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off? When companies ship Styrofoam, what do they pack it in? If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound? Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift? What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?

Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow -- only to be troubled and insecure? Why do they report power outages on TV? Why is bra singular and panties plural? If you're cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

"Did you hear about the dyslexic who went into a bra?"
(Unsource known)


Finally, thanks again to all of you who came to see me in Alercon's "The Liar." And my apologies to those of you who were turned away. Antaeus' next production opening on April 15, "The Man Who Had All the Luck" by Arthur Miller, will be a longer run at a larger venue, the Ivy Sub Station in Culver City, and both Melinda and I are in it. Plan to come early!!!

An agent, sipping drinks at an outdoor café as one of his clients strolled by, was heard to exclaim, "There goes the son-of-a-bitch who takes 90 percent of what I earn"
(Donald C. Farber in WGA's "Written By" magazine)


(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 2/28/00