that someday we will not only accept our differences, but celebrate them"
(Best actress Hillary Swank at the Oscars)
AN OSCAR BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL LIKE A CIGAR
As opposed to what I said in the last orbit, Tom Tully has informed me that the Oscar was actually named by Sidney Skolsky, a diminutive Hollywood columnist who later produced "The Jolson Story" and "Jolson Sings, Again."
An executive director of the Academy, Margaret Herrick, claimed to have named it after her uncle but could not substantiate it; and Bette Davis took out a full page ad in Variety admitting it was Sidney not she, who had dubbed the award an "Oscar"
Sidney put the true story in print in his column of March 16, 1934 in which he claims that he left the ceremony and went to Western Union to file his story but was unsure of the spelling of the word "statuette." The Western Union guy was no help, so Sidney remembered that vaudeville comedians of the time would turn to the orchestra leader and say "Have a cigar, Oscar?"
So he called it Oscar. "And that," says Tom, "is the origin of the name..."
"Linda Tripp is suing the government for
invasion of privacy. Invasion of privacy? Linda Tripp?"
URBAN CHAINMAIL MASSACRE
I was on my way to the post office to pick up my case of free M&M's sent to me because I forwarded an e-mail to five other people celebrating the fact that the year 2000 is "MM" in Roman numerals, when I ran into a friend whose neighbor, a young man, was home recovering from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is predictable, since as we all know, there's no actual chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is why the government made them change their name to KFC.
He told me that some guy went to sleep, and when he awoke, he was in his bathtub, and it was full of ice and he was sore all over, and when he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEY HAD BEEN STOLEN. He saw a note on his mirror that said "Call 911!" but he was afraid to use his phone because it was connected to his computer, and if he turned it on a virus would destroy his hard drive since he'd he opened an e-mail entitled "Join the crew!"
And he knew it wasn't a hoax because he himself was a computer programmer who was working on software to prevent a global disaster in which all the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (This is true, by the way! I read it last week in a mass e-mailing from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)
Anyway, the poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report his missing kidney, but a voice on the line first asked him to press #90, which unwittingly gave the bandit full access to the phone line at the guy's expense, and reaching into the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle wrapped in a note reading, "Welcome to the world of AIDS."
Luckily he was only a few blocks from the hospital -- the one where that little boy who is dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for everyone in the world to send him an e-mail because the American Cancer Society has agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail received. (I sent him two e-mails, and one of them was a bunch of X's and O's in the shape of an angel. If you get this one and forward it to more than 10 people, you will have good luck but for 10 people only, you will only have OK luck. and if you send it to fewer than 10 people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS.)
So anyway, finally, this poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital, but on the way he noticed another car driving without its lights on, so he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation.
**Send THIS to all the friends who send you junk mail and you'll receive 4 green M&Ms! If you don't, the owner of Procter & Gamble will report you to his Satanist friends and you will have MORE BAD LUCK: you will get sick from the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your shampoo, your mate will develop a skin rash from using the antiperspirant which clogs the pores under your arms, and the U.S. government will put a tax on your e-mails forever.**
(I know this is all true 'cause I read it on the Internet.)
- From Howard Hoffman
"There's a new drug on the market called
Gingko Viagra. It's designed to help you remember what the fuck you're
Barium - What you do when a patient dies
(From my double for Pat, Paul Eiding)
HOW TO SEDUCE A WOMAN
Compliment her, respect her, honor her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, stroke her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her, hold her, spend money on her, wine and dine her, buy things for her, listen to her, care for her, stand by her, support her, hold her, go to the ends of the Earth for her...
. . . AND A MAN?
Show up naked. Bring food.
"If marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will
OPEN YOUR THIRD EYE
Michael O'Donoghue, the late writer for National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live, quoted in a recent New Yorker profile on comedy writer George Meyer, used to say that humor has to be startling: "It has to reframe reality in a way that is exciting. It's like seeing two dimensions and then opening the other eye or looking through the View-Master and suddenly seeing in three."'
And Steve Levitan, creator of TV's "Just Shoot Me" and "Stark Raving Mad," adds, regarding the success of the Millionaire quiz shows: "After spending hours crafting a single moment or joke, it's a bit disheartening to learn so many people would rather see some guy guess the color of a Smurf. It gets to you."
[Go to next column to continue reading]
BEAR WITH ME
A Russian scientist and a Czechoslovakian scientist had spent their lives studying the grizzly bear. Each year they petitioned their respective governments to allow them to go to Yellowstone. Finally their request was granted. They reported to the ranger station and were told that it was the grizzly mating season and too dangerous to go out and study the animals. They pleaded that this was their only chance, and finally the ranger relented.
The Russian and the Czech were given portable phones and told to report in every day. For several days they did, and then - silence. The rangers mounted a search party only to find the camp completely ravaged with no trace of the missing researchers.
Following the trail of a male and a female bear, they trapped the female and fearing an international incident decided they must kill the animal to ascertain if she had eaten the unfortunate foreigners. And sure enough, when they opened the stomach, they found the remains of the Russian.
"You know what this means, don't you?" said the ranger. "The Czech is in the male."
"We want our teachers to be trained. We
want them to know how to teach the science of reading. In order to make
sure there's not this kind of federal cufflink, federal structure on
programs, there needs to be flexibility on the state level"
"If I were going to design a scheme to
cause trouble in society, you couldn't do much better than to sit every
child down and show him 20,000 murders by the time he graduates from high
"Richard Milhouse Nixon was the first US
President whose name contains all the letters from the word 'criminal.'
This (long) review (but funny) by Kenneth Langbell was purportedly published in the English language "Bangkok Post." It was sent by Alan Shearman from Ken Danziger with the following explanation: "This was given to me by my friend, Gene Raskin. It was a faded fax titled 'A Humid Recital Stirs Bangkok' that had been sent to him by a friend who works for a tourist board that deals with Thailand." You have been warned...
"The recital last evening in the chamber music room of the Erawan Hotel by U.S. pianist Myron Kropp, can only be described by this reviewer and those who witnessed Mr. Kropp's performance as one of the most interesting experiences in a very long time.
"A hush fell over the room as Mr. Kropp appeared from the right of the stage, attired in black formal evening wear with a small, white poppy in his lapel. With sparse, sandy hair, a sallow complexion and a deceptively frail frame, the man who has re-popularized Johann Sebastian Bach approached the Baldwin Concert Grand, bowed to the audience and placed himself upon the stool.
"It might be appropriate to insert at this juncture that many pianists, including Mr. Kropp, prefer a bench, maintaining that on a screw-type stool they sometimes find themselves turning sideways during a particularly expressive strain. There was a slight delay, in fact, as Mr. Kropp left the stage briefly, apparently in search of a bench, but returned when informed that there was none.
"As I have mentioned on several other occasions, the Baldwin Concert Grand, while basically a fine instrument, needs constant attention, particularly in a climate such as Bangkok's... In this humidity, the felts which separate the white keys from the black tend to swell, causing an occasional key to stick, which apparently was the case last evening with the D in the second octave.
"Some who attended the performance later questioned whether the awkward key justified some of the language which was heard coming from the stage during softer passages of his performance. However, one member of the audience, who had sent his children out of the room by the midway point, commented that the workman who greased the stool might have done better to use some of the grease on the second octave D. Indeed, Mr. Kropp's stool had more than enough grease, and during one passage in which the music and lyrics both were particularly violent, Mr. Kropp was turned completely around.
"Whereas before, his remarks had been aimed largely at the piano and were therefore somewhat muted, to his surprise and that of those in the room, he found himself addressing himself directly to the audience. Nevertheless he swiveled back into position facing the piano and, leaving the D Major Fugue unfinished, commenced on the Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor.
"Why the concert grand piano's G key in the third octave chose that particular time to begin sticking I hesitate to guess. However, it is certainly safe to say that Mr. Kropp did nothing to help matters when he began using his feet to kick the lower portion of the piano instead of operating the pedals as is generally done. Possibly it was this jarring, or the un-Bach-like hammering to which the sticking keyboard was being subjected which caused the right front leg of the piano to buckle slightly inward, leaving the entire instrument listing at approximately a 35-degree angle from that which is normal. A gasp went up from the audience, for if the piano had actually fallen several of Mr. Krupp's toes if not both his feet, would surely have been broken.
"It was with a sigh of relief, therefore, that the audience saw Mr. Kropp slowly rise from his stool and leave the stage. A few men in the back of the room began clapping, and when Mr. Kropp reappeared a moment later it seemed he was responding to the ovation. Apparently, however, he had left to get the red-handled fire ax which was hung backstage, for that was what he had in his hand. My first reaction at seeing Mr. Kropp begin to chop at the left leg of the grand piano was that he was attempting to make it tilt at the same angle as the right leg and thereby correct the list. However, when the weakened legs finally collapsed altogether with a great crash and Mr. Kropp continued to chop, it became obvious to all that he had no intention of going on with the concert.
"The ushers, who had heard the snapping of piano wires and splintering of sounding board from the dining room, came rushing in and, with the help of the hotel manager, two Indian watchmen and a passing police corporal, finally succeeded in disarming Mr. Kropp and dragging him off the stage."
You had to be there... wish I was.
"Did you hear about the new restaurant that
just opened up on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere."
FIRESIGN SEES ALL
Yes, on our newest CD "Boom Dot Bust" for Rhino, the "predictions" continue to come true: Smith and Wesson, the bust of the tech stocks. And now we hear that our Grammy-nominated "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death", which takes place on a "fictitious" radio station called "RadioNow", is fiction no more. Several planeteers have informed me that Indianapolis radio station WNAP, 93.1 FM, has appropriated the "Radio Now" name for its recent makeover. The URL is http://www.wnap.com... which automatically bounces you over to http://www.radionow93.com
(C) 2000 by Phil Proctor