HOW'S THIS FOR
We saw the
penultimate performance of Deborah Pearl in "Chick Singers" at the Cinegrill in
Hollywood, her moving and funny one-woman show directed by Clifford Bell, aka
"Lawrence of Cabere'bia." At the end of the evening, Deborah quotes what Martha
Graham once said to Agnes DeMille:
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated
through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression
is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be
lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor
how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to
keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel opened."
Or, as it is written in the Gospel of Thomas, "If you bring forth that
which is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth that
which is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
to fail to find the new."
- Robin Williams/The Charlie
A VISA commercial was
shot in Los Angeles during our painfully prolonged commercial strike, using a scab
actress. Later one of the members of the crew came into a local production facility to
reorder all the equipment used for the shoot.
It seems that once they'd wrapped they discovered to their chagrin that the actress
they had used was one of the top PORN
STARS in Southern California. Guess it wasn't a spot for Viagra.
"First they ignore you. Then they
laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
YOU'RE DRIVING ME NUTS
Slow down and prepare to
yield! These are real answers as collected by Kenny Morse (MR
TRAFFIC), from the California Department of
Transportation's driving school exams:
When driving through fog, what should you use? -- Your car.
Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road? -- What for? He
can't see my license plate.
Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same
time? -- The pick up truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, "Guns
don't kill people, I do."
What can you do to help ease a heavy traffic problem? -- Carry loaded
How can you reduce the possibility of having an accident? -- Be too drunk to
find your keys.
What problems would you face if you were arrested for drunk driving? -- I'd
probably lose my buzz a lot
What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no longer drive
lawfully? -- I would be forced to drive unlawfully.
What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light and a flashing
yellow traffic light? -- The color.
What are some points to remember when passing or being passed? -- Make eye
contact and wave "Hello" if he/she is cute.
How do you deal with heavy traffic? -- Heavy psychedelics.
"Peanut butter causes high blood
pressure; and when I put a band aid on the window, that means bike parts are
- Dr. Scialli's psychotic quote of the week.
FROM THE PLANETEERS
Steve Durgin sent me a transcript of a message
from some exercise clothing purchased by his wife:
"This hang tag shows Marika
activewear for women. And while it is not specifically forbidden for men to wear these
garments, such misappropriation may result in a svelter form, a secure feeling of support,
and an uncanny ability to ask for directions."
Michael Packer noted a sign at a local Grand Rapids filling station that
says: "Person must stay outside of vehicle and in full view of fueling nozzle while
And fellow Los Angelino Michael Sheehan says he "thought of Planet
Proctor today as I drove by a Caddy hearse with the license plate 'WEHAULU'", inspiring me to offer
some personal plates I'd love to see on the road:
DUI, BAD DRVR, ON DRUGS 2, BLIND DRVR, BACK OFF, ON CELL PHN, STP N GO, ROAD HOG, IM LOST,
DRUG DLR, BTCH ON WHLS
And in an article from the Westside section of the L.A. Times about the
17-foot-long wiener-in-a-bun shaped "Tail 'o the Pup" food stand,
come these alien observations on our culture: "It's ugly," says ex-D.C. resident
Michael Fiertag. "Look at it. It's a giant plastic hot dog. It's typical L.A."
But Dr. Goetz Pfander from Germany disagrees: "I love hot-dog culture.
These people are crazy for foot-long hotdogs and now this. The Americans need to over blow
their phallic symbols."
can make you feel inferior without your permission."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
SPEAKING OF OVERBLOWN
Roseanne is running for President. She
declared her intentions to run on the "Woman's Ticket" at the Shadow Convention during the last days of the
DNC with the following planks in her platform . . . shoes:
"Make war illegal, provide free plastic surgery on demand and support genetic
engineering to make men more docile but endowed with larger genitals." You go, girl!
On a gentler note, the ever-classy author Ray Bradbury was honored during his
birthday week by the Colony Theatre currently reviving "Dandelion
Wine", a musical based on Ray's short story about growing up in the Midwest. As
the Times' Patt Diroll observed in her "Social Circles" column, "It was
quite a night for a guy who's transported us to outer space but doesn't drive a car."
"When people ask me where I get my imagination," says Mr. B,
"I simply lament -- 'God, here and there, makes madness a calling.'"
"The story doesn't end just because the writer has
HOW YOU LOOK AT IT
Billy Bowles sends me the joke about a Brit, a Frenchman and a
Russian viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.
"Look at their
reserve, their calm," muses the Brit, "They must be British."
"Nonsense," the Frenchman disagrees, "They're naked, and so
beautiful. Clearly, they are French."
"No clothes, no shelter," the Russian points out, "They have
only an apple to eat, and they're being told this is paradise. Clearly, they are Russian."
"Malfunctions occurred on the ship, as a result of which the
submarine had to lie down on the ground."
- Russian naval spokesmen on the
next column to continue reading]
And from the always fruitful pages of London's Fortean Times comes
the enlightening discovery from unnamed Swedish Press sources, that the mysterious
submarines purportedly encroaching on Sweden's waters in the 80s and early 90s and dubbed
USOs ("Unidentified Submarine Objects") by the tabloids, were really just
sonar-like sounds emitted by --
"farting shoals of herring."
"An Irish pub is a thunderstorm during an earthquake with shattered
glass - and they all smoke."
- Actor Richard Erdman
WILD AND WILDER
Thanks to our dear friend, actress/writer Tulis McCall, we were able
to be present last Friday for a special screening of a newly restored print of
"Sunset Boulevard" at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. It was arranged by
Paramount especially for director Billy
Wilder, who wanted to see his witty dark comic masterpiece once again on a big screen
with an audience. What a thrill. We sat close to the dear man, who is confined to a
wheelchair these days; and after the credits rolled, the star-studded crowd rose to its
feet as one, overflowing with emotion, and gave Mr. Wilder a sustained ovation.
like tires on a car; in order to get anywhere at all, you need at least four of them, and
they need to be rotated every 5,000 miles."
- Billy Wilder, 1950, recalled by Richard Erdman during filming of "Stalag 17".
WE GET E-TTERS
In response to the Frankenfoods featured in
the last orbit, David Gans e-sponds: "Do you remember the commercial in which the
'scientist', Arnold Stang, or someone like him, announces that he's solved the sandwich
problem by developing a square tomato, only to be foiled by the introduction of -- ROUND
And Gary Margolis
forwarded me this promotional material for "Tony & Tina Vibrational Remedies" -- a line
of cosmetics that includes products such as "herbal eyebrow pencils":
"We visualized a company designed to specifically help evoke the next
evolutionary step where the physical and spiritual worlds merge, allowing us to see new
possibilities for what we call reality . . . If you feel that a cosmetic line as a
satellite to our divinity too thinly stretches the use of metaphor, remember all language
is only symbolic (words that describe things) so metaphor is the only way to speak in
finite terms of the infinite." You go, guys.
"I've been in front of the computer screen all day; gimme
some 'in my face!' "
- Melinda Peterson
IT ALL ADDS UP
According to the L.A. Times, voters today are not that supportive of
tax cuts, a Gallup polls revealing that only 21% believe we "ought to cut taxes even
if it means putting off some important things that need to be done." Or as Robert
Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute says, "Where is it written that
politicians have to come up with a plan to spend every last cent...of a projected
Well, at least G. W. Bush has a coherent plan which he outlined last
week at a Des Moines fund-raising dinner:
"Between now and the next ten years," he began, "our budget's
going to grow from roughly $1.9 billion to an additional spending of $1.9 trillion to an
additional spending of $3.3 trillion. That's before we even account for the surplus. We
will spend $3.3 trillion over the next ten years on top of a $1.9 trillion budget. We've
still got trillions of dollars left on the surplus, and surely we can give some of that
money back to the people who pay the bills. Surely, surely we can."
He later went into more detail as he explained to reporters "that
starting with a baseline of about $1.9 trillion in the next ten years, the budgets will
increase by about $3.3 trillion. And yet we've still got another $2.3 trillion of
Good. And maybe some of that can be put aside to combat "terrorists or
rogue nations [that] hold our nation hostile or hold our
You go, George!
"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not
– Dan Quayle
BOOM DOT BUST
Well, The Firesign Theatre
has done it again - predicted the future, that is. According to Ashley Dunn in the Times
"Column One", there is a kind of glee abroad over the demise of so many defunct
dot.coms, once the "envy of the world, the subject of endless stories about
20-year-old multimillionaires and heartbreaking Porsche shortages in Silicon Valley.
"Now, these "snot-faced, body-pierced, spittle-laden boys, passing as men"
as once described by 43-year-old executive Rohit Shukla, are more apt to be labelled
and derided at websites like Dotcomfailures.com, while Salon online magazine offers advice
to the "nouveau poor" from "Dottie Downturn". As we say in our latest
Rhino CD, "Fly in on a boom, drive home on a bus..."
"Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden. Bus driver. Racoon Lodge Treasurer.
- Inscription on an 8-foot statue
just unveiled at the NY Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Mary K. Wells was canceled by the man upstairs after entertaining us
for 79 years. Although she'd been writing on "All My Children" since 1974, I
worked with her in 1962-3 when she played suburban matron Louise Capice on "The Edge of Night" and I
was juvenile delinquent Julie Kurtz who had the hots for Fran Sharon as "Cookie"
(no acting required).
I learned I'd got
the part walking across Grand Central Station waiting to return to Yale after reading for
the producers. Suddenly, an announcement boomed over the loudspeakers: "Will Phil
Proctor please report to the station master's office." There, a conductor told me
"Your agent wants you to call her." Thus was I cast in my first AFTRA job since
appearing in 1949 as a child actor on WPIX-TV's "Uncle Danny Reads the Funnies" --
for bags of Hurdy-Gurdy oranges.
When we did "Edge" it was live until several months into the '62
season when we went to tape. After my first show, I'll never forget the comment of a
charming elderly character actor who remarked as we removed our makeup, "Well, the
humiliation is over again for another day, and we still have one another." No
retakes, you see...
"I'll finally get to see Marilyn."
- Joe DiMaggio's last words.
LAVA LAMPS UNTO MY FEET
Edward Craven Walker, the inventor of the lava lamp and an enthusiastic nudist who made movies
like "Eves on Skis" and "Traveling Light" to promote life in the buff,
has died at age 82 of cancer.
"If you buy my
lamp, you won't need drugs" he once said, "I think it will always be popular.
It's like the cycle of life. It grows, breaks up, falls down, and then starts all over
"Feel The Fear - Do It Anyway!"
- Book by Susan Jeffers