"Perry Como's Christmas Special:
The members of a Greek family are murdered systematically in a bizarre fashion."
- Old Toronto Sun TV listing


'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting - even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor,
while upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

"Now Macys, now Broadway, now Pennys and Sears,
Here's Levitz and Target and Mervyn's - all here!!
To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer

   "The average American takes six months to pay off holiday credit-card bills."
- Trivia from Magic Mike


   "Jesus was this cool guy who lived 2,000 years ago. He had long hair and wore a robe and he preached peace and love and stuff till he got a lot of followers who thought he was the messiah. Then one of his followers named Judas betrayed him to the Romans who nailed him to a cross and he died.
   "Then I went backstage and met him and told him how good he was. I told him I really liked the part where they crucified him. Then I met Judas and told him how good he was, even better than Jesus.
   "It was really cool because dad was friends with Jesus, and this wasn't some new Jesus, it was the original Jesus. Then dad and Jesus and Judas had a glass of wine together while I ran around the dressing room playing with Jesus's kids."
(Michael Dare's 8-year-old son, Buster, at the Universal Amphitheatre revival of "Jesus Christ, Super Star" c. 1995)

   "The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face." - Jack Handy


   Magic Mike writes that Jerry Lewis was substituting for Johnny Carson when Ed McMahon "decided he was going to teach me the NBC announcer's test [which] involves retention, memory, repetition, enunciation, diction, and ten factors that use every alphabet letter
   . . . "One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters, five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Don L. Berso's tweezers, seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array, eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt, nine apathetic, sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity for procrastination and sloth, 10 lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quay of the quay of the quivey - all at the same time."
   This is also known as the Tibetan Memory Trick, traced to the Boy Scouts' Song Book and Flo & Eddy of The Turtles. So, the Carol Conspiracy deepens . . . unless you "believe" the killjoys over at Urban Legends: <http://www.snopes2.com/holidays/xmas/12days.htm>

   "Average wage of a mall Santa, $11 an hour. With real beard, $20; (Pogonophobia - the fear of beards)."
- More from the Magical Michael


60 F * Floridians wear coats, gloves and woolly hats. New Englanders sunbathe.
50 F * New Yorkers try to turn on the heat. They plant gardens.
40 F * Italian cars won't start. They drive with the windows down.
32 F * Distilled water freezes. Lake Winnapesaukee cools off.
20 F * Californians shiver uncontrollably. New Englanders have the last cookout before it gets cold.
15 F * New York landlords finally turn up the heat. They throw on a "sweatah."
0 F * Californians fly away to Mexico. They take in the flag.
-20 F * People in Miami cease to exist. New Englanders get out winter coats.
-40 F * Hollywood disintegrates. Maine Girl Scouts sell cookies door to door.
-60 F * Penguins flee Antarctica. N.E. Boy Scouts do "Winter Survival" classes.
-80 F * Mount St. Helen's freezes. New Hampshire-ers rent videos.
-100 F * Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. New Englanders are frustrated because they can't thaw the keg.
-297 F * Microbial life survives on dairy products. Cows in Rhode Island complain of farmers with cold hands.
-460 F * Atomic motion stops. New Englanders ask: "Cold 'nuff for ya?"
-500 F * Hell freezes over. The Red Sox win the World Series.

   "Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg."
- Anonymous


   The weary holiday traveler looked in disbelief at a bunch of mistletoe hanging above the luggage at the check-in counter. Turning to the attendant he said, "I like your mistletoe. Is it for customers or only personnel?"
   "Neither," she said. "It's so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."

   " . . . And a nose like a cherry? It's called ROSACEA and you don't have to put up with it anymore!"
- L. A. Times ad for The Advanced Laser & Anti-Aging Medical Center (Gift Certificates Available)


   According to nice boy, Robert Clotworthy, the L.A. County D.A.'s office reported that naughty James Patrick Wood, 23, of Palmdale, pleaded guilty to the fatal beating of 64-year-old John Gailer, affectionately known as "Santa Claus" because of his distinctive beard and long hair, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison - plus an additional year for use of a metal pipe.
   Sheriff's deputies recovered the body three days after the slaying when they received complaints about "a foul smell" coming from Wood's Antelope Valley apartment. (Santa's pipe tobacco?)

[Go to next column to continue reading]

   "There are currently 78 people named S. Claus living in the U.S."
- Magic Mike


The Clinton Virus: Gives you a 7-inch hard drive with NO memory.
The Bob Dole Virus: Makes a new hard drive out of an old floppy.
The Lewinsky Virus: Sucks out all the memory, then emails everyone.
The Ronald Reagan Virus: Saves your data, but forgets where it's stored.
The Mike Tyson Virus: Quits after two bytes.
The Jack Kevorkian Virus: Deletes all old files.
The Prozac Virus: Totally screws up your RAM, but your processor doesn't care.
The Joey Buttafuoco Virus: Only attacks minor files.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Virus: Terminates files, leaves, but "will be back."
The Lorena Bobbitt Virus: Reformats your hard drive into a 3.5 inch floppy, then discards it through Windows.

   "Will the next President be able to avoid his predecessor's football?"
- Closed-caption on Fox cable TV.


   At 78, American theatre icon, Jason Robards, took his "curtains" call but will long be remembered for his unique and exquisite portrayals elevating the "character" actor to heights never before attained. I worked with him in David Ossman's and Judith Walcutt's award-winning "War of the Worlds" audio production and found him pleasant, accessible and passionately committed.
   He often portrayed characters by playwright Eugene O'Neill and said, "I rely on the author. I don't want actors reasoning with me about 'motivation' and all that bull. All I want 'em to do is learn the . . . lines and don't bump into each other." (That ". . . " speaks volumes!)
   And Richard Brestoff writes that the late "Victor Borge's line about a smile reminds me of a simple proposition from the not yet thoroughly understood 'physics of comedy' - The shortest distance between two jokes is a straight line."

   "I'm startin' a group called 'DAMAD -
'Drunks Against Mothers Against Drunk Driving'!"
- Texas drinking pard of actor Terry Evans


   It was with great sadness that I heard that director/writer and friend Steve Sandoz had finally given up the ghost in Portland, Oregan. His was a brave, long and daring struggle with pernicious cancer, and his spirit and art will live long after his passing. I'm so glad to have known him both personally and professionally over so many wonderful years. I hope to soon receive more detailed news regarding his passing and his many achievements so that I can accurately portray his amazing life in a future orbit of the Planet.

   "There are two kinds of fools. One kind says, 'This is new and therefore good.' The other kind says, 'This is old and therefore better.'"
- Anonymous


* If you woke up this morning with more health than illness . . . you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
* If your parents are still alive (and still married) . . . you are very rare, even in the United States.
* If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep . . . you are richer than 75% of this world.
* If you have money in the bank and in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace . . . you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
* If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation . . . you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
* If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death . . . you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
* If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
* Count your blessings.

   "12 months ago . . . anybody who owned a physical store was considered to be an idiot, a Luddite, [but] evolution works very fast."
- Erick Gordon, director of the Florida Center for Retailing


   Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, author of '2001: A Space Odyssey,' urges the world to celebrate the new millennium tonight and said in a statement from his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka:
   "The intelligent minority of this world will mark 1 January 2001 as the real beginning of the 21st century and the Third Millennium."

"When public opinion can determine what is a fact - that's not a good thing."
- Jeff De Tray, Millennium Countdown Webmaster


   How could a year in which we walked picket lines for six months (!) have gone by so fast? But as we stumble out of this amazing annum, I look forward to a trip next weekend to the Consumer's Show in Las Vegas with the Firesign Theatre to promote the upcoming launch of XM Satellite Radio and the premiere of our live two-hour program, starting July 2001.
   Melinda continues rehearsals for "Relativity" directed by Pat Willson, which opens on Thursday, January 11th, at the Third Stage in Burbank, and fellow-actor Paul Gutrech informs us that the Antaeus' mounting of Arthur Miller's "The Man Who Had All the Luck" directed by Dan Fields, in which we all appeared, was chosen as one of the "Top Ten Best Productions of 2000" by L. A. Times Calendar critic Michael Phillips!
   And finally - thanks to you all for your support, criticisms and corrections during this past year. Here's a New Year's gift for you all by way of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre's Roger Gregg:

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.
- W.B. Yeats

   "No wonder Al Gore is so confused and thinks he won. Look at the year we've had! The #1 Rap Artist is a white guy, the #1 golfer is a black guy and Bill Clinton just returned from Vietnam."
- Ron Masak


Phil's "Signs of the Times"

compct_30.jpg (10348 bytes)

Where "Little Guy,  Bill Collector" Parks!
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2000 by Phil Proctor

Published 12/31/00