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Volume 01

Phil and Melinda
From their private collection.

   "What would you like me to bring you?" - "A Bush Baby." - "A Bush Baby? Well, we'll have to see about that."
- Dr. Floyd to his young daughter by video phone in Arthur C. Clarke's "2001"


   "Shave your bush to protest Bush! Mad about another Bush in the White House? Then shear off your own and let him know." That's the call-to-arms of Silicon Valley co-founder Emily Hofstetter whose site focuses on women working in the Internet industry.
   "We have the power, now get into the shower and repeat after me: NO MORE BUSH," Hofstetter declaimed. "One Close Shave Deserves Another!
   "Save the clippings, bag them and send them to our Clown Prince President for his inauguration. Better still, let's all go to the inauguration and throw the 'bush clippings' at our new president like confetti at a ticker tape parade!"
   Hofstetter will be in D.C. for the swearing in and swears, "I am prepared to stay completely shaved for four years . . .Bush is something that I have between my legs and I can get rid of it if I want to."
- From

   "They asked George Bush if he knew what Roe vs. Wade was. He said it was the decision George Washington had to make when he wanted to cross the Delaware."
- once attributed to Dan Quayle


   Lloyd Robinson informs me that The Supreme Court banned public display of nativity scenes in Washington, DC. this Christmas past, although the ruling was not based on religious reasons. They simply were not able to find three Wise Men and a Virgin in the Nation's capitol. However, they had no problem finding enough asses to fill the stable.
   And Colorado's Peter Johnson and Wisconsin's Jim Lindberg, responding to the Drunks against Drunk Driving Crusaders in Texas, has informed me that in their states there is an organization called "DAMM -- Drunks Against MADD Mothers."

   "Look up Mike Sass for Good Apples"
- Ad in an old Goshen Daily News, according to my Hoosier mom, Audre.


   Lindberg also sent me a Xmas poem regarding the "New England" piece:
   "When it's Christmas in Wisconsin,/And the gentle breezes blow
About seventy miles an hour/And it's fifty-two below,
   You can tell you're in Wisconsin/'Cause the snow's up to your butt,
   And you take a breath of Christmas air/And your nose holes both freeze shut.
   The weather here is wonderful/So I guess I'll hang around,
   I could NEVER leave Wisconsin/My feet are frozen to the ground."

   "The election result is good for me . . . It's as if Quayle had won . . . It took his brother, his father, his father's friends, the Florida secretary of state and the Supreme Court to pull it off. His entire life gives fresh meaning to the phrase 'assisted living.'"
- "Doonsbury's" Garry Trudeau in The New Yorker


   Our good friend George Leroy Tirebiter, sent us the definitive last word on the "Twelve Days" Conspiracy (may it rest in pieces.)
   "All of the religious tenets supposedly preserved by the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (except for the number of sacraments) were shared by Catholics and Anglicans alike.
   "Although Catholics and Anglicans used different English translations of the Bible (Douai-Reims and the King James version, respectively), the contents of these bibles were primarily the same . . . A Catholic might need to be wary of being caught with a Douai-Reims Bible, but there was absolutely no reason why any of these items would distinguish a Catholic from a Protestant, and therefore none of them needed to be 'secretly' encoded into song."
    Or as The Firesign Theatre said many years ago
. . . "What is reality?"

   "I have been to reality, and they are not my people"
- Dan the Beachcomber


* Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either; just bugger off and leave me alone.
* It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
* No one is listening until you make a mistake.
* Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.
* Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
* Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
* If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
* If you drink, don't park; accidents cause people.
* If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
* The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

   "There's no stopping the future"
- Yogi Bera


   The first item in almost every Yellow Pages is "ABORTION" and that issue is bound to become a hot one during the "Burning Bush" years. So here's some observations on the subject for your consideration:
   "Humans can always make mistakes, and no one leader or group of people is above the law or 'more equal' than anyone else. So power must rest with the people, . . . and if there are serious problems, God sometimes doesn't require his creatures to practice his law.
   "So, under some conditions - such as parents' poverty or overpopulation - then abortion is allowed. This doesn't mean that we're changing God's law, it just means we're interpreting laws according to the development of science and the realities of the times."
   Which flaming radical, baby-killing, pot-smoking, adulterous, fornicating Liberal dared speak such blasphemy? Iran's Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei, that's who, quoted in Robin Wright's fascinating L.A. Times series on Islam. It's enough to make you turn Islamic, if only it hadn't ended Cat Stevens' career.

   "It often happens that I wake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must talk to the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope."
- Pope John XXIII


   Actor Peter Johnson tells me that a Ukrainian candy company, AO Odessa, is offering a chunk of pork fat dipped in "chocolat"
   The aptly named "Fat in Chocolate" comes in a red foil wrapper embossed with a mustached Ukrainian Cossack gorging on a glob usually consumed with vodka and pickles. The bars are reported to be sweet but salty, with "the gooey texture of well-cooked pasta", and a spokesman said that "while edible, the bars are not really meant to be eaten." It is, nonetheless, selling well to "laughing customers" in Kiev.

   "I will say that naming Spencer Abraham as secretary of energy shows a sense of humor. In 1999, Abraham sponsored a bill to abolish the department."
- Molly Ivins, Star Telegram

[Go to next column to continue reading]


   Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 4 large eggs, 2 cups dried fruit, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 bottle whiskey.
   Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Get a large bowl out. Check the whiskey again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink it. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer and beat one cup of butter in the large bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup.Turn off the mixer. Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
   Mix on the turner. If fired druit gets stuck in the beatererers pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey and check for tonsisticity. Next sift two cups of salt or something. Who cares? Check the whiskery again. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window. Check the whiskey again and go to bed.
(Paul Eiding Family Recipe)

   "There is certainly more in the future now than back in 1964."
Roger Daltrey, Singer/actor


   "Women's shopping impulses are starting to make some scents," claims Australian scientist Iain Waller in a report asserting that "the scent of a sexy man" can send a woman on a shopping spree.
   Apparently, male pheromones can send subliminal messages which influence a woman's spending habits. Research suggests that a store's sales staff might even tempt female shoppers to "Chaaaaaaarge!" by wearing perfume spiked with the spunky stuff.
   Just remember to use your A-male-ican Express card.

   "If music is to remain the voice of rebellion, it's got to continue to unnerve and upset parents. That's its job. And Eminem has probably done the best job of that of anyone in decades"
- NARAS President C. Michael Greene


At age 4....success is....Not peeing in your pants.
At age 12...success is....Having friends.
At age 16...success is....Having a driver's license.
At age 20...success is....Having sex.
At age 35...success is....Having money.
At age 50...success is....Having money.
At age 60...success is....Having sex.
At age 70...success is....Having a driver's license.
At age 75...success is....Having friends.
At age 80...success is....Not peeing in your pants.

   "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
- Eleanor Roosevelt


   My beautiful, talented, and sexy wife, Melinda, is appearing in a richly funny play about a family of professional prevaricators called "Relativity" at Burbank's Third Stage on Magnolia between Hollywood Way and Buena Vista. I've rarely been at a play when the audience applauded with anticipation as the lights came up on the second act, but that's what happened on opening night this Friday.
   Deftly staged by oft-honored director Pat Willson, it will play Thursday through Saturdays until March 3. Call for tickets at 818-842-4755 or contact me about our special "Groundhog Day" Theater Party on Friday, February 2, and enjoy our aftershow wine-and-groundhog reception. By the way, Melinda takes off her shirt in Act II. Hmmm. Maybe that's why they applauded . . .

   "This is Hollywood - a sunny place with shady people where the stars twinkle 'til they wrinkle."
- Unknown


   Julius J. Epstein, who with his identical twin, Philip, won an Academy Award for the script of "Casablanca," wrote his last "fade out" at 91 after more than 50 movies over a 50-year career.
   "There wasn't one moment of reality in 'Casablanca.' We weren't making art. We were making a living. Movies in those days were prevented from reality. Every leading man had to be a great sexual athlete. Every boy and girl had to 'meet cute,' and the girl had to dislike the hero when they met. If a woman committed adultery, she had to die. Now the woman who commits adultery is your heroine."
   Screenwriter Alvah Bessie added that "the twins won every wisecracking competition during lunch," and when Julius watched as the 1963 Bel Air fire destroyed his own two-story home on live TV, he said cooly, "Well, we always wanted a one-story house."

Renault: "And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?"
Rick: "My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters."
Renault: "What waters? We're in the desert."
Rick: "I was misinformed."

   Asked whether he had ever been a member of a subversive organization Julius replied, "Yes. Warner Bros."

   "I have left that branch of whoring and butchery behind. It almost seems that a distant cousin did it."
- Ingmar Bergman, retiring from film-making.


   "On the operating table for yet another procedure in his marathon battle with cancer," writes Jeff Manning of The Oregonian, "prominent Portland advertising figure and inveterate jokester Steve Sandoz asked his doctor if he wouldn't mind attending to his finger. Sandoz lifted his hand, which sported a gruesome novelty shop plastic finger with a spike driven through it.
   " 'I think it may be infected,' he said in an anesthetized haze.
   "Steve took his work very seriously," said friend Bill Foster, "But he also loved slapstick. He loved puns and satire. He loved to cackle."
   A longtime creative director at Portland advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, he launched the massive Nike and Windows campaigns, but the Firesign foursome first worked with him on a series of modest radio spots for Alaska Air; and later I had the pleasure of appearing in several of his surreal TV campaigns.
   Phil Austin and I also provided voices for two astronauts on the last of his annual trailers for the Portland International Film Festival where three years earlier, he'd created a promo called "Death," after Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal."
   "Sandoz's Grim Reaper walks the streets tapping the shoulders of the unfortunate souls whose time has come, then lightens up after meeting a woman. They go on a date to the movies. But he grows exasperated by a group of rowdies sitting nearby. He finally reaches over and taps them on the shoulder, restoring peace to the theater."
   On his obituary form, Sandoz's family listed him as a member of the "Brotherhood of St. Bozo, the order of monks who strive to make God laugh," which Steve created in his well-received 1998 film "God's Clowns", featuring the Firesign. His memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Wieden + Kennedy offices in his beloved Portland, where he lived with his wife and kids. Steve was 48.

   "Living in California adds ten years to your life. And those extra years I'd like to spend in New York."
- Harry Ruby


Phil's "Signs of the Times"

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The Porridge Bird Has Been Busy!
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 01/16/01