Volume 07

Our Favorite Rugrat

"You can tell it's spring in L.A. when all the cute little sports convertibles come out."
- Melinda Peterson


   London Correspondent Larry Belling sent me this sweet story of unrequited love, from Reuters. It seems that a sex-starved Norwegian moose fell head over hooves for a seductive Ford "KA" but caca-ed on it when it failed to respond to his hot, horny love. The car's owner, Leif Borgersen said he found his poor little KA abandoned, bathed all over with lick marks, slobber and poop.
   "The front yard was simply transformed into an outdoor lavatory," he told the Telemark Daily News. "I'm a bit uncertain whether from now on I should risk letting the car stand alone and defenseless in the front yard . . ."

   "Physics is like sex. Sure it has some practical results, but that's not why we do it."
- Late legendary physicist, Richard Feynman


   "Wow! Pow! Zap!! Watch out! DUCK!!!" It's the first day of Spring," wrote Magic Mike, whose Dad taught him from his "yute" - "Tis Spring, da boyd is on da wing.; but that is absoyd. The wing is on the boyd," remembered, no doubt, from some obscure "Dead End Kids "movie in the 30's.
   Rodney Lee observed that this week also marked the final plunge to earth of the Russian Mir space station, which our own Mission Control had been watching carefully, even changing its name to - "the Nasdaq Space Station."
   But you know, "Mir" means both "Peace" and "The World" in Russian; so what crashed? Pieces of the world? Or the world's hopes for peace? Well, in fact putting the pieces of the world's new space station together is helping us all to keep the peace.
   Meanwhile, back on terra infirma, the irrepressible Patty Paul informs us that in Britain, ladies will be able to make their chests two-cup sizes bigger thanks to "Gossard's Ultra-bra Airotic", which lets gals increase their cleavage thanks to strategically placed airbags and a built-in rubber pump. Modeled by celebrity babe, "Scary Spice", it has already had 100,000 orders.
   "In other words," notes Patty, "Sales are not likely to sag anytime soon."

   "Magic, like sex, is best experienced in person."
- Penn Gillette


   "Actors are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, actors face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get 'real' jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day they have to ignore the possibility that the vision to which they have dedicated their lives is a pipe dream. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the cars, the family, the house, the nest egg.
   "But they stay true to their dream, in spite of sacrifices. Why? Because actors are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Actors are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart.
   In that instant, they were as close to magic, God and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes."
So observes David Ackert
by way of actor/writer Vanna Bonta

   "We have in our conscious and unconscious minds a great vocabulary of images, and I think all human communication is based on these images, as are our dreams."
- Tennessee Williams, 1953


   In the face of a terrible and apparently pandemic epidemic, this important report is re-published here from Planet Farm Expert, Arlene Winnick:
   "While there has not yet been any official confirmation from health officials, 'and there probably won't be for the foreseeable future,' there are indications emerging from within the medical research community that Mad Cow Disease is not a single malady, but one of a variety of similar conditions of varying degrees of severity.
   "The most serious of these, even more dangerous than Mad Cow Disease itself, is Enraged Cow Disease while, at the other end of the severity spectrum, the least threatening condition is Mildly Provoked Cow Disease. Other variants, listed here in order of increasing severity, include: Perplexed Cow Disease, Annoyed Cow Disease, Indignant Cow Disease, Outraged Cow Disease and Angry Cow Disease.
   "Seeking to supplement insufficient government funding, the private Placate - a - Cow Foundation has begun raising money to support research through the sale of a special recording by Barry Manilow and the remaining Osmonds (or at least those who are still speaking to each other) of 'Make Some Cow Happy' (make just one cow happy, make one cow the cow you cling to, etc.) Future fund-raising efforts include a remake of Ella Mae Morse's 'Cow Cow Boogie' and a cable TV sitcom production of Tennessee Williams' 'The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore', which will probably run until the cows come home.
   In related developments, a Congressional committee will begin holding hearings next week on Foot and Mouth Disease during which at least some of the members will presumably put one into the other."

   "Overheard on the Range: Cow #1: What do you think of this Mad Cow Disease talk?
   Cow #2: What do I care. I'm a helicopter."
- Both of the above lifted brazenly from Richard Schulenberg's "And Rather Muse Than Ask Why"


   According to the Birmingham Sunday Mercury, a NY publishing firm is trying to figure out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for FIVE DAYS before anyone asked if he was feeling okay.
   George Turklebaum, 51, a proof-reader for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend.
   "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night," commented his boss Elliot Wachiaski, "So no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything."
   Ironically, George was proof-reading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died. The moral of the story? Don't work too hard. Nobody notices anyway.

   "Is not life a hundred times too short to bore ourselves?"
- Nietzsche

   "Double Agent? Your agent who doesn't find you work, but gets deals for those you despise."
- Gary Belkin

[Go to next column to continue reading]

* PP:


   From John "The Antic Antaean" Achorn: A student goes to a Japanese painter to learn about art. On the first day, the Master brought the student a small painting and said, "Contemplate this." Then he left the room.
   This went on every day for 7 years. One day in the 7th year the Master comes in and gives the student a painting and says "Contemplate this," and leaves the room.
   Angered, the student storms out and runs into one of his friends who asks, "Why are you so mad?"
   "I've come to learn to be a great artist from the Master," the student replies, "and every day for 7 years all he does is give me a new painting and asks me to contemplate it. For 7 years! I feel like I'm learning nothing! And today, to add insult to injury, he brought me a rather inferior painting, judging from the weak brush strokes, overuse of ink and non-integrated forms."

   "Painter Was Also an Impressionist"
- AP headline from Richard Schulenberg


   Over the past five years, Planeteer Jay Bernzsweig registered several domain names, which now, due to Boom.Dot.Bust, he is offering for sale. "No reasonable offer," he asserts, "will be refused," (No wonder...)

   "We agnostics can use a good laugh . . . send in the clones!"
- Ed Kysar


   Rich DeMaio recently attended a Director's Guild presentation honoring "The Rutles" and says Neil Innes was asked how he made The Rutles' songs sound so much like those of The Beatles.
   "All I had to do," he answered, "was write Beatles music and leave out the originality and inspiration!" He also revealed that when a reporter asked Mick Jagger how he got the deep lines in his face, Mick replied, "Laughter."
   "Nothing," the reporter retorted, "is THAT funny . . . !"
   And Eric Idle, in trying to answer a Monty Python question, finished with, "That doesn't really ANSWER the question, but it avoids it . . ."

   "If we knew we were going to be The Beatles, we would have tried harder!"
- George Harrison


   Michael Bell forwarded me a piece from his friend's Aunt Fran in Brooklyn, who supplies him with his "Jewish crack...s".
   Since the National Education Association is celebrating "Read Across America" by encouraging adults to read to children, "Green Eggs and Ham" is naturally one of the most popular books - and there's the dilemma. How can Jewish kids celebrate green Eggs and "HAM"? So, in honor of (and with apologies to) the estate of Dr. Seuss, here's a new ending:

   "Will you never see?/They are not KOSHER,/So let me be!
   I will not eat green eggs and ham./I will not eat them, Sam-I-am.
   But I'll eat green eggs with a biscuit. Or I will try them with some brisket.
   I'll eat green eggs in a box./If you serve them with some lox.
   And those green eggs are worth a try/ Scrambled up in matzoh brie!
   And in a boat upon the river,/I'll eat green eggs with chopped liver!
   So if you're a Jewish Dr. Seuss fan,/But troubled by green eggs and ham,
   Let your friends in on the scoop: Green eggs taste best with chicken soup!"

   "If a kid with a rifle comes out of the library and sees his shadow, there'll be six more weeks of school shootings."
- April Winchell, KFI Radio


   On March 22, William Hanna, of the revered Hanna-Barbera cartoon company, lost his animation at the age of 90, while March 24 marks the 90th birthday of his surviving partner, Joe Barbera.
   Renowned for creating such classic entertainment as Scooby Doo, the Jetsons, the Flintstones and cross-over artists Tom and Jerry, who danced with Gene Kelly in REAL movies, I had the pleasure of working with him as "King Gerard" in the "Smurfs" series, as welll as in a Christmas special with my wife, Melinda.
   Also, Richard Stone, a composer who won seven Emmys for his work on Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain and Tazmania, which I also worked on, joined the heavenly orchestra on March 9 at 47, after a long battle with cancer. Stone was widely acknowledged as the modern-day successor to Carl Stalling, whose zany musical scores accompanied many of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons. Stone also scored over a hundred of the Steven Spielberg-produced "Tiny Toon Adventures", reviving the Stalling tradition of fully orchestrated scores, synchronized music to character movement and a sly musical sense of humor. Donations may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 1010, Torrance, Calif. 90505.

   "Exiting a movie that had particularly good audio, an audience member was overheard saying, 'Wasn't it well lit! . . . Great audio can brighten a film like no other production element.' "
- Lee Davis of Sound Mind Theater


   We've lost some real luminaries recently, like Ann Sothern at 92, who said in 1987 "I think Hollywood has been terrible to me. Hollywood doesn't respond to a strong woman, not at all. How dare a woman be competitive or produce her own shows?" That same year, she earned her first Oscar nomination for "The Whales of August".
   And farewell to the Mamas and the Papas' John Phillips at 65. Best remembered, I think, in an L.A. Times letter from Michelle Hart who wrote of Phillips' philanthropy in driving them home after their car became unavailable after a visit to their dying grandmother. John responded when complimented on his vehicle, "It's a Lamborghini, especially built for me, especially built for my karma, for situations such as these, when I can help someone who needs it."
   And finally, close the book on Robert Ludlum, master of the spy thriller, who dotted his last "i" at 73. I worked with him as an actor with Vaughn Meader and the late, great Ronny Graham in the mid sixties when he ran the New Jersey Paramus Playhouse.
    A mutual friend, director Don Wilde, had encouraged him to try his hand at playwriting, but said of his first effort, "The plot is too complicated, but it would make a great book." The rest is publishing history . . .and now, silence.

   "I enjoy receiving Planet Proctor very much. It helps make up for the loss of Pluto."
- Former classmate, John Field



Phil's "Signs of the Times"

Guess they're busy, eh?
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 03/26/01