rug5.jpg (24460 bytes)

Volume 08

Another shot of Phil during work on
"Rugrats In Paris - The Movie"

"I think this world would be unliveable without art."
- Director Steven Soderberg


   For all of you who were concerned about my 86-year-old mother, Audre, I'm happy to report that she made it through a rough surgery last week, is recovering well and will soon return to her new apartment at the Greencroft assisted living quarters where I hope she'll enjoy a long and less stressful life.
   Ironically, our pal producer Steve Ziplow was visiting his mom at her Boca Raton assisted care living home when the Spring time change went into effect. "They passed out a flyer," he writes, "informing the inmates that the staff was willing to come around and set the clocks ahead for a fee of $7.50. I couldn't believe this, absolutely outrageous. I turned to my mother and said 'Don't worry mom, I'll do it for $5.00.'
   "Of course, the Hoosier State refuses to even acknowledge Daylight Saving Time with the exception of a few counties, while citizens interviewed in the Elkhart Daily Truth say "Don't mess with what's not broken," and     "Hell, we're retired, we could care less . . . the Good Lord said don't worry about tomorrow. Tommorrow will take care of itself."
   Gee, and I thought that was a song lyric . . .

"Correction: On last month's schedule the writing credit for the film 'Pollock' should have read as follows: Based on upon the book 'Jackson Pollock: An Maerican Saga' "
- From Written By, the Writers Guild of America, West magazine


   During a week when Larry Harmon, the original "Bozo", announced that after four decades, he was hanging up his nose, I was not surprised when Commedia Artist John Achorn sent me a Reuters article about circus clowns taking out "custard pie insurance" so as not to be sued by splattered spectators
   "With an increasingly litigation-crazy public," stated a Clowns International release at its annual convention, "the ethics and legal implications of 'splatting' and 'sloshing' are expected to be hotly debated under the Big Top." Although no clown has yet been slapped with a suit by a custard-covered customer, C.I.'s honorary vice-president, Martin "Zippo" Burton stresses that only "fellow clowns and celebrities" should be targeted and that "white-faced clowns must never be hit."
   That, I assume, would be a waste of a good pie.

   "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
- H.G. Wells


   Would you like to work for a company with these statistics:
- 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
- 7 have been arrested for fraud
- 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
- 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
- 3 have done time for assault
- 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
- 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
- 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
- 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits and . . .
- 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year . . . ?
Then join the 535 members of the United States Congress - the same bozos that pass laws daily to keep us in line!
(From Glen Banks)

   "McDonalds today denied rumors that their hamburgers are made from mad cows, but admitted that sometimes, they get hot cross buns."
- Joan Shook Campeau


   In this science-fictional year of 2001, on April 28, a Bradbury Award will be presented at the Science Fiction Writers Of America's L.A. Nebula Banquet to honor "a dramatic medium whose important contribution to science fiction and narrative culture is often overlooked" - Audio Theater!
   It will be presented to Yuri Rasovsky for his NPR series "2000X - Tales of the Next Millennia", hosted by Harlan Ellison, which adapted more than 40 classic science fiction stories into 26 hour-long episodes, included Ray Bradbury's "Pillar of Fire," Ursula K. LeGuin's "Vaster Than Empires and More Slow," Robert Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps," Kurt Vonnegut's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," and Harlan Ellison's " 'Repent Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman." Richard Dreyfuss, Robin Williams (and Phil Proctor and Melinda Peterson) were among the stellar cast of performers for Yuri's Hollywood Theatre of the Ear, recorded mostly at Warren Dewey's Santa Monica Studios.

   "An ancient Japanese Saying says, give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he gets hit by a nuclear submarine."
- Jan Cobbler


   Do not allow any closed doors in any room. To get door open, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. It is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow or mosquito season. Avoid swinging doors . . .
CHAIRS & RUGS: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage that in time, get to an Oriental rug. Or shag is good. When throwing up, make sure you back up so it is as long as a bare human foot
BATHROOMS: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. Just sit and stare.
HAMPERING: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping," or "hampering."
   1) When supervising cooking, sit unseen just behind the heel of the cook where there's a better chance of being stepped on, picked up and comforted.
   2) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
   3) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work as possible. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. And embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks!
   4) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim: to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them. After being removed again, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one by one.
   5) When a human is holding the newspaper, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump, too!
   6) When a human is at a computer, jump up on desk, walk across keyboard, bat at "mouse" pointer on screen and then lay in human's lap across arms, hampering typing in progress!
WALKING: Dart quickly as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.
BEDTIME: Always sleep on the human so it cannot move around.
LITTERING: When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter out of the box as possible. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes. Every now and then, hide in a place where the humans cannot find you. Do not come out for three to four hours under any circumstances. This will cause the humans to panic (which they love) thinking that you have run away or are lost. Once you do come out, the humans will cover you with love and kisses and you will probably get a treat.
REMEMBER: Whenever possible, get close to a human, especially their face, turn around and present your butt to them. Humans love this, so do it often and don't forget guests.

[Go to next column to continue reading]

   "Excuse me, do you have the director's cut of "Schindler's Fist"?
- Phil Hendry


   You make over $250,000 a year and still can't afford a house.
   Over 85% of the cities, towns, and streets start with San, Los, El, La, Santa, De La, or De Los.
   Your child's third grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Breeze.
   You've been to a baby shower for an infant who has two mothers and a sperm donor.
   You have a masseuse, a trainer, a shrink and a psychic and so does your dog.
   Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, and your Mary Kay rep is a guy in drag.
   (You can't remember - is pot legal?)
   You know which restaurant serves the freshest arugula.
   You know which nights Wolfgang is actually cooking at Spago and make reservations weeks in advance.
   If your market doesn't have pitted calamatas (organically grown), imported Italian prosciutto and free range chickens (corn fed), you don't even bother to shop there.
   The guy in line at Starbucks wearing the baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney - IS George Clooney.
   There are twenty-six ways you can order your tea, and you have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown and can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
   You don't mind paying $14 for a martini; the problem is . . . what KIND of martini?
   (Hey, is pot legal?)
   You whip out the down ski jacket if it dips below 80 degrees.
   Two overcast days in a row drive you mad. It's sprinkling out, and there's a report on every news channel about "The Impending Storm!" so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents. Everyone who lives here knows that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and snowstorms are way worse than earthquakes, which are, after all, over almost as soon as you realize what's happening.
   Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
   A really great parking space can move you to tears.
   You pass a metered space on the street eighteen feet prior to the valet stand.
   A family of four owns six vehicles.
   Even if the store is across the street, you drive there.
   (Yeah, you're sure. Pot is legal.)

   "What would the world be like if dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct? [For] one thing, L. A. would be even weirder than it is now."
- Dave Barry, of Eric Garcia's "Anonymous Rex"


*Border Collie: Just one. Then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
*Rottweiler: Make me! *Lab: Oh, me, me! Pleeease let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh?
*Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!
*Malamute: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy
*Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls.
*Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?
*Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
*Mastiff: Screw it yourself! I'm not afraid of the dark.
*Doberman: While it's out, I'll just take a nap on the couch.
*Boxer: Who needs light? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.
*Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I've got this hangover . . .
*Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there!
*Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb?
*Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle . . .
*Westie: Dogs do not change light bulbs; people change light bulbs. I am not one of THEM so the question is - how long before I can expect my light again?
*Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.
*Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned-out bulb?
*Old English Sheep dog: Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?
*Basset Hound: zzz . . .

   "In an effort to help out in the current energy crisis, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice."
- PG&E, from Peter Van Norden


   Charles Johnson, 76-year-old leader of the Flat Earth Society, went off the edge, convinced 'til the end, that the Earth we inhabit is an immeasurable disc with the North Pole at the center and an "impenetrable wall of Arctic ice 150 feet high all around us." Furthermore, the sun and moon are each 32 miles wide and circle the disc at a height of 3000 miles. Risings and settings are "optical illusions.
   " Even Jesus believed in a Flat earth", Johnson asserted, "because if the world was spherical, how could he ascend to Heaven, since there could be no up or down." He'll be missed. Who couldn't fall for a guy who says that "so-called science consists of a weird, way-out occult concoction of gibberish, [and] theory-theology . . . unrelated to the real world of facts."
   Sure. And next they'll be telling us that Pluto's not really a planet, just a trans-Neptunian ice ball!

   "Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it."
- Mark Twain


   Phil Austin, that is, turned 60 on April 6th, and his gorgeous wife, Oona, threw a humdinger of a party filled with good food, good drink and best of all, a gathering of dear friends. We have good reason to celebrate as well, because the FST is starting work on it's next CD for Rhino, "The Bride of Firesign" next week! Happy Birthday, Dear Partner!

   "In the latest Johnson-Smith catalog, they are offering a phone that farts, for $29.95. Pac Smell, indeed."
- Kari Hendler


   You've got to start off each day with a song and a dance
   Start off each day with a song and a dance!
   But if you don't know how to dance, don't do a dance;
   And if you don't know how to sing, just do a dance, don't sing a song!
   Now if you don't know how to dance and you don't know how to sing;
   If you don't know how to do anything, then here's what I'd like t'know
   - Ha-ho! What are ya doin' in a show?
- Song by Ronny Graham from Dana Snow

   "Strength and Honor!" - "Scotch and Soda!"
- The Sopranos



* PP V.O.:


Phil's "Signs of the Times"

laboat.jpg (16015 bytes)

Only in L.A., I'd imagine . . .
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 04/09/01