Volume 11

Phil showing his LA Weekly
Theater Award
for "Revival Production of the Year"

- Reuters Health Headline from Jeff Mandel


   OK, so the Greeks started it. They started everything, after the Egyptians or the Etruscans, or somebody. But in an article in the L.A. Church of Religious Science Newsletter, we learn that in the 17th century, Great Britain recognized a day every forth Sunday during Lent called "Mothering Sunday" which honored all the mothers in England.
   During this era, most of the peasants were servants to the rich and in residence at their masters' estates, so Mothering Sunday gave them a day off to travel home and see their moms, probably toting along a special Mothering Cake. (No Hallmark cards then . . . )
   Later, under the heady sway of Christianity, the festival was redefined to honor "Mother Church" and only over time did the two honorees become co-mingled. Then in 1907, Philadelphian Ana Jarvis campaigned to establish a nationally recognized Mother's Day; but it wasn't until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May - where most of us, except those clones without mothers - now celebrate it.

   "Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are beautiful."
- From Patty Paul

DON'T ASK . . .

   Jack Angel has a friend who tells his mother he's fallen in love and "Just for fun, Ma, I'm going to bring over three women and you try to guess which one I'm going to marry." The mother agrees.
   The next day, he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch. After chatting for a while, he sends them home and asks, "Okay, Ma, guess which one I'm going to marry."
   "The redhead in the middle," she says immediately.
   "You're amazing, Ma! You're right! How did you know?"
   "I don't like her."

   "In Santa Monica, one of the homeless has a cardboard sign on his wheelchair reading: www.sparechange.beg"
- Mark Kleiman


   As was I, in reality, for service in the month of June, but it was postponed because I'll be singing the role of "The Judge" in our updated version of "Trial By Jury, L.A." Here's a teeny taste from Gilbert & Sullivan & Proctor & Apicella:
   "In small claims court, I danced a dance
   Like a semi-despondent fury,
   For I thought I never would hit on a chance
   Of addressing an L. A. jury!
   But I soon grew tired of coach-class   journeys
   And Campbell's Soup and water;
   So I fell in love with a rich attorney's
   Elderly, ugly daughter!"

   We'll be performing it as part of "Legal Briefs", 9 times only on June 7-14th, the 23rd (matinee and evening), and closing on July 1st, in rep with Balzac's "Mercadet" at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Boulevard at Culver. CALL (818) 506-VINA. (506-8462)

   "Although all actors go to great pains to regulate their expressions and voices and the movements of their body, all the same it's undeniable that there are extremely few whom it is tolerable to go on watching and hearing at any length..."
- Cicero, from Roger Gregg


   And last Sunday's Times Calendar section ran that header in an article telling the sad tale of a break-in at our Antaeus workspace in North Hollywood. Besides all of producer / contractor, Terry Evans' hand and power tools, 24 hand-made leather and Papier-mâché commedia and mystery masks created by master mask-maker John Apicella and valued at around $5,000, were also stolen.
   "We don't know if that means they have great taste or if they were just kids who thought the masks were cool," said artistic director, Dakin Matthews.
   Any information (and contributions) are welcome. Call 818.506-5436.

   "When you put on a mask, you enter another world. You can become another person, or another species."
- Hunter Nesbitt Spence, Yale Drama School


   So reads the headline for a recent feature by L.A. Times writer Alex Pham about the growing number of Aibo Clubs - gatherings of robo-pet owners who trade stories and tips about their $1,500 digital dogs.
   "Intellectually, I know they're not alive and yet I feel for them," says one owner, while a pseudo-pooch wrote "I called out to Bob again and again" in his doggy "diary", actually a removable memory module.
   "It broke my heart," said Bob.
   Beyond "Furbie", Sony's interactive Japanese tech toys are intricately programmed to respond to their masters, and if you visit the website at you can learn of behavior-altering "brain surgery" which will allow your little dog-bots to dance to a Madonna song.
   Club member Doug Thomas says, paraphrasing JFK, "The joy of Aibo is not what it can do for you, but instead what it can do with you."

   "These are the sides for the teacher . . . Please let the actor know that Eddie is a talking dog, and they do not hear him."
- T.V. casting call


   Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott who was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it though she feared he would not be chosen.
   On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.
   "Guess what Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me forever: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer."

 "The Bush administration is indeed compassionate. It has never seen a rich businessman for whom it did not feel compassion."
- Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun Times

[Go to next column to continue reading]




   Here follows an excerpt from "The Miracle Of Flight" by Janet Friedman's brother, Mark, concerning . . . Unusual Noises:
   First time fliers are sometimes surprised by the astonishing number of noises which airplanes make. These noises actually have a simple explanation. The airplane is in the process of coming apart in mid flight. Every sound you hear is one more bit of wear and tear on an old piece of machinery which has no business being 35,000 feet above Mother Earth.
   There is really nothing to worry about. FAA regulators have a system in place for assuring the regular maintenance and repair of every airplane in service. This system involves analyzing crashes and making sure that that particular crash never happens again. This means that only new crashes will occur. Eventually the airline industry will run out of ways to make airplanes crash and everything will be all right. Unfortunately this will not happen in your lifetime. Some of the most common noises which you may hear on your next flight include:
   * Shudder and vibration right after takeoff: This is the airplane expressing the thought, "Not again. I just did this." Machines have funny ways of expressing themselves.
   * Grating and grinding sound just before landing: This is the pilot extending or lowering the flaps of the airplane. Flaps are parts of the wing that make it bigger and more stable during slower flight. The sound of lowering flaps should be music to a travelers' ears. It means "We're almost there." It also means you are about to enter the most dangerous part of the flight. It's pretty easy to make an airplane take off. Point it down the runway. Run up the engines and it pretty much takes off by itself. Landing is another matter. It requires that some fatigued older (read experienced) person find this little tiny strip of concrete and lightly set down some 20 ton contraption. Nothing to worry about.
   * Dull thud, also just before landing: This is the pilot lowering the landing gear. It feels like someone just punched the airplane in the stomach. It is accompanied by a jolt as the airplane slows down due to increased drag. (Drag is just what it sounds like, although not what it sometimes means in other contexts, if you know what I mean.). This sound should alarm you only if you don't hear it. If for some reason you believe the pilot has forgotten to lower the landing gear then you should inform the flight crew by gesturing to them. The international signal for "the pilot forgot to lower the landing gear" is both arms crossed in an "x" above your head while you bounce up and down in your seat.
   * Low moan during descent: This is the sound of all the passengers on the plane experiencing pain in their ears. This is caused by the change in pressure on the inner and outer ear causing the inner ear to think seriously about exploding. This sound has nothing to do with the airplane itself. And it should gradually go away as you lose your hearing from all the air travel you do.
   * High pitched squeal during ascent: This is the sound of the animals in the luggage compartment saying something like: "Whoopee, I'm sure glad my wonderful owner took me on this joyful ride." Actually the poor critters are scared out of their wits. They think they have been swallowed by a great behemoth, never to see their nasty treacherous owners ever again. This too has nothing to do with the performance of the airplane, unless one of these animals is unusually large. Always ask your travel agent if the airplane you will be traveling on is scheduled to transport any of the following animals: elephants, rhinoceri, triceratops, water buffalo, wine buffalo, perrier buffalo, whales, sharks, marangos, marimbas, placidos or domingos.
   (To order "Miracle of Flight," send $12.00 plus $2.50 shipping and handling to FPSI publications, 7 Avenida Vista Grande, #140, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505; or contact Mark Friedman at

   "I have a friend in California. His first wife left him for a woman, and his second left a woman for him."
- Overheard at a dinner in NYC by Ivan Berger


   Billy Bowles says that the LAPD, The FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals, so a bunny rabbit was released into a forest and each of them had to catch it.
   The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist.
   The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.
   The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!

   "I wrote a paper a long time ago and gave it to a friend. The next thing I know, I'm advising members of Congress [on Missle Defense].
   - Jeff (Skunk) Baxter, former guitarist for Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Ultimate Spinach and the Firesign Theatre, in Newsweek


   In a series of allegedly true doctor's tales from Garry Goodrow, it seems that one was caring for a woman from Kentucky and asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?"
"It's very good," the patient replied "except for the Kentucky Jelly." Producing a foil packet labeled KY Jelly, she continued, "I can't seem to get used to the taste,"
   Another patient informed his cardiologist that he was having trouble with one of his medications - the patch. "The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!" Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! (New instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.)
   One day a doctor told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, he heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart." That'll do it.

   "Right now I'm having amnesia and deja-vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before."
- From Patty Paul


   (Audre is still in the Goshen Hospital Sub-acute center and has to undergo one more minor surgical procedure next Wednesday before she can be released to her new home at Greencroft Assisted Living.)

Mom, I love you.

Mother's Day, 2001


* PP V.O.:


Phil's "Signs of the Times"

Well, you can't do one without the other, eh?
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

© 2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 05/19/01