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Volume 15

Phil and Melinda
from their 2001
Happy New Year Card

We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

Robert Wilensky 1951- : in Mail on Sunday 16 February 1997
- Thanks to Eyler Coates


   Imagine falling to your knees to pray and hearing the following . . .
   Thank you for calling Heaven. For English, Press 1, for Spanish, Press 2. For all other languages, press "O." Please select one of the following options: Press 1 for Requests - Press 2 for Thanksgiving - Press 3 for Praise - Press 4 for Complaints - Press 5 for all other inquiries.
   I am sorry; all of our angels and saints are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and we will answer it in the order in which it was received. Please stay on the line.
   If you would like to speak to God, Press 1; Jesus, Press 2; Holy Spirit, Press 3. If you would like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you are holding, press 4. To find a loved one that has been assigned to Heaven, press 5, then enter his or her social security number, followed by the "pound" sign. If you receive a negative response please hang up and try area code: (666)
   If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local Church/Synagogue/Temple. Have a nice life.

    "If someone steals your cab, then it wasn't your cab."
- From "Taxi Driver Wisdom" by Risa Mickenberg, Chronicle Books


   According to these excerpts from a recent article in salon.com by Tom McNichol, a frequent contributor to All Things Considered, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Spy, Punch and other publications -
   "In the second White House health scare in little more than a week, doctors Wednesday night implanted a sophisticated pacemaker in President Bush's brain. The device, known as an implantable cranial defibrillator, or ICD, continuously monitors and records the president's brain waves. When Mr. Bush's brain activity becomes dangerously slow for a chief executive, the device delivers a mild electric shock, jolting the president back to a relatively active mental state.
   " 'I feel good,' the president told reporters several hours after the operation. Bush then twitched noticeably. 'I mean, I feel well,' he said.
   "Doctors say the implant is performing flawlessly, although they're trying to limit the number of shocks Bush receives to fewer than 100 a day. The president, looking tired but fit after his operation, said that the device will help him function better as a world leader.
   " 'The American people need to know that their president is equipped to handle a trouble spot like Slovenia,' Mr. Bush said. 'Serbia, I mean Serbia,' he added, his head jerking violently.
   "Bush has been advised to avoid deep thoughts for a few days to give the device a chance to settle in place. Doctors say the president so far has cooperated fully with the recommendation."

"Who cares what you think?" -  George W. Bush


   The Berliner Philharmonic, soon to be under the stick of Sir Simon Rattle, will play a waltz for a piece of performance art in which a dead cow will be dropped from a helicopter onto a road near Berlin's Backfabrik cultural centre.
   The highly respected German artist responsible for the event, a Herr Flatz, will also be participating personally,suspended upside down from a crane, bleeding from Christ-like wounds. Flatz says he represents meat, the slaughtered bovine represents the dead, and a troupe of dancers performing beneath Flatz as he bleeds on them, are the living, who profit from his sacrifice.
   In 1990 Flatz became a human pendulum, swinging between two metal plates until he lost consciousness. Another time he set himself up as a human dart board, offering nearly $2,000 to the first person to hit a "balls-eye". For "alles" who witness this concert, it's bound to be a moo-ving experience.

    "The meek shall inherit the earth, if that's OK with you."
- Anonymous


* I've learned that you cannot make someone love you; all you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
* It takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
* No matter how much I care, some people are just a-holes.
* You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes.Then you'd better have a big johnson or huge tatas, but usually not both.
* You shouldn't compare yourself to others; they're more screwed up than you think.
* You can keep puking long after you think you're finished.
* We are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
* Regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there'd better be a lot of money to take its place.
* Sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones who do.
* We don't have to ditch bad friends because their dysfunction makes us feel better about ourselves.
* No matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get arrested and end up in the local paper.
* The people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.
* I've learned to say "Screw 'em if they can't take a joke" - in six languages."
(Ceci vient d'Ed Ryba.)

    "A thousand points of light, and we got the dim one."
- votescount2002.com

[Go to next column to continue reading]

* FIRESIGN SITE: http://www.firesigntheatre.com
* FIREZINE SITE: http://www.firezine.net
* FIRESIGN PRODUCT: http://www.lodestone-media.com
* FUNNY TIMES: http://www.funnytimes.com


You could hardly see for all the snow,
So you spread the rabbit ears as far as they'd go,
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good night David, Good night Chet"

Depending on the channel you tuned,
You'd get Rob and Laura or Ward and June;
Andy Griffith and Barney Fife,
Lawrence Welk or This Is Your Life;

I Love Lucy and The Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys.
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,
Superman and Lois Lane

Father Knows Best and Patty Duke,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, too;
Donna Reed on Thursday night
- Life looked better in black and white.

Nowadays, nothing's the way it seems,
In living color or on the screens.
The good guys don't always win the fight;
Life doesn't always turn out right.

If only I could, I'd rather be
In a TV world of '63.
It felt so good, it felt so right
- Life looked better in black and white.

(Edited from an uncredited poem from Patty Paul)

    "It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every 12 minutes one is interrupted by dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper."
- Rod Serling


   Our London connection, Larry Belling, reports that during the Cold War, England's spy service, the MI5, planned to use a highly sensitive and secret weapon in the quest to detect spies and terrorists - gerbils.
   Gerbils, it seems, are able to detect adrenalin in human sweat; and thus specially recruited rodents placed near immigration security areas, were conditioned to press a lever when they sensed high levels from scents blown by fans into their cages.
   The plan was abandoned, however, because the gerbils could not tell the difference between terrorists, spies and ordinary people who were just scared of flying. The idea was based, adds Sir Larry, on research from the Canadian Mounties, who everybody knows,
   "Always get their mole - er, man!"

    "Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody."
- Benjamin Franklin


   Professor Eugene Volokh informs us that at the A.Word.A.Day site, of the more than 430,000 people in 202 countries that subscribe, the shortest address is <s@s,to> and the longest, at 250 characters, is:

mail_than _I_did_before@breneman.se>

    "A suave Central American diplomat was talking to the prim and proper Washington hostess.
   " 'In my country,' he said, 'The most popular of all activities is making love.'
   "Shocked, the wide-eyed hostess responded, 'Oh! Isn't that revolting?!!!'
   " 'That's our second-favorite activity', the diplomat said."
- Ivan's Jokes


   A fellow stopped at a rural gas station in Maine, and while fueling, he watched in amazement as a couple of men worked along the roadside across the highway from him. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other would then come along behind and fill in the hole. As the men worked right past him, the fellow in the gas station had to satisfy his curiosity so he asked, "Can you tell me what kind of work you're doing here?"
   "Sure," said one man. "This is a state job."
   "But one of you is digging holes and the other just filling them up. What kind of work is that?"
   "Well, mister, it's like this," he said, leaning on his shovel. "Normally there's three of us . . . me, Wally and Joe. I dig a hole, Wally sticks in a tree, and Joe here puts the dirt back. Now just because Wally's out sick today, that don't mean that me and Joe can't do our jobs. Ayuh."

    "The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver."
- Jay Leno


   We're into the final few weeks of production for the Firesign Theatre's eagerly awaited third CD on Rhino Records, "The Bride of Firesign" and our just released first Whirlwind DVD, "Back From The Shadows", which includes a rich, personally narrated history of the group's last 35 years, is garnering great reactions!
   Add to this, a remarkably encouraging article in Sunday's "Opinion" section of the L.A. Times about the "Millenial Generation" by William Strauss and Neil Howe, and confidence is high! I quote:
   "Millenials like stories that are about something important, something epic . . . Millennials gravitate to producers who respect their intelligence. Any adult skeptical of their prodigious appetite for left-brained complexity is hereby required to challenge a 4th grader to a Poke'mon contest. 'Dumb and Dumber' is out. Smart and Smarter is a better bet."

    "The oddest thing about 'Pearl Harbor', a movie that really isn't interesting enough to live in infamy, is that the sneak attack is our emotional payoff. [We're] put in the odd position of eagerly awaiting the arrival of, and then almost rooting for, the fireworks and the glubglub, as if the Rising Sun were an iceberg and we were the Titanic."
- John Leonard, CBS Sunday Morning



Phil's "Signs of the Times"

porridge.jpg (38332 bytes)

The porridge bird at Van Nuys Airport?
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 07/17/01