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Volume 17

From the 1999 West Coast Tour
Thanks to BFW and Freditor

"Mud slinging is ground lost" - Ancient Chinese saying


Collected ravings of a modern Chinese-American Sage or Rejected Fortune Cookie Messages,
from Jack "Call me Teddy" Angel:

* ON SEX: Virginity like bubble; one prick - all gone. Baseball is wrong; man with four balls cannot walk. Panties not best thing on earth, but next to best thing on earth.
* ON MARRIAGE: It take many nails to build crib, only one screw to fill it. Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ. Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.
* ON EATING: Man with one chopstick go hungry. Man who eat many prunes get good run for money. Crowded elevator smell different to midget. Man who scratch butt should not bite fingernails.
* ON DRIVING: Man who run in front of car get tired. Man who run behind car get exhausted. Man who drive like hell bound to get there.
* ON MODERN LIFE: Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement. War does not determine who is right; war determine who is left.

   "Generosity makes you fat."
- Real Fortune Cookie


   Paolo Esperanza, bass-trombonist with the Simphonica Mayor de Uruguay, in a misplaced moment of inspiration, decided to make his own contribution to the cannon shots fired as part of the orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" at an outdoor children's concert. In complete seriousness he placed a large, ignited firecracker, (equivalent in strength to a quarter stick of dynamite), into his aluminum straight mute and then stuck the mute into the bell of his quite new Yamaha in-line double-valve bass trombone.
   Later (from his hospital bed) he explained to a reporter through bandages on his mouth, "I thought that the bell of my trombone would shield me from the explosion and would focus the energy of the blast outwards, propelling the mute high above the orchestra, like a rocket."
   What actually happened should serve as a lesson to us all during delirious moments of divine inspiration. First, because he failed to sufficiently elevate the bell of his horn, the blast propelled the mute between rows of players in the orchestra's woodwind and viola sections, straight into the conductor's stomach, driving him off the podium and directly into the front row of the audience who were sitting in folding chairs which collapsed under them - passing the energy of the impact backwards into a row of people sitting behind them and so on, like rows of dominos.
   Meanwhile, all of this unplanned choreography not withstanding, back on stage Paolo's Waterloo was still unfolding. Having failed to plug the lead pipe of his trombone, he allowed the energy of the blast to send a super-heated jet of gas backwards through the mouthpiece which split the bell of his shiny Yamaha right down the middle, turning it inside out while at the same time propelling the singed Paolo backwards off the riser. And for the grand finale, as Paolo fell backwards he lost his grip on the slide of the trombone allowing the pressure of the hot gases coursing through the horn to propel the trombone's slide like a double golden spear into the head of the 3rd clarinetist, knocking him unconscious.
   (You had to be there, or beware . . . )

    "70% of the internet is porn, 20% is people sending the same stuff over and over cause they don't remember they already sent it, and 10% is the remaining emails, business spam and people checking to see if their Techs rebounded."
- Danny (the) Mann


   For opera lovers and haters alike, we reprint herewith the English synopsis of Carmen, as it appeared in the program for a recent performance in Genoa, Italy.

"Act 1. Carmen is a cigar-makeress from a tabago factory who loves with Don Jose of the mounting guard. Carmen takes a flower from her corsets and lances it to Don Jose (Duet: 'Talk me of my mother'). There is a noise inside the tabago factory and the revolting cigar-makeresses burst into the stage. Carmen is arrested and Don Jose is ordered to mounting guard her but Carmen subduces him and he lets her escape.

"Act 2. The Tavern. Carmen, Frasquito, Mercedes, Zuniga, Morales. Carmen's aria ('The sistrums are tinkling'). Enter Escamillio, a balls-fighter. Enter two smuglers (Duet: 'We have in mind a business') but Carmen refuses to penetrate because Don Jose has liberated her from prison. He just now arrives (Aria: 'Stop, here who comes!') but hear are the bugles singing his retreat. Don Jose will leave and draws his sword. Called by Carmen shrieks the two smuglers interfere with her but Don Jose is bound to dessert, he will follow into them (final chorus: 'Opening sky wandering life').

"Act 3. A roky landscape, the smuglers shelter. Carmen sees her death in cards and Don Jose makes a date with her for the next balls fight.

"Act 4. A place in Seville. Procession of balls-fighters, the roaring of the balls is heard in the arena. Escamillio enters (Aria and chorus: 'Toreador, toreador, all hail the balls of a Toreador'). Enter Don Jose (Aria: 'I do not threaten, I besooch you') but Carmen repels him wants to join with Escamillio now chaired by the crowd. Don Jose stabbs her (Aria: 'Oh rupture, rupture, you may arrest me, I did kill her') he sings 'Oh my beautiful Carmen, my subductive Carmen.' "
(From Ivan's Jokes)

   "I write one page of masterpiece for 99 pages of sh*t."
- Ernest Hemmingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald


   According to Brian Westley, August is National Catfish Month, National Data Entry Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Hypnosis Awareness Month, National Inventor's Month, Romance Awareness Month; and the first week was Simplify Your Life Week, Sisters Day and World Breastfeeding Week. (August sucks?)

    "Blue Dog Democrat? Try Horn Dog Democrat."
- Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" on Porn-Again Sexual-Congress Man, Gary Condit


   Shazia Mirza, a 25-year-old Birmingham science teacher of Pakistani origin, is so determined to succeed as the first Muslim stand-up comedienne that she is prepared to risk the threat of a fatwa against her, writes the London Times' Dalya Alberge from one of the Planet's trusted international correspondents, Charles Moed.
   Appearing in comedy clubs dominated by "white laddie men and blacks", audiences are shocked when she stands up and delivers . . . jokes, dressed entirely in black, her head covered by a veil. In fact, she was recently physically assaulted by three Asian men during a London performance. (That's heavy heckling!)
   "I didn't do a gig for two weeks," says Mizra, "What it's made me realize is that it's so important that I carry on for Muslim women and people who live their lives in oppression. I'm celebrating Islam; I'm not against it. Islam gives women a lot of power, but the culture takes that away; we're brought up not to speak out in public, but it doesn't say that in Islam."
   Last week she won the London Comedy Festival after reaching the semifinals of the "So You Think You're Funny?" contest at the Edinburgh Fringe. Among the jokes in her routine - "I'm really looking forward to my wedding day. I can't wait to meet my husband. My friend Julie says 'How can you sleep with someone you don't know?' But she does it all the time."

[Go to next column to continue reading]

    "Man should not play God - I agree. I like to think that we play 'with' God."
- Madison Shockley, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice


   (Jean-Paul Sartre's Cooking Diary)
October 3 - Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.
   October 4 - Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.
   October 6 - I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who remained unusually silent. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.
October 10 - I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so acutely. Today I tried this recipe: "Tuna Casserole - Ingredients: 1 large casserole dish; Instructions: Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a chair facing the oven and sit in it forever. Think about how hungry you are. When night falls, do not turn on the light." While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more frustrated.
   October 25 - I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food groups . . . After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek.
November 15 - Today I made a Black Forest gateau out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word gateau. I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but would not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.
   November 30 - Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty Crocker's wrist. The beaver's powerful jaws are capable of felling blue spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a match for the tender limbs of America's favorite homemaker. I only got third place.
   December 1 - I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.

    "The suspect was subdued by non-lethal means and is now in police custody awaiting trial." (Something we never see in the news)
- Phil's Funny Facts


*Be Your Own Dick - by John Q. Newman (Private Investigating Made Easy - Revised and Expanded Second Edition)
*The Clitoral Truth - by Rebecca Chalker (The Secret World at Your Fingertips)
*Panties Down! Before Money Down! - by Mac Horn (An Erotic Travel Guide to the Philippines)
*"I Watched A Wild Hog Eat My Baby!"- (A Colorful History of Tabloids and Their Cultural Impact by Bill Sloan)
*Backyard Ballistics - by William Gurstelle (Build potato cannons, paper match rockets, Cincinnati fire kites, tennis ball mortars, and more dynamite devices)
*The Redneck Manifesto - by Jim Goad (America's Scapegoats: How We Got That Way and Why We're Not Going to Take It Any More)
*Guerrilla Gunsmithing - by Ragnar Benson (Quick and Dirty Methods for Fixing Firearms in Desperate Times)

Bizarre Catalogs Available Online!
(From Take A Break)

    "Living in Berkeley, California scrubbed me free of any last traces of liberalism."
- Late Sci-fi writer Poul Anderson


   Infamous ex-LA-cop Mark Fuhrman now hosts a 2-hour call-in show called "All About Crime" on Spokane's KXLY radio; but in an article in the L.A. Times, he says he doesn't prepare for the show by reading the news. Instead he rises early to watch reruns of "NYPD Blue."
   "I need my Sipowicz fix every morning . . . it's as close as you can get to being in a police department. I mean, he's classic. Black humor, tragedy, sarcasm. I mean, this is the way it is, you know."

    "Male - 35 to 55; conversational, natural - not an announcer. An intelligent grownup adult - but not stodgy. Caring - but not corny. Helpful - but not unctuous. Warm - but not smarmy. Laid back - but still enthusiastic. Enthusiastic - but not "sell-y". Playful - but not fawning. Witty - but not "funny" sounding. Believable, likeable, trustworthy . . . "
- Audition for "Hamburger Helper"


   Yale awarded 12 honorary degrees at Yale's 300th Commencement which included President George W. Bush ('68), former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo ('81 Ph.D.). and my classmate, actor Sam Waterston ('62). Bravo!
   We also lost feisty character actor Christopher "Mr. Belvedere" Hewett, who directed me with a stern hand in a tour of "Bell, Book and Candle" with Betty White, Allen Ludden and David Doyle, many witchy moons ago; and most sadly, a legend in the voice-over community, dear Lorenzo Music, best known, perhaps, for his unseen presence and impeccably dry delivery as "Carlton, the doorman" on the Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda shows. Perhaps his greatest achievement was that of co-executive producer and writer of "The Bob Newhart Show", but he was most loved, respected and remembered for a full, generous and dedicated life outside the recording studio. He also voiced the cat, "Garfield" on the cartoon series, but sadly lacked his nine lives.
   A "Musical" memorial Service will be held this coming Monday at the Writers' Guild Theatre on Doheny at 7pm. We'll never forget him.


* 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


Phil's "Signs of the Times"

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Gives new meaning to the word "squats", eh?
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

2001 by Phil Proctor

Published 8/13/01