WHERE WAS US, ANYWAY?
Well, let's see . . . my PowerMac finally puttered
out in the slow lane of the Old Information Highway, smack dab in the middle of intense
writing and staging for the Firesign Theatre's PBS-TV "Weirdly Cool" Special. I
continued the work on a new iBook and am now up and running on the iMac. I deserve a break
I have also taken the opportunity to upgrade my internet service from MACSIM
2000 B.C.E. to CS 2005.1 Anno Dumb as Us; and although mail is forwarded automatically, my
new e-ddress is officially firstname.lastname@example.org. (Yes,
there is ANOTHER pproctor somewhere in the back hip pockets of America offline.)
And a few observations: since the advent of the cybermind, I've noticed that
if nobody hears from you in a couple of months, it seems to go un-noticed. No frantic
electronic missives like - "Holy Grid! Are you all right?" Is this because
everything is so automated? I know I try to respond to all personal email and especially
that which demands it, but I constantly tell my working partners and close friend(s) to
call me and leave a voice-mail if something requires my immediate attention. I don't know
about you, [YOUR NAME HERE], but I can't always make it to the computer, let alone email,
Anyway, I'm back. So here we go again . . .
"Every great advance in
natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority."
- Thomas Huxley
SOFT, WHAT WINDOWS BREAKS?
Th' expense of software in a waste of time is bugged in action;
Makes users savage, bloody, murderous, extreme, rude, cruel;
Used, software is perjur'd, not to trust, full of blame,
Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight;
Past reason purchased or pirated; and no sooner licensed,
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait,
On purpose developed to make the user mad:
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, - and prov'd, a very woe;
Before, a solution propos'd; behind, a corrupted data stream:
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the software that leads users to this hell.
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616),
revised by Garry Margolis' friend, 2001
THIS IS THE END
The president of a management consulting company was
given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since he was unable to
go, he gave the ticket to one of his consultants. The next morning he asked him how he had
enjoyed it. Instead of a few observations about the symphony in general, he was handed a
formal memorandum which read as follows:
1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do.
Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, avoiding
peaks of inactivity.
2. All 12
violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unneeded duplication, and the
staff of this section should be cut. If a volume of sound is really required, this could
be accomplished with the use of an amplifier.
3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This appears to be an excessive
refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If
this were done it would be possible to use para-professionals instead of experienced
4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already been
handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated then the concert
could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.
5. The symphony had two movements. If Mr. Schubert didn't achieve his musical goals by the
end of the first movement, then he should have stopped there. The second movement is
unnecessary and should be cut.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Mr. Schubert given
attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to finish the symphony.
(From Don Sylvester, I think)
"There's a new retail
establishment in Marina del Ray which provides rowing equipment to prostitutes. It's
called The Little Shoppe of Whore Oars."
- Yuri "The Beast" Rasovsky
THE DOCTOR IS SIN
Garry Margolis tells us that Dr. Stu Hansell had
slept with one of his patients and had felt guilty all day long. No matter how much he
tried to forget about it, he couldn't. The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming;
but every once in a while he'd hear that soothing voice within himself trying to reassure
"Stu, don't worry about it. You aren't the first doctor to sleep with
one of your patients and you won't be the last. And you're single. Let it go . . ."
But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality:
"Stu, you're a veterinarian . .
"Reality is for people
who lack imagination"
THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Break" reports a (purportedly) true story from Birmingham, England. No time to
check it out, but who cares? It's funny.
Some co-workers threw a surprise birthday for a popular legal secretary by
letting themselves into her flat with a spare key; but when the birthday girl showed up,
she unexpectedly bypassed the main room and headed straight into the kitchen. After
puttering around for a while, she then sauntered casually into the living room whilst
calling for her dog.
Well, talk about a "Surprise" . . .
While in the kitchen she had stripped down to her birthday suit and smeared
peanut butter on her naughties. (I trust it was "Skippy.")
"Poets do it doggerel
- Phil's Funny Facts
WHAT DROVE JESUS
Most people assume "WWJD" stands for
"What would Jesus do?" But the initials really stand for "What would Jesus
L.A. Times staff writer Roy Rivenburg has delved into this question
for us, with the following conclusions:
One theory holds that Jesus tooled around in an old Plymouth because the
Bible says, "God drove Adam
and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury." But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly
owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to "pursue your enemies with
your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm."
Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but didn't like to talk about
it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel where Christ tells the crowd,
"For I did not speak of my own Accord." . . . And following the Master's lead,
his disciples might have carpooled in a Honda, since "The Apostles were in one
drove a Triumph sports car, but with a faulty muffler, as "Joshua's Triumph was heard
throughout the land." Meanwhile, Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as evidenced
by a Bible passage declaring that "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the
hills." And perhaps God favors Dodge pickup trucks because Moses' followers are
warned not to go up a mountain - "until the Ram's horn sounds a long blast."
(In the trauma of my recent transplant, I lost the source of this blasphemous
piece. Please identify yourself for the website or forever roast in Hell!)
For his entire treatise, visit www.offkilter.org/jesusdmv.html
to next column to continue reading]
"Earth spawned us for
one purpose: to create plastic."
- George Carlin
MISSED AND ALIAS
Where to start? Thanks to George Carlin for taping an
intro to one of the upcoming segments in our PBS Special. His latest book,"Napalm and
Silly Putty" is silly brilliance as always.
Thanks to the cast of Jerry Mayer's middle-aged musical "You Haven't
Changed A Bit and Other Lies"- and especially to my buddies Peter Jason, Reni Santoni
and David Spielberg. Fancifully directed by Caroline McWilliams, who graced the stage in
"Muzeeka" with the two Phils in the 60s, it's running indefinitely at the
Whitefire on Ventura, (310) 459-1548. (It's a pity that the same can't be said for the
Indeed, we must now bid a fond farewell to "The Fantasticks" after
a 40-year run and over 17,500 performances at Greenwich Village's Sullivan Street Theater.
Try to remember . . .
And yes, the new FST CD "The Bride of Firesign" is
finally out on Rhino Records and topping the charts on Amazon.com and because of the
nature of the unexpectedly controversial opening segment, we have finally earned a PG-13
rating! Thanks again, George . . .
"Dick jokes are one of
my favorite things to write. Anything surrounding the penis is funny to me."
- "Legally Blind" writer Karen Lutz, quoted in "Written By"
FORWARD, INTO THE PAST!!!
- Florida to Be Re-admitted to Union
- Year 2000 Chad Sells For $6.9 Million at Sotheby's
- Great Benevolent Galactic Ruler Reveals That Anal Probes Were "Just for
- Wealthy Widow Anna Nicole Smith, 83, Weds Handsome Young Actor
- Pope Phil II Settles Custody Battle With Ex-Wife
- Upcoming NFL Draft Likely to Focus On Mutants
- Younger Generation's Music Provokes Outrage of Elders
- Zoo to Receive Rare Cow As Plague of Spotted Owls Threaten Crops, Livestock
- Nursing Home Lawsuit: Clinton Denies Candy Striper's Allegations
RJRNabiscoExxonMobil Cleared of Monopoly Charges
- 50-Year Study Proves Diet and Exercise Key to Weight Loss
- Baby Conceived Naturally
- Texas Executes Last Remaining Citizen
- It Wasn't The Cigarettes - It Was The Ashtrays
(Future Headlines forwarded b y Pat Willson)
"Bush Vows To Rid National
Parks of Toxic Petroleum"
- Real Fake Headline
HAIL TO THE THIEF!
The Funny Times,
which features excerpts from this rant rag and keeps me writing it out of a sense of
misdirected duty, is offering packets of "Global Warming Bush" seeds as a
companion to their earlier issue of "Texas Homegrown Dope".
Described as "Seeds of Environmental Destruction" and "The
Burning Bush", you are instructed to "Clear-cut all available public lands and
wilderness areas . . . water with . . . arsenic and a steady stream of donations from Big
Oil [and] fertilize with Supreme Court Brand manure."
Visit the website below to order yours now!
"If you give a person a
fish, they'll fish for one day. But if you train a person to fish, they'll fish for a
- VP Dan Quayle
TALK ABOUT A SPLINTER
Larry Belling relates a story about a lady from
California who purchased some timberland in Oregon where a large tree dominated one of the
highest points in the tract. Wanting to get a good view of her land, she clambered up the
tree; but as she neared the top, she was suddenly attacked by a spotted owl and in her haste
to escape , she slid down too rapidly, planting many splinters in her private parts.
In considerable pain, she hurried to the nearest doctor who listened to her
story and then promptly left her waiting for three hours before he reappeared.
"What took you so long?" the angry lady demanded.
"Well," the unperturbed doctor replied, "I had to get permits
from the EPA, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management before I could remove
old-growth timber from a recreational area."
"Sonny goes skiing.
God, looking down upon him, says "I got you, babe."
- Sonny We Hardly Knew You Haiku by April Winchell
TOO LONG A LIST
In the time it took me to get back to the Planet,
too many wonderful friends and cohorts have left it. Let's start with the great-hearted Kathleen Freeman, who succumbed at 78
at the height of her well-deserved Tony-nominated Broadway success in "The Full
Monty", and for whom a memorial will take place on Sunday the 30th. If you don't know
the details of her long and illustrious career, I guess you never watched TV or went to
Looking back at her first stage role at UCLA where she was to become a
concert pianist, Kathleen said, "A terrible thing happened. I got in a play and got a
Summing up her achievements, she later observed in a NY Times interview,
"I'm a living example of the fact that you don't have to be in every inch of a film
or a play to be important to it." Her example will live forever in the hearts of
those who knew her and had the grand privilege of working with her.
And the same can be said for Larry Lantz, who though unknown to most of you,
was a dear friend and a continually inspirational force "behind the glass" to
many of us in the recording industry during his all too short life.
Starting at Alan Barzman's Newjack Studios under the guidance of Fred Jones, he became
Proctor and Bergman's Production Assistant for our 70's record "Give Us A Break" and
eventually President and co-owner of Buzzy's Recording with Andrew, Maria and Mrs.
Danvers, their much-adored studio Scottie.
Since we lost Larry to complications caused by a lifelong battle with
Diabetes, his widow, Diane, asks that contributions be made in his memory to the American Diabetes Association, Att'n
Maria Vasquez, 6300 Wilshire Blvd. (Suite 100), LA CA 90048.
And finally, God-bye to ex-patriate harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler and Cajun
Storyteller "JOOS-tain" Wilson; "I ga-ron-tee", we'll miss them both.
* 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