Planet Proctor 2002 Volume 29

"The political spectrum has shifted so far right over the last decade that thinking once considered centrist is now seen as liberal." - Neal Gabler, L.A. Times 

 2002 IN RE-PHEW!

        The best non-news: we didn't suffer another insane terrorist attack. Most of our wounds were, as usual, self-inflicted.

        It's also the year that asks the question, "If you're a Raelian Clonaid baby, are you a 'clonely child' or just 'alienated'?"

        It may be the last year Mervin Whipple of Killlingly, CT sets up his 120,000 Christmas lights and animated displays, because he says, these days, "The spirit of giving is nowhere near as much as the spirit of receiving."

        Or the spirit of receivership, for that matter, with over $350 billion in corporate bankruptcies declared this year. But then we can all feel comforted that a millionaire sewage treatment contractor (no, not that other "waste manager"), copped a $314.5 K powerball prize.

        And speaking of winners, a world-wide poll by the BBC has named the globe's "favorite songs ever", led by the Irish republican ballad "A Nation Once Again", followed by a Bollywood movie song, a Nepalese lieder, a Tamil Tiger film song and the pop song "Believe" by our own Cher, dearly won.

        One of the UN Iraq weapons inspectors, Harvey John "Jack" McGeorge was found to be the co-founder of the Washington-based S&M group, "Black Rose", and offers training seminars in the use of knives and ropes. Do those into rough sex need to wear a "sheet belt"? Funny the inspectors didn't find that out sooner...

        This Xmas, you could've purchased a die (sic) cast iron replica of JFK's Dallas death limo complete with non-action figures or a pocket-sized "Joke Master" offering electronic access to a  thousand jokes, PLUS --three "TV-style laugh tracks of increasing intensity."

        Good thing to have in the bomb shelter.

        Video games this year included "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" where a player can hijack police cars, kill cops and pedestrians, and pick up prostitutes for "health points" and then whack the ho-ho-hos to get their money back. Looked good under the tree next to the "Army Forward Command Post, a dollhouse destroyed by a bomb.

        Forward - into the paaaast!!!

 "The problem isn't people, it's guns." - Afghan farmer Obaidullah in L.A. Times


        Melinda and I thought that for the sake of time, many important Five Points mobs had been cut out (sic) of Scorsese's captivating, surreal epic, "Gangs of New York", described by the director as "a Western on Mars":

        We missed The Welsh Rarebits, Hell's Kitchen Sinks, The Brooklyn Bums, Guys and Dolls, The Bag Boys, The Hep Cats, Molly Coddlers, The Hollywood Ten, The Pigeon Sisters, The Gay Mafia, The Kingston Trio and...Five Gold Rings.

        I was fascinated to learn that the  moniker "Dead Rabbit" comes from "Dod Ra'ibe'id" which means in Irish  and not "Gaelic" as the publicity release wrongly states: "violent, angry hulk."

        By the way, don't miss the moving montage at the film's finale or the opening credits to the Speilberg romp, "Catch me If You Can", which present an hilarious homage to the "Pink Panther" series. Cecil B. DeMeals is credited as caterer.

        But no "crafts services" is listed for Disney's mind-boggling and moving "Treasure Planet" being an animated feature and one which in my opinion has been unjustly overlooked and vastly underrated. It's a great story, lovingly, inventively and tastefully retold - and I'm not just saying that because I was honored to have added my voice to it.

        Please go see for yourselves or rent it next year. You won't be disappointed.

 "WE are the people of the United States." - Native American Party leader, Bill the Butcher


    Patty Paul sent me these children's takes on old favorites which I've arranged into a great carol for next year! Sing along:

        O come, froggy faithful...Good tidings we bring to you and your kid...Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly -- Barney's the king of Israel!

        In the meadow we can build a snowman, then pretend that he is sparse and brown. Olive, the other reindeer -- You'll go down in Listerine.

        Later on, we'll perspire, as we dream by the fire...Frosty the Snowman is a ferret elf, I say; Oh, what fun it is to ride with one horse, soap and hay.

        He's makin' a list, chicken and rice. With the jelly toast proclaim

-- We three kings of porridge and tar!

        Slee-eep in heavenly peas!

 Bertran Russell said Pythagorus' religion is based on two things: "First the transmigration of souls and secondly the sinfulness of eating beans" -Skeptical Enquirer's Ken Parejko


        Fellow Antaeus Theatre member Gigi Birmingham was culled as the "Most Watchable Actress" in the L.A. Weekly's year-end "Debits and Credits" by Steven Mikulan. She's already been honored for her one-woman show "Vital Organs" where she's described as "the gal with the voluptuous smile and the can-do spunk who effortlessly conjures up an America of rolled-up sleeves and wisecracks." Oui - c'est Gigi!

        And Harry Groener is a "Face to Watch in 2003" according to the L.A. Times. You can currently watch his face as a charming fellow traveler in "About Schmidt" with Jack Nicholson, while Harry appears live doing all the male roles in Broadway's "Imaginary Friends."

        Thornton Wilder's "The Long Christmas Dinner", by the by, was a great success for the company this holiday and an emotional experience for cast and audience alike lovingly directed by John Apicella.

        I hope more of you will get to see it if it's reprised at next year's NoHo Festival.

 "If you're not soaring with the eagles, you're a turkey!" - Dr. David Walker, LACRS


    15. An ooze of politicians
    14. A mullet of rednecks
    13. An annoyance of cellphones
    12. A jiggle of starlets
    11. A bloody f**k-load of Osbournes
    10. A puke of boy bands
     9. A wank of porn
     8. A Liza of drag queens
     7. A Goddammit! of telemarketers
     6. A sh*tload of Port-a-Cans
     5. A terror of clowns
     4. A coronary of Krispy Kremes
     3. A cell of WorldCom execs
     2. A Zmak-Blprbahhh! of Trekkies
    And finally -- A Jolie of fruitcakes (C) 2002 by Chris White

 "A Coke with vodka is a 'Black Bitch' and with Diet Coke, a 'Skinny Bitch'." - Bruce Peterson


        Melinda and I just returned from a glorious, super-relaxing and white (!) Christmas in a cozy cabin up in the Smoky Mountain foothills above Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

        We were hosted by Kelly Moore and Mellie's brother, Bruce, and shared enough good laughs (and booze) together to last a lifetime. And fittingly, the following rural tale was just voted as "the funniest joke in England in 2002" at

        A couple of rednecks are out in the woods hunting when one of them suddenly grabs his chest and falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing; his eyes rolled back in his head.

        The other guy whips out his cell phone, calls 911 and gasps to the operator, "I think Bubba is dead! What should I do?"

        The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, "Just take it easy and follow my instructions. First, let's make sure he's dead."

        There is a silence ... then a shot is heard.

        The guy comes back on the line, "Okay, now what?"

 "Cross burning originated in the Scottish highlands as a means of communication between clans." - Phil's Phunny Phacts


        I was back home again in Indiana last year to bid my dear Mom adieu and I'd like to share some "in'eresting" facts with you about the place, since I may have less reason to return in future.

        The State Casserole consists of "canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and dried onions." Indeed, the Indiana General Assembly, in an effort to grow bigger athletes, passed legislation requiring every incorporated community to have at least one festival per year dedicated to a high-fat food.

        As for Indiana weather -- wear layers or die; Indiana seasons can occur at anytime. There are spring-like days in January and wintry weekends in October. April is capable of providing a sampling of all 4 seasons in a single 24-hour period. Even layering, however, can pose danger. Golfers have been known to dress for hypothermia and die of heat stroke during a mutable spring morning.

        Don't take Indiana place names literally. If a town has the same name as a foreign city --Valparaiso and Versailles for examples -- you must not pronounce them the way the foreigners do lest you come under suspicion as a spy; and French Lick isn't what you think it is, either.

        Hoosiers are never the first to embrace trends. When they do embrace them, it's with a Mid-western pragmatism. If you see a Hoosier with a nose ring, there's a good chance he's had it undercoated to guard against rust.

        Finally, the best way to sell something in Indiana is to attach "Amish" to it. The product need not be genuinely Amish, (like me) and this explains the existence of Amish Moo Shu Pork -- made with scrapple, of course, and served with road-apple butter and Shu Fly Pie.

 "'Pez' comes from the German word for peppermint, 'pfefferminz.'" -Phil's Phunny Phacts


         In case you didn't miss it, this is probably the best of the cyberstuff you got a hundred copies of last year. It's from playwright Jim Sherman, on Hu Jintao's  appointment as the new Communist Party chief.

    Condi:  Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
    George: Great. Lay it on me.
    Condi:  Hu is the new leader of China.
    George: That's what I want to know.
    Condi:  That's what I'm telling you.
    George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
    Condi:  Yes.
    George: I mean the fellow's name.
    Condi:  Hu.
    George: The guy in China.
    Condi:  Hu.
    George: The new leader of China.
    Condi:  Hu.
    George: The Chinaman!
    Condi:  Hu is leading China.
    George: Now whaddya' asking me for?
    Condi:  I'm telling you Hu is leading China.
    George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
    Condi:  That's the man's name.
    George: That's who's name?
    Condi:  Yes.
    George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?
    Condi:  Yes, sir.
    George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.
    Condi:  That's correct.
    George: Then who is in China?
    Condi:  Yes, sir.
    George: Yassir is in China?
    Condi:  No, sir.
    George: Then who is?
    Condi:  Yes, sir.
    George: Yassir?
    Condi:  No, sir.
    George: Look, Condi.I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
    Condi:  Kofi?
    George: No, thanks.
    Condi:  You want Kofi?
    George: No.
    Condi:  You don't want Kofi.
    George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
    Condi:  Yes, sir.
    George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
    Condi:  Kofi?
    George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
    Condi:  And call who?
    George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
    Condi:  Hu is the guy in China.
    George: Will you stay out of China?!
    Condi:  Yes, sir.
    George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
    Condi:  Kofi.
    George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone. (Condi picks up the phone.)
    Condi:  Rice, here.
    George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?

 "I saw a plastic surgeon's SUV saying 'Need a Lift?' on the side." -Phil's Phunny Phacts


        A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year-old son ran up, grabbed his hand and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand.

        "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.

        "He died and went to Heaven," his Dad replied.

        The boy pondered a moment and said, "Did God throw him back down?"

 "If a bad childhood made someone an artist, we'd be a country of geniuses." - Late author Lucy Grealy, "Autobiography of a Face."





 "What has orange hair and was born in a test tube? Bozo the Clone." -Prof. Rodney Dangerfield


        Finally, as our dancing pastor at the Los Angeles branch of the ever-growing Church of Religious Science reminded us last Sunday: "No one gives or withholds from us but ourselves."

 Give yourself a Good New Year.

2002 by Phil Proctor
Published DECEMBER 31, 2002