Planet Proctor 2003 Volume 05

 "Patriotism means being loyal to your country all the time and to its government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain


        OK, so Firesign Theatre will not be at the Grammys this year, but if we were, and if we won, I hate to think that our remarks would be arbitrarily censored by CBS to prevent any political statements!

        Yet that's what my right-wing radio has been telling me all day, between strident denunciations of pop stars and actors who dare to demonstrate against the war. What the Hell is going on here? What's happening to our once brilliant and outspoken country?

        I realize that I may risk alienating some of my readers with these comments, as I try to retain a Con-liberal or Lib-servative attitude here on the planet, but enough is enough, already.

        So - if you don't want to see any humorous criticism of the administration and our headlong flight towards potential disaster...DELETE NOW.

(And please, don't report me to the authorities. Danke.)

      "Even military bands, although I am a pacifist, always cheer me up." - Kurt Vonnegut


        The editor of "In These Times", Joel Bleifuss, recently interviewed famed writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. who obviously speaks from his gut when he says...

        "I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers.

        "Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are uppercrust C students who know no history or geography, plus not so closeted white supremacists, aka 'Christians,' and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or 'PPs'.

        "To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable medical diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is 'The Mask of Sanity' by Dr. Hervey Cleckley. Read it!

        "PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!

        "And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country, and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them?

        "And so many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick."

       "Michael Jackson is using autobiographical weapons of self destruction." - Rich Lever


        Writer Gary Belkin says that the following oil companies import their ware from the Middle East: Shell, Amoco, Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobile, Marathon-Speedway.

        The following companies don't: Citgo, Sunoco, Conoco, Sinclair, BP/Phillips and Hess.

        "So why not buy your gas from a rotten oil company that doesn't get theirs from the Middle East rather than a rotten oil company that does? " he asks.

        "And if we're going to boycott things French, like wine and cheese, shouldn't we also boycott The Statue of Liberty? Perhaps we should return it."

             "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war." - Traditional hymn


        One night, George W. Bush is awakened by George Washington's ghost in the White House. Bush asks:"George, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

        "Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," Washington advises.

        The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moves through the dark bedroom. "Tom," G. W. asks,"what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

        "Preserve the fruit of land for future generations and stay out of foreign affairs," Jefferson advises.

        Bush isn't sleeping well the next night, and sees another figure moving in the shadows. It's Abraham Lincoln's ghost.

        "Abe, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Bush asks.

        Abe answers: "Go see a play."

  "We are on a fast train to hell and the question is when the American people are going to decide they want to get off." - John B. Judis, editor The New Republic


        Lee Lasko says that in the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship, and being before the invention of commercial fertilizer, large shipments of manure were common -- shipped dry, because it weighed a lot less. Yet once wetted by the sea, it not only became heavier but the fermentation process began again, creating methane gas.

        Since the stuff was stored  in bundles below decks you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up, and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern - BADA-BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before they figured out the cause.

        After that, bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship High In Transit" which meant stow it high enough that any water that came into the hold wouldn't touch this volatile cargo and thus nothing 'bad' would happen.

        Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

         I personally don't care if this is bulls.h.i.t. or not. (Lee actually thought it was a golfing term.)

"Given the likely reaction to an increase in terror alert levels to Severe Threat Imminent, wouldn't a more appropriate alert color be brown?" - Brad Simanek (from


        In the last orbit I wrote that Colt had introduced a .50 magnum revolver "with a 15-inch muzzle" leading LodesTone's Richard Fish to point out that it probably ought to be 'with a 15-inch barrel.'

        "The muzzle," he explains, pistol-whipping me, "is just the front end of the barrel," and suggests that the new Colt as I described it would discharge a bullet -- "the same size as the 'Bismark'."

        He goes on to add -- and I don't know why  -- that the famous Native American chief, Geronimo's, name was given him by the Spanish. Apparently his real tribal name is pronounced "goya flay" and means "One Who Yawns".

        "Gives a whole new slant on parachute jumping, doesn't it?" he says.

       "our ability to manufacture fraud now exceeds our ability to detect it." - "Simone"


        A Czech pensioner who had been defrauded by a criminal gang operating the notorious Nigerian email scam has been arrested on suspicion of killing Michael Lekara Wayid, Nigeria's consol in the Czech Republic in Prague on Wednesday.

        Reports suggest that the 72 year-old pensioner had contacted the embassy to complain about being defrauded after he fell for the infamous Nigerian email fraud, also known as the "419" email fraud, and losing his life savings.

        I'd call it the Spam Scam, considering how many creative (and destructive) variations on the theme I receive every day!

  "It's the most insecure, heartbreaking kind of business; it's very unpredictable." - Late actor Stacy Keach, Sr.


        You have a "Frequent Shopper" Card at the Salvation Army. Your living room sofa spends more time on stage than you do, and you've driven around the back of stores looking for discards that can be used for set pieces. You've cleaned a tuxedo with a magic marker and often appear on stage wearing your own clothes. You've even appeared on stage in an outfit held together with hot glue.

        You can find a prop in the prop room that hasn't been used in ten years, but you don't know where your own vacuum cleaner is. You've said "Don't worry -- use the duct tape and if that doesn't work we'll just hot glue it." You've appeared in a show featuring a toilet sound effect -- and actually flushed the backstage toilet to make it.

        You've appeared in a show where tech week is devoted to getting the running time under four-and-a-half hours. You've appeared in a show where the cast outnumbered the audience 2 to 1.

    You often appear on stage with people you're related to and have to return to the theatre after rehearsal -- because you forgot your kids. You name your son "Samuel" and tell him that his middle name is to honor the "French" side of the family.

        You've appeared on stage in an English drawing room murder mystery where half the cast spoke with southern accents. The audience recognizes you the minute you walk on stage because they saw you taking out the trash before the show; and you've had to play a drunk scene opposite someone who was really drunk.

        And lastly - you have a deep need to forward this to others who COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT...(From Gail Thomas)

           "A liberal is someone who won't take his own side." - Poet Robert Frost


        "Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful.

        This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil.

        "The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government."

        So said Henry Kissinger in Evian, France at a 1992 Bilderburgers meeting - which unbeknownst to him, was being taped by a Swiss delegate.

   "You let all the monsters loose when the chief was gone!" - Akira Kubo, "Destroy All Monsters"


        Michael Caine walked up to Milton Berle during a party and asked, "What kind of cigar are you smoking there?"

        "It's a Lawrence Welk," says Milton.

        "What's a Lawrence Welk?" Michael asks.

        Milton says "It's a piece of crap with a band wrapped around it."

        "Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot." - Peace protest sign


        In Rokysopp's CD, "Eple" re-mixed by Fat Boy Slim, you can hear a sample at least 50 times of Peter Bergman saying "Take your clothes off and come on in," from  The Firesign Theatre's "W.C. Fields Forever" cut on "Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him."

        I smell a lawsuit!

        And if you missed our "All Things Considered President's Day piece, NPR producer Art Silverman told us that he thought "it incorporated the perfect elements of Firesign: bizarre turns, word play, oblique references to current events, veiled polemics aimed at both right and left. Mostly it was FUNNY."

        But another listener wrote in: "Huh?" (That's show biz...)

 "Leadership - like courage and even sincerity - can be completely divorced from the concepts of good and evil." - Andrew Roberts, "Hitler & Churchill"





  "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." -John F. Kennedy

2003 by Phil Proctor
Published FEBRUARY 22, 2003