Planet Proctor 2004 Volume 06

 "President Bush is disengaged, as opposed to President Clinton, who was on top of everything." ~ David Letterman


        The true history of this holiday is shrouded in mystery, but legend has it that a priest named Valentinus performed secret marriages in Third century Rome and was imprisoned for it by the emperor, Claudius.  

        Before being beheaded c.270 A.D., the holy fellow was purported to have sent a letter to a young girl who had been visiting him regularly signed, "from your Valentine." His remains can be viewed on "his" day at the Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.

        February 14th has long been associated with the Roman celebration for Juno, the Goddess of Marriage, followed by the spring fertility festival of Lupercalia, dedicated to Faunus, the god of agriculture, as well as to Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome itself.

        In medievil France and Britain, it was believed that this date was the start of the mating season for birds. In the 1840s America produced the first mass-produced Valentine's cards, sales of which rank second only to Christmas cards today.

 "Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the Hell happened." ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts


        My wife, Melinda Peterson, will be joining other actresses like Sam Dawson and "Family Matters" JoMarie Payton in a special Valentine's Day performance of Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues, directed by Jane Segal, to benefit "Working Wardrobes" as part of a worldwide V-DAY campaign to stop violence against women.

        The reception, silent auction and show will begin at 6:30 at the Grove Theatre Center's Gem Theater on 12852 Main Street in Garden Grove.

        To order the $75 tickets, call 714.971-9090 or visit

   "Money can't buy friends but you get a better class of enemy." ~ The Goon Show's Spike Milligan


        Eric Boardman tells me that in its correct form, the original Murphy's Law reads: "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it."

        Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of the engineers on the 1949 U.S. Air Force rocket-sled experiments to test human acceleration tolerances which involved a set of 16 accelerometers mounted on different body areas.

        There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its mount, and when somebody methodically installed all 16 the wrong way around, Murphy made his pronouncement, which the test subject, Major John Paul Stapp, quoted at a news conference.

        Within months `Murphy's Law' had spread to various technical cultures connected to aerospace engineering and before too long, variants had passed into the popular imagination, such as "Anything that can go wrong, will" which is actually correctly referred to as Finagle's Law.

        The mimetic drift apparent in these mutations clearly demonstrates Murphy's Law acting on itself!

  "A computer lets us make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history -- with the possible exception of handguns and tequila."~ Mitch Ratliffe, Technology Review,1992


        Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his secure, undisclosed location to make the rounds of the morning news programs this Sunday, but then immediately returned to his hiding place -- indicating that America may be in for six more weeks of winter, according to experts.

        While appearing with Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press," observers say, the Vice President seemed distracted, looking over his shoulder repeatedly as if trying to see his own shadow. When he did, in fact, locate it shadow towards the end of the program, he then abruptly concluded the interview and returned to his secure, undisclosed location, which is believed to be underground.

        "You can read anything you want into Cheney seeing his own shadow and going back underground," said Dr. Evan Cornwall of the University of Minnesota. "Yes, it may mean six more weeks of winter, but it may just mean that he's trying to stay as far away from this WMD mess as possible."

        At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan attempted to downplay the increasingly widespread impression that Vice-President Cheney can influence the seasons.

        "He does not control the weather," Mr. McClellan told reporters. "Only the President can do that." (Attribution Unknown, but it smells like an Onion...)

   "News is what somebody somewhere doesn't want you to know. Everything else is just publicity." ~ Lord North


        Mona Marshall sent me a collection of advice from kids. Pay attention and stop fidgeting!

        Never spit when on a roller coaster. Wear a hat when feeding seagulls. Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat. Never tell your little brother that you're not going to do what your mom told you to do. Never dare your little brother to paint the family car. Never do pranks at a police station.

        When your dad is mad and asks you, 'Do I look stupid?' don't answer him. Never bug a pregnant mom. Never tell your mom her diet's not working. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone. Never ask for anything that costs more than $5 when your parents are doing taxes. When you want something expensive, ask your grandparents.

        Don't ever be too full for dessert. Forget the cake, go for the icing. Beware of cafeteria food when it looks like it's moving. Stay away from prunes.

        Remember the two places you are always welcome - church and Grandma's house. Listen to your brain. It has lots of information. Sleep in your clothes so you'll be dressed in the morning.

        Remember you're never too old to hold your father's hand.

              "There are more pets in the U.S. than people." ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts


        John Quincy Adams loved to swim in the nude. Chester Arthur was a clothes hog who owned over 80 pairs of pants. Warren G. Harding once gambled and lost a box of priceless White House china during a poker game. William Howard Taft once got stuck in the bathtub. Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. president who personally hanged someone. He threw a noose over two criminals' necks while working as a sheriff.

        John F. Kennedy was plagued by the venereal disease Chlamydia and spent the first moments of the Bay of Pigs invasion getting a giant shot of penicillin.

        Gerald Ford used to let off loud farts and blame them on his Secret Service men.

   "Who cares if, in recounting his adventures he has left some blood on the floor.  This is Hollywood; it's mostly ketchup anyway." ~ Richard Schickel on "Hollywood Animal" by Joe Ezterhas


        The Miami Herald ran an article by Leonard Pitts, Jr. quoted in England's "The Week", noting that the present administration regularly launders statistics to "fit its ideology."

        Among the examples cited is the deletion from a National Cancer Institute website of a statement declaring that abortions do not cause an increase in breast cancers while another federal site was cleansed of a study reporting that here was no increase in sexual activity among teens educated about condom use.

        "The pattern is clear," suggests The Week. When confronted with facts that do not fit its worldview, the Bush administration "just ignores them, cuts them, or makes them disappear."

        On the other hand, the administration is proposing a major expenditure to promote pro-marriage propaganda, prompted no doubt in part by the same-sex marriage flap.

        "Yet," says The Week, "the Bible Belt is in no position to lecture the rest of us." According to a study published in Newsday, the divorce rate among Baptists is 29%, among nondenominational Christians, 35% and among atheists and agnostics? -- 21%!

    "President Bush announced that we're going to Mars, which means he's given up on earth." ~ Jon Stewart


        Once upon a time, a woman found herself married to an obnoxious man who always complained about everything. One day when he went to the field with his mule, he carried on so, that the animal kicked him in the head and knocked him dead.

        At the funeral, the preacher noticed that when the men walked by the wife she shook her head "yes" and as the women passed, she indicated, "no."

        "Why are you shaking your head 'yes' for men and 'no' for women?" The minister asked.

        "The men would say how sorry they felt for me and I was saying, 'Yes, I'll be all right,'" she replied.

        "And when the women walked by, they were asking if the mule is for sale..."

   "He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." ~ R. Sabatini


        Bill Vallely suggests that while sitting at your desk, if you lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles and then, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand -- your foot will change direction, and there's nothing you can do about it.

 "You get to choose your own reality...what makes you feel good." ~ David Brooks, NY Times

     "Mel Blanc was allergic to carrots" ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts

     "'Phunny' is George Carlin's auto license plate number." ~ Bob Kurtz

2004 by Phil Proctor
Published February 10, 2004