Planet Proctor 2004 Volume 20

 "When you take a comedy and remove the humor, what remains should still be funny." ~ TV exec to sitcom writer Al Jean


        "One aspirin a day may prolong your life; 30 will end it. A pinch of salt will stimulate the taste buds; three teaspoons will kill a baby. A pint of water will satisfy your thirst; gulping six pints will finish you off."

        So, according to the opening paragraphs in a Richard Girling's Sunday London Times magazine article on the poisons around us, it's "Low dose, no worry; high dose, catastrophe," a phenomenon called "hormesis".

        He proceeds to catalog an appalling number of uncontrollable and unnatural toxins in our daily lives, and yet he points out that "Natural pesticides in food outweigh synthetic ones by 20,000 to one." In fact, "Ninety-nine point nine percent of the chemicals we consume are natural...[and] have existed throughout the entire evolutionary process of vertebrate life, but still cause cancer in mice and - well who knows?"

        And the last word in this impressive but unsettling article, entitled "Poison", which I read breathlessly at 35,000 feet breathing re-circulated air, was a quote from a Professor of Molecular Biology named Trewalas from Edinburgh, who states:

        "If technology causes problems, then improve the technology --don't chuck it away. Our unique feature is technology and it's the natural expression of high intelligence - as natural as lions chasing gazelles."

    "What we do to animals, we do to ourselves." ~ Rachel Carson, author of "The Silent Spring"


        After three weeks in the Garden of Eden, God came to visit Eve. "So, how is everything going?" inquired God.

        "It is all so beautiful, God," she replied. "The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking -- the smells, the sights, everything is wonderful; but I have just one problem. It's these breasts you've given me. The middle one pushes the other two out and I am constantly knocking them with my arms, catching them on branches and snagging them on bushes. They're a real pain."

        And Eve went on to tell God that since many other parts of her body came in pairs, she felt that having only two breasts might leave her body more "symmetrically balanced."

         "That is a fair point," replied God, "But it was my first shot at this, you know. I gave the animals six breasts, so I figured that you needed only half of those; but I see that you are right. I'll fix it right away." And God reached down, removed the middle breast and tossed it into the bushes.

        Three weeks passed and God once again visited Eve in the Garden. "Well, Eve how is my favorite creation?"

        "Just fantastic," she replied, "But for one oversight on your part. All the animals have a mate except me. I feel so alone."

        God thought for a moment and said, "You know, Eve, you're right; you do need a mate and I will immediately create a man from a part of you.

         "Now, let's see, where did I put that useless boob?"

     "2, 4, 6, 8, we do not regurgitate! 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, love your body, it's just fine!" ~ Fat Pride chant

LOSING IT       

        The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

        He maketh me to lie down on vinyl-covered gym mats; He leadeth me to flavored calorie-free waters; He restoreth my goals.He diverteth me from the path of midnight snacking for my health's sake.

        Yea, though I walk through the Alley of the Vendors of pastry, I will fear no weevil; for thou art with me. My diet and excercises, they comfort me.  

        Thou preparest a table before me spread with veggies and low-fat protein. Thou steamest my fish in foil. My resolve runneth over.  

        Surely I will following this living plan all the days of my life and my hips will be slim forever.

        Amen. A Dieter's Prayer from Dear Abby

        "Bush/Cheney '04 -- Over a Billion Whoppers Served!" ~ Bumper sticker


    How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to change a light bulb? -- SEVEN:

   (1) One to deny that a light bulb needs to be replaced,

   (2) One to attack and question the patriotism of anyone who has questions about the light bulb.

   (3) One to blame the previous administration for the need of a new light bulb.

   (4) One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs.

   (5) One to get together with Vice President Cheney and figure out how to pay Halliburton  Industries one million dollars for a light bulb,

   (6) One to arrange a photo-op session showing Bush changing the light bulb while dressed in a flight suit and wrapped in an American flag.

   (7) And finally, one to explain to Bush the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.  

        "Some people call you the elite; I call you my base." ~ GWB in "F 9/11"

THAT CAT?               

        Martin Lewis writes that the Freddie Frinton (note spelling of "Freddie") I wrote about last issue, was a comic and comedic actor from the North of England who in the mid-60s, starred in the BBC sitcom "Meet The Wife", a popular middle-of-the-road domestic comedy.

        John Lennon was noted for injecting shards of the flotsam and jetsam of popular culture into his songs and so "Good Morning Good Morning," written for Sgt. Pepper, includes the line:   

        "It's time for tea and 'Meet The Wife'" -- a casual reference to the show, "used somewhat pejoratively as an example of the overly domesticated behavior of a heavily-married man."

        Thus Freddie Frinton impacted Sgt Pepper!

     "The last time we mixed politics and religion, someone got burned at the stake." ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts


        The late great Marlon Brando's final role was as the voice of "Mrs. Sour" in the animated feature "Big Bug Man" and according to writer/director Bob Bendetson as reported in the Times, "He did it wearing a blond wig and a dress, with full makeup and white gloves."

        The recording session occurred in his bedroom, Brando being weak and on oxygen six hours a day, because his agent said, "It was always a dream of his to play a woman in an animated movie."

        He had turned down the part originally offered, a "money-grubbing 600-pound man" who runs the candy factory where Brendan Fraser's superhero character works.

        There are no small parts...

  "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ George Orwell, 1945


        In a spurious email attributed to Newsweek which denigrates President Bush, he is purported to have said  at a right-to-life rally in Florida, "We must always remember that all human beings begin life as a feces."

        In reality, the inspiration for this slur comes from an amusing incident reported by Edmund Morris in "The Unknowable: Ronald Reagan's Amazing Life" from the June 28th issue of The New Yorker.

        The then-President was honored at a dinner in Manhattan by the Knights of Malta, and the m.c., a prominent lay Catholic somewhat befuddled by booze, topped Reagan's keynote speech by announcing that Mr. Reagan, a fighter for the rights of the unborn, "Knew that all human beings begin life as a 'feces' -- You, too, Mr. President," he concluded, "You were once a fece!"

        On Air Force One, heading back to the White House, Reagan remarked, "Well, that's the first time I've flown to New York in formal attire to be told I was a piece of sh*t."

    "We've now got national Alzheimer's disease; there's no past, no memory." ~ Studs Terkel in the London Financial Times Sunday Magazine


        Tim Tuffiel writes that he read where Larry Harmon has been stripped of the honor of being the first Bozo, and that the bronzed red nose has been passed on to Pinto Colvig, better known as the original voice of "Goofy".

        And James McNelis says he found a Firesign reference while reading the "Aliens Vs Predator" Hunter's Planet book promoting the upcoming film. On page 148, the characters, talking about transport, get on the radio to ask,  "How's it look on the bus?"

        The answer? "Still all bozos here."

     "If you want to be a TV writer, just remember that your job is to sell Buicks and make America feel cozy." ~ Henry Bromell on David Chase


        A headstone has finally been erected over the grave of comedian Spike Milligan in Winchelsea, East Sussex two years after his death. The epitaph, written in Irish says "Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite" -- or, in English: "I told you I was ill."

        Milligan, creator of The Goon Show, died at the age of 83 in 2002. Married three times, he sired six children, two of them illegitimate. His son James Milligan, 27, said last month that his efforts to erect the headstone had been blocked by the family.

        "They are all more bothered about fighting over my dad's will. It's a disgrace," he said.

        Bill Horsman, chairman of The Goon Show Preservation Society, was delighted. "It's a brilliant line, typical Spike. We all fell about laughing when we heard it."

   "He who DIES with the most toys Loses. He who LIVES with the most toys Wins" ~ Dan The Beachcomber


        Assuming you know what your email address will (still) be, you can write an email message to be sent to yourself in the future up to 30 years from now at

  "When we'd just started "ER", someone at the network or studio asked: Does there have to be so much medicine?" ~ Writer Lydia Woodward


        "When I was in India in my 20's, studying at the Rajneesh Asram in Pune," writes Planeteer Peter Johnson responding to the mosquitoes article in the last orbit, "Someone asked the resident guru Bhagwan, 'Since all life is sacred, what do we do about the mosquitoes?'  

        "Well, if I were you," the enlightened one answered, "I'd send them on to the next life as quickly as possible!"

      "Fascism will never come to America as fascism; it will come as one hundred percent Americanism." ~ Huey Long


        Edgar Bullington, Garry Margolis, "Writing For Episodic TV" by WGA, west, John Scialli, Ed Ryba, Brian Westley, Jim Reynolds, and to Thomas Curwen, for the brilliant LA Times article on the late Gothic illustrator Edward Gorey, whose works are currently on display at San Diego University.

    "Always be circumspect. Disdain explanation. Forget grandiose hopes. Invoke justice. Keep little. Make no orations. Pursue quietude. Repent. Stifle tears. Undergo vexation. Extend your zeal." ~ Edward Gorey

2004 by Phil Proctor
Published July 20, 2004