Planet Proctor 2007 Volume 07

"Our Dreams are waiting for us to come true." Dr. David Walker, Church of Religious Science 


        Not necessarily with bookings, either, but just cleaning out the garage, preparing my taxes, Arabic lessons, prepping for the Antaeus move to Def West, Paul Magid's weeklong stay with us here, Kristin's impending nuptials… you get the picture.

GOOD NEWS: Window of Opportunity received two Honorable Mentions in the Back Stage West's annual Garland Awards issue: Samuel Warren Joseph for Playwriting, and the cast for Ensemble Performance. Also, "Tunnelvision" in which I portrayed Christian Broder, was screened last Thursday at the New Beverly. I couldn't be there because we were at Billy Connolly's hysterical show for the second time as guests of his manager, Arnold Engleman.

BAD NEWS:  The Lodestone Catalog --the country's only online store dedicated exclusively to contemporary Audio Theater including Firesign Theatre and productions from Norman Corwin - is going out of business. Everything in the catalog is on sale -- some of it for over half off, so get 'em now while the getting is good.



"Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps." - Emo Philips


        And to my fellow Yale classmates, I must sadly report that I now cannot participate in the June 45th Reunion festivities as I had previously planned as I now have several bookings for the first three weeks in June: Melinda and my participation in another of Roger Gregg's Crazy Dog radio shows at RTE in Dublin from June 3rd until the 8th, our presence in a staged presentation of radio adaptations of mystery stories at the RiverPark Center in Owensboro, KY from the 9th through the 17th, and acting in an audio performance of one of L. Ron Hubbard's short stories on a cruise to the Caribbean from the 18th until the 24th to kick off the impending release of his pulp fiction audio book series, in which I am featured.

Bizarre, isn't it?  Who would have thought that I'd be doing 40s "radio" in my 60s! The Mystery Writer's Festival is thanks to the invitation of director David Ossman and producer Judith Walcutt and is described in more detail here. (We're trying to get mystery buff Harry Anderson to participate as well…)

  "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you have to concentrate on." ~ GWB at a D.C. Gridiron dinner, 2001


On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your correspondence. We appreciate hearing your views and welcome your suggestions. The President is committed to continuing our economic progress, defending our freedom, and upholding our Nation's deepest values.

        The President would personally like you to know that he did not appreciate you referring to him as a "moron" on the phone the other night. He was also deeply hurt when he heard what you said about him to that person in line with you at the bank on Thursday. President Bush wants you know he is genuinely concerned with all of America's pressing challenges, and he apologizes in advance for the tax audit you will be getting this year.

Due to the large volume of e-mail received, in the future please send your comments to Thank you again for taking the time to write.  (From Jay Bernzweig)

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."~  Napoleon Bonaparte


        After scores of chickens disappeared from the West Bengal village of Chandpur, everyone blamed stray dogs - that is until Ajit Ghosh, the coop's owner, caught his sacred cow one night, chowing down  -- so to speak.

        "Instead of the dogs, we watched in horror as the calf, whom we had fondly named Lal, sneak to the coop and grab the little ones with the precision of a jungle cat," Gour Ghosh, his brother, said.

        "The local vets said the cow was probably suffering from a disease but others said Lal was a tiger in his previous birth," Ajit added.

        Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, local Muslim cab drivers have refused to transport people with alcohol on them or on their breath and Islamic checkout servers will not scan pork.  On the other hand, Catholics grilled about sexually abusive practices in the clergy can site "mental reservation" to avoid telling the truth. It's a handy 700-year-old doctrine that differentiates between canon and civil jurisprudence and thus justifies dissembling to protect the church from scandal.

        And what's in a name?  The head of the American Wind Energy Association is named Randall Swisher, and Joanne Woodward and Christopher Lloyd are listed on the crew of the film Amazing Grace, while Paul Williams, Philip Hoffman, David Warner and Ken Starr are in the crew crawl of The Shooter.  (I'm obviously not the only actor finding it hard to get cast.

        And finally, the French have posted 1,600 previously top secret UFO case files -- more than 100,000 pages of eye-witness accounts, photos, film and audio at  

Look to the cyber skies…

  "We're all on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seat." ~ the late, great Richard Jeni


Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana, repairing offshore drilling rigs. Below is an E-mail he sent to his sister who submitted it to a radio station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a "worst job experience" contest.  (She won.)

"As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wetsuit. This time of year the water is quite cool.  So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose…

"All of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things get worse. Within a few seconds my butt started to burn I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit…

"When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into the crack of my butt. I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically

"Needless to say I aborted the dive.  I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression.  When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet.

"As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut. So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

"Now repeat to yourself,  'I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.'"

    "The last war won't be fought by those who are right but by those who are left." ~ Jack Shakley


        Three leaders of the big beer companies meet for a drink. The president of Budweiser orders a Bud. Miller's president orders a Millers and the president of Coors orders a Coors. When it is Guinness turn to order he orders a soda.

        "Why didn't you order a Guinness?" everyone asks.

        "Nah. " Guinness replies. "If you guys aren't having a beer, neither will I."

     "Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat." ~ Alex Levine


        Let me start by saying how nice it is to be among mishpoche. I'm reminded of a Sunday morning a few weeks back when I was sitting with my husband, the former President, and our beautiful and talented daughter, Chelsea. (An investment banker now, by the way, with a very good company. I know I don't have to tell you what a mecheiah it is, having a child like this.)

        Anyway, I was sitting having my usual bagel with some good novy and a schmear, and I said to my husband, "Bill-eleh. How fortunate we all are to be living in this great country of ours. I mean, sure, we've still got that mamzer in the White House. Not to mention Cheney, that chazzer. Or the farshimulte meeskite running the State Department. And don't even get me started on Gonzales, that little toochis lecker! A cholyera on all of them, I say!

        "But this is my point. Where but in this beautiful country of ours would you find a boy named Grossman playing quarterback in the Super Bowl? (Okay, he lost the game, but gay g'zind.) And where but in America would I be sitting down with Mrs. Feinstein and Mrs. Boxer not to drink Sanka and play mah jongg, but to decide the important domestic and foreign issues of the day?

        And so, ladies, today as I reach out the hand of friendship to you, my shvestern, my landsmen, I come to ask that you join me in my quest. And to assure you that behind this goyishe punim is a yiddisher kop.

        I hope to meet each of you personally at the lovely dairy brunch following this event.  And I hope you'll forgive me if I pass on the whitefish, it's a little salty and I'm retaining. God bless America! We should all live and be well!  (Transcribed by that Mensch, Jay Bernsweig at the Cincinnati, Ohio National Council of Jewish Women)

   "Free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat."~  George W. Bush


        A man and a woman, who have never met before, but are both married to other people, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly...he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

        At 1:00 AM, the man leaned over and gently woke the woman saying, "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold."

        "I have a better idea," she replied. "Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married."

        "Wow! That's a great idea!" he exclaimed.

        "Good," she replied. "Get your own damn blanket!"

        After a moment of silence, he farted.

"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life so muach as they are looking for the experience of being alive." ~ Joseph Campbell


        Our fellow Antaean, veteran actor Larry Pressman lost Lanna, his dear wife of many years to the inevitable ravages of Multiple Sclerosis. She came to see every show and I so enjoyed bantering with her in Russian.  Do Svidanya, milaya.

        Melinda and I were also at a memorable memorial service for my pal Paul Gorman's mom, Metropolitan opera star, Natalie Boganya, at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where she had taught voice until her death at the age of 98. Stories from her students and mentors such as Ephram Zimbalist, Jr. were amazing and amusing.  Brava to a life well lived.

        And goodbye to Walker Edmiston, voice-over artiste extraordinaire and the amazing performance art guru, Scott Kelman, 70, who tutored the likes of Harry Shearer and Peter Bergman, among so many others, and the troubled comic Richard (Colangelo) Jeni, 49, who didn't leave us laughing.

        On a lighter note (so to speak) thanks to Calvert DeForest, for many years of yucks as the feckless Larry "Bud" Mellman on the David Letterman Show; and we here acknowledge as well the passing of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, in which the Firesign participated back in the late 70s, waving to a befuddled mob from atop a vintage fire truck.  So Long, Santa!

    "We'll sit around talking about the good old days when we wished we were dead." ~ Samuel Beckett on the afterlife


     Michael Cooke, Glen Banks Rob Riddle, Bill Coombs, Jay Bernsweig, Cynthia Carle, Randy Irwin, Peter Johnson, Kurt aka Tweety, Bill Bowles, Keith Mast, Michael Dobo, Wayne Newitt, Nick Oliva, Roxy Brusso, Richard Laible, Jim Terr and the O'Willards for another rowdy St. Pat's party.

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power."~  P. J. O'Rourke























       "Secure your own mask before assisting others." ~ Louis Menand, The New Yorker

© 2007 by Phil Proctor
Published March 31, 2007