"Basically... Americans love spending money, whether they have it or not."
(David Wyss, Standard & Poor [sic])


It's been a busy coupla weeks for the 4 or 5 cwazee guys. First, we hosted the Pollstar Magazine Concert Industry Awards at Royce Hall (ironically interrupted by a fire alarm that went off when they started making creme brulee for the after party); then opening the ninth annual TED Conference in Monterey, and finally getting our fifteen seconds of Fame at the forty-first Grammy telecast.

TED, which stands for "Technology, Entertainment and Design" was a mind-altering experience -- a chance to rub egos with the likes of Sinbad, Douglas Adams, Terry Gilliam, Vietnam Memorial sculptor Maya Lin, architect Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, astronaut Story Musgrave, Gary Burton, Quincy Jones, and Matt Groening, who flabbergasted me by signing an autograph: "From a huge fan." Turns out that Matt credits the Firesign for teaching him that one can be "rewarded for concentration," which he says inspired him to fearlessly fill his work with rich comic detail.

In his presentation he showed us excerpts from "Futurama" and spoke of the network suits who assured him "We want to give you autonomy -- to a degree." They then gave him notes on the pilot such as: "Standard caution in clothing the robot strippers... Please delete reference to the idea that 20th-century TV caused eye cancer... (and) Please eliminate the knife to stab the censor. A large mallet to pound the censor is acceptable." We agree.

"If Shakespeare was alive today, he'd be driving a Porsche,
living in Bel-Air and he'd have a deal at Paramount"
(Shakespeare in Love's co-writer Marc Norman
backstage at the Golden Globes)


Bill Coombs says that it seems the Human Cannonball wanted to retire but the circus owner was reluctant to let him go. "How can I replace you," he said, "I'll never find another man of your caliber."

"Being an artist is looking for something all the time,
and never finding it in full"
(Vincent Van Gogh)


My beautiful daughter, Kristin, is presently in Mockba, studying at Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre for three months. But as Boris Yeltsin said recently, "Unfortunately there's not much money, there's a lot of people to be loved, and we have to combine that." She will turn 21 there on April 16, in a country which years ago, when the Beach Boys songs were first allowed, thought that "surfing" was a euphemism for fornication and a recent sign in an anti-government demonstration there read: "All bosses are bastards!"

I don't know what this means exactly, but I'm sure Kristin will be able to figure it all out and report to us. Can't wait!

"I've always been an anarchist AND a monarchist.
Monarchy means order, where the anarchy of the people
(us below) is protected by the order above"
(Pablo Picasso)


According to a Bill Woodfield posting on a Writer's BBS about Clinton's newest "rape victim:"

"The most credible thing she said was a Freudian slip when she explained she didn't call a doctor because she just wanted to go home and -- 'forget that IT NEVER HAPPENED.' Check the tape..."

"I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes
because I know I'm not dumb...
and I also know that I'm not blonde"
(Dolly Parton)


A correction in the Jan. 22 issue of the Houston Press read: "A story on the inauguration of Gov. George W. Bush contained a typographical error in the Spanish translation of the ceremony's theme 'Together We Can' or 'Juntos Podemos.'" What Chronicle editors failed to tell readers was that the typo in the Sunday story read, "Juntos Pedemos"-- which loosely translated is: "Let Us Fart Together."

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man;
if you want anything done, ask a woman"
(Margaret Thatcher)


The rule for today
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
sitting on your hands.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, elevator butt.

Cats meow out of angst
"Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
We could break so much!"

In deep sleep hear sound.
Cat vomit hairball somewhere.
Will find in morning.

Wanna go outside.
Oh, shit! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

We're almost equals
I purr to show I love you
Want to smell my butt?

"Love is like an hourglass: the heart fills up
while the brain empties out."
(From a recent sermon by Religious Science Pastor David Walker)


The intense events leading up to Armageddon are supposed to take years to play out, but here, sent by Robert Brozman, is a more fast-paced version:

8:00 AM - Rapture: Doors of Heaven open; earth's righteous begins to rise to paradise. Dan Quayle briefly hovers five inches above the floor, then collapses in a heap as a booming, disembodied voice cries, "Ha!"

8:02 AM - Coffee vanishes worldwide; everyone gets cranky.

8:13 AM - Taco Bell Chihuahua calls a press conference to concede that he is the Antichrist. Then he does that cute thing with his eyebrows and bulgy eyes and people find him irresistible anyway.

[Go to next column to continue reading]

9:04 AM - Global economy collapses - except for Dilbert products, which continue to sell briskly.

9:45 AM - All car alarms on earth go off simultaneously.

10:40 AM - Abyss opens, releasing foreboding cloud of black smoke and plague of disgusting flavored sports drinks. Oceans and lakes turn to blood.

12:00 NOON - Booming, disembodied voice says, "Return all seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked positions."

12:03 PM - Arrival of forces of good is covered live on CNN, tipping Evil off as to their location and ruining any chance of ambush.

2:18 PM - Saddam Hussein takes Kuwait again; U.S. issues a statement formally not giving a damn.

3:21 PM - Holographic doves on Visa cards emerge to peck out eyes of infants and elderly.

4:56 PM - Calls are no longer monitored to assure quality service.

5:20 PM - Jerry Seinfeld appreciates the odd little things about droughts.

6:12 PM - the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse break up when Pestilence starts dating Baby Spice.

9:27 PM - God takes Pat Robertson out behind woodshed and kicks his ass.

10:00 PM - Today's winning Lotto numbers are announced. Congrats, you won!!!!

11:30 PM - God finally answers all the big questions (e.g., is it ever OK to break up over the phone?).

12:00 MIDNIGHT - Tied in the World Series, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs meet in the seventh game, and - with two out and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth -the world blows up.

12:03 AM - In deepest space, fleshy shreds of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince rename themselves "Susan." (This is probably by Dave Barry???)

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country
away from them... the Indians were selfishly
trying to keep it for themselves"
(John Wayne)


"Mind if I use your laptop? I want it on my desk, NOW!!! My equipment is so old, it takes forever to finish. Hmm... I think it's out of fluid. When do you think you'll be getting off today? I need to whip it out by 5. (It's not fair. I do all the work while he just sits there! If I have to lick one more, I'll gag!) Just stick it in my box."

And speaking of offices, go see Paul Willson in "Office Space."

"Noli me vocate, ego te vocabo"
("Don't call me, I'll call you")


Then: Long hair.
Now: Longing for hair.

Then: Keg.
Now: EKG

Then: Acid rock.
Now: Acid reflux

Then: You're growing pot.
Now: Your growing a pot.

Then: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
Now: Trying not to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.

Then: Seeds and stems.
Now: Roughage.

Then: Popping pills, smoking joints.
Now: Popping joints.

Then: Our president's struggle with Fidel.
Now: Our president's struggle with fidelity.

Then: Paar.

Then: Being caught with Hustler magazine.
Now: Being caught by Hustler magazine.

Then: Killer weed.
Now: Weed killer.

Then: Hoping for a BMW.
Now: Hoping for a BM.

Then: The Grateful Dead.
Now: Dr. Kevorkian.

Then: Getting out to a new, hip joint.
Now: Getting a new hip joint.

Then: Moving to California because it's cool.
Now: Moving to California because it's hot.

"What is a committee? A group of the unwilling,
picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary"
(Richard Harkness, NY Times, 1960)


"Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want you to know that I am not just saying this because you are God already. We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school, we learned that you did it. So I bet he stole your idea. (I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool!) My brothers told me about being born, but it doesn't sound right. They are just kidding, aren't they? Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother."

"Sona si Latine loqueris"
("Honk if you speak Latin")


To critic Gene Siskel, dead at 53, who was a household name since the mid-70s when he started his televised movie reviews with contentious partner Roger Ebert. "I'm in a hurry to get well," he quipped, "because I don't want Roger to get more screen time than I." He died at Evanston Hospital near Chicago, surrounded by his family.

Not so, for private Firesign pal and public radio producer Craig Braun, taken from us a few weeks before his 50th birthday by a heart attack, alone at his home in Milwaukee. A comedy special that he produced about the Firesign Theatre hosted by Steve Allen may soon be aired by Richard Fish in his honor.

And "adios" to director Jose Quintero.




(C) 1999 by Phil Proctor

Published 3/5/99