A WordWorks Entertainment
from the Leisure Planet

Issue Number 1
© 2005 Arthur Jarvinen


Mayor Dooley went on a real bender Saturday night, and is still pretty out of it, according to his driver, Roy Cunningham. "Yeah, the guy can barely remember his own name. He just shouldn't drink, he can't handle it at all."

Remit Rome, Mortimer

Late last week, in a daring coup, John Mortimer, best known as the creator of "Rumpole Of the Bailey" managed to seize control of the Italian capital, and the citizens are none too happy about it.

"It sucks now" said Dino Cardarelli, a shoe merchant. It was much better before that guy took over. Why does a British mystery writer want to run an Italian city anyway? What does he think he can do for us that we can't do better ourselves?"

The bizarre event has generated concern internationally, that other British mystery writers might try to pull similar stunts.

"God knows I wouldn't want Alys Clare running my city", said Sirkka Koiveranta, of Helsinki. "I don't even like her books. If a mystery writer is going to run Helsinki, it should at least be a Finnish mystery writer."


Ed Moss, of Cleveland, Ohio, was trimming his hedges last Tuesday when a gnat flew right into his mouth. "Guess I shouldn't breathe through my mouth", Moss said, unless I want to eat more gnats." When asked how the gnat tasted Moss replied "Tart - yeah, a little tangy, with an overtone of honeysuckle."

Golem answer be "Hebrews name log"

"Of course, what would you expect?" said Otis Moore of the decision, recently made by proxy on behalf of the Jewish-owned manufacturing company, located in the American Midwest, which Moore works for and that has developed a greatly improved Yule log for pleasure enhancement during the holiday season. "Jews own the company – Duuuhh!"

The new log, which burns way better than its wax-laden competitors, thanks to the fact that it's made entirely of wood (what a concept!) is expected to outsell even that video tape of a real log burning, this year "If all goes according to our projections", says Mordechai Motz, president of  the WEJUJEW corporation.

"The problem is what to call a Yule log that is really just a piece of wood. A lot of the people who work for the company wanted to have a say in it, especially since they use such products themselves, and feel like it's an important part of their own tradition. In the spirit of objectivity, we decided to let one of our Golems decide who should choose the name for our new product."

The announcement was made by an African-American spokesperson who still thinks Ebonics should be recognized in public schools as a legitimate language, rather than being dismissed merely as poor usage.

The official brand name of the new log has yet to be made public.

Moors Name Man's Room

A room at a hotel in Morocco once occupied by surrealist painter and fashion photographer Man Ray was recently outfitted with a plaque, for the benefit of tourists, reading "Man Ray Slept Here". The hotel manager thought the room should have a special name, in order to make it sound more special than it really is. It was decided unanimously to call it "The Man's Room".


A local woman was arrested last night for driving while under the influence of an intra-uterine device.

"I was just looking forward to a good time with my boyfriend Stan, and wanted to be sure I wouldn't get knocked up. So I was little preoccupied. There's no way that  *%$#ing cop could have known. It's just not fair. He had no reason to pull me over."

"Is it legal for him to search me like that?"

Macs A Scam

"Why spend that kind of money, when you can do all the same stuff on a PC for half the cost?" said Artie B. White, of Slum Mar, California, in a  recent conversation with a friend who was shopping for a computer, "unless maybe you're going to do a lot of high-end graphics – but you're not".

Swayed by several musicians who have no basis for comparison but are nevertheless extremely opinionated on the matter, the friend shelled out for the latest Mac.

"It's your dough" was White's only further comment.

Snub Sara's Buns 

Sara Murphy has been working out with that Buns Of Steel video for several weeks now, and is really proud of what she's  accomplished. We have to admit, she's got a real nice butt now, but she's a little too proud of it, we feel, so we are encouraging guys to just not look. Don't pay any attention.


"Seeing as I am particularly cruel, brutish, and hideous, resembling nothing so much as a fabled man-eating giant or monster, I can only conclude that I must be an ogre", declared Vernon Gruntzloudatslaw in a press release yesterday.

swaps paws

Guido, a black cat with white markings, was relaxing on a rug yesterday with his right front paw over his left one. After a while, Guido reversed the positions of his paws, placing the left one over the right.

"Dad, smite Tim's dad!"

During an altercation in the park last Sunday, Jerry Johnson assured Timmy Smith that his (i.e. Jerry's) father could beat up his (i.e. Timmy's) father, and went so far as to admonish him (i.e. Jerry's father) to settle the matter once and for all by the empirical method.


Chip Dennison, of Warren, Ohio, has had the same job for nearly sixty-seven years, and loves it. When we asked him what it is he does, and why he enjoys it so much, Chip responded "I'm a rotator". We asked him to elaborate a little, and Chip went on to explain that "At my work, there used to be a thing that had to be turned once in a while, you know, rotated. No one else could do it but me, because I'm the rotator, and the union says only a certified rotator can rotate anything. Them's the rules. It's in everyone's best interest – especially mine. I get 47 bucks an hour and full benefits, can't ever be fired, and you have to hire me if you want anything done in this town."

When asked to clarify the technical details of his job, Dennison couldn't even remember what it is. "That gizmo hasn't been used since I was about fifteen. Hell if I know what it even did. But nobody was allowed to turn it but me, and I can't do anything else. The union says so."

Pressed further as to what he might like to do when he retires, Chip said "I'm never going to retire – I love my job. And you can't fire me or even make me do anything else. I love this. What a great job."

Dennison's son Roger is a brakeman on the railroad.

Ned Rags Garden

Ned Warren isn't very impressed with his brother Fred's garden this year, and isn't shy about saying so. "Come on, just look at it!" said Ned. "Hardly anything came up, and what did is pathetic. What scrawny little zucchinis, and those tomatoes are a joke. I wouldn't eat that stuff. You should see my garden. It's way better."

During the confusion of last night's riots, Roscoe Harris broke into a furniture store and made off with a very nice stool, a chrome and vinyl one with a cool retro vibe to it. "I wanted it for the wet bar in my rec room" said Harris. I've got a 40's motif, with a vintage juke box and some other pieces. But I didn't have a stool."

Harris was identified by a witness who saw him enter the store and leave, stool in hand. 


The Marcs, a local street gang so named because in order to be in it you have to be named Marc, had a brief encounter yesterday with another local gang, the Kyles. Apparently the Marcs had crossed the street and thereby unwittingly entered the Kyles' territory, which action the Kyles responded to by telling the Marcs to scram. The Marcs immediately complied, while yelling "We're sorry, we didn't know!".

"Yeah, well don't do it again. Next time we'll have to tell you to beat it!" was the reply from the Kyles' leader, Kyle.


The Women's Auxiliary Volunteer Police Corps - Linguistic Services Division, are asking citizens to report the use of inappropriate figures of speech, especially those used merely as embellishments, and not germane to the topic under discussion or absolutely necessary to make one's point.

"We can only ask people to do this on a voluntary basis, of course" said Shirley Carson, of the Trope Report Committee. "But it's in all our best interest. People can come by the Community Center to make their reports, and we have a list of all approved figures of speech for reference, and it's free of course."

"We're all for free speech you understand. We just don't want everyone tropin' it up all the time, if you know what I mean, embellishing their conversations needlessly, and free-wheelin' all over the language. Just plain talk - that's our motto. And that's what we'll have, By Jove!, come Hell or high water."

"If you catch my drift."

ELP max ExamPLE

"That's the working title. Our idea is to reissue the one absolutely very very best song we ever recorded" said keyboard wizard Keith Emerson, of the legendary 1970's "Classical Rock" band Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and composer of the band's most sophisticated material. "Sort of like a greatest hits compilation, but this will be just that one crowning achievement, our single greatest recording. But we're not agreed yet on what that is. Kind of a toss up between Plucky Man and Just Take A Piddle, for my money. All we really know for sure is it's not Brain Salad Surgery, or anything from Works."

E Grabs Barge

Singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, more commonly known simply as E and leader of inventive alternative pop group Eels, fell off a dock at the pier yesterday. "I don't know what happened" said the songsmith, "I just sort of blacked out momentarily and found myself in the water. I grabbed that barge that was moored there, and a guy helped me on deck."


"It's gotten pretty bad down there" said Norman Ballard, of the waste management department. "Before we only had rats, but somehow we have sheep living in the sewers and drainage system now. We have no idea how they got in there, or why they would do that. We've asked around to other cities and even other countries, and no one has ever heard of ewes living in sewers. Obviously, we'll have to find a way to get rid of them. We can't have this."

Flower ID, Dire Wolf!

Jerome Liebermann, who prefers to be called Dire Wolf, recently went to hear his favorite local band, the Toasted Marshmallow Experience, at a flower power revival club, The Purple Pansy. Between sets Dire left the club to smoke some weed in his van, and was subsequently denied re-entry into the club.

"Hey, you know me. It's Dire Wolf. I come here all the time. I was just here. I paid to get in." "Sorry man" the bouncer replied. "But you didn't get your hand stamped. Maybe it washed off, or I forgot. But I can't let you back in without a purple pansy on your hand - unless you wanna pay again."


A coven of witches recently concocted a new magic spell that they hope will be a better alternative to the Atkins Diet.

Knife Tips Spite Fink

Rufus Fink throws knives pretty well, except for the fact that they seldom stick.

"It's those damn tips" says an exasperated Fink. "I just can't seem to get them very sharp. I have pretty good knives, and with my whet stone I can get the edges to slice paper like a hot knife through butter. But the damn tips are still dull, and I don't know what to do. It's frustrating, because I've worked so hard to get accuracy and consistency on the full spin at 21 feet - that's throwing from the handle, not the blade. But even when I nail the mark, the stupid knife just kind of hangs there for a second and then falls out."

Kay To Bore Robot Yak

Milford Kay, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, announced yesterday that he intends to tell incredibly dull stories for an extended period of time to a radio-controlled mechanical yak that he designed and built last year. When queried as to the point of his intended action, Kay explained "It's art. If Joseph Beuys could cover his head with gold leaf and honey and explain paintings to a dead hare and call it art, I can bore my robot yak. Do you think I can get a grant for this sort of thing? I have lots more ideas like this".

Mary Knits Stinky Ram

Rural woman too lazy to sheer, just sticks her knitting needles in Bosco, a black Romney. "I think of him as a living sweater" says Mary English, of Leicester. "Romneys are prized for their wool you know, and Bosco looks quite dashing as a sweater I think", says Ms. English. "But he still smells like a sheep, especially when wet. It's pretty funky."


Dave Myers, of Ft. Lauderdale, raises rats. According to Myers, most people seem to like his rats and think they're cute, but for some reason movie stars don't seem to like them at all, generally going out of their way to avoid them. "I don't know what the deal is", says Myers, "but it's true. Whenever I see a movie star on the street, and I have my rats, they cross the street or take other evasive action. It's just weird, if you ask me."

More drums murder Om

"I use djembe playing as a form of meditation" says Carl Vance, of San Luis Obispo, "and prefer to keep my drumming a solitary activity. Drum circles are just so unbearably lame, consisting mostly of a bunch of terminally-white corporate-type guys mindlessly whanking. You wouldn't find me dead at a drum circle."

"They're supposedly so therapeutic, but there's no focus, no center" Vance continued. "It's just whanking. God, I hate drum circles! They just suck. They should call them what they really are – drum circle jerks!"

Vance continued in a similar vein for quite a while, but you get the idea.

Ya know I won, Kay!

Siblings and horseshoes aren't always a good fit. At a family picnic at Sunday Lake last weekend Kay Bessemer and her brother Billy disagreed about the outcome of their game. Their mother tried counseling them, saying that it's not whether you win or lose that matters, but neither of the children were buying it.


A realtor in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has quite a few unused silos for sale or rent, for people who have some grain to store but don't want to buy the farm.

They did not elaborate.

Dennis Sinned

Dennis Marvin, of Youngstown, took confession last Sunday, and admitted to his priest that he had had impure thoughts almost continuously since his last confession the previous Sunday, and had masturbated quite a lot. Father O'Toole, in a reprehensible breach of confidence, and to Dennis's eternal embarrassment, told the entire congregation about the boy's admission, using it as the basis for a sermon, even going so far as to put the title of the homily on the church marquee.

Spit Stix Exits Tip's

The former drummer for 80's L.A. punk band Fear once had lunch in Valencia, California, at a restaurant that is no longer there but was for a long time, called Tip's, according to one source, who went on to say that upon finishing his meal, Mr. Stix simply got up and left without paying, let alone tipping.

Coincidentally, Tip's, during its heyday was known best for its Midori Melon Liquer drinks, made famous by their award winning mixologist, and Spit's boss, singer-cum-sometime actor Lee Ving, even while Fear was a viable band was still working as a bartender.

Del Googe Googled

Jim Googe, former bass player for rock band Masters Of Reality, recently used the Google search engine to try to find out more about Deb Googe, bass player for My Bloody Valentine. However, Jim Googe doesn't type very well and accidentally Googled Del Googe, who apparently doesn't play bass for anyone.


"It goes without saying" said a spokesperson for Staples, "that we're not going to tell people about our big rubber band sale. They'd swarm the place. People will find out by word of mouth, and we'll sell plenty of rubber bands, I assure you."

"Duo, loud"

After taking a hit of marijuana and declaring "Smoke, good!" at a pot party last weekend, Frankenstein's monster, recently revived yet again by a distant relative of the misguided doctor, went on to comment in no uncertain terms on the decibel level of the live entertainment.

Yell it, Tilley!

Actress Meg Tilley has been taking primal scream therapy, and apparently is getting real good at it. "I don't know if it's helping her at all, psychologically" said her therapist, "but she's really loud, and not at all inhibited. I can hardly be in the room with her when she's going at it, it's frightening."

Lazy Zal

Zal Yanovsky – not the former guitarist of the 1960's good time band The Lovin' Spoonful, who died of a heart attack in 2002 at the age of 57 in his hometown of Toronto, but another guy with the same name - is really lazy, or so he tells us. "Yeah, I seldom do much of anything. I'm really quite lazy."

sugars ragus

Karl Messerschmidt, of Boise, Idaho, likes to sprinkle sugar on his meat sauce when eating spaghetti. "I don't know why he does that" said his wife, Trina. It's gotta just ruin an otherwise perfectly good sauce."

"Ehhh, forget you!" responded Karl. "I put sugar on my froot loops too. I put sugar on everything. I like sugar. What's it to you anyway? We're not Italian. Ehhh, I got your freakin' meat sauce!"

"No", Sam Mason

Samuel R. Mason, of Athens, Georgia, is having a rather difficult time getting laid, and is pretty frustrated. "I'm ready to bite the %^$$%$ wall!" declaimed Sam. "I mean, Jeez, I'm not gonna rape anyone, my dad taught me enough respect for girls and all that, but man, after shelling out 30 bucks on drinks, doesn't she kind of owe me? Something?"

"No, its a bastion."

Carla Simmons, defending champion on the quiz show Name That Thing, last night suffered a bitter and somewhat unexpected loss. Simmons, a history buff and husband of veteran war-gamer Lance Simmons, was doing remarkably well in her elective category "Finer Points of Nomenclature In the Matter of Historical Military Fortifications, Siege Engines, and Particularly Cumbersome Armaments".

"It is the projecting part of a rampart or other fortification, sometimes used metaphorically to describe individuals or groups behaving stubbornly in the face of adversity, such as composers studying at Columbia University who still think serialism is the way to go and are thereby holding out as the last _ _ _ _ _ _ _ of what almost everyone else on the planet has come to recognize as a dead end."

"Oh! – I know that!!! Banquette."

"Ohhhhh, no Carla. Sorry. It's a bastion. A banquette is a continuous step or ledge at the base of a parapet, on which defenders stand to fire over the top of the wall."

"I'm afraid you lose the match, and all the money you won yesterday. In fact, you owe us money."


"He's always on the lookout for them, especially on the old 94", said Reed Carlson's father, Chet. Whenever we're driving anywhere, he's got his eyes peeled. If there's a deer around, Reed will spot it. He sees them all the time, even though he's legally blind."

"That won't stop me from hunting though, will it dad?" Reed piped up.

"No way son, law says you can hunt in Michigan, even if you're blind. Come on, let's go get that crossbow you been wanting."

Reward Drawer

"That's what I call it, my Reward Drawer", explained youngster Phillip Marks, of Omaha. "I'm very enthusiastic about positive reinforcement of my behavior, and my parents are quite compliant in that regard. I behave quite properly, and often go the extra mile, and consequently I am frequently compensated in all sorts of nice ways. My drawer is fairly bursting with legal tender, confections of various kinds, movie tickets, amusing objects, and the like. In fact, I do believe I shall soon be required to consolidate my socks and underwear in order to designate a second Reward Drawer.

re: wop power

"We really don't need to worry about the Italians" said political correspondent Ian MacCallister yesterday, in response to a rumor of Neo-Fascist activities in the Mediterranean country. "There are some people there who are particularly dependent on rail transport, and have been expressing concern about the punctuality of the local trains. That's all. It is hardly indicative of an imminent political revolution or dictatorial power play."

Drag Ron, Norgard 

Disappointed that dwarf tossing was never sanctioned as an official Olympic sport, Soren Kierkegaard  - not the philosopher, obviously, but another Dane with the same name - of Copenhagen, recently came up with a new idea, "Drag Racing", that he hopes will gain acceptance. The idea is to run around a track while dragging another person of at least twice your own weight and be the first to cross the finish line, burden in tow.

Eager to try out his idea, Soren asked his friend Saxo Grammaticus - not the twelfth century writer, obviously, but a fellow Dane whose parents named him after their favorite twelfth century Danish writer - to allow him to drag him while racing against his friend Per Norgard - no relation to the prominent contemporary composer - and suggested that Norgard drag their mutual friend, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, who happened to be visiting Copenhagen at the time.

"But Ron doesn't even weigh as much as me, let alone twice as much" replied Norgard.

"It doesn't matter for now, we're just trying out the basic idea" said Soren. His point was moot, as Ron Wood declined to be dragged.

D.A.'s dad sad

District Attorney Jules Foreman's father is down in the dumps, says Foreman, "so I'm going to take a couple days off and try to cheer him up. He's usually so chipper, he's just not himself, and I really don't know why he's feeling down. Hopefully he'll snap out of it."

Why the long face, dad?


Ted Peters went to Denny's for breakfast yesterday, and deviated from his usual routine by opting for the Grand Slam just as described in the menu, without asking for any substitutions.

"The usual, Ted?" queried Rona Barret - not Rona Barrett the gossip columnist and author of the 1972 novel The Lovo-maniacs, of course, but a waitress who happens to have the same name - and was a little surprised by her customer's reply.

"It's not such a problem with a half spin at twelve feet, because I can throw hard enough to just make it stick, dammit. But at twenty-one, that tip better be sharp. And mine just isn't."

"What a stupid hobby. I think I'm gonna change to guns. But those you have to clean every time you use them, even if you only fire a couple of rounds. How lame is that, all this maintenance? I just want an implement of destruction that I can use whenever I want, have some fun, and be done with it. Why don't they make Ginsu throwing knives that never need sharpening, or disposable assault rifles?"

We just don't know, Rufus. Have you tried grenades? They're a one-shot deal.

RED LEW Lauds Otto's Dual  Welder

Lew Tucker, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party since 1967, has good things to say about his neighbor Otto's new welding torch. "It's really nice", said Tucker. "It has two different settings, so you can do all kinds of jobs. It's very versatile."


A group of food research fellows in Thailand have been trying for the last two years to improve upon the traditional recipe for Nam Pla.

"Usually of course you just put anchovies in a barrel and let them decompose until they're liquid", said That No Lai, a Ph. D. in food chemistry, and chair of the food research department at Dum Luk University. "The ancient Romans did it too, and called it garam. We've been rotting every kind of fish we can get hold of, even mollusks and crustaceans, and some of them are pretty good. But our funding is about to run out, and I think we must conclude that rotten anchovies still make the tastiest fish sauce."

Ululate, Meta-Lulu!

60's English pop singer best known for her memorable rendition of the title song for the movie To Sir, With Love, in which she also co-starred along with leading man Sidney Poitier "was a natural talent, but really benefited from a little discipline and technical training", says Lulu's former vocal coach.

Ra's tragic eye, cigar tsar?

Fidel Castro apparently knows little or nothing about ancient Egyptian religious tradition. Tuesday he made an offhand comment, something about the "Eye of Ra". Obviously he must have been thinking of the Eye of Horus, generally known as a wadjet, which, according to myth Horus lost in his battle against Seth, avenging the death of his father Osiris, a representation of which was used as a  protective amulet.

Ra, as Fidel ought to know, is the deified sun disk, and does not have an eye (although it is often depicted with arms and hands).

"Last newt went, Sal"

Salvatore Salucci was hoping to get a newt at his local pet shop last week, but waited just a bit too long. When Sal finally made up his mind that a newt was really what he wanted, the shopkeeper informed him that he had just sold the last one, to Molly Tennyson, age six. "I love newts", said Molly. "I have three now." You snooze you lose, Sal.

Emote Ma! Lame Tome!

Lorna Fyfe, mother of four, recently joined the Joy Luck Book Club, of Still Mar, California, but is rather regretting that choice already.

"God, this is just awful. Die already, you bitch! Jeez, there's like six hundred more pages of this shit! O God, I just want to cry…I don't think I can take any more of this."

"Tell it Ma, let it out", her son Ryan told her. "We had to read that in school. It sucks, and it just keeps sucking."

Emils Harass Sarah's Lime

According to Sarah Crawford, of Toledo, Ohio, no fewer than seven men named Emil came over to her table while she was quietly enjoying a Corona at a neighborhood bar. "I had a wedge of lime in it, which is a nice thing with a light Mexican style beer, especially in summer" said Ms. Crawford. "But then these Emils just started in on the lime – not even at me, personally. They were all over the lime. We got some weirdos around here, I tell ya."  And a lot of them are named Emil, apparently.


Fritz Heidegger – no relation to famed German philosopher Martin Heidegger, but coincidentally himself a professor of philosophy with a specialty in existential phenomenology, and deaf since the age of four - claims that American Sign Language does in fact exist, and that he can prove it through the subtle manipulation of the technical fine points of words and syntax. After a four hour lecture on the topic, with most of that time spent clarifying precisely what he means by "presencing", a grad student asked him if he couldn't just demonstrate ASL a little and be done with it. Heidegger responded by signing "That would be too easy".

Mod Dom

A former Enfant Terrible who should by now be old enough to know better, has been commissioned at enormous expense by a consortium of several governments wanting a multi-media festival that will attract attention worldwide largely due to the lack of participation by any of their own artists.

The celebrated stage director's idea, probably his most innovative to date, is to stage Madame Butterfly at the cathedral in Köln, with everyone in paisley, mop tops, and striped trousers with very wide belts, riding scooters, and executing  inexplicable hand gestures the likes of which would make even a Talking Heads music video look pathetically obvious.

"We'll also release millions of butterflies near the Dom, and play a lot of mod music. The original music won't even be used" commented the director, "This is my show."

Nola's Salon   

Nola Van Ceese says she wants to have a salon someday. "And I'll have one, too" the youngster declared confidently.

"You can count on it", confirmed Nola's parents. "She has a way of getting what she wants."

Namu Numan

Godfather of English electro-pop, Gary Numan, best known for his short-lived 80's hit "In Cars" recently adopted a baby boy, and named him Namu, after his favorite killer whale.

The pop star had a little party to celebrate the boy's first birthday, and hired Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man to play I Am Woman, by Helen Reddy, and sang along using his own slightly altered lyrics.


Some frat boys at a Midwestern college decided to have a good old fashioned panty raid on the sorority house down the street, but it didn't work out that well, according to participant Randy Johnson. "Man, it was gross!" reported Randy. "I think all the girls were on the rag at the same time – they do that when they live together you know - and a couple had yeast infections, and discharge, and who knows what else. I think some of them are, basically, just not very hygienically- inclined. Anyway, we won't try that again. It's enough to make ya puke, or turn homo even. Girls are gross!"

"Anyway, next time we're  going to steal their diaries instead. Should be a lot less disgusting and, one would hope, considerably more interesting."


Nann, a Hindustani bakery, held its grand opening here in town this past weekend.

"Their naan is very good" reports Jerry Marsden, but it's all they have, which is a little disappointing, and kind of hard to figure. How can you only sell nann?"

"We are not a restaurant" says Rajeev Pispoor, Naan's chief baker. "We are a bakery. We don't serve beverages, not even coffee. Only naan. That's what we do, that's what we sell. But we have two kinds – plain and garlic. What more do you want? Our naan is incomparable. Just try finding better in this town. You will not, I assure you. Because it's not there. Ours is the only naan. And no cassettes either. Don't ask. We sell only naan."

"Xerxes, sex Rex"

It's very difficult to sex a bird, you know", said Xerxes Anthropolafoulos, of the Athens Veterinary Clinic. They don't have obvious parts, like we do. You have to do a blood test, and even then you can't always be certain. So, my best guess is that Rex here is really a girl. They guessed wrong when they named her. Birds don't care though. It's not like naming a boy Sue."

Krapp Park

"We decided to name the new public recreational facility Krapp Park, in honor of our esteemed City Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Krapp Park, who is retiring this month" said a spokesperson for the city. "He has given so much to the people of this community, and it is only fitting that we honor him in this way. We do wish it were a better park though. It's actually kind of dumpy, not much to look at, no facilities. Not even toilets."

Neds draw Ward's den

Ned Smythe, of Carlsbad, and his friend Ned Frith enjoy competitive sketching, particularly of architectural interior subjects. Yesterday they went to their friend Ward's house and sketched his den. "The idea is to see who can achieve the best rendering within a set time limit, in this particular instance, two minutes", explained Smythe. "I won this round hands down, even Ned had to admit that", Ned continued. "Ned's sketch, while interesting aesthetically, was a little too imaginative. I really nailed the important details. My sketch of Ward's den looks just like Ward's den looks in real life. You can fairly walk into it and sit down. It's that convincing."

Net Tim's Mitten!

"Hey, that's the mitten I lost! Quick, get it!" yelled Timothy Farrell, of  Thunder Bay yesterday. "The smelt were running real good" said Tim's dad, but it was no big deal to bag his mitten as it came downstream though. His grandma knitted those for him, and he liked 'em a lot you know. So, we got it back. Pretty lucky, eh?"


A group of young people who tend to travel together and share a lifestyle based largely on making purchases on imprudently extended credit, are very interested in acquiring a rather expensive fancy new bed, according to one of their number. "We're really tempted to just go for it, you know, an impulse buy, but my father is strenuously encouraging us to examine it more carefully first, try it out, and make absolutely sure it's what we really want."

Oprah a.k.a. Harpo

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey's production company is called Harpo, according to the D.B.A. on file. A fan, discovering this fact only recently, was disappointed and commented "Yes, I was disappointed to learn that a woman obviously so intelligent and creative as Oprah couldn't come up with anything more original than her own name backwards."


The new home interiors store had its grand opening last weekend, but don't plan on shopping there unless you really want to spend some dough.

"We don't carry any of the lesser breeds of tile" explained store owner Claricia Van Snoots. "No saltillo or Mexican looking things, only the best materials, no synthetics. Italian marble, slate, that sort of thing you know."

"It's all very expensive, and of course we don't actually tell you what it costs until you buy it. Essentially, if you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it."

No wonder. Eve is a sieve, Red. Now, on!

Redmond "Red" Redford and his buddy Mitch "Butch" Butcher  were hiking along the river last weekend and happened to see their friend Marjorie "Midge" Majors's boat, Eve - named after her late husband Everett, but shortened to Eve because boats have to be given female names - going under, right there at the dock where she was tied.

"Hey look Butch - Eve is going down!" blurted out Red, animatedly.

"I'm not surprised. Don't know why Midge bought that thing" responded Butch, casually. "It was clearly beyond repair. Hey, we still have four miles to go, let's get a move-on. We can call and tell her when we get back to town."


Dead Sea Scroll researchers announced yesterday that they have reconstructed most of an obscure passage, from the book of Tobiteit, in which Jesus, relaxing near the Sea Of Galilee and in an uncharacteristically carefree mood, apparently tells his disciples a joke.

"Now, if I were in a restaurant ordering a meal of loaves and fishes…"

Rail As Eva's Poor Troop Saves A Liar

Eva Sorrensdotter, of Lynn, Massachusetts and the leader of her own branch of the Salvation Army not officially recognized by the parent organization, is troubled by liars.

"Nothing bothers me more than untruth" says Sorrensdotter. Ever since I was a little girl I have known that lying is the worst of sins, and have felt specially called to work towards the redemption of those afflicted with a proclivity towards prevarication."

"The lady's meshugeneh", says Vinny Sabatini, who is himself of Italian descent but likes to use Yiddish, probably because he's a gigging musician…but we digress.

"She stands there on the street with her horrible band and accuses everyone who walks by of lying, trying to get them to admit to having at some time lied or fibbed, and then if they admit they have, she wants them to donate some money. What a scam."

Some prominent community leaders, believing Eva's group to be a cult, and just plain tired of her accusations, are asking local citizens to join together this Sunday to protest vociferously across the street from her thrift shop.


Grandmom's needlecraft and boy's modeling hobby come together in a new look for historical military aircraft. Twelve year old Timmy Johnson was skeptical at first, "But now I think it's pretty cool. My friends think I'm weird though."

Lee Sees Eel

Lee Thomson, of Santa Monica California, recently certified for open water scuba diving, on his first boat dive off Catalina Saturday saw a Moray eel. "It was so cool", said Thomson. "My buddy and me saw some other stuff too, some sheep crabs and some really big gold fish, but the eel was the best. My buddy cut open an urchin and fed it some. It was really cool. I can't wait to go again."

Yes, origami magi, Rosey

A group of men who get together regularly to share the results of their origami hobby activities, and who, by the way, are all particularly accomplished at, and insightful of,  the paper-folding art, were quite surprised to find out recently that Rosey Greer is also interested in origami, and would like to join their group. "Are you kidding, THE Rosey Greer, of needlepoint fame? I can't believe it!" Ron Van Such fairly spewed forth. "Man, you're welcome any time. We meet here at my place, every other Thursday."

Deb Stew Wets Bed

Trisha Rice, of Baton Rouge, decided to make a squirrel stew for her debut last week, even though the event was being catered at considerable expense. "My mom didn't want me to make it, but my squirrel stew is just so good, I really wanted to share it with those sharing such a special day with me" Trish was heard to say. Unfortunately, none of the guests at the affair got to taste the debutante's treat. Trish, who still hasn't got the hang of walking in high heels, stumbled while bringing out the reputedly scrumptious gumbo. The crock-pot landed upside down in a flower bed, to the distress of some well-tended peonies.


Pianist Gap Mangione, Chuck's less famous brother, was expected at the airport last night, but could not be found for quite a while even after the other passengers on his flight had gotten their bags and left. His ride finally got hold of him on a white courtesy phone. It turned out that Gap simply forgot that someone had been sent to pick him up and was visiting in the bar with a musician friend he ran into, whom he knows from Rochester.

Rabbi rib baR

The Mitzvah Bar - a combination kosher Texas-style BBQ restaurant and comedy club - held its grand opening last weekend, and already promises to be a big success. The kitchen puts out some of the tangiest ribs this side of Austin, while moonlighting rabbis make gentle fun of the clientele. Come in and get a good ribbing.

Nam's Party Traps Man

Korean video art pioneer and self-proclaimed founder and sole member of the Institute for Avant-Garde Hinduism, Nam June Paik, was recently recruited by the F.B.I to assist in a manhunt in Georgia, a Bureau spokesperson revealed yesterday. "And he got him" said Special Agent Ray Johnson.
Asked why someone as weird as Paik, and a civilian besides, would be recruited for such a mission, Johnson replied "We like Nam June's work, and just thought he would be really good at manhunting. Hey, we were right. We had a hard-target search, and his team bagged him right away."

When asked how he managed this thing, Paik explained "We used the principle of feedback. Once driven into a cul-de-sac, he had no choice but to return the way he went in – and we were there!"

"I then cut off his necktie and poured shampoo in his hair, just for fun, and because he looked a bit like John Cage".

"Neil, as Rett, utter 'Brett'", utters alien

In a somewhat bizarre moment of intimacy last night, Juan Valenzuela, a Mexican residing illegally in East Los Angeles, tried persuading his gay lover Neil Sleed to invoke the name of either famed centerfielder Brett Butler or actress Brett Butler – Neil wasn't exactly sure - in the voice of Mariners relief pitcher Rett Johnson, as some sort of weird turn-on, we can only surmise.

"It was too out for me" reports Sleed. "I've done a lot of kinky things, but I just couldn't go there."

Al, obese elf, flees Ebola

Albert Shrimpkin, the world's fattest elf, has an almost pathological fear of the deadly virus, according to his pals. "We haven't seen him in weeks, and have no idea where he is. He's always on the move, sometimes leaving in the middle of the night, trying to get away, as if the virus always knows where he is and is after him personally, and he can't get far enough away. It's like he's running from  his own shadow, which would be a neat trick in itself given how %$%&$ fat he is."


The economically-worded request for a tool was made by surgeon Carl Sparks to his son Marty as they were constructing some shelving in the boy's room last weekend.

No Lemons, No Melon

"Business isn't too good yet" said Fern Braxton, of Braxton Farms Market, on the 188, outside of Wharton. Stuff just didn't come up, not really sure why. We've been trying to pick up the slack with some baked goods and souvenirs of the area, but at a farmer's market, most people want some produce – I guess. Sorry, we just don't have any. No citrus, no cantaloupe, no basil, no tomatoes or squash, no berries, no onions. And yes, we also have no bananas. We ain't got shit . Hey, maybe that's the problem. We didn't fertilize!"

Reg Rubs Burger

Reginald  Peeples recently rented the Honker Home Video of Frank Zappa's movie Uncle Meat, and wasn't very impressed, as anyone who has ever seen it can readily appreciate. "It's really lame" said Reg. "Especially the scene with Don Preston showering with a hamburger and rubbing it all over himself. What a waste of perfectly good film stock. Was that supposed to be funny? If so, the joke was lost on me. I even got myself a burger and went in the shower and rubbed myself with it, just to see if maybe 'you had to be there', you know? But it just wasn't amusing. What a lame movie. I expected more from Frank. Although, having seen his other movies too, I suppose I shouldn't have."

Britney's Yen Trib

The Chinese government announced yesterday that it expects pop star Britney Spears to pay them an annual tribute from now on. "She is Britney, and so deserves to pay" said a spokesman for the Chinese Treasury Department. Exactly how much they expect to get from her was not disclosed.


"I finally had to muzzle him", says Carl Rogers, of Shreveport, about Duke, his old pit bull. "He just wouldn't stop chewing on that thing. It got all red and inflamed and raw, but he just kept chewing himself. So I muzzled him, but he's still trying to gnaw on it. Just look at him. Stop it, you dumb dog!"


"It's inconceivable" said Wiley Spicer about his local haberdasher. "Something as classic as a Stetson, and they have none, zero. Can you believe it? What kind of haberdasher doesn't carry Stetsons?"

"They're just not popular enough in these parts for us to bother" said Mildred Chase, the store manager. "We have a wonderful selection of other quality brands and types. Straw hats, baseball caps, stocking caps, night caps, Tam O' Shanters, berets, pill boxes, visors, British topis, French Foreign Legion poplins, Easter bonnets, cooley hats, toques, skull caps, yamulkes, fezes, Pope's mitres, mortar boards, miner's helmets with lights on 'em, diving helmets, World War II nazi helmets. We even have a three-cornered hat that once belonged to Mark Lindsay."

"We really are amply stocked, and our prices are very competitive. We just don't have Stetsons. Frankly, I never really cared for them. Get a nice tam."

"Rise, Sir!"

Sir Paul McCartney was fairly groveling at the Queen Mum's feet the other day, according to an eye witness. "Not at all like Lennon, who sent back his medal and all that. Sir Paul was down on his face, it was quite embarrassing. She finally just told him to get up and act with at least a modicum of dignity."

Lost Sol

"I have no idea where he is" said a friend of minimalist artist Sol LeWitt, who was with him until only moments ago. "We were just leaving the gallery to go get a coffee, and I turned to say something and he wasn't there. I don't know where he went. If I know Sol, he's probably drawing on somebody's wall. That would be just like him."

Regards, Drager
An open letter to the public at large, from Helmut Drager, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Gentle Readers:

I have been getting a lot of mail these past few years that has been improperly directed my way, only because of my last name, which is at least spelled correctly fairly consistently - I do not use the umlaut, as in the German, nor do I use the "ae" combination as an ersatz umlaut - I just use a plain old Americanization - but I digress.

Anyway, I think it is time to set the record straight on this matter, in the hope of more efficient communication on what I consider to be serious matters.

Let me get to the point. I am not the Dräger of Dräger Safety, of Pittsburgh - a fine company as far as I know. I have nothing against them, I just don't have anything to do with them. Nor am I in any way related to those who have given their names to Shy-Drager Syndrome, a terrible disease - may we never be so afflicted.

I am prompted now to write this missive primarily because of a most recent correspondence suggesting that, with my expertise and innovations in re-breathing apparatus for recreational diving, and my obviously vast medical knowledge and scientific insight, would it not be possible for me to design a Drager Re-Juvenator, to give some life back to certain afflicted ones.

The answer is NO! I don't know anything about disease or medicine, I don't go underwater, and I do not live in Pittsburgh! I am Helmut Drager, of Milwaukee! I have a hobby shop! Write to me if you are interested in model railroading (HO scale). Otherwise, please leave me alone.

Regards, Drager


Former bassist for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Noel Redding, really thought highly of Leon Russell, according to a source who preferred to remain anonymous. "No kidding man, he just worshipped the guy, it was almost sick. I mean, Leon's great, but he's not freakin' God. Even Clapton's not God. Miles is God, everybody knows that."


A recent survey shows that Americans are far more likely to name their dog Spot than to name it God. In fact, the chances of someone naming their dog God are extremely remote, according to the survey. However, the chances of someone naming their dog Fido are about the same as the chances of them naming it Spot.

Fosse: Mariah's hair a mess of !%#&

Late choreographer Bob Fosse didn't have much nice to say about pop diva Mariah Carey's coif at last night's Grammy Awards. In fact, being as he is dead, Fosse had nothing at all to say, so we had to put words in his mouth. We put in some really filthy ones, then washed his mouth with soap.

mood sad as doom

"I grapple with depression all the time, every day" says Sven Thordurson, of Keflavik. "It is so very difficult, to always be feeling so down, like your world is closing in, and there's nothing you can do. I don't even enjoy epic poetry now, and cry when I hear music. It is really very sad."

Eros Sore

And you would be too!

Reno Bozo Boner

In Reno, Nevada a man was arrested Thursday for exposing himself to several children while dressed and made up like Bozo the clown.

"It's disgusting, just awful" said Josephine Tyler, mother of one of the children. "What's the world coming to? If you can't trust everyone's favorite clown, who can you trust?"

"Me Yogi, Goyem"

On the first day of class at the University of Judaism last semester, Assistant Professor Yogi Hernandez introduced himself to the students taking his class  "Bad Grammar As A Means Of Depicting the Primitive In the Writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs" – the only prerequisite for the taking of which is that a student be non-Jewish – by writing on the chalk board "Me Yogi, goyem".

When one of the students raised his hand and pointed out to Hernandez that "goyim" is correctly spelled g o y i m, although often misspelled with an e, even by many Jews, the pedagogue responded "How should I know how to spell it, I'm not Jewish".

Wal Mart's Tram Law

A spokesperson for Wal Mart announced yesterday that company executives don't want anyone coming to their stores by means of trams, and simply won't allow it. "Buses, trolleys, street cars, and even lorries are all fine" said Kevin Hughes, in a public address, but just forget about using trams. We're posting lookouts, and if they see you arriving at a Wal Mart in a tram, you will be refused service. We can do that, and this decision is final."

Edi's    loop  taxes sex at   pool  side

IRS agent Edith Bliss has found a slick legal maneuver allowing the city government to collect a tax on sexual activities carried out next to a swimming pool, even if the people involved are married and own the pool. "But to be honest", elaborated Edi, "the sex has to be at pool side for us to collect. You can still have sex in the water for free."


Natalie Seuss, of Cody, Wyoming, filed suit against the Davidson Manufacturing Corporation after falling from a step ladder that she claims did not have an adequate warning sticker advising her to not stand on the top. "They should make those warnings more emphatic" said Seuss, "otherwise why should we take them seriously? I almost killed myself!"

The litigant is no relation to the famous author of children's books.

"View We I.V."

When asked how he liked the care he received in hospital recently, Walter Konzak said "It was okay, but the nurse spoke real funny. Most nurses would say like 'Let's just take a looksee at your drip now', but this one spoke in a most peculiar manner.. She was nice though, and I'd say I got pretty good care over all."

Noir Orion

In a press release yesterday Orion Pictures announced that from now on they're not going to bother releasing anything other than remakes of old, highly stylized detective movies.

Name Pa, ape man!

Anthropologists working in Tanzania have finally unearthed what is probably almost but not quite the elusive "missing link" in the chain of human evolution, a prehistoric ape-like man they call Larry.

"This is so VERY frustrating" said Lucy Leach, at the dig site yesterday. "Obviously, Larry is almost the missing link – just look at him – but it's probably his father who is the real missing link we've been looking for. If we could just revive Larry somehow, and ask him who his dad was, and where he's buried. Families at that time really stuck close together you know. He's probably very nearby."

Liam saves
Eva's mail

Pianist Liam Viney, currently on the music faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, apparently gets a fair amount of e-mail from actress Alyssa Milano, who portrays Eva Savealot on television commercials for the 1-800-COLLECT long distance phone service.

"Of course I don't actually read any of it" says Viney. "I don't even know her, and I don't use that service. I can't even guess why she would be writing to me. Maybe she likes my playing? But I save all of her mail, unopened, in its own special folder. I can't explain why."


Thomas Bros. Maps, publishers of the indispensable Thomas Guide, without which you'll never find your way around Los Angeles no matter how long you've lived there, will soon be publishing their latest resource for Angelinos, the Salt Atlas.

"It was a nearly insurmountable challenge, and represents a real innovation in cartography, of which we are, I believe justifiably, very proud" said Jasper Sykes, a spokesman for the company. "This map book shows precisely where everyone in Los Angeles keeps their salt, house by house. Not everyone keeps it in the same place you know. A friend of mine just keeps it on the table all the time. I for one keep it on the counter near the stove, as I am unlikely to salt my food after cooking. Other folks put it away in a cupboard between meals."

"With this atlas, say you're baby sitting or staying at a friend's place and they're not there, you know you will be able to locate the salt. Of course it's rather cumbersome. About 30,000 pages, and that's almost microfilm. No way you can see it without at least reading glasses, more likely you'll want to use an overhead projector. And of course, in keeping with our tradition, the house you're looking for will always be right on the border between two pages, making it exasperatingly difficult to pinpoint."

"But once you do, you'll be able to find the salt. In Los Angeles anyway. It's going to be a while before we can cover Ventura and Orange Counties."

garbage gab rag

"It's a truly trashy publication, and deliberately so" said Huell Barnes of his new magazine, The Grapevine. "And we are expecting to be in litigation almost continuously for what we're going to print about famous people. We just don't care. We'll print anything, and could care less if there's any truth to it. Give us a juicy story, and it's going to press. Sue us! See if I care."


slate petal slaps pal's
navy van a navy van
slaps pal's late petals

Japanese poet Akasaka is breaking new ground in the ancient and refined art of haiku.

Says Akasaka, "We must continually push the limits, and find new ways to use the old forms if we wish for them to remain relevant in a contemporary society. My new book, 575, will I hope demonstrate that there is new terrain yet to be explored here."

Akasaka elaborated further. "The formal and aesthetic requirements of haiku are so fussy, one could even say tight-assed. They appear simple, but are in actual fact very difficult to get right. Only the Japanese could have even thought up such a form, let alone stick with it for so long. One mustn't only account for the arithmetic, but the imagery as well. In the above example for instance, note that I have made a floral reference - that is of utmost importance. That and the moon, and maybe cicadas are about the only things we can write about, so it's quite limiting. Note also that I have said "late petals", which is of course a seasonal reference, also of great significance. Without these images and references, it simply is not haiku. While I will be the first to admit that none of my palindromic haiku are any good - as poetry - they are haiku, and that is a start. My next book will surely be much better, once I get the hang of this."

Akasaka will be hanging out at Crown Books on Saturday if you want to get a signed copy of 575.

Singer/slide slinger Bonnie
Raitt will be sporting a new
look on her next tour.
"I always liked those little
crowns, ever since I was a
little girl" revealed Bonnie, via
her publicist. "I know it doesn't
realy go with my been-around-
mature-sort-of-bluesy-bar room-
way image, but at this point in my
career I feel like I should be able
to do and wear whatever I want.
Obviously I won't ever get to be
Miss America, but I can still wear
a %$#@& crown!"

CalArts Astral AC

With energy costs on the rise, and given its pathetic excuse for an endowment, the California Institute of the Arts can no longer afford to air condition the entire building, and so will be implementing a new energy-saving plan, "completely in line with our visionary, leading edge role" said the Acting Provost of Survival Management Policies and Innovative Plans for Not Going Down the Toilet, Ben T. Hellanbach. "It's pretty simple really, and I sort of wonder why we didn't think of it sooner."

The plan calls for all lecture courses to be taught from one large room, divided into pods for the individual teachers, much like a corporate office, which will be efficiently and effectively climate-controlled. Every student will be given a crash course in astral projection during orientation week and will subsequently be expected to attend classes as per usual, but project to the air conditioned lecture hall, where their astral bodies should be quite comfortable while their physical ones are sweating it out.

"Hey, if Pauline Oliveros can give virtual composition lessons to music students at Mills via her web cam in Woodstock, we ought to be able to make this work. We already require thai chi, so why not astral projection? And it's gonna save us a bundle."

"Of course it's not practical for every class - tabla lessons for example, or advanced African-American Improvisation Ensemble, but for any class where the teacher just blathers on about whatever and the students would rather not really be there anyway, such as music theory or any Critical Studies course, this is perfect. The student gets to space out, we cut costs - and I can get a raise."

"Music students will still have to actually attend skills classes though; there's no way to get them astrally."

You Bouy You Buoy You Buoy

Pete Townshend, legendary rock guitarist and creative force behind the Who, may have outdone himself with his new song, You Buoy You Buoy You Buoy.
"It's even better than You Better You Better You Bet" said Pete in an interview with the press yesterday, "although that's not saying a lot. That was never one of my better songs. This one's better."