M00SE DROPPINGS #48 JUNE 13, 1994 AM00sing Anecdotes and Illumination By and For the Pawns

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

M00SE DROPPINGS #48 - JUNE 13, 1994 =================================== A-M00s-ing Anecdotes and Illumination By and For the Pawns of the M00se Illuminati _M00se Droppings_ is published on the 13th of each month. Send submissions and subscription requests to wrd@beer.wa.com. All contents copyright the respective authors. More explicit copyright notice forthcoming, pending consultation with Pr0phetm00se, our resident expert. This issue is being mailed to 70 chapters of the M00se Illuminati. STAFF: Editor In Chief: Bill Dickson Assistant/News Editor: Dominic White Reviews Editor: Gary Olson IN THIS ISSUE: Editorial Notes New publishing schedule New format Submission guidelines News Droppings _M00se Droppings_ back issues available on America Online _M00se Droppings_ back issues available on the Internet Special Features A report on Authorcon II Your Astrom00sical Horoscope Regular Features Ask The Sage Tracking the M00sey Age Reviews Stimpy Pillow Let's Go Bowling with Easy Big Fella EDITORIAL NOTES --------------- Welcome to issue 48 of _M00se Droppings_, the first issue in which we attempt to adhere to our new publishing schedule and format. I'm Pickle, and I'll be your editor this evening. The first thing you'll probably notice is the sudden, complete shift in format. No, that's a lie. The first thing you'll probably notice is that the issue is months overdue. That's not entirely true either. Although it is months overdue from the time I had hoped to publish it, it is in fact right on time for the eventual deadline I set. _M00se Droppings_ will, from now on, be published once a month on the 13th of that month. We will stick with the 13th of the correct month, unlike many other so-called "professional" publications, which publish their magazines as much as six weeks early, so you get the March issue in January, thus making you think you've been comatose or something. That won't happen with ~this~ little newsletter, I assure you. Okay, so the ~second~ thing you'll notice is our new format. While it may lack some of the ASCII-graphic pizzaz of the old format, it has certain advantages. I will now attempt to explain and defend them. This is a tagged-text format called Setext. It's in use by several electronic publications out there, most notably by _TidBITS_, an electronic Macintosh newsletter by Adam Engst. _TidBITS_ has something in the neighborhood of 100,000 readers, and Setext seems to be working quite well for it. The basic idea is that the text contains certain formatting "tags" that, while relatively unobrusive to those who read the issue in plain text format, can also be used by a Setext reader to index and format the text in certain ways to make it more pleasant to read and easier to search later on. For instance, you'll notice that "Editorial Notes" above has an underline consisting of regular hyphens. This looks like an underline to the plain text reader, but in a Setext reader it marks the words "Editoral Notes" as a section heading. The reader can then format the text appropriately -- making it Helvetica Bold 14, for instance -- and separate the text contained beneath that heading from the text contained beneath the next heading. Another example is the word "second" above, which -- if you don't have a Setext reader, is surrounded by tildes. If you do have a reader, that word should be in italics. You might think of Setext as being like HTML for the World Wide Web, only less powerful, and readable as plain text without making you go all crosseyed. Setext was designed as a platform-independent format, but it is more mature on the Macintosh than under UNIX and Windows. Easy View for the Macintosh is a fairly complete Setext viewer, although hypertextual capabilities will not be added until a later version. Easy View for Windows is brand new, and still rudimentary, though it looks like the author is going for the look of the Macintosh version. The UNIX reader, sv, is on version 0.3 and handles nothing but the indexing capabilities. Among other places, all three can be obtained from the following locations: Mac: ftp://ftp.eff.org//pub/Net_info/Tools/easyview2.44.cpt.hqx Win: ftp://ftp.eff.org//pub/Net_info/Tools/easyview.zip UNIX: ftp://ftp.eff.org//pub/Net_info/Tools/sv-03.tar.gz Download them and give 'em a shot. I'm afraid those of you on VMS, CMS, and DOS systems, among others, are out of luck as far as using a Setext reader, at least for the present. But if somebody wanted to write one, nobody on the Internet would object! If you're interested in doing so, I might be able to help you find the right people to talk to. The format of _M00se Droppings_ is still under development. Should each section -- Reviews, Features, etc. -- be a single large Setext section, with all the contents lumped together? This makes for a more logical and attractive index in the reader. Alternatively, we could abandon formal sections entirely, and simply index each article individually. This is more fluid and, again, makes for a simple, clean index, but doesn't necessarily arrange the articles in a convenient manner. In this issue, I'm trying a compromise between those two. Each section is a separate Setext section, with its title entirely in caps. Separate articles within each section are also individual Setext sections, but their titles are in upper/lowercase. This may make for a cluttered index, but each article is directly accessible and listed in the index. Does this work for you? Would one of the other methods work better? Your feedback is appreciated. I'll be preparing an Easy View viewfile for the Macintosh version of the reader, for anybody who wants one. Just so you know, I will be doing some formatting with spaces, so anybody using a reader should make sure they've got the body text style set to use a monospaced font. Submission Guidelines --------------------- These guidelines are preliminary and subject to change, but I've got to get ~something~ out there! So here goes: The following are general guidelines, for submission directly to the editor. Reviews and News submissions should be sent to Svedishm00se and Ickym00se directly, and they may override these guidelines (though these guidelines do apply to the final files they send me :). Submission deadline is the 11th of the month. Articles may be submitted in MS Word (Mac or Windows), Nisus (Mac), or ASCII format. Please do not indent paragraphs; instead, separate them with two carriage returns. Also, if sending a file in a format that permits it, do not break your lines -- I'll just have to unwrap them when I assemble the file in Nisus so the Setext formatting macro will work properly. This is a change from the original guidelines, and I realize that those of you sending me files via email don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. We would prefer original material where possible. All the m00sey stuff you're familiar with is welcome, as is short fiction, poetry, commentary, etc. I can't promise you we'll include it, but if you think the readers of _M00se Droppings_ would enjoy it, give it a shot! Copyright issues are still to be hashed out, as I simply don't know enough about it. My intention is to make _M00se Droppings_ as a whole freely distributable via electronic channels, paper printouts, transcriptions onto napkins, public readings, and transmission by smoke signal, but to leave individual articles otherwise in their authors' control. In other words, if you submit something, you agree that you'll never insist I locate every copy of _M00se Droppings_ in existance and edit it out, and you'll never try to make me stop distributing the issue. But if somebody wants to reprint or excerpt your article, they've got to ask you for permission. I'll buy Pr0phetm00se a beer if he helps me hash something like that out. These guidelines, when formalized, will be available on request from me and the other editors, and should include variations for their sections as well. Final Notes ----------- In this issue, you'll find a couple of special features: a report on Authorcon II, the gathering of the writers from Superguy Digest, and Your Absolutely Accurate Astrom00sical Horoscope, by Pr0phetm00se. If Pr0phetm00se is willing, it might be fun to make the horoscope a regular feature. Also, for those of you familiar with the most m00sey and worthwhile Superguy Digest, a shared-world serialized-fiction often-humorous superhero writing forum, I'm considering a very brief monthly review of the highlights of recent stories. Sort of like the soap opera recaps you see in magazines that live near cashiers. It could be fun for Superguy readers, and for those of you who don't read Superguy yet, it would give you a little bit of insight into what it's all about. What do you think of these ideas? Let me know. Incidentally, if you do want to subscribe to Superguy, send mail to: listserv@ucf1vm.cc.ucf.edu, or listserv@ucf1vm.bitnet Your message should contain only the words: subscribe superguy Your Name Here (Obviously, "Your Name Here" should be replaced with your name. I realize you're all smart enough to know that, but some among you might just have tried it anyway just so you could protest to me that it didn't work :). So enough of my babbling. Let's get on with the issue! NEWS DROPPINGS -------------- Little turds of information for your enjoyment and edification. _M00se Droppings archived on America Online_ The long-silent GypsyLynx here with a news flash. Some of you may have thought that I dropped off the face of the earth after my wedding almost 4 years ago, but I just went into hiding long enough to hatch a new, nefarious m00se-c0up! M00ses have invaded America Online! Some of us are even in minor positions of power...and swaying more to our cause all the time!! The entirety of M00se Droppings are not only available for downloading from AOL, but the charter, background and information files are as well. They even got a billing on a "What's New" button on AOL. Since m00ses are known to be a bit secretive at times, actual numbers of converts are unknown, but hopefully growing. Bl00p! Fnord. _M00se Droppings available on the Internet, too_ Stanton McCandlish is now archiving M00se Droppings at: ftp://ftp.eff.org/pub/Publications/CuD/M00se_Droppings/ gopher://gopher.eff.org/00/Publications/CuD/M00se_Droppings/ http://www.eff.org/pub/Publications/CuD/M00se_Droppings/ This is the Computer underground Digest E-Zine Archive, and it is mirrored far and wide. SPECIAL FEATURES ---------------- This issue, we have a report on the monumentous Authorcon II, by Reviews Editor and Superguy Author Svedishm00se, and a special column on your astrom00sical horoscope by -- who else? -- Pr0phetm00se. Authorcon II ------------ or, Thr0ng-a-thon in the Capitol of the State with a Lower Peninsula Shaped like a Big Mitten Portrayed to you, the reader at home, by Svedishm00se, in third person May 19th, 1994 opened quietly, as most mornings do. The air was still in anticipation of the bizarrely m00sey things that were about to happen that day. The very fabric of reality was prepared to let out an all-encompassing 'bl00p!' Unfortunately, the cosmic universe was a day early. Authorcon II didn't start until Friday, the 20th. Svedishm00se, in his civilian disguise as Gary W. Olson, working drone, went to his place of gainful employment and continued his usual covert subversion of the established order. Night fell. May 20th, 1994 opened quietly, just like the previous morning. The air was a bit more wary this time around, but after some assurances that it had indeed gotten the day right, things brightened up, and Michigan got its first truly bright and sunny day of the year. What was to occur this day was the beginning of a very special, very m00sey Thr0ng-a-Th0n known as Authorcon II. It was called this because the five m00ses who were converging on Svedishm00se's apartment in East Lansing were authors on the famed and extremely m00sey LISTSERV group known as Superguy, which regularly exported high-quality humor- laden superheroic and sci-fi epics to many Internet and BITNET readers. One such convergence occured a year ago, in Syracuse, at Alacrity's residence. Hence the 'II' that comes after 'Authorcon.' (It is complete coincidence that 'II' looks like 11.) (Really.) The first m00se to arrive was Robotech_M00se, by the bizarrely omen-ridden Amtrak method. Svedishm00se greeted Robotech_M00se at the train station and brought him back to his apartment. Robotech_M00se, having brought more anime than could probably be found in the entire country of Zimbabwe, proceeded to show a delightful (and, yes, even m00sey) anime, 'Tenchi Muyou,' which Svedishm00se enjoyed a lot. By a startling coincidence, the show finished just as the rest of the m00ses arrived. Sabre the Pr0phetm00se, Alacrity, CityM00se, and Austerem00se arrived in Sabre's car, Rubicon. Svedishm00se emerged to greet them, and scored the first victory of the weekend when he whipped out his Nerf Missilestorm and shot Sabre with Nerf before Sabre could retrieve his Nerf weapons from the trunk. A Nerf battle erupted right then and there in the parking lot, causing much confusion, but no damage whatsoever. (Please review the reviews of Nerf weapons in the previous M00se Dr0ppings, in case you are unfamiliar with why Nerf is the ultimate M00se weapon.) The M00ses, the Nerf, and the battle migrated inside to Svedishm00se's apartment, where old acquaintances were renewed, and everyone met Robotech_M00se (the only one who had not been at Authorcon I, not having been a Superguy Author or a M00se at the time). Bass Ale and Pub Draught Guinness (in cans) awaited the m00ses who liked to consume such, and much consumption was accomplished. Being as it was already evening, and most of the m00ses were tired from many hours of travel, we decided not to go out, and instead watched an episode of PBS' "Jeeves and Wooster," which was extraordinarily funny, and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of "Mitchell." Now, Svedishm00se is well aware that many m00ses out there enjoy Mystery Science Theater 3000, and realize that any episode is virtually guaranteed to be a m00sey experience. But very few MST3K episodes can stay lingering in the corners of the human mind, days, weeks, even months after viewing, like "Mitchell" can. Both Sabre and Svedishm00se can publically attest that "Mitchell" has changed their lives, though not for the better. "Mitchell," the title character, played by Joe Don Baker, is the Jungian archtype of The Slob. The one who slouches. The one who drinks Schlitz and likes it. The one who sleeps with hookers, then busts them. The one who wears extremely tacky jackets, and has exposed the comedic potential of zero tolerance. The one with the 70's "wotchitika-wotchitika" theme music playing in the background as he goes on extremely slow car chases. By the time the movie was over, fully a third of the m00ses present were asleep, and the rest wished they were, as it would have spared them from the deep hurting that is "Mitchell." And so, the first day of Authorcon II drew to a close. The next day, Saturday, was even brighter and hotter than Friday, and the m00ses that were sprawled on Svedishm00se's furniture and floor awoke gradually, as m00ses are wont to do. Saturday Morning cartoons were started, then quickly abandoned, in favor of one of Svedishm00se's 'Animaniacs' tapes. The Animaniacs feature 'Pinky and the Brain' won particular favor as being very m00sey and Superguyish. By 10 a.m, the m00ses were ready to venture out into the world and engage in the eternal struggle for breakfast. The struggle took them to downtown East Lansing, where Svedishm00se parked his car in a local parking ramp, and the m00ses got out, locking the doors and shutting them. It was then discovered that Svedishm00se had forgotten to remove his keys from the car and did not have his spare key on him. Furthermore, the engine was running. Thirty dollars later, a passing wrecker driver unlocked the car, and Svedishm00se retrieved his keys. The struggle for breakfast could then proceed, and proceed it did, in a shop called 'Bagel Fragel,' where the hearty m00ses subdued bagels, croissants, and cappucino. Saturday, as it happened, was the first of two days that the East Lansing Arts Festival was being held, in downtown East Lansing (naturally). Much interesting art was on display, in addition to wares from the downtown shops, and much time was spent wandering around, looking at the art and wares and attempting to locate Austerem00se and Alacrity when they now and again wandered away. The m00ses thr0nged through three comic shops, a bead shop, a CD shop with many rare and alternative CDs, and several other shops, purchasing as they went. Sabre, Robotech_M00se, and Alacrity managed to subvert Austerem00se into buying some "Magic: the Gathering" cards, while CityM00se and Svedishm00se stayed clear of them. Around 2 p.m, several m00ses expressed a desire for food, and/or beer. But there was one more shop to visit, before either could be had. The m00ses descended upon a rare book shop that turned out to have some incredible items in stock, including a large number of 1930's Astounding Stories, as well as Amazing Stories and Doc Savage. Alacrity and Sabre, in particular, were extremely happy to find these, and were extremely sad when it came time to leave. Both expressed a desire to return when their individual financial pictures were brighter, so that they could purchase some of these items. Lunch was had at 3 p.m. at a very cool establishment, the Small Planet. Guiness and Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout was consumed by some of the m00ses, others had tea, coffee, or water, while examining their purchases and waiting for their food, which turned out to be delicious. The m00ses, sunned, fed, quenched and tired, proceeded to return to Svedishm00se's abode. After communal Star Trek watching was finished, phone calls dominated the next two to three hours, as other Superguy authors such as Rob Furr, Lawrence Brown, and Mike Escutia were spoken with. Per Authorcon rules, they were informed by each m00se at Authorcon that they sucked (which, by definition, all Superguy Authors not at Authorcon did), and they seemed to take this news in stride. More Authors were talked to via IRC, including Gadge, M00son Kramer (both m00ses), Greg Fishbone, and (again) Rob Furr. Alacrity made a very tasty pasta dish for dinner, a couple Blackadder II episodes were witnessed, and a portion of MST3K's "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" (referred to by the m00ses present as "Neck Juice") was watched. Svedishm00se stopped the tape when it became apparant that all the m00ses, save himself and CityM00se, had fallen asleep. It was probably only coincidence that it was 3 a.m. The following morning, the official joint e-mail message to other Superguy authors was made, with all six m00ses including their individual insights into the amazing weekend. It was in this message that the official M00se unit of measurement for how much something or someone sucked, "the mitchell," was introduced. Pickle and Icky-M00se called from Seattle, and the mitchell count they radiated was off the scale. Perversely, they claimed that since they were in Seattle, they were inherently incapable of sucking, but were unable to deny the reports of Schlitz drinking in the Seattle region. Alacrity, Austerem00se, CityM00se, and Sabre finished packing, and loaded up Rubicon with their Nerf, their Magic: the Gathering cards, their books, and other assorted stuff. Before departing for Syracuse, New York (and, via Syracuse, their own respective destinations), they brunched with Svedishm00se and Robotech_M00se at the local "Denny's," and proclaimed their traditional chant, while holding forth the onion rings that Sabre had ordered: "Onion Ring to Rule Them All Onion Ring to Find Them! Onion Ring to Bring Them All And in the Darkness Bind Them!" The onion rings were then consumed, and Authorcon II had drawn to a close. Sabre and the m00ses accompanying him left towards the destination mentioned in the previous paragraph, while Svedishm00se and Robotech_M00se returned to Svedism00se's hovel. Later that day, one of Robotech_M00se's friends from Detroit visited, and more anime videos were watched, including the allegedly amusing "Robotech III: Not Necessarily the Sentinels," and the truly hilarious "Urusei Yatsura" tv series. The following day, Robotech_M00se departed via Amtrak, on a circuitious route back to Missouri. There are more stories to tell, of course. Authorcon 2.02 was held in Ithaca, where ManlyM00se, another Superguy author, was absolved from sucking, following a visit from Sabre and Austerem00se. ManlyM00se noticed, quite astutely, that Austerem00se resembled many of the popular artistic renditions of Jesus, which seemed appropriate, giving how many times Austerem00se had died and been resurrected on the Superguy list. Mike Escutia was later visited in Authorcon 2.03, though it is not known if he made a similarly insightful comment. But these stories, if ever told, will have to be told by the participants. Authorcon II was, all told, massively m00sey fun, and (dropping out of the third person) I had a blast. Plus, I don't suck for another year. Who can ask for anything more? Your Astrom00sical Horoscope ---------------------------- by Pr0phetm00se (rubicon@drycas.club.cc.cmu.edu) _Aquarius_: Plan ahead for an exciting trip. Pack extra socks, and carry a carton of generic cigarettes. At the arraignment, plead no contest. Rethink your attitudes towards prison reform. Do not accept the free legal aid. _Gemini_: You're completely invulnerable! Walk into traffic! Break up gang fights! Loudly criticize live rap music concerts! Buy two lottery tickets! Remember, you can't really be hurt -- you're invulnerable! When the stitches come out, do not tell the Doctor or Nurses about your invulnerability. If you don't have health insurance, ignore this Horoscope. _Capricorn_: The whisperings and strange paranoia you have been feeling of late are real and true. Your co-workers are following your every move with their beady little eyes. If they get any part of you, they will be able to clone and replace you. Save all your waste products. Do not trust rest-rooms. Carry it with you in plastic bags. It's safer that way. _Virgo_: Expect adventures of romance and excitement. A new significant other of charm, sophistication and beauty is right around the corner. Love will appear when you least expect it, so be prepared at all times. Dress in your best clothing. Never wear underwear -- or if you must, make it exciting. Change your hair color and style. Wear colored contact lenses. Proposition every stranger you meet. Accept any proposition you're given. Soul kiss on the first date. Name the child Nermal. _Pisces_: Your dead-end career can't possibly keep a go-getter like you down for long! Quit! Trash the office on your last day! Steal office supplies! Steal the money from your co-workers' desks! March into an Insurance Company and demand employment! Remember -- confidence pays off! If someone rejects you, slap them and move on! _Ares_: You are being stalked by someone born under the sign Scorpio. Take no chances -- one of those bastards is a killer! Arm yourself for war -- this is survival of the fittest. Ask everyone you meet what their sign is. If they're Scorpios, kill them. If they say they're something else, they might be lying. Kill them anyway. If they say a silly joke answer (like that woman from the Zima Commercials who says "Ztop") then they are mocking you. Knife them. _Taurus_: You're about due for your scheduled maintenance checks, so make an appointment now. Check your oil level, and consider replacing the points and plugs now. Avoid Lincoln Continentals. Big things might be ahead, so always look your best -- get a good wax job, take care of those scratches, and remember, Genuine Ford Parts can't be beat. _Anvil_: If you were born on the fifth of Anvil, you are the true born Monarch of United Europe -- an estate worth billions. Congratulations! _Scorpio_: This is a good month to get out of investments. Sell short, if you have to. The hell with the Margin call. Just get out. If you own things -- cars, stocks, houses, microwaves -- give them all away and get receipts. Clothes too. Quit your job. Go on food stamps. Call the I.R.S. and ask them if you could be audited -- you want to be sure they suspect nothing. Oh -- and this might be a good time to avoid Areses. Trust me. _Sagittarius_: Your warm friendship and reliability have made you many friends. They will spend a lot of time with you. They will drink all your beer and eat the food you need to live on. You will be known as "The Easy Mark' by all those around you. Remember, sharing what you have is a wonderful feeling. See how long you can eat those wonderful feelings to survive. _Cancer_: Look, I won't lie to you. This is going to be something of a bad patch. Oh, it might seem all right, but your co-workers and friends are whispering about the rumors. Just steel yourself. When the axe falls, try to take it well. If you are in a relationship, try not to kid yourself. Remember, you're just marking time. There are other fish in the sea. It's best to project a feeling of resignation, so that people will just get it over with and you can all try to move on. _Leo_: Call Mort. He says you never call, Leo. Hey, I know Mort, and if Mort says you never call than you had better believe you never call. Look, I don't care what you say, Leo, Mort deserves a little friendship too. What kind of busy life do you have, Mister Man? What, you can't even call your friends once in a while? I don't know why I bother with you, Leo.... _Libra_: Stop. Wait just a second. Before I tell you what your Horoscope is, you're going to have to tell me just what a Libra is, anyway. I mean, Taurus the Bull, Capricorn the Goat, Aquarius the Pot Smoking Deadhead, all those we can see. But what the Hell is a Libra? Would you know one on the street? How? Are they a protected species? If you can't tell me than you don't deserve a Horoscope. And if you think you know, you're either wrong or you're lying, so the Hell with it. _If you were born today_: You're doing very well to be reading already! Congratulations. I foresee a lot of vomit and poop, but none of that niggling Otitis Media. Good for you! Around four in the morning, attention will be scarce unless you let your needs be known. Avoid dogs. _Special Guest Horoscope_ -- Cats! (all signs): You have a busy schedule ahead, so you'd better catch naps where you can. The furniture's getting on the old side anyhow, so don't worry about whatever happens to it. You won't know what will happen if you poop on the carpet if you don't try! Remember -- humans are supposed to wake up at five fifteen a.m. Don't let them oversleep -- they might give you two servings of dinner if you help them get up! Avoid the milk -- it's past due. REGULAR FEATURES ---------------- Returning again are Superguy Digest's The Sage with his omniscient advice, and Pr0phetm00se's report on the progression of the M00sey Age. Feel free to send in your questions for The Sage, care of wrd@beer.wa.com. Ask The Sage ------------ The Only Advice Column You'll Ever Need, If You've Got $10 on You by Superguy Digest's The Sage Hello! I am still the Sage! As everyone who read the previous issue will remember (except for Gladys H. in Tupelo, who, due to inhaling exhaust fumes before reading the issue, believed she was communicating with Ted Cassidy), I know everything, without exception! It was reported last time that the editors of this fine electronic newsletter were in negotiations with me for a contract that will make my traditional $10 charge for answers to any question unnecessary. I am pleased to report that we indeed have arrived at a contract! Actually, we won't arrive at agreement for three years. But, as I have already said, I know everything, and that includes certain embarassing scandals featuring the editors that will eventually compel them to knuckle under to my demands: $10 per question, two six packs of Pabst a week, and two tickets to the Broadway musical adaptation of _Final Exit_. Furthermore, I know that the charges will be backdated to now, so I will go ahead and dispense with requesting $10 per question from the readers now! And now, on with the questions! DEAR SAGE, I read your answer to my question on whether I should ask my current girlfriend to marry me. You said I'd be hit by a bus within a week. Well, I asked her, she said yes, and several months have gone by without incident. How do you explain ~that~, mister know-it-all? Alex Sanderson, Not-so-nervous in New Mexico Alex, You are quite mistaken, my boy! You did indeed get hit by a bus one week after proposing to your girlfriend. In fact, only 5.23 seconds have passed in real time from the moment of impact. Your brain has already flashed your entire life to date before your eyes, and is currently in the process of making up more of it. Everything, even this answer, is a delusion of your concussed, and soon to be very dead, mind. DEAR SAGE, My wife and I just don't enjoy sex like we used to. I've heard that sexual aids are often helpful in bringing that "spark" back to a relationship. What do you recommend? Emasculated in Ebington Dear Emasculated, In your case, an air pump and some duct tape to patch the rip. DEAR SAGE, What scandals, exactly, are you talking about, in reference to the M00se Droppings editors? I ask merely for information. Frank O. in Ithaca Dear Frank, Due to the contract that I will sign, I cannot divulge which editor was involved in which scandal. However, I can say that one editor has been having a hot, steamy love affair with Martha the denture lady, while another likes to take bubble baths in "Zima," the clear alcoholic beverage that was once marketed under the name "Turpentine." That's all the time I have for this issue! This is the Sage, signing off! Tracking the M00sey Age ----------------------- Prophecy McNuggets for your Illumination by Sabre the Pr0phetm00se Well, the seasons turn and change, winter fades into summer, through that unplanned, horrifically chaotic time called spring, the winter olympics have come and gone, former President Nixon has died, Rosanne and Tom have divorced and remarried, Arsenio Hall is off the air, and Madonna has been barred for life from the Late Show with David Letterman. All in all, I would say the M00sey Age is coming along quite well. Here are a few other items which reaffirm my basic faith in my prognosticative ability: _The Women's Figure Skating Competition at the Winter Olympics_: I know, you thought you were rid of this rubbish. Hey -- it's the first column I've written since January. Sue me. I'll try to make it brief. After the hoopla and torment of months, we finally got to this event. Tonya Harding finished a respectable eighth, after having the first known Figure Skating restart due to a flat tire. She then left, plea-bargained to stay out of jail, was barred from Figure Skating competition forever, and received an offer for a two million dollar contract with a Japanese Women's wrestling promotion. I am not making this up. Nancy Kerrigan -- the sentimental favorite because she had been injured several months beforehand, took second after an orphaned girl who had been hurt the day before and had to skate on pain-killers, but managed to smile and play to the crowd like a champ (not that I'm drawing comparisons). In disappointment, Nancy went home to her multi- million dollar corporate sponsor, whom she proceeded to badmouth in front of a crowd of thousands. Sometimes the Gods are kind. _Howard Stern_: After being nominated (legitimately, I might add) by the Libertarian Party as their candidate for Governor of New York State, Howard Stern has discovered something he didn't count on. You see, Howard swears he is a serious candidate. And he has a legitimate nomination, which makes him one. Howard also has a radio show which is on for four hours a day. However, as a serious candidate for Governor of New York, Howard Stern cannot be given a media advantage over his opponents -- Mario Cuomo, the incumbent democrat, and Nameless Loser, the Republican. If Howard gets four hours of air time, then the Station he broadcasts on must give the Democrats and Republicans four hours ~each~. The FCC has ruled that this is so, in Howard's case. Which means Howard can withdraw... or Howard loses his radio show. If only we could get Rush Limbaugh in as the Republican loser.... The fallout from the Stern nomination is surprisingly positive for most everyone, except the Republicans, of course. Howard Stern himself is getting a lot of attention, and this time he doesn't have to pay for it. The Libertarians -- assuming they can ever live this down -- are going to make out like bandits. You see, in New York State any party that gets fifty thousand votes gets their party on the ~permanent~ ballot. They never again have to petition to keep their name in the running. As of this writing, Stern is running about 20% in the polls -- not bad, in a three-way race. Mario Cuomo can't complain, since this is going to reelect him. You see, Howard is running on a three issue platform (none of which I am going to venture an opinion on): 1) Reinstate new York's death penalty. 2) Stagger who pays tolls at toll booths. 3) Make all highway construction crews work only at night. He has sworn that once those three issues are resolved, he will step back and let his Lieutenant Governor run the show (a campaign promise that heretofore is unique). The Republicans have the death penalty as part of their platform as well. Thus, the death penalty vote is split, the anti-Cuomo Protest Vote is split, weighted towards Stern, and the Republicans would have to set off a bomb in Albany to get any sort of media attention. I wonder if Ross "Sparky" Perot is taking notes. Assuming, that is, that he isn't in conference with the Space Aliens or distracted by shiny things. _The Weather_: After the harshest winter in recorded history -- a winter so bad entire states were shut down due to cold -- Spring has come in with a full-fledged unseasonable heat wave. People are fleeing the sun and praying for rain and snow. The M00siness of this couldn't be exaggerated. _The Republicans_: For all their cagy behavior, for all their careful, angry rhetoric, the Republicans are flubbing their shot at the Presidency badly. Folks, it's 1994. The next election is in 1996. The Republicans are dragging out every possible scandal they can against the President. It is as if they expect ~anyone~ to remember a thing about Whitewater or any other Scandal when Election time rolls around. Folks -- the American people elected George Bush after Iran/Contra. Whitewater is ~nothing~ in comparison. It's far far better to wait a while -- gather evidence and hold off on the scandal, and then launch the attack during campaign season. This is assuming the Republicans aren't going for that knockout 'impeachment' punch. I could sort of live with that, if they were. Al Gore has at least proven he can write a book, which lends credence to the theory that he has also read one. It's a lot to expect, I realize, but since Tipper won't let Al listen to music albums, they don't have very much else to do around the Vice President's house (The Taupe House, I believe it's called). Despite my admitted hatred of the Republican party (not so much because of a difference in my and their political beliefs as the unshakable perception that they are all a pack of rat bastards), I will confess a growing excitement over the 1995-6 Republican Campaign. You see, all indications are that the two front-runners for the Republican nomination will be Bob Dole and Dan Quayle. Bob Dole may be the meanest human being alive. Dan Quayle may be the most...disconnected human being alive. Admit it, it's a little like watching a primary race between George bush and Ronald Reagan. But enough, you say. Where is the prophecy!? I am, after all, proported to be a prophet. Anyone could claim that the events of today bear out his (unstated) prophecies. Let's here something prophetic already! Well, to those who are indeed saying that (or something similar to it), I would remind them how much money I am being paid for this -- i.e., nothing. Not a sausage. Therefore, I'm not feeling very inclined to respond to public opinion. But still, I might as well give you some glimmer of prophecy, to get you going. Envision if you will a field. A field with green grass. Natural looking green grass, no less. Not astroturf. Envision thicker grass right in the center of it -- fuller and more lively grass. That is where the septic tank is located. On this field shall a ball slowly roll. And on this ball shall there be spittle. This spittle shall not be Spittle of king or peasant. No, for it shall be the spittle of the Labrador, and it will be sickening. And a young girl shall pick this ball up, and of her face there shall be great contortions. And she shall drop the ball, despite the labrador, and his disappointment. And shall the dog leap onto the girl, and knock her over. And shall a stranger -- a good man, and true -- come forth and pull the dog off, and have the speaking of the dog thusly. --Bad doggy. --Bad. --You shall not do such again! --Bad. And shall the girl rise and hug the man, and shall he hug her back. And shall the girl's teacher be passing and see this, and so shall the teacher draw forth the black cylinder. And so, shall the good stranger be maced. On that day, shall an out of work writer whom we shall call Bob get an idea for a screenplay. And lo, shall the screenplay be called "A Generous Hand of Searing Pain," and so also shall the movie bear the legend of truth, of which the story was based. And this movie shall air amid much advertising. And shall Connie Selleca play the teacher also, and the Girl shall be black. And the kind man shall at the movies end rip Connie's blouse off, but the Dog shall kill him. And on that day, when such mindless drivel is inflicted upon the cable, shall you mis-set your V.C.R., and shall you record it instead of that program you have looked forward to for decades. Make ~me~ prophesize, will you.... REVIEWS ------- Edited by Svedishm00se Hail and well bl00ped, fellow m00ses! It's been a while since the last issue of M00se Dr0ppings, so let me go over some Reviews section stuff. All reviews for future editions of M00se Droppings should be sent to me at swede@drycas.club.cc.cmu.edu, or swede@drycas.bitnet. Review anything you like - films, fanzines, deodorants, religions, and so on. You are encouraged to invent your own rating system - the more inconsistent this section is, the m00sier it is. If you are able to send your review formatted to 72 columns, please do. If not, don't worry about it - this isn't rocket science, you know. Pickle's deadline for submissions is the 11th of each month, so reviews should be in to me no later than the 9th. This month, we have a review of the Stimpy pillow by Chris Schneider and a review of the performance of two ska bands, Easy Big Fella and Let's Go Bowling, by Pickle. Bl00p! The Stimpy Pillow ----------------- Reviewed by Christoper L. Schneider Item: Stimpy stuffed throw pillow/all around soft bop-bag Price: About $20 Purchased from: Spenser's Gifts Eastgate Mall Cincinnati Ohio All in all, this pillow kicks m00se! It has a truly sturdy construction that has withstood the various Ren & Stimpy torture tests I tried with flying colors. When I first spied the 2 foot diameter rendition of the world's dumbest cat, I was impressed by the accuracy of this rendition. It doesn't just look good, it held up under all the repeated elbow drops, knee smashes, and head butts a pro-wrestling buff like me can dish out. No matter what the punishment, it maintained the trademark stupid looks of Stimpy. I was most impressed, however, by the spatial relationships of the pillow. When placed over my chest, I was able to torment my sister by squeezing the Stimpy eyes like breasts and still have the stuffed cat's nose in a position to grab in true Michael Jackson fashion. This eventually proved too much for my dear sibling, but her husband got quite a kick out of the display. All in all, this Stimpy pillow gets a 645 out of 714 on the M00se Scale. The only thing it lacked was the little rubber bladder from the "Rude Toot" plush Stimpy. I can't wait to get the Ren pillow to decorate the other end of my couch! Let's Go Bowling with Easy Big Fella ------------------------------------ A Ska Review by Pickle Item: A ska concert, headlining Let's Go Bowling (Fresno) Opening act Easy Big Fella (Seattle) Price: Music free (see below) Beer and tequila ~$40 for two Purchased from: The Ballard Firehouse 5429 Russell Avenue NW Seattle, Washington I was first introduced to ska in Hartford, CT of all places, at Trinity College. The school was having a skafest, with three bands and all you could eat and drink (bad food, bad beer) for $3. It was a hard deal to pass up, so I went with some other people, and was instantly taken with the experience. Ska, for those of you who haven't experienced it, is described in many ways. Those who try to get technical talk about it in flower terms, going back to its roots in Jamaica and discussing various influencial English bands. My roommate describes it as "reggae with a pulse." My friend Mike once described it as "like reggae, but not boring as all fucking Hell(tm)." I'm a bit more charitable to its influences. I say its kind of like young people who would otherwise be playing punk, playing reggae at 2 to 3 times normal speed. There's more to it than that, of course. These are woefully inadequate explanations. But when you hear it, you find yourself too busy dancing to analyze it much. Its extremely fun, loud, and fast, filled with horns and organs bouncing on the offbeat, totally danceable, completely moshable, and the shows are always very friendly both on stage and on the dance floor. The band that won me over for good that night was Bim Skala Bim, a Boston-area band that, sadly, never gets as far west as Seattle. I caught them twice more after that, once in Ithaca and once in Syracuse. In Seattle, I needed a substitute. That substitute is opening act Easy Big Fella. I've now seen Easy Big Fella four times, and intend to catch them at every opportunity from now on. They're an opening band, usually starting for the Tiny Hat Orchestra, another local ska band. They consistently outdo the bands they open for; though newer and less polished, they have an enormous amount of energy and life to them, and they feed off the audience's energy like no band I've ever seen. You dance harder, they play harder. Their repertoire isn't extensive yet, though they have more than enough songs for a set so you get some variation from show to show. Some consistent favorites include "Sleep Together" (I am the ocean and you are the river/Time to go into you now) and "Talk About It" (usually their closer, in which the tempo begins moderately fast and the band then attempts to kill you by cranking it up a notch every few bars). And the highlight of the evening is the Skinny Guy's German accordion piece. He plays and sings like a madman in a semi-traditional style while the band backs him up with hardcore ska. The audience, meanwhile, attempts to simulate some sort of mutant dance step that is supposed to be German or Polish or something (nobody really cares if anybody gets it right), and at exactly the right time in each verse, everybody throws up a hand and shouts, "HEY!" The Skinny Guy is the band's sex symbol. You know how there's always some guy in the band who has to take of his shirt and dance around for the benefit of anybody who wants to see something like that? That's him. He's skinny as a rail, and plays a mean trumpet and accordion. The band is friendly, hanging out before and after the show, and chatting with you when they can. To be honest, I never expect to stay for the main act when I go to see Easy Big Fella. It just isn't impressive; it's always a bit of a disappointment. Not this time. I first heard of Let's Go Bowling when I was attracted by their name in an Ithaca record shop. Their first and only album, from 1991, is "Music to Bowl By." I almost bought it, but I had no idea they were ska. They most certainly are, and are possibly the best I've ever heard -- rivalling Bim Skala Bim. Their energy picked everybody up off their feet after an hour of solid dancing to Easy Big Fella and kept them going until 1:30 or so, nonstop. They have the skill and tightness of the Tiny Hat Orchestra (at least) with the energy of Easy Big Fella's best nights. There is nothing to say about their ska except that it's just about as good as it gets. However, they deviate from ska here and there, to good effect, throwing the audience onto another track for a few minutes and then pulling them back. "Pin Stripe Suit" and "Take a Walk" have an almost big-band feel to them, with the former bringing to mind nothing so much as "Mack the Knife" in terms of being an infectious melody about a killer. And "Hare Tonic" is a ska-ish adaptation of the Warner Brothers' "Rabbit of Seville" music from the Bugs Bunny short "Hare Tonic." (The music was originally composed by Rossini, of course, making it all a rather tangled pedigree.) I could probably go on for a very long time, but I won't. Suffice it to say that it was a superb show by two superb bands. And the venue isn't at all bad, either -- it's a very unreserved crowd, not self-conscious, and quite friendly (except for the guy who got drunk and challenged another guy to a fight outside, but the guy he challenged was friendly enough). The price of admission was nothing, because last time I went, I spent $12 instead of $8 and got a free pass to every under-$15 show for the next four months. Not a bad deal. However, the beer is very expensive at $4 a pint for the good stuff. Practically obscene, given that the beer in question is brewed and kegged a mere mile and a half from the Firehouse. And I don't know what Ickym00se paid for the tequila shots he bought (one apiece), but it was too much. Still, after a show like that, you don't really feel too bad if your wallet is a bit lighter when you leave. I give the overall experience 5.5 pounds of dark extract, 2 oz. of Fuggles (boiling), and 1/2 oz. of Cascade (finishing). Any m00se who visits Seattle will, if at all possible, be taken to see Easy Big Fella. And, if we get lucky, maybe Let's Go Bowling will be in town as well. -- William R. Dickson, M00se Illuminatus.................wrd@beer.wa.com Co-Author, Internet Explorer Kit for Macintosh........iek@tidbits.com Author, "Team Cynical," Superguy Digest....listserv@ucf1vm.cc.ucf.edu


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank