ZIP Beep #1 - 9/30/84

ZIP Beep #1

Some 50 years ago, Robert Benchley warned us of the threat of buttered toast. It was a wonderful tribute to insane logic. Now, when cholesterol content is a hotly debated issue in medical circles, Benchley's frivolous issue is real.

Of course, as a species, we have the ability to blow the world into a new ice age. No light. No grass. No cows. No butter.

But until and (optimistically speaking) unless The End comes blasting down upon us, it is best to realize that humor provides a means of understanding the world. It can lead to new concepts. Or it can be a total dead end. That's what "humor" is. That's what "human" is.

Okay. So what?

So this is a humor -- publication? magazine? newsletter? about calling it a periodical? For now, it's biweekly. Soon it will be weekly. It's part of a new medium. And we are looking for new ways to explore it, new terminology to explain it.

ZIP Beep won't be devoted to computer-related subjects. But we recognize the fact that our readers are reaching us via terminal, so you will see quite a few items intended to amuse people who use computers.

And advertisements? Yes, you will see advertisements. Poor you. But please read the ads on ZIP Beep. They are put there by people who make it possible for us to present ZIP Beep to you at no cost. Please buy their corn flakes, widgets, floppy disks, mopsy-cola and cottonballs...or whatever it is they're selling. If you don't, we'll find you wherever you are, and we'll make it tough for you.

You are welcome to share your owan material with everyone via the Humor catagory of the Corkboard. We will always be looking for new writers. Show us what you can do. If we like it, we'll give you an assignment and maybe even pay you a few paltry dollars squeezed out of our threadbare money sock.

This medium offers new means of expressing and exchanging ideas. ZIP Beep will provide some. You will provide the rest through Corkboard. It's up to you to respond and air (modem?) your views. We want to hear them. We take them seriously, even if we don't appear to. This is the nature of the beast. The threat of buttered toast is real, in spite of its harmless appearance.

What's the point? Don't take ZIP Beep too seriously. If you fall out of a tree and break both legs, don't come running to us for help. But if we generate some new ideas in your head, where no one else can see them ... well, that's a different matter.

ZIP Beep #1
Movie Review: PRAWN

At last! A movie that rips the lid off the high tech fishing business!

PRAWN, from Walt Corman studios, combines all of the drama of a video game and the excitement of a fishing trip with your Uncle George. It takes place at a highly-successful cannery on the eastern seaboard, and concerns the story of Andrew Falsch (Raoul Kochinski), a young and brilliant but disillusioned cannery employee.

When the movie opens, Falsch has devised a new way to bring fish into the local bay. He has invented a mechanical "Master Control Perch," or MCP, capable of directing and overseeing the movement of all fish within 50 miles.

Falsch is concerned. He believes the MCP may have too much power, but there is little he can do about it. He has just been fired by the power-hungry Vice President In Charge Of Tin, who usurps credit for inventing the MCP. The VP believes the MCP is his ticket out of the world of tin management. Environmental groups favor aluminum for its recycling benefits, and the VP sees the writing on the wall: get out of tin or get canned.

When Falsch sneaks into the cannery to confront the MCP, he is electronically transformed into a shrimp. Then begins his oddessy. To regain his human form, he must find and destroy the MCP.

Falsch is known as Prawn in this strange new world. Other sea creatures who befriend him soon take on his cause, and the whole movie has a religious mysticism that is more amusing than revealing. Still, this is a fine movie for the whole family, even the little squirts.

Due to poor distribution channels, PRAWN may not play at your local theater. But you can count on seeing PRAWN computer games, pillow cases, dolls, t-shirts and other merchandising items that will almost certainly be overstocked at your nearest department store this Christmas.

ZIP Beep #1

It is said there's no fool like an old fool. Who's your favorite old fool, and why? The best answer wins a free 5-1/4" floppy disk. Remember: don't pick on anyone who isn't a public figure. We can't be held responsible for any libelous or defamatory statements on the parts of our users. Leave a message for ZIP Beep on the Corkboard (Humor Section). Tell us about your favorite old fool, including the reasons for your choice. Answers of 25 words or less will be considered most favorably. ENTER TODAY! PUT YOUR ANSWER ON THE CORKBOARD'S HUMOR SECTION AS SOON AS YOU FINISH THIS ISSUE OF ZIP BEEP!!!

ZIP Beep #1

(NOTE: The following is a transcription of a tape smuggled out of a secret labor meeting. It concerns a certain California theme park we will refer to as Dizzyland. Because of the sensitive nature of the facts brought to light here, surnames of the meeting's participants will not be given.)



MICKEY M.: Ah, attention everyone please. Attention. (LAUGHS) I'd like to, ah, bring this meeting to order. (LAUGHS) First of all, I'd like to say that this secret meeting business isn't my idea, and, ah, I just want you to know that --

DONALD D: Wa! Wa wa wa wa wa! (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Get on with it! What's the matter with you, anyway? We're tired, we want to go home. Say your piece and let's get on with it, you big-eared (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

DAISY D: Now, Donald...

MICKEY M: (LAUGHS) Well, anyway, it has been brought to my attention that certain factions in the union may stage a strike at the park. The management has asked me to recommend action to stop it. Now, (LAUGHS), as you all know, this meeting goes against all rules of fair play since we're the most valuable workers at Dizzyland, but I'm sure the Old Man himself would approve of our tactics considering the huge sum of (LAUGHS) money we've been offered. I'm going to write the amount on this blackboard so there's no confusion about the cash we're discussing.


SNOW W.: Why, Mickey, I'm surprised at you! How can you even suggest such a ... (GASPS)


MICKEY M.: And they promised this much to every one of us in this room.


SNOW W.: Oh, Mickey, what would we ever do without your wise counsel? That's certainly not a sum to sneeze at. Or grump, sleep, hap, doc, bash, or dope at, for that matter.

MICKEY M.: Now that ... you know who ... now that He's gone ... that is, now that He's only available to us on film ... for now ... we have to look out for ourselves. Strange things are underway. The Florida park sounded like a good idea, but who are the stars down there? Not us. Not like the robots, anyway. The same thing's true in Japan. We gotta be careful. I hear they're planning to build another park. They're looking for reasons to send us to this one. But this one will be a concentration park ... on the moon!


MICKEY M.: That's right! And word is, the characters they like least will be shoved on a rocket and --

DONALD D.: Wa wa wa wa wa! They can't do this to me!

MICKEY M.: Well, Donald, the truth is they can. Certain clauses were written out of our contracts right after the Old Man, uh, right after he was, uh, right after he cooled his heels. Humans just aren't as immortal as we are, I guess. But when He does ... uh ... when He does join us again, we want to be ready for him. We want to help him build bigger and better parks in vacation communities all around the world! And the only way we can do it is to keep on the good side of the present management until the time of the Big Thaw! C'mon, gang! (LAUGHS) Let's not be put off by the degradingly large cash settlement they're offering each and every one of us! No, that shouldn't stop us! Let's get in there and suck up to management, for everybody's sake. And for the sake of ... (SOBS) the Old Man's dream!


MICKEY M.: Now, I'm going to ask the shop steward to step up here and tell us all he's done for the rest of the workers. You know, the human ones. We must remember, we're not betraying them. We're preparing the way so they ... or their children, or their children's children ... we're making it possible for all humans and characters to live together in harmony and plastic when the Great Ink Mover returns. And now, I give you, the shop steward.

GOOFY D.: Gorsh. I didn't know I'd be talking to so many important characters tonight.


GOOFY D.: Well, here goes. (LAUGHS) We've set up some great programs for the human workers over the last month. Just this week, our popcorn recycling plan provided 26 meals to the children of workers --


GOOFY D.: The Jungleplace workers collected $14.23 between them during Thursday's weekly "Dive For Dimes" in the Jungleplace river.


GOOFY D.: And this week, not one worker was injured!


GOOFY D.: Our ABC gum collection efforts resulted in a huge --


ZIP Beep #1

by Dickson Terrytown

Through the dim light, the Doctor could see a video screen blinking on and off and on and off. He smiled, then went back to his work on the transmulgating diskomboobilator. His TARBABE required urgent attention, or he and Romeovera would be trapped forever outside the realms of time. The situation was urgent. But first, he had to fix his diskomboobilator so he could watch The Lucy Show.

"Romeovera, if I can just fix this diskomboobilator, we can find out if Mr. Mooney is up to his old tricks again!"

"I know," said a tall woman in a long white gown. "We time Lords and Ladies have uncanny powers when it comes to understanding what narrators are relating to readers or viewers."

"Huh?" asked the Doctor?

"Never mind," Romeovera said. "It's too cerebral, even for us."

The Doctor watched as Romeovera changed into a small blonde in pants.


"What's the matter?" Romeovera's concern seemed genuine.

"I can't figure out where this story is going," the Doctor said.

"Nowhere, I should say. But don't worry." Romeovera pushed the hair from her face and regenerated a new blouse and cute felt hat. "Our audience will accept anything."

The Doctor jumped up and whisked his scarf over his shoulder.

"You're right! And Mooney's as bad as ever! So Lucy will have to act crazier than any creature could hope to be, even on the far flung outer moons of Gunkon! All is right with the universe."

Suddenly, the TARBABE lurched to one side. Romeovera and the Doctor found themselves sliding across the floor. With a crash, the TARBABE stopped. Romeovera shook her head as the Doctor leaped to the control panel and gave it a swift kick.

The TARBABE groaned. Its cortex began moving up and down.

"We're safe," he said. "At least, we're safe for now. But what will happen in our next episode?"

"More than this, I should hope." Romeovera gave him a long stare.

"Stop with the Britishisms already. If we want to milk the international markets, we have to talk like international people."

Romeovera rolled her eyes to the ceiling and evolved into a fat, dark-haired floozie in a floursack dress.

NEXT: Part II. "Encounter with a Meeting"

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