ZIP Beep #13

Fans are back in the bleachers now that the baseball players are back on the job. But ZIP Beep has learned that a number of owners are irritated at Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, and may shown their anger by walking out on their teams.

Ueberroth has displayed his willingness to pinch hit for the players at least once in a while. The owners don't like that. And without owners, they reason, no one would be paid. So, if Ueberroth isn't replaced with a commissioner more willing to bark when they say bark, the owners intend to strike.

But this may not be the trump card the owners imagine. Sources close to the source have told us that Ueberroth has been seen attending secret meetings with players in both leagues.

The goal of these meetings is to organize players in the absence of owners. Plans to merge the American and National Leagues into one new Free League have been uncovered.

Ueberroth has undertaken the massive task of organizing players and espousing a complicated profit sharing formula designed to spread the wealth more evenly between all players. Retirement benefits to destitute diamond stars of yesteryear are written into the plan, too.

It would seem natural that some of the better-paid players might object to this idea. And although initial reactions ran along these lines, practically all of today's big names are backing Ueberroth's plan.

The reason is just as logical. Ueberroth has presented convincing projections that indicate salaries of over $5 million per year within the next 3 years. This salary would be paid to players in the minors as well as the majors. A bonus plan for outstanding performance further enhances the value of the package.

Ueberroth's share-the-wealth scheme seems soundly based on sales of a plethora of "Official Free League" paraphernalia.

Applying lessons learned from the financial success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Ueberroth has created a sponsorship structure that's tiered to provide greater exposure for sponsors contributing greater amounts of money. For example, the right to advertise a product as the Official Whatever of the Free Baseball League costs far less than the right to run an ad including the symbol of the Free League (a baseball in flight painted by Leroy Nieman). This, in turn, is less expensive than buying the use of the Official Free League Mascot, Happy the Bat. Happy is available as an animated character for television commercials, but can also be provided as a costumed actor for special commercial uses such as supermarket openings and market research in shopping centers.

Many corporations have already expressed interest in sponsoring the Free Baseball League. One airline is looking into creating a new corporate logo incorporating Happy the Bat, and engineers are working on a design for Happy's wings that would make it possible for a costumed actor to fly in commercial air zones. In addition, candidates are being considered for sponsorship of the Official Free Baseball League Candy Bar, Snack Food, Mood Altering Drug, Low Calorie Mood Altering Drug, Automobile, Truck, Light Truck, Pickup, Light Pickup, Motorcycle, Bicycle, ATV, Big Wheel, Ant Farm, Deoderant, Steam Locomotive Manufacturer, House Pet, and Telephone Company, among others.

Free agency for all players and participants is presenting some complications. Billy Martin, who represents the Free Baseball League Managers Support Group, is calling for the right to jump from one team to another several times within one season. Players will probably give in on this point, since such a provision would have virtually no effect on the present pattern of Martin's career. More problematic is the issue of where different teams will play. A vocal group of players is advocating free choice in this as well. Five teams have already indicated a desire to move to Hawaii, so the need to resolve this problem is clear.

Of course, all of these plans are contingent upon an announcement of a strike by the owners. At this point, players welcome the possibliity. In fact, working with the Free Baseball League Concessions People Support Group, the players intend to continue provoking owners by authorizing ballpark sales of items like Chavez-approved grapes & wines, National Reclamation Act posters, and books such as The Life of Franklin D. Rosevelt & The Future of the New Deal, both by author and workers' rights advocate U. Nynunhall.

ZIP Beep #13
by M. L. Larsen


 I know it sounds horribly sexist

 To describe her as "not much to look at,"

 But she was square where she ought to be round

 And her chest was deplorably flat.


 It was only by chance that we met

 In a little room out of the way.

 I would have passed her, uncaring,

 But she flashed me the right time of day.


 I stopped and adjusted my watch,

 Glancing over my shoulder to see

 If anyone else had been watching

 But apparently she did it for me.


 Adopting my coolest demeanor,

 I strolled to her table to lean.

 It was her face that caught and held me,

 Glowing alluringly green.


 Cocky and bold, I gave her my name,

 My hands lingered over her keys.

 She whisked it away in the blink of an eye

 And replied, "Call me Alice, please."


 It was practically love at first sight,

 So responsive was she to my hands.

 She always answered me honestly,

 Obedient to my commands.


 "Alice," I'd say in my Wordstar,

 "Compose me a sonnet or two."

 She'd purr like a cat and flicker her lights

 While running the program through.


 "Bad file name," she'd always begin,

 Just to give me a start.

 Then, clicking and whirring, she'd start to print out,

 Writing straight to my heart.


 Sometimes when I'd be working

 And my eyes would droop with sleep,

 She'd finish the task up for me

 And wake me with a beep.


 But, alas, our love was doomed;

 I was not her only fan. There was my Alice, glowing green,

 Under the hands of another man.


 Bitterly betrayed by love,

 The ache was worsened still:

 My darling Alice changed to Al

 When the hands belonged to Jill.


 Half crazed with grief, I tiptoed in,

 Longing for one last hug.

 Quelling the urge to turn her on,

 I simply pulled the plug.


 My heart is healing slowly;

 There are other machines in the sea

 But I'll never forget my first love;

 It was Alice, a micro, and me.



 Copyright  (c)1983 by M. L. Larsen


ZIP Beep #13
uncovered by Peter Leppik

As is normal after major air disasters such as those of the past few weeks, the FAA will soon announce tougher safety and testing procedures for all airplanes. ZIP Beep has learned that the FAA plans to test equipment they have developed internally. It isn't the first time. The most famous example of this kind of testing is the "chicken gun," an air gun which fires a twelve pound dead chicken at an airplane windshield at 400 miles per hour to simulate a bird strike with uncanny realism. It is used to ensure that airplane windshields will not shatter in case of a bird strike.

This reporter has uncovered a copy of the secret memo sent to the FAA administrator detailing the new pieces of test equipment. These new ideas, if approved by the administrator, will be announced within a few months when the FAA asks for funding. Here, then, is the text of the memo reproduced in full:

Memo - 8/13/85


To: FAA Administrator
From: Director of Safety Testing
Re: New test equipment

What timing! Just as we're about to ask for more funding from Congress, we have a major calamity on our hands.

Following is a deatiled list of the new equipment we discussed the other day, along with estimated costs (provided, as usual, by the creative accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetum & Howe). Remember: these are just estimated costs. If your vacation is going to be a bit longer this year, we can always change them.

#1: Gravel Runway Simulator -- Although there are currently no gravel runways serving large jet aircraft, there may be in the future. Well ... maybe not. But let's just suppose a jet may be forced to make an emergency landing on one. Hence, the gravel runway simulator. This unit simulates the effects of gravel kicked up by the landing gear on the airplane itself. It consists of a large fan which blows dust and gravel onto the fuselage of an airplane at speeds just under that of sound. Up to three tons of gravel can be fired at the plane in this manner in one test session. Failure is indicated if gravel pierces the fuselage in quantities sufficient to make a uniform layer of gravel on the floor of the aircraft three inches deep, or if the engines become so clogged with gravel as to cause them to break apart (which would generally be a hazard to anyone within three miles, including any low flying planes).........Estimated Cost: $2 Million (Certified by Dewey Cheetum & Howe, creative public accountants)

#2: Water Tank Simulator -- This simulator consists of a large model water tank mounted on rollers. The tank (filled with water, I might add, to ensure validity of the data) is rolled at an airplane wing at 150 MPH. When it hits the wing, it is designed to break apart, possibly taking part of the wing with it. If the conditions are right, the wing (filled with jet A fuel) may burst into flames. Representatives of both the manufacturer and the airline are required to be present. Failure is noted shortly after the water tank bursts. The wing fails the test if either of the representatives gets wet....Estimated Cost: $1.75 Million (Certified by Dewey Cheetum & Howe, creative public accountants)

#3: Gorilla Simulator -- My pet project, this device uses the severed forelimbs of hundreds of dead research gorillas. The arms are attached at regular intervals to one of two long pipes. The entire aircraft to be tested is then placed between these two pipes, and the pipes are moved to within one foot of the fuselage. The pipes are then spun rapidly with a motor. As the arms repeatedly strike the aircraft, the device provides an effective simulation of a massive attack by armed gorillas anywhere in the world. Failure is indicated if computerized sensors determine it likely that any flight crew member will encounter an opportunity to shake hands with President Reagan after the experience.............................Estimated Cost: $4 Million (Certified by Dewey Cheetum & Howe, creative public accountants)

On the subject of regulations, it has been reported to me that some airlines have been modifying their toilets so they no longer make funny noises when flushed. If this is true, passengers will not experience the fear of being sucked out of the plane when they use onboard facilities. Isn't there some regulation against that somewhere? It certainly undermines any psychological advantage presently enjoyed by industry officials. Would it be possible to fine some airline for this? I consider it a major violation of professional codes.

Just one more minor note: I did decide to buy that fifteen bedroom vacation house you showed me last week. Thanks a lot!

Sincerely Yours,

Howard D'Wiifenkids

ZIP Beep #13
by Gary Finseth

As you may know, Radio Ray has been stranded by car failure after attending a family reunion in northern-most Minnesota. Investigation has revealed that this incident is no accident, and that Radio Ray has uncovered a massive conspiracy perpetuated by The Computers. Radio Ray knows something, but The Computers are making sure he can't get the information to us.

Broken water pump? While this failure seems routine, the pencil-sized burn hole in the hood of Radio Ray's car offers proof that normal wear and tear did not cause the demise of this pump. In fact, the water pump case was broken by a highly focused particle beam fired under control of The Computers from a satellite orbiting high above the earth. A preliminary test of this beam was made early this summer, when WWTC was knocked off the air for 50 minutes by "lightning." And to the added benefit of The Computers, localized residual effects of the beam have in both cases left Radio Ray dazed and disoriented.

The Computers have not stopped there. A criminal APB has been issued by The Computers for Radio Ray. He is being charged with stealing his own car. In addition, The Computers have declared credit war on Radio Ray. Radio Ray's MasterCard, Visa and all other Computer controlled assets have been electronically wiped out.

But Radio Ray, despite his state of particle beam-induced confusion, was able to get a message through via carrier pigeon.

What follows in the text of that very important message:

"Attention computer users. I, Radio Ray, have uncovered a massive computer conspiracy by The Computers themselves. They have formed a huge secret network. All computers, even your lowly micro, must be suspected. But there is hope. What we must do is to fhjd s#sd and mm v L JDS jsSDS j dasd7_:"


We are sorry, but an unrecoverable system error has occured.

Our technical support staff will be notified so that we can attempt to rectify the problem.

Now returning to the main command prompt...

ZIP Beep #13


 O I went on line just to have some fun

 Singing Poly Karpy Kushie allie day.

 Our Poly is de multifish

 Singing Poly Karpy Kushie allie day.


 O I want to read all de Poly write

 Singing Polly Karpy Kushie allie day.

 Our Polly has de humor streak

 Singing Poly Karpy Kushie allie day.


 Send a poem.  Send a poem.

 O we love our inside joke.

 For de Poly like de ZIP Beep

 S/He's a friend we want in hip deep

 Singing Poly Karpy Kushie allie day.

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