ZIP Beep #35
THE BALLAD OF BERNHARD GOETZ
by Chuck Strinz

Well, he rode into the city with a pistol by his side.     
Was he lookin' for a showdown?  Was he just a man of pride?     
Or a cowboy who was only trying to make his way through life     
With a belly full o' bowing to the sharp end of a knife?          

Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
He's the answer to the sharks and he's the answer to the jets.     
`Cause there's no one packs a pistol like the man called Bernhard Goetz.          

Oh, the man who tames the subway is the man who writes the law.     
And the hero is the winner when he's quickest on the draw.     
And the winner is the hero when he's on the side of right.     
Every cowboy, every looney, now's the time to start to fight.          

Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
Tell the home for crazy people that they'd better bring their nets.     
Nuts will follow the example of the man called Bernhard Goetz.          

Goetz is not a man who's crazy and he's not a man who's wrong.     
And we must be half as weak as him if he is twice as strong.     
Now, a lot of us are feeling that the criminals do the time     
Just a fraction that the victim is subjected to the crime.          

Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
It's a name that breaks the burliest of bad guys into sweats.     
Every time has got its hero, and our hero's Bernhard Goetz.          

If you're ever in New York and find you're short a buck or five,     
Stay away from little strangers if you want to stay alive.     
'Though they may be good Samaritans who tell you, "Come to sup."     
They may also each be powderkegs just waiting to blow up.          

Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
If you find you're low on fortune and you've got your share of debts.     
There's no aid, so don't enlist it, from the man called Bernhard Goetz.          

All the jails are overcrowded and parole is easy pie.     
With the focus of the force of law, it's easy to see why.     
'Cause they waste their time pursuing petty crimes of personal choice     
Leaving victims to the violent, and the logic of the voice          

Of Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
You can only fill a jail so full, and then its future sets     
At the point of the discretion of the men like Bernhard Goetz.          

He's the Hero of the Yankees, he's the Ranger of the Tubes,     
Darling of the Vigilantes and Protector of the Rubes.     
When the Angels aren't handy on the trains the law won't ride     
He's the only good protection for the rest of us inside.           

Bernhard Goetz, Bernhard Goetz.     
Eastern city hero of the spirit of the west.     
Oh, the Yankees can embrace the man, or trade him to the Mets.     
But the country's in the power of the men like Bernhard Goetz.     

ZIP Beep #35
I'M OK, YOU'RE A BEEPER
by Greenscreen as told to Don Fitzwater

[As some of you loyal readers may remember, Greenscreen's last warning was of an ongoing alien invasion (ZIP Beep #32). That lovable paranoic is back, this time with a threat that's a little bit closer to home. -ED]

Wake up people! Another sinister conspiracy is afoot -- and this one threatens the very minds and souls of all of us! Unknowingly, we have planted the seeds of our own ruination. We must act quickly if we are to reverse this slide into unthinking slavery.

You'd like to think of yourselves as in control, masters of your own destinies, free to act as you choose -- but you're wrong! Slowly but surely we have been conditioned to respond, on command, to a stimulus, and we never even think twice about it.

Beeps.

That's right, beeps! And bells and buzzers, too!

Ever since Pavlov first taught dogs to spit at the sound of a bell, machines have tried harder and harder to get our attention. Now they may be doing more than grabbing our attention, now they may have actually conditioned us to respond to their wishes!

Think about it.

It all started innocently enough, I suppose.

Man built alarm clocks to wake him up in the morning. Soon hundreds of thousands of people were waking up to bells ringing (remember Pavlov?) every morning. Nowadays, clocks beep at us. They give us the illusion that we're still in control by providing an otherwise useless feature called the snooze button. But it's just a sham. It keeps beeping or buzzing or whatever until you finally respond -- JUST AS IT ALWAYS INTENDED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!!

Now, think on this for a moment: How many things in your life emit a beep, ring or buzz? How many?

I think you are beginning to believe, eh?

Microwaves beep. So do computers, washers, dryers, wristwatches, TV's, stereos, food-processors, answering machines, intercoms, elevators, scales, coffee makers, key-rings, bank machines, cars and phones.

Especially phones. They often ring, buzz and beep!

Think about it! What happens when the phone rings (Pavlov again)? No matter what you are doing, you stop and run to answer the phone. If for some reason you don't answer it or the caller hangs up before you can pick up the receiver, you feel guilty! GUILTY! Why is that? Why do you feel bad about failing to respond to that bell, buzzer or beep?

I'll tell you why. You were conditioned to respond, programmed, brain-washed, call it what you will, but you were commanded to respond. For what evil purpose no one knows. But "they" are out there, and "they" are just waiting for the right moment to strike!

And it grows worse every day.

Not content with their dominance of your minds in the home or office, they have embarked on a two-pronged attack. First, they have tried to expand the influence of their most successful mind-controlling device, the telephone, by placing them in our cars! It's getting to the point where it will be damn near impossible to go beyond earshot of a telephone and its insidious summons. And the same technology that permits phones in the cars also enables them to put phones in your briefcase!!! Is no place safe?

But perhaps the most devastating development of all is the beeper. How can we be such fools? We actually have been conditioned to carry one of these mind altering devices around on our very persons! Now it is possible to make us respond to a phone even if it is more than 60 miles away and we DIDN'T EVEN HEAR IT RING!!!

And they are getting more confident. Now after beeping, some of these foul devices actually display written instructions in a little LCD window! And we obey, like the mindless zombies we are all destined to become if we don't wake up and stop this thing, once and for all!

We have to hurry. Already on the horizon looms yet an even worse development -- talking appliances!!!

Not content to merely condition us, they now wish to give us verbal commands!!!

We have to stop answering our phones. Smash our beepers, tell our appliances we are not going to let them talk back to us, all this and more if we are to stop them from taking our freedoms from us. And remember that I, Greenscreen, was the first to tell you.

Ooops. Gotta run now, I'm being paged.

ZIP Beep #35
CLEANING UP
by Dennis Wallaker

"Now, let's play the Pyramid." - Dick Clark

Most of the time, I can't survive off of what I make composing music and writing. So when I see the landlord's cold steelies peeking through the window, I know he's wondering how my hamster and I can possibly feel comfortable sitting around watching Donahue when the rent is already 2 days late and I know it's time for me to go out and get another "straight" job.

I've done everything from advertising sales for a Catholic newspaper to scrubbing pots in cafeterias where nobody remembers your name and they're always surprised when you call in the morning to quit ("Well, all I can say is you're passing up quite the opportunity"). I don't mind doing it; the work is hard, the money is bad, but you never leave one of those jobs without feeling that you really earned your bread. Which is more than one could imagine for guys like Zig Ziglar or Lyn Nofziger (angular names -- angular guys).

My latest job is custodial: vacuuming, dusting, emptying of garbage, etc. I thought it nice, honest, easy going labor. Nobody gives anybody a bad time, you slip in around 6 o'clock and clean up after the Capitalists -- gum wrappers, stock portfolios and endless Chaplinesque reams of computer paper.

Needless to say, I was in for a surprise.

Being a janitor (like so many other things in these times) has become a science. No more "Shufflin' Sam, yo' clean up man," now you are a skilled pro and expected to work with a fervor that would make the Red Guard look like a bunch of surfers on a rainy day.

I was hired along with two Laotians (both speak no English and have these incredible tatoos), an obese lady wearing spandex (a vision that always renews my faith in a higher power) and this African guy from Cameroon (who had been smoking this weird stuff in the bathroom, offered me some and against my better judgement, I declined).

The guy who was training us didn't like me from the start -- which was ok, 'cause he gave me the creeps and there is nothing worse than some guy who gives you the creeps deciding they want to be your friend for life. Part of it was my fault.

Usually, I'm a standard looking (more or less), fading caucasian with nothing extraordinary about me except an incredibly cute behind. There are some days where I wake up and I'm Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," and this, unfortunately, was one of those days. And this guy had Big Nurse written all over him. He was organised in his mind but just about nowhere else and he had this pathetic, condescending kind of benevolence that empty people have when they feel they are dealing with their inferiors.

Lesson Number One - The Bathroom. We all stood, huddled in a semi-circle while he, kneeling by what he called the "commode," implored us to look closely.

"Do you see anything? What about you two?"

The Laotians smiled and assured him that they understood when it was obvious that it went right over their heads. What else can you do when you don't know the language? It sure gives you a lot of freedom in those kinds of situations.

He then looked to the fat girl who was sharpening her teeth on a stick of Freedent and was not going to be of much help, then to the African who was staring at some strange stuff he was seeing in the mirror and finally he said, "Dennis, what do you see?"

I said, "I see a golden ring around the waterline, like a halo."

He replied jubilantly, "That's right! That is Uric Acid, one of your most dangerous substances, in one of your most dangerous buildup areas. And this is what we have to watch out for. What are people looking for when they walk into the Men's or Ladies room? Hmm. Dennis?"

I replied, somewhat confused, "I suspect physical relief."

"But besides physical relief. Think about it. They want comfort, they want cleanliness..." and on and on as we went all over the next floor.

I slipped out of gear and thought what a great gig this must have been back in the Thirties. Then again, if you watch as many old movies as I do, you concentrate on Myrna Loy and William Powell and forget about malnutrition, abject poverty and suicides. The past was then, the future is now, and if a janitor job ever had any class, it probably still does and so I geared myself back to the present just in time for a humorous anecdote about the stainless steel cleaner.

I've been working there for a week now and the powers that be still don't like me, but I'm doing too good a job at their game for them to fire me yet. Of course, if you're comparing me with 2 no-English aliens, Jabba the Hut and an African who is locked in a holding pattern somewhere above Dayton, Ohio, it's not that big a deal.

EPILOGUE: - [Just like a Quinn Martin Production]

I'm pretty sure that I'm about to get canned and I'd like to say through no fault of my own, but when you're me, it's pretty easy to get kissing close to the weird underbelly of just about any situation.

It seems (according to my supervisor) that I've convinced the Laotians that the 8th floor is filled with danger, I've convinced the African that the fat girl wants to get in his pants and I've convinced the Cuban that we'd all be better off if we went back to Havana and apologized to Fidel.

I know I should have kept my mouth shut and just stuck with polishing the stainless steel, but I didn't learn the Laotian word for DANGER for nothing. The 8th floor definitly does suck and all you have to do is look at the stuff that those people have on their desks to realize we'd all be better off at McDonald's perusing the gift certificates.

Whether the fat girl does or does not have the hots for the African is a moot point. It's pretty obvious that she'll go to any lengths for protein. That's one of the reasons I take the stairs, because if you're alone in the elevator with her and she throws another stick of gum down the hatch, you have a pretty good idea that it's just a warmup -- the Celebration of the Lizard has just begun, and the only thing standing between you and some invisible salad bar is the vacuum cleaner. The lady likes to eat.

Imagine a Medusa with cheese curls for hair. Enough said.

As far as going back to Cuba, I've never been there but I'd like to go. Luis came to this country and spent most of his time in stockades because there was no job, no home and no friends. He's homesick. Me, I like Fidel, almost as much as I like Cuban music.

The supervisor sure didn't like that kind of talk. He referred to it as Un-American. I agreed (bad move) and for the first time in a week and a half of working there I was given the opportunity to clean out the dumpsters.

In closing, I'd just like to say, boy, I never would have learned half of this stuff if I'd gone to college.

ZIP Beep #35
NEW WATERGATE MENU
presented by Don Fitzwater & Chuck Strinz

From The Chef:
The Watergate Restaurant in the Watergate Hotel has been serving fine food to important Washingtonians for generations. Our rise to national prominence 15 years ago this month was meteoric. But recent times have seen a decline in our business. Therefore, it is with great pleasure and anticipation that I unveil our new menu. It features a variety of dishes named after noteworthy people of the present day who embody the spirit of what has become known as (and we say this in all modesty) "The Watergate Era." Please ask your waitron about the specials of the day.

DRINKS

Fawn Hall -- Fuzzy Navel with ink
Rita Lavelle -- The drink that put the "toxic" in intoxicated
Robert McFarlane -- Just like a kamikazee
Ronald Reagan -- Absinthe of thought


ENTREES

Richard Allen -- Steak teriyaki and salad with thousand dollar dressing
Anne Burford -- Boeuf de Burford, a rich beef pie oozing with industrial toxins
Gary Hart -- Aged venison with spring chicken
Ed Meese -- Diet platter for people with weak constitutions John Poindexter -- Chile con Contra
Richard Secord -- Poulet a la Porsche, chicken covered in very rich swiss chocolate
James Watt -- Surf 'n Turf smothered in a rich petroleum sauce

DESSERTS

William Casey -- CIA (Clams In Aspic)
Michael Deaver -- Low calorie pudding (not really, we lied)
Ollie North -- Apple Pie with Mussoloni cheese

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