ZIP Beep #41
THAT WILL BE THE YEAR THAT WASN'T
by Don Fitzwater
We all know 1987 was a great year for satire. And soon it will all be replayed for you courtesy of the media's year-end retrospectives. At ZIP Beep, we would like to look ahead to the coming year and it's potential.
The end of '87 saw the return of Gary Hart to the presidential race. I predict that Hart's return will spark even more politcally washed-up canidates to re-enter the arena.
Expect to see Joseph Biden, Mario Cuomo, Harold Stassen, Pat Paulson and Zippy the Pinhead return to the quest for the Oval Office in '88. My vote goes to Zippy -- at least there'd be an excuse for the President acting the way he does if Zippy were to be elected.
Predicted buzzword (or phrase) for campaign '88: "Let the people decide."
A couple of business entreprenures, hoping to cash in on the "Ollie North is a hero" craze, had several million Ollie dolls made up in '87. In '88 they remove the Ollie heads, pad the bodies a bit and put Gorbachev heads on these dolls in a vain attempt to recoup their financial losses. Don't laugh too hard, this one is already happening!
On the international scene, watch for the Soviets to re-flag American owned (but not American flagged) tankers in a vain attempt to protect American merchant vessels from their own government's insane policies. Now if only someone would protect our navy ---
After careful deliberation with architects, and renewed negotiations with the Soviets, President Reagan will scrap SDI in favor of building a domed stadium that will protect the entire United States (except Alaska and Hawaii). In the unlikely event of an invasion, Twins fans (with their homer hankies) will be released into the dome. The resulting soundlevel will all but destroy the invading forces. This will result in negotiating SLAT (Sound Level Abatement Treaty) agreements and the eventual elimination of all indoor sports fans.
In '88 there will be another garbage barge that nobody will admit. It will circumnavigate the globe at least twice in '88, and spawn a big-buck academy award winning film called "Garbage of the Damned." The barge itself will be scuttled in mid-ocean when nobody is looking.
William Casey will continue to run highly illegal (and publicly unpopular) covert operations for the CIA inspite of being dead. Casey will also continue to dictate notes for his autobiography to Bob Woodward, as well as give Ollie North advice and guidance.
Fawn Hall, based on the experience she gained during the "Casey, Fawn and Ollie" show, will make a fortune marketing her line of classfied document underwear. The line will be known as "Indiscrete" and the commercials will feature Donna Rice and Jessica Hahn.
Technology will continue it's startling advances. In late '88, a joint team of researchers from IBM and Bell Labs will announce the first truly successful artificially intelligent computer. Tragedy will follow only a week later when the computer suffers irrevocable brain damage after watching a few hours of prime time television.
IBM's much vaunted OS/2 multi-tasking operating system will still be "coming soon."
A obscure computer enthusiast will design and build a lightweight, portable computer, with 16 megs of memory, color graphics (and built-in color screen), capable of running ANY software (Apple, Macintosh, MS-DOS, etc), that will cost the consumer less than $500.00. He will appear on the covers of TIME, NEWSWEEK, PEOPLE MAGAZINE and all of the computer periodicals, but nobody will build and market the machine. Depressed, he will take his own life, and in the process destroy all his notes and the only working prototype.
The financial world will continue to be chaotic. The stock market will crash (again), and even the very rich will get hurt this time. This time the blame will fall on brokers (instead of computer trading programs) and all brokers will be outlawed by an act of Congress.
Public officials, outraged a this year's excesses by the media, will start following prominent reporters around and publicly releasing the sordid details of their private lives.
ZIP Beep will be awarded the Nobel prize for satire.
Yes, 1988 looks to be another good year poking fun at everybody.
ZIP Beep #41
GORBACHEV IS COMING TO TOWN
by Chuck Strinz
You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why. Gorbachev is coming to town. He's charming the west. And Raisa is, too. He's even released A Soviet Jew. Gorbachev is coming to town. The K.G.B. defectors Are S.O.L. you see. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. Have a hit show on T.V. The ratings are high. We hope for the best While NATO looks for New weapons to test. Gorbachev is coming Reagan's brain is numbing Everybody's humming Gorbachev is coming to town.
ZIP Beep #41
TECHNO-TOYS FOR CHRISTMAS 1987 by Susan L. Aubey
"Deck the malls with tons of folly. Fa la la la la, la la, la la..."
We at ZIP Beep went shopping again this year and are pleased to announce "they" are still out there marketing hard-to-believe gifts.
Those of you who recall last year's collection of gift ideas (ZIP Beep #29) will be thrilled to know some of the items are available again this year. They were so popular they're back new and improved -- or maybe leftover?
1. One of my favorites from 1986 is back with a sequel: the robot alarm clock saga continues from foot-stomping frenzy to fin and flipper flapping fun. This $35.00 Scuba Diving Penguin Action Clock peeps, flips and flaps daily to wake you.
2. Tired of "cute" alarms in the morning? Just plain tired in the morning? Get a Ballarm Clock: Soccer-, Base- or Football clock you can shut off in a conventional manner or throw it across the room and kick it downstairs to get your adrenaline going. Only $10.00 in sportsminded cities.
Drag yourself out of bed some way; your computerized coffee-maker has the caffeine ready in the kitchen. There's so much more in store for you with technology in your life.
Stocking stuffers this year have gone way beyond beeping keyrings and battery powered yo-yos. I always used to think those 29 tool Swiss-Army knives were neat until I came across the next item; you could wake up and find a whole new work environment in your fireside sock.
3. The Pocket Factory is 8 tools plus a coin purse which can conveniently hang from your belt. You can magnify, measure, slash, snip, staple, pull staples, punch holes and tape them shut again wherever you go! Most of the tools are steel in this finely engineered plastic instrument; it's only $30.00 at your local doo-dad store.
If you prefer your tools on your desk but disguised as an attractive conversation piece, try the next item.
4. Indy Car Model/Tool Kit. Take this little toy apart and have pliers, screwdriver, razor knife, ruler and saw (!) at your executive fingertips. Available at a nationally known department store for just $35.00.
All this talk about tools makes me think of work, and I know one chore I hate: I'd really like to eliminate pushing all those silly numbered buttons everytime I want to reach out and touch someone. Never fear the same handy device which has eliminated our need for bulky calendars can eliminate dialing, too.
5. This easy to operate Wristwatch remembers up to 50 phone numbers of up to 14 digits each with names of 9 characters or less and dials them at your command. It's also a 24 hour Stopwatch/Countdown timer and Alarm with hourly chimes. It can remind you of up to 50 appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, meetings and holidays this year. It can tell you the time in 24 time zones plus your local time and date if needed! It's so attractive and attractively priced up to $50.00.
The Tool Car and Watch would be perfect companions to another desk topper we came across. This is the telecommunications device I want at my work station.
6. Phuzzy-Phone is a cute, furry white bear with a unique touch-tone tummy. His speakerphone feature leaves your hands free to continue paperwork, take notes or tweak his cute little ears while talking to your clients. His robotically controlled facial features really add life to your callers' words as he lip-syncs, yawns, blinks and rolls his eyes. If his cute antics throw you into a fit of laughter while talking to your boss, you'll at least have a comforting furry friend to cuddle in the unemployment line. Price has been slashed to $100.00.
Warm fuzzies aren't just for the office anymore, either.
7. What home could be safer than that protected by the Koala-Kare Security System? It even doubles as a furry pet! The computer aided pet obeys up to three voice commands (3 more than my real cat). He sings and dances; he chats with you and alerts you to any intruders in the room. We figure this is the best crime deterrent available -- any intruder seeing this will be on the floor laughing in seconds. How much more can you ask for only $200.00. Batteries not included.
There's a new generation of toy guns this year that have me thinking a little more seriously about future security.
8. Fourth Millenium Mayhem provides laser aiming accuracy and positive reinforcement for head and chest shots. You can set up one child in fine laser-marksman style with laser pistol, sensor vest and cap for $100.00. Batteries not included.
If that's out of your price range, consider the next toy for your tot.
9. Really interact with your selected television programming. Shoot the bad guy. Shoot the Good guy. Score points! Kids can choose any one of the Soldiers of the Future Space-Battleships for only $40.00 at local toy outlets. (This may be our hope for the future -- I saw the commercial and it made me want to shoot the T.V.) Batteries and pilots not included.
Wait a minute! What do you mean you don't have a kid to buy this for? A late news flash from the five-and-dime says you can have a child of your own for $99.99 (on sale only until sold out).
10. You don't have to get fat or fight for paternity leave rights to bring home this adorable six month old Baby Girl -- just buy batteries. Until you have a child of your own, you can't realize how precious are the early moments and days. Why, it seems like just a push of a button and next thing you know -- she's celebrating her first birthday! Now she's talking and letting you know just what she wants; pretty soon she'll be toddling all around the house. Push the button again and she's two! Sweet, adorable, lovable -- Terrible TWOS! (How do you stop this thing !?!)
I can't wait until next year when I can have a battery powered teenager of my very own.
It was sure fun shopping around; in fact, I'm finished except to wrap 'em up and tie on the tags. Now, I'll need the blue snowflake D-cells for Tommy's and the red reindeer AA's for Diana...
Happy Holidays...see you next year!
ZIP Beep #41
by Don Fitzwater
It's sequel time in the movie biz again.
Hot on the runaway success of this past summer's ROBO-COP, filmakers have rushed a sequel into production for Christmas release. The Christmas release period is considered one of the best times to have your movie playing.
The original film was about a police officer of the future who after being killed by a viscious gang of criminals, was rebuilt as part human, part machine (sort of a cross between T J Hooker and The Six Million Dollar Man). This incredibly violent but intellectual film was a huge box office smash. And in Hollywood, where there's money, there are sequels.
The story is pretty much the same as the first film, but the producers made some changes to better adapt it to the holiday release season.
Entitled ROBO-CLAUS, the story again takes place in the not too distant future. A group of international terrorists hijack a plane which subsequently crashes near the North Pole in a violent storm. The terrorists make their way to Santa's workshop and proceed to kill many of the elves and take Santa hostage. They want Santa to build bombs into all of his toys so that they can strike everywhere in the world at once. Santa refuses.
After a struggle in which Santa breaks free for a brief time, the terrorists corner him in the elves workshop where they attack and dismember him with assorted power tools. Leaving Mr. Claus for dead, the terrorists commandeer Santa's sleigh and reindeer and escape back to the known world.
Unbeknownst to the terrorists, one of the elves got off a SOS which was received by a mysterious, unnamed Department of Defense contractor which immediately dispatches a crack team of doctors and scientists to go to Santa's aid. Upon arrival the team "rebuilds" Santa with a combination of biological and high tech parts.
Robo-Claus, as he is now known, has some interesting new attributes. His Ho- Ho-Ho's are now bionically amplified. Santa's belly, which used shake like a bowl full of jelly, now contains a minature nuclear reactor, and jolly old Saint Nick sports a new sleek metal skin (built of stealth materials) that can survive mach five speeds. He no longer needs his sleigh and reindeer as he is totally capable of self-propelled flight.
The surviving elves and Robo-Claus continue their preparations for Christmas eve, and soon toys for all the children of the world fill Santa's workshop. Christmas eve arrives and Santa makes his usual rounds delivering toys to the good girls and boys -- but the bad ones had better watch out! The terrorist's and Santa's paths do cross again (and Santa sure does remember who's been naughty or nice), and the film comes to its predictable and satisfyingly violent conclusion.
While there was some small amount of public protest over such an exploitative portrayal of Santa Claus, director Andy Sezcut thinks most people will understand. "Yes there is a lot of violence in this film, and violence is one of the last things you'd associate with a movie about Santa Claus. But we prefer to think of the film's violence in terms of punishment. Everybody knows that Santa, while being very generous, is not above punishing those little girls and boys who have been bad. In ROBO-CLAUS the terrorists have been very naughty, after all, they almost ruined everybody's Christmas, didn't they? Anyway, I think most folks will view the ending as Santa punishing the terrorists for being so bad -- you see, America loves a happy ending."
Like its predecessor, ROBO-CLAUS is rated PG, which means that the very lucrative pre-teen and teenaged audience will be able to see this movie. Like it or not, the formula of high tech special effects and hyper violence has proven to be a very profitable combination in the past, and ROBO-CLAUS appears to be continuing the tradition.
According to the film's producer, Les Gorum, ROBO-CLAUS had turned a profit even before it was released.
"The film cost us only fifteen million to shoot, and we sold the merchandizing rights for over thirty million," said Gorum. "We've flooded the market with ROBO-CLAUS products! There are ROBO-CLAUS action figures, sticker sets, lunch boxes, record albums, plush toys, coloring books, video games and video tapes. And we hardly have to spend anything to advertise them."
There's no denying that ROBO-CLAUS is a financial success. The film opened at inner city theaters across the country only a week ago, and yet it has grossed more than 14 million dollars. Gorum and Clubus, the film's production company says that they're already hard at work on yet another sequel, the details of which are still secret. Though co-producer Gohan N. Clubus did hint, "...there are a lot of other holiday figures out there you know."
ZIP Beep! Table of Contents
Strinz Creative Home Page