ZIP Beep #48
POLITICAL INEPTITUDE TEST
by Ed Eubanks

Well, folks, it's convention time again and both parties are going to be strapping on their finery and strutting their stuff right out there where we all can see it. Isn't it thrilling? Don't you wish you were part of it? Haven't you ever wondered what your life would be like if you were head of a campaign committee instead of lead fry cook at Denny's?

Well maybe you can be. It takes all kinds to make strange bedfellows. Though you may not have the timidity of an in-the-shadows/in-the-dark yes-man like Bush or the empty loquaciousness of a running-behind-the-pack darkhorse like Jesse Jackson, you may have other character flaws which make you equally suitable for the world of politics.

The following test will allow you to gauge your RAMBO (Raw Aptitude for Maximum Bullstuff Occupations) quotient. After answering the following 15 questions you should be able to determine what your opportunities are in the burgeoning field of public service.

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1. You are a surgeon at a trauma center. Two families arrive, one black and one anglo, each with a seriously injured child. Each family is demanding that you attend to their child first. You:

1. hide in a supply room and let your nurse handle it.
2. treat the child with the biggest relatives.
3. treat the child most badly injured.
4. treat the child with the richest relatives.
5. go to your golf lesson.
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2. While bbsing on your home computer, you unwittingly hack into the bookkeeping records of a competitor's database. You:

1. turn yourself into the feds for computer crime.
2. want to look around but are afraid of leaving fingerprints.
3. forget you ever saw them.
4. muss 'em up a little.
5. upload them to the I.R.S.
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3. Shipwrecked, you have been marooned on a desert island with a close friend. Your only possessions are a knife, some matches, and a coconut. You:

1. get hysterical and must be slapped several times.
2. count your blessings.
3. share the coconut and then forage for more food.
4. eat the coconut while your friend forages for food.
5. have coconut and fresh meat for supper.
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4. You are a truckdriver. Your Peterbilt has just sideswiped a hairdresser on a bicycle. You:

1. die from massive internal hemorrhaging.
2. lose control of your bodily functions.
3. get out to see if he's okay.
4. get out to see if your truck's okay.
5. back up for good measure.
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5. You own a $250,000 home. Hare Krishnas move in next door to start a commune. You:

1. sign-over the house when they come around for donations.
2. shave your head and join up.
3. M.Y.O.B.
4. put up an electric fence.
5. visit the new neighbors with a flame thrower.
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6. Your daughter comes home with an Iranian terrorist whom she introduces as her future husband. You:

1. bound and gag yourself.
2. hang up a picture of the Ayatollah.
3. chat with her in private.
4. hang up a picture of the Vincennes.
5. mistake him for an f-15.
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7. You find your wife in bed with your best friend. You:

1. light their cigarettes.
2. get strongly suspicious.
3. get packing.
4. introduce him to Mr. Baseball Bat.
5. sell the photos to Hustler.
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8. You are on a secret military mission in Central America. Somehow you have become isolated from your unit and surrounded by 100 angry men who are hurling insults and hand grenades in your direction. You:

1. commit suicide by heart attack.
2. ask if it's too late to change sides.
3. surrender.
4. exchange the Hustler photos for safe passage.
5. disarm them and install a puppet dictatorship.
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9. You are on an island about to be destroyed by a volcano. In a crocodile-infested swamp you have hidden a canoe which can support 165 pounds of weight. You weigh 150 pounds. You are also carrying a 15 pound infant and 15 pounds of diamonds. You:

1. can't find the canoe.
2. capsize the boat trying to carry both the infant and the diamonds.
3. take the infant.
4. take half the infant and half the diamonds.
5. take the diamonds and use the baby to beat off the crocs.
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10. You are on a subway. Four Hispanic teens approach you and ask for the time. You:

1. empty your pockets.
2. play dead.
3. tell them the time.
4. demand to see their green cards.
5. empty your uzi.
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11. A woman is brought in to manage the purchasing department you have headed for the last two years. You have been asked to develop a suitable title for your new boss. You come up with:

1. "Her Royal Highness Everything in Whose Shadow I Am Unfit to Stand."
2. "Executive Management Materials Procurement and Acquisition Specialist."
3. "Chief Purchaser."
4. a lawsuit.
5. "Bitch."
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12. You are the pilot of a commercial airliner ascending at a speed of 375 m.p.h. You notice that you are being monitored by navy radar. You:

1. put your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye.
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13. You are driving your daughter to junior high when you notice a drug dealer hanging around the schoolyard making a fortune. You:

1. pay the exorbitantly high prices.
2. move to Way Up In The Out Yonder, Idaho.
3. call the cops.
4. introduce him to Mr. Baseball Bat.
5. undercut his prices.
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14. You are a 77 year-old man who often leaves the house without his pants on. You are also the head of a major western power. It has become apparent to you that you can no longer perform your duties. You:

1. leave yourself to the mercy of staffers who ignore your wishes and strap your pampers on too tight.
2. try to do the best you can while the earth rushes toward nuclear winter.
3. find a competent chief-of-staff to manage the nation's affairs.
4. campaign for an amendment to allow your re-election.
5. let George do it.
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15. You are an unemployed writer who enjoys phoning BBSes that carry ZIP Beep. You:

1. send your first-born to Strinz Creative, Inc.
2. donate articles to ZIP Beep.
3. send them a $15 check.
4. send them a $15 check that bounces.
5. send them your phone bill.
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Tally the numbers preceding your answers then compare your score to the table below.

15 pts: If you are not dead yet you will be in a very short time. Do not worry about the future as you are probably right this minute standing beneath a falling piano.

16-22 pts: Unless you can find a well-paying job as a human pincushion or a nightshift position at a Seven-Eleven, politics is a natural choice for someone with your ability to absorb punishment. You are a natural for the position of Vice President. You are also quite capable of managing door-to-door canvassing and phone solicitations. It is very important that you steer clear of all illegalities (though patsies like you end up getting framed anyway) because in prison people like yourself are turned into strange bedfellows rather quickly.

22-42 pts: You are a bleeding-heart. Unfortunately for you, there is little work in the political arena for bleeding-hearts this year. If you are black you may be interested in looking into a big-city mayorship; if white, you might try signing on as a hostage in Beirut or working with the Socialist Alliance in Mississippi. Don't be particularly discouraged by your score and give up your political aspirations. People rarely maintain this RAMBO quotient for long and in fact have been known to swing 20 to 30 points in either direction.

43 pts: This is the ideal score! People like you are consummate liars who can stand in the middle of a hurricane selling electric fans. You always know which way the wind is blowing and have a knack for giving the right answers at the right times. You have no trouble pandering to anti-union industrial management or laid off taconite miners. You are ideally suited for the positions of President and Governor.

44-51 pts: You have no future in politics. Your level headed, no nonsense approach to problem solving will only serve to infuriate the left and the right and leave the moderates looking for better entertainment. People like you are more suited for jobs as plumbers, carpenters, and lead fry-cooks. You have the ability to actually produce something of substance. This is most definitely a political liability.

51-65 pts: Your total lack of morality and selfish ambition make you perfectly suitable for congressional office. Self-preservations seems to be the central theme of your life. Cabinet positions, particularly that of Attorney General, are also ideal positions to look into.

65-71: Your callous disrespect for life, disregard of the law, and maniacal adherence to a doctrinaire lifestyle sets you apart from all other people. No offense, but you are certifiably insane. Though your ability to make tough decisions is admirable, your almost uncanny ability to make the wrong decision makes you virtually unelectable. Still you have the qualities necessary for securing political appointment. You would make a great Supreme Court Justice or C.I.A. Director.

72 pts and over: There are only 71 points possible on this test. Not only are you callous, doctrinaire, certifiably insane, and have no respect for the law but you also are bad at mathematics. You are the type of person who wants to make the rules and will do so with no thought of the human misery it may cause. Look into getting a supply-side job at OMB or chairmanship of the Federal Reserve Board.

ZIP Beep #48
MODERN FARMING
by Chuck Strinz

Romantic images of life on the farm with husking bees, communal haycutting and all that Timmy & Lassie stuff are far beyond passe.

The farmer of today is like any other small businessman. He is the titular head of a family corporation comprising his wife, offspring and, sometimes, extended family members and parents.

Together they strive to fight the odds, bring order out of chaos, make fruit of the land, and leave behind a better world than they entered.

But the drought of '88 has struck hard. Just when many farmers were beginning to see hope beyond the PIC program and other nonanswers to the high cost of doing agribusiness, Mother Nature stepped in with her preview of the greenhouse effect.

Farmers are independent by nature, and only grudgingly accept farm subsidies. In True American fashion, innovative farmers are discovering new, more productive uses for their talents and experience.

"It's all a matter of opportunity," says Abel Becker of Keokuk, Iowa. "Find a resource you can exploit. That's what farming's all about."

Becker's 320-acre farm lies fallow except for an area around Coyote Creek, where the railroad crossed on an old stone bridge.

The railroad is gone now. And Becker has the bridge is half-dismantled.

"When they pulled out, they left this beautiful stonework behind. Early WPA, I'd say. This stuff's really valuable. I sold one stone to a stockbroker's wife, and she used it for a birdbath. Brought in more than two years' corn crop after expenses. You can't expect that much for most of these. There's this mortuary that's paying me a bulk price for the rest. They sell 'em for mausoleum stones."

Becker wipes his brow and pats a stone. "We've got the rights to 46 bridges like this one," he says, "most of 'em right here in the county. I started tearing this one apart to keep myself busy and sane. It was on my land, and people thought I was crazy to bother with it anyway. But, you know, I'm on to something here. We might even hit the road in our Winnebago. Work our way to the west coast. There's an abandoned railroad just about everywhere. I really think I've got something here."

Bridge harvesting may be around for a while. But another innovative form of farming will, it is hoped, last no longer than this year. Walter 'Bud' Plankton of Lamar, Missouri, left a 3/4 section spread to become a river gleaner.

"Actually," Plankton says, "we're not so much 'river gleaners' as 'lake gleaners.' We work the lakes around here and down to Arkansas. My brother has a big patch of lakes across the border, so there's no friction over the rights to anything we find on lake beds that straddle the states."

Plankton is using the low water marks brought on by the drought to look for lost and discarded articles, some of considerable value. "The best thing we ran across was a set of hubcaps for a 1939 Nash. We found them burried in the sand right over there off Pinetree Point," he says. "A collector gave us $1500 for them. I guess some kid must have cobbed them in the '50s and threw them out here. They were in a plastic drycleaning bag, near as we can figure out. I guess the sand just kind of helped preserve them. But mostly we just find pop bottles and stuff like that. Those gleaners that work the river, especially the big rivers, they really got something going. I heard tell of a guy on the Missouri up in Nebraska that found a whole steam boat. It sank so long ago, people gave up worrying about it and he found it in a dried-up backwater that maybe was the channel one time. Now he's got all this wonderful stuff from about 1850, and I think he's planning a big deal with the state historical society."

With any luck, the river gleaners will be a thing of the past next year, good lord willing and the creek does rise.

Farm farming is another matter. It appears to have a future even brighter than bridge harvesting. Rodney Hostetler of Weston, South Dakota, moves from farm to farm like an itinerant. The main difference is, nobody's ever home when he gets where he's going.

"See that old barn there?" Hostetler asks. "Now, some people would look at that and see an abandoned dairy operation. I see a lot of good boardfeet just waiting for somebody to come along and turn it into something useful."

Hostetler may be one of the more ingenious farm farmers. He takes his share of lumber -- there are plenty of abandoned farms in the area -- but he's discovered a conduit to some Real Cash. As we step carefully across the cracked linoleum of a former farm house near Prairie Dip, Hostetler points to a pile of magazines.

"Look at this!" he shouts. "Woo-eee! 1942 Colliers. And a Saturday Evening Post! Too bad this back page is ripped. That'll bring down the value. But -- woah, it's a '39 Life! Boys, we might just have to knock off early today."

There are a couple of war whoops from sons Ralphy, 9, and Jimmy, 14. Their father removes his hat and leans against the wall, thumbing through his Post.

"This is just the kind of thing many farm farmers throw away. But I've learned how to sell about everything we find. Some of this stuff that looks most like junk -- license plates, tin can lids, that sort of thing -- well, I know people in Chicago that pay bundles for such things." He stoops to pick up part of an old 2-by-4 that's laying on the floor. Apparently, it has fallen from the ceiling. "You wouldn't think something like this was worth anything, would you? But there's a big market for rustic wood, especially if, well, let's see now...." He steps around the corner into the kitchen and rifles through a set of kitchen cabinets, still barely hanging on the wall. "There," he says, taking a beat-up metal cup, "that's just what I need. See? A rusty nail here and the cup hangs on the wood. A fastener on the back and we have 'folk art.' Don't ask me why. I just sell 'em, and I got $75 for something just about like this at the Omaha Arts & Crafts Fair last spring."

There is a slow rustle followed by a crash. Plaster dust rolls through the air in the doorway of the dining room, and Hostetler tosses the cup and board out the window as he rushes toward his sons. A few seconds later, we're all outside.

"That's why I don't feel bad about taking so much money for this stuff," Hostetler says. "The job has its risks. My dad lost a finger on the disc when I was a boy, but I don't think anything can compare to being burried alive in an abandoned farm house."

We hear another crash and see parts of the livingroom wall hit the floor. "Jimmy, did you get that Life?" Hostetler asks.

Ralphy is near tears, but Jimmy is only shaken. "No, sir," he says.

"Well," Hostetler says, "that's okay, Son, as long as you're okay." The three of them look at the house in silence for a few moments. "We don't normally go in until we've taken off most of the roof," Hostetler says. "At least the parts that are a strain on the walls. That's why."

Jimmy picks up the metal cup and rustic board. "Where should I put these, Dad?" he asks.

"On the truck," Hostetler answers. When the boy turns, Hostetler smiles. He knows his boys know there won't be any time off today after all. The Life magazine is still in the house, and they may be able to rescue it. "Bring that ladder with you, Son," Hostetler shouts. "We'll start with the chimney."

Abandoned farms and homesteads have dotted the landscape for generations. But with the general plight of the farm economy, small towns are seeing abandoned businesses of every sort in increasing numbers. Many buildings lie useless, like diverted acres. A few enterprising farmers have set up businesses such as mushroom growing barns and indoor fishing arcades in what had been farm implement dealers, warehouses, and drygoods stores.

But most of the buildings are falling apart. One day they might be like the towns that flourished in the middle of the last century, only to die when the railroads missed them.

These totally abandoned towns from past years are proving almost as valuable as the farmsteads Hostetler handles. While some abandoned towns are marked by dilapidated buildings, the most valuable sites are barely recognizable, and found only with the aid of old county zoning maps.

Camden, Nebraska, is one such townsite. On the Big Blue River can be seen the remnants of the village dam, but the rest of the land is a pasture.

Or was a pasture until recently. Harvesting the goods buried beneath it are a crossection of individuals from all backgrounds. The scene resembles not so much farming as prospecting for gold. Hence the name: town mining.

Town miners may be even more independent than farmers. Close quarters with direct competitors make them far more tight-lipped and unwilling to share their secrets. But a visit to the County Accessor's office reveals records of the types of items found at abandoned townsites.

Officials believe the most valuable antiques are reported, but nobody can say how many rare coins, cavalry buttons and small dated medicine bottles have slipped into pockets to be carried past the tax man.

On the perimiter of what once was Camden there flourishes a range of businesses that serve the immediate needs of the miners. Ice cream trucks do a land office business on hot days, while metal detector repairmen can name their price almost anytime.

With the drought, forward-looking farmers are moving up. Many others are simply on the move. So is much of the wildlife. The drought has disrupted migration patterns everywhere. Road kills are being reported in record numbers at all times of the day and night. Carrion is plentyful, and the crow population is on the grow. Large flocks have been reported in metropolitan areas where little birdlife is normally seen. As the crow numbers swell, the people in the cities are still generally unaware of them.

ZIP Beep #48
INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE BATHROOMS OF OTHERS
by Dennis Wallaker

"How long's that guy been in there?" - New York nightclub owner Max Gordon asking about Lenny Bruce circa 1958.

I like my john here in the ghetto more than I like yours and I'll tell you why.

I share it with two other apartments and guys. One of them is a reformed street person/substitute math teacher who just moved in. We do a lot of neighborly things like things like trading fresh fruit and picking up newspapers for each other. Considering he's a reformed hard core drunk and I'm supposed to be one, we straddle an interesting line that while filled with these street smarts, shows we'd rather be just a couple of Cleavers cleaning the garage.

The other neighbor's a lot different. He's got time written all over him; looks to be some heavy time.

He's nice enough (I helped him break down his own door one Friday night 'cause he'd left his key in South Dakota and to find our caretaker on a weekend, you'd have to hit every dealer's pad in a 15 block square area. Which is not so bad except most of the dealers are very unpleasant fellas -- even though some of them have excellent record collections and some pretty complicated weaponry). It's just one of those things you notice after a while about felons on parade. They are extremely nervous even when they can keep their back to the wall. When you can't afford to make new friends or keep your old friends or go to formerly favorite haunts or be caught with dirty urine, it effects what you are going to be able to do with your dance card at any given soiree.

Digging this along with the fact that his ex-wife has a great dog, I figure we can all afford to give him a break concerning his apprehension about everyone and everything.

Plus we're all really good when it comes to the bathroom.

There's the whole thing about "leaving it cleaner than you found it" which doesn't happen all the time but averages in a very high percentile for three down and out bachelors.

But most of all, it's a bathroom: toilet, sink, tub, shower and for the sake of my mother when she comes into town, a shower curtain! There's also a mirror, but nobody around here is brave enough to use it.

Why the big deal about lavatories?

'Cause I had a dream last night. In the dream, one of my ex-fiancees and I get back together. In the time we've been apart, we've both learned a lot of things about ourselves and the growth on her part and mine was rather obvious. After a night of sensitive and mutually fulfilling lovemaking, I woke up (still in dreamtime) and I could hear her in the bathroom. Days then weeks and finally months pass AND she's still in there.

That's a long time to wait outside the bathroom door. But sensing the still somewhat tenuous nature of the relationship, I whimper in a sensitive yet entirely masculine way, "Do you think I can get in there pretty soon?"

In a voice reminiscent of my ex-wife's mother, grand mother and Jimmy Swaggart combined (remember it's still dreamtime), she replies, "Don't start, Dennis!"

Could it be that these women, certain gay guys, most junkies and all born again Christians could be this hedonistic? Or is there something intrinsically weird about Western Civilization's concept of where one relieves oneself.

Take a look at public restroom etiquette.

This is nothing new, but bears some re-examination.

A woman in a restaurant gets up and says "Excuse me, I have to use the ladies room." I say, "Ok, I'll use it later." If it's my dad or any other male members of my family, I'd say probably an hour later.

So may we surmise that women obviously feel more comfortable hanging out in public restrooms than men do? There is the old sawhorse about them wanting to do a bit of gossip, check their makeup and maybe figure out a way to dump the man they're with. But again, I've seen a lot of gay guys do this same thing (most times, more successfully). And I've seen a lot of black dudes hanging out between the urinals selling drugs (which is a tax-free, low overhead biz -- and as such, probably just another way of expressing one's faith in the future of our economy).

There's really no fair way of blaming any sex, race or persuasion for this kind of bull. Maybe we should go back in time and take a look at the outhouse.

Many modern types are a bit grossed out about these but my Grandpa Ralph used to be totally grossed by the idea of people doing their "bizness" indoors.

I tend to agree with Grandpa Ralph. No one spends an hour in an outhouse unless he or she has a really different idea of what fun is. As a child, seeing a family of Daddy Long Legs crawling over my thonged feet used to have a tendency to hurry me up a bit.

Or we can go to the exact opposite -- my mom's bathrooms (she likes to have a couple due to certain cooking tips she never managed to learn. The abdominal pressure starts before the food's even on the table).

The bathroom motif is usually done in tiles and mosaic that she personally purchases from the local arts and crafts shop at a good price, otherwise she'll go elsewhere 'cause as she says, "there are Jews and then there are Jews."

But there is nothing Semitic about the theme. It's usually a bit of Louis the 14th meeting Barbara Cartland on a bad day for both of them.

They're spotlessly clean though there are signs of someone having been in there within the last hundred years.

Grandpa Ralph had that chewing tobacco habit and during certain family occasions my ma used to follow him around with a sponge.

He'd head into one of those Stewart Granger bathrooms of hers with a mouth full of grasshopper juice. With one eye on the white ceiling and another on the matching carpet, he'd stick his foot just inside the doorway and try to connect with the toilet bowl using a trick that he'd seen a cobra use in a T.V. documentary. It could have been an old cobra or it could have been the pressure of ma five feet behind with a bottle of Mr. Clean, but he never made it without leaving a trail that his blind dog (a dog named Nothing) could follow.

Occasionally he'd really blow it and smear these Barbie-doll-in-knit- dresses-toilet-paper-covers that my mom had stationed on top of the tank. I thought it was always kind of funny which is one of the reasons I was asked to leave as soon as I finished high school.

This is one of the reasons I dig my place of my privacy. There is no decoration of any kind -- at least intentionally. Occasionally ol' Steve, the war hero, would decide to use a straight razor on his somewhat delicate beard. He'd turn his face into Jason's (FRIDAY THE 13th) and the bathroom into #1 at the Bates Motel.

This did have a tendency to turn women friends off.

But most of the time, it's what a bathroom should be. You can shave, shower and just about anything, still getting out within 15 minutes because while it is a neat place it is not an interesting place. You get clean quick, but no one comes up with anything earth-shattering when they're in there. I've walked out of there in my towel, holding my razor, met someone in the hall, and was asked, "What's up, Dennis?"

I replied, "I have absolutely no idea!"

North vs. South
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Robert E. Lee walks out of a bathroom in Appomattox and has nothing to say. General Grant skips the bathroom, decides to let Lee keep his horse and his sword and seeing that he got away with it, then decides to go to the bathroom.

East vs. West
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Gandhi walks out of a bathroom in New Delhi, 1943, and has nothing to say. Donald Trump walks out of a far nicer bathroom in New York and says, "I got a great idea. A real event! What about a fight between Tyson and Spinks?"

Yes, things are not getting better.

I was living in London for a while and then returned to the States via most of Canada, most of Illinois and every place in Wisconsin that had electricity. I'm very scared of flying and decided to hold off on the bathroom until I got on solid ground. I'd seen GOLDFINGER many times and after seeing how the actor Gert Frobe (A.K.A. Goldfinger) was squeezed through that tiny plane window, I figured I had little or no chance sitting on one of those airline toilets with the bluish green water.

I overrated my personal 3rd generation Scandinavian elimination system and so after 20 hours, I figured that the next landing, I'm going to use the john.

I asked the stewardess how long we'd be on the ground. She said it would be at least 45 minutes.

No sooner were my pants around my ankles then the plane took off like we were avoiding a Stuka dive bombing attack.

My right elbow was comfortably wedged into the toilet paper dispenser while my nose was piercing a sign conveniently written in five different languages.

We were going pretty well straight up to shave a bit of time while the stewardess (the one stewardess!) was banging on the door and saying, "Sir, you're not supposed to be in there. You're not wearing a seatbelt! Anything could happen!"

This is one time while in a bathroom that I did some real thinking. I thought about a whole lot of things.

It was also the last time I've ever flown. At least on a plane.

ZIP Beep #48
WHO FRAMED RONNIE RAYGUN
by Don Fitzwater

The concept of summer blockbuster movie is pretty well understood by the general public these days. And past summers have had their share of truly "blockbuster" flicks. This summer looks to be no exception.

"WHO FRAMED RONNIE RAYGUN" is a glorious romp through the no longer sacred halls of government. The product of a collaboration between Walt Disney Studios, Steven Spielberg and the Independent Prosecutor's office, this film has what it takes to win this summer's blockbuster crown.

The action involves these wonderfully animated characters ('foons - short for buffoons) in the bustling town called Foontown (Washington D.C.). 'Foons have all kinds of interesting characteristics and abilities, not the least of which is their habit of talking in doublespeak-filled phrases. They also have their own unique definitions of truth, justice and the American way that lead to all sorts of wacky adventures.

Drawing on the best elements of classic Film Noire, this picture chronicles the trials and tribulations of third-rate 'foon attorney general Eddie Meace as he tries to track down (and simultaneously tip off) the perpetrators of one of the most complex scams in Foontown history.

Eddie's client is none other than Foontown's most illustrious 'foon, one Ronnie Raygun, a fuzzy, charismatic washed-up B-movie actor, who just happens to be the President. It appears that Ronnie had cut some sort of deal with the notorious Contra brothers, Ollie and Poindexter, and now these two sleazy 'foons are threatening to blow the whistle on the whole sordid deal if Ronnie Raygun doesn't go to bat for them. But things are seldom what they seem in Foontown, and soon Eddie finds himself lost in a labyrinth of moral and ethical dilemmas.

Eddie's search starts right at the White House when the case leads him to Nancy Raygun, the President's wife and general nay sayer. After a sequence wonderfully reminiscent of Abbott & Costello's "Who's On First" routine with the First Lady of Foontown, Eddie moves on to the halls of the NSC where he encounters the delightfully evil Contra brothers.

Ollie and his brother Poindexter have been busy little 'foons. Evidently, the two 'foons had cut a deal with Ronnie to secure his place in history in return for positions of power in his administration. What Ronnie didn't know was that the Contra brothers were really working for William "Wild Bill" Crazy, nominally the head of the CIA but in actuality the ringleader of an incredible "Secret Government" conspiracy. But Crazy turns up dead from a mysterious brain tumor just before he has to testify to the authorities, and the plot takes another Byzantine twist.

Time drags on and in the course of the case Eddie crosses the paths of such colorful 'foons as Judge Dork ("Civil Liberties should be obscene, and not heard"), Secretary of the Interior James What (a zany character who hates all things natural -- including California rock groups with natural features as a part of their name), and a General Richard E. Discord (who intends to stop the spread of Communism and make a buck or two on the side if at all possible).

The plot makes all kinds of satisfying twists and turns. Betrayal follows betrayal, death, suicide attempts and the destruction of classified government documents all find a place in this wildly original and hilariously spellbinding mystery.

Eddie is in for a bit of heat himself as even the Feds get on his case, and the whole thing finally comes to an exciting and sufficiently frenetic ending worthy of any SCREWEY SQUIRREL cartoon.

But there's more than action to recommend this film to viewers -- there's plenty of America's favorite pastime: sex. Easily the sexiest 'foon in screen history, the scenes with Fawn Passage (secretary to the wicked 'foon Ollie Contra) are positively incandescent. You haven't seen an erotic film until you've watched Fawn hide classified government documents about her 'foon anatomy. If it hadn't been for the shredder sequences that followed, most of the males in the preview audience would have gladly been stamped "Top Secret."

Fawn turns Eddie's head as well, and soon we are left wondering whether Eddie's mind is still on the job for his client, Ronnie Raygun.

Meanwhile things are heating up for our ol' pal Ronnie. The 'foon press has gotten wind of the Contra brothers' operation and the 'foons up on Capitol Hill are threatening a very intensive and very public hearing into the whole mess. The Contra brothers resign, Ronnie calls Ollie Contra a hero (in one of the film's most devastatingly funny speeches), and things look very grim for Ronnie Raygun.

Will Eddie get the goods on (from?) the Contra brothers? Just what is Fawn covering up? Can Ronnie possibly escape the consequences of his actions once again? You'll have to go see this picture to find out the answers in the absolutely brilliant closing 10 minutes!

This film has everything: state of the art special effects, a hysterically improbable screenplay, great action sequences, and one of the most provocative screen heroines in recent cinematic history.

If the wacky, crazy antics of the 'foons down in Foontown appeal to you, run, don't walk to your nearest theater and check this film out. You'll be glad you did -- and so will the film's producers.

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