ZIP Beep #59
THE BOOK OF THE MONK CLUB
by Brother Aldus Huxterus
Hello. Thank you for spending some time with me here next to your little electronic grotto.
Let's get right down to the essentials. You like to read, I want to sell books. We of the humble order of the Font of Eternal Remaindereds are serious about our charge. In the worship of the word, we continue to produce vast quantities of reading matter. Enlightening reading matter. Reflective reading matter. Reading matter for people in all walks of life, regardless of race, color, shoe size, maiden name or osteopathic inclination. Reading matter that I, as the shepherd, am happy to produce and you, as the sheep, need for your righteous sustenance.
The first selection from this month's obligatory Aldeen Press reading list is a new work called THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HUD. In it, a housing official with the government skims large amounts of cash from transactions of questionable legitimacy. This is a true take-from-the-rich book, one that all poor souls will want. Its anonomyous author is lost to antiquity, or may be one day since he prefers to hide his identity at the present time. As a guide to good works, it is a redemptive study, even unto illustrating how one can redeem valuable stocks and other coupons for instant gratification and profit that is worthy in the eyes of the Great Banker. It's also a handy reference for anyone planning to retire to government work. Aldeen Press, 89 pages, $49.95 paperback.
CHINESE ENGLISH is our second selection this month. As with previous works by its author, Chuck Strinz, this book is not short on convoluted, esoteric, qualifier-ridden sentences that seem to have a tendency to exercise the rather somnambulistic qualities of any writing or, indeed, other life experience to which third parties are subjected that exhibit the trait of running on and on and on. Never mind. It's still a worthwhile overview of newmispeak, similar to Strinz's related works on Taiwanese English and Philippine English. Typical trans-lingual dictionarys provide superficial definations. But this volume on Chinese English digs deeper for true meanings. For example, the phrase, "We are your servants, here to protect you" can be loosely translated as "You're dead meat, we have a big tank and we're going to run you over." Another example is the word "democracy," has two ostensibly different meanings. Depending on the context, it translates as either "running-dog- lackey-imperial-oppression" or "China." There are 45 examples of Chinese English in this handy reference. Anyone who orders a copy will be doubly blessed indeed. Aldeen Press, 23 pages, illustrated by the author under a pseudonym, $32.95 paperback.
Contemplative readers will appreciate Chinese English. But those who long to be active in the work of our Major Benefactor are certain to want a copy of our third selection, PETE ROSE IS THE BATMAN by Rob C. Bane. It's an early example of many similar spin-off/rip-off novels to come, each based on the phenomenal Michael Keaton movie. As with so many reworkings of Star Trek, Dr. Who and other fanzine-inspiring fiction, this action-packed novelette takes many liberties with the premise. In this case, The Batman is a disgruntled ex-batboy. After rising through the ranks, his career as a spokesman for hair tonic is cut short by a sudden loss of boyish good looks and the suspicion that his bid for a major league record has been facilitated rather than resisted by the members of the opposing teams. Further movement up through the ranks of his profession does not placate him, even when he is named Manager of his hometown team. He becomes increasingly belligerent, takes unnecessary risks, drives too fast, confides in no one but his butler, and generally makes a nuisance of himself. In the hit movie, Batman is a reticent figure whose true identity is unknown, is mistaken for a criminal, and finally clarifies his alligances when he befriends the Commissioner. In Pete Rose Is The Batman, he seeks publicity for his acts and himself, moves away from the status of a hero, and gradually becomes a mortal enemy of the Commissioner. A good read, certain to count for many good works. Ye of little faith are encouraged to purchase a copy. Aldeen Press, 55 pages, $158.59 (collector's edition), hand bound in some sort of leather.
THE EXXON GUIDE TO PET CARE is our fourth selection. This beautifully illustrated coffee table book outlines an approach to animal husbandry some people will find surprisingly simple. Is old spot looking a little peaked and white around the muzzle these days? A quick dunking in Exxon Dog Dip will bring back his shiny coat, cover his gray hair, and add color to those unsightly age spots. Tired of Tabby's incessant hairball episodes? Spike her food with a little Exxon Litter Loosener and watch her dispose of them the way nature intended. We're here on this Earth as the caretakers of our animal friends. The Exxon Guide To Pet Care will show you how to properly care for your favorite beastie be it aardvark, angora goat, ant, ant bear, antelope, artic fox, arctic hair, armadillo, ass, bear, beaver, bison, bobcat, buffalo, cheetah, chickadee, chinchilla, chipmunk, coon, cottontail, cow, coyote, dingo, dog, donkey, dormouse, elephant, ermine, ferret, flicker, fox, gazelle, giant ground sloth, giraffe, gnu, ground hog, guinea pig, hamster, hedgehog, hippopotamus, horse, ibex, jackal, jack rabbit, jaguar, kangaroo, lemming, leopard, lion, llama, lynx, mammoth, mink, mole, mongoose, moose, mountain goat, mule deer, muskrat, nuthatch, ocelot, opossum, otter, ox, pack rat, panda, pig, platypus, polar bear, polecat, porcupine, prairie dog, puma, quetzal, rabbit, rat, reindeer, rhinocerous, roebuck, sable, serval sheep, shrew, skunk, squirrel, stoat, tatouay, tiger, timber wolf, urial, vole, wallaby, wart hog, weasel, wildcat, wildebeest, wolf, wolverine, wombat, woodchuck, Xaviar's Cougat, yak, zebra, zebu or zoril. Aldeen Press, 108 pages, $258.95 oversized hardbound.
As our final selection this month, we offer ROB LOWE'S GUIDE TO AUDIO/VIDEO PRODUCTION. Destined for the dens of deists everywhere, the book is a practical hands-on tutorial that explores the qualities of mechanical manipulation, probes the recesses of stimulating presentation, and ends with an exciting technical denouemont that leaves the reader satisfied and renewed. Creative aspects of videotaping are examined thoroughly. This is truly one work that must be seen to be believed and appreciated. Perfect for those who are seriously inclined toward the commandment that we be fruitful and multiply. Aldeen Press, 108 pages, $85.49 paperback packaged with VHS tape and pop-up instruction card.
And so, until another day when we might meet, may you be blessed with wealth and wonderment, fulfilled with the spirit of giving, and provide us with the funds we so greatly need to continue our good work bring enlightenment to the world. Amen. Brother Aldus.
ZIP Beep #59
LOST TO THE OZONE AGAIN
by Rick Mons
(Continual ZIP Beep readers are familiar -- perhaps all too familiar -- with our recalcitrant satellite dish that occasionally picks up broadcasts, phone conversations, even FAX documents from a place we have come to know as the Alternate Universe. The crazy thing has really gone haywire now. It's looking into the future! Well, chock it up to a special case of special relativity. Here's a series of newswire downloads we received recently.--ED)
From the APE Newswire:
(Aug. 27, 1992) STUDY LINKS COPIERS TO OZONE PROBLEMS
Dateline: Washington, D.C.
In a study to be released today, officials of the Study Center on the Environment and Public Health (SCEPH) claim that copiers exude "chemical fumes which are destroying the ozone layer."
"We have found a strong causal link between the loss of the ozone layer and the increasing use of copiers," said Charles Van der Meter, Ph.D., SCEPH's director. "As a result, we have called upon the Academy of Science to recommend an immediate ban on the sale and use of office and personal copiers."
Representatives of the Academy of Science refused comment and pointed out they had not yet received the report.
From the UPIX Newswire:
(Nov. 12, 1992) GOV'T REPORTS CONFIRM LINK BETWEEEN GREENHOUSE EFFECT AND USE OF COPIERS
Dateline: Washington, D.C.
In a surprise move, and amidst mimeographed press releases, the U.S. National Sciences Institute announced confirmation of earlier studies which linked chemical fumes released by copiers with the destruction of the ozone layer.
Institute Director John Peebles emphatically stressed that "copiers pose a very real threat to our environment."
Spokesmen for industry giants again called for caution. "The basis for the study is suspect," according to Bob Giant of the Industry Spokesmen Association.
Reprinted from the New Yoke Times:
(Nov. 18, 1992) COPY INDUSTRY LEADERS CALL FOR VOLUNTARY BAN
Dateline: New York, NY
The Association of Copy Manufacturers and Retailers called for a voluntary ban on the sale and use of copiers today. While not acknowledging that there is "causal proof" which verifies that the ozone layer is damaged by copier use, a spokeswoman said that the voluntary action would last until final studies are conducted.
Preliminary studies conducted by the Association showed "some causal links."
Reprinted from the Well Street Journal
(Dec. 2, 1993) THE DEMISE OF THE COPIER
Dateline: New York, NY
Just fifteen months ago, a small "pro-environment" think tank released a study which claimed that the increased use of copiers in American society was damaging the ozone layer and further jeopardizing Earth's environmental future. Shortly following this announcement, environmental and scientific agencies of the U.S. government confirmed the initial findings.
A year ago, government and copy industry leaders agreed to a voluntary ban on the sale and use of copiers. Federal legislation is now being proposed to stiffen criminal penalties for the use of copy equipment and for the sale or distribution of copy equipment and supplies.
But the effects upon American society have been profound:
The Amerikan Civil Liberties Union petitioned in State and Federal courts that the ban represented an "unwarranted suppression of 1st amendment rights."
Contributions to the ACLU increased substantially as a result of their advocacy.
While stock values of copy manufacturers, office equipment retailers and copy center franchisers plummetted, the moribund office supply industry reawakened.
A healthy black market quickly sprang up as carbon paper became a popular commodity.
The copy manufacturing industry is now slowly rebounding. Mimeograph machine production is up. One industry spokesperson said that there is "something nostalgic but pristine in the purple-blue ink used in business, schools and politics now."
A new job description was created: Typist Artisan. Secretaries who refust to further jeopardize Earth's environmental future are demanding premium salaries. "There's no tolerance for `self-correcting' ribbons when you have to cut a carbon or a mimeo master," said a secretary who recently negotiated a $60,000 salary.
The effect on American business has been substantial -- but with varied twists. Initially, many lower and mid-management employees complained that the flow of information within organizations was constrained. However, others quickly pointed to increased productivity as the flow of memos to lengthy distribution lists halted.
Any gains in productivity may be short-lived, however, due to the growing use of the small underground industry of bulletin boards and the fledgling electronic mail providers. One such entrepreneur, Betty "Sis" Oppt noted that "it's now possible to send that memo to a large number of people via electronic messages."
From Reider's Newswire:
(Mar. 7, 1994) STUDY LINKS PC USE TO WIDE RANGE OF HEALTH PROBLEMS
Dateline: Washington, D.C.
In a press conference yesterday, officials of the Study Center on the Environment and Public Health (SCEPH) charged that "the proliferation of the personal computer is threatening the health and safety of the American public." "We have found disturbing increases in a number of health problems which are directly caused by the increased use of PCs, according to SCEPH's director, Dr. Charles Van der Meter. "As a result, we have called upon the Academy of Science to recommend an immediate ban on the sale and use of micro computers."
ZIP BEEP #59
THE ENDLESS (AND/OR MEANINGLESS) STORY
by Dennis Wallaker
This was supposed to be called "Brand new used ca..." Brand new used cars-- but since Chuck Strinz is such a stickler for historical detail especially when it comes to architecture and since they tore down all the buildings that the story was named after, I'm forced to use a colorless and/or meaningless title.
New title. "The Unfinished Story."
Quote Franz Shubert (on his Unfinished Symphony) "...Should I finish the symphony or should I die? Maybe I should wait until after lunch."
Anyway, back to Chuck Strinz and his running dog lackey, Fitzwater, I have just this to say.
They don't even like me.
The last time Chuck Strinz asked me out for lunch or dinner was never. I was able to take this in stride.
But Fitzwater is a different matter.
I've trained the hobos and the homeless around here to do a thing I call, "Editor Alert."
Basically, the way this works is that they see anybody that looks like they want a story and they want it on time, they yell, "(Catman, Poet, Deacon--No one calls me Dennis anymore). Hey, Editor Alert!"
"How do you know?"
"Big guy with a beard, looks like he has a sense of purpose."
"Oops. That's enough brother. I'm out the back."
The line they are supposed to tell the alleged editor is, "Dennis is dead, we don't know where he's gone and he won't be back 'til tomorrow."
Somehow people think this lacks certain credibility.
But back to Fitzwater.
He's too much of a jello-butt to walk around this neighborhood so he sends his wife and kid over.
Most of you haven't met Sue Fitzwater, but she is one great gal and I've adored her daughter, Diana, from the first time I saw her infant eyes so there is no way I can have them walking around the scum (though loveable scum) that chooses to hang around with me.
So the Fitzwaters and daughter basically demand my computer and a story in by Wednesday...and yet they are not willing to take one of the new batch of kittens I wound up with.
If it's high tech, they'll grab it but if you have to feed and water it, forget it.
It's not Sue or Diana's fault. Don Fitzwater is a very imposing character.
When he and I were on the road, I once saw him accidentally knock over a microphone stand and then turn around and pick it up as if nothing had ever happened.
He's just that kind of guy.
But enough about my editors--Cretins that they are.
Since you readers are leading such quiet lives of desperation so that you have to read my stuff, I'll tell you what's going on in the neighborhood and if you ever get in the area (and you are not an editor) please stop by because I 've got more peaches than I need and if you don't take some they are just going to rot.
Old Clint is getting evicted. He did some thing that Old Steve did a year and a half ago. He tried to kill the owner of the building. While it makes sense, it does not make common sense.
I said to Clint, "Were you carrying a weapon?"
He said, "I was carrying a kitchen knife but you really can't consider that a weapon."
Old Clint is a little bit different than most of the folks we run into.
Anyway, he's out but we'll still keep in touch.
He's rough, but underneath than cowboy boots there is a whole bunch of class wrapped around his ankles.
Black Barb is having a little bit more of a problem than getting evicted. See the Professor, who is neat guy and I think part of it is his strong resemblance to Curtis Mayfield, offered to take Black Barb's hand in marriage.
I was elated because Black Barb had been putting moves on me an seven if I hadn't given up womanizing, she'd be far too much for me. So Sunday morning around 2 a.m., I decide to go out for a breath of fresh air and I felt this sense of tension.
Whenever two black folks are not talking, you know something is going down.
So I figure I'll break the ice.
I said, " I sense things are a little bit weird. Would you guys like to come over to my joint, watch 'Taste the Blood of Dracula' on Channel 29 and eat some of those peaches."
Black Barb did not give me the best look I've ever got.
The Professor was willing.
He said, "Peaches!"
I said, "Peaches plus the 'Taste the Blood of Dracula' which is a Hammer film with Christopher Lee in it but I still think it's pretty cool."
So he falls asleep on the couch and Black Barb decides to go upstairs and thaw some pork chops.
Right in the middle of what I consider to be a crucial part of "Taste the Blood of Dracula" she runs in and blurts.
I don't consider myself a sensitive person, but I do have a problem when people blurt in my apartment because it is so small and the circulation is so bad in this kind of weather, I have to keep two fans going just in case I blurt by accident.
But Black Barb blurts.
"The Professor and I ain't getting married so don't plan nothing cause he's a chicken, etc..."
The Professor is not a chicken--but one would figure since he is from Chicago and he was with a gang (Hey, I've seen him work a knife) that he should stand behind his commitment to Black Barb.
If I had proposed to Black Barb, I'd do the right thing. Granted, I'd have to start eating right, taking vitamins, join U.S. Swim and Fitness and hope nothing ever breaks off of me, but marriage is a sacred thing.
And another thing.
Some woman that I've never met before hit me in the mouth last night while I was discussing patent law with some kid that's trying to get a patent.
The kid and I were getting to the point where I usually say, "You should get a lawyer on this," when this blonde gives me an uncalled for and unexpected rabbit punch in the mouth.
Since I hate getting hit, I'm going to keep this short.
Try not to get hit whenever possible unless you're into that kind of thing and then you should be wearing a special kind of cream or oil.
I had a fiancee that asked me if I liked to get to tied up and do it.
I thought about it and I couldn't think of a damn thing I could do while I'm tied up.
Except for Sex.
And I quit doing that once I moved back to this country. They don't call me "Mr. Copenhagen" for no reason!
For reputation sake, isn't that a good place to leave the first ending of the "The Unfinished Story."
ZIP Beep #59
by Don Fitzwater
It's that time of year again.
You know what I mean...the time between Spring and the Fall...
Road Construction seems to be a nation wide affliction. No part of the United States appears immune from its foul embrace. And what's more, this affliction manifests itself in almost identical ways where ever it appears.
Surely, had Dante been alive today he would have reserved a special circle in hell for those officials of city, county, state and federal highway departments that never, ever seem to take the time to consult each other!
I'm sure you all know exactly what I mean. A major artery gets torn up for a summer long repair project. The word goes out via newspapers, radio and TV "Use alternate routes!" All fine and well until the city/county/state decides to tear up the alternate routes as well. Then what?
Routes that were open when you went to work in the morning now are closed when you attempt to return home in the evening. Meals are missed, families are broken, and some hardy souls have taken to living at their offices.
Motorists are driven (pun not intended but noted) to a purple rage. At least one motorist here demonstrates that they have been driven to purple prose.
Ladies and Gentlemen...
Once upon a commute dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and pleasant commute of yore - While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my Honda's door. "'Tis some hitchhiker," I muttered, "tapping at my Honda's door - Only this and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I recall it was the July heat that stalled it; And each bead of sweat wrought its mark upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From this route surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost commute of yore - For the quick and expedient trip home from my suburban office door Hopeless now for evermore. And the sullen, sad, unpleasant rumblings of each irate driver Thrilled me - filled me with horendous terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I sat repeating, "'Tis some hitchhiker entreating entrance at my Honda's door; - Some tired hitchhiker entreating entrance at my Honda's door; - This it is and nothing more." Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, That I scarce was sure I heard you" - here I opened wide the door; - A flagman there and nothing more. Deep into their dark face peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no driver ever dared to dream before; But just a few short words were spoken, and my spirit soon was broken, And the only phrase there spoken were the words "can't get there any more" Stunned I questioned "can't get there any more?" Merely this and nothing more. Back into my Honda turning, all my soul within me burning, "Use alternate routes" made my weak heart sore. "Surely," said I, "surely that flagman's words are as a bad jest; Let me see, then, what route there is, and this mystery explore - Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - 'Tis a jest and nothing more!" Down upon the throttle stamping, I soon traversed the exit ramping, Consumed by thoughts of safely gaining the refuge of my own home's door; But the traffic was confining, and the hope I had of dining With my family tonight went from good to bad to poor - The chance to see home went from good to bad to poor - Barely that and nothing more. Then, methought, the road grew narrow, soon I saw the detour's arrow Ahead a flagman whose foot-falls crunched upon the roadbed's floor. "Wretch," I cried, "what god hath sent thee, by what reason torment me? The sight of thee doth wound me like an open sore - Oh please, respite and time to heal the open sore - Please grant me this if nothing more." "Fiend!" said I, "thing of evil! - Fiend still, if man or devil! - Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this fractured road enchanted - On this road by detour haunted - tell me truly, I implore - Is there - is there a way home? - Tell me - tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Flagman, "Nevermore." "Be that word our sign of parting, man or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting - "Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore! Leave no orange sign as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my homeward path unbroken! - quit the dust I see before! Take thy signs from out my sight, and take me home I do implore!" Quoth the Flagman, "Nevermore." And the Flagman, never swaying, still is staying, still is staying On the pallid, dusty road outside my Honda's door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the headlights o'er him streaming throws his shadow on my door; And my car from out that shadow that lies floating on my door Shall be driven - nevermore!
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