Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Yankee Dime

The Final Frontier
Weird capitalist Richard Branson, who already runs an airline, a music store chain, and lord knows what all, is planning to invest in a reusable space ship that will take tourists into orbit for around a hundred grand a pop. Will shuffleboard be available? Mr. Branson is not saying.

The Penultimate Frontier
Burt Rutan, spaceship designer, saw his vessel reach an altitude of 64 miles above the Mojave Desert this week, making it the first private manned aircraft to reach space.

Rutan hopes to get the Ansari X Prize, which will be given to the first vessel that safely completes two flights, at an altitude of 62 miles, within two weeks. The prize is ten million bucks, which would about cover cocktails for two in the Van Allen Belt.

That’s right, I’m from Texas.
The Lone Star Iconoclast, the weekly newspaper in President Bush’s hometown of Crawford Texas has endorsed John Kerry for President.

Among other reasons for not endorsing President Bush, its editorial mentioned “his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.”

That is so five minutes ago….
Reuters tells me that the Encarta Webster’s Dictionary now includes “9/11,” with two definitions: one the attack itself, and the other a generic term for any terrorist attack in which a lot of innocent people are murdered. It also includes “September 10th,” an adjective meaning “ so petty, shallow, or outmoded as to be irrelevant."

The final final frontier, really.
William Shatner went to Captain Kirk’s hometown of Riverside, Iowa, supposedly to shoot a lame science fiction movie. But after a week of shooting with local residents, he revealed that it was all a prank for a new reality show on the highly respected cable station for guys, Spike TV. "Everything in front of and behind the cameras was faked," Shatner told the townspeople. "The only thing that was real is the love we have for Riverside." Awww. I guess.

Yankee Dime
This is Texas slang, apparently (I read it in the Lone Star Iconoclast!) for an insincere kiss. President Bush sure knows how to spend those.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Saturday's All Right For Talking

Bill picked me up around three on Saturday to take me to the DVD commentary session. He had just picked up Leon at the airport.

His play is about to open in Los Angeles, and he was regaling us with playwright woes on the way to the studio. One of his actresses, relatively inexperienced, is a very popular model, and has missed many rehearsals because of gigs that, you know, pay money.

Another actor had missed some rehearsals because he got an acting gig on a popular television show. Upon his return, he was rehearsing a scene, when he asked the director if he could try something, because the scene wasn’t working for him. The director agreed.

The scene consisted, apparently, of him listening to another character tell a story. So the actor commenced to comb his hair, tie his shoes, twitch – in short, do everything in the book to upstage the other actor. The director halted the scene, and told him to go back to what he was doing before.

“But what is this scene about?”

The director explained that it was about him listening to what the other actor was saying.

The actor acquiesced but wanted the director to know: “This scene is dead to me.”

Oh, the venue is next to a high school, which recently re-lit the football field. So performances will be rivalling athletic events. Then there’s the tent, erected for a hip hop party, which will be held the night the play opens.

Good luck, Leon! We love show business.

Dan was napping on a couch when we arrived, but woke up when he learned that pizza had been ordered.

Jim arrived soon afterward, fresh from rehearsing BEWITCHED, the Hollywood version of the sitcom, in which he is playing the updated version of Larry Tate. He informed us that Michael Caine was a really nice guy, and Nicole Kidman was very down to earth. What, no dirt?

Under the watchful ear of our two engineers, Rick Alber, our webmaster, Neil Sheehan, our producer, and Ed Rachles, a guy we know, we began the session.

Being the Ducks, of course, we did not feel obligated to comment on the images we were watching, as such, but went off on wild tangents, including reminiscences about the time I found out I had mononucleosis. We had just begun a tour, at a Kentucky college, where the promoters had made us sign a contract that if we had any curse words in our show, we would not get paid. Later that night, we went to a bootlegger, which we hoped would be a thrill, but it was just a guy with a bunch of beer in his garage. We wanted stills! Revenooers! What a bitter disappointment!

After we wrapped that commentary, everybody told us to do another one, commenting more on what we were actually watching. Killjoys.

We stayed on topic the second time around, pretty much, trying to remember the origins of sketches, where costumes came from, etc. But we did go off on a side trail when Dan opined that Mr. Rogers’ son hated him, a premise vigorously rebutted by the rest of us. I informed everybody that Mr. Rogers’ son was actually Roy Rogers. This was, of course, a lie.

Dan and Jim also remembered a trip they’d taken to Ken Kesey’s place in Oregon, where they met Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso kept them up all night as he wandered about the property shouting and screaming. That story had something to do with something, I'm sure.

I am certain our fans will be amused and educated.

Afterwards, we looked at what special features might be included. Well, there’s the commentary. Also deleted scenes (sketches cut from the show for time, but still viable comedy-wise), archival footage (covering twenty years), audio bits, and backstage/making-of footage. All in all, it should be a rich comedy package.

MAY CONTAIN NUTS: A VERY LOOSE CANON OF AMERICAN HUMOR, published by HarperCollins, is now available in a book store near you.

Along with pieces by Roy Blount Jr., P.J. O'Rourke, Joe Bob Briggs, and Michael Ian Black you will find a very amusing piece called "The George W. Bush Memorial Library," by Merle Kessler. So go buy one.

More info here:

Friday, September 24, 2004

Can You Hear Me Now?

A bunch of sunburned people in cutoffs call each other a “tribe,” and under the gaze of a blow-dried guy named Jeff, sit under Tiki torches and vote each other off the show. It’s like a Disney version of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with prizes.

Dinocephalosaurus orientalis: Not Your Father’s Dinosaur!
The Washington Post informed me that research into this “unwieldly pond-dwelling predator,” based on a new fossil “suggest that that these animals…used their long necks not as supple spears, but like lethal suction hoses.”

There was this predatory girlfriend I used to have….

Interesting op-ed piece from the Washington Post a few Sundays back:

A year ago, I barely knew what blogs were. Within a few months, they'd become a staple of my daily media diet. Now I can't live without them, but already I'm feeling betrayed -- and a little bored.

Bloggers know what they like and what they don't like, and they aren't afraid to tell you why. And they get to use bad words that will never see print inside a family newspaper. But to get to the good stuff, you have to wade through more and more self-congratulation and mutual admiration. Call it blogrolling.

This was written by my very very very good friend Jennifer Howard. (Link to me!)

No, I Don’t Really Know Jennifer Howard.

But I know this.

From CNET:
“The wireless provider [Nextel] began selling its Mobile Locator service last November, giving bosses an easy way to find employees who carry GPS-equipped cell phones. Earlier this month, mobile tracking firm Xora showed off the latest version of its Nextel GPS (global positioning system) phone software. The company says 1,600 corporate customers have signed up for its services, including ‘geofences’ technology that sets off an alarm at the office when field workers go to preprogrammed off-limits sites, such as a bar or a park.”

Like Robert Frost almost said, “Good geofences make good geoneighbors.” Unless they’re turning you in.

In other cell phone news, The Mainichi Daily News reports that “Hideto Tomabechi -- who first made headlines in Japan almost a decade ago after he cured brainwashed members of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult that unleashed deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway system -- claims to have developed a tune for ring tones that promises to increase the breast measurements of those who listen to it.”

And it’s true! I know a woman who got so many phone calls she fell right over.

And They’re Off!
From WiredNews: “[A] new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that six glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea have quickened their march into the ocean over the past 15 years, and the pace has accelerated recently. The fastest of these, the Pine Island Glacier, is ripping along at a six-yards-a-day pace -- 25 percent faster than it was moving in the 1970s -- making it one of the fastest-moving glaciers on Earth.”

Black Box
Black Box Voting, an outfit devoted to the exposure of ballot tampering, recently went after touch-screen voting machines. They made a video of a chimpanzee (named Baxter) deleting the audit log on a tabulating computer. Afterward, Baxter- on the same computer - wrote Hamlet, the Book of Job, and Ulysses, before defecating on the keyboard.

What Is Reality?
Kuma Reality Games is producing an add-on to one of their video games that will let you re-enact John Kerry’s Viet Nam swift boat battle.

I hope they update it further to allow players to give the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” a swift kick in the pants.
Duck DVD
Commentary tomorrow, recording here in San Francisco. I will share any worthy anecdotes with you.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Valley of the Dull

Janet Jackson’s Expensive Anatomy Lesson
The accidental or intentional exposure of a pear-shaped breast at half time during a nationally-televised football game will cost CBS half a million dollars.

It’s just a milk gland, for Christ’s sake. Get over it.

F***ing Brilliant.
Linguistics professor Janet Holmes, leader of a study from New Zealand’s Victoria University in New Zealand , has written in the Journal of Pragmatics, "Forms of f*** occur frequently in certain contexts and serve a range of functions, including the role of positive politeness strategy. F*** is regularly associated with expressions of solidarity, including friendly terms of address."

Mea Culpa.
According to the Guardian, BBC3 controller Stuart Murphy has decided to cancel a cartoon, POPETOWN, following complaints from the Catholic Church.

“The series, which has been planned for over a year, portrays a childish fictional pope who pogo-sticks around the Vatican.

The 10-part animated series billed by the BBC as an ‘office comedy set in the Vatican’, portrayed the Pope and his immediate entourage as a bunch of childish, bickering, back-stabbers.”

Maybe we could re-fashion it as BUSHTOWN.

RIP Russ Meyers
Anybody who has seen FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL! would have to admit it is the best go go dancers in sports cars on a desert rampage movie ever made. “See you girls in church!”

Rather Not
AP: “Station managers at several CBS affiliates said Thursday they appear to be a target of a national e-mail campaign placing pressure on the network to oust Dan Rather as anchorman of the CBS Evening News."

Ooh Baby Baby It’s a Wild World
A plane containing Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, was diverted to Bangor Maine, and the zealot detained. His name had been on a no-fly list.

So how did he get on the plane?

Homeland Security’s lovable Tom Ridge told the Agence France-Presse, "Unfortunately, United Airlines had the information and they didn't act on it before he got on the airplane.''

But Jeff Green, a spokesman for United Airlines, told the New York Times. “That is not necessarily a very fair assessment on Secretary Ridge's part. … The system did not flag him as a no-fly passenger.''

Maybe they could blame Dan Rather.

And When You Reach The Other Side, Waffles For Everybody!
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have reported in The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal that you can swim in syrup just as fast as you can in water. The medium used for their experiment was 300 kilograms of guar gum poured into a 25-meter swimming pool.

Which Twin is the Evil One?
Lawyers for the Olsen Twins have ordered a tee-shirt maker to cease and desist in the manufacture of its “Save Mary-Kate” shirt. The tee-shirt featured a caricature of a not-gaunt-in-any-way Mary-Kate. Look for it on eBay, if you have nothing better to do.

See you in church, girls.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Britney Broke My Heart!

DVD News.
So my composer friend Joshua Brody, director Bill Allard, and I met with this fellow, Eric Holsinger, a video producer (among other things) out of Seattle. We want to make a DVD of my live show, BROKE, featuring my Ian Shoales persona, and co-starring my wife Amy, with good friend Dave Terry. Read review of which, here--

The trouble is, none of us have that kind of money. We are cogitating. Ruminating. We would take meetings, if we knew anybody with money who would be willing to meet with us.

The Duck’s Breath DVD is nearing its final phases, and it looks like we may have distribution for it, which would certainly beat wheedling strangers on the internet. We’re not Viagra, for God’s sake.

If this experience turns out the way we hope it will, then perhaps future projects are in the works.

Don’t Delay!
In other news, two aides to GOP weasel Tom Delay were indicted Tuesday, according to the Washington Post, “on charges of illegally raising political funds from corporations in 2002, much of which was funneled into the Republican takeover of the Texas legislature.”

Asked for a comment, Delay released a statement through his office, "This has been an investigation that has been underway for nearly two years, and 40 days before the election, suddenly they've taken action. You do the political math."

And if anybody knows political math, it would certainly be Tom Delay.

Cool Hunting
Trendspotter Scott Milden, responding to something or other in the New York Times, claims that designers are “alpha consumers.” Not only will they spot a bargain before you do, in other words, they will turn on you, fangs bared, fully prepared to tear out your throat, or failing that, sever your hamstrings, should you attempt to get through the doors at the grand opening of Restoration Hardware before they do.

Swift Boat Parody.
The sweet little satire, in which Bill Allard and I had the pleasure of participating, is up:

If you choose to download it, I recommend the low bandwidth Windows Media option. Be amused. Be very amused.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Target-Rich Environment

Go ahead. Pull my string.
A Democratic lobbyist in California wants to create a “girlie man” bobblehead doll, with the likeness of Governor Schwarzenegger, wearing a pink dress and matching pumps. Now THAT’s comedy. And political discourse at its most elevated.

So what’s Pam Anderson up to?
She is currently dating Jesus - not the Messiah, but a performer with the always-irritating Cirque Du Soleil. He is in the ever-mutating, ever-expanding troupe’s new erotic show, ZUMANITY, currently titillating the easily titillated in Las Vegas. .

What about the bail bond economy?
Dick Cheney, in his incoherent musings a little while ago about the unacknowledged role of eBay in the formation of the NEW New Economy, also did not consider the roles that blackmail, extortion, and kidnap ransoms play in the global picture.

Whither Miss America?
Despite a shorter running time, the Miss America Pageant logged 500,000 fewer viewers than last year. The reason? In my opinion, it’s because they dumped the talent competition. If you can’t watch Miss Delaware tap dance to “God Bless America,” well, what’s the point of watching? Miss Alabama, Deidre Downs, took the title.

Seymour Hersh, interviewed in today’s Salon, on the Bushies.
“Wouldn't it be great if the reality was that they were lying about WMD, and they really didn't believe that democracy would come when they invaded Iraq, and you could go to war with 5,000 troops, a few special forces, a few bombs and a lot of American flags, and Iraq would fold, Saddam would be driven out, a new Baath Party would emerge that's moderate? Democracy would flow like water out of a fountain. These guys believe it. They believe WMD. There's no fallback with these guys. These guys are utopians. They're like Trotskyites. They believe in permanent revolution. They really believe….”

Some extras, apparently, from the new STAR WARS DVD.
Carrie Fisher: "I do remember permanently the hologram speech, because we had to reshoot it….
Whenever I get lost on the way to someone's house, or I just forget your name, it's because I remember the speech. ... 'General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars ...’ I'm a thousand years old and I still remember that thing. It's very disturbing. I have to take medication, and yet it still won't go away."

Ditto: "I always liked the shampoo bottle where you twist my head off and pour liquid out of my neck. That's very Freudian. If I dreamed that, what would you think it meant?"

CSI, c’est what?
The new CSI: NY premieres this week. I like the franchise myself, especially enjoying the unusual line readings of David Caruso on CSI: MIAMI: “Here’s what I want you to do,” etc.

But here’s my question. Like LAW AND ORDER, it looks like CSI is going to branch out until we all get sick of it, storm the castle, and destroy the monster with torches. But before that happens, are there going to be enough Who songs to provide theme songs for the sequels?

Here’s the rundown:

CSI - “Who Are You?”
CSI:MIAMI - “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
CSI: NY – “Baba O’Riley”

Here are my suggestions for future spin-offs:

CSI: KENOSHA – “Pinball Wizard”
CSI: DENVER – “I Can See For Miles”
CSI FORT LAUDERDALE – “The Kids Are Alright”
CSI: RENO – “You Better You Bet”
CSI: PALM SPRINGS – “My Generation”
CSI: QUAD CITIES – “Quadrophenia”
CSI:LA – “Behind Blue Eyes”
CSI: DC – “Boris the Spider”

Duck’s Breath DVD
Dan, Jim, and Leon are winging into San Francisco to voice, as they say, the commentary for the DVD as it nears completion. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mysteries of the Universe. And More!

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Probe
Pioneer 10 and 11 probes are about to leave our solar system, but appear to be in the “grip of a mysterious force” holding them back. Some scientists claim that “dark matter” is the culprit, others that our understanding of basic laws of gravity may be flawed.

Me, I think they’re lonely, afraid, bitter at being cast away from the solar system that has been their home. Give them some time (and space, of course), and they'll throw away their name tags, and join the growing community of expatriate robotic entities.

You go girl! Don’t go there!
Mintel, a UK consumer research organization recently conducted a survey, which revealed that most 7 to 10 year old girls use makeup. Therefore, is Mintel’s advice, cosmetics companies should place cosmetics vending machines in schools and movie theatres.

Ever mindful of ethical concerns, however, the Mintel survey concludes, "Cosmetic manufacturers must be ever mindful of the fine line they tread between encouraging children to look and behave like adults and promoting their products as being good, clean fun."

And lest we forget, Britney and J. Lo are not as popular as they used to be. (Britney got married! Congratulations!}

Good work men! I’ll be over here, trying to balance my checkbook.
Apparently the Riemann hypothesis is the “holy grail of mathematics.” If proven, it would explain the random pattern of prime numbers, like 3 or 17, essential to internet cryptography.

I don’t know what the Riemann hypothesis is, exactly, but it could provide understanding of how prime numbers work, which could be useful in making a kind of prime number spectrometer, which would destroy e-commerce.
If not, it could certainly provide the plot for a really hard-to-follow James Bond movie, one that would end with Mr. Bond hurtling through flames into deep water as the arch-villain shouts to his henchmen, “Get the disc!”

Oh, Esther.
Two of Madonna’s Israeli bodyguards clocked photogs as they waited to snap her visage outside her hotel in Tel Aviv. They were detained for questioning. Madonna is studying the Kaballah, by the way, with the renowned Hebrew scholars Donna Karan and Ivana Trump.

More crime.
Edward Furlong, the kid in T2, was arrested in Kentucky after on a misdemeanor charge after he tried to liberate a tank of lobsters from a grocery store. He was allegedly drunk at the time.

People who live in brick houses….
Rick James’ autopsy revealed the presence of methamphetamine, cocaine, Xanax, Valium, Wellbrutin, Celaxa, Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine, and Vicodine.

Outta Here?
If Bush is reelected, the following Cabinet members may not stick around:
--Secretary of State Colin Powell
--National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
--Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge
--Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
--Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson
--Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
--Education Secretary Rod Paige

Meanwhile, back on the Street…
Three well-groomed Russian kids, about sixteen: One kid was talking on his cell phone, while the second, armed with a battery-operated razor, was shaving the forehead of the third.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Brushes With Fame

Whither PJ Soles?
I was watching ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL last night, in honor of Johnny Ramone. Amid the visions of Dorothy Hamill hair, the glowing pink hot pants, and the slightly outlandish story premise that the Ramones had sex appeal, I began to reminisce.

Why, I Remember It As Thought It Were Yesterday....
My comedy group, Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre, opened for the Ramones when they first played in San Francisco. It wasn’t much fun then, but over time, grudgingly, it has become one of my fondest memories.

They did two shows, but the club didn’t turn over the house. Our first set was fine, if ignored, but after the Ramones did their first set, the audience was deaf as well as impaired. Tintinitis, drugs, and comedy do not mix. Small objects were thrown in our direction; luckily, punks do not possess much upper body strength.

Joey, bless his heart, acknowledged us with, “After seeing Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre… gimme gimme gimme shock treatment!” Dee Dee bawled out the trademark, “OneTwoThreeFour,” and they lunged into the song. Johnny stood expressionlessly, legs spread, flailing his instrument. He was my favorite. He didn’t make those stupid guitar faces when he played.

I smoked pot with their roadies after our set. They questioned the potency of my marijuana, which I thought was rather rude at the time, but they were punks from Queens after all, so in retrospect, their behavior was appropriate in the extreme.

There was also a drag queen on Quaaludes who kept trying to get backstage. But the club didn’t have a backstage, just a curtain in front of a brick wall. S/he would open the curtain, walk into the wall, turn around, turn back, open the curtain, walk into the wall, etc. It was way seventies.

Ramones Redux
Later, we ran into the Ramones again, at the Tropicana motel, hovel to the stars. The Ducks were making a futile foray into the sun-dappled Hades the world calls Hollywood in one of our fitful efforts to, you know, make a living.

Well, we didn’t actually run into all of the Ramones. They were making END OF THE CENTURY with Phil Spector at the time, and were pretty much prisoners at the Spector manse. But we did play poker with the drummer, Marky (I think) and their roadies by the pool, affectionately dubbed “the Black Lagoon.” Tom Waits was living there at the time, and we saw him once, getting up at the crack of noon. He waved at a maid, and said in his hoarse voice, “Buenas dias, Consuela!” She smiled and waved back.

A Ramones-Free Reminiscence.
Another time, another foray: we Ducks were dining at a Hamburger Hamlet on Santa Monica Boulevard. Dan Coffey remarked that he thought Charles Bukowski lived somewhere around there. Even as the words left his mouth, Charles Bukowski himself walked by, carrying groceries, and frowning at the ground. As we stared at him, driven slack-jawed by this evidence of Jungian synchronicity, a man rushed up behind us and yelled, “Remember me? I’m Wild Man Larry Fischer!”

We did indeed remember him, a crazy street singer from the late sixties discovered and recorded by Frank Zappa. Without prompting, Fischer launched into a semi-coherent rant against Zappa, who somehow had prevented him from scaling the full heights of fame. We put fixed grins on our faces, and slowly backed away. (We later ran into him again, outside a San Francisco club where we were playing; he didn’t remember us, and launched into pretty much the same rant, which caused us once more to put fixed grins on our faces, and slowly back away.)

I Believe We Have Time For Another.
Another time, another foray: Leon Martell and I were sitting backstage at an awards ceremony, idling in drag, waiting to perform our hilarious sketch, the Transvestite Farmers Association, when Jerry Lewis came through the fire door, in tuxedo, hair slicked back, tinted glasses. When he saw us, he actually did a double take. He also mumbled something jokelike, about hoping we find our dates. He may have been on Percodan at the time. Our sketch was cut, for time.

By Johnny.
I saw Johnny Ramone on the streets of New York once as well, sometime in the late eighties, still sporting the Dorothy Hamill hair and leather jacket, paying for something in a deli on the Lower East Side. I did not rush up to him, and say “Remember me? I was in the comedy group that opened for you in San Francisco? Your roadies sneered at my pot? We later relieved one of them of three bucks at a poolside poker game in LA?” The thought never crossed my mind.

The Ramones cracked up in '96. Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee are gone. There’s nothing left now but drummers. And memories. And Phil Spector, of course, though I never met the guy.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Angry Man March

What the drunk guy my age in the army jacket was yelling on the street today.
Kerry is a hero! Kerry faced the enemy! Kerry is a man! Don’t you understand?

The other Kerry, clothing-optional disaster consultant.
Teresa Heinz Kerry, visiting volunteers at a hurricane relief center, who were packing supplies to send to the Caribbean, was worried that they were packing too much clothing.

She remarked, according to the Associated Press, "Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids. Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes."

Next: The Women of Der Wienerschnitzel.
Playboy is looking for female McDonald’s employees for a future “Women of McDonald’s” pictorial.

Meet Tiffany Warkovski, fry cook!

Tiffany, what do you look for in a guy?

--I like a guy with a little bit of a ‘tude. Who likes the outdoors. Exact change helps, especially during peak hours.

What are some of your favorite things?

--I like action movies, walks on the beach, pink mesh teddies, and supersized men, if you know what I mean.

Will you say it for us?

--If you beg me.

Please. Purr it. Caress the words with your tongue.

--You want fries with that?

Next: Old men with x-ray vision given restraining orders.
MTV has commissioned a cartoon pilot, HEF’S SUPERBUNNIES, a collaboration between comics veteran Stan Lee and sex veteran Hugh Hefner. It concerns a superhero in pajamas who fights crime, with the help of specially trained Playboy bunnies. "This project is going to be a lot of fun," Hefner told Reuters.. "It's going to be more than just an action show. It's going to be very satirical with a lot of cutting-edge aspects to it."

In other media conglomerate news.
The Walt Disney World employee who was acquitted of charges that he fondled a 13-year-old while in a Tigger costume? Suspended again, this time accused of shoving a couple people while dressed as Goofy.

Do they have to be queer?
The Hollywood Reporter tells me that QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY is not doing so well. “Viewership for first-run episodes plummeted during the summer by about 40% versus a year ago in Bravo's target demographic, viewers 25-54, as well as 18-49. Tuesday's new episode drew 804,000 in the latter demographic -- its second-lowest yet.”

Bravo president Laura Zalaznick “is mum on any plans for rejuvenating the series, though there is talk of delaying the next batch of new episodes to build up demand. Zalaznick doesn't see any drastic changes in store for QUEER EYE, but allowed for the possibility of some creative tweaking.

Words to avoid.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Surrender Martha!

Baseball Been Very Good To Me.
When a heckler wouldn’t stop needling Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Doug Brocail about his weight, something broke inside him. He ran screaming towards the stands. His teammate, relief pitcher Frank Francisco, then picked up a folding chair and heaved it at the heckler, clipping him, and hitting his wife on the head, breaking her nose. Francisco was arrested after the game. The heckler, I assume, will not be getting laid tonight.

Vote In Fear.
David Corn, writing for Tom, claims that Kerry’s campaign so far “lacks the psychological punch of Bush’s vote-for-me-or-die argument.”
I suggest that Kerry adopt the “vote-for-me-or-I’ll-kill-you argument.”
Because clearly, fear wins votes.

The Induce Act
This little piece of legislation was introduced last June by Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy. It would hold companies liable if they make products that encourage customers to infringe copyrights.
This would include DVD and CD burner makers, VHS recorder makers, MP3 player makers, computer companies, and real estate agents, for providing the shelter needed for music lovers to download their illegal products.
Hang on, Martha! We’re all going to jail!

Oh Shut Up.
Dan Rather and CBS have “found a new memo that completely vindicates them.”

It Wasn’t Dangling Chad After All!
From the Washington Post:
Florida neurologist Marc Swerdloff was taken aback when one of his patients with advanced dementia voted in the 2000 presidential election. The man thought it was 1942 and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. The patient's wife revealed that she had escorted her husband into the booth.

"I said 'Did he pick?' and she said 'No, I picked for him,' " Swerdloff said. "I felt bad. She essentially voted twice" in the Florida election, which gave George W. Bush a 537-vote victory and the White House.

Unfortunate Words In the Media
Girlie Men

Duck DVD
Will contain scenes containing adult situations, language, and pirate violence.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

“Hey Roy, how about a song?"

What Would Audie Murphy Do?
My wife, bless her heart, came home from Walgreen’s last week with a DVD containing four Roy Rogers westerns. Boy, did that make me happy. Walgreen’s is becoming a treasure trove of cheap entertainment, if you’re a boomer anyway. Old Dragnet episodes. Kinescopes of Martin and Lewis television shows. All for around three bucks.
One of the problems with movies today is a shortage of toothless sidekicks named "Fuzzy."

I Had Singing Cowboys, Kids Today Have Paxil.
A new analysis by the Food and Drug Administration concludes that 2 to 3 per cent of children taking antidepressants had suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Here comes Ivan.
Get out of New Orleans. Now.

The Family
Kitty Kelley is back with another tawdry tome, doing to the Bushes what she did to Sinatra. Camp David coke party. Barbara Bush is “bull dyke tough.” Prescott Bush was a “major league alcoholic.” Spite! Ambition! Spin!

Putin is apparently in the middle of a major power grab so he can combat terrorism. Once terrorism is defeated, I am sure he’ll give that power back. Don’t you?
Our President’s nickname for him, by the way, and he likes to give people nicknames, is “Pootie Poot.” Putin calls Bush, in return, "Big Asshole." Or is that "Fuzzy?"

Alan Keyes’ Game Plan.
Running for Senate in Illinois, Alan Keyes (according to the Chicago Trib) told the state’s top GOP donors that he plans to make “inflammatory” remarks “every day, every week” until the election. I too pledge to do this.

Email of the Day.
"Jesus loves you. Refinance now." Because when the Rapture comes, you won't be able to.

Unfortunate Words in the News, X in a Series

Monday, September 13, 2004

Train I Ride

All Aboard
I went to see my Aged Parents over the weekend. Being car free, I decided to take the train, just to see how stressful I can make my life.

What I’d forgotten is that there is nothing remotely stressful about trains. The ride to my folks, about an hour and a half in duration, was supremely restful. I spent the time in the bar car, of course, drinking coffee, reading the Sunday New York Times, and daydreaming.

People kept approaching the server to tell him how much they loved riding trains. I found myself suddenly thinking that I’d joined a cult. It was a very nice cult, however, a cult of people who like looking out windows, and taking catnaps.

Romance Dead?
Trains have been the subject of countless songs. They are forever taking one’s baby away, taking one away from a horrible situation, delivering one into horrible situations, crashing spectacularly, playing host to hobos, Casey Jones’ ghost, or just churning by as one watches it wistfully.

Airplanes never quite had the same panache. There are a handful of songs about airplanes - “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Early Morning Rain,” “I Wanna Be Sedated” come to mind – but they just can’t compete with “City of New Orleans,” “Mystery Train,” or “Love in Vain.” And plane crashes, unlike train wrecks, do not resonate mythically. Well, they probably do, but we don’t like to think about it.

Communication dead?
And telephones! Songs include “It Must Be Him,” “867 5309,” “Call Me,” “Marie,” etc. In popular culture there was SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, the story, the play, the movie. Shady characters in melodrama are forever silently picking up an extension to eavesdrop on a conversation. The warden calls seconds before the execution. The heavy breather on the line? He’s there! In the house!

Before that there was the telegram. Wiring for help. Wiring to alert the sheriff that a killer was on the train.

Before that there was the message. Romeo got his message too late. Remember? That led to tragedy!

The king blames the messenger, and kills him. The message floats in the bottle, waiting for a sailor to pick it up.

The Pony Express!

Sorry, but e-mail just doesn’t have the same panache. And the wounded dispatcher, riding hell bent for leather to the fort? I can guarantee you he was carrying a message that the Commanches were about to attack, not an offer to increase your penis size.

Win Free
Celebrating her show’s 19th season, Oprah gave each member of her audience a new car. 276 Pontiacs in all. She also gave a 20 year old formerly homeless woman a scholarship, a makeover, and $10,000 worth of clothes. And a family that was about to be evicted from their home was given $130,00 to renovate and repair. I guess I love her, that’s all.

My New Aphorism
Where there’s smoke, there’s someone’s ass up which it is being blown.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Erotique! Internationale!

The Missing Economic Indicator
Dick Cheney, speaking in Cincinatti (where EVERYBODY apparently is, from actors to writers, to Republicans, to Democrats, all shamelessly courting the “swing” vote), said that eBay is not being properly considered in the examination of the modern economy. "That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago," he said. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay."
Also not considered: yard sales, flea markets, and armed robbery.

Holding a Drudge
The Killian memo forgery allegations got Matt Drudge all excited, apparently, because on Friday he put in a link to - what else? - Vince Foster. Apparently, Foster's suicide note was a forgery, and he was really murdered by Bill Clinton. Ditto Ron Brown. You didn’t know this?

Y? Because We Love You.
Michael Eisner will leave Disney in 2006
Tired of cranes? Apparently, erotic origami is a new trend.
Folding pieces of paper to depict various sexual positions doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me, but then again, I’m a lanyard man. Always have been. Always will be.

Got Porn?
An Australian study (according to Pravda) shows that pornography might be beneficial. Professor of psychology Alan McKey took a survey of a thousand-plus internet porn users, and concluded, "It came as a surprise to us that pornography is in actual fact a good thing in many ways. About 90 per cent of pornography users who use it every day said that it produces a very positive effect."
Positive effect. Is that what we're calling it now?

Sex on Brain, I Guess.
Reuters informs me that China's communist leaders, trying to eliminate porn, have ordered severe punishment for anyone offering phone sex services. Maybe the Chinese phone sex operators should move to Australia.

Back to Pravda
“Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili demands Russia should withdraw its troops from an army base from the Black Sea coast. According to the Georgian president, Russian soldiers dry their underwear in the streets, confusing local residents.”
Mikhail Saakashvili said, for the record, "They publicly dry their underwear, and the soldiers of the once-great army are lazing around on armored vehicles. I do not think it is good for Russia.”
Don’t they have laundromats in Georgia?

I Hate To Be a Bother, But Is This Phone Box Occupied?
John Cleese is working on an a new version of Superman, examining how he might have developed if he had grown up in the UK. SUPERMAN: TRUE BRIT will be out in November.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Bush, Whacked.

So I was watching the local news on Sunday. The station had a reporter in the field in Florida to cover the storm. I had difficulty understanding this. I live in San Francisco. Do Floridians really need a swarm of reporters from hither and yon descending upon them? It seems to me that one single reporter, lashed to a palm tree, could provide all the information Americans need.

This reporter was singularly obnoxious as well. She refered to the hurricane as “determined,” “relentless,” and “ruthless.” I know we like to name our hurricanes after people, but that doesn’t make them human. Frances is not Osama Bin Laden. It’s a weather system.

How Goes the War? Oh.
The Associate Press reports that one of Osama’s production assistants, Ayman al-Aawahri told Al-Jazeera, "The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God's help."

People in Glass Houses….
Also from the AP: “…newly unearthed memos state that George W. Bush failed to meet standards of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war, that he refused a direct order and that his superiors were in a state of turmoil over how to evaluate his performance after he was suspended from flying.”

Researcher Paul Lukasiak, on his web site, The AWOL Project, has concluded, after examining all the documents released by the White House that…”Bush did not perform the training that was mandated by law, and which could not be excused by his superior officers….Bush requested and received pay and point credit for which he was ineligible under Air Force policy….”

Further, President Bush’s “attempted transfer to the ‘9921st Air Reserve Squadron’…was an attempt by Bush to fraudulently escape his obligations as a member of the United States Armed Forces,” that “Bush intended to desert the Armed Forces with almost a year of his statutory six year participation requirement unfulfilled,” and that “the Air Force understood that Bush was a deserter, and had taken the steps necessary to deal with someone in Bush’s position who had abandoned their [sic] commitment to the US Government.”

Ouch. Put that in your swift boat, bub.

You can find it all here:

Drudge, Man, You’re Killing My Buzz.
On the other hand, today's Drudge Report reprints an article by Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard claiming that documents cited in this week’s 60 MINUTES, supposedly written by Bush’s commanding officer in the National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Killian, which indicated that Bush had refused or ignored orders to have a physical exam required to continue flying,.are probably forgeries.

On the other hand, when President Bush claimed in his 2003 State of the Union address, that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger, he based the claim on what later turned out to be crudely forged documents. Neocons now say that just because those documents were forged, it doesn’t mean that Saddam DIDN’T try to buy uranium from Niger. So if THESE documents are forgeries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Bush - oh, never mind. I’ll just sit in the corner and try to dredge up the old John Kerry Excitement. Somebody’s got to do it.

In Other News…
Bill Allard and I performed today in a parody of the Swift Boat ads, playing National Guard veterans who served with Bush back in the day. It’s pretty good lowbrow fun, and when the link to the finished product is up, I will direct you thither. And yon.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Boxing Days


The Duck’s Breath sketch, “More Than a Box,’ was once called our mantra by a friend. We have performed it at least a thousand times over the years. It consists of a guy (Jim Turner) becoming more and more excited about the uses to which a box can be put, as the rest of us jump and down, whispering, then yelling “More Than a Box.”

It more than fulfills a basic premise of theatre: if you start softly, then get louder and louder, then stop abruptly, people will like it. Some will even yell “Woo!” at its conclusion.

It’s certainly not a subtle piece. But what is interesting is how many people over the years can’t remember what the bit is called. You’d think that four people screaming the name of the bit, “More Than a Box,” over and over again, would hammer it into an audience’s brain. But I’ve heard it called the “Just Like a Box” bit, “It’s All in the Box,” “Give Me a Box,” and similar variations. It is a mystery.


My wife’s stuff, as I have told you, arrived in July. Ever since, we have been trying to find places to put it. Some of it we have taken out of boxes only to realize that there is no room for it at the inn, and put it back in boxes.

The books are making me sneeze. I love books. But the alarming amounts of them, and the dust accompanying them are wreaking havoc on my sinuses.

Then there’s the landlord’s stuff, which I am placing in the boxes which books have vacated, in preparation for recycling, or a dumpster load.

I feel like I have spent the last month and a half hauling, unpacking, repacking, and sneezing.


Back in my days of employment, “thinking outside the box” was encouraged, kind of. I could never figure out what that meant. I was a writer for a game company. That’s a pretty big box. Was I supposed to take tips from accounting? Was accounting supposed to take tips from me?

And a corporation is itself a box, is it not? If you think too far outside that box, you will find yourself unemployed. I eventually did find myself unemployed but only because the boxes that were the companies that employed me disintegrated.

Marginalia in the Annals of Crime

Earn Money From Home!
Quit your day job, kids. This site tells you how!

My Date With Justice
For a two or three block radius around San Francisco’s Hall of Justice, shabby men wandered, smoking handmade cigarettes, some of them staggering slightly. None of them entered the building. They just surrounded it, like the pawnbrokers and bail bondsmen, perhaps hoping some justice from the building might leak out, and adhere to them.

Back Story
I had been summoned to the Hall of Justice by the District Attorney’s office to give corroborative testimony at a rape trial. What I had to offer wasn’t much. About a year before, around midnight, I had heard an earsplitting scream, and a hoarse shout, “He’s raping me!” Then: breaking glass, and as I grabbed the telephone and looked out the window, a low-slung black car squealed past my house. It may have been a Camaro.

The dispatcher already knew of the incident, giving me an address down the street, and asking me if that was where I’d heard the scream. I said I thought so. Sirens were already approaching as I hung up the phone.

I decided not to go down and see what was going on. All I know about police procedure during a domestic disturbance is what I learned from Fox Television, but I had a pretty strong hunch that the police didn’t really need assistance from a guy in a ratty terry cloth robe.

That was the last I heard of the incident until I was called by an assistant DA, and received my summons in the mail.

It was an unnaturally hot morning as I entered the Hall, and stood in line at the metal detector. There was a young man causing a delay. Dark-haired, sweating profusely in his lumpy black suit, he kept going through the detector, setting it off, removing more objects from his pockets, and going through again. I wondered whether he was a greenhorn lawyer, a witness, or a defendant dressed up for a hearing. I was leaning toward the latter when a man in front of me, with shaved head and mirror shades, got off his cell phone long enough to suggest to the young man that he remove his shoes.

At that, the young man sighed, and hiked up his trousers. What had looked like shoes, with the cuff covering them, were actually knee-high heavy duty black leather boots, laced from toe to top through shiny steel grommets. He sat down, and began the arduous process of unlacing them. Poor guy, I thought. If he’d just worn tassled loafers, like a respectable citizen, he could have avoided this delay.

I always get disoriented in hospitals and bureaucratic bastions, and that day was no exception. After wandering around the third floor for five minutes trying to find an elusive Dept.22 in the sea of threes, I finally gave up, and went directly to the District Attorney’s office, where I talked to a woman over a telephone, even though she was sitting not two feet away from me.

Eventually I was informed that I was on a “telephone standby” basis, and could go home. By this I assumed I would probably not be needed, and that the state’s case was strong.

Busting Out
I made my way out past a middle-aged Latino man sitting on a bench, talking softly on his cell, looking like he was about to burst into tears, past two glammed-up hard-looking women clacking purposefully towards a courtroom door, then downstairs through clusters of lawyers in the lobby, chatting each other up, and talking quickly on their cell phones. I’d never seen so many cell phones in one place in my life.

As I walked over to 6th Street, I passed a young black man, cell-phone free, talking to his friend. I overheard him say, “My counsellor says if I don’t take the class I have to go back to jail next week.” Another portly young man, missing his front teeth, was telling two friends, “He said he’d be over in ten minutes, but that’s the same thing he said the last time he called.”

Along 6th Street, perhaps the seediest street in San Francisco, the little storefront lunch joints had not yet opened for business, and some of them looked like they never would again. In front of a halfway house a black man and Indian woman shared a hand-rolled smoke.

A young Arab-American was removing the plywood from the windows of a corner store, and was about to unlock the front door. Six men and a woman, in various states of decrepitude, stood patiently in line, waiting for their 40s. A little further on, under a gray blanket, a man was sleeping in his shoes.

As I made my way down the steps to the Underground, I heard a sixty-ish black woman shout at her male companion, “What you worried about that for? You ain’t getting’ any.”

Going Home
Then I was free of that zone of missed connections, dashed hopes, and last-minute pleas, on my way back to my own little world of quiet desperation, yes, but one which (for the moment anyway) did not require lawyers.

A half hour later, I was at my stop, then trudging up the hill, past the house where the alleged crime had first occurred. In front of it, someone had written in chalk on the sidewalk, “Ashley had a baby boy,” with the date, and five exclamation marks.

And with that, I was through my front door, and closing it behind. For me, justice was done. Finished. So over.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Try To Remember That Time In September....

Truth in Advertising.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is exactly what the name says. George Boudreaux came up with the stuff to use on diaper rashes. But it can also be used for acne, blisters, poison ivy, etc. Check it out at If your butt needs paste, this is the product for you. And now - this blog!

Kerry’s Daughters
They showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, for no apparent reason, with the Bush Twins. And were booed, for no apparent reason, marring an otherwise tasteful event.

Other W’s.
Wonkette, an inside-the-Beltway gal with her own blog was approached by Playboy last spring, along with the Washingtonienne, an inside-the-Beltway gal with a racier blog (about DC pols she’s bedded, among other things). The Washingtonienne (aka Jessica Cutler) has in fact now been featured naked at (you have to join the site to view the pictures, however).

The photo series is called "Wild in Washington," timed to coincide with the GOP Convention. In the accompanying interview, the Washingtonienne reveals that she is a Republican. She also has a book deal with Hyperion, which is owned by Disney.

So maybe there’s hope for me with this blog thing. I would pose naked for Playboy in a New York minute. And I have dozens of pathetic sex stories, compiled over years of personal experience!

Recording Session
The Ducks are gathering again on Sept. 25, is the plan, to record the DVD commentary.

Because I made a 911 call a year or so ago, I have been subpoenaed to testify at a rape trial tomorrow. This should be interesting. All I heard was a scream at midnight, a window crash, and a car burning rubber up the street. If prosecutors can get a conviction out of that, well, more power to them. Something happened, that’s for sure.

Friday, September 03, 2004

It’s A Long Long Time From May To December.

I learned from the New York Observer's "Off the Record," that the New York Times is merging its various Sunday fashion magazines into one mongo-mag called T. The debut issue declares, apparently, that "buttocks are the new breasts," Dakota Fanning is the "new Gwyneth Paltrow," and Grace Mugabe is the "new Imelda Marcos." What will be Dakota Fanning’s new buttocks, I wonder? And who the hell is Dakota Fanning?

President Clinton is getting heart bypass surgery this weekend, making him a no-show at my barbecue. Again.

Kerry That Weight!
"The vice president called me unfit for office last night. I'm going to leave it to you to decide whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty."

From the UK Guardian: "… only 23 out of 56 young Americans knew the whereabouts of the Pacific Ocean."

How many of them live in California?

Is It Rolling, Bob?
The first volume of Bob Dylan’s memoirs will hit the stores in October.

Air conditioning contractors!

Englishman has dinner!

"Why do bloggers tend to smell bad?"

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Hello God. It’s Me, Merle

New Look
In response to an anonymous complaint – well, here it is, in its entirety: ”Can't read your blog. Light blue letters on black background; worst possible combination. Please redo.” – in response to that rather curt missive (Reading it I thought, “What are you, my Dad? My editor? Are you paying me?”), I have reverted to black on white. I was thinking for a while of doing orange on black, or pink on blue, or make the blog look like one of those Goth web sites from ten years ago, in which all the letters are in flames, and unreadable. But I suppose readability is a thing to be desired, blog-wise.

I’ve been getting some e-mail from folks I haven’t heard from in a while. (You like that “folks” touch? Boy, I sure do. It’s a Paul Harvey thing.)

This is from a fellow I’ll call “Paul,” for that is his name. He relocated to NYC from Minneapolis, and recently moved back. He writes: “while in new york, i wrote a sort-of blog-slash-irregular-column entitled 'how drunk are people in new york’. here is one of my favorite lines from that blog: ‘tile. i counted three times, once through the hands.’"

Here at DBMT blogspot, we can only hope that Paul - for that is his name - has learned that tile only needs to be counted once, really. Write the number down! And then forget about it.

He has offered to fill in for me on this blog, if I’m sick or something. I don’t know why. There’s certainly no money in it. No tile either.

I got another e-mail, from “Oliver,” whose grandfather was Huntz Hall from the Bowery Boys. Isn’t that cool? My grandfather was cool as well, but he never played a juvenile delinquent in the movies while well into his middle age.

Oliver asks, “Can you recommend an analgesic for Weltschmerz, other than booze?”

Well, no. It’s Dick Cheney’s world. We just live in it. Such as we can.

Bush at GOP Convention
His speech is broadcasting as I type. What a goon. Saying that, is it Bush-hating? Or Bush-bashing? What are the penalties, exactly, for these activities?

He sez, “Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them.”

So why did his crowd do everything in its power to dismantle the Iraqi government (such as it was), sending the soldiers home, and shutting down state-owned factories, thus driving disgruntled and unemployed young people into the arms of the “insurgents.” The private sector is supposed to rush into the vacuum of power here, and set up McDonaldses, Targets, and CostCos in the most free market that ever ever was.

The trouble is, corporations are reluctant to set up shop in an area where their CEOs are likely to get blowed up. So the vacuum remains.

Swift Boat
A local (San Francisco) comic is doing a parody of the Swift Boat ads, focusing on President Bush’s war years. Bill Allard and I will portray President Bush’s comrades in combat, for no money, but for a good cause – mocking President Bush. Will keep you informed.

What would Raymond Chandler do?

Vacuous Idiot
If he could just not pronounce “terrorism” as “tearism,” I might cut him a little more slack.

Now he’s comparing the situation in Iraq with Germany after WWII. I may remind the President that Hitler was dead at the conclusion of WWII. Mr. Bin Laden is still at large. Though perhaps we will be surprised in October.

And freedom is a “gift” from “Almighty God.” Other gifts include mortality, illness, and self-doubt. Order now! They’re free!

Bush’s Brain
The President’s nicknames for Karl Rove are “Boy Genius” and “Turd Blossom.”

Liberty Century
“We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom.”

Well, I have a calling from my butt to… oh never mind.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

All the news that shrinks to fit.

September Schmeptember
The rape charges against Kobe Bryant have been dismissed. He’s a basketball player.

Alan Keyes, currently running for the Senate in Illinois, said that Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary is a sinner, because she’s a lesbian. She is also a Republican. Go figure.

On Monday George W. Bush told NBC that he didn’t think the war on terrorism was winnable. On Tuesday he told the annual convention of the American Legion that he was winning the war on terrorism. He’s the President.
Al-Jazeera, the Arab television channel, is giving more air time to the Republican Convention than ABC, CBS, and NBC combined. And Al-Jazeera hates us.

Church, State, Separation Of.
I caught this in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning, from Carolyn Lochhead, of the paper’s Washington Bureau:

“Visitors to the Oval Office often walk in and find the room apparently empty except for seeing the bottoms of two shoes under the president’s desk….”

Don’t worry. He’s praying.

Duck DVD
A reader of this blog from Colorado asks if we plan to “use old footage of shows so we can really get a laugh of what everyone looks like 20 or however many years later.” Yes, that is part of our plan, because watching people get old is always hilarious.

We have a bit we call “Art Show,” in which we (Duck’s Breath) imitate famous paintings. It has been taped many times over the years. Our plan is to dissolve one painting into another in chronological order, creating a powerful metaphor for time and mortality. It may even be a palimpsest, sort of, and definitely will display chiaroscuro. That’s the plan. It will be an extra.

The same person who thinks it would be funny to watch us get old also wonders “…about that old original film you guys were in…”

Well, there are two original films. One was a concert shot in Colorado (which I assume is the one he or she means) many years ago, some of which may in fact pop up on this DVD, again as an extra. The other was our feature film, ZADAR: COW FROM HELL! This was shot in Iowa (um, many years ago) and only found distribution in Russia and Korea (I think). A DVD exists, but only because the director (Bob Hughes) had one made to preserve it. That will not be included on this DVD, though I believe we would love to see it made available at some point in the future.

Hope I’ve answered your questions!

More Duck DVD News!
I spent the morning taping an over-the-end-credits Ian Shoales commentary, as succinct as it is hilarious, involving emus, Harrison Ford, Mormons, No Fly Lists, and Ted Kennedy – all in under two minutes! Wow! It’s worth the price of the DVD just for that, in my opinion. But hey, I’m prejudiced. And old.

Bill Allard also recorded a Mr. Nifty/FBI warning. Nobody messes with Mr. Nifty. Or the FBI.