M00SE DROPPINGS #48 JUNE 13, 1994 AM00sing Anecdotes and Illumination By and For the Pawns
M00SE DROPPINGS #48 - JUNE 13, 1994
A-M00s-ing Anecdotes and Illumination By and For the Pawns of the
_M00se Droppings_ is published on the 13th of each month. Send
submissions and subscription requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All contents copyright the respective authors. More explicit
copyright notice forthcoming, pending consultation with
Pr0phetm00se, our resident expert.
This issue is being mailed to 70 chapters of the M00se Illuminati.
Editor In Chief: Bill Dickson
Assistant/News Editor: Dominic White
Reviews Editor: Gary Olson
IN THIS ISSUE:
New publishing schedule
_M00se Droppings_ back issues available on America Online
_M00se Droppings_ back issues available on the Internet
A report on Authorcon II
Your Astrom00sical Horoscope
Ask The Sage
Tracking the M00sey Age
Let's Go Bowling with Easy Big Fella
Welcome to issue 48 of _M00se Droppings_, the first issue in which
we attempt to adhere to our new publishing schedule and format.
I'm Pickle, and I'll be your editor this evening.
The first thing you'll probably notice is the sudden, complete
shift in format.
No, that's a lie. The first thing you'll probably notice is that
the issue is months overdue.
That's not entirely true either. Although it is months overdue
from the time I had hoped to publish it, it is in fact right on
time for the eventual deadline I set. _M00se Droppings_ will,
from now on, be published once a month on the 13th of that month.
We will stick with the 13th of the correct month, unlike many
other so-called "professional" publications, which publish their
magazines as much as six weeks early, so you get the March issue
in January, thus making you think you've been comatose or
something. That won't happen with ~this~ little newsletter, I
Okay, so the ~second~ thing you'll notice is our new format.
While it may lack some of the ASCII-graphic pizzaz of the old
format, it has certain advantages. I will now attempt to explain
and defend them.
This is a tagged-text format called Setext. It's in use by
several electronic publications out there, most notably by
_TidBITS_, an electronic Macintosh newsletter by Adam Engst.
_TidBITS_ has something in the neighborhood of 100,000 readers,
and Setext seems to be working quite well for it.
The basic idea is that the text contains certain formatting "tags"
that, while relatively unobrusive to those who read the issue in
plain text format, can also be used by a Setext reader to index
and format the text in certain ways to make it more pleasant to
read and easier to search later on. For instance, you'll notice
that "Editorial Notes" above has an underline consisting of
regular hyphens. This looks like an underline to the plain text
reader, but in a Setext reader it marks the words "Editoral Notes"
as a section heading. The reader can then format the text
appropriately -- making it Helvetica Bold 14, for instance -- and
separate the text contained beneath that heading from the text
contained beneath the next heading.
Another example is the word "second" above, which -- if you don't
have a Setext reader, is surrounded by tildes. If you do have a
reader, that word should be in italics.
You might think of Setext as being like HTML for the World Wide
Web, only less powerful, and readable as plain text without making
you go all crosseyed.
Setext was designed as a platform-independent format, but it is
more mature on the Macintosh than under UNIX and Windows. Easy
View for the Macintosh is a fairly complete Setext viewer,
although hypertextual capabilities will not be added until a later
version. Easy View for Windows is brand new, and still
rudimentary, though it looks like the author is going for the look
of the Macintosh version. The UNIX reader, sv, is on version 0.3
and handles nothing but the indexing capabilities. Among other
places, all three can be obtained from the following locations:
Download them and give 'em a shot. I'm afraid those of you on
VMS, CMS, and DOS systems, among others, are out of luck as far as
using a Setext reader, at least for the present. But if somebody
wanted to write one, nobody on the Internet would object! If
you're interested in doing so, I might be able to help you find
the right people to talk to.
The format of _M00se Droppings_ is still under development.
Should each section -- Reviews, Features, etc. -- be a single
large Setext section, with all the contents lumped together? This
makes for a more logical and attractive index in the reader.
Alternatively, we could abandon formal sections entirely, and
simply index each article individually. This is more fluid and,
again, makes for a simple, clean index, but doesn't necessarily
arrange the articles in a convenient manner.
In this issue, I'm trying a compromise between those two. Each
section is a separate Setext section, with its title entirely in
caps. Separate articles within each section are also individual
Setext sections, but their titles are in upper/lowercase. This
may make for a cluttered index, but each article is directly
accessible and listed in the index.
Does this work for you? Would one of the other methods work
better? Your feedback is appreciated.
I'll be preparing an Easy View viewfile for the Macintosh version
of the reader, for anybody who wants one. Just so you know, I
will be doing some formatting with spaces, so anybody using a
reader should make sure they've got the body text style set to use
a monospaced font.
These guidelines are preliminary and subject to change, but I've
got to get ~something~ out there! So here goes:
The following are general guidelines, for submission directly to
the editor. Reviews and News submissions should be sent to
Svedishm00se and Ickym00se directly, and they may override these
guidelines (though these guidelines do apply to the final files
they send me :). Submission deadline is the 11th of the month.
Articles may be submitted in MS Word (Mac or Windows), Nisus
(Mac), or ASCII format. Please do not indent paragraphs; instead,
separate them with two carriage returns. Also, if sending a file
in a format that permits it, do not break your lines -- I'll just
have to unwrap them when I assemble the file in Nisus so the
Setext formatting macro will work properly. This is a change from
the original guidelines, and I realize that those of you sending
me files via email don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter.
We would prefer original material where possible. All the m00sey
stuff you're familiar with is welcome, as is short fiction,
poetry, commentary, etc. I can't promise you we'll include it,
but if you think the readers of _M00se Droppings_ would enjoy it,
give it a shot!
Copyright issues are still to be hashed out, as I simply don't
know enough about it. My intention is to make _M00se Droppings_
as a whole freely distributable via electronic channels, paper
printouts, transcriptions onto napkins, public readings, and
transmission by smoke signal, but to leave individual articles
otherwise in their authors' control. In other words, if you
submit something, you agree that you'll never insist I locate
every copy of _M00se Droppings_ in existance and edit it out, and
you'll never try to make me stop distributing the issue. But if
somebody wants to reprint or excerpt your article, they've got to
ask you for permission. I'll buy Pr0phetm00se a beer if he helps
me hash something like that out.
These guidelines, when formalized, will be available on request
from me and the other editors, and should include variations for
their sections as well.
In this issue, you'll find a couple of special features: a report
on Authorcon II, the gathering of the writers from Superguy
Digest, and Your Absolutely Accurate Astrom00sical Horoscope, by
Pr0phetm00se. If Pr0phetm00se is willing, it might be fun to make
the horoscope a regular feature.
Also, for those of you familiar with the most m00sey and
worthwhile Superguy Digest, a shared-world serialized-fiction
often-humorous superhero writing forum, I'm considering a very
brief monthly review of the highlights of recent stories. Sort of
like the soap opera recaps you see in magazines that live near
cashiers. It could be fun for Superguy readers, and for those of
you who don't read Superguy yet, it would give you a little bit of
insight into what it's all about. What do you think of these
ideas? Let me know.
Incidentally, if you do want to subscribe to Superguy, send mail
Your message should contain only the words:
subscribe superguy Your Name Here
(Obviously, "Your Name Here" should be replaced with your name. I
realize you're all smart enough to know that, but some among you
might just have tried it anyway just so you could protest to me
that it didn't work :).
So enough of my babbling. Let's get on with the issue!
Little turds of information for your enjoyment and edification.
_M00se Droppings archived on America Online_
The long-silent GypsyLynx here with a news flash. Some of you may
have thought that I dropped off the face of the earth after my
wedding almost 4 years ago, but I just went into hiding long
enough to hatch a new, nefarious m00se-c0up!
M00ses have invaded America Online! Some of us are even in minor
positions of power...and swaying more to our cause all the time!!
The entirety of M00se Droppings are not only available for
downloading from AOL, but the charter, background and information
files are as well. They even got a billing on a "What's New"
button on AOL. Since m00ses are known to be a bit secretive at
times, actual numbers of converts are unknown, but hopefully
growing. Bl00p! Fnord.
_M00se Droppings available on the Internet, too_
Stanton McCandlish is now archiving M00se Droppings at:
This is the Computer underground Digest E-Zine Archive, and it is
mirrored far and wide.
This issue, we have a report on the monumentous Authorcon II, by
Reviews Editor and Superguy Author Svedishm00se, and a special
column on your astrom00sical horoscope by -- who else? --
or, Thr0ng-a-thon in the Capitol of the State with a Lower Peninsula
Shaped like a Big Mitten
Portrayed to you, the reader at home, by Svedishm00se, in third
May 19th, 1994 opened quietly, as most mornings do. The air was
still in anticipation of the bizarrely m00sey things that were
about to happen that day. The very fabric of reality was prepared
to let out an all-encompassing 'bl00p!'
Unfortunately, the cosmic universe was a day early. Authorcon II
didn't start until Friday, the 20th. Svedishm00se, in his
civilian disguise as Gary W. Olson, working drone, went to his
place of gainful employment and continued his usual covert
subversion of the established order. Night fell.
May 20th, 1994 opened quietly, just like the previous morning.
The air was a bit more wary this time around, but after some
assurances that it had indeed gotten the day right, things
brightened up, and Michigan got its first truly bright and sunny
day of the year.
What was to occur this day was the beginning of a very special,
very m00sey Thr0ng-a-Th0n known as Authorcon II. It was called
this because the five m00ses who were converging on Svedishm00se's
apartment in East Lansing were authors on the famed and extremely
m00sey LISTSERV group known as Superguy, which regularly exported
high-quality humor- laden superheroic and sci-fi epics to many
Internet and BITNET readers. One such convergence occured a year
ago, in Syracuse, at Alacrity's residence. Hence the 'II' that
comes after 'Authorcon.' (It is complete coincidence that 'II'
looks like 11.) (Really.)
The first m00se to arrive was Robotech_M00se, by the bizarrely
omen-ridden Amtrak method. Svedishm00se greeted Robotech_M00se at
the train station and brought him back to his apartment.
Robotech_M00se, having brought more anime than could probably be
found in the entire country of Zimbabwe, proceeded to show a
delightful (and, yes, even m00sey) anime, 'Tenchi Muyou,' which
Svedishm00se enjoyed a lot. By a startling coincidence, the show
finished just as the rest of the m00ses arrived.
Sabre the Pr0phetm00se, Alacrity, CityM00se, and Austerem00se
arrived in Sabre's car, Rubicon. Svedishm00se emerged to greet
them, and scored the first victory of the weekend when he whipped
out his Nerf Missilestorm and shot Sabre with Nerf before Sabre
could retrieve his Nerf weapons from the trunk. A Nerf battle
erupted right then and there in the parking lot, causing much
confusion, but no damage whatsoever. (Please review the reviews of
Nerf weapons in the previous M00se Dr0ppings, in case you are
unfamiliar with why Nerf is the ultimate M00se weapon.)
The M00ses, the Nerf, and the battle migrated inside to
Svedishm00se's apartment, where old acquaintances were renewed,
and everyone met Robotech_M00se (the only one who had not been at
Authorcon I, not having been a Superguy Author or a M00se at the
time). Bass Ale and Pub Draught Guinness (in cans) awaited the
m00ses who liked to consume such, and much consumption was
accomplished. Being as it was already evening, and most of the
m00ses were tired from many hours of travel, we decided not to go
out, and instead watched an episode of PBS' "Jeeves and Wooster,"
which was extraordinarily funny, and the Mystery Science Theater
3000 presentation of "Mitchell."
Now, Svedishm00se is well aware that many m00ses out there enjoy
Mystery Science Theater 3000, and realize that any episode is
virtually guaranteed to be a m00sey experience. But very few
MST3K episodes can stay lingering in the corners of the human
mind, days, weeks, even months after viewing, like "Mitchell" can.
Both Sabre and Svedishm00se can publically attest that "Mitchell"
has changed their lives, though not for the better.
"Mitchell," the title character, played by Joe Don Baker, is the
Jungian archtype of The Slob. The one who slouches. The one who
drinks Schlitz and likes it. The one who sleeps with hookers,
then busts them. The one who wears extremely tacky jackets, and
has exposed the comedic potential of zero tolerance. The one with
the 70's "wotchitika-wotchitika" theme music playing in the
background as he goes on extremely slow car chases.
By the time the movie was over, fully a third of the m00ses
present were asleep, and the rest wished they were, as it would
have spared them from the deep hurting that is "Mitchell." And
so, the first day of Authorcon II drew to a close.
The next day, Saturday, was even brighter and hotter than Friday,
and the m00ses that were sprawled on Svedishm00se's furniture and
floor awoke gradually, as m00ses are wont to do. Saturday Morning
cartoons were started, then quickly abandoned, in favor of one of
Svedishm00se's 'Animaniacs' tapes. The Animaniacs feature 'Pinky
and the Brain' won particular favor as being very m00sey and
Superguyish. By 10 a.m, the m00ses were ready to venture out into
the world and engage in the eternal struggle for breakfast.
The struggle took them to downtown East Lansing, where
Svedishm00se parked his car in a local parking ramp, and the
m00ses got out, locking the doors and shutting them. It was then
discovered that Svedishm00se had forgotten to remove his keys from
the car and did not have his spare key on him. Furthermore, the
engine was running. Thirty dollars later, a passing wrecker
driver unlocked the car, and Svedishm00se retrieved his keys. The
struggle for breakfast could then proceed, and proceed it did, in
a shop called 'Bagel Fragel,' where the hearty m00ses subdued
bagels, croissants, and cappucino.
Saturday, as it happened, was the first of two days that the East
Lansing Arts Festival was being held, in downtown East Lansing
(naturally). Much interesting art was on display, in addition to
wares from the downtown shops, and much time was spent wandering
around, looking at the art and wares and attempting to locate
Austerem00se and Alacrity when they now and again wandered away.
The m00ses thr0nged through three comic shops, a bead shop, a CD
shop with many rare and alternative CDs, and several other shops,
purchasing as they went. Sabre, Robotech_M00se, and Alacrity
managed to subvert Austerem00se into buying some "Magic: the
Gathering" cards, while CityM00se and Svedishm00se stayed clear of
them. Around 2 p.m, several m00ses expressed a desire for food,
But there was one more shop to visit, before either could be had.
The m00ses descended upon a rare book shop that turned out to have
some incredible items in stock, including a large number of 1930's
Astounding Stories, as well as Amazing Stories and Doc Savage.
Alacrity and Sabre, in particular, were extremely happy to find
these, and were extremely sad when it came time to leave. Both
expressed a desire to return when their individual financial
pictures were brighter, so that they could purchase some of these
Lunch was had at 3 p.m. at a very cool establishment, the Small
Planet. Guiness and Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout was consumed by
some of the m00ses, others had tea, coffee, or water, while
examining their purchases and waiting for their food, which turned
out to be delicious. The m00ses, sunned, fed, quenched and tired,
proceeded to return to Svedishm00se's abode.
After communal Star Trek watching was finished, phone calls
dominated the next two to three hours, as other Superguy authors
such as Rob Furr, Lawrence Brown, and Mike Escutia were spoken
with. Per Authorcon rules, they were informed by each m00se at
Authorcon that they sucked (which, by definition, all Superguy
Authors not at Authorcon did), and they seemed to take this news
in stride. More Authors were talked to via IRC, including Gadge,
M00son Kramer (both m00ses), Greg Fishbone, and (again) Rob Furr.
Alacrity made a very tasty pasta dish for dinner, a couple
Blackadder II episodes were witnessed, and a portion of MST3K's
"The Brain that Wouldn't Die" (referred to by the m00ses present
as "Neck Juice") was watched. Svedishm00se stopped the tape when
it became apparant that all the m00ses, save himself and
CityM00se, had fallen asleep. It was probably only coincidence
that it was 3 a.m.
The following morning, the official joint e-mail message to other
Superguy authors was made, with all six m00ses including their
individual insights into the amazing weekend. It was in this
message that the official M00se unit of measurement for how much
something or someone sucked, "the mitchell," was introduced.
Pickle and Icky-M00se called from Seattle, and the mitchell count
they radiated was off the scale. Perversely, they claimed that
since they were in Seattle, they were inherently incapable of
sucking, but were unable to deny the reports of Schlitz drinking
in the Seattle region.
Alacrity, Austerem00se, CityM00se, and Sabre finished packing, and
loaded up Rubicon with their Nerf, their Magic: the Gathering
cards, their books, and other assorted stuff. Before departing
for Syracuse, New York (and, via Syracuse, their own respective
destinations), they brunched with Svedishm00se and Robotech_M00se
at the local "Denny's," and proclaimed their traditional chant,
while holding forth the onion rings that Sabre had ordered:
"Onion Ring to Rule Them All
Onion Ring to Find Them!
Onion Ring to Bring Them All
And in the Darkness Bind Them!"
The onion rings were then consumed, and Authorcon II had drawn to
a close. Sabre and the m00ses accompanying him left towards the
destination mentioned in the previous paragraph, while
Svedishm00se and Robotech_M00se returned to Svedism00se's hovel.
Later that day, one of Robotech_M00se's friends from Detroit
visited, and more anime videos were watched, including the
allegedly amusing "Robotech III: Not Necessarily the Sentinels,"
and the truly hilarious "Urusei Yatsura" tv series. The following
day, Robotech_M00se departed via Amtrak, on a circuitious route
back to Missouri.
There are more stories to tell, of course. Authorcon 2.02 was
held in Ithaca, where ManlyM00se, another Superguy author, was
absolved from sucking, following a visit from Sabre and
Austerem00se. ManlyM00se noticed, quite astutely, that
Austerem00se resembled many of the popular artistic renditions of
Jesus, which seemed appropriate, giving how many times
Austerem00se had died and been resurrected on the Superguy list.
Mike Escutia was later visited in Authorcon 2.03, though it is not
known if he made a similarly insightful comment.
But these stories, if ever told, will have to be told by the
participants. Authorcon II was, all told, massively m00sey fun,
and (dropping out of the third person) I had a blast. Plus, I
don't suck for another year. Who can ask for anything more?
Your Astrom00sical Horoscope
by Pr0phetm00se (email@example.com)
_Aquarius_: Plan ahead for an exciting trip. Pack extra socks,
and carry a carton of generic cigarettes. At the arraignment,
plead no contest. Rethink your attitudes towards prison reform.
Do not accept the free legal aid.
_Gemini_: You're completely invulnerable! Walk into traffic!
Break up gang fights! Loudly criticize live rap music concerts!
Buy two lottery tickets! Remember, you can't really be hurt --
you're invulnerable! When the stitches come out, do not tell the
Doctor or Nurses about your invulnerability. If you don't have
health insurance, ignore this Horoscope.
_Capricorn_: The whisperings and strange paranoia you have been
feeling of late are real and true. Your co-workers are following
your every move with their beady little eyes. If they get any
part of you, they will be able to clone and replace you. Save all
your waste products. Do not trust rest-rooms. Carry it with you
in plastic bags. It's safer that way.
_Virgo_: Expect adventures of romance and excitement. A new
significant other of charm, sophistication and beauty is right
around the corner. Love will appear when you least expect it, so
be prepared at all times. Dress in your best clothing. Never wear
underwear -- or if you must, make it exciting. Change your hair
color and style. Wear colored contact lenses. Proposition every
stranger you meet. Accept any proposition you're given. Soul
kiss on the first date. Name the child Nermal.
_Pisces_: Your dead-end career can't possibly keep a go-getter
like you down for long! Quit! Trash the office on your last day!
Steal office supplies! Steal the money from your co-workers'
desks! March into an Insurance Company and demand employment!
Remember -- confidence pays off! If someone rejects you, slap
them and move on!
_Ares_: You are being stalked by someone born under the sign
Scorpio. Take no chances -- one of those bastards is a killer!
Arm yourself for war -- this is survival of the fittest. Ask
everyone you meet what their sign is. If they're Scorpios, kill
them. If they say they're something else, they might be lying.
Kill them anyway. If they say a silly joke answer (like that
woman from the Zima Commercials who says "Ztop") then they are
mocking you. Knife them.
_Taurus_: You're about due for your scheduled maintenance checks,
so make an appointment now. Check your oil level, and consider
replacing the points and plugs now. Avoid Lincoln Continentals.
Big things might be ahead, so always look your best -- get a good
wax job, take care of those scratches, and remember, Genuine Ford
Parts can't be beat.
_Anvil_: If you were born on the fifth of Anvil, you are the true
born Monarch of United Europe -- an estate worth billions.
_Scorpio_: This is a good month to get out of investments. Sell
short, if you have to. The hell with the Margin call. Just get
out. If you own things -- cars, stocks, houses, microwaves --
give them all away and get receipts. Clothes too. Quit your job.
Go on food stamps. Call the I.R.S. and ask them if you could be
audited -- you want to be sure they suspect nothing. Oh -- and
this might be a good time to avoid Areses. Trust me.
_Sagittarius_: Your warm friendship and reliability have made you
many friends. They will spend a lot of time with you. They will
drink all your beer and eat the food you need to live on. You
will be known as "The Easy Mark' by all those around you.
Remember, sharing what you have is a wonderful feeling. See how
long you can eat those wonderful feelings to survive.
_Cancer_: Look, I won't lie to you. This is going to be
something of a bad patch. Oh, it might seem all right, but your
co-workers and friends are whispering about the rumors. Just
steel yourself. When the axe falls, try to take it well. If you
are in a relationship, try not to kid yourself. Remember, you're
just marking time. There are other fish in the sea. It's best to
project a feeling of resignation, so that people will just get it
over with and you can all try to move on.
_Leo_: Call Mort. He says you never call, Leo. Hey, I know
Mort, and if Mort says you never call than you had better believe
you never call. Look, I don't care what you say, Leo, Mort
deserves a little friendship too. What kind of busy life do you
have, Mister Man? What, you can't even call your friends once in
a while? I don't know why I bother with you, Leo....
_Libra_: Stop. Wait just a second. Before I tell you what your
Horoscope is, you're going to have to tell me just what a Libra
is, anyway. I mean, Taurus the Bull, Capricorn the Goat, Aquarius
the Pot Smoking Deadhead, all those we can see. But what the Hell
is a Libra? Would you know one on the street? How? Are they a
protected species? If you can't tell me than you don't deserve a
Horoscope. And if you think you know, you're either wrong or
you're lying, so the Hell with it.
_If you were born today_: You're doing very well to be reading
already! Congratulations. I foresee a lot of vomit and poop, but
none of that niggling Otitis Media. Good for you! Around four in
the morning, attention will be scarce unless you let your needs be
known. Avoid dogs.
_Special Guest Horoscope_ -- Cats! (all signs): You have a busy
schedule ahead, so you'd better catch naps where you can. The
furniture's getting on the old side anyhow, so don't worry about
whatever happens to it. You won't know what will happen if you
poop on the carpet if you don't try! Remember -- humans are
supposed to wake up at five fifteen a.m. Don't let them oversleep
-- they might give you two servings of dinner if you help them get
up! Avoid the milk -- it's past due.
Returning again are Superguy Digest's The Sage with his omniscient
advice, and Pr0phetm00se's report on the progression of the M00sey
Feel free to send in your questions for The Sage, care of
Ask The Sage
The Only Advice Column You'll Ever Need, If You've Got $10 on You
by Superguy Digest's The Sage
Hello! I am still the Sage! As everyone who read the previous
issue will remember (except for Gladys H. in Tupelo, who, due to
inhaling exhaust fumes before reading the issue, believed she was
communicating with Ted Cassidy), I know everything, without
It was reported last time that the editors of this fine electronic
newsletter were in negotiations with me for a contract that will
make my traditional $10 charge for answers to any question
unnecessary. I am pleased to report that we indeed have arrived
at a contract!
Actually, we won't arrive at agreement for three years. But, as I
have already said, I know everything, and that includes certain
embarassing scandals featuring the editors that will eventually
compel them to knuckle under to my demands: $10 per question, two
six packs of Pabst a week, and two tickets to the Broadway musical
adaptation of _Final Exit_. Furthermore, I know that the charges
will be backdated to now, so I will go ahead and dispense with
requesting $10 per question from the readers now!
And now, on with the questions!
I read your answer to my question on whether I should ask my
current girlfriend to marry me. You said I'd be hit by a bus
within a week. Well, I asked her, she said yes, and several
months have gone by without incident. How do you explain ~that~,
Not-so-nervous in New Mexico
You are quite mistaken, my boy! You did indeed get hit by a bus
one week after proposing to your girlfriend. In fact, only 5.23
seconds have passed in real time from the moment of impact. Your
brain has already flashed your entire life to date before your
eyes, and is currently in the process of making up more of it.
Everything, even this answer, is a delusion of your concussed, and
soon to be very dead, mind.
My wife and I just don't enjoy sex like we used to. I've heard
that sexual aids are often helpful in bringing that "spark" back
to a relationship. What do you recommend?
Emasculated in Ebington
In your case, an air pump and some duct tape to patch the rip.
What scandals, exactly, are you talking about, in reference to the
M00se Droppings editors? I ask merely for information.
Frank O. in Ithaca
Due to the contract that I will sign, I cannot divulge which
editor was involved in which scandal. However, I can say that one
editor has been having a hot, steamy love affair with Martha the
denture lady, while another likes to take bubble baths in "Zima,"
the clear alcoholic beverage that was once marketed under the name
That's all the time I have for this issue! This is the Sage,
Tracking the M00sey Age
Prophecy McNuggets for your Illumination
by Sabre the Pr0phetm00se
Well, the seasons turn and change, winter fades into summer,
through that unplanned, horrifically chaotic time called spring,
the winter olympics have come and gone, former President Nixon has
died, Rosanne and Tom have divorced and remarried, Arsenio Hall is
off the air, and Madonna has been barred for life from the Late
Show with David Letterman.
All in all, I would say the M00sey Age is coming along quite well.
Here are a few other items which reaffirm my basic faith in my
_The Women's Figure Skating Competition at the Winter Olympics_:
I know, you thought you were rid of this rubbish. Hey -- it's the
first column I've written since January. Sue me. I'll try to
make it brief.
After the hoopla and torment of months, we finally got to this
event. Tonya Harding finished a respectable eighth, after having
the first known Figure Skating restart due to a flat tire. She
then left, plea-bargained to stay out of jail, was barred from
Figure Skating competition forever, and received an offer for a
two million dollar contract with a Japanese Women's wrestling
promotion. I am not making this up. Nancy Kerrigan -- the
sentimental favorite because she had been injured several months
beforehand, took second after an orphaned girl who had been hurt
the day before and had to skate on pain-killers, but managed to
smile and play to the crowd like a champ (not that I'm drawing
comparisons). In disappointment, Nancy went home to her multi-
million dollar corporate sponsor, whom she proceeded to badmouth
in front of a crowd of thousands.
Sometimes the Gods are kind.
_Howard Stern_: After being nominated (legitimately, I might add)
by the Libertarian Party as their candidate for Governor of New
York State, Howard Stern has discovered something he didn't count
on. You see, Howard swears he is a serious candidate. And he has
a legitimate nomination, which makes him one. Howard also has a
radio show which is on for four hours a day.
However, as a serious candidate for Governor of New York, Howard
Stern cannot be given a media advantage over his opponents --
Mario Cuomo, the incumbent democrat, and Nameless Loser, the
Republican. If Howard gets four hours of air time, then the
Station he broadcasts on must give the Democrats and Republicans
four hours ~each~. The FCC has ruled that this is so, in Howard's
Which means Howard can withdraw... or Howard loses his radio show.
If only we could get Rush Limbaugh in as the Republican loser....
The fallout from the Stern nomination is surprisingly positive for
most everyone, except the Republicans, of course. Howard Stern
himself is getting a lot of attention, and this time he doesn't
have to pay for it. The Libertarians -- assuming they can ever
live this down -- are going to make out like bandits. You see, in
New York State any party that gets fifty thousand votes gets their
party on the ~permanent~ ballot. They never again have to
petition to keep their name in the running. As of this writing,
Stern is running about 20% in the polls -- not bad, in a three-way
race. Mario Cuomo can't complain, since this is going to reelect
him. You see, Howard is running on a three issue platform (none
of which I am going to venture an opinion on):
1) Reinstate new York's death penalty.
2) Stagger who pays tolls at toll booths.
3) Make all highway construction crews work only at night.
He has sworn that once those three issues are resolved, he will
step back and let his Lieutenant Governor run the show (a campaign
promise that heretofore is unique). The Republicans have the
death penalty as part of their platform as well. Thus, the death
penalty vote is split, the anti-Cuomo Protest Vote is split,
weighted towards Stern, and the Republicans would have to set off
a bomb in Albany to get any sort of media attention.
I wonder if Ross "Sparky" Perot is taking notes. Assuming, that
is, that he isn't in conference with the Space Aliens or
distracted by shiny things.
_The Weather_: After the harshest winter in recorded history -- a
winter so bad entire states were shut down due to cold -- Spring
has come in with a full-fledged unseasonable heat wave. People
are fleeing the sun and praying for rain and snow. The M00siness
of this couldn't be exaggerated.
_The Republicans_: For all their cagy behavior, for all their
careful, angry rhetoric, the Republicans are flubbing their shot
at the Presidency badly. Folks, it's 1994. The next election is
in 1996. The Republicans are dragging out every possible scandal
they can against the President. It is as if they expect ~anyone~
to remember a thing about Whitewater or any other Scandal when
Election time rolls around.
Folks -- the American people elected George Bush after
Iran/Contra. Whitewater is ~nothing~ in comparison.
It's far far better to wait a while -- gather evidence and hold
off on the scandal, and then launch the attack during campaign
season. This is assuming the Republicans aren't going for that
knockout 'impeachment' punch.
I could sort of live with that, if they were. Al Gore has at
least proven he can write a book, which lends credence to the
theory that he has also read one. It's a lot to expect, I
realize, but since Tipper won't let Al listen to music albums,
they don't have very much else to do around the Vice President's
house (The Taupe House, I believe it's called).
Despite my admitted hatred of the Republican party (not so much
because of a difference in my and their political beliefs as the
unshakable perception that they are all a pack of rat bastards), I
will confess a growing excitement over the 1995-6 Republican
Campaign. You see, all indications are that the two front-runners
for the Republican nomination will be Bob Dole and Dan Quayle.
Bob Dole may be the meanest human being alive.
Dan Quayle may be the most...disconnected human being alive.
Admit it, it's a little like watching a primary race between
George bush and Ronald Reagan.
But enough, you say. Where is the prophecy!? I am, after all,
proported to be a prophet. Anyone could claim that the events of
today bear out his (unstated) prophecies. Let's here something
Well, to those who are indeed saying that (or something similar to
it), I would remind them how much money I am being paid for this
-- i.e., nothing. Not a sausage. Therefore, I'm not feeling very
inclined to respond to public opinion. But still, I might as well
give you some glimmer of prophecy, to get you going.
Envision if you will a field. A field with green grass. Natural
looking green grass, no less. Not astroturf. Envision thicker
grass right in the center of it -- fuller and more lively grass.
That is where the septic tank is located.
On this field shall a ball slowly roll. And on this ball shall
there be spittle. This spittle shall not be Spittle of king or
peasant. No, for it shall be the spittle of the Labrador, and it
will be sickening.
And a young girl shall pick this ball up, and of her face there
shall be great contortions. And she shall drop the ball, despite
the labrador, and his disappointment.
And shall the dog leap onto the girl, and knock her over. And
shall a stranger -- a good man, and true -- come forth and pull
the dog off, and have the speaking of the dog thusly.
--You shall not do such again!
And shall the girl rise and hug the man, and shall he hug her
back. And shall the girl's teacher be passing and see this, and so
shall the teacher draw forth the black cylinder. And so, shall
the good stranger be maced.
On that day, shall an out of work writer whom we shall call Bob
get an idea for a screenplay. And lo, shall the screenplay be
called "A Generous Hand of Searing Pain," and so also shall the
movie bear the legend of truth, of which the story was based.
And this movie shall air amid much advertising. And shall Connie
Selleca play the teacher also, and the Girl shall be black. And
the kind man shall at the movies end rip Connie's blouse off, but
the Dog shall kill him.
And on that day, when such mindless drivel is inflicted upon the
cable, shall you mis-set your V.C.R., and shall you record it
instead of that program you have looked forward to for decades.
Make ~me~ prophesize, will you....
Edited by Svedishm00se
Hail and well bl00ped, fellow m00ses! It's been a while since the
last issue of M00se Dr0ppings, so let me go over some Reviews
All reviews for future editions of M00se Droppings should be sent
to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
Review anything you like - films, fanzines, deodorants, religions,
and so on. You are encouraged to invent your own rating system -
the more inconsistent this section is, the m00sier it is. If you
are able to send your review formatted to 72 columns, please do.
If not, don't worry about it - this isn't rocket science, you
know. Pickle's deadline for submissions is the 11th of each
month, so reviews should be in to me no later than the 9th.
This month, we have a review of the Stimpy pillow by Chris
Schneider and a review of the performance of two ska bands, Easy
Big Fella and Let's Go Bowling, by Pickle. Bl00p!
The Stimpy Pillow
Reviewed by Christoper L. Schneider
Item: Stimpy stuffed throw pillow/all around soft bop-bag
Price: About $20
Purchased from: Spenser's Gifts
All in all, this pillow kicks m00se! It has a truly sturdy
construction that has withstood the various Ren & Stimpy torture
tests I tried with flying colors. When I first spied the 2 foot
diameter rendition of the world's dumbest cat, I was impressed by
the accuracy of this rendition. It doesn't just look good, it
held up under all the repeated elbow drops, knee smashes, and head
butts a pro-wrestling buff like me can dish out. No matter what
the punishment, it maintained the trademark stupid looks of
I was most impressed, however, by the spatial relationships of the
pillow. When placed over my chest, I was able to torment my
sister by squeezing the Stimpy eyes like breasts and still have
the stuffed cat's nose in a position to grab in true Michael
Jackson fashion. This eventually proved too much for my dear
sibling, but her husband got quite a kick out of the display.
All in all, this Stimpy pillow gets a 645 out of 714 on the M00se
Scale. The only thing it lacked was the little rubber bladder
from the "Rude Toot" plush Stimpy. I can't wait to get the Ren
pillow to decorate the other end of my couch!
Let's Go Bowling with Easy Big Fella
A Ska Review by Pickle
Item: A ska concert, headlining Let's Go Bowling (Fresno)
Opening act Easy Big Fella (Seattle)
Price: Music free (see below)
Beer and tequila ~$40 for two
Purchased from: The Ballard Firehouse
5429 Russell Avenue NW
I was first introduced to ska in Hartford, CT of all places, at
Trinity College. The school was having a skafest, with three
bands and all you could eat and drink (bad food, bad beer) for $3.
It was a hard deal to pass up, so I went with some other people,
and was instantly taken with the experience.
Ska, for those of you who haven't experienced it, is described in
many ways. Those who try to get technical talk about it in flower
terms, going back to its roots in Jamaica and discussing various
influencial English bands.
My roommate describes it as "reggae with a pulse."
My friend Mike once described it as "like reggae, but not boring
as all fucking Hell(tm)."
I'm a bit more charitable to its influences. I say its kind of
like young people who would otherwise be playing punk, playing
reggae at 2 to 3 times normal speed.
There's more to it than that, of course. These are woefully
inadequate explanations. But when you hear it, you find yourself
too busy dancing to analyze it much.
Its extremely fun, loud, and fast, filled with horns and organs
bouncing on the offbeat, totally danceable, completely moshable,
and the shows are always very friendly both on stage and on the
The band that won me over for good that night was Bim Skala Bim, a
Boston-area band that, sadly, never gets as far west as Seattle.
I caught them twice more after that, once in Ithaca and once in
In Seattle, I needed a substitute. That substitute is opening act
Easy Big Fella.
I've now seen Easy Big Fella four times, and intend to catch them
at every opportunity from now on. They're an opening band,
usually starting for the Tiny Hat Orchestra, another local ska
band. They consistently outdo the bands they open for; though
newer and less polished, they have an enormous amount of energy
and life to them, and they feed off the audience's energy like no
band I've ever seen. You dance harder, they play harder.
Their repertoire isn't extensive yet, though they have more than
enough songs for a set so you get some variation from show to
show. Some consistent favorites include "Sleep Together" (I am
the ocean and you are the river/Time to go into you now) and "Talk
About It" (usually their closer, in which the tempo begins
moderately fast and the band then attempts to kill you by cranking
it up a notch every few bars). And the highlight of the evening
is the Skinny Guy's German accordion piece. He plays and sings
like a madman in a semi-traditional style while the band backs him
up with hardcore ska. The audience, meanwhile, attempts to
simulate some sort of mutant dance step that is supposed to be
German or Polish or something (nobody really cares if anybody gets
it right), and at exactly the right time in each verse, everybody
throws up a hand and shouts, "HEY!"
The Skinny Guy is the band's sex symbol. You know how there's
always some guy in the band who has to take of his shirt and dance
around for the benefit of anybody who wants to see something like
that? That's him. He's skinny as a rail, and plays a mean
trumpet and accordion.
The band is friendly, hanging out before and after the show, and
chatting with you when they can.
To be honest, I never expect to stay for the main act when I go to
see Easy Big Fella. It just isn't impressive; it's always a bit
of a disappointment.
Not this time.
I first heard of Let's Go Bowling when I was attracted by their
name in an Ithaca record shop. Their first and only album, from
1991, is "Music to Bowl By." I almost bought it, but I had no
idea they were ska.
They most certainly are, and are possibly the best I've ever
heard -- rivalling Bim Skala Bim. Their energy picked everybody up
off their feet after an hour of solid dancing to Easy Big Fella and
kept them going until 1:30 or so, nonstop. They have the skill
and tightness of the Tiny Hat Orchestra (at least) with the energy
of Easy Big Fella's best nights. There is nothing to say about
their ska except that it's just about as good as it gets.
However, they deviate from ska here and there, to good effect,
throwing the audience onto another track for a few minutes and
then pulling them back. "Pin Stripe Suit" and "Take a Walk" have
an almost big-band feel to them, with the former bringing to mind
nothing so much as "Mack the Knife" in terms of being an
infectious melody about a killer. And "Hare Tonic" is a ska-ish
adaptation of the Warner Brothers' "Rabbit of Seville" music from
the Bugs Bunny short "Hare Tonic." (The music was originally
composed by Rossini, of course, making it all a rather tangled
I could probably go on for a very long time, but I won't. Suffice
it to say that it was a superb show by two superb bands. And the
venue isn't at all bad, either -- it's a very unreserved crowd,
not self-conscious, and quite friendly (except for the guy who got
drunk and challenged another guy to a fight outside, but the guy
he challenged was friendly enough).
The price of admission was nothing, because last time I went, I
spent $12 instead of $8 and got a free pass to every under-$15
show for the next four months. Not a bad deal. However, the beer
is very expensive at $4 a pint for the good stuff. Practically
obscene, given that the beer in question is brewed and kegged a
mere mile and a half from the Firehouse. And I don't know what
Ickym00se paid for the tequila shots he bought (one apiece), but
it was too much.
Still, after a show like that, you don't really feel too bad if
your wallet is a bit lighter when you leave.
I give the overall experience 5.5 pounds of dark extract, 2 oz. of
Fuggles (boiling), and 1/2 oz. of Cascade (finishing). Any m00se
who visits Seattle will, if at all possible, be taken to see Easy
And, if we get lucky, maybe Let's Go Bowling will be in town as
William R. Dickson, M00se Illuminatus.................firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Author, Internet Explorer Kit for Macintosh........email@example.com
Author, "Team Cynical," Superguy Digest....firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank