M00SE DROPPINGS #49 July 13, 1994 AM00sing Anecdotes and Illumination By and For the Pawns
M00SE DROPPINGS #49 - July 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 74 chapters of the M00se Illuminati.
Editor In Chief: Bill Dickson
Assistant/News Editor: Dominic White
Reviews Editor: Gary Olson
IN THIS ISSUE:
M00ses in the News!
Reporter positions available
A Rose By Any Other Name, or Divining Online Honesty
The M00sey Congressional Record
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
Ask The Sage
Tracking the M00sey Age
Fun With Milk and Cheese
From Pickle, your Friendly Editor
Hello everybody, and welcome to _M00se_Droppings_#49_. Yes,
that's right, after a mere 73 months since our first issue, we are
one issue shy of the big five-oh. Exciting, isn't it?
So I'm pleased to announce that, as of issue #50, we will be
changing the title of the newsletter to "The Gary, Eric, Dominic
and Bill Follies." The publication has evolved in its time,
finally settling on a format that includes frantic last-minute
scrambling by four people, plus (this time) a submission from
Bill's mom. We believe that the new title more accurately
reflects the spirit of the newsletter, and hope that our readers
Of course, if our readers ~don't~ agree, they could probably
express their displeasure with the decision by hunting me down and
wrapping me in a huge slice of stale Velveeta that has been soaked
in city water for three days. However, I would personally prefer
that they send some submissions to help round out the content of
_M00se_Droppings_, making it more truly reflective of the vast
variety of m00siness out there. Trust me, if I hate your
submission, I won't embarrass you by publishing it. I won't even
laugh at you. I'll just quietly stick it in the "use later if
necessary" folder and forget about it until the Inspiration Well
dries up completely.
We've got a couple offers for people who want to do regular
features as well (see below). Drop me a note!
Little turds of information for your enjoyment and edification.
Sending out a call to all M00ses! Yes, this is to M00ses
This regular feature will let other M00ses learn about fellow
members of the International M00se Illuminati and focus on those
M00ses who have done something to aid in the conspiracy, no matter
how mundane it might seem!
Did you cause a major corporation to crumble at your feet? Did
you engineer (from behind the scenes of course) the assassination
of a puppet dictator of a South American nation? Did you single-
handedly cause the stock market crash of '29? Did you brush your
teeth this morning?
If you, or any M00se you know of, did one of these, or anything
else news-worthy , let me know. And remember, we here at M00se
Droppings trust our fellow M00ses. And you know what that means!
Yes, it means we are too lazy to chase after bothersome details
such as the truth, proof, and facts.
Please send any M00sey action by you or a fellow M00se that you
find fit to be in "M00ses in the News," to Ickym00se
(email@example.com) by the 10th of each month. Thank you.
_M00se_Droppings_ is in need of two good m00ses. In response to
great demand (the single response was positive, making for a 100%
approval rating), we would like to create a new regular feature,
the Superguy Review. Unlike our standard Reviews section, this
will not be an analysis of the quality of Superguy stories;
rather, it will be a very brief review of the month's occurrences
on Superguy Digest. Sort of like _Soap_Opera_Digest_, only less
incisive. The reporter in question will be expected to read
Superguy regularly and thoroughly, and ~very~ briefly summarize
the major events of the month's episodes in a positive light that
will encourage people to subscribe to, and read, Superguy.
We make no pretenses at impartiality here at _M00se_Droppings_.
Our second new feature will be "Meet the M00ses," a regular
interview piece. The reporter will email (or, if brave, live-chat
or even phone) the subject M00se, selected at his or her
discretion, and conduct some sort of interview. This will be
reminiscent of the old "Meet the M00ses" feature pioneered in
Both these reporters will need to have their stories in to Pickle
(firstname.lastname@example.org) on the 11th of each month.
If you're interested in either of these features, please contact
Pickle and let him know why he should give you the job. Bear in
mind that neither position pays so much as a farthing.
In this issue we have an essay on life and love on America Online
from M00semom, a transcript from a secretly-taped meeting of several
M00se Illuminati, and a detailed description of the life-affirming
methods of making the best cup of tea you've ever had.
A Rose By Any Other Name, or Divining Online Honesty
Part one of a two-part essay by M00semom
[This article is to be first published (if they don't get any
decent submissions) in Moose Droppings, the illustrious
publication of the slightly anarchistic but mostly harmless Moose
Illuminati, which is read by tens of persons who've not much
better to do with their time, apparently, except to fish about for
like-minded looneym00ses (looneym00si?) with which to commiserate.
The names of the scurrilous have been changed to protect their
identity. The innocent, on the other hand are precisely who I say
they are, since they don't seem to give a damn. Otherwise
m00sefully submitted by Deborah Kate of the M00semom persuasion.]
Convinced by my son through shameless enticements, nay promises,
of more frequent mail from him to me, I went, at the tender age of
46, ON-LINE. I lasted for months on AOL never using up my
allotted hours and only paying the requisite $9.95 per month fee.
Few letters came. Having been divorced and living on my own for
two years, on the occasion of my ex-husband's announcement that he
had beat me to the punch and got himself a date on-line I
naturally signed on myself to investigate chat rooms, humming
"Anything he can do I can do better." I hadn't a clue what I was
waltzing into, I assure you. I'm a small-town M00semom, and
though a long time and some distance removed from my small town
roots, vestigially, at least, I'm naive as hell. So imagine my
surprise when after less than a minute on-line I received a little
private instant message on my screen from a fellow saying "Please
tell me you're an exciting woman!" Spontaneously and
enthusiastically, I replied "Please tell me you're an exciting man
over 40!" It seemed cute at the moment. And this fellow took a
little time to flirt before I got the gist of what was going on
when he told me in anatomical precision exactly what he'd like to
do to me. A little shocked, I told him off and he finally gave up
and went away. I'd not yet learned the miracle of the ignore
option on the screen.
This sort of thing turned out not to be uncommon. During the
first two weeks I was on-line I felt like the new woman in town
who everyone was checking out, sizing up as prey. Sometimes
people are perfectly polite and straightforward asking quickly and
simply for what they want, and those tend to take a quick polite
no in return very well, nod their thanks for the moment I took to
reply and walk away. Some are crass, on the other hand and
terribly persistent. So frustrating and annoying are these types
that early in my on-line chatting I answered a simple hello from a
man by snapping "I hope you're not yet another man looking for sex
this morning! It's only 8goddamo'clock!" The poor fellow said,
"Good grief no," went away and I never heard from him again. "Oh,
great," I thought, "now I'M becoming a rude on-liner!"
But just when I was fearing that I'd never figure out how this
electronically oriented community operated or find intelligent,
pleasant life forms within it, life on-line took a decided turn
for the better. I saw a fellow named Harpmaker in a room. Having
an abiding fondness for the Celtic harp, I asked him if he made
the instruments. Imagine my delight when Harpmaker actually
turned out to be a man who (drum roll, please) makes harps! He
was in fact working on his first Celtic model but specializes in
reproducing ancient Aeolian wind harps. We talked about where he
lives, on a mountain outside Albuquerque, and his animals and our
common love of nature, our philosophies about living. One
afternoon I checked my e-mail to find a letter from Harpmaker, who
was feeling very low. He'd lost his job that day. I decided to
pick up the phone and tell him, in real space voice, that I got
his message and that I cared and that I was available if he needed
to talk. We've had some great, in-depth discussions about the
nature of work in our lives and the opportunity and risk he's
taking by accepting this loss of a regular, paying job, and
turning harp making into his full-time livelihood. Harpmaker Bob
has become a friend in a couple of very short months. Not a
casual friend, but the kind I'd want my family to notify if I
suddenly fell unm00sely ill.
I met another man in a hot tub in an Over Forty room one night.
He was singing "Down By the Old Mill Stream" and I began to (if
you're on a Mac, please note the deft double entendre) chime in
with alternating lines of the song. We exchanged e-mail and it
seemed we could read one another like the proverbial book and yet
be delighted with one another's observations and ideas. It was so
obvious to each of us that we were exactly who we presented
ourselves to be, that this man sent off his home and office phone
numbers to me in his second letter! Like my friend Bob, Alex is
also married, so this decision on his part involved a lot of
trust. I mentioned that, when I sent my phone number in my next
letter to him, and he simply replied "Yes, it does." This is not
a naive man. This is, in fact, a lawyer in a rather highly placed
state office. I value his artfully straight ahead prose on all
manner of subjects, ridiculous and sublime. And I know if I
needed a shoulder or his insight, he'd be there for me. I know
this, because I've had occasion to find out the hard way. Our
friendship is deep and solid.
A third happenstance meeting led me to think a lot about who's who
on-line and off. I'll call this man Tackackack. Now Tackackack
sounded, and was, in fact, interesting and intelligent. But he
had a notion about on-line relationships which distressed me. I'd
heard it from other people before but from no one as convincingly
self-indoctrinated as this man. He spoke of on-line as "up here
in space" and talked about flying together and he wasn't just
talking about sex, though I'm pretty sure he was getting around to
that part. No, Tackackack really needed to believe that on-line
represents an alternate universe where we can develop a new self-
image, or remake ourselves, at least temporarily.
The problem with that for me is, that it's tough enough to trust
people whose faces I can see and read. Most folks don't convey
through words all that I need to know to develop a trusting
relationship, or they seem one way when they write, but are very
different in face to face dealings. I do think that on-line
chatting and e-mail provide a wonderful forum, an informal
workshop if you like, for developing our communications skills and
ultimately ourselves. But for me that works through extending who
I really am off-line into the on-line community. One persona is
quite enough for me to manage, thanks. I'm not talking about, or
criticizing all the folks who have playful personas for on-line
entertainment. I'm only suggesting that while humor of all kinds
is a healthy part of relationships and that we certainly all have
the right to "play pretend" when we want to and agree on it,
there's a big old difference between entertainment and developing
relationships which are meaningful and lasting. For instance,
each time I'm confronted by a person who tells me that it's OK to
have sex with him, or any other pretend relationship with him
on-line, I have a pretty standard response. I'm not pretend. I'm
real. He's real. And anything we say or do on-line together is
real too. And then I remind him that I have a charge card with a
verrrrry high limit and that I could be on his doorstep by
morning, pretty much no matter where he is. For most people
that's real enough. Some, though, insist on arguing that their
concept of on-line sex is like "masturbating to a playboy
magazine." (And they think this will entice me?) I gently but
firmly remind them that they are speaking with a feminist who'd
rather Playboy didn't exist anyhow, and point out that on-line sex
is very basically different from what they describe because it's
interactive. Or I assume that it should be. Would one party just
sit there and let the other do all the work/play? Kind of evokes
images of Lily Tomlin's telephone operator whining plaintively,
"Is this the party to whom I am speaking?"
But back to Tackackack, if you recall him or care. One thing that
had both touched and distressed me was his plea to me that he
needed women friends, that he had completely given up having
friendships with men, who he felt simply weren't good at it. I
urged him to reconsider his position, for I, after all had already
made friends with two very nice men on-line who talk with me about
things which matter. Nonetheless, when he heard my arguments for
extending real life to on-line he abruptly disappeared except to
creep back into my mailbox one day with the news that he was
having a rather sudden and intense relationship with a "wonderful
woman" and he wasn't sure where it was going. He described it as
scary. Tackackack is also married and encoding his correspondence
lest his wife find it. (I highly recommend to him and anyone else
interested in male/female communications skills, Deborah Tannen's
book "You Just Don't Understand." Men are certainly capable of
communicating with other men and women as friends and not solely
as competitors or potential conquests. But I'll leave that
discussion to Ms. Tannen's able pen.)
Since then, I've met a lot of pleasant people who correspond with
me occasionally or chat on-line. But the two close friends I've
found are the only ones who seem always to "show up" on-line just
when I need to talk to them. I've wondered how, out of 700,000
AOL members, we managed to find one another. Coincidence? Nah.
Serendipity? For certain.
But a well-developed sense of reading people and discerning their
sincerity helps with the process of figuring out who to trust. I
learned to look up personal profiles before I talk much with
anyone. If they don't have one, I'm wary right away and probably
will be polite but mostly ignore or avoid the individual. The
on-line equivalent of "Hey, baby, what's your sign" is easy to
spot because it's the same kind of line you find, well, off-line.
And now I must tell you, confess, even, that in the brief time
I've been learning the ropes around here, I've already (blush)
fallen in love.
Read the next issue, when a story of online honesty and romance is
revealed, exclusively for you, dear reader, before
_A_Current_Affair_ gets wind of it.
The M00sey Congressional Record
by Big City M00se, AKA Bill Paul (email@example.com)
Ladies and gentlem00ses, what follows is a transcript of the
proceedings of the first and thus far only session of the 1st
National M00sey Congress, convened on June 27th, 1994 at 3:32 PM,
and recessed twenty minutes later when it became evident that the
representatives were in imminent danger of missing that
afternoon's episode of Animaniacs.
The M00sey Congressional Record, as it's been euphemistically
entitled, is reprinted here as an example to those aspiring to
m00sedom and long time m00se chapters alike of precisely how not
to run a government. M00ses are encouraged to study this text
carefully and watch for parallels in their local and national
governing bodies. In the event that such parallels are
discovered, the M00sey High Command should immediately be
informed, at which point absolutely no action will be taken. (No
action should be required: the mere possibility of the M00sey
High Command becoming involved should be enough to whip any
wayward politician into line.)
M00sey readers should not be alarmed by the Congress's final act,
which is one of self-abolishment, for the following reasons: 1)
M00sey principles strictly forbid members of the Congress from
abiding by any legal decree, especially their own; and 2)
Pr0phetm00se has already made it abundantly clear that the world
ended some years ago, so it doesn't really matter what they do
The members of the 1st Congress would like to point out that any
thr0ng of sufficient size has the authority to form its own
Congress for any reason, and at any time, and that each Congress
has the same m00sey rights and privileges as any other, which is
to say, none at all.
The 1st National M00sey Congress consists of the following M00se
_Big_City_M00se_ (Bill Paul): Speaker of the apartment,
representative of the state of Confusion, named official
Congressional mascot over his many heated protests
_Alacrity_ (John Bankert): Treasurer, Representative of the state
of Housemate Loathing (reformed)
_Sabre_the_Pr0phetm00se_ (Eric Alfred Burns): Representative of
the state of Constantly Moving From State To State, official
Congressional tea brewer, official Congressional prognosticator,
also named secretary of defense by virtue of his sizeable
collection of Nerf weaponry
_Pickle_ (Bill Dickson): Representative of the state of Total
Romantic Ineptitude, official Congressional beer supplier
_SvedishM00se_ (Gary Olson): Representative of the state of
Intoxication, Ladler of the sheep dip, official Congressional
_Icky-m00se_ (Dominic White): Representative of the state of
Lousy Bagpipe Playing, official Congressional slut
_Austerem00se_ (Evan Pongress): Representative of the state of
Rigor Mortis, frequently deceased keeper of the official
Congressional leather jacket
_Manlym00se_ (Frank O.): Representative of the state of
Unemployment, official Congressional bouncer
_Also_appearing_: Gavel Boy, played by Larry 'Bud' Melman
_Special_guest_defenestration_victim_: Tori Spelling
Special thanks to the CIA for actually recording the proceedings,
since none of the Congressional representatives thought to do it
themselves, and for leaving the recordings and transcripts out in
plain sight where one of our m00sey infiltrators was able to steal
[The Congress has convened in good sized room containing a large
table with a gabardine tablecloth around which all the members of
the Congress are seated, except for Big City M00se who is standing
at the head of the table behind a podium. The podium is actually
an empty beer keg with a board on top of it. Big City M00se is
holding a gavel. Icky-m00se is sitting immediately to Big City
M00se's right, followed by Pickle, SvedishM00se, Pr0phetm00se,
Austerem00se, Alacrity, and Manlym00se. There's an open doorway
leading out of the room not far from where Big City M00se is
standing. Next to the doorway is a closed closet and next to the
closet door is a window through which a city skyline is visible.]
BIG CITY M00SE (rapping his gavel on the podium): Alright,
alright, settle down everyone! I hereby call this, the first
session of the 1st National M00sey Congress to order.
[Icky-m00se turns to Big City M00se and is about to say something
when Big City M00se interrupts him.]
BIG CITY M00SE: Dominic, I know what you're about to say. I've
made the mistake of leaving myself open for a stupid joke about
ordering food, but I warn you: if so much one word escapes your
lips concerning food, I'm going to crack open your skull, extract
your brain, grind it into a paste and make waffles out of it.
SVEDISHM00SE: Hey, that sounds good!
ALACRITY: Yeah, I could go for waffles.
PROPHETM00SE: Waffles all around, Bill!
BIG CITY M00SE (sternly): I was making a joke: there aren't any
SVEDISHM00SE: I'll have french toast then.
BIG CITY M00SE: I'm sorry, Frank toasted the last Frenchman
MANLYM00SE: It was for the best guys: he was starting to go bad.
ICKY-M00SE: Aren't they all.
PICKLE: How about beer then?
BIG CITY M00SE: Fine fine, if it'll make you all happy.
[Pickle taps the center of the table and a beer tap springs up
there. All of the members of the Congress, except Big City M00se,
produce frosty mugs and fill up on the tasty microbrew. There is
SVEDISHM00SE: I move that we begin all future Congressional
meetings with a frosty mug of fine beer!
PICKLE: I second that motion!
BIG CITY M00SE: Very well, motion carried. (raps gavel on podium)
Now then our first order of business--
PROPHETM00SE: Wait, what about our waffles?
BIG CITY M00SE (angrily): There aren't any bleeding waffles!
SVEDISHM00SE: I'll have french toast then.
BIG CITY M00SE: Look, are we going to do something Congressional
here or not?
ICKY-M00SE: Can we have waffles afterwards?
BIG CITY M00SE (sighs): Yes yes, after we adjourn you can do
anything you want.
PROPHETM00SE: Move to adjourn!
BIG CITY M00SE: We can't adjourn yet! We haven't done anything!
PICKLE: Well how do you expect us to get anything done when you
keep going on about waffles?
BIG CITY M00SE: Alright alright, no more talk about waffles, as
of now, okay?!
[SvedishM00se raises his hand and starts to speak.]
BIG CITY M00SE (cutting SvedishM00se off): Same goes for french
[SvedishM00se dejectedly lowers his hand.]
BIG CITY M00SE: Right, I hope that's settled. Now, since this is
the first session of the Congress, our first order of business
should be to create a Constitution for our M00sey Nation.
MANLYM00SE: I'd like to propose an amendment!
BIG CITY M00SE: Frank, we haven't even ratified the Constitution
ICKY-M00SE: Does that matter?
BIG CITY M00SE: Hunh?
ICKY-M00SE: Well, I mean, what do people most often do with
PICKLE: Hide behind them?
MANLYM00SE: Amend them!
PROPHETM00SE: Make waffles out of them!
ICKY-M00SE: No: argue about them. Not only is it next to
impossible to design a constitution that everybody will be happy
with, but once it's ratified everybody winds up arguing over how
to interpret it. I say constitutions are more trouble than
they're worth, and that we, as M00sey elite, should set an example
by not having one.
ALACRITY: He has a point you know: we don't want to spend all
our time arguing over a silly little thing like a constitution.
PICKLE: Our constituencies would never stand for that.
PROPHETM00SE: It's quite a clever idea really: it would be the
only completely ambiguous constitution in existence.
ICKY-M00SE: Exactly. And I have a date later so I'd much rather
we just skipped the whole thing so I'll have time to get dressed.
BIG CITY M00SE (scratching his head with his gavel): So what
you're telling me is that you'd all prefer that we simply forget
about the Constitution entirely and have just the amendments?
[The other Congressional representatives offer various rumblings
BIG CITY M00SE: Well, I'm all for saving time, of course. Right:
Dominic has moved that the M00sey Constitution be nothing of the
sort. Any seconds?
SVEDISHM00SE: I second!
BIG CITY M00SE: Very well: motion carried.
[Big City M00se goes to rap his gavel on the podium and
immediately discovers that he is now holding a banana. He looks
down accusingly at Icky-m00se, who struggles to keep from
giggling. He then tosses the banana aside and pulls a new gavel
from under the back of his shirt.]
BIG CITY M00SE (raps gavel and sneers at Icky-m00se): Okay, now
that we have decided not to have a Constitution, I suppose it's
safe to move on to the amendments. Frank, what was the amendment
you wanted to propose?
[Manlym00se stands and places his Large Manly Fist over his Large
Manly Chest. Patriotic background music begins to play. The
other representatives are transfixed by his Manly form and wait
eagerly for him to speak.]
MANLYM00SE: I propose that the First Amendment to the M00sey
Constitution read: Congress shall make no law...
[The music plays on for a few more seconds then winds down. There
is a pregnant pause while the other representatives anxiously
listen for further speechifying which fails to materialize.]
SVEDISHM00SE: Is that it?
ICKY-M00SE: I like it!
PROPHETM00SE: Yes! Its simple, yet it has broad implications on
the whole of M00sey jurisprudence!
PICKLE: It saves us from ever having to create a supreme court!
ALACRITY: With no laws there can be no lawbreakers!
SVEDISHM00SE: And no lawyers!
[The representatives cheer raucously at the notion of the M00sey
Nation being completely devoid of lawyers.]
ALL (except Austerem00se): Yay!
BIG CITY M00SE (taps his gavel on the podium and calls for quiet):
Okay, let's make this official: Frank has moved that the first
Amendment to the Constitution prohibit the Congress from making
any more laws.
SVEDISHM00SE: I second the motion!
BIG CITY M00SE: Motion carried! Okay, now we have to vote: all
those in favor of passing Frank's Amendment into law, signify by
ALL (except Austerem00se): Ay!
BIG CITY M00SE: Those opposed, signify by saying 'Nay!'
[There is no response. Big City M00se takes note of the fact that
Austerem00se has failed to vote either way. He further notes that
he's slumped face down onto the table.]
BIG CITY M00SE: Hold it... why didn't Evan vote?
[Pr0phetm00se examines Austerem00se for a moment, then sits back
in his chair.]
PROPHETM00SE (contritely): He's dead.
BIG CITY M00SE (annoyed): What, again!?
SVEDISHM00SE: He left a note here that says it's a temporary
relapse and that he'll most likely be recovered in time for us to
BIG CITY M00SE: Wonderful. Wait just a minute... If he's dead,
how did he finish his beer?
[Big City M00se points out the empty beer mug near Austerem00se's
SVEDISHM00SE: I drank it for him. (smiles weakly) He said I
BIG CITY M00SE: Whatever. We'll put Evan down as an abstention.
Alright, we've got our First Amendment. Any ideas for our second?
What will the second m00sey amendment be? Due to space
restrictions, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the next issue
of M00se Droppings to find out. Stay tuned, and until next time,
remember: it's not so much who you confuse that counts but how
you confuse them! Bl00p!
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
A M00se Survival Guide by Sabre the Pr0phetm00se
Few people realize what an utterly important and vital part of
life and society tea is. Tea is more than our friend, it is a
taskmaster which drives evolution forward in a frighteningly
Darwinian scenario which we accept all unwillingly because we are
forced to. Orange Pekoe and Pekoe cut black tea (the most common
tea in America, including all major brands) contains significantly
more caffeine than coffee, yet does not seem to be so heavy in the
drinking. This dichotomy leads people to drink too much tea
without respecting its power, and then their heads explode and
their stomachs melt into a festering mass of Tannic Acid.
Therefore, we include this Tea Brewing Guide to help promote safe
Tea Usage in 44 out of the 47 States of the Union.
To brew the perfect cup of tea, you will need the following:
A tin of loose tea -- preferably Twinings. This tea should be one
of the following:
English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, Formosa
Oolong, Lapsong Souchong, Darjeeling, Prince of Wales, or
A copper tea kettle with a whistle attachment
Six ounces skim milk warmed to room temperature
A jar of honey emptied into a china pitcher
A china teacup and saucer
A sterling silver tea infuser
A bone china three cup tea pot
A gas stove (a lit can of sterno will ~not~ suffice)
A copy of British Weekly Magazine
A picture of Queen Elizabeth II
A rolling pin
A Hotpoint Hot Shot
A tea bag (Lipton or Red Rose)
A Far Side mug
A working cold water tap
A gallon of non-carbonated, non-flavored spring water
First fill the copper kettle full to the rim with tap water. Heft
the tea kettle for a few seconds. This serves to limber the
muscles up. Take the full kettle of water around your home and
water your plants. If you have no plants (or conversely no home)
go to neighbors homes until you find plants to water. Whistle
show tunes as you water the plants, but do ~not~ sing.
When the copper kettle is empty, return to the area where you are
making tea. Fill the pot exactly three quarters of the way full
with spring water. Check the depth.
Wait five minutes, to let the water and pot get to know each other
a bit. If they are on friendly terms, it will make the rest of
the process so much nicer. Read an article from the copy of
_British_Weekly_Magazine_. This will put you in the proper mood.
Turn the gas burner on to medium. The copper pot will allow for
even heating, but the lower flame will promote the water to boil
Set the pot on the flame. Make certain the whistle attachment is
in place, so that you know when the water will be at a hard boil.
Continue reading _British_Weekly_, occasionally humming "Hail,
Eventually, you will finish the magazine. Check the kettle. Make
certain the whistle attachment is tight, being careful not to burn
yourself on the hot copper. Lift the lid and glance inside. Sigh
when you see the water is distinctively not boiling. Sing all the
verses to "God Save the Queen" that you happen to know. Read the
classifieds in _British_Weekly_.
At around this time, you will hear a rustling sound from the
kettle. Run over to the stove and look at it, waiting for the
whistling to start and your tea adventure to begin. Wait long
minutes. Check the whistle attachment again. Stick your slightly
singed fingers in your mouth and lift the kettle's lid. Try to
figure out what's making that rustling sound, since the water is
not boiling. Put the lid back on.
Take this time to measure two silver teaspoons worth of tea into
the silver infuser. Try not to get upset when you spill half the
tea onto the counter. Sweep it into your hand and throw it out.
Measure out more. Swear as you spill that. Repeat. Again. In a
huff, thrust the infuser into the tin of tea and cram it full of
tea, forcing the lid of the infuser on.
Check the damn kettle. Make sure the whistle attachment isn't
loose. Scream as you burn your hand. Put it into a stream of
cold water from the tap until your hand goes numb. Look at the
picture of the Queen accusingly. The rustling sound from the pot
will be quite loud. Become convinced that it's boiling and go
take the lid off the kettle. Swear loudly when it isn't. Stick
your finger (from your unburnt, not-numb hand) into the water.
Swear unbelievably when you feel it's merely lukewarm. Replace
the lid and turn the flame up as high as it will go, and pace.
Begin pacing faster -- fast enough to raise a sweat. Start
singing "God Save The Queen" by the Sex Pistols at the top of your
lungs. Give your picture of the Queen the finger. Start doodling
on your copy of _British_Weekly_. Try to name all of the Rolling
Stones. Give up, and settle for naming all of the Beatles.
Failing that, just name all of the Monkees you can remember.
About now the whistle attachment will begin to scream at 167
decibels, causing you to jump five feet and knock the honey over
into the skim milk. Begin swearing as you try to clean up,
yelling louder and louder as you try to speak over the whistle
attachment. Begin to suffer hearing loss. Storm over to the
stove and grab the kettle. Try to pour, but forget the damn
whistle attachment is on, causing two drops of water to be the
limit that will come out. Grab the whistle attachment and try to
pull it off, forgetting that the copper of the kettle is currently
212 degrees Fahrenheit. Scream, throwing the searing metal from
yourself as hard as you can, though not quickly enough to avoid
third degree burns on your hand. Drop the kettle, causing the lid
to be knocked off and two thirds of a kettle full of water at a
hard boil to cascade out onto the pelvic region of your body.
Scream far louder than you have ever screamed before, grabbing
your rolling pin and smashing dents into the kettle. Use the pin
to shatter the china teapot and cause the overfull infuser to
burst like an overripe kumquat. Throw the magazine at the picture
of the Queen, screaming "It's all your fault!" at the top of your
lungs. Shatter the containers for the milk, honey, and the tea
cup and saucer. Flatten the spoons.
Fill the Far Side mug with water from the tap and dump it in the
Hot Shot. Press the "Heat" button. A light will come on. Put
the teabag into the mug. Chuckle at the cartoon, while trembling
with hysteria. When the light goes out (about thirty seconds)
place the mug under the hot shot's spout and press "Dispense."
Boiling water will pour out over the tea bag. Set the mug on the
counter, and methodically dunk the tea bag until the water turns a
deep red color. Throw away the tea bag and sip. Realize this is
the best cup of tea you have ever had. Go and watch television,
sipping your perfect cup of tea and feeling better about the
world. Forget about the gas stove burner still set to high. Die
a horrible, fiery death in your sleep.
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 or Want
by Superguy Digest's The Sage
This is the Sage, welcoming you once again! As you (and I well
know), I know everything! ~Everything,~ I tell you! Do you feel
betrayed by so-called "psychic" phone lines? Feel tired of trying
to follow the alleged "advice" given by other, lesser advice
columnists? Tired of trying to get a straight answer out of that
schleppy Usenet Oracle (which doesn't know ~half~ as much as I do,
Of ~course~ you are! I know! After all, I'm the Sage! I know
~everything!~ So, if you have a question for me, send it to
Pickle, and he shall relay it to me! I, in turn, will answer it!
In the meantime, on to the questions!
I have a hunch that my husband is cheating on me. He stays late
at the office every night, working on what he says is a "very
important project." Yet, when he comes home, there's lipstick on
his collar, the smell of perfume about his person, and lots of
one, five, ten, and even twenty dollar bills tucked into his
briefs. What gives?
Baffled in Bali
Your husband is taking part in a management training course, to
upgrade his job skills for the new employment market that will
shortly be facing him. He is not cheating on you, though he once
considered having a fling with his former secretary, until she
told him she had stopped dating mammals.
Will I find love in my future?
Desperate in Des Moines
Yes! Unfortunately, your love will be unrequited, for Regis
Philbin does not know you exist. You will die lonely, but
extremely rich, and the movie rights to your life will be opted to
Rupert Murdoch, who will cast Grace Jones to play you, despite the
fact that you are a German man.
Hey, if you know everything, why aren't you rich? Why don't you
play the lottery?
Cynical in 'Cisco
Ah, the voice of the hopelessly naive speaks! It is ~because~ I
know everything that I do not use my omniscience for excessive
monetary gain! And you should by no means play the lottery, as it
virtually guarantees that you will be shot.
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
One of the saddest facts of our pathetic existence as thinking
beings is the deadline. This isn't to say the deadline and
resulting deadline pressure are as nasty and anti-social as true
horrors of our so-called modern age like ethnic cleansing,
environmental degradation, and Zima. Just that there is a certain
death of the spirit that comes when a creative individual is
forced into a timetable set by the vagrancies of the publishing
Of course, these are made all the worse when the column in
question is one written by a prophet, since prophets can't just
drop back ten and punt. They have to be enlightened by the
spirits and forces that drag them kicking and screaming to
These first two paragraphs may well have told the astute reader
that your resident prophet is writing this column at the very last
moment. This is more true than you could know. Saddled into a
mold by the arbitrary decision to encourage readers and members of
the conspiracy by producing this newsletter at some form of
regular intervals, the Pr0phetm00se has found himself at the
eleventh hour, without so much as a glimmer as to the next
morning's weather, much less insight into the coming of the M00sey
It would be easy to rail against the heartless nature of the
editors, except the rotten bastards have cleverly been supportive.
"Oh, Sabre," they say in their high pitched editor voices, "if you
haven't been enlightened this month, that's quite all right. We
can give The Sage another hundred lines. Don't worry about it."
They'd like me to believe in their goodwill, I can tell. But they
forget, I ~am~ a prophet, even if I'm not currently being
enlightened. I know full well that the minute I miss one of these
deadlines, this space in the Newsletter will mysteriously be taken
over by a column on Gardening Tips and Philosophy. This column
will be more popular than mine, and I'll be out on the street.
[Note to myself: Remember to have Sabre killed Thursday. He's
getting too close to the truth.]
[PS - remember to remove note in final editing.]
Don't kid yourselves -- with the failure of Ross "Sparky" Perot's
campaign, there aren't very many gigs for professional prophets.
So even if I have to do Tarot readings for the house Shrimp, there
will be a prophetic column each issue, by Leviam00se.
The Shrimp, by the way, exists. He is the property of the owner
of the house, another M00se whose name I cannot reveal in the
interests of preventing Prophetic Groupies from camping out on his
lawn all night (which is what forced me out of the apartment I
shared with Guardian M00se -- well, that and Guardian M00se's
taste in sausage). He is a salt water Shrimp, and he is red and
white. Every other day, the House Owner dutifully drips brown
sludge into his fish tank and the shrimp comes bounding over, all
happy tentacles and feelers, and starts lapping it up. The sludge
is called "Invertebrate Formula," and is apparently very
expensive. In fact, it is incredibly expensive when you figure
its just mud diluted with tap water. But the Shrimp (who I call
Tippy) loves it, doing his happy Shrimp dance as he sucks it down.
The House Owner used to have other fish. They're all dead now. I
think the sludge killed them. I ~know~ that Tippy ate them.
This, to me, is exciting drama, much like a community theater
production of a Nova program on Our Salty Bugs of the Deep.
I should also mention that we don't have cable.
Besides the House Shrimp and the House Owner, there are two cats
in our happy commune. One cat's job, as near as I can tell, is to
shed. He is large and white, and he sleeps nineteen hours a day
on any surface that could possibly be covered in fine white hair.
He is a pleasant cat who purrs often, which leads me to believe
that he enjoys his work.
The other cat -- the official outdoor cat -- is far less satisfied
with his lot in life. I can understand this, as he is trapped on
a quest for the Holy Grail, but he's been saddled with a brain the
size of the mouse next to my computer. He spends every waking
minute ripping from one room to the next, eagerly searching for
the Holy Grail. He slides into the room, stares for a few
seconds, and then completely forgets his quest. He looks aimless
for a minute, perhaps cleaning himself, and then suddenly sits up,
a fire in his eyes. Oh yes -- he forgot, but now he remembered --
of course... the GRAIL!!!! He then turns and runs at his top
emergency speed straight back into the room he just left, and then
repeats the above process.
Computer users will note an infinite loop. That's nice for the
computer users, since the cat has yet to figure it out.
Eventually, he thinks to ask to go out, is allowed to, and then
dutifully answers the call of nature and the spirit of the hunt by
passing out on the lawn.
So, two hard working cats, an owner, a prophet, and a Shrimp named
Tippy. This is my environment.
You wonder why I can't work up a decent prophecy to save my life?
Edited by Svedishm00se
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_Shadow_ by Icky-m00se, and
Evan Dorkin's _Fun_with_Milk_and_Cheese_ by myself. Bl00p!
A film review by Icky-m00se
Item: A movie
Price: Varies with cinema
Available from: Some production company of some sort
Starring: Penelope Anne Miller
Dr. Frank N. Furter
One of those hunky Baldwin boys
Upon viewing "The Shadow," I was reminded of a line from the
classic (I mean 'classic' in the way that Lizzie Borden is a
classic axe murderer) science fiction movie, "Plan Nine from Outer
Space." That line is said with an insipid whine and goes
something like this: "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"
The dialogue is boring, the story is cliched to the point of being
painful, and the screenplay is more dumbed down than a Jeopardy
game starring the cast of _90120_. However...it looks sooooo
good. I mean, they took the money they were obviously supposed to
spend on scripts, line delivery classes, soundtracks, movie
scores, and plastic surgery for Alec Baldwin's nose, and spent it
all -- the whole wad -- on special effects and cinematography.
Everything about this movie, from Miller in a skimpy negligee to
Ghengis Kahn's sarcophagus to a hotel that millions of New Yorkers
are unable to see, look phenomenal. It's not as stylistic as
something like "Darkman," but it's ranks right up there with
_Blade_Runner_ and _Brazil_ when it comes to atmosphere. (You'll
notice that I didn't compare it to _Batman_ like every other hack
movie critic has. Of course it's like _Batman_! The 1930's radio
shows were like _Batman_ too. Amazing how _Batman_ wasn't created
by Bob Kane until the mid forties. I wonder what his influences
So, normally, I would say avoid a movie this stupid at all costs.
If you must see it, see it on video. Normally I would implore
M00ses everywhere to hunt down and garrote the movie producers
who demanded the screenplay to be over-simplified to the point
that a...that a...that a movie producer could understand it.
Normally I would say rent _Jason_and_the_Argonauts_ instead. But,
alas, movies don't normally look this good, and its looks alone
demand that it be viewed on the big screen. So I recommend that
people see this movie, but I also recommend that you don't pay
anything over bargain matinee prices, and that you scream "shut
the hell up!" every time some one on the screen opens their mouth.
Rebuttals are welcome and will be reprinted after they are edited
Fun with Milk and Cheese
A comics review by Svedishm00se
Item: _Fun_with_Milk_and_Cheese_, a collection of Evan
Dorkin's "Milk and Cheese" comics from the past
five years or so.
Price: $9.95, plus sales tax in applicable states
Available from: non-sucky comic stores everywhere, or write to
this address for a free catalog to order through:
Slave Labor Graphics
979 S. Bascom Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128
"There's this carton of milk, see, and this wedge of cheese, and
they watch TV, drink beer, and yell and hit people." - Evan
Dorkin, from the introduction
This is one of those things that are absolutely great to
experience, but when you try to explain it to anyone else, it
causes their attention to wander, or they get up and leave, or,
worse, listen to you indulgently while trying not to giggle out
loud. I mean, how do you explain the epic violence, the
ritualistic quality of each one to four page episode, the hatred,
the beer, and the buckets of blood while claiming it's one of the
funniest comics out there today?
Answer: you don't. Milk and Cheese ("Dairy Products Gone Bad")
are two characters that defy easy explanation, and would probably
gouge out my eyeballs with a gin bottle if I tried. In the course
of this collection, they do violence to cows, clerks, cops, book
stores, the justice system, drug pushers, nuns, whole cities,
malls, hospitals, bowling alleys, cars, left-wingers, right-
wingers, gas station attendants, pedestrians, children, mimes,
record stores, conventions, comic book readers, comedians, society
in general ("See society pay! And pay! And pay!"), and many,
many more deserving targets, with humor that ranges from dark
satire to blatant punning, all at a furious pace.
Granted, Milk and Cheese would not make very good m00ses, as they
are hardly non-violent. But I think it's safe to say that a lot
of m00ses would enjoy reading this collection.
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