THE GARY, ERIC, DOMINIC, AND BILL FOLLIES #50 August 13, 1994 AM00sing Anecdotes and Illum
THE GARY, ERIC, DOMINIC, AND BILL FOLLIES #50 - August 13, 1994
A-M00s-ing Anecdotes and Illumination By Gary, Eric, Dominic, and
Bill, and For the Pawns of the M00se Illuminati
_The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill Follies_ is published on the
13th of each month. Send submissions and subscription requests
All contents copyright the respective authors. More explicit
copyright notice forthcoming, pending consultation with
Pr0phetm00se, our resident expert.
This issue is being mailed to 79 chapters of the M00se Illuminati.
Editor In Chief: Bill Dickson
Reviews Editor: Gary Olson
IN THIS ISSUE:
Superguy Information Available on World-Wide Web
A Rose By Any Other Name, or Divining Online Honesty (Part Two)
The M00sey Congressional Record (Part Two)
A M00sey Fable
Ask The Sage
Tracking the M00sey Age
From Pickle, your Friendly Editor
Well, here it is, our very special Fiftieth issue of the official
newsletter of the M00se Illuminati! This is also the first issue
under our new name, "The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill Follies."
The new name has been chosen to reflect the true nature of our
publication -- namely, one in which the editors stare dejectedly
at the empty submissions boxes every day with one eye, while the
other eye watches the calendar and the inexorable approach of the
deadline and the third eye contemplates the fifth of Scotch that
will be heavily tapped by the time the editors and main
contributors are done cranking out filler paragraphs that go on
and on and on and on and on for no other reason than to "pad out"
The concept of "padding" a newsletter is a fascinating one, worthy
of discussion. You see, the readers of a publication eventually
become used to the issues being a certain size. They become
disturbed if the issue is smaller than normal, even to the point
of feeling cheated. Thus when _Spy_ began to shrink last year, as
its popularity waned and the magazine was downsized, the
readership could tell that something was wrong -- and perhaps more
importantly, that something was missing. And when _MacWeek_ began
to shrink as resources were diverted to prepare for the
forthcoming MacWorld exhibition in Boston, people began to get
nervous and, in the face of a startlingly strong quarter that
drove the price of Apple's stock up by more than 50%, nervous
"Death of Apple" rumors began fluttering around certain circles
Sometimes, however, there isn't a very good reason for an issue to
be smaller than normal. It just turns out that, this time, there
isn't enough material to make the issue as large as it should be.
In cases like this, the editor will often resort to writing on
some randomly-selected topic for far longer than is really
necessary, or even to requesting that a reporter write an extra
article or column on any subject that might even loosely apply to
Not that this would ever happen in this fine publication, of
course. But I tell you, it's getting hard to avoid it. So let's
say that I'm getting down on my knees, touching my antlers to the
floor, and begging you:
Send us a submission. Otherwise, I may have to scream. And you
wouldn't want that.
On the other hand, if you ~do~ send a submission, maybe I'll change
the name back.
Little turds of information for your enjoyment and edification.
You all may have noticed that Icky-M00se, Dominic White, is not in
the credits this issue. That's partly a mischievous little mean-
spirited trick on my part, but it's mainly because Dominic will be
moving from the Assistant Editor position (which we didn't really
need, on account of there being no submissions to edit), and
taking the new position of Official M00se Interviewer, doing our
new "Meet the M00ses" section, or whatever it'll be called. Yay!
Thanks to Roger Kumar, our only other applicant for this position.
As it turns out, Dominic was better qualified for the position, as
he lives in my apartment and I can beat him over the head if he
This does, however, leave open the news desk position, gathering
and editing tidbits of m00se-oriented news. All are encouraged to
apply, and this time Dominic can't have the job, 'cuz he got the
We also still have the Superguy Review position open, available to
any Superguy reader who wants to summarize the major Superguy
events of the month. Thanks to a man known only as Rob for
applying for this position; sorry, Rob, but we really do need a
Superguy reader for this one. I should have made that clear last
month, but I forgot. So let me clarify it a little further:
Superguy is a shared-world fiction project carried on via a BITNET
LISTSERV. There have been quite a few authors involved over its
history, maybe some two dozen altogether. Its main raison d'etre
is the distribution of humorous superhero-oriented stories,
parodies and satire and the like, but its repertoire has expanded
to include some serious superhero fiction as well (if you believe
that there can be such a thing). There's some good stuff there.
And this is the important thing: its history spans six years and
some thirty megabytes of back stories. Keeping track of what's
going on is not trivial. It involves quite a bit of knowledge of
past stories as well as present ones, as current stories draw
heavily on the history. This is not a project for the faint of
heart. Gary Olson, Svedishm00se, writes an annual history update
for the whole shebang, and I swear some of his hair lands two
thousand miles away in my kitchen sink while he's working on it.
And ~he~ knows the whole damn thing by heart.
It's sort of like soap operas: you've got to be familiar with the
characters and what they've been through if you're going to
understand a thing that happens in an episode. Only more so.
Well, maybe not so much as a reader, but certainly as a
So...any takers? Write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those of you who use Mosaic or Lynx or MacWeb or some other client
to browse the World-Wide Web ought to drop in on the new Superguy
Web Site, located at:
It's new but growing, with information on characters, authors,
series, important stories of the past, and some nifty graphics to
boot. We're considering a nice QuickTime movie if we can think of
something to make one out of, and maybe a sound file of Ben
Brown's "The Superguy Polka." Stop in and let us know what you
think -- feedback to email@example.com.
In this issue: Part two of M00semom's essay on online romance, part
two of the excerpted m00sey Congressional record, and a fable for
m00ses and those who love them. Or anybody, really.
A Rose By Any Other Name, or Divining Online Honesty
Part II or The continuing saga of: A Rose By Any Other Name or
Divining Online Honesty, by M00semom (Deborah K. Hammond).
[This article is to be first published (if they don't get any
decent submissions) in The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill Follies,
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
[Editors note: When we last left M00semom, she was saying:
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. 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.
Whoa! Quite a cliff-hanger there, eh? Let's keep you in suspense
no longer, as we continue with the essay... -WRD]
Jack I/m ed me one night when my friend, Jeanne, was on-line,
under my name, just trying AOL out. Jeanne called me over to the
screen where I read " Where did you get that quote!" I typed back
that I'd have to check in my files to see which nature writer I'd
lifted it from and that I'd get back to him. Well, feeling a
little stupid, I did get back to him to tell him it was something
I'd written in a paper for a course I was taking. I'd forgotten
that my quote was, well, my quote. A thoughtful discussion of
early Alzheimer's ensued-no, actually a really thoughtful and
comfortable discussion ensued. And we began writing to one
The letters were insightful, humorous and pleasantly, just the
littlest bit, flirtatious. Yet another man who wanted to talk with
a hairy legged feminist/vegetarian about things that matter! (I
actually describe myself that way to men hoping to discourage the
faint of heart. Well, that, and it's true.) This divorced and
dating stuff was starting to look up! But could he be for real? He
sent me a poem. I really, really liked the poem. More, even, I
liked the fact that a man would write and send me one. And he
thanked me for awakening his muse as he hadn't written anything in
over a year. Later, he began to "sing" love songs to me on-line.
This was entirely too much. A man who writes me poetry AND sings
love songs to me? I grew skeptical. I began to display said
skepticism in our conversations. Quietly he'd reply, "Deborah. I
am the man you think I am." And I believed him. I thought about
the fact that he thanked me for awakening his muse rather than
flattering me and calling me his muse. I liked that. It told me
volumes. As did much that he said to me when we discussed honor
and certain of life's dilemmas. You can learn a lot about people,
both through how they express themselves humorously and in talking
about difficult, troubling issues. With Jack there seemed an
amazing balance and integration of these things. We seemed
startlingly compatible and began to speak of love between us as
naturally as if it had always existed.
I decided to plan my vacation so that I would be near enough to
him that he could visit me. Naturally, I planned it so that I
would be having a good time whether our meeting worked out or not.
We had never exchanged pictures which seemed to bother my friends
a lot more than it bothered us. Typical of me, though, during our
chats I sometimes worried that he would not find me attractive
when we met. He always chided me "Deborah, why do you worry about
such things?" More troubling to my friends than meeting sight
unseen was the fact that, as our meeting time grew closer,
articles about on-line love popped up in magazines and a prominent
t.v. program did a piece on some on-line stalker on Prodigy. A few
friends became excessively worried about this and seemed
convinced that I'd made a blind date, to potentially last three
weeks, away from home and their protective gaze, with an ax
murderer. However, they couldn't stop me so they let me go with
the assurance that I'd take my laptop computer and AOL with me and
notify a couple of them immediately via e-mail, that all was well.
Other, less technically abled friends, demanded phone calls.
The most poignant, if amusing, worry came from an unexpected
source, my son. For seven years I had told him that he was
spending too much time with on-line friends and needed to get out
more, while he had patiently explained that on-line friends were
flesh and blood, real people too. Now he wrote to me a warning
that people are NOT all the same off-line as they appear to be
on-line. "Please be careful, Mom" he wrote. (Finally! A letter
from my son!)
The week before I left, when we talked on-line and on the phone,
Jack and I had two disagreements that seemed unresolvable in their
moments. I was angry because he'd told ME not to worry about this
after all! He replied, "Deborah! We'd be crazy not to be nervous
about this!" Still I got in the car and headed for the beach, 9
hours away. At the 4 hour mark, Friday night of Memorial Day
weekend, I stopped in a motel in New Jersey for the night. The
desk clerk seemed oblivious to my question about whether I could
plug my modem into the phone jack in the room. I decided to be
optimistic, took the room and settled in for the night. The phone
jack was, unfortunately, located behind the king sized headboard
which was attached to the wall. I found, though, that I could
slide the board up enough to reach the jack. But the damn thing
wouldn't unplug so I could plug my modem in! As I sprawled there
on the bed, holding the headboard up and out of the way with my
left hand and struggling with the phone jack with my right hand, I
realized that the sucker was hard-wired into the wall. About that
time the headboard fell on my head. It was midnight. Time to give
up. I drove to a public phone-my room phone wasn't working at all
anymore-and called home to tell a friend that I wasn't dead yet,
although I was in New Jersey.
The next morning as I started the trip to the beach I felt a truly
joyous anticipation. I thought all the way there about the meeting
as I had in the weeks leading up to it. Would we stand quietly,
overcome with emotion, gazing into one another's eyes? Would we
reach out our hands and touch, fingertips to fingertips, share a
tentative kiss, feel awkward? I arrived to find a dozen perfect
pink roses and a note on the doorstep. Fairly melting, still no
fear, only excitement about the meeting, I found I couldn't get my
key into the lock. I walked around to the ocean side of the house
but the screen door was locked so I couldn't even try the key
there. Walking back to the front door I heard his voice as I
rounded the corner. Gasping, I threw myself into his arms and
hugged him so hard that it took a little doing to find each others
lips for that first sweet kiss. We didn't look quite like either
one of us imagined but that was very obviously not a problem. From
my perspective, at least, the surprises were all pleasant.
I shall now leave the mushy part and cut to the intellectual
analysis part, in deference to my son, the editor : )
In the two months or so that we'd been writing and communicating
Jack and I had been honest with one another. Sure, I'm in the
process of remaking my life, as he is his, but isn't most
everybody, always? So that's part of what we talk about and share.
There was one thing that Jack had deceived me about, it turns out.
He smokes. I'd asked him about that early in our getting
acquainted period and could have sworn he'd said that he used to
smoke but gave it up two years ago. Turns out, he'd told me about
the giving it up part and neglected to mention the starting again
part. As adamantly anti-smoking as I am, this seems to make no
difference other than that I, of course, want him to be healthy.
He smokes outside, so he doesn't impose his habit on me. Beyond
that, this truly is the man I came to know and love on-line with
the only caveat being that everything about him seems better in
person. His wit is more delightful, his thoughtfulness and
consideration more constant, his values readily evident in his
behavior and conversation. Apart from the fact that he regularly
trounces me at my favorite game, Scrabble-even when he has to use
all seven letters to make one word to do it-Jack is not only the
man I thought he'd be, but he's caused me to wonder that I
couldn't imagine someone as extraordinary as he. As he's fond of
reminding me, I'm going to have to work at that imagination thing.
The history of letter writing is a rich one. Some of the great
friendships and romances have developed over years of letter
writing. Because of our society being such a mobile one, I took my
childhood fascination with letters and extended it into my adult
years as a means of maintaining friendships in an unfriendly
corporate oriented "we move 'em, you lose 'em" world. And it
worked; friendship prevailed. But here we are with the ability to
send and receive letters in an instant and suddenly the potential
for developing relationships seems to have expanded as our world
continues to technologically shrink. While on this three week
idyll by the sea, I thought to leave AOL at home, or at least to
mostly ignore it while I'm here. But I don't ignore it, I check my
mail every morning and evening. And beyond the lovely good wishes
and concern of my friends and the ability to instantly assure them
that all is well in paradise, this tool has brought another
surprise to my life. I have a friend at home who is struggling in
a truly mighty battle with cancer. We had only begun to become
really close just before I came away on vacation. We might call
one another every week or so when I'm in town. But Carolyn signed
on to AOL just before I left and we've exchanged long letters
every day. Granted we are both writers to begin with, but still
this has been an epiphany of sorts. Writing is different than
talking on the phone or even in person. It seems to us that we get
to think more thoroughly when we write, to self-examine more
deeply, and to incorporate emerging knowledge and ideas into our
letters. We write about writing, about her condition and
treatments, about family and relationships. And it's funny and
tearful and artful and much, much more than we would have shared
if I'd stayed in town!
So, what have I learned from a brief three months on-line? So many
aspects of people's personalities and lives can be exaggerated
on-line, but there's also the opportunity to reveal and discover
our true and ever-changing selves. We can be anonymous and "play
pretend" or act out fantasies or be the obnoxious pest that others
put on ignore or we can not so simply, but delightfully, extend
and enrich our world and ourselves. Some folks would argue that
they accomplish the latter through some of the former. And some
folks have evidence of that worth listening to, I'm sure. I guess
I'm just adding to the testimony today, that we really have
something here. This medium, this vehicle is giving us unmatched
opportunities for personal exploration and growth. Like Popeye, I
say "I y'am what I y'am." But I'm awfully excited to find, just
when I've finally figured out that living with joy and grace and
dignity is about understanding and embracing change, that the
On-line world offers us another way and place to honestly explore
just how to do all that.
Endnote: I've now been home from my idyllic holiday for three
weeks and Carolyn and I, who live 5 minutes apart, continue to
e-mail one another long letters every day.
The M00sey Congressional Record
by Big City M00se, AKA Bill Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Greetings and welcome once again. Last issue, as you'll recall
(you do recall last issue, don't you? No? Oh. Well, humor us
then), we presented a transcript of the very first session of the
M00sey National Congress. You may also recall that we were unable
to bring you the entire transcript due to space limitations, a
circumstance that came about as a result of the Congress's
planning efforts which were so brilliant and concise as to be
In other words, they screwed up.
Luckily for them, it doesn't really matter: the wonderful thing
about confusion is that even when split in half and spread out
over the space of a month, it's still confusing.
So, without any further ado, we present the second half of the
M00sey Congressional Record for your inspection, perusal and cheap
For those of you who joined in late, a quick summary of what has
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
[When last we left the Congress, they had just ratified the First
Amendment to the completely empty M00sey Constitution which stated
quite emphatically that "Congress shall make no law." Let's watch
now as the Congress attempts to continue its law-making
proceedings now that it has effectively stripped itself of the
authority to pass any further laws.]
ALACRITY: I say we make it manditory that there be strippers
present at all furture sessions of Congress.
PICKLE (emphatically): Motion seconded!
BIG CITY M00SE: So moved and seconded; motion carried!
[Big City M00se raps his gavel on the podium and is surprised to
hear a squeaking noise instead of a tap. Looking down, he finds
that the gavel has somehow been replaced by a hammer-shaped squeak
toy. He glares hatefully at Icky-M00se, then tosses the toy aside
and produces yet another replacement gavel.]
PR0PHETM00SE: Hold it!
BIG CITY M00SE (about to rap his gavel again): What!?
PR0PHETM00SE: We can't pass John's Amendment into law.
ALL (except Austerem00se): Why not!?
PR0PHETM00SE: Because doing so would be unc0nstituti0nal.
PICKLE: But we don't have a C0nstituti0n!
PR0PHETM00SE: True, but we do have a First Amendment. And the
First Amendment says: 'Congress shall make no law.'
BIG CITY M00SE: He's right! We've legislated ourselves into a
ALACRITY: Dammit, I want strippers!
MANLYM00SE: There must be someway to get around this.
ICKY-M00SE: Wait! Wait! I think I've got it! Supposing we
completely distort our lawmaking procedures.
BIG CITY M00SE: I thought we'd done that already.
PICKLE: No, wait: I think I see what he's saying. If our lawmaking
procedures were totally bogus, then our laws would be too.
ICKY-M00SE: And the First Amendment doesn't say we can't make
BIG CITY M00SE (to Pr0phetm00se): Would that be acceptable to your
PR0PHETM00SE (offhandedly): Sure, why not.
BIG CITY M00SE: Very well. In that case, motion... miscarried?
[Big City M00se looks to Pr0phetm00se for approval. Pr0phetm00se
gives him the nod and he raps his gavel, which has now been
replaced by a fish. He regards the fish curiously for a moment
before discarding it and rummaging around under his shirt for
another gavel. After a minute, it becomes obvious that he can't
BIG CITY M00SE: Damn, I'm out! (Turns to the open door) Oh, Gavel
[Gavel Boy, dressed in a New York Mets uniform, enters through the
open door and hands Big City M00se a fresh collection of gavels
which he tucks under his shirt. Gavel Boys looks around vacuously
until Big City M00se dismisses him.]
BIG CITY M00SE: Let's hear it for Gavel Boy, ladies and gentlemen!
[Recorded applause ensues as Gavel Boy retreaths through the door.
It ends abruptly with the sound of a needle being raked clumsily
across a record.]
BIG CITY M00SE: Alright, where we we?
BIG CITY M00SE: Right! All those in favor of John's Second
Amendment, requiring that strippers be present at all future
sessions of Congress, signify by saying "Beer!"
ALL (except Austerem00se): Beer!
BIG CITY M00SE: Those opposed?
ALL (except Austerem00se): Beer!
BIG CITY M00SE: Splendid.
[Svedishm00se starts waving his hand wildly.]
BIG CITY M00SE: The floor recognizes SvedishM00se.
SVEDISHM00SE: I think we should have a death penalty!
PICKLE: Wait wait wait... How can we have a death penalty if we
have no courts in which to sentence someone to death?
SVEDISHM00SE: Well we have to have some way to punish those who
challenge the M00sey Way.
ALACRITY: Don't you think the death penalty is a bit harsh?
SVEDISHM00SE: What if anti-m00se agents conspired to steal our
MANLYM00SE: Or our beer!
PR0PHETM00SE: Or our waffles!
ALACRITY: Yes, you're right of course. Death! Death to the
BIG CITY M00SE: Just a minute, I have serious objections to the
death penalty. Granted, it would be nice to have the power to
abitrarily sentence persons whom we deemed a threat to the m00sey
way of life to instant and painful death, but think of the mess.
ICKY-M00SE: No problem: we'll just get you to clean it up.
BIG CITY M00SE: That's exactly why I'm objecting! I propose a much
more humane and less morally objectionable form of capital
punishment, which the local department of sanitation can be called
upon to clean up.
PICKLE: That being?
BIG CITY M00SE (triumphantly): Summary defenestration!
[The other representatives grumble with uncertainty.]
MANLYM00SE: And just what does 'defenestration' mean?
BIG CITY M00SE: That's a valid question. Allow me to demonstrate.
[Big City M00se puts down his gavel and walks over to the closet.
He opens it and escorts Tori Spelling out into the room. She
blinks a little as her eyes become accustomed to the light, then
smiles broadly at the Congress. Big City M00se smiles warmly back
at her, invites her to move back a step or two, then picks her up
and throws her through the window. She screams wildly on her way
down. Big City M00se listens for a muffled thump from below before
returning to the podium.]
PR0PHETM00SE: Point of ord... Uh, rather, point of disorder.
BIG CITY M00SE: Yes?
PR0PHETM00SE: Are you implying that we should punish capital
offenders by throwing Tori Spelling out the window?
BIG CITY M00SE (proudly): Yes!
SVEDISHM00SE (after a brief moment of contemplation): Brilliant!
ALACRITY: He's right: that's much better than sending people to
the electric chair.
PR0PHETM00SE: Yeah, but with the electric chair you can make
PICKLE: I say we fail to pass that into non-law immediately!
ICKY-M00SE: Here here!
ALACRITY: Capital idea!
MANLYM00SE: Oh, jeeze John, that was bad.
ALACRITY: Sorry: I'm out of practice.
BIG CITY M00SE: Right, Amendment Three is unanimously not passed.
ICKY-M00SE: Can I do the next one!? Hunh? Can I please? Pretty
please? With Spam on top?
BIG CITY M00SE (sighing and leaning into his podium): Okay, okay,
go ahead Dominic. What do you want Amendment Four to deal with?
[The representatives briefly exchange confused glances.]
BIG CITY M00SE (indignantly): Don't tell me you're pregnant again.
[Icky-M00se frowns and hangs his head. Big City M00se flies into a
BIG CITY M00SE (to Icky-M00se): There's just no teaching you
anything is there? What did we tell you about using protection?
Hunh? What did we tell you?! And after we showed you all those
training films and everything!
PICKLE: Wait, I think we should hear Dominic out.
BIG CITY M00SE (sighs): Well, why not. We've already massacred the
death penalty; might as well take a stab at abortion while we're
PR0PHETM00SE: Say, you turn a pretty metaphor.
BIG CITY M00SE (beaming and twirling his gavel): Well, you know
PR0PHETM00SE (harshly): I hate pretty metaphors.
BIG CITY M00SE: Dohw!
ICKY-M00SE (clears his throat): As I was saying, I think we should
take a stand on abortion. Not that we ought to be taking sides on
the issue, mind you. I just think we should say something
controversial about it. That way we'll get attention from the
press while confusing them at the same time.
ALACRITY: Confusing the press is always good for the M00sey cause.
PR0PHETM00SE: And by confusing the press, we'll be confusing those
who listen to the press as well.
BIG CITY M00SE: Alright then Dominic, what exactly should our
non-law about abortion say?
ICKY-M00SE: I propose that our Fourth Amendment make it illegal
for abortions to be performed... by auto mechanics!
PICKLE: Makes perfect sense to me.
BIG CITY M00SE: Okay: Dominic has unmoved to make it illegal for
automobile mechanics to perform abortions. Anybody care to
[A beer-soaked napkin flies out of the crowd of m00sey
representatives and strikes Big City M00se in the face.]
BIG CITY M00SE (gingerly peeling the napkin from his face): Motion
unseconded and miscarried. Let's put it to a vote. Those in favor,
say 'Beer sucks!'
ALL (except for Austerem00se): Beer!
BIG CITY M00SE: Close enough. Consider it not passed.
[Big City M00se prepares to rap his gavel on the podium but stops
in mid swing, amazed to find that the gavel is still a gavel. He
smiles to himself and confidently gives the podium a gentle tap.
The gavel explodes. Icky-M00se immediately bursts into laughter.]
AUSTEREM00SE (slowly lifting his head from the table): Guys?
SVEDISHM00SE (jumps back): Aaaahhh!! It's alive!!!
PR0PHETM00SE: And it wants waffles!!
BIG CITY M00SE (stunned): What is it Evan?
AUSTEREM00SE: I just thought you should know that it's almost time
PICKLE (looking at clock mounted over the door flashing the words
'Five minutes to Animaniacs!' in bright red letters): Damn, he's
MANLYM00SE (starting to rise): Well, time to end the session!
BIG CITY M00SE: Wait, we can't do that! We don't have any laws
governing how Congressi0nal sessions are to be adjourned, and our
First Amendment precludes us from ever making any!
AUSTEREM00SE (confused): What the Hell (tm) are you guys talking
ALACRITY (in a deadly serious tone): He's right. There's only one
thing we can do!
PR0PHETM00SE (gasping): You mean...!
ALACRITY: Yes! I unmove that we abolish the Congress.
PICKLE: Two minutes, guys.
ICKY-M00SE: I unsecond that unmotion!
BIG CITY M00SE (clearly aware that he is holding a plastic replica
of Richard Nixon's head instead of a gavel and not caring):
Unmoved and unseconded! The motion is miscarried! This Congress is
hereby disovled! I've got shotgun on the couch!
[Big City M00se taps Richard Nixon's head on the podium and there
is a mad rush as the ex-Congresisonal representatives scurry out
of the room, presumeably heading for the TV set. Moments later,
they run back through the door and scramble off into the audience,
being chased by a heavily bandaged, axe-wielding Tori Spelling.]
A Fairy Tale for M00ses
by Sabre the Pr0phetm00se
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow
that walked down the road. It was a moocow and it had escaped
from a very long and surrealistically rendered novel by a man
named James Joyce which are two names that begin with J which
makes him sound very clever indeed but this story is not about him
so never mind.
The moocow's name was George which was a curious name for a Moocow
but then since most moocows were lucky to get away with "Bossy" or
"Hey, you dumb cow" or "Frozen Hamburger Patties" George didn't
mind so much which was very smart thinking on her part.
George had run away from home where the Heifers and Bulls cavorted
like bunnies and not like moocows at all which was really sad
since they didn't even seem to realize they were all destined for
existence as Philly Cheese Steaks on the hoof but instead acted
like they'd be allowed to play at stud for half of forever which
was foolish so George put them all from her mind.
And as she walked George looked all around the countryside which
you would think would be the County Kildare since she escaped from
a James Joyce novel so it would be quite surprising indeed when
you discovered that in fact the road was in Wyoming which is not
that far from Colorado where the skiing is fantastic.
And as she walked she looked all around herself and saw a man and
three goats and a Bell Helicopter and a jet and a mugging and
three bottle caps and some crack cocaine and a fish that looked
like roadkill and a frog named Anton which would kill you if you
ate it so George didn't.
And then George saw a man in cow pants and a holstein shirt with a
beard and a happy smile which made him look as though he were a
Happy King and three ducks circled around him and didn't even poop
so George knew that this guy had to be pretty special so she said
"Hey there," said the man who smiled some more and gave George a
beer which made her think this man was all right unlike the guys
who sold moocows to butchers and let them get processed into dog
food and Steak'ums so she smiled and rang her bell and asked the
man's name and didn't even laugh when he said it was Frank the
Lord of all Ducks and Master of Cows.
Frank the Lord of all Ducks and Master of Cows gave George a
really good microbrew beer and asked if he and the ducks could
walk with her which George didn't mind because Wyoming was pretty
dull so the two went for a long walk and George asked Frank the
Lord of all Ducks and Master of cows what he was doing and he said
he was serving the Master.
"What master" asked George because she didn't think there was one
for humans because after all they had cities and guns and Rap
music and birkenstock sandals but Frank the Lord of all Ducks and
Master of Cows said "Leviam00se" who was the all-powerful being
and saint of the M00se Illuminati which George thought about
before deciding that Frank the Lord of all Ducks and Master of
Cows was really really high and full of crap so she ran away from
him and the ducks even though the ducks were humming the them from
Peter Gunn and wearing Blues Brothers glasses.
Of course since George the moocow had denied the existence and
protection of the all-knowing Leviam00se, she fell under the dark
sway of the Bavarian Illuminati who control everything, so
ultimately she betrayed all the other moocows and was sent to a
meat packaging plant, where she was hit in the head with a hammer
and then cut up and most of her became steaks and ground round and
hamburger and part of her was worked up into beef bullion cubes
and her liver was taken out and packaged up and her stomachs were
sent off to Scotland to be used by a Haggis cook and her eyes,
intestines, entrails and other ooky things were made into hot dogs
and her tongue was eaten in a Gourmet restaurant and her horns
were mounted on the front of a Tour Bus and her cow bell was
melted down into pennies and her skin was turned into leather
coats and her bones were ground into bone meal and used as
THE MORAL: Rotisserie League Baseball is a sad way to spend your
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
email@example.com. It would be tragic if we had to start making
Ask The Sage
The Only Advice Column You'll Ever Need or Want
by Superguy Digest's The Sage
I suspect that my next door neighbor is spying on me while I'm in
the shower. Is he? If so, what should I do?
Paranoid in Pago Pago
He is, in fact, spying on you. In fact, he is filming you for an
upcoming IMAX show, so that millions upon millions of people will
become intimately acquanited with the visual details of your
physical form. My advice: get a lawyer, and force your neighbor
to cut you in on the profits.
Hey, aren't you that guy who was in "The Princess Bride?"
Inquisitive in Indianapolis
Yes! Er...I mean, no! I mean...well, I needed the work, okay?
Do you think it's *easy* making a living when you're omniscient?
I know everything there is to know about anyone who could possibly
be a potential employer, and have good reason to not wish to enter
into contracts with any of them. Particularly Steinbrenner.
Why did Lisa Marie Presley marry Michael Jackson?
Aghast in Anaheim
It is part of a plan concocted by Michael J. Fox (who is the anti-
Elvis, as Mojo Nixon revealed in his record "Elvis is Everywhere")!
The Anti-Elvis, in his desperate attempts to reverse the flow of
everything except him into becoming more like Elvis, has
maneuvered Elvis' daughter into the marriage in order to shock the
Elvisness out of those taking care of Graceland. Once this is
accomplished, he intends to move in and renovate every square foot
Fortunately, Elvis has forseen this strategy, and has already
influenced Michael's plastic surgeon to make his next nose look
like a pinata, which won't break the wedded couple up, but should
keep her out of his pressurized chamber at nights.
That's all the time I have for this issue! This is the Sage,
Tracking the M00sey Age
Prophecy McNuggets for your Interpretation
by Sabre the Pr0phetm00se
I approach this column with some trepidation. It isn't that I'm
scared of my word processor all of a sudden or things like that --
that would be silly. No, it's because even when I don't believe
I'm writing as a thrall to the powers and forces which make me an
accredited prophet, I discover a prophetic edge to my work. I am
speaking, of course, of Tippy the House Shrimp, who I wrote about
in last month's column.
For those of you who might not have read that column (or
alternately have blocked it from their minds with liquor), Tippy
was a salt-water shrimp the M00se-owner of the house I'm staying
it kept as a pet. As I had no Prophetic Wisdom to pass onto the
Illuminati at large, I wrote a column about the Tipster in order
to keep my place as the regular prophetic columnist.
It was, in fact, destiny that drove me.
Andy Warhol once said that in the future, we would have fifteen
minutes of fame. Of course, Andy Warhol also made a version of
"Dracula" with Frank Langella as the lead and painted still life
of a Campbell's Tomato Soup can and called it art, so we've mostly
screened him out. But the truth of his words came forth with
You see, I devoted my column to the little sea-bug (known
affectionately around the house as `one-seventh of a cocktail').
He became famous. He gained a level of celebrity which few
crustaceans ever know -- catapulting him in the ranks of Larry the
Lobster from Saturday Night Live and the guy who wore the Alien
suit in the movies.
Fifteen minutes he was owed, and fifteen minutes he got. Just a
few days ago, the House Owner walked up to me and said "that's it,
It seemed to have happened in his sleep, though as he went to the
bathroom in the same tank, one could easily draw parallels to
Elvis. The House Owner was beginning one of the sacred Fish Owner
rituals (namely, scraping the front of the tank with a razor blade
to remove algae, as one tries very hard to simulate an undersea
environment, but one doesn't want the scum that comes with it --
sort of like Walt Disney's plans for Virginia). The House Owner
was scraping merrily away, when he noticed the corpse. With deep,
heartfelt emotion, he say "I guess I don't need to finish
scraping" and shut the tank off.
The question was then, what does one do with a dead pet shrimp?
Bury it? Cremate it? Flush it? Eat it with cocktail sauce? We
had no idea. So for the moment, we've left Tippy right where he
died, in a pool of stagnating salt water.
I, of course, felt tremendous guilt. "I did this to Tippy!" I
wailed, tearing my clothes and dumping dirt on my head, having no
ashes as neither the House Owner nor I smoke. "The notoriety and
lifestyle were too much for him!"
"No!" the House Owner said. "His death was fated! You must have
predicted it, and given him the fame he deserved in his dying
And, as this improves my reputation rather than destroying it, I
have to agree. Which made me go for a long walk with a bottle of
Yukon Jack, trying to sense the purpose Tippy's fame and death
served. Was it the dirt/glop that he ate? Was it the pragmatic
need for column filler? Was it a smell? Was it a parable?
"There by the Grace of God, a developed spine, a sophisticated
brain and opposable thumbs go I?"
And then the reverie came on me as I threw up the Yukon Jack into
the stream bed, killing several minnows. Leviam00se had sent us
the lowliest of creatures -- a shrimp who ate dirt and entertained
the masses -- to teach us, and then took him away from us! Which
could only mean one thing!
Tippy *will* be born again! He will return to us in our hour of
need, and open the Path to Leviam00se and the coming of the M00sey
Age. The Revelations descended through my tortured brain like
rabbits through a kiln. I understood, at last.
Besides, this would give my columns focused for a while.
Obviously, we need to Canonize Tippy. The only way to do that is
to document the miracles Tippy performs in your lives. So, when
you sight Tippy, or feel his spirit, or otherwise sense the coming
of the House Shrimp into your life, send that testimonial to the
editors of this newsletter! They will collect the evidence for
transmission to Ecclesiastical courts. I, meanwhile, shall
attempt to set into electronic print the Scriptures I have had
imprinted on my brain by Tippy's passing and the visions that came
from it. And together, we may all see the truth.
Because gosh darn it, Tippy would have wanted it that way.
Book I: Crustaceans
1: In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth as part
of a cosmic chain of events that involved a Big Bang and aeons of
time and development;
2: And these events were desperately misinterpreted by early
Biblical Scholars who were enlightened as to the events, but had
no sense of scale;
3: And so did these Scholars decide that what it all meant was
that God had taken a really long time making everything, and there
were ages wherein
4: There was only the protostars and dust (which they called
Heaven and Earth) and then the evolutionary process took place,
which led to dead dinosaurs;
5: Who would later become oil and therefore plastic, and lead to
the microchip, which in turn would allow this scripture to be
6: In an improbable chain of events which I can barely even
discuss without sounding like an imbecile, but there you go,
7: And so the Scholars decided that they had to ascribe a
comprehensible time of great length to the events they perceived,
and attempt to write about it
8: Lest their advance be forfeit,
9: And lest they be made a laughingstock in the publishing
10: So was it DONE that they decided that God did it in a week, as
that was the longest period of time they could imagine anyone
11: On a project of any complexity, that being about as long as
they intended to spend on their own revelations, after all,
12: And so was it inked in, though it was rather a drastic
abridgement, which did not deal with Supernovas creating gold or
13: Of the other really cool bits.
14: And so it was that the World was created and evolution took
place, at first in the seas, since that's all that there were,
15: And thus did the prokaryotes become eukaryotes, and then
16: And thus did cells specialize, and decide to link up, and
organelles developed, and thus were early fish made;
17: And the fish swam around, and were blobby and formless, but
that there was no bones yet developed for them to have;
18: No teeth nor spines, nor a skull for the brain,
19: For brains they had, though small and malformed ones, which
were really little more than neurons tied together;
20: Nor had they femurs,
21: Nor ribs nor sternum,
22: No bones at all did they have,
23: Not a Sausage.
24: And so it was that LEVIAM00SE did come across them, as he is a
sea creature too, after all, being that he is so large;
25: And did he say unto the blobby things, whoops,
26: I did almost squish you,
27: And crush you,
28: And that would have been gross.
29: Therefore, did LEVIAM00SE call forth for hard shells to cover
the disgusting little twisted creatures;
30: Shells which would be mottled, but change color if you
happened to boil the living creature although that would be
31: And he made it to be done, and thus were there Shellfish;
32: Lobsters and Anenomes, and Crayfish and Spider-like Crabs, and
all of their ilk.
1: But the grace of LEVIAM00SE did not descend upon these
2: You look frightening, said he, and I will not love you, for you
resemble big bugs and you have claws which could take a finger
3: Or put an eye out,
4: And you know how many times I've warned you about that.
5: But then did LEVIAM00SE perceive a tiny little crustacean,
6: Which did not pose a threat of any sort, but instead was lowly,
and ate dirt and mud and muck at the bottom of the sea bed;
7: And LEVIAM00SE did behold these creatures, who seemed so
content and thrilled to eat their dirt that they danced in stupid
8: And did he howl with laughter.
9: And did he say that the little bugs were really pathetic,
10: Horribly inadequate,
11: And mocked them him by calling them Shrimpy.
12: And did Bert, for he was the wisest of the little creatures,
speak then, saying unto LEVIAM00SE thus;
13: Hey pal, you made us.
14: If we are small and ridiculous, it's because you thought we
15: We had no say in the matter,
16: Nor would we have known what to do if we had been given a
17: Because you gave us shells but no more brain cells
18: Than would fit in a thimble.
19: And LEVIAM00SE admitted as to how Bert had a point,
20: And said he that of all the hard shelled invertebrates, the
only ones he would love,
21: Show favor to and give the benefits of being M00selike
22: Would be the people of Bert, who should therefore be called
23: For Shrimp was the mocking title he had gifted them before
Bert did speak, and therefore was Shrimp his perceptions of them,
24: And lo did the Shrimp do a happy dance of joy, and eat more
dirt, for they were not very bright,
25: Nor would they know an insult if it clubbed them,
26: And was Bert placated, and did he rejoin his brethren, the
beloved of LEVIAM00SE, and did he learn also to keep his big mouth
27: Lest he get his brethren into even worse trouble than before.
28: And so LEVIAM00SE did give the Shrimp a giant field of dirt
and mud at the bottom of the ocean,
29: Where all Shrimp could live with no predator to hunt them
30: And said He All this is yours, as long as you would keep my
single law and injunction, which shouldn't be hard,
31: As that law is simply this:
32: Do not slaughter each other in groups of seven, dip the
shelled forms of each other into Cocktail Sauce, and eat each
33: Keep this my law, and all the benefits of my love shall you
34: And LEVIAM00SE left then, to scope some babes,
35: And the people of Bert, who were the Shrimp, did say, you
know, I never would have thought to try that.
HERE ENDETH THE LESSON
CHAPTERS THREE AND FOUR TO BE REVEALED NEXT MONTH
Edited by Svedishm00se
All reviews for future editions of The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill
Follies 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 VMiX 386 from Robotech_M00se.
Some of you may note that it is a sad day when the only review
we have for an entire month is of an operating system. Well,
didn't you see a movie this month? Didn't you buy at least one
new compact disc? Or maybe have a particularly good meal, or
try a new toothpaste? It doesn't have to be this way, you know.
Not that we would stoop to guilt-trip techniques. Oh, no. Not
When was the last time you called your mother, anyway?
A software review by Robotech_M00se
Item: VMiX 386, Version 2.85, Unregistered Shareware
Purchased From: ftped from SimTel archive site
The premise VMiX is based on would seem very m00sey indeed at
first glance--let's make a shell that resembles Unix but runs on
DOS to confuse the hell out of everybody! (They SAY that they
wanted to create a multitasking and multiuser environment for IBM
PC and PS/2 (PC, XT, AT, PS/2) compatibles, but I know that it had
to be based on m00sey ideals.) I played around with it for only a
little while, and the odds are that I had it configured wrong for
my computer, but based on my experiences, I just don't like it.
Basically, VMiX has several Unix-like features, including
multitasking and multiple-user (via LAN or dialin) capabilities.
However, it is run under DOS, version 3.1 through 6.0 so far.
Multitasking is done from the command-line, through the use of hot
keys when the program is run and when swapping is desired. It
divides a 286 or 386's extended memory up into 640K chunks for
each application to use (so you can predict that you're probably
not going to be running anything too big on it--like, say, _Wing_
_Commander_). Graphics would seem to be a nono, too...when I ran a
VGA game called _Fountain of Dreams_ in one of the windows, it
messed up in the most picturesque way...
If you'd like to try VMiX yourself, by the way, the Unregistered
Shareware version is located on the SimTel sites. I couldn't tell
you what they are, but I found out about it myself by grabbing the
SimTel software lists off of news.answers, so you could look
there, or do an archie or veronica search. The whole thing,
including documentation, only takes up 718087 bytes unzipped.
Now, I'll attempt to describe some of VMiX's major features, and
some of its major hangups. Some of these descriptions get kind of
long and involved, but bear with me, okay guys? (Or m00se with me,
as the case may be...bl00p!)
The system I chose to run this program on, it being the only
system available to me, is a Packard Bell Legend 300SX 386SX/16
computer, with 5 megabytes of RAM. I put it in the C:\VMIX
directory on my 42 meg hard drive and read about how to configure
First of all, VMiX required some sweeping changes to autoexec and
config.sys files. For example, it wanted me to run HIMEM.SYS
rather than QEMM.SYS, and not have an ANSI.SYS driver running. It
also mentioned the FILES and BUFFERS numbers I should set, et
cetera. Rather than mess up my machine's startup, I thought, why
don't I just make a boot disk that will load it up for me? And so
However, this proved to be unsatisfactory, since the blasted thing
would read and write to the A drive boot disk, even when I told it
to run VMiX from the C drive. This slowed down everything, to my
annoyance. I ended up having to go ahead and change the autoexec
and config files on the hard drive anyway.
Okay. Anyway, I eventually got it loaded and played around with
it a little bit. This is what I found...
VMiX runs in essentially three shells. There's a "VMiX" shell, a
DOS shell, and a pull-down menu system you run from those. I only
played with the pull-down menus a little bit, as I wasn't
interested in them, so I can't say much about them. However, I'll
talk a bit about the two other shells now.
The VMiX shell looks pretty much like a DOS shell, except the
background is blue and it displays a little "hints" screen when
you first run it. All I can really say about it is that it
annoyed me. Whenever I tried to do anything, it would end up
turning half the screen blue, or some such thing. Disgusted, I
turned to the command-line DOS emulation. Oddly enough, when I
ran VMiX with the DOS emulation, it told me that it was shareware
and asked if I would like to print an order form, which it did NOT
do when I ran it with the VMiX shell.
In either shell, the basic features are pretty similar. It's like
running DOS with some Unix commands tacked on. To run a program
or execute a command as usual, you just type the command and run
it as usual. However, to multitask this command requires special
In order to enable task swapping, one must press one or both shift
keys along with the enter key after typing the command, depending
on whether one wants the task to take up half the screen or take
up a whole screen and run in the background. For example, if I
wanted to get a file list and have it show up in the lower half of
the screen, I would type 'dir' and press shift-enter. It would
then display a file list in the lower half of the screen, while
keeping a command line in the upper half.
If I wanted to run another program, say, Qedit, in the background
while still keeping the DOS command line open, I would type 'Q'
and press leftshift/rightshift-enter. To switch between tasks,
you press shift-tab.
If you don't want to mess with the shift-enter, you can couch the
commands as ~do dir~ or ~do -W Q~ (to use my examples
But that's not all...you can open another shell by typing ~do
rshell~, or open an honest-to-goodness genuine DOS shell by typing
~do .~ [with or without the -W flag in either case]. If you log
into your rshell as ~su~ you get kernel access priveleges. Other
commands include ~ps~ which gives a very Unix-like list of
processes currently running and their owners, and ~kill~ which is
basically a stripped-down version of Unix kill.
Whew! Okay. Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I have a few
things to say about the effectiveness of this shell.
I may have installed it wrong, or not done everything right, but
it just didn't work out for me. I had both it and DOS using high
memory, as recommended, and was attempting to run two applications
at once, neither of which should have required more than the 640 K
doled out to each: Qedit 3.00 (my DOS text editor of choice) and
Readmail 4.1 (an offline email-reading program). (Both of these
utilities are also available through SimTel, BTW, and highly
recommended by this reviewer.)
In case you're interested, I was currently involved in writing
segments for the finale to "Industrial Revolution," a plotline on
the Superguy collaborative fiction list server, and was trying to
use Qedit to write the segments and Readmail to reference the
rough draft segments sent by other authors. However, it just
didn't work that well.
First of all, the hot keys were awkward. Pressing shift-shift-
enter every time I run something is bothersome, not to mention
having to ~remember~ to press it. Multitasking should depend on
the system's memory, not on the user's memory.
What's more, the whole thing kept crashing. Every few commands,
or every few messages or lines I read, the computer would lock up
beyond ctrl-alt-del's capacity for reset. After a while, I just
gave up and went back to straight DOS.
In the end, I have to say that if VMiX had worked a little better,
it might have been worth using. Heck, I would have been satisfied
entirely if it just didn't crash. However, it did, and I can't
really recommend using it unless you know what you're doing and
don't mind frustration. Ah, well...you can hardly expect Unix
from 720K of files, anyway.
My ratings are as follows:
Concept: 8 out of a possible 10
Execution: C- out of a possible A
Ease of Use: 1.5 out of a possible pi
_Subscriptions_: To subscribe to The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill
Follies, send a message to Pickle (firstname.lastname@example.org), containing the
subject line "subscribe Follies". To unsubscribe, use the
subject line "unsubscribe Follies".
_Submissions_: For a current submissions guidelines file, send a
message with the subject line "submission guidelines". To send an
actual submission, use the subject line "submit Follies".
_Shameless_plugs_: If you enjoy The Gary, Eric, Dominic, and Bill
Follies, you may also enjoy _Superguy_Digest_, a shared-world
collaborative fiction group devoted mostly to humorous superhero
fiction. To subscribe, send mail to email@example.com,
containing the command "subscribe superguy your name here" in the
body of the message. (Naturally, there are no quotes in the actual
command, and you use your own name.) Also check out the Superguy
Web Site, at:
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank