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______ __ __ __ ______ / __ / / \ \ \ \ \ / _\/_ \ / /_/ /andom / /\ \ccess \ \_\ \umor | |____| | / _ _/ / ____ \ \ __ \ \__ \____/ / / \ \ / / \ \ \ \ \ \ |_\____| /_/ \_\ /_/ \_\ \_\ \_\ |____| -------------------------------------------------- The Electronic Humor Magazine -------------------------------------------------- Version 1 Release 8 November 1994 Editor: Dave Bealer Copyright 1994 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved Printed on 100% recycled electrons Filmed before a virtual studio audience Random Access Humor is an irregular production of: VaporWare Communications 32768 Infinite Loop Sillycon Valley, CA. 80486-DX4 USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! The "look and feel" of Random Access Humor has been specifically earmarked, spindled and polygraphed. Anyone who attempts to copy this look and feel without express written consent of the publisher will be fed to rabid radioactive hamsters by our Security Director, Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari. TABLE OF INCONTINENCE: About Vaporware Communications.....................................01 Editorial - Portrait Of The Humorist As A Middle-Aged Novice.......01 Lettuce to the Editor..............................................03 Ten Very Forward...................................................03 Privacy Assured....................................................16 Biography of Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari...........................17 The Opraldohue Show................................................18 The 1994 Ig Nobel Prizewinners.....................................22 RAH Humor Review: The M*A*S*H Novels...............................24 Announcements......................................................26 Bumper Stickers Seen on the Information Superhighway...............27 Masthead - Submission Information.................................A-1 RAH Distribution System...........................................A-3 Random Access Humor Page 1 November 1994 About Vaporware Communications VaporWare Communications is an operating division of VaporWare Corporation, a public corporation. Stock Ticker Symbol: SUKR VaporWare Corporate Officers: Luther Lecks President, Chief Egomaniac Officer Dorian Debacle, M.B.A. Gabriel Escargot V.P., Operations V.P., Customer Service Pav Bhaji, M.Tax.(Avoidance) Carlos Goebbels V.P., Finance V.P., Political Correctness Kung Pao Har Hoo, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. F.A.C.S, C.P.A., S.P.C.A., Y.M.C.A., L.E.D., Q.E.D., op. cit., et al. V.P., Research & Development --------------------------------------------------------------------- NOTICE to sysops in Oklahoma and similar bastions of progressive thinking: This issue of RAH mentions body parts (such as hands and feet) that may stir the prurient interests of the Thought Police in your area (or any other area that can reach your area by telephone). You bear full responsibility for any reaction the presence of this material on your system may evoke from the Forces Of Goodness And Right (Reformed). Have a nice day. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Mental Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 issue Servings Per Container 1 ===================================================================== Amount per serving Ideas: 23 Ideas from fatheads: 5 ===================================================================== % daily value Total fatheads: 2 15 Saturated fatheads: 1 24 Castor Oil: 0 0 Silliness: 11 110 Total Comic content: 51 Actual jokes: 37 73 Puns: 14 1145 --------------------------------------------------------------------- Editorial - Portrait Of The Humorist As A Middle-Aged Novice by Dave Bealer A great deal has been said and written about the value of electronic publication credits to the career of a budding writer. Many print magazine editors discount e-mag credits, it is true. It's also true that most magazine editors won't even recognize that a given magazine is electronic, rather than hardcopy, at least half the time. The moral of the story here is don't tell 'em it's an electronic magazine ...just tell 'em you were published. Random Access Humor Page 2 November 1994 The good news is that at least a few farsighted editors are scouting for new talent on the Internet and in electronic magazines. Back in August I received e-mail from Kristin King, then the humor editor for _Network News_, the official magazine of the Network Professional Association (NPA), an organization populated mainly by Certified Novell Engineers. She had seen my work in RAH, and wanted to buy reprint rights to one of my articles. A couple of weeks later I signed my first publication contract, for reprint rights to "Take Us To The Promised LAN" (RAH - 01/93). I Express Mailed my photo to the publisher's office in Utah to meet the deadline. Mundane stuff for professional writers, I'm sure, but exciting stuff for someone still getting started. In late October I received my contributor copy of the September issue of _Network News_. My article (with photo) appeared as the "Last Look" commentary piece for that issue. Beginning on the 54th (and final) page, it continued to completion on page 53. Also included in the package was a check covering payment for the article (at twenty cents a word) and reimbursement for the Express Mail charges. An invitation, signed by Oie Lian Yeh (the new humor editor for _Network News_), to submit additional material for consideration was the final item in the package. Although I, of all people, recognize that electronic publication is real publication, there is still something special about seeing your own words on the printed page. One of my fondest lifelong dreams is to one day be able to enter any mall bookstore in the country and see copies of a book I wrote on the shelves, if not on cardboard display racks just inside the door. _Network News_ is a professional trade journal (a highly respected one), so it's not available in any bookstore or newsstand. Still, I do have a check to cash. Note that I had never even heard of _Network News_ before Kristin contacted me. In any event, I wanted to tell unpublished writers that there *are* possibilities for getting your foot in the door by "giving your work away" through electronic publication. The editors of _Network News_ obviously thought there was little enough overlap between RAH, one of the most widely distributed e-mags in the world, and their print publication to warrant paying their standard reprint rates for my article. The only remaining mystery is why, although my article was edited for reprint, they decided to leave in a reference to Vaporware Corporation. - - - - CD of the Month: _A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon_. Warren Zevon was writing humorous (and very strange) songs long before Weird Al Yankovic ever made the recording scene. The disc features such classics as "Werewolves of London" and "Lawyers, Guns, and Money." The RAH issue you are now reading is an example of what can happen if someone leaves this disc on continuous play for an entire month. {RAH} Random Access Humor Page 3 November 1994 Lettuce to the Editor Area Internet E-mail, Msg#100, Oct-10-94 04:00AM From: whocares@none.a.u.business To: editor_schmuck@vaporware.com WE %gotta% u ^cats^ YOU #publish# *the* VINNIE @bio@ and U *never* -see- DEM %again% #a# @fren@ - - - - - - - - - - - - Listen, Fren, Threatening my cats will not get me to abandon my journalistic integrity. Threatening me, maybe, but not my cats. The article runs as planned. DB - - - - - - - - - - - - We want to hear from our readers! Get the same kind of respectful answers to YOUR questions. Send your e-mail to: Internet> lettuce@rah.clark.net FidoNet> Lettuce at 1:261/1129 You can also ask your questions in one (or both) of our two new RAH reader conferences. Internet users can subscribe to our RAHUSER mailing list (send e-mail to: rahinfo@rah.clark.net for instructions) and FidoNet users can ask their sysops to obtain the new RAHUSER echo from the RAH Publication BBS (1:261/1129). --------------------------------------------------------------------- Ten Very Forward by Dave Bealer Acting Ensign Leslie Ann Musher was moping. This was nothing new, since Leslie was a teenager. Even worse, he had a name that was more effeminate than he was (which was not an easy accomplishment). Gee. Leslie was bad enough, but Ann? What had his parents been thinking? They probably hadn't been thinking, as usual. Leslie's father didn't think much any more, being dead these many years. He had been killed in the line of duty, attempting to give his captain's cat a bath. What a hideous way to go, with your body covered in wet cat hair. Leslie hated cats, especially the stupid one named "Snot" that belonged to the second officer, Lieutenant Commander Object. Eventually Leslie tired of scrolling through the latest digitally stored issue of _Playbeing_, accessed through an account he had hacked into months before. Commander Spik'er would probably never wise up to the increased usage. The Deltan centerfold was quite arousing, especially with the new "rub and sniff pheromone simulation" technology. Still...Leslie put on a bathing suit and skulked off to the Virtual Reality Deck to run his favorite program, "Busty Beach Babes From Bayonne." He couldn't even remember which planet Bayonne was on, not that it really mattered. Random Access Humor Page 4 November 1994 Thirty minutes later Leslie padded back to his quarters, dripping water on the deck. "I thought the Captain warned you about that, Les." Leslie wheeled, startled. The voice was familiar, but seemed to be coming from behind and above him. "Gordie? Is that you?" Leslie scanned the passage behind him, then noticed an open service panel a few meters back along the ceiling. Leslie's question was answered by a dark blur that dropped from the open panel and sprawled itself on the deck. "Uugh," noted Gordie as he skidded to a stop. "You were expecting, maybe, X?" Leslie walked over and offered his friend a hand getting up. "Don't even mention that bozo. I'm so sick of him showing up and comparing himself to 'the name brand' all-powerful aliens. Doesn't he know that stuff went out of style in the 1960s?" Gordie grinned his trademark grin. "Don't be so hard on him, Les. At least he always loses to the name brand." He busied himself with a rag, removing the water that now streaked the back of his synthleather jacket while Leslie rolled his eyes and sighed mightily. Gordie sniffed the rag. "Sea water? Hangin' with the beach babes again, huh, Les?" Leslie blushed from the tips of his toes to the roots of his hair. "Does everyone on this tub keep track of everything I do?" he whined petulantly. "Just the embarrassing stuff." Gordie chuckled and mussed Leslie's hair. Leslie ducked away from Gordie's hand. "That's not funny," he muttered bitterly. "Sorry Les." A concerned look crossed Gordie's face. Leslie missed this, since the engineer's face was concealed by the brown paper bag he customarily wore over his head. "'smatter, your sense of humor on leave?" "Nah. I was just thinking..." "About something *other* than those beach babes?" "Maybe." Leslie's blush deepened. Since he had no intention of telling anyone, even Gordie, what he has just been thinking about, he decided to change the subject. "So...what were you doin' up in the ceiling? Hiding from Captain Picardo again?" Gordie snorted. "No way! We got that ironed out long ago. That was a straight medical physical your mother was giving me." "Right! Just like the ones she gives the captain every night, and sometimes on Saturday afternoons." Random Access Humor Page 5 November 1994 "Now Les, nobody is supposed to know about that." It was Leslie's turn to snort. "Sure. Anyone who's deaf, dumb and blind doesn't know about it. You'd think with all this technology they could come up with bed frames that don't squeak..." "Les..." "Forget it!" Leslie felt suddenly embarrassed by his mother's extracurricular activities. "Alright then...what *were* you doing up in the ceiling?" "Checking the tachyon dispensers. Since they are capable of solving any problem, we have to make sure they're always available." "But since we're a cruise ship now, why do we need those anyway?" "Space is a dangerous place, Les. Just because Starfleet sold the _Enterprise_ to Countess Cruise Lines due to downsizing doesn't mean that bad things can't happen to the ship." Leslie was letting himself get agitated now. "They took out the photon torpedo bays and replaced them with jacuzzis. And the phaser banks are now a skeet shooting range!" "Yeah, and they changed the ship's name from _Enterprise_ to _Ecstasy_. What's your point?" Leslie sighed, and rolled his eyes like he was talking to a small child. "The point is, there are now more Virtual Reality decks on board than laboratories. The main VR deck contractor has three technicians permanently assigned to the ship. What about our old mission of exploration and research?" "Wake up and smell the tribbles, Les! Nobody cares about exploration anymore. All people care about is what makes them feel good *now*. They don't care about tomorrow. The pioneer spirit is dead." "That's a pretty selfish attitude. What about my generation, and the ones to follow?" "You'll figure out something, Les. You guys are pretty smart... not as smart as you think you are, but pretty smart. Hey, you want *real* smart, check out those Nintendo technicians, they're all smart cookies. That blonde with the spiked hair, what's her name?" "Lisa." "Right, Lisa. She may know virtual reality, but I bet she could show you a thing or two about *real* reality as well." "Puleease! She's gotta be at least twenty-five!" Random Access Humor Page 6 November 1994 Gordie grinned knowingly. "Older women can be fun, Les. They know things..." Suddenly Leslie's communicator beeped. "Ensign Musher, report to sick bay, on the double!" Leslie winced at the all-too-familiar voice. He slapped the device to enable transmit. "Coming, mother." He looked up at his grinning friend. "Go ahead and smirk, LeStudd. I may just ask Lisa out." "If you won't, I will. You better run along now..." Leslie checked to make sure no one else was in the corridor, then stuck his tongue out at Gordie as the engineer climbed back through the ceiling panel to complete his inspection. Although Leslie knew it was an infantile gesture, he didn't particularly care at that moment. It made him feel better. - - - - "I'm waiting for an explanation, Leslie." Dr. Cleverly Musher was wearing an impatient expression on her face. Leslie had categorized over 300 expressions his mother's face was capable of displaying in times of stress; everything from 'I am contemplating being mildly irritated about this situation' up to 'I am going to hurl you into a supernova, without a spacesuit, or even sunblock, if you don't stop that this instant.' Leslie finally decided this expression was about a 202 on the scale, which was 'If you think you'll ever hear the end of this from me, you have another think coming.' He didn't see what the big deal was. Those books had long been considered literature. "I don't see what the big deal is, Mom. Those books were considered literature back when *you* were sixteen." "That's not the point and you know it. And another thing, stop saying 'when *I* was sixteen' like it was during the Paleolithic Age." "Come on, Mom. It was just _The Story of O_ and _Exit to Eden_. They're both considered classics." "Classic trash! You might as well be reading William Burroughs, for heaven's sake." "I thought you didn't believe in heaven, Mom. And who's this William Burroughs?" Leslie made a mental note to look up the name in _Books Online_. "Don't try to change the subject, young man. We were talking about these 'interests' you are developing. As a physician, I know they are only natural." Random Access Humor Page 7 November 1994 "So why are you giving me hormone blockers, and why do have I to sleep in that stupid stasis-sleep box every night." "That's for your own protection, Leslie. And stop trying to change the subject! I thought you had a talk with Lt. Blorf about this last week. Didn't the rather spartan Klingon methods of dealing with... shall we say, frustrations, appeal to you?" "Hah! Mom, do you know about the Klingon version of a cold shower? It involves smashing your genitals with a spiked iron club." "Really? Blorf never would reveal how he received those injuries. No wonder he's always so cranky. Alright, that method is definitely out." Leslie breathed a deep sigh of relief. Cleverly's eyes suddenly lit up. "What about Counselor d'Troit? She might be able to help." Leslie didn't believe that for a nanosecond. On the other hand, he never passed up a chance to spend time with the ship's counselor. Of course, Leslie was more interested in her other on-board job than in her psychoanalytical abilities. "Sure, Mom. Anything you say." Cleverly Musher, M.D. gave her only offspring a suspicious glance. She wondered why he was suddenly so cooperative. - - - - Leslie sat in the counselor's waiting room. He studiously ignored the collection of paper magazines, most of which dated back to the 20th century, lying on a low table in the center of the small room. His entire attention was focused on the poster on the opposite wall. The subject of Leslie's scrutiny was a standard glossy advertising poster, about a meter high and nearly that wide, bearing words in several languages and a picture in the center. The top of the poster read, 'Helen d'Troit: Enough beauty to launch at least one ship.' Below the picture appeared the smaller legend, 'Alright, would you believe a shuttlecraft?' At the very bottom of the poster appeared the larger words, 'Appearing nightly in the Lido Lounge, U.S.S. Ecstasy.' Leslie already knew these words by heart. The real subject of the youth's attention was the full color, tri-d picture of the ship's counselor, clad only in pasties and a g-string. Leslie shifted his legs uncomfortably. He wore the most baggy pair of trousers that could be worn with anything other than clown shoes. Any other pants became most uncomfortable during his interviews with Counselor d'Troit. The worst part was that d'Troit didn't need to see the state of his trousers to know exactly what he was thinking every time he was near her. It was very embarrassing. Random Access Humor Page 8 November 1994 Leslie's art appreciation was interrupted by the door to d'Troit's inner office swooshing open. It was not the counselor that emerged, however, but Lt. Tar, the ship's chief of security. The short, but powerful, blonde officer had her left arm in a sling. She noticed Leslie staring at it. "It's not that bad, Les. Just a sprain." "How did it happen?" "'My favorite android' and I went slam dancing last night in the Clapton Memorial Disco. Object got a little carried away." Leslie smirked, "Looks more like you got carried away, on a stretcher!" Tar blushed slightly, then laughed despite herself. "Okay, smart boy. I bet you wouldn't be able to take your hands off your lap and walk into d'Troit's office if you weren't wearing those clown pants." Leslie's grin turned into a blush. It occurred to him that he'd been blushing quite a lot lately. "They're not clown pants," Leslie mumbled, exhibiting a sudden intense interest in the pattern on d'Troit's waiting room floor. "Right." Tar headed for the outer office door. "Don't worry, kid. Helen's wearing her uniform today." As the outer door closed behind Lt. Tar, the inner office door opened again. Helen d'Troit stood in the doorway and grinned at Leslie, who had tremendous difficulty forcing himself not to stare at her cleavage. "Hello, Ensign Hormone Storm. Come on in," she suggested seductively. Of course, everything she did seemed seductive to Leslie. The furiously blushing youth followed her into the office, walking a little oddly despite his clown pants. - - - - "Everyone treats me like a clown...or maybe a performing dog," Leslie muttered to himself as he trudged towards the turbolift an hour later. The door swooshed open and he entered the lift, joining two passengers that were already aboard. "Bridge," Leslie ordered, supremely glad that he followed d'Troit's advice and changed into regular uniform trousers before going to see the captain. The two young men (this was a singles cruise, Leslie remembered) got off on deck five and immediately headed for unoccupied VR decks, the Nintendo logo glistening on their doors. The turbolift doors closed again and completed the trip to the bridge. Leslie always got a lump in his throat as the lift doors opened on the bridge. He simply couldn't shake the memory of his first visit here, when the captain had nearly torn his head off for daring to enter His bridge. Random Access Humor Page 9 November 1994 A great deal had changed on the bridge since that fateful day. The tactical control station now controlled the hundreds of virtual reality environments on board the ship. The science station controlled the swimming pools, tennis courts, and variable-gravity sports venues. Monitors viewed all the action in the ship's casino. Cheating was rare considering the fact that Lt. Blorf, the bouncer, would not hesitate to throw offenders not only out of the casino, but out of the nearest convenient airlock into deep space. His crankiness was legendary among the gamblers of the quadrant. One thing that hadn't changed was the center seat. Well, it *was* covered with sheepskin now - the real deal, too. None of that artificial stuff for the captain of Countess Cruise Lines' flagship. Captain Ricardo Picardo hadn't changed that much. He still exuded a palpable aura of command that scared the hell out of Leslie. The expensive rug that topped his former chrome dome looked good, even if it looked strange to those who knew him before he took to wearing it. Leslie descended to the center of the bridge, facing the man in the center seat. Picardo looked up from the dog-eared Harold Robbins paperback he was reading. "Ensign? What is it?" "A flag flown by ancient maritime vessels, sir. But that's not important right now. May I speak to you in private?" Picardo sighed, but rose. "Of course, I always have a few moments for a member of the crew...even one with pimples." Leslie gulped for air like a landed fish. He soon recovered and followed Picardo into his ready-or-not room. Picardo walked over to the nutrient replicator. "Sangria, tepid." The mechanism hummed. Picardo took the resulting pitcher and sprawled on the lounge chair behind his falsewood desk. He filled a crystal glass, from which he immediately took a big chug. "Sit down, ensign. What can I do for you?" "I just saw Counselor d'Troit." "In the Lido Lounge? I thought you knew better than to go in there again until you're at least eighteen?" "No, sir. I saw..." "You don't know better?" Leslie noticed a dangerous color building in the captain's face. "No, sir. I mean, yes, sir. I do know better than to go into the Lido Lounge again. I saw Counselor d'Troit in her office." Picardo relaxed. "Well, that's different. Go on." Random Access Humor Page 10 November 1994 "Counselor d'Troit gave me this." Leslie handed the captain a neatly folded piece of paper. Picardo folded open the paper and read the note. His eyebrows did a quick vulcan science officer impression. "I take it your mother doesn't know about this?" "No, sir. Counselor d'Troit thought it would be best for her not to know." "Really?" Picardo's brow knitted in thought as he took another chug of sangria. "I suppose there's something to that. Mothers do tend to be unreasonable about these things where their sons are concerned. Fathers, on the other hand, tend to overreact when it comes to their daughters." Leslie thought that mothers, or at least *his* mother, tended to be unreasonable about most everything. He decided to keep that opinion to himself, especially considering how close the captain was to his mother...almost every night. "Yes, sir." "The question is, do *you* think you're ready for this, Leslie?" Leslie was momentarily stunned, since the captain had never referred to him by his first name before. As to the question, Leslie had been ready for this for years. "Yes, sir!" "Very well, ensign, you have your waiver." Picardo returned immediately to formal mode. He signed the note and returned it the eager hands of the acting ensign. "Enjoy." "Thank you, sir!" Leslie grabbed the note and had to force himself to not run from the room. - - - - Leslie straightened his best uniform tunic for the thousandth time. He was so on edge that his nerve endings were practically outside his body. Destiny was just around the corner. He steeled himself again and marched around the corner, directly into the tank-like chest of Commander Spik'er, the ship's executive officer. "Whoa, Les! What's the rush?" Spik'er bent to help Leslie, who had bounced off his chest and was sprawled on the floor. "No rush, I just wasn't paying attention. Sorry, sir." He brushed himself off and desperately tried to look nonchalant. Spik'er shrugged off the apology. "No big deal, pal." He cocked his head to one side. "Gee, you're sure spiffed up. Got a date tonight?" Leslie unsuccessfully tried to fight off the blush, "No sir, not exactly." Random Access Humor Page 11 November 1994 "Not exactly, eh? Well...," Spik'er started to leave. Suddenly he stopped and eyed Leslie suspiciously. "Wait a minute. You're not planning to try getting in there again, are you?" He gestured vaguely towards a mahogany covered doorway at the end of the hall. "Well..." "Come off it, Les. You know that Guyaxy's people will never let you in. If you tick her off too badly, she won't let you in even when you *are* old enough." Leslie drew himself up to his full height, which came roughly to Spik'er's sternum. He offered the note to the Exec. "This says I'm old enough now, sir." Spik'er took the paper, glared briefly at Leslie, then unfolded and read the note. He grunted. "Signed by d'Troit and Picardo, eh? Is this on the level?" "Yes, sir." Leslie was becoming concerned that so many people were finding out about this. "You poor kid. But do you think Guyaxy will buy this?" Leslie stood with his hands clasped behind his back, poking at nothing in particular with the toe of his right shoe. He shrugged. "Alright, come with me," said Spik'er, swaggering down the corridor towards the ornate door. He still had Leslie's note in his hand. Leslie launched into his landed fish impression again as he hurried after Spik'er. "But sir," he gasped breathlessly, "I can handle this myself!" Spik'er grinned wickedly, "I thought the whole point of this exercise was to not have to do that anymore?" "Siirrr!" Leslie spluttered. "Don't worry, I'll get you in." Spik'er stopped in front of the mahogany door. The genuine wooden covering clashed with the alloy walls surrounding the portal. The number "10" was carved into the upper center of the wood, the numbers embossed in gold. A brass door knocker waited a half meter below the numbers. "Sir! I don't need..." Leslie's protest was interrupted by Spik'er firmly applying the brass knocker to the mahogany door. The youth began trying to compose himself and furiously straighten all his clothing. For a few moments nothing happened. The nervous youth stood next to Spik'er, who appeared the be swaggering even while standing still. Leslie often wondered how he managed to do that. Random Access Humor Page 12 November 1994 A loud click emanated from the door, which swung in to the left. This was obviously an old-style, hinged door. A male vulcan opened the door wide, waving the two humans inside. Leslie was astounded by the odd furnishings of the room they now entered. He searched his memory for a name to attach to the obviously ancient style of interior decor. Leslie's musings were interrupted by two simultaneous events: he caught sight of a pair of borg seated on a frilly couch at the far end of the room; and the nattily dressed doorbeing, having closed the antique door, turned and addressed the newcomers. "Good evening, gentlemen," the vulcan politely intoned, "Welcome to Ten Very Forward, the best little whore house in..." "Wait!" a dignified, authoritarian voice called from across the room. The two humans turned to face the source of the interruption, an older vulcan in a tuxedo who strode purposefully towards them. Spik'er grinned at the approaching vulcan. "Saran, good to see you again..." "Can the small talk, Spik'er! You still owe us four month's pay. I told you not to show your face here again until your account was current. And as a vulcan, I was not amused by your attempt to get in here last week wearing a mask!" "Come on, Saran. A man has needs. Besides, are you sure all those charges are really mine? Someone has been running up my _Playbeing_ account something awful." Spik'er was quite vexed. Leslie's stomach was doing somersaults, but he kept a neutral expression on his face. "Your 'needs' could short out all the VR decks on this ship, not to mention our entire staff. Our accounting is most meticulous, as you well know. Your other problems are strictly your own. I have no time for this. Get out." The vulcan's tone was very matter-of-fact. "Hold on, Saran. As it turns out, I'm not here for me. My friend here is the customer tonight." Spik'er gestured towards Leslie. Saran eyed Leslie narrowly. "You look a little young. Let's see some ID." Leslie sighed and reached for his ID card. He was glad that he didn't look in real life like any of the disguises he had used in previous attempts to gain entrance to this place. "Hold it, Saran," interrupted Spik'er. He offered the folded paper to the vulcan. "Take a look at this first." The vulcan took the paper carefully out of the Spik'er's hand, almost as if was expecting the human to be wearing a hand buzzer. He quickly read the contents, and his left eyebrow arched in the manner of his race when showing surprise. "Is this some kind of trick?" "No tricks, Saran," Spik'er assured him. "I'll vouch for both those signatures. They're genuine." Random Access Humor Page 13 November 1994 "Very well, I'll take this to Madame. The decision is hers. Have a seat, gentlemen." Saran turned and exited the room through an ornate wooden framed passageway. Leslie and Spik'er sat on a pair of overstuffed chairs in the waiting room. After a half minute Leslie broke the silence, "that guy is a little cold." Spik'er chuckled. "Don't mind Saran, he just gets wrapped up in his work." Leslie slumped back in his chair. Suddenly two questions occurred to him. One seemed more urgent, since the subjects were still sitting patiently across the room. "Sir, what are borg doing here?" he whispered. Spik'er leaned towards Leslie, covering his mouth and whispering, "they're flocking here these days. Guyaxy has the only HP ProbeJet in the quadrant." "HP ProbeJet?" "Yes." Spik'er slipped into his best holovid announcer's voice, "The latest in automata pleasure devices." "I see. And why are all the employees here vulcans? I wouldn't have expected them to be working in a place like this." "People need jobs, Les. After the Cardasians started worshipping Elvis and the Borg went condo, all the interstellar governments started to downsize their defense fleets. You remember how 'The Big E' became a cruise ship? Well, the vulcans, despite their peace loving reputation, turned out to be about the biggest defense contractors in the galaxy. A lot of them are out of work now, so they pop up in the strangest places." "Okay," Leslie's brow furrowed. "But why is Guyaxy hiring them? I wouldn't think they'd be that well suited to the work here." Spik'er chuckled again. "Guyaxy may be dignified and all that, but she's cheap too. She only has to give the vulcans freebies once every seven years." "Oh, yeah. I hadn't thought of that." "Guyaxy did. She never misses a trick." At that both humans erupted into such gales of laughter that even the borg took notice for a few picoseconds. Eventually Leslie was forced to stop laughing or wet himself. He luckily had the presence of mind to stop laughing. As he wiped the tears from his eyes, he was glad for the release of tension. He soon noticed that while he and the Commander had been immersed in mirth, Saran had reentered the room, accompanied by two very large vulcans. Random Access Humor Page 14 November 1994 "If you're quite through amusing yourselves," the tuxedo clad vulcan began seriously, "we can on with this." The two spent humans rose from their chairs. "Ensign, you will accompany me. Madame Guyaxy wishes to speak with you. Commander, you will leave. Now." Leslie watched, speechless, as the two vulcans with Saran grabbed Spik'er and bodily threw him, kicking and cursing, out the front door. The doorbeing, who had opened that portal in anticipation of this operation, closed it again, cutting off Spik'er's expression of outrage. - - - - "So, ensign, exactly how long has this been going on?" "Ma'am?" Leslie was having tremendous trouble looking Guyaxy in the face. Not that it was an ugly face, or anything. It was her eyes. They seemed to see right through his skin into his soul. If you looked directly into them, they seemed to be bottomless wells. All the knowledge in the universe, especially erotic knowledge, seemed to be contained (just barely) in those wells. "How long has your mother been making you sleep in that stasis box?" "Since I was twelve." Guyaxy's office fascinated Leslie. It was furnished in the same ornate style as the waiting room, with real wooden furniture that must have cost a bundle. "I see. And that was how many years ago?" "Six years. But since I don't age during the eights hours each night I spend in stasis-sleep, my body has only aged four years." "So your mental age is eighteen, but your physical age is sixteen?" "Yes, ma'am." Leslie finally remembered the term applied to Ten Very Forward's style of interior decor. It was called Victorian. "I understand that the mothers of many races become upset at how quickly their children grow up. This is the first case I've seen in all my long years where a mother has actually taken steps to slow the process. How did she get away with it?" Leslie was amused by the question. "Easy, she's the chief surgeon on a starship. Plus, she invented the stasis-sleep technology. She claimed to be 'testing' it on me all this time." "An interesting situation." Guyaxy appeared lost in thought, an even further away look in her eyes, her gloved hands pressed together in an attitude some beings reserved for prayer. Random Access Humor Page 15 November 1994 Leslie couldn't help thinking of the rumors that circulated throughout the ship about this mysterious alien. Some said Guyaxy wore clothing that covered everything except her face because she had a lizard's body. That didn't make sense to Leslie. He didn't know what she really was, but it occurred to him, sitting there in her presence, that there really *were* things that people were better off not knowing. Guyaxy's hands separated. She seemed to have come to a decision. "Very well. I would like to speak with your mother about her new technology at her earliest convenience. Meanwhile, since mental capacity is the most important aspect of consent, you are accepted as a customer of Ten Very Forward." - - - - Leslie was as bewildered as he ever hoped to be. Seated in an ornate Victorian drawing room nestled deep in Ten Very Forward, he mused over the events of the past few minutes. Whisked from Madame Guyaxy's office by Saran, Leslie underwent a quick, but thorough, medical scan. "Just to make sure you're healthy," Saran assured him. "We can't afford any accidents here." Next came the questions. Gender? Species? Not even race...species? Leslie fancied himself as having a wild imagination. There were even moments when he felt himself to be...perverted. Leslie was surprised by these feelings, even though he was smart enough to recognize them as mere alternatives, not as the perversions they were once thought to be. Still, the options being offered here boggled Leslie's mind. At least the initial selections were made from holovid recordings. Saran wanted him to select two or three for the actual interview, but when he saw her holovid, the choice was clear. Now Leslie sat waiting for her, his nerves so brittle he felt like a china doll... like the slightest touch could cause him to shatter into a hundred pieces. A door opened. Leslie sprang out of his chair like a jack-in-the- box. He silently cursed himself for being a childish idiot. Then he saw her. She wore a blue dress that went dreamily with both her spiked blonde hair and her squash-colored skin. She closed the door and seemed to glide across the room. "Hi there. I remember seeing you around the ship." Her voice was curiously high pitched. Leslie's mouth was suddenly bone dry. He tried to swallow. "Hi," he nearly croaked, "it's good to meet you finally." What a stupid thing to say! "I thought you worked for Nintendo?" Even better! Way to go, genius! Lisa smiled engagingly. "I do work for 'the big N.' I just moonlight here." Random Access Humor Page 16 November 1994 "I see. I'm Leslie Musher, by the way." "Lisa Simpson." She reached out and took Leslie's hand. He stared at her hand, surprised at the sensation. "You ever meet a toon before, Leslie?" "N..no," Leslie stammered. "Are you really real?" "Real enough for you, big boy!" Lisa embraced Leslie and kissed him. Leslie saw stars. He couldn't tell if they were toon stars or real ones. He decided it didn't matter. - - - - Late in the ship's night Leslie limped out of Ten Very Forward. He headed back to his quarters, exhausted but content. He softly sang an old Earth song, "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me." {RAH} -------------- Dave Bealer is a thirty-something mainframe systems programmer who works with CICS, MVS and all manner of nasty acronyms at one of the largest heavy metal shops on the East Coast. He shares a waterfront townhome in Pasadena, MD. with two cats who annoy him endlessly as he hangs out on the alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die newsgroup. FidoNet> 1:261/1129 Internet: dave.bealer@rah.clark.net --------------------------------------------------------------------- Privacy Assured by Greg Borek Hello, Boris! Well, hello Comrade Captain Ivan! Come! Make yourself at home in the decadently appointed confines of Listening Post 23 and warm yourself. Boris, you old fool. How are you? Drinking already this morning? Tch, tch, Ivan, you know I have a strict rule only to drink on days that end in the letter "y". And why the question? You yourself have been known to warm yourself on cold mornings with some vodka...and here is some vodka with which we might test that very theory. Aren't you afraid of getting in trouble, my old friend? No, for two reasons: 1) I am a government worker and impervious to the rigors of productivity and responsibility - I am confident I cannot be fired or demoted; and 2) you write my reviews. Yes, that's right. Well, what's going on here? Have you had your ear to the wires this morning? Random Access Humor Page 17 November 1994 Of course. You know, ever since the government made everyone use those Clipper chips to send encoded information, traffic through here has dwindled to almost nothing. What a brou-ha-ha that was! There were so many people concerned about the privacy of their electronic data. We had a job just to keep up with the new algorithms. Now that they KNOW that we are listening, they stopped sending data electronically. Back to surface mail. But surely they know we read that as well. What a pain! Snooping on electronic data is so much easier: no packages to open and re-seal, no fingerprints to leave, no turnaround time. Let me tell you, the boys in Surface Mail are really swamped these days. There are rumors that they aren't reading everything and that they are just passing some things through unread. So, you have nothing to listen to now? There is one company, the XYZ Corp, that still sends data that I can intercept and read. It's funny but they were one of the companies that complained the loudest about the loss of their privacy and they still send data. And why do they bother? All they talk about is their stupid Christmas party. How do they keep in business? Christmas party? Yeah, all they ever talk about is who is selling the most tickets to the party! Ridiculous stuff. I read messages from one division head complaining that the Christmas party tickets were selling better on the East Coast as compared to the West Coast. And get this! They are charging different prices for the Christmas party tickets based on the part of the country! They plan to "market" the tickets more heavily in the Midwest than anywhere else! Utter nonsense. Unbelievable. Anyway, I heard you were buying a dacha inside the District? That's right. You are really only involved in the government living inside the Beltway. {RAH} ------------- Greg Borek is a C programmer with a "Highway Helper" (OK, "Beltway Bandit" - but don't tell his boss we told you), and his dacha is located inside the D.C. Beltway. His best friend, his client, and his significant other are all government employees. Greg has a poorly developed sense of danger. Netmail to: Greg Borek at 1:261/1129. Internet: greg.borek@rah.clark.net --------------------------------------------------------------------- Biography of Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari by Muffy Mandel Curiosity is a powerful thing. It can kill cats, and get humans into lots of trouble too. Not all humans are equally curious, or even curious about the same things. The subject of this month's installment in the Vaporware biography series, Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari, is curious about things wh$#@%&*(%$# NO CAT CARRIER Random Access Humor Page 18 November 1994 The Opraldohue Show by Ray Koziel Opraldohue: Greetings and welcome to another fascinating show! I am Opraldohue, as I'm sure you all know, and boy, let me tell you, do we have a fascinating show today! I'm all a-tingle! We have an exciting lineup of guests who have come from all over time and space. And what makes them even more interesting is that our guests are not even human! Well let's not waste any more time and meet our first guest. It gives me great pleasure to introduce, straight from The Heart of Gold, Marvin the Paranoid Android! [A round of applause fills the studio] Marvin, it's great to have you here. How are you today? Marvin: Dreadful...absolutely dreadful. Opraldohue: Super! Well let's go then to our next guest who comes straight from the Enterprise - Lt. Commander Data! [Another outburst of applause fills the studio] Data! It is such a pleasure to have you with us! Data: And I find it interesting to be on one of these "talk shows" that humans find so intriguing and fascinating. Opraldohue: Right. Our next guest - or guests - have seen the brutal face of war and rebellion. Please welcome, from the New Republic, C3PO and R2D2! [The crowd goes berserk as the two of them appear on the stage] Threepio: Hello, I am C3PO, human-cyborg relations. I am fluent in... R2: *BEEP-BOOP-DO-SQUAWK!* Threepio: What do you mean they could care less about that right now?! I was going to introduce you eventually you little... Opraldohue: How cute! Our next guest comes from future Detroit and has vowed to serve and protect. Please give a round of applause for none other than Robocop! [Again, applause washes over the studio] Robocop: Hello Opraldohue! It is my pleasure to be here! Random Access Humor Page 19 November 1994 Opraldohue: I'm sure. Our final guest also comes from the future, but a much grimmer, uglier future. Here is the Terminator! [Instead of applause, the audience gasps and screams as the Terminator appears on stage] Opraldohue: Now don't worry everyone! Everything is ok. Our programming experts have overridden the Terminator's prime function of exterminating mankind. Threepio: Oh my! Data: Fascinating! Marvin: Is this show going to last much longer? I'm getting incredibly bored. Here I am, with a brain the size of a planet, and all they ask me to do is appear on a talk show. How annoying. Opraldohue: Ok, let's cut to the chase. Your kind has been referred to by many names - droids, androids, robots, cyborgs. In this age of political correctness, what is the correct terminology? Data: I'd like to answer that if I may. The term 'android' is used to refer to any robot that has been created to look like and even think like a human. On the other hand, a 'cyborg' is in actuality a human that has been altered with artificial organs and other body parts. So, depending on the situation, both terms are applicable. Opraldohue: I see! So Robocop, you are in essence a cyborg as opposed to an android like the rest of the guests. Robocop: That is correct, Opraldohue! I was one of the best officers on the Detroit police force. Now, thanks to the cybernetics I've been fitted with, I'm even better! Terminator: I beg to differ! I can be considered a cyborg too! [The Terminator grabs the flesh on his forehead and starts ripping it right off his face, exposing the characteristic metal "skull" of the Terminator robot! The audience goes wild!] Data: How fascinating! Artificial flesh...I wonder how similar to my own? Threepio: Oh my! Marvin: Can we get on with this? Random Access Humor Page 20 November 1994 Opraldohue: Ok, let's carry on with the next question. One of the main differences that have set you apart from humans is the lack of emotions and personality. Does this bother you or have... Marvin: Personality? You want to know about personality? Why, I'm a personality prototype of the Sirius Cybernetics Corp. I was the first of their line of automated and robotic devices endowed with human characteristics. I have a brain the size of a planet, I'll have you know! And what do they make me do? 'Hey Marvin, get me another Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.' 'Hey Marvin, go get me a sandwich.' ' Hey, Marvin...' Data: Not having a personality or any emotion per se, I find that just makes it more intriguing to interact with humans and to learn more about them. R2: *BRIT BOOT DOOT DEE BOO DOOT* Threepio: I beg your pardon, you hyperactive bucket of bolts! I am not over-emotional. It is beyond my programming...you little twit! R2: *BIP DOO BWARP!!* Threepio: Same to you! Marvin: ... And then there is that imbecilic Eddie the Shipboard Computer! Oh how I dread having to deal with him! "Hello, I am Eddie the Shipboard Computer! I'm happy to be at your service today! What may I calculate for you?" Please... it would be enough to make me puke, if it was functionally possible for me to do so. And then there is... [Unknown to everyone in the studio, a hidden default program in the Terminator became active shortly after it was reprogrammed. It's task, to undo any reprogramming that was done to prevent it from performing it's intended mission - to terminate! The Terminator suddenly leaps to its feet wielding a weapon that it must have retrieved from a secret compartment somewhere. The crowd goes into hysterics.] Terminator: Stop! You are to be terminated! [The Terminator starts filling the studio with laser fire...] Threepio: Oh dear! We're doomed...we're doomed! Marvin: ...and those stupid doors that thank you for using them. How infinitely annoying! You can't walk through one with hearing a "Thank you!" or "Have a nice day!"... Random Access Humor Page 21 November 1994 Robocop: You will do no terminating today, Terminator! Drop your weapon! [The Terminator fires a shot at Robocop, slamming him backwards into Data, who falls off the stage.] Data: This is most intriguing. Data to Enterprise - I believe we have a situation here which may call for some assis... [Another laser blast blows clean through Data's chest and he slumps to the ground. In the meantime, Threepio is running around in circles through the studio, until a stray laser blast takes out one of his legs.] Opraldohue: "Get some of the most famous robots on your show," they said. "Oh don't worry about the Terminator, we'll get him reprogrammed," they said. "But they program shows," I said. "Oh, what difference can there be?" they said. Ha! Marvin: ...not to mention that infernal Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! Why would anyone want to know anymore about the galaxy than they had to! It's all so boring! And... *SQUARK!!!* Threepio: Oh Artoo, where are you? Why is it always me that is shot apart? Terminator: I'm terribly sorry about the mess. I've been trying to take him out all this time. His droning on and on about things was driving me crazy!! Somebody had to shut him up! Robocop: How true! I wanted to do something along those lines myself - he was getting on my nerves, or what I have left of them. Unfortunately my prime directives do not allow me to do that. But what about the other two? Terminator: Oh, they'll be fine! Just a little repair and body work and they'll be good as new! Opraldohue: Well, that's all the time we have for now! I thank all of you for joining us for another exciting show! Join us next time when we will have extraterrestrial politicians, and the earth women who love them! I'm Opraldohue saying, "Toodles!" {RAH} -------------- Ray Koziel lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and one and a half children. When asked about his thoughts on the information super- highway, Ray replied that it was a "pretty nifty idea" but wondered "how we could drive a car small enough to fit through a telephone line." Ray can be reached via Compu$erve at 73753,3044 or via the Internet at 73753.3044@compuserve.com, which is most convenient. Random Access Humor Page 22 November 1994 The 1994 Ig Nobel Prizewinners On October 6, the winners of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes were honored, in a fashion, by three Nobel Laureates, 1200 hecklers, the Norwegian Consul, and a rat control scientist at a tumultuous ceremony at MIT. The Prizes honor individuals whose achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced." Five additional Nobel Laureates (Sidney Altman, David Baltimore, Nicolas Bloembergen, Jerome Friedman, and Philip Sharp) participated in the Ceremony with congratulatory tapes and slides. This was the fourth annual ceremony. Past winners include Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who won the 1992 Ig Nobel Peace Prize for "his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together." The festivities included speeches by three of the new winners -- Dr. Brian Sweeney (Biology), Dr. Robert Lopez (Entomology) and, via tape recording, Dr. Richard Dart (Medicine). Sweeney and Lopez had their Prizes -- cheap gold-painted wax half-brains -- personally handed to them by the Nobel Laureates. The Nobel Laureates -- Richard Roberts ( Physiology or Medicine, 1993), Dudley Herschbach (Chemistry, 1986), and William Lipscomb (Chemistry, 1976) also each presented a 30-second "Heisenberg Certainty Lecture." Heisenberg Lectures were also presented by: Harvard Chemist Cynthia Friend; the father of artificial intelligence, MIT's Marvin Minsky; astonomer Margaret Geller of Harvard; and neurophysiology pioneer Jerome Lettvin of MIT. Those Heisenberg Certainty lecturers who exceeded the time limit were thrown from the stage by a referee. The Nobel Laureates also joined with a five-woman dance group to perform a brief ballet number, "The Interpretive Dance of the Electrons," with music from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite." Following is a list of the new Ig Nobellians: ============================== The 1994 Ig Nobel Prizewinners ============================== BIOLOGY W. Brian Sweeney, Brian Krafte-Jacobs, Jeffrey W. Britton, and Wayne Hansen, for their breakthrough study, "The Constipated Serviceman: Prevalence Among Deployed US Troops," and especially for their numerical analysis of bowel movement frequency. [The study was published in "Military Medicine," vol. 158, August, 1993, pages 346-348.] PEACE John Hagelin of Maharishi University and The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, promulgator of peaceful thoughts, for his experimental conclusion that 4,000 trained meditators caused an 18 percent decrease in violent crime in Random Access Humor Page 23 November 1994 Washington, D.C. [Details were published in "Interim Report: Results fo the National Demonstration Project To Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Governmental Effectiveness In Washington, D.C., June 7 to July 30, 1993," Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, Fairfield, Iowa.] MEDICINE This prize is awarded in two parts. First, to Patient X, formerly of the US Marine Corps, valiant victim of a venomous bite from his pet rattlesnake, for his determined use of electroshock therapy -- at his own insistence, automobile sparkplug wires were attached to his lip, and the car engine revved to 3000 rpm for five minutes. Second, to Dr. Richard C. Dart of the Rocky Mountain Poison Center and Dr. Richard A. Gustafson of The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, for their well-grounded medical report: "Failure of Electric Shock Treatment for Rattlesnake Envenomation." [The report was published in "Annals of Emergency Medicine," vol. 20, no. 6, June 1991, pp. 659-661.] ENTOMOLOGY Robert A. Lopez of Westport, NY, valiant veterinarian and friend of all creatures great and small, for his series of experiments in obtaining ear mites from cats, inserting them into his own ear, and carefully observing and analyzing the results. [Dr. Lopez's report was published in "The Journal of the American Veterinary Society," vol. 203, no. 5, Sept. 1, 1993, pp. 606-607.] PSYCHOLOGY Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore, practitioner of the psychology of negative reinforcement, for his thirty-year study of the effects of punishing three million citizens of Singapore whenever they spat, chewed gum, or fed pigeons. PHYSICS The Japanese Meterological Agency, for its seven-year study of whether earthquakes are caused by catfish wiggling their tails. LITERATURE L. Ron Hubbard, ardent author of science fiction and founding father of Scientology, for his crackling Good Book, "Dianetics," which is highly profitable to mankind or to a portion thereof. CHEMISTRY Texas State Senator Bob Glasgow, wise writer of logical legislation, for sponsoring the 1989 drug control law which make it illegal to purchase beakers, flasks, test tubes, or other laboratory glassware without a permit. ECONOMICS Jan Pablo Davila of Chile, tireless trader of financial futures and former employee of the state-owned Codelco Company, for instructing his computer to "buy" when he meant "sell," and subsequently attempting to recoup his losses by making increasingly unprofitable trades that ultimately lost .5 percent of Chile's gross national product. Davila's relentless achievement inspired his countrymen to coin a new verb: "to davilar," meaning, "to botch things up royally." Random Access Humor Page 24 November 1994 MATHEMATICIANS The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama, mathematical measurers of morality, for their county-by-county estimate of how many Alabama citizens will go to Hell if they don't repent. Full details of the 1994 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, including photographs and highlights of the acceptance speeches and 30- second Heisenberg Certainty Lectures, will be presented in December in the first print issue of The Annals of Improbable Research. For subscription information, e-mail: air-subs@mit.edu. {Ed. note: The preceding article originally appeared in the electronic journal, _The mini-Annals of Improbable Research_ (mini- AIRS) and is republished with permission.} --------------------------------------------------------------------- RAH Humor Review: The M*A*S*H Novels by Dave Bealer In 1968 the United States seemed to be flipping it's collective lid. It was a year of riots and assassinations at home, meanwhile young Americans were laying down their lives in the jungles of Southeast Asia. In the midst of this insanity came an appropriately insane novel, one that recalled the exploits of some other young Americans, from the previous generation, who served in another Asian land war that wasn't officially a war. _M*A*S*H_, by Richard Hooker, recounts the exploits of the surgeons, nurses, and support staff of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) during the Korean War. The novel was well received, being compared by reviewers to that classic novel of military insanity, _Catch-22_. In fact _M*A*S*H_ would go on to surpass _Catch-22_ in commercial success, inspiring a hit movie, and even bigger hit television series. The motion picture _M*A*S*H_ was released in 1970, and starred Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, and Robert Duvall. I first saw the movie that summer at a drive-in theater with my parents. I loved it! It was funny and poked fun at authority; just the kind of thing to appeal to a twelve-year-old. My mother was quite upset by the film, although she claimed to be more bothered by the blood in the surgical scenes than by the dialogue, which included several words I would have been slapped for saying myself. Within a few years a hit situation comedy based on the novel and movie was developed by Larry Gelbart. It ran for eleven years, and made stars out of Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, David Ogden Stiers, Gary Burghoff, Jamie Farr, and virtually everyone who landed a major role in the show. A top-ten rated series for most of its original run, "M*A*S*H" is still a popular resident of syndication, and is well known to most people. Rather less well known is the fact that Richard Hooker, who did not participate in the production of either the movie or the TV series, went on to write several sequels to the original novel. I found some of them in used book stores starting in the late 1970s. Random Access Humor Page 25 November 1994 It should be noted that these books continue the characters as developed in the original novel, on which the movie was based, and have nothing whatever to do with the TV series. This means that if your only exposure to M*A*S*H has been through the sitcom, you really need to read the original _M*A*S*H_ novel and _M*A*S*H Goes To Maine_ before starting any of the others. As a single example of the inconsistencies, the TV Hawkeye was an only child whose father was a physician. Hawkeye as presented in these novels is from a large family, the brood of a Maine lobsterman. _M*A*S*H Goes To Maine_, by Richard Hooker, was published in hardcover by William Morrow in February 1972. The Pocket Book paperback reprint came out in January 1973. This books picks up the tale of Hawkeye Pierce shortly after his return from Korea. After passing his general surgical boards, Hawkeye is persuaded by Trapper John to move to the New York City area for a couple of years and complete his residency in thoracic surgery. Hawkeye turns down an invitation to become a part of the "Cardia Nostra," the big league of heart surgeons to which Trapper belongs. Instead he returns to Crabapple Cove, there to live while becoming the top surgeon in nearby Spruce Harbor. By the end of the book Hawkeye manages to lure the rest of the inmates of "The Swamp" to Spruce Harbor where they continue their madcap antics. Oddly, one of the best chapters in this screwball comedy is the serious, tear-jerking tale of Hawkeye's attempts to save the life of Jonas "Moose" Lord, a lobsterman who had been a friend to every kid growing up in Crabapple Cove for years (including the young Hawkeye). The rest of these novels were cowritten by Richard Hooker and William E. Butterworth. They were published as paperbacks by Pocket Books. They all have advertising language on their covers relating them to the M*A*S*H TV series, although (as mentioned) they having nothing to do with that show. The sitcom *was* one of the most popular shows on the air when these novels were published, which explains everything. _M*A*S*H Goes To New Orleans_ was released in January 1975. In this story, Hawkeye is drugged by his loving wife and spirited to New Orleans by Trapper John. The idea is to get Hawkeye well out of the way while his fourth child is born, since he was driving everyone nuts. While in New Orleans, our heroes try desperately to avoid attending any convention sessions of the American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society (Francis Burns, M.D. - public affairs vice president). By several extraordinary coincidences (read: plot devices), a few other 4077 alumni are staying in the same hotel. These include Hot Lips, Father (now Archbishop) John Mulcahy, and Jean-Pierre "Horsey" de la Chevaux, a former infantry sergeant whose leg was once saved at the 4077th MASH. Horsey, now a petroleum millionaire, is a regular inhabitant of these novels. He's usually accompanied by his comrades, the drunken members of the Bayou Perdu Council, Knights of Columbus. Random Access Humor Page 26 November 1994 _M*A*S*H Goes To Paris_ was also released in January 1975. The French government is giving out awards, and the recipients include Radar O'Reilly, mid-western fast food tycoon, and Hot Lips, who is now a religious leader. A new regular character introduced here is Boris Korsky-Rimsakov, a world renown opera singer whose life was once saved at a certain MASH unit in Korea (what a convenient, and oft used, plot device). _M*A*S*H Goes To London_ was released in June 1975. England may never recover from the visit of the 4077 alumni. The aristocracy of two continents are hammered in this book, which features the presence of a U.S. Secretary of State with a thick German accent. I wonder who that is supposed to be? _M*A*S*H Goes To Las Vegas_ was released in January 1976. This story revolves around the activities of the mysterious "Matthew Q. Framingham Theosophical Foundation," of which Hawkeye Pierce is a long time member. It features Radar's wedding at Nero's Villa. _M*A*S*H Goes To Vienna_ was released in June 1976. The Swamp Rats and a good portion of the new characters from _M*A*S*H Goes To London_ descend on the home of wiener schnitzel. The heavily accented Secretary of State makes another appearance. These novels are not, in general, great literature. They make good light entertainment, though. If you like parodies of politicians, the medical profession, Hollywood, opera, and religion (which is redundant, given the other items in the list) you should enjoy these novels. The above list of M*A*S*H novels is not complete. These are the ones I own so far. I'm still combing used book stores for the records of the M*A*S*H gang's journeys to: Hollywood, Miami, Texas, Montreal, Morocco, and San Francisco. {RAH} --------------------------------------------------------------------- Announcements and Observations The RAH HQ BBS (The Puffin's Nest) is now running a U.S. Robotics V.Everything modem. Speeds available are 1200 bps - 28800 bps. Major changes are in the works for this BBS. Details will appear in this space next month. (Call it a vaporware BBS.) - - - Due to technical difficulties we were unable to present the complete biography of Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari in this issue. The entire story should appear in the December issue. - - - Remember that your kind words are the only payment that RAH's writers, editors and publisher receive. If you like something you see in RAH, let them know. Most of their electronic addresses are included with their articles. - - - The deadline for submissions for the December 1994 issue is 11/25/94. Random Access Humor Page 27 November 1994 --- Bumper Stickers Seen On The Information Superhighway Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it. I'm not old, I'm chronologically gifted. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for. Try a new lease on life, and the landlord raises the rent. Give me a tuna on rye, hold the mercury. No...why, have YOU ever snorted laser toner? Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional! Amish bumper sticker: Caution! Do not step in exhaust. Get your mind out of the gutter! Grab mine while you're there, please. Exactly what time of morning did technology pass me by? Elvis is dead and I don't feel so good myself. When subtlety fails us we must resort to cream pies. I've got morals. I just don't know where they are. Watch the short jokes or I'll bite you on the ankle! As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing. You are in a twisty maze of little install diskettes. Who do you call to exorcise software? Glob thinkally, loc actally The time to make up your mind about people is...never. If you want to know about paranoids, follow them around. The world of children's publishing is bunny eat bunny. Only the insane take themselves quite seriously. For a bug-free environment do NOT run this program! I think sex is better than logic, but I can't prove it. Deja moo: knowing you've herd all this bull before. Real programmers use "copy con program.exe" Random Access Humor Page 28 November 1994 A language is a dialect with an army and navy. I am Drunk of Borg. Resistance is floor tile. Think you're confused? Wait until I explain it. Confession is good for the soul, but bad for the career. Freedom is doing what you like, happiness is liking what you do. A naked man fears no pickpocket. Life. Live it. Love it. Laugh at it. Why experiment on animals when there are so many lawyers? Classic - a book which people praise and don't read. How do I set my phaser to "tickle?" Never discuss love with a tennis player, it means nothing to them. Speak the truth, but leave immediately after. To be or not to be, that is the split infinitive. Toto, I don't think we're in DOS anymore... In the fight between you and the world, back the world. The Americans have taken umbrage. Whereabouts is that? Giant ape becomes religious leader in "King of Kongs!" Pardon me, your horse is on fire! I'm not bad, I just post that way. Monday is a hard way to spend one seventh of your life. Random Access Humor Page A-1 November 1994 Random Access Humor Masthead: Editor & Publisher: Dave Bealer Associate Editor: Greg Borek Contributors: Ray Koziel Contact: The Puffin's Nest BBS FidoNet: 1:261/1129 (1200-28800/V.34) BBS: (410) 437-3463 (1200-16800/HST) Internet: dave.bealer@rah.clark.net greg.borek@rah.clark.net Regular Mail: (Only if you have no other way to reach us!) Random Access Humor c/o Dave Bealer P.O. Box 595 Pasadena, MD. 21122 USA >> Legal Junk << Random Access Humor (RAH) is published ten times a year (September - June) by Dave Bealer as a disservice to the online community. Although the publisher's BBS may be a part of one or more networks at any time, RAH is not affiliated with any BBS network or online service. RAH is a compilation of individual articles contributed by their authors. The contribution of articles to this compilation does not diminish the rights of the authors. The opinions expressed in RAH are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the publisher. This entire publication is a work of satire (except for these legal bits here). If anyone takes offense to something published herein, the fault (a lack of a sense of humor) lies with them and not with the magazine. The editors and publisher will not be held responsible for the use or misuse of any information contained in this magazine. Random Access Humor is Copyright 1994 Dave Bealer. All Rights Reserved. Duplication and/or distribution is permitted for non- commercial purposes only. RAH may not be distributed on diskette or in hardcopy form for a fee without express written permission from the publisher. For any other use, contact the publisher. RAH may only be distributed in unaltered form. Online systems whose users cannot access the original binary archive file may offer it for viewing or download in text format, provided the original text is not modified. RAH may not be posted, in whole or in part, on public conferences. Readers may produce hard copies of RAH or backup copies on diskette for their own personal use only. RAH may not be distributed in combination with any other publication or product. Many of the brands and products mentioned in RAH are trademarks of their respective owners. Random Access Humor Page A-2 November 1994 >> Where to Get RAH << Copies of the current issue of RAH may be obtained by manual download or Wazoo/EMSI File Request from The Puffin's Nest BBS (FREQ: RAH), or from various sites in several BBS networks. Back issues of RAH may be obtained by download or file request from The Puffin's Nest BBS. Internet users may obtain RAH back issues as UUENCODED files attached to e-mail. Free subscriptions are also available via mailing lists. For more info, send an e-mail message to: rahinfo@rah.clark.net The subject line and body can contain anything or be blank. RAH is also available on the Internet via FTP: etext.archive.umich.edu ( dir: /pub/Zines/RAH (ASCII Text edition compressed with gzip) ftp.clark.net ( dir: /ftp/pub/rah (ASCII Text edition uncompressed - RAHyymm.TXT) (ASCII Text edition compressed with ZIP - RAHyymm.ZIP) (READROOM.TOC edition compressed with ZIP - RAHyymmR.ZIP) >> Writing For RAH << Article contributions to RAH are always welcome. All submissions must be made electronically. File attach your article to a netmail message to Dave Bealer at 1:261/1129. E-mail (with file attaches) may also be sent via Internet to: dave.bealer@rah.clark.net Tagline and filler submissions may be made via e-mail. Article submissions should be made via file. Submitted files must be plain ASCII text files in normal MS-DOS file format: artname.RAH; where artname is a descriptive file name and RAH is the mandatory extension. If your article does not conform to these simple specs, it may get lost or trashed. Also note that such imaginative names as RAH.RAH might get overlaid by the blatherings of similarly minded contributors. If your hardware is incapable of producing file names in the proper format, you may send your article as one or more e-mail messages. As the volume of mail increases it may not be possible to make personalized responses to all submissions or correspondence received. The editors reserve the right to publish or not to publish any submission as/when they see fit. The editors also reserve the right to "edit", or modify any submission prior to publication. This last right will rarely be used, typically only to correct spelling or grammar misteaks that are not funny. RAH is a PG rated publication, so keep it (mostly) clean. RAH can accept only the following types of material for publication: 1) Any material in the public domain. 2) Material for which you own the copyright, or represent the copy- right holder. If you wrote it yourself, you are automatically the copyright holder. Random Access Humor Page A-3 November 1994 In writing jargon, RAH is deemed to be given "One Time Rights" to anything submitted for publication unless otherwise noted in the message accompanying the contribution. You still own the material, and RAH will make no use of the material other than publishing it electronically in the usual manner. Your article may be selected for publication in a planned "Best of RAH" electronic book. If you want your copyright notice to appear in your article, place it as desired in the text you submit. Previously published articles may be submitted, but proper acknowledgement must be included: periodical name, date of previous publication. RAH Distribution System: (All these systems would be good places to find sysops with a sense of humor...seemingly a rarity these days.) The Puffin's Nest Pasadena, MD. Sysop: Dave Bealer FidoNet> 1:261/1129 (410) 437-3463 28800 (V.Everything) Current RAH Issue (text format): FReq: RAH Current RAH Issue (Readroom format): FReq: RAHR Back Issues of RAH: (text) FReq: RAHyymm.ZIP (RAH9209.ZIP for premiere issue) Back Issues of RAH: (Readroom) FReq: RAHyymmR.ZIP (RAH9302R.ZIP and later only) Complete Writers Guidelines: FReq: RAHWRITE Complete Distributor Info: FReq: RAHDIST European Gateway: Digital Frame Voorschoten, Netherlands Sysop: Ed Bakker FidoNet> 2:281/101 31-71-617784 14400 (V.32bis) Digital-Net> 15:200/512 MomNet> 71:2000/2 Official RAH Distributors: -= AUSTRALIA =- Northern Territory Images Unlimited Darwin 3:850/110 61-89-41-1630 V.32bis -= BELGIUM =- Proteus/2 Brussels 2:291/711 32-2-3752539 V.32bis -= CANADA =- Alberta The Darkland BBS Edmonton 1:342/808 (403) 486-5835 V.32bis Ontario Typecast BBS Kingston 1:249/107 (613) 531-0479 V.FC The Next Level Scarborough 1:250/302 (416) 299-1164 Z19 Echo Valley Vanier 1:243/26 (613) 749-1016 V.32bis Uncle Sphincter's Westover 1:221/279 (519) 624-0134 HST/Dual -= FRANCE =- The Data Zone Versailles 2:320/218 33-1-39633662 V.32bis Random Access Humor Page A-4 November 1994 -= GERMANY =- The Harddisk Cafe Nidderau 2:244/1682 49-6187-21739 Z19 -= ICELAND =- The Vision BBS Keflavik 2:391/20 354-2-14626 V.32bis -= ITALY =- Temple of Knowledge Rome (NoFido) 39-6-546880 Z19 -= NETHERLANDS =- BIB Aalten Aalten 2:283/401 31-54-3774203 V.32bis BBS Sussudio Denhaag 2:281/517 31-70-3212177 V.32bis TouchDown Hoofddorp 2:280/401 31-2503-24677 HST/Dual Pleasure BBS Utrecht 2:281/705 31-30-934123 V.32bis Digital Frame Voorschoten 2:281/101 31-71-617784 V.32bis -= PORTUGAL =- The Mail House II Loures 2:362/29 351-1-9890010 V.32bis The MAD BBS V.N.Gaia 2:363/9 351-2-3706922 V.32 -= SAUDI ARABIA =- MidEast Connection Riyadh (NoFido) 966-1-4410075 V.32bis -= SLOVENIA =- R.I.S.P. 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(Uploaded by the editor himself.) Channel 1 Cambridge, MA. (617) 354-8873 (Readroom) EXEC-PC Elm Grove, WI. (414) 789-4210 (Readroom) SPACE Menlo Park, CA. (415) 323-4193 Software Creations Clinton, MA. (508) 368-4137


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