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Random Access Humor electronic magazine for August 1993.

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Random Access Humor - August 1993
Monthly electronic humor magazine by and for
the online community. ASCII text. Free for
non-commercial purposes. Contents: Memories
of a DP Major; System Design 101; Product
Liability Suit; The Twit Filter: The Star
Gazer; RAH Humor Review: Robin Hood: Men in
Tights; Taglines Seen Around the Nets.


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Random Access Humor electronic magazine for August 1993.
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R a N d O m A c C e S s H u M o R RAH! RAH!

Volume 0 Number B August 1993

A rag-tag collection of fugitive humor, some of which
is vaguely related to the BBS/Online System world.

Editor: Dave Bealer

Member of the Digital Publishing Association

Copyright 1993 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved

Random Access Humor is an irregular production of:

VaporWare Communications
32768 Infinite Loop
Sillycon Valley, CA. 80486-DX2
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 - The Joke's On Me.......................................01
Lettuce to the Editor..............................................02
Memories of a DP Major.............................................02
System Design 101..................................................04
Product Liability Suit.............................................06
The Twit Filter: The Star Gazer....................................10
Reality Check......................................................10
RAH Humor Review: Robin Hood: Men in Tights........................11
Announcements......................................................12
Taglines Seen Around the Nets......................................13
Masthead - Submission Information.................................A-1
RAH Distribution System...........................................A-2

Random Access Humor Page 1 August 1993

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
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Editorial - The Joke's On Me
by Dave Bealer

Back in June I wrote a little piece about how constant CRT use can
ruin your eyes. I even ended the piece with a crack about "my
rapidly failing eyesight." Although I knew that my eyesight really
is getting worse (it goes along with being human), I never realized
how close it actually was to succumbing to my near-constant computer
use.

For more than ten years I've been working with mainframe computers,
first in college and then for a living. Since 1986 I've added to
the strain by fooling with personal computers at home almost every
night. For the last year, the at-home use has been really intense as
I bang out an issue of RAH each month. Something had to give sooner
or later...it turned out to be sooner. During the week of July 12th
I began to experience sore eyes and headaches near the end of my
shift at work. An eye exam that Saturday (my first since the 1970s)
showed only mild astigmatism.

Astigmatism is really nothing to worry about, it merely means that my
eyes are misshapen. Instead of their normal spherical shape, my eyes
now look like a pair of pears. Red pears at that, probably Bartlett.
The only good news was that my distance vision is still reasonably
good. The exam resulted in a prescription for reading glasses. Oh,
joy!

So here I am, one of the clumsiest human beings ever to stumble
around the planet, wearing a very expensive and fragile collection of
wire and finely ground, UV coated, scratch resistant plastic. This
will last. Sure. I hear they've started a pool at work to guess how
long it will be until I sit-on, lose, or otherwise destroy these
silly things. Nobody took a date more than a month away. {RAH}

Random Access Humor Page 2 August 1993

Lettuce to the Editor

Dear Techno-Imperialist Pig,

Your ineffective government is a disgrace before all other nations.
It will be destroyed from within, a victim of its own corruption.
The American people are weak and their government is their greatest
shame.
S.H. (adolf2%[email protected])
- - - - - - - - -
Dear S,

I'm not sure about the rest of your little tirade, but our government
is definitely NOT our greatest shame. That honor is currently held
by newly crowned Wimbledon Champion Pete Sampras. Has anyone else
noticed that Pete looks like a dog lolling his tongue and panting
after every point in every match he plays? No wonder people around
the world think Americans are rude. We can only hope he's house
broken. - DB {RAH}
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Memories of a DP Major
by Dave Bealer

Many of the senior people in the data processing field today do not
have a Computer Science/Data Processing degree. There is a perfectly
good explanation for this, of course. When they were in college
there was *no such thing* as a DP degree. Not that this is
necessarily a bad thing, mind you. One of the most talented systems
programmers I've ever known has a bachelors degree in music
performance (piano) and a masters degree in education. She taught
music in public school before going into computers. This is quite
believable, since she still brings the same stentorian presence to
any room she enters. I do feel sorry for the folks who didn't major
in DP; they missed out on some interesting times.

I received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1985 from
a large public university in the eastern United States. Said school
shall remain nameless since I'm not done paying for the degree and I
don't want them trying to repossess my education. Anyway, the major
was called Computer Applications, but was promptly changed to the
sensible name of Management Information Systems right after they
printed my degree.

The original plan was to major in computer science, but my allergic
reaction to calculus quickly torpedoed that notion. Mathematicians
love to throw around strange Greek letters and call them scientific.
There are two problems here. One, the mathematicians don't REALLY
know what all those Greek letters mean either. Two, only those
programmers/analysts working on actual scientific/engineering
projects actually need all that math. The rest of us are better
served by knowing how to do basic arithmetic in hexadecimal. Folks
who can't even handle that often become doctors, the morally bankrupt
ones become lawyers, and the totally illiterate ones usually become
PC software documentation writers.

Random Access Humor Page 3 August 1993

My degree program, being business oriented, required two semesters of
COBOL programming for graduation. Now I was raised on structured
programming techniques, with Pascal as my first computer language.
Trying to learn COBOL effected my brain much like shifting into
reverse at 220 miles per hour on the back straight at Indianapolis
effects the car. I remain convinced to this day that COBOL is really
a long term terrorist plot to undermine the efficiency of programming
teams everywhere.

More than half of our DP/CS professors were from countries other than
the United States. This was culturally enlightening, but many of
these folks had evidently failed their "English as a Second Language"
courses. The really strange thing about the non-native instructors
was the inverse relationship between their English speaking ability
and their technical ability/attitude towards the students. The profs
with good English skills often seemed as lazy and incompetent as the
worst of their American colleagues. The instructors with a limited
mastery of English were mostly eager and knowledgeable, which made
their impaired ability to get the information across doubly
frustrating, both for them and the students.

A great example of this phenomenon was a pair of professors from the
same country in the Middle East. We'll call them Prof. A and Prof. B
for the purposes of this study. Prof. A had an excellent command of
the English language, as well as several others. He also had a lousy
attitude towards the students. He wasn't very helpful to students
who desperately needed help. He was too busy promoting himself to
anyone who could conceivably do his career some good. Students
didn't fall into that category, so they were mostly ignored. This
man was almost always three to five minutes late for classes, which
were an interruption of his self-promotional activities. The really
galling thing was the fact that this character had the nerve to state
in a local newspaper interview that American students were, "lazy and
always late for class." It's a good thing I wasn't in the same room
with him when I read that interview, or I'd be writing this article
in prison. BTW, I'm convinced that the fact that Professor A was my
instructor for both semesters of torture, er, COBOL has absolutely
nothing to do with my low opinion of him.

Professor B had a great deal of trouble with English. This didn't
stop him from teaching such topics as IBM 370 Assembler Language. He
simply kept coming up with new ways of trying to get the concept
across until at least a few of us figured it out. Anyone who has
studied assembler can verify that not everyone gets through such a
class no matter how good the instructor is, or how many times he goes
over the material.

I now work in a monster mainframe installation where the disk storage
is measured by the terabyte and folks have been known to get lost for
weeks in the DASD farm. Today my average dataset takes two cylinders
of 3390 cache subsystem. And we're talking source code and JCL, not
data. In college we only had 10 tracks of 3350 storage for each
computer course we were taking. Some desperate students tried to
make paper tape storage out of old pizza boxes. In one course we
were even forced to keypunch our programs on cards. Yuck!

Random Access Humor Page 4 August 1993

Well, I'm almost recovered from my experiences at "Old State". I
still wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night sometimes,
wondering how I can possibly complete the thirty major papers,
programs and miscellaneous assignments due before the term ends next
week. Of course once the realization hits home that it was only a
dream, that I only have to get up and go to work tomorrow, the relief
is overwhelming. {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
writes and electronically publishes RAH. FidoNet> 1:261/1129
Internet: [email protected]
---------------------------------------------------------------------
System Design 101
by Greg Borek

If automobiles were manufactured the same way programs are...

Team Leader (TL): OK, what have we got?

Programmer (P): Well, we drove the new release out of the factory and
it didn't catch fire, ...well, within the first 3 miles anyway. I
think we may be onto a winner here.

TL: Excellent! Does the car perform the way the customer wants?

P: Sort of. The customer asked for a car that can cruise at highway
speeds, and our new release can attain speeds of nearly 75 mph,
...um, under certain conditions.

TL: What conditions do you mean, besides obvious ones like going down
a steep hill?

P: As long as there is not too much fuel in the tank and no one is
actually in the car at the time, we can attain some really good
speeds. Passengers particularly tend to degrade the performance.

TL: Not allowing passengers in a car may inconvenience the user. How
much is the performance degraded by a passenger?

P: One passenger chopped the speed down to 8 mph. I'm sure the
customer can adapt his highway driving to accommodate this slight
restriction. I'm absolutely sure he won't mind when he gets a load
of all of the fancy features included in this new release.

TL: You did remember to adequately document these alleged features in
the owner's manual, I hope? It was sort of embarrassing the number
of support calls we got about people not knowing they had to start
the car by putting the key in the trunk lock.

Random Access Humor Page 5 August 1993

P: All of the features are very clearly and simply explained. That
guy we hired that used to write tax booklets for the IRS can sure
churn out manuals. Especially the twelve chapters devoted to the air
conditioner. We felt that it was necessary to go into some detail
about the air conditioner.

TL: Why so many chapters about the air conditioner?

P: The user wanted a really powerful air conditioner, and, well, the
boys down in the design department got a little carried away. The
car doesn't so much have an air conditioner as a refrigeration unit.

TL: Doesn't that degrade the engine performance?

P: We were worried about that too until one of the brainboxes came up
with the idea of "overlaying" the engine. For the mere cost of half
of the passenger compartment we swap the pieces of the engine between
the engine and passenger compartments. Only the pieces of the engine
that are currently in use are under the hood. We really feel this
was the most clever way to provide all of the required features while
reducing the overall size of the vehicle.

TL: Even so the thing is a bit large. I seem to remember the target
size of the vehicle being about that of a 2 seater, wasn't it? To
the casual observer, our vehicle looks kind of like an Essex-class
aircraft carrier.

P: I know, and down in the design department we are kind of
embarrassed. We really wanted to make sure we included all of the
neat features we had been working on.

TL: Did the user ask for all of these features?

P: Well, not all of them, but they are all really neat... and he
probably will once he sees what we've included. I mean, the rocket
launchers alone may prove invaluable during his commute to work.

TL: That's true, but what about the gas milage?

P: We came close to what the user asked for, provided he's not too
finicky and does not know basic math. If you look off the stern you
can see the tractor semi-trailer tanker truck that must be connected
to the car at all times. We are going to recommend prepositioning
the tanker trucks at every exit on the interstate.

TL: You know, all in all we made it a pretty lousy sports car. At
least we can take solace in the fact we met the government standards
for a sports car. Good job. {RAH}
--------------
Greg Borek is a C programmer with a "Highway Helper" (OK, "Beltway
Bandit" - but don't tell his boss we told you) in Falls Church, VA.
He has previously been mistaken for a vampire. Netmail to: Greg
Borek at 1:261/1129. Internet: [email protected]

Random Access Humor Page 6 August 1993

Product Liability Suit
author unknown

{Ed. note: This little ditty has been floating around the
humor conferences lately. It's a real scream for Looney
Tunes fans. The copy obtained had gaps in the text, which
have been filled in by the editor, who is *not* a lawyer. }

In The United States District Court,
Southwestern District, Tempe, Arizona
Case No. B19293, Judge Joan Kujava, Presiding

Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff
-v.-
Acme Company, Defendant

Opening statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote:

My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous
states, does hearby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company,
manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise,
incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district,
and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries,
loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct
result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under
Title 15 of the United States Code Chapter 47, section 2072,
subsection (a), relating to product liability.

Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has
purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, "Defendant"), through
that company's mail-order department, certain products which did
cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper
cautionary labelling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of
purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked
Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily
restricted his ability to make a living in the profession of
predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for
Workmen's Compensation.

Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th he received of Defendant via
parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to
use the Rocket sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt
of the Rocket Sled Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping
crate and sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition.
As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated
with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's
forelimbs to a length of fifteen feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr.
Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain
to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket
Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a
diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought
Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was

Random Access Humor Page 7 August 1993

pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously
attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poor
design and engineering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or nonexistent
steering system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the
Rocket Sled led it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a
mesa.

Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B),
prepared by Dr. Ernst Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple
fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a
result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full
bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full
or partial casts on all four legs. Hampered by these injuries, Mr.
Coyote was nevertheless obliged to support himself. With this in
mind, he purchased of Defendant as an aid to mobility one pair of
Acme Rocket Skates. When he attempted to use this product, however,
he became involved in an accident remarkably similar to that which
occurred with the Rocket Sled. Again, Defendant sold over the
counter, without caveat, a product which attached powerful jet
engines (in this case, two) to inadequate vehicles, with little or no
provision for passenger safety.

Encumbered by his heavy casts, Mr. Coyote lost control of the Rocket
Skates soon after strapping them on, and collided with a roadside
billboard so violently as to leave a hole in the shape of his full
silhouette.

Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this
document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of
Defendant: the Acme "Little Giant" Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided
Aerial Bomb, etc. (For a full listing, see the Acme Mail Order
Explosives Catalog and attached deposition, entered in evidence as
Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive
purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner.
To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal
effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a
wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiralling
downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the
desert floor. The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical
explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly
down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote
placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then,
carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalog #78 climbed to the top of
the butte. Mr. Coyote's prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and
Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant the fuse
burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote's careful preparations to
naught, the premature detonation of Defendant's product resulted in
the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

Random Access Humor Page 8 August 1993

1. Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.
2. Sooty discoloration. 3. Fracture of the left ear at the stem,
causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a creaking noise.
4. Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking,
frazzling, and ashy disintegration. 5. Radical widening of the eyes,
due to brow and lid charring.

We come now to the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes. The remains of a pair
of these purchased by Mr. Coyote on June 23rd are Plaintiff's Exhibit
D. Selected fragments have been shipped to the metallurgical
laboratories of the University of California at Santa Barbara for
analysis, but to date, no explanation has been found for this
product`s sudden and extreme malfunction.

As advertised by Defendant, this product is simplicity itself: two
wood-and-metal sandals, each attached to milled-steel springs of high
tensile strength and compressed in a tightly coiled position by a
cocking device with a lanyard release. Mr. Coyote believed that this
product would enable him to pounce upon his prey in the initial
moments of the chase, when swift reflexes are at a premium.

To increase the shoes' thrusting power still further, Mr. Coyote
affixed them by their bottoms to the side of a large boulder.
Adjacent to the boulder was a path which Mr. Coyote's prey was known
to frequent. Mr. Coyote put his hind feet in the wood-and-metal
sandals and crouched in readiness, his right forepaw holding firmly
to the lanyard release. Within a short time Mr. Coyote`s prey did
indeed appear on the path coming toward him. Unsuspecting, the prey
stopped near Mr. Coyote, well within range of the springs at full
extension. Mr. Coyote gauged the distance with care and proceeded to
pull the lanyard release.

At this point, Defendant's product should have thrust Mr. Coyote
forward and away from the boulder. Instead, for reasons yet unknown,
the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes thrust the boulder away from Mr.
Coyote. As the intended prey looked on unharmed, Mr. Coyote hung
suspended in the air. Then the twin springs recoiled, bringing Mr.
Coyote to a violent feet-first collision with the boulder, the full
weight of his head and forequarters falling upon his lower
extremities.

The force of this impact then caused the springs to rebound,
whereupon Mr. Coyote was thrust skyward. A second recoil and
collision followed. The boulder, meanwhile, which was roughly ovoid
in shape, had begun to bounce down a hillside, the coiling and
recoiling of the springs adding to its velocity. At each bounce, Mr.
Coyote came into contact with the boulder, or the boulder came into
contact with Mr. Coyote, or both came into contact with the ground.
As the grade was a long one, this process continued for some time.

Random Access Humor Page 9 August 1993

The sequence of collisions resulted in systemic physical damage to
Mr. Coyote, viz, flattening of the cranium, sideways displacement of
the tongue, reduction of length of legs and upper body, and
compression of vertebrae from base of tail to head. Repetition of
blows along a vertical axis produced a series of regular horizontal
folds in Mr. Coyote's body tissues-- a rare and painful condition
which caused Mr. Coyote to expand upward and contract downward
alternately as he walked, and to emit an off-key, accordionlike
wheezing with every step. The distracting and embarrassing nature of
this symptom has been a major impediment to Mr. Coyote's pursuit of a
normal social life.

As the court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of
manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is
our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the
detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching
powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-
foot-long rubber bands. Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant's
products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which
to turn. One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western
Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant
company is allowed to victimize the consumer in the most reckless and
wrongful manner over and over again.

Mr. Coyote respectfully requests that the Court regard these larger
economic implications and assess punitive damages in the amount of
seventeen million dollars. In addition, Mr. Coyote seeks actual
damages (missed meals, medical expenses, days lost from professional
occupation) of one million dollars; general damages (mental
suffering, injury to reputation) of twenty million dollars; and
attorney's fees of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. By
awarding Mr. Coyote the full amount, this Court will censure
Defendant, its directors, officers, shareholders, successors, and
assigns, in the only language they understand, and reaffirm the right
of the individual predator to equal protection under the law. {RAH}
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Random Access Humor Page 10 August 1993

The Twit Filter: The Star Gazer
by Dave Bealer

One of the main functions of online conferences is passing on
information - teaching and learning, if you will. Most large
regional, national or international conferences have people resources
capable of answering almost any technical question, no matter how
basic or advanced. The problem is that some folks will spend an
inordinate amount of time inspecting the dental work of any horse,
even a gift one.

Star Gazers are a particular species of twit who will accept
information and advice only from acceptable sources, such sources
being world renown in the field in question. These are the kind of
folks who would only accept beginning guitar lessons from Eric
Clapton or Pete Townshend. They can't accept the fact that only
people like can Pete Townshend can get guitar lessons from people
like Eric Clapton.

Whether it's horror writing lessons from Steven King or cannibalism
tips from Jeffrey Dahmer, star gazers will accept only the very best.
Never mind that dude down the street who has been feeding his family
by teaching the art/craft/science professionally for twenty years.
His advice is obviously no good since he never had a number one
bestseller or a chart-topping single. Given this attitude, it's no
wonder that star gazers almost never achieve the stardom they so
desperately seek.

Don't concern yourself too much with star gazers, they will soon
become disenchanted with the non-achievers in your conference and go
their less-than-merry way. If you tire of their bombastic behavior
before they tire of your group, simply place the star gazers in your
twit filter. {RAH}
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Reality Check
by Raymond Koziel

The following survey was published in the June 7th edition of
Computerworld. 1,977 people were asked what items were considered
necessities. The following is the breakdown of the replies:

Automobiles............85%
Clothes washer.........82%
Television.............74%
Home air-conditioning..47%
Microwave oven.........44%
Car air-conditioning...42%
*Office computer........36%
Second automobile......27%
Dish washer............24%
Office fax machine.....23%
VCR....................18%
*Home computer..........11%
Cellular phone..........5%

Random Access Humor Page 11 August 1993

Only 36% felt the office computer is a necessity and only 11% felt a
home computer is a necessity! Well at least the office computer
ranked above the dish washer and fax machine. {RAH}
--------------
Ray Koziel is a systems programmer (C++ and Pascal) for Blue Cross
Blue Shield of IL's EMC-Net, a private bulletin board used for
electronic submission of insurance claims. Living in Chicago with a
wife, a new baby boy and two dogs, Ray has found RAH helpful in
keeping his insanity. FidoNet: 1:115/542 (The Loonatic Fringe BBS)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RAH Humor Review: Robin Hood: Men in Tights
by Dave Bealer

Scene 1: (Whitehall, Pennsylvania - Summer 1974)
A pair of high school chess nerds go to the West End Drive-In Theater
to see _The Thief Who Came to Dinner_, which was supposed to have
chess woven into the plot. A powerful thunder storm keeps them from
seeing that film. Their disappointment was considerably reduced by
the fact that they had thoroughly enjoyed the second feature, which
was shown first as per the custom of the time. That second feature
was _Blazing Saddles_, the hilarious sendup of Western movies by the
incomparable Mel Brooks.

Scene 2: (Kansas City, Missouri - Summer 1987)
One of those chess nerds grew up to be a computer nerd and would-be
humorist. Thirteen years later I have yet to see the entire movie,
_The Thief Who Came to Dinner_, although I have seen the last few
minutes of it on television. Conversely, I have seen _Blazing
Saddles_ dozens of times and enjoyed it immensely each time. The
good news is that I only suffered from an oxygen-deprivation headache
from laughing too hard that first time I saw it.

Oddly, Mel Brooks hit his peak in 1974, the year both his best films
(_Blazing Saddles_ and _Young Frankenstein_) were released. Although
his films since then are well worth seeing (especially _History of
the World - Part I_), he never again achieved the inspired lunacy of
his two masterworks. Hope springs eternal, of course, especially
among the fans of great artists. We may know that our hero is past
his prime, but we keep supporting his new stuff anyway in the hope
that he may yet find a way to reach new heights.

So one hot Friday afternoon I ventured into the Crown Center Mall and
caught a matinee of _Spaceballs_. Why not? I can never sleep in the
afternoon before an overnight software install, especially while on
the road. _Spaceballs_ was definitely not a new height. In fact I
was quite disappointed with that movie after that first screening.
The movie has since grown on me (like a tumor) despite the presence
of Rick Moranis, one of my least favorite comedy actors.

Random Access Humor Page 12 August 1993

Scene 3: (Pasadena, Maryland - Summer 1993)
The would-be humorist is now a practicing amateur humorist with an
international (and completely demented) following. He decides it
would be interesting to provide a review of a comedy movie before the
movie closes in first-run theaters. Selecting the latest work by
his hero, Mel Brooks, our hero ventures into Marley Station Mall to
catch a matinee of _Robin Hood: Men in Tights_.

This movie is a parody of the Robin Hood movies, which are sort of a
genre all to themselves. The principal target is Kevin Costner's
recent rendition, which desperately wanted lampooning in any case.
The opening is great, and will be especially appreciated by anyone
who ever wanted to hear the phrase "Hey Nonny, Nonny" in a rap song.

Cary Elwes does a creditable job as Robin Hood, but his performance
is just a pale reflection of his work in _The Princess Bride_. He
seems to do better with subtle humor, which is not a likely part of
a Mel Brooks movie.

Richard Lewis portrays a neurotic Prince John, typecasting if ever
there was such a thing. My first impression is that this guy does
not have a big future as an actor.

Mel Brooks is a scream as Rabbi Tuckman, purveyor of sacramental wine
and circumcisions. Dom DeLuise has a riotous cameo as Don Giovani,
the godfather associate of the Sheriff of Rottingham. Of the
newcomers in the cast, the most energetic is Dave Chappelle as
Ahchoo, Robin's Moorish companion and martial arts partner. Mark
Blankfield has a hilarious turn as Blinkin, Robin's blind servant.
If you want to know the identity of the world famous English actor
who takes the de rigueur cameo as King Richard, you'll just have to
go see the movie.

_Blazing Saddles_ it isn't, but it sure beats _Spaceballs_. {RAH}
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Announcements and Observations

Internet users may now obtain uncompressed text versions of each RAH
issue via FTP from: etext.archive.umich.edu dir: pub/Zines/RAH
This site replaces the "uglymouse" server which previously held the
RAH issues, and is being phased out by the University of Michigan.

We're still seeking a non-commercial anonymous FTP site to carry the
RAH issues in compressed ZIP format. Please contact the editor.
- - -
In the finest tradition of vaporware, the "Best of RAH" hypertext
book promised for September release has been delayed until next
year. Excuses, er, the rationale behind the delay will be explained
in next month's issue. Send all complaints to [email protected]

Random Access Humor Page 13 August 1993

**CAPITAL Punishment** -- The 05/17/93 issue of InformationWeek
reported on news stories from China (that great hotbed of human
rights) about a computer hacker being executed for defrauding the
Agricultural Bank of China of about $200,000. The news reports
said that Shi Biao was executed as a warning to others
contemplating computer crime. Potential virus authors who plan to
vacation in China should consider these consequences, given the
ease with which computer viruses travel.
- - -
The Puffin's Nest BBS, the online home of Random Access Humor,
switched to a US Robotics HST/Dual Standard modem on July 24, 1993.
The new modem is capable of 1200-14400 bps in V.32bis mode and 1200-
16800 bps in HST mode. The phone number is still: 1-410-437-3463.
- - -
The RAH distributor family continues to grow in a most unlikely
fashion. This month we picked up sites in the astoundingly similar
countries of Iceland and Saudi Arabia.
- - -
The deadline for submissions, letters, etc. for inclusion in the
First Anniversary issue (09/93) of RAH is August 14, 1993. {RAH}
---------------------------------------------------------------------
--- Taglines Seen Around the Nets

Why can't women leave the lid up?

Mommy! The cursor's winking at me!

But what if I'm a figment of MY imagination?

In case of emergency, break glass, scream, bleed to death.

Liberal tagline: friends don't let friends make up their own mind.

Alimony is having to say you're sorry once a month.

Preserve wildlife...pickle a squirrel.

I want to live with a synonym girl.

Wheaties and beer: the Breakfast of ex-champions.

Visit your money this year - vacation in Washington, D.C.

If sanity were dollars I'd be bankrupt.

May your Gakh never wonder off your plate.

McBorg's -- over half a billion assimilated.

I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be... ooooohh, doughnuts!

They say give your money to God, but they give you THEIR address.

Press [ESC] to detonate or any other key to explode.

Random Access Humor Page 14 August 1993

I think, therefore I am overqualified.

Marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.

Bombs don't kill people, explosions kill people.

Radioactive halibut will make fission chips.

Feet smell? Nose runs? Hey, you're upside down!

He's dead? I thought he was imitating Al Gore.

Dawn crept across the lawn, searching for her car keys.

Bureaucracy: a method for transforming energy into solid waste.

Support mental health, or I'll kill you!

Help Stamp Out Intolerance!

I'm not FOR apathy, and I'm not AGAINST it.

Save the Chocolate Moose!

Archaeologists will date any old thing.

I brake for brick walls.

Fight organized crime, stamp out the IRS!

Eschew obfuscation

I'm so poor, I can't even pay attention!

Honest, officer! The dwarf was on fire when I got here.

I hate taglines.

It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta pawn it off on someone else.

Ah know what a bagel is, but what kind of dog is a lox?

My life is not organized around high probability events.

We will, we will, Pun you!

Marriage isn't a word, it's a sentence.

I may not be right, but I'm never wrong!

Asking if computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Be consistent - but don't do it all the time.

Random Access Humor Page 15 August 1993

This BBS is ancient. Some say from the echocene.

Managing programmers is like herding cats.

I'm positively enameled with this subject.

Minding your own business will not be tolerated.

Rabbits reproduce like taglines.

Zen Druidry: transcendental vegetation.

"Dr. Scott!" "Janet!" "Brad!" "Rocky!" "YO ADRIAN!"

Hi, my name is John, and I'm a closet lurker.

From C:\*.* to shining C:\*.*

Never feed your cat anything that clashes with the carpet!

Beam me up, Scotty! It ate my phaser.

The seabird hater left no tern unstoned.

Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?

Always use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.

Blessed are the meek, for they make great scapegoats.

I think, therefore I am... dangerous.

Nice computers don't go down.

If you take the plunge, return it by Tuesday.

People have one thing in common, they're all different.

Geometry: what the acorn said after it grew up.

Cogito, ergo Hormel - I think, therefore I Spam.

I'm having an out-of-money experience.

Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a tagline writer.

The only wormhole I've seen went through an apple.

I'm not short and heavy, I'm just traveling near the speed of light.

Random Access Humor Page A-1 August 1993

Random Access Humor Masthead:

Editor & Publisher: Dave Bealer

Contributing Editors: Greg Borek, Ray Koziel

Contact: The Puffin's Nest BBS
FidoNet: 1:261/1129
BBS: (410) 437-3463 (1200-14400/V.32bis)
Internet: [email protected]
[email protected]
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

Random Access Humor (RAH) is published monthly 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.

Random Access Humor is Copyright 1993 Dave Bealer. All Rights
Reserved. Duplication and/or distribution is permitted for non-
commercial purposes only. RAH may not be distributed on diskette,
CD-ROM 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. 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.

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 issues via anonymous FTP from :
etext.archive.umich.edu Directory: pub/Zines/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 may also be sent via
Internet to: [email protected]

Random Access Humor Page A-2 August 1993

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. Your text should be less than 70 columns across for
widest readability. 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. It will not be possible to make private responses
to any 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. If you wrote it
yourself, you are automatically the copyright holder.
3) Authorized agents for a copyright holder (typically an
organization) may submit material on behalf of that holder.

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:
(Sites bearing the designation will accept your
contributions and forward them to the editors.)
(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 16800 (HST/Dual)
SailNet> 53:5000/1129
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

Random Access Humor Page A-3 August 1993

RAH Gateway Systems:

Pooh's Corner Fells Point, MD. Sysop: Mark Truelove
FidoNet> 1:261/1131 (410) 327-9263 14400 (V.32bis)
RBBSnet> 8:936/206 FilNet> 33:410/0 CandyNet> 42:1031/1


007LZ Southfield, MI. Sysop: Gary Groeller
FidoNet> 1:120/636 (313) 569-4454 14400 (V.32bis)
W-Net_fts> 66:636/1 CrossNet> 73:400/0 SOGNet> 91:91/2

H*A*L Muskogee, OK. Sysop: Lloyd Hatley
FidoNet> 1:3813/304 (918) 682-7337 14400 (V.32bis)
RFNet> 73:102/1 RANet> 72:918/21 LuvNet> 77:101/1
DoorNet> 75:7918/205

The Shop Mail Only Flushing, NY. Sysop: Steve Matzura
FidoNet> 1:2603/203 (718) 460-0201 14400 (V.32bis)
ADAnet> 94:7180/1 JayNet> 17:99/100 WorldNet 62:4400/200
MusicNet.FTN> 88:8001/12
Cyberdrome Philadelphia, PA. Sysop: Mike Taylor
FidoNet> 1:273/937 (215) 923-8026 14400 (V.32bis)
PodsNet> 93:9600/2

Abiogenesis Kansas City, MO. Sysop: Scott Lent
FidoNet> 1:280/310 (816) 734-4732 14400 (V.32bis)
VirNet> 9:103/110 MailNet> 20:416/310 SuperNet> 43:1315/102

Datanet BBS Voorschoten, Netherlands Sysop: Ed Bakker
FidoNet> 2:281/101 31-71-617784 14400 (V.32bis)
Digital-Net> 15:200/512 MomNet> 71:2000/2

SoftCom Online Istanbul, Turkey Sysop: Tolga Yurderi
FidoNet> 2:430/1 90-1-2655079 14400 (V.32bis)
GlobalNet> 52:9000/1 IntlNet> 57:90/1 HiTNeT> 102:1001/5

The Vision BBS Keflavik, Iceland Sysop: Jon Karlsson
FidoNet> 2:391/20 354-2-14626 14400 (V.32bis)
IceInet> 354:2/10

RAH Official Distribution Sites:

-= AUSTRALIA =-
Victoria
The Flying Circus Highett 3:635/555 61-3-532-5224 V.32bis

-= CANADA =-
Ontario
Typecast BBS Kingston 1:249/107 1-613-545-9148 V.32bis

ICELAND
The Vision BBS Keflavik 2:391/20 354-2-14626 V.32bis

Random Access Humor Page A-4 August 1993

-= NETHERLANDS =-
BIB Aalten Aalten 2:283/401 31-54-3774203 V.32bis
BBS Sussudio Denhaag 2:281/517 31-70-3212177 V.32bis
Midkemia BBS Denhaag (NoFido) 31-70-3361872 V.32bis
TouchDown Hoofddorp 2:280/401 31-2503-24677 HST/Dual
Bommel's BBS Schiedam 2:285/800 31-10-4700939 V.32bis
Pleasure BBS Utrecht 2:281/705 31-30-934123 V.32bis
Datanet BBS Voorschoten 2:281/101 31-71-617784 V.32bis

-= SAUDI ARABIA =-
MidEast Connection Riyadh (NoFido) 966-1-4410075 V.32bis

-= SLOVENIA =-
R.I.S.P. Ljubljana 2:380/103 38-61-199400 V.32bis

-= TURKEY =-
SoftCom Online Istanbul 2:430/1 90-1-2655079 V.32bis

-= UNITED STATES =-
Alabama
J & J Online Chickasaw 1:3625/440 (205) 457-5901 V.32bis
Digital Publ. Assoc Birmingham (NoFido) (205) 854-1660 V.32bis

California
InfoMat BBS San Clemente (NoFido) (714) 492-8727 HST/Dual
Automation Central San Jose 1:143/110 (408) 435-2886 V.32bis
The Software Station Saugus 1:102/1106 (805) 296-9056 V.32
Marin County Net Sausalito 1:125/55 (415) 331-6241 HST/Dual

Connecticut
ModemNews Express Stamford (NoFido) (203) 359-2299 V.32bis

Florida
The Software Cuisine Miami 1:135/57 (305) 642-0754 V.32bis
Flamingo Ventures Pensacola 1:3612/320 (904) 478-7716 V.32bis

Hawaii
Casa de la Chinchilla Honolulu (NoFido) (808) 845-1303 HST/Dual

Idaho
Phantasia BBS Boise 1:347/25 (208) 939-2530 V.32bis

Illinois
The Crossroads BBS Chicago 1:115/743 (312) 587-8756 HST/Dual
The Loonatic Fringe Elk Grove 1:115/542 (708) 290-8877 V.32

Indiana
Digicom Evansville 1:2310/200 (812) 479-1310 HST/Dual

Maryland
Wit-Tech Baltimore 1:261/1082 (410) 256-0170 V.32bis
Outside the Wall Baltimore 1:261/1093 (410) 665-1855 V.32
The File Exchange Cockeysville 1:2617/104 (410) 628-7243 HST/Dual
Pooh's Corner Fells Point 1:261/1131 (410) 327-9263 V.32bis
Robin's Nest Glen Burnie (NoFido) (410) 766-9756 2400
The Puffin's Nest Pasadena 1:261/1129 (410) 437-3463 HST/Dual

Random Access Humor Page A-5 August 1993

Michigan
CALnet @node.1 Detroit 1:2410/120 (313) 836-8275 V.32
007LZ Southfield 1:120/636 (313) 569-4454 V.32bis

Mississippi
Ranch & Cattle South Columbus (NoFido) (601) 328-6486 V.32bis

Missouri
Abiogenesis Kansas City 1:280/310 (816) 734-4732 V.32bis

New Mexico
High Mesa Publishing Los Lunas 1:301/1 (505) 865-8385 V.32
Paula's House of Mail Los Lunas 1:301/301 (505) 865-4082 HST

New York
The Shop Mail Only Flushing 1:2603/203 (mail only) V.32bis
The Wall-2 Middle Village 1:278/612 (718) 335-8784 HST/Dual

Ohio
Village Online Yellow Springs 1:110/210 (513) 767-7896 V.32bis

Oklahoma
H*A*L Muskogee 1:3813/304 (918) 682-7337 V.32bis

Oregon
Bitter Butter Better Tigard 1:105/290 (503) 620-0307 V.32

Pennsylvania
Cyberdrome Philadelphia 1:273/937 (215) 923-8026 V.32bis
Milliways Pittsburgh 1:129/179 (412) 766-1086 HST/Dual

Texas
Sunlight Thru Shadows Addison (NoFido) (214) 620-8793 V.32bis
Incredible BBS Burleson 1:130/82 (817) 447-2598 HST/Dual

Utah
Vital Signs Midvale 1:311/20 (801) 255-8909 V.32bis

Virginia
Pen & Brush Alexandria (NoFido) (703) 644-5196 V.32bis
Data Empire Fredericksburg 1:274/31 (703) 785-0422 V.32
Flying Dutchman Newport News 1:271/237 (804) 595-9383 V.32bis
The Time Machine Newport News 1:271/236 (804) 599-6401 HST/Dual

Washington
Spokane Online Spokane 1:346/20 (509) 327-8540 V.32bis
Dragon's Cave Tacoma 1:138/198 (206) 752-4160 V.32bis

Wisconsin
The First Step BBS Green Bay 1:139/540 (414) 499-0659 V.32bis


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