PS... A Column

on Things

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Vol. 2 No. 45

Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.

December 27, 1999

Surprise Bonus Inter-Holiday Edition

I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.

Table of Contents:

General News

  • Twenty-One The Game Show
  • My Sense of Humor (written): Benchley, Perelman, Marx and Keillor
  • 2000th reader

Computer Industry News

  • None this week

Web Site of the Week

  • Catproofing Your Keyboard


  • The Top 15 Disclaimers Found on Toy Boxes (Part II)
  • The Top 12 Things on Charlie Brown's To-Do List


  • Man On The Moon--not quite a review yet


  • Airline Stupidity

Hey, what can I say? I had some time on my hands and some news to share, so I decided to do a quick column over the holidays. Happy New Year!

General News

Twenty-One The Game Show

I have here in my hands an NBC Burbank Visitor's Pass from December 21, 1999, for Studio 9, Lot D (enter off Bob Hope Drive). This is because I passed the 15-question telephone test for the game show Twenty-One, whose phone number I got off the Internet.

Fifty of us crowded into a dull, bare conference room for a 30-question test. I think I got 28 or 29 questions right. I'd tell you what some of the questions were, but one of the contestant coordinators threatened to hunt us down like dogs and emasculate us if we put any of the questions of the Internet. Worse yet, she promised us we would never ever be contestants on the show.

In any case, I was one of 20 people who made the cut and got to play the game for the contestant coordinators. Among them was Harve, the contestant coordinator from Win Ben Stein's Money, who walked up to me after my appearance on that show and told me I was the best contestant he'd had so far (about 12 weeks into the first series of shows).

Suffice it to say that I gave an excellent performance and consider myself highly likely to be flown to LA to be a contestant when the taping of the show starts on January 8 (first airing January 9).

Virtually no one reading this will remember the original 21, but it was featured in Robert Redford's movie of a few years back called Quiz Show. It was the game show hosted by Jack Barry which featured two contestants in isolation booths asking for questions of varying difficulty with point values from 1 to 11. The first player to 21 won the game. The plan, as of press time, was to have the first game be worth $100,000 with a $200,000 bonus round. Then each additional game is worth another $100,000.

It looks like a lot of money and a lot of excitement, and I, for one, can't wait to play. I have a feeling this will finally be my big one.

I don't know what it is about me and game shows, but I'm really excited.Moreso than I was for Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Scrabble or even Win Ben Stein's Money. By the way, I have posted a luridly detailed journal of my appearances on Wheel and Jeopardy.

My Sense of Humor (written): Benchley, Perelman, Marx and Keillor

Last week I mentioned my sense of humor when it comes to audio. This week, I want to mention briefly the kinds of written humor I find most amusing. My all-time favorites are Robert Benchley, S.J. Perelman, Groucho Marx and Garrison Keillor. Note that there is not a belly-laugh in the bunch. For some reason Art Buchwald and Dave Barry leave me cold. Benchley, Perelman and Marx loved to play with the language and use unusual vocabulary for comic effect. And Keillor, in writing as in spoken performances, has this gentle buildup to abusurdity that just rocks my world. It is hard to explain, and I shudder to think what my taste in humor says about me, but there you are. I have all published worked written by all four of these authors.

My 2000th Reader

Well, not technically my 2000th reader, but the 2000th visit to this site by one of my 60 or so readers, has undoubtedly taken place this week--check the counter.

Also, I have a ton of interesting material; so much so that I might succumb and do a column next week too, but right now it's 11 pm and we have a plane to catch on Saturday morning for Los Angeles with my mother-in-law, so I have to let it go.

Computer Industry News

None this week

Web Site of the Week

Catproofing Your Keyboard

Daniel Dern offered up this site:

Is this for real? Can't tell. We don't have a cat, so we don't care as much.

I have two cats and I can't tell if it is real. Can you?


The Top 15 Disclaimers Found on Toy Boxes (Part II)

A tie for 11th place on Dec. 20:

15> No beanies or babies harmed in the manufacture of this product.

14> For children ages 4-10, or really wasted adults.

13> Not to be confused with "Poke You Man" by Adult Inflatable Products, Ltd.

12> Caution: Care Bears do not actually care very much.

11> Warning: This toy produces substantially less childish glee in real life than it does in the TV commercial.

10> Failure to fall immediately to your knees in gratitude and eternally thank parents for shelling out $400 and waiting in line behind a smelly woman from Jersey City for two hours to *get* your Sega Dreamcast -- especially when you've already got a Playstation and a box full of games that are now headed for the next garage sale -- may result in bodily injury.

9> Syringe and vaccine sold separately.

8> Do not stare at product. Hey! You're doing it now! Cut that out!!

7> In case of breakage, scream until dad buys a replacement.

6> Do not attempt to combine your Ultra Mega Warrior with your
cat to make Ultra Mega Cat Warrior.

5> For eternal use only.

4> For best results, consume hard liquor prior to assembly.

3> Talk to your doctor before using Xenical Barbie. Xenical Barbie not intended for children less than 20% above their ideal weight. Discontinue use if oily leakage occurs.

2> Replacement blades and toes not included.

and's Number 1 Disclaimer Found on a Toy Box...

1> Warning: Although technically a game, Parcheesi sucks.

[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 1999 by Chris White ]

Selected from 136 submissions from 47 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Bill Muse, Seattle, WA -- 1 (33rd #1 / Hall of Famer)
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 11
James Holt, Knoxville, TN -- Topic
Chris White, New York, NY -- List owner/editor
Goo Goo Dolls, Buffalo, NY -- Ambience

The Top 12 Things on Charlie Brown's To-Do List

Then, an 8-way (!) tie for 7th a few days later:

December 23, 1999


Charles Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts,"
is going to retire the comic strip, with
January 3rd's strip being the last one for
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the gang.

12> Bite into Peppermint Patty and get the sensation.

11> Cash the Met Life policy and jet off to Juarez with the little red-haired girl to see if "collar and cuffs" match.

10> Speak to my shrink about that jazz piano music that follows me around everywhere.

9> Get Peppermint Patty that Indigo Girls album she's been asking

8> Begin rap career as Snoop Master C.

7> Two words: new shirt

6> After bottling it up for almost 50 years, go to a local mall and just curse wildly at children for a few hours.

5> Get barber school tuition from Dad. Blow it on booze and hookers.

4> Tell the dog that if he can pilot a plane, he can get his own damn dinner.

3> Begin auditioning actresses for "It's Your First Threesome, Charlie Brown."

2> With Schultz finally out of the picture, stick that football where only Lucy's proctologist can find it.

and's Number 1 Thing on Charlie Brown's To-Do List...

1> Get Prozac, get Rogaine, get Viagra, and get busy with the little red-haired girl.

[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 1999 by Chris White ]

Selected from 150 submissions from 41 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Jonathan D. Colan, Miami, FL -- 1 (17th #1 / Hall of Famer)
Joe DiPietro, Brooklyn, NY -- 7, 8
Sandra Hull, Arlington, VA -- 7, Runner Up list name
Ann Bartow, Dayton, OH -- 7
Wade Kwon, Birmingham, AL -- 7
Sue Prifogle Otte, Rushville, IN -- 7
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 7
Daniel Weckerly, Limerick, PA -- 7
Rob Wolf, Seattle, WA -- 7
Chris White, New York, NY -- List owner/editor
Calvin Broadus, Long Beach, CA -- Ambience


Man On The Moon

Saw the new Andy Kaufman biopic, directed by Milos Forman and starring Jim Carrey this week, with my two daughters. It was interesting. A review will follow shortly.


Airline Stupidity

My friend Joe Brancatelli sent me this note. If you surf over, you'll have to check the archives to find the column in question (it ran around Dec. 16). It is worth the time to look it up.

Forget those cynical new "customer first" plans. Let's focus on an earlier airline outrage: carry-on templates. Remember how United and Delta promised they'd improve on-time performance? So home come United is running below the industry on-time average for 10 of the 12 months since they installed templates? And how come Delta is no better than tied with Continental, which has the most liberal carry-on policy in the skies? For all the details, click on the Brancatelli File hotlink

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