¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no. 2199
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2199th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3647, July 5, 2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net
Nippon 2007 in 2007! Denvention 3 in 2008! Salamander Press #2682


Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting, the final one of the McGuire/Lembke administration. Our ears may need the next six months to recover from Christian's gavel-pounding. Len Moffatt delivered a belated eulogy to Walter J. Daugherty, and CLJII delivered what we feared might be a premature one to Rob Cole, in the hospital with apparently little likelihood of coming out again. The rest of the meeting was more upbeat. LaLaCon 13 was reported as a pleasantly successful relaxicon. Many attendees were getting ready to depart for Westercon 60 in San Mateo this week. I was told that Alan Frisbie still keeps pet rats.

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I also returned The Alien Dark by Diana G. Gallagher, which I finished rereading, to the LASFS library. It was published in December 1990, so I presume that I read it about sixteen years ago. I was wrong that the plot includes the extinction of life on Earth through the destruction of all cellulose. The cause is a bioengineered microorganism that was intended to pulp dead wood, but which mutated into a strain that turns all wood including healthy trees to a mushlike pulp. With all trees on Earth destroyed, there is no photosynthetic production of oxygen, and Earth turns into a carbon dioxide heat sink like Venus. This is actually only a background element in the novel, which is set one hundred million years later. The Alien Dark is a very unusual s-f novel, and I recommend it.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Grok Talk v.2 #5 - (Gallatin) Albert Gallatin was the fourth Treasurer of the U.S., all right, but saying that, "He also served on the Lewis-Clarke [sic.] expeditions," implies that he went on the expeditions rather than just being involved with the Louisiana Purchase and the planning of the Lewis & Clark expeditions, in Washington, D.C. before they set out. Have you read The Gallatin Divergence, by L. Neil Smith (Ballantine/del Rey, 1985), an alternate-world novel in which Gallatin, who hated the Federalists and Hamilton (so does Smith), helps to undermine the U.S. Constitution? Smith applauds this as a Good Thing; I doubt that it would have been, and from what I have read about Gallatin's lengthy career in Federal government service, I suspect that he would not have been willing to go that far, either. ## Come to think of it, if you are only assuming that Gallatin Road in Downey is named for Albert Gallatin, you ought to double-check this. Bĵo Trimble liked to point out that most people assume that Burbank was named for the famous horticulturalist Luther Burbank who lived there, but it was actually named after one of its pioneer settlers, David Burbank, a complete nonentity except to Burbank city historians. Hmmm, the Internet says that Gallatin Road was named around the early 1860s after either Albert Gallatin, or a then-famous racehorse named Gallatin - nobody is sure which (http://www.downeyca.org/city_about.php#gallatin).

De Jueves #1537 - (Moffatt) I am not sure whether the taxicabs in London today are the same as the "old-fashioned" black taxicabs still in service in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the 1980s & '90s. The Scottish taxi drivers were proud of not giving them up for the newer taxis which they claimed were much less popular with the public. When I was in London, I rode the Underground as much as possible, too. ## I don't know whether, if Hitler had met with Disney in 1935, he would have played it up any more than Mussolini did, which was not at all. Apparently as far as Mussolini was concerned, their meeting was just one of many brief, informal social exchanges that he held with prominent foreign businessmen visiting Rome. Disney's visit was included in 1935 newsreels that way. But his meeting with Mussolini was mentioned on his itinerary; it was no secret. In 1935 Hitler was not nearly as unpopular in America as he became during World War II, so there would have been no reason to keep a Disney-Hitler meeting a big secret. ## Aztec mythology does not say what use the ahuizotl made of the fingernails and teeth they stole from the humans that they drowned; but artist Ursula Vernon has proposed an answer in her Subconscious Chupicabra comic strip back in 2002, in "The Thing That Starts With 'A'". I already published this in ˇRR! around then, and Marty Cantor tells me that printing full-page, full-color comic strips in ˇRR!, even in black-&-white, is running up my printing bill horrendously, so I will just cite its URL this time instead of reprinting it yet again: http://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/irrationalfears/series.php?view=archive&chapter=787&mpe=1&fromwhich=3&direction=f

Godzilla Verses # 146 -- (DeChancie) Since last week I quoted for Nola Frame-Gray what Mark Evanier said about Dean Martin's last performance in 1988, here is what he said about Dean and Me when it was published in 2005. This is again from Evanier's http://www.newsfromme.com/ website, which I find interesting enough to read almost daily. The entry includes the dust jacket from the book, which says it is "by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan".

Jerry Lewis has written (with co-author James Kaplan) a book about his relationship with Dean Martin. I've only had the time to skim it but a lot of the details seem to be at odds with previous accounts by others... which is not to say Jerry's might not be the truth or at least closer to the truth. I'll write more about it after I have the time to give it a good read but in the meantime, you can order a copy from Amazon by clicking here

I didn't get my copy that way. Last evening, I went to an event where Mr. Lewis appeared. Producer George Schlatter interviewed him, Jerry took questions from a loving audience, and pre-signed copies (signed almost illegibly, "Jerry") were available for the purchasing. Jerry was funny and generally self-effacing, and he also looked to be in very good health for a man who's close to eighty and whose body has been through all that his has endured. Once or twice, he launched into condemnations of today's comedians - his big problem with most of them is that they don't move enough on stage - and with shows like those of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich. But he also spoke well of Dean, referring to him often as "my partner" and making clear what a great performer he thought Martin was...and he didn't mean just as a singer. In particular, he emphasized how fast Dean could pick up on a new routine and go right out and perform it, letter-perfect every time

Speaking of the breakup, Jerry said - I'm quoting from memory here - "There were outside forces working against us...people who'd tell Dean, 'You're a great singer. You could do a solo. You don't need the monkey.' And there were people telling me, 'You don't need him.' You try not to listen to people like that but late at night, when you're lying in bed, you hear them saying those things over and over. That contributed to it. It became like a cancer on our partnership and one way or another, you have to remove a cancer."

The conversation veered towards Jerry's career and he was asked about his infamous unreleased film, The Day the Clown Cried. He said - again, this is from memory - "I did my job as an actor. I did not do my job as a director. The film is not worthy of being seen and it will never be seen. I won't allow it." The questioner asked him if it had ever been completed or if it was still in a rough cut form and Jerry shrugged and said, "What difference does it make?"

He praised some of today's performers, singling out Robin Williams, Martin Short, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal and Paul Reiser. He said his TV viewing is confined to Bravo, A&E, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and other similar stations and that he does not watch sitcoms. Asked about the white sweatsocks that he usually wears, sometimes even with formal garb, he said, "I wear them because I like them. They feel comfortable to me. I change socks about four times a day, always putting on a brand new, never-before-worn pair. Each year, I send hundreds of pairs of socks to --" and he gave the name of some charitable organization in Las Vegas. "There are people in Hollywood who spend just as much money each year on something else that's white but they put it up their noses."

There were two brief outpourings of the fabled Lewis anger. One was when he got on the subject of critics. The other occurred because in ticking off a list of great comedians of the past, he pointedly mentioned "The Marx Brothers without Groucho." Later, someone in the audience asked about that odd omission and he told a story that didn't quite make sense. He said it occurred in 1978 or 1979 at a comedy festival in Canada. Groucho, he said, appeared the day before him and said bad things about "my best friend in the world, Stan Laurel." As Jerry told the story, he got up there the next day and "took him apart," telling the world that Groucho was an untalented thief of old jokes. Lewis then pointed out that Groucho's son Arthur wrote a book about Martin and Lewis that...well, I'm not sure if he read it but he sure didn't like it, and that had something to do with his low opinion of Groucho.

As I said, the tale didn't quite compute for me or, I suspect, most of those present. For one thing, by 1978, Groucho was in no shape to make a public appearance, having died in 1977. I don't think he made any speeches anywhere after about '74 and in earlier times, had expressed naught but admiration for Laurel and Hardy. Even assuming Groucho appeared somewhere at some time and said something negative about Laurel, that of course has little to do with whether or not he was a great comedian...and the fact that his son wrote a book has even less. So I'm not sure what was happening there.

Apart from those odd digressions into acrimony, the evening was most enjoyable for the folks who turned out for it. On the way out, there was a younger person repeating over and over, like it did not seem humanly possible, "That's the guy who made The Nutty Professor." Yes, it was. There's an awful lot of history in that man and even if he was there to push a book, it was nice of him to share some of it with us.

That is delightful news about Fallingwater being repaired and good for another 100 years. It is a beautiful building that certainly deserves to be preserved in actuality rather than just old photographs.

Toony Loons #48 - (Zeff) Max can be an abbreviation of Maxine as well as Maximilian. Or Maxwellington, which I believe was one of Albert Alligator's disguises in one Pogo sequence.

I Frantabulate Werewolves - (Gold) Hungary has commemorated Laszlo Biro as the inventor of the ballpoint pen on a set of Hungarian Technology postage stamps; which is stretching a point since Biro had fled Hungary and developed the pen in Argentina. ## My copy of the Keibunsha Complete TV Monster Encyclopedia or whatever its title is (it contains a picture, name, and vital statistics of every weekly "evil" giant robot from every live-action TV superhero series up to the late 1980s) went to the UCRiverside Library after my stroke, but according to the Red Baron entry on the Japan Hero website, episode #35, "The Terror of the Vampire Virus", featured a robot named DrakuBat; but there is no mention of a robot named Drakula in Red Baron. Could they be the same? This seems unlikely since the website implies that DrakuBat was a robot under the villain's control (I thought that all the robots in Red Baron except for Red Baron itself were stolen by the villain Devilar in the first episode, and used by him for evil purposes on a one-per-week basis), and you say that the controller of Drakula saved Japanese-American relations. Japan Hero lists Big Bison, an American giant robot; Escargos, a French giant robot; Sphinxos, an Egyptian giant robot, and others; I assume DrakuBat was from Transylvania. ## Oh. Searchable, not indexed. Oh, well, this is no worse than the searching through multiple paper issues to find something, which is what I've had to do until now. At least I will have access to ˇRR! again, which I have not since my stroke.

S.F.F.A.M. #497 - (Merrigan) Having the programs as part of the meetings would extend the meetings, and require the Scribe to include the program in the minutes of what went on during the meetings. As far as I am concerned, the program ought to be the highlight of the meeting anyway, not an after-meeting afterthought. ## Well, the Ursa Major trophies not picked up at the presentation ceremony at CafiFur 3 were actually no more or less nonfattening than those that were picked up there.

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