by melvan & eener
Quote of the Issue (from Elkvis): "If it ain't fixed, don't broke it!"
Hello, folks! This is the first issue of FME for 1998. And it's a long one, folks! It's been so long since we sent the last one that we're overflowing with creativity...or stupidity, you be the judge.
Unfortunately, it's also the last issue of FME for 1998. That's right, this is the very last issue of FME. And this time we're not kidding. Really. We have decided that since eener and melvan both have other things to do that don't make room for writing FME, we are ending the magazine. There is no "April Fools!" at the end of this issue. That would be pretty silly. It's not April. Of course, as long as it's taking to write this amidst melvan's computer troubles lately, you COULD be reading it in April. Perhaps at a later time one (or both) of us will write something else, and you'll read it.
And since this is the last issue, and since we haven't written it for five months, there's a lot of stuff going in it. Therefore, we have broken it into several parts so you don't get too bored reading a really long issue. The second part will come to you sometime in the next couple of weeks, and the third part will follow that by a week or two.
And also, since this is the last issue, we would like all past contributors to write something for the grand finale. So if you have some spare time and can write something, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The official web version of the grand finale issue is http://www.melvania.net/macheen/finale/ (if melvan ever gets around to writing those pages). You can get there from the Macheen Shed. Which has moved. http://www.melvania.net/macheen/
Continuation of the introduction: written by Joe "The Killer" Smith. Ha ha! Just kidding! Actually, this is eener's contribution to the introduction. It's January 24th, 1998, the day after melvan's birthday!! Isn't that great? She's here with me in Stone Mountain, GA. She flew in yesterday to spend the weekend with me. Woo hoo! So if you hear on the news of strange occurrences in Stone Mountain, you'll know what's going on. We went yesterday to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) to celebrate melvan's birthday. Darin, my sweet, wacky little hubby, mel and I all went. We happened to mention to the waitress that it was mel's birthday. Later on in the meal, after we were all stuffed, the waitress brought us a huge sundae and some helium balloons. melvan sat there holding the balloons with an expression on her face, which, if I had to interpret it, was saying something like "Uhhhh....these waitresses are singing "happy birthday" to me...and I have these balloons in my hand and I don't know where to put them...AND I have a cockroach on my head!" Well, maybe not the cockroach part, but anyway, we didn't know where to put the balloons. So we told the waitress we would let them float up to the ceiling and get them later. Most unfortunately they became entangled in the light fixture on the ceiling, never to be recovered. And then a terrorist ran into the building and screamed "I'M GOING TO KILL ANYONE WHO'S HAVING A BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!" Do you know what his name was? Ted "The Assassin" Smith. Well, maybe not. A good time was had by all. Needless to say, it's fun to have melvan here.
Hmm...okay, this intro is long enough n o w.
NOTE: I think melvan wants to make this intro even longer. She scrolled up to the top of the 'zine, went under the last line, hit the space bar a few times, and then sat and stared at the screen. She stared some more, obviously experiencing writer's block. She then hit the back-space key a few times, and decided not to make the intro longer.
Note from melvan: Nah, I was just going to write about mail trucks in rush hour on Sundays...
eener replies: don't even THINK about it.
melvan says: Too late, I already did. Now if we could just remember what it was your hubby said yesterday that was so funny....
As the Tractor Burns
With the last issue of FME comes the end of ATTB. After this issue, the burning tractor will be but a smoldering pile of metal parts. This being the last episode ever, you better believe it'll be a doozy.
Raul: Esmerelda, will you marry me?
Esmerelda: I told you before, I used the metric system once!
Raul: Yeah, well, there's something I've never told you. I secretly used the metric system when I morphed into Ross Perot that one time.
Esmerelda: Really? Wow...I'm not the only one.
Raul: (exasperated) So will you marry me or not?
Esmerelda: Sure. I'm not doing anything else for the rest of my life, why not?
(After watching this exchange, I.M. gets an idea.)
I.M.: Buffy, will you marry me?
Buffy: You have GOT to be kidding.
I.M.: I'm not.
Buffy: You're named after the metric system!
I.M.: Yeah, so? Doesn't mean I use it. Raul & Esmerelda both used the metric system before. You should be disowning them, not me!
Buffy: But they're not annoying like you. Besides, if I married you, my name would be Buffy Gilty.
I.M.: I'll buy you a really big diamond!
Buffy: (looking interested) How big?
(I.M. pulls out a ring with a diamond the size of a small orange)
Buffy: WOW! Okay, I'll marry you. (Al and Howard look on as their four friends celebrate engagement.)
Howard: Al, Will you marry me?
Al: Uhhh......sorry, I just proposed to the blonde receptionist.
Howard: So who am I supposed to marry? There's nobody left!
(Howard starts to cry, and all of a sudden the Baywatch Babe appears in a poof of smoke)
Al: Whoa...cool effects.
Baywatch Babe: Howard, marry me!
(Suddenly the characters find themselves in a huge vat of cheese)
Esmerelda: How the hick did we get here?
Raul: I guess the writers thought the script was getting too cheesy.
Al: Wow...cheese! (starts eating the cheese)
Howard: Hey! Save some for me!
(The bridgekeeper from "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" suddenly appears in a poof of greenish bluish reddish smoke.
Bridgekeeper: Wow, cool effects!
Director: CUT! That's not in the script!
Bridgekeeper: Oh, sorry. fumbles with his script Umm...where were we?
Director: WHAT...is your name?
Bridgekeeper: I'm the bridgekeeper.
Director: You moron! That's the line!
Bridgekeeper: Oh yeah. WHAT is your name?
Bridgekeeper: Just Al?
Al: Yeah, just Al.
Bridgekeeper: Okay...WHAT is your quest?
Al: How should I know?
Bridgekeeper: I don't know that -- AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!
(The bridgekeeper falls into the Gorge of Eternal Peril)
Howard: Hey, where'd the old guy go?
I.M.: I didn't do it!
Al: Uh-huh. Whatever.
Evil Taxi Driver: Boo.
Narrator: We interrupt this program to annoy you, and generally make things irritating for you.
Suddenly, the characters find themselves on a huge ship in the ocean.
Buffy: How the hick did we get here?
I.M.: Those editors are messing with our brains again!
Esmerelda: You don't have a brain.
Passenger: We've hit an iceberg!
Passenger: I said, WE'VE HIT AN ICEBERG!
(Leonardo DiCaprio runs by)
Raul: Uh-oh, we're on Titanic!
Suddenly, the characters disappear in a poof of smoke and reappear in the basement of the FBI headquarters in Washington DC.
Esmerelda: Whew, that was close!
Howard: Ow, I hit my head.
Buffy: Yeah, we know. When the aliens abducted you as a baby.
Howard: No, I mean just now. I hit my head on the wall.
Mulder: Did someone say aliens?
Al: Yeah, Buffy did.
Buffy: Yeah, Howard was abducted by aliens as a baby.
Mulder: Nevermind that. Hey Scully! Come look at this!
Scully: What is it?
Mulder: These six people just appeared out of nowhere.
Scully: That's impossible. People don't just appear out of nowhere.
Raul: But we did! We were just on Titanic.
Scully: And then what happened?
Esmerelda: Then we disappeared in a poof of smoke and showed up here.
Mulder: Six people from the Titanic disappear and reappear decades later in the basement of the FBI headquarters? Sounds like an X-file.
Scully: They're delusional.
While Mulder and Scully are debating the possibility of six humans appearing out of nowhere, our heroes (if you can call them that) disappear in yet another poof of smoke.
Mulder: Did you see that?
Scully: Yeah...what was that?
Meanwhile, the gang has appeared back outside the bakery from Episode 1.
Raul: These day-old liver donuts look good.
Esmerelda: Sure, why not? Hey, look over there!
Esmerelda spots I.M. Gilty and Buffy in a heated argument.
Buffy: How dare you suggest that my ant farm is disorganized! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!
I.M.: I didn't do it!
Buffy: You did and you know it!!
I.M.: I didn't! I'm not guilty!
Fruit Bats in Your Toilet
Weird Alex has written two parodies for the very last ever issue of FME.
The Complacent Whiner's Song
Parody of "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
Lyrics by Weird Alex
I get knocked down, and then I stay right there
You ain't never gonna get me up
I get knocked down, and then I stay right there
You ain't never gonna get me up
Singing the night away, singing the night away
He has a water drink, he has a juice drink
He has a soda drink, he has a milk drink
He sings the songs that remind him of the bad times
He sings the songs that remind him of the worse times
"Don't tell my heart, my achy-breaky heart"
I get knocked down ...
He has a water drink, he has a juice drink
He has a soda drink, he has a milk drink
He sings the songs that remind him of the bad times
He sings the songs that remind him of the WORST times
"I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world..."
I get knocked down... (to fade)
The Shoe Song
Parody of "Wonderwall" by Oasis
Lyrics by Weird Alex
Today is gonna be the day
When I'm gonna go and buy some shoes
By now, you shoulda somehow realized it's what I have to do
I don't believe that anybody needs new shoes much more than I do now
Wet feet, the word is on the street that my feet could put a fire out
I know you've heard this all before, but this time there is just no doubt
I don't believe that anybody needs new shoes much more than I do now
Cause all the roads I have to walk are winding
And this pain that is in my feet is blinding
And there are many things that I would like to say to you
Other than OW!!!!!
Because maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me
Cause after all, you're driving to the mall
Today it really was the day
When I went out for to buy new shoes
By now, you should have somehow realized it's what I had to do
I don't believe that anybody needs new shoes much less than I do now...
Chronic Stupidity Syndrome
From the Grinch:
I just got part 1 of the last issue of FME, and I thought I'd drop you a juicy little tidbit I wrote. If this one is too long, etc., there's plenty more at my stupidity page, http://www.buffnet.net/~grinch/generalstupidity.html. Hope you enjoy it!
Do you get lost in your own house? Do you talk so fast that you say things you haven't thought of yet? Have you ever forgotten your name or where you live? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may have Chronic Stupidity Syndrome (CSS), a condition which torments millions of Americans each year. Because its symptoms have traditionally been attributed to laziness and lack of motivation, many people afflicted with this disease don't even know it exists. As a long-term sufferer myself, I was relieved to find that my foolishness was not actually my fault. Stop feeling depressed about your idiocy, and learn to use CSS as an excuse to escape from your responsibilities! As a victim of CSS, you are entitled to certain privileges not available to the general, non-stupid public. Take, for instance, the much-coveted handicapped spaces at the mall. As a CSS sufferer, you are permitted to use these spaces to lessen your chances of forgetting what kind of car you drive. And if, by chance, you do accidentally drive off in the Oscar Meyer WienermobileTM, the law provides more lenient penalties for the intelligence-impaired. In school, you can enjoy some of the other benefits of CSS. Next time you are assigned a long essay, politely explain your condition to your teacher, and he may authorize you to repeat every third third word you say say to help you meet your word quota. You may even be allowed to use stupidistic adjective forms. Here's another chunk of good news: New York State recently approved legislation to lower the passing grade on Regents exams to three points for the chronically stupid, two of which are awarded for signing your name. The use of CSS as an excuse...er...handicap can alleviate a great deal of stress in your life. The causes of Chronic Stupidity Syndrome are still under investigation. Preliminary results indicate that although genetics may play a part in the disease, the underlying cause of CSS is stupidity. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Duhhh!] Although CSS currently has no cure, there is hope. A number of effective treatments exist, the most reliable of which is a swift blow to the head with some sort of blunt object. Also, I find that a good ten hours' sleep works wonders, even if you have to get it during class. Unfortunately, no CSS vaccine is currently available, but research continues. (Of course, there is always studying, but that's a bit drastic, isn't it?) As the world becomes increasingly devoid of common sense, us CSS victims will feel more and more at home. But until reason dissolves completely, "normal" people will always be envious of our lower standards. So, the next time you pour orange juice on your cereal, remember these valuable tips for dealing with the trials of perpetual idiocy.
--------Ha ha! The craziness never ends!-------------------
Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom - Part I
And now, from New Zealand to Wisconsin to your computer, we proudly present..."Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom", or "A Tribute to Farm Macheenery (Exploding)"
Note from the author: I'm a bit upset that this is to be the last issue of FME, because I've been spending months writing a story for it in several episodes. Like you, however, I have had other (better?) things to do with my time and it dropped lower and lower on my list of priorities.
It was originally inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's short story, "Wacky"; but there are definite Douglas Adams and Monty Python influences in there as well. And of course plenty of topics from all up and down FME. Even though it is unfinished, I have attached it to this mail along with a couple of notes as to how it would have continued. Its title is probably "Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom", and is subtitled "A Tribute to Farm Macheenery (Exploding)"
Make of it what you will.
Morgan L. Owens
Episode 1. In which we meet our heroes and fail to explain an avocado.
Dirtfelt Mundungus was a man with many stains. Mostly down the front of his shirt, but a few in places where most people don't even have places.
People who did not know him called him Mundungus. His friends called him Felt and his wife called him Dirt. His mother knew of him as Archibald and the IRS believed his name to be Nancy Goldstein. We will call him Dirtfelt - except when we don't.
Dirtfelt lived in Detroit (unless you ask the IRS), ostensibly as a curry-station attendant (that's carpark sanitizer to the IRS) - but his real job was in actual fact curator at the local drive-through museum (IRS: curry-station attendant; wife: tax investigator).
One day, Dirtfelt was polishing the museum's "Toot 'N' Come In" sign and making an occasional swipe at his latest curry stain as it fluttered about his head refusing to settle between the third and fourth buttons. The phone rang and told him it would be in late. A man flashed past the window. Dirtfelt saw him and opened it. The man had a message, which he had duct-taped to his person so that it was within easy reach: "Edgeworthy will be in today."
Dirtfelt thanked him and gave him a tip: Never flash outside 18th-story windows.
Sure enough, Edgeworthy arrived soon after. He phoned from the lobby he would be in later in the day. Five minutes later, he knocked on Dirtfelt's door. Dirtfelt was impressed: Edgeworthy was still in the lobby and the door was still in a Tokyo rehab clinic recovering from a debilitating varnish addiction.
Farnborough Edgeworthy used to be the mayor of the small East Yorkshire town of Loose Chippings until the typing error was discovered. He preferred it if people called him by the shortened form of his middle name, Maximillian.
"Hello, Milli," Dirtfelt said as his visitor came through the wall socket.
"Oh, afternoon 'Felt. Didn't realise you were here."
Edgeworthy sat down and removed his spare tonsils, placing them in a small jar Dirtfelt usually used to break in new office equipment.
"Do you know what this is?" Edgeworthy said, taking something out of his left shoe pocket.
"Good," He put it back. "I have a problem." he continued.
"I thought you were receiving treatement for it?" Dirtfelt used Edgeworthy's tonsils to catch his currystain and place it between the third and fourth buttons.
"This is another one."
"So it's not your fear of heavy machinery?
"That was only because of the medication."
"Excuse me." Dirtfelt simultaneously apologised and warned Edgeworthy that he was about to leap across the desk. He leapt across the desk and, again using Edgeworthy's tonsils, scored a perfect slam dunk into the wastepaper basket.
"Got it!" he cried, and lifted out a now-battered fritter.
"It fell off my tie yesterday," he continued, placing it back in the named position, where it set off rather nicely his new curry stain.
Edgeworthy helped Dirtfelt extinguish the fire and accused the latter of delaying.
"Well, what is your problem?"
"Nerfwiggly Snugpacket: scientific name for the outer petrel, a small undistinguished bird last smelt in Papua New Guinea in 1978; now thought to be extinct."
"He hates his name."
"I'm sorry: who hates his name?"
A small avocado rose unnoticed in the corner of the room.
"My assistant kneecatcher."
"I didn't know you were a kneecatcher as well."
"I'm not, that's why I have an assistant."
"Ah. Any particular reason why he hates his name?"
"People keep thinking he's extinct."
"And is he?"
"No, he just doesn't wash very often."
"Well, you know me, Milli," Dirtfelt leaned back in his imaginary armchair. "Never get involved in personal problems or y- fronts."
"I thought it was personal problems or t-shirts?"
"It was, but I was younger then."
"I need your help on this one, 'Felt old buddy."
"Why doesn't he just change his name?"
"It's worse than that: he wants never to have been named Nerfwiggly Snugpacket."
"And how does he propose to do that?"
"Remember the time you lent me that lichen and I used it to build a needlepoint workshop?"
"Yes--" the implications immediately struck Dirtfelt. Helping the famous curator up off the floor, Edgeworthy jabbered about how he had left his notes on top of the refrigerator and how Snugpacket must have come across them while looking for a nosegay to pick. Or just a nose, if all else failed.
Shaking off Edgeworthy's helping armies, Dirtfelt blustered "To the Weedmobile!" and dived out the fire escape.
Edgeworthy took the elevator.
Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom - Part II
Episode 2. In which our heroes go to Denver and we find out what is on the third floor.
The next episode sees our two heroes racing through the streets of Detroit in the Weedmobile, its whipcord snapping wildly at the feet of unwary cyclists.
"Did you have to bring that thing with you?" Dirtfelt shouted over the wind and radio, jerking his thumb at his extra passenger.
"I promised to it last time I visited that I would."
"Ping! Third floor: Danish pastries, goldfish boxes, nasal injuries."
Dirtfelt brought the Weedmobile temporarily to a rest at a snop sign while he tried to figure out what "snop" meant. He gave up after a moment and drove on.
"Where are we going?" Edgeworthy asked.
"We are going to your fridge," Dirtfelt explained.
"To look for clues?"
"No, I'm fresh out of milk, I was going to borrow yours."
"Oh, that's not necessary; I have some right here." Edgeworthy brought out a hipflask from under his armpit and handed it over to his companion, who passed it on to Dirtfelt.
Dirtfelt changed directions and the Weedmobile spun around, its whipcord snapping wildly at the cyclists of unwary feet.
They sped through the streets of Detroit, and very soon found themselves in Denver. This came as no surprise to Edgeworthy, used as he was to villages being crowded in three to the cricket pitch, but Dirtfelt was most disconcerted. He had thought he was travelling down the alphabet.
"Ping! Fifth floor: Dairy products, musical instruments, champagne-flavoured pillowcases."
"What happened to the fourth floor?" Edgeworthy asked the elevator.
"You know how people are superstitious about the number four." it replied.
Dirtfelt brought the Weedmobile to an ungainly snop outside a roadside diner called Boop's Cabin. He and Edgeworthy went in, while the elevator struck up a conversation with the payphone.
To be continued...
Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom - Part III
Episode 3. In which broadcast media is important, and our heroes' meals less so.
"Oh, John. Is it true?"
"I'm afraid so, Marsha. They say that if they don't operate today Timmy could lose the use of his spleen forever."
"But that's _awful_!"
"Worse, his surgeon's wife is having an affair under the operating table with the series producer and his pool-cleaner has run off with the portable maid."
"And with good staff being so hard to find, too. John..."
"I have something to tell you..."
"You might not like it,"
"No, you really don't want to know."
"Yes I do!"
The scene faded out as music filled with strings and glue faded in. The waitress, obviously an experienced watcher of _Bionet General_, leapt aside before the closing credits rolling off the screen could hit her.
Edgeworthy banged the counter and yelled "Shop!" while the counter yelled "Ow!", lost his place and had to start over. Someone at a nearby table joined in the fun and yelled "Trashcan!"
The waitress was too busy watching the news, which she had just flipped over to.
"The sudden recent spate of firearms thefts in the outlying suburbs of the city has sent the police, the FBI, the FDA, the NRA, the NBC and the NBA into a frenzy of investigations and recriminations. Unconfirmed reports that similar thefts are occuring around the world have been coming in overnight, as well. We hope to have a more complete story as soon as we have a more complete story."
"Sounds like someone wants a lot of guns, John."
"It certainly does, Marsha. I hope that they don't use them near me!"
The newsanchors giggled uproarously at their hastily-scripted ad lib and weighed themselves while Timmy presented the weather.
"Shop!" Edgeworthy repeated.
"Trashcan!" the other person shouted.
"Hydrant!" someone called through the window.
An ad for porch missiles began, but was quickly cut short when the samples were stolen. It was replaced by a commercial for Chia Pet.
"Fire!" This one came distantly from outside, but was disqualified on the grounds that it didn't end with a consonant.
The waitress was having enormous fun with the channel buttons on the TV remote:
"And that was a tremendous goal scored by the wife of the Republican candidate, whom party sources describe as an old bag with six legs and a huge proboscis."
The customer who had insisted on shouting about trashcans leaned over to Edgeworthy and whispered in his ear. Edgeworthy tried his advice and broke the ascender on his aitch.
The waitress finally got bored with channel-hopping and wandered out, then came back in and approached her new customers.
"Yeah," she said around her cigarette.
"Two teas, please." Edgeworthy requested.
"And I'll have the purple pea." Dirtfelt added, tossing enough small change onto the counter to make him move to another table and start again.
"2T,S.O.S." the waitress called over her shoulder, then went to fill the order, extending a ridiculously long arm to scoop in the coins at the same time.
To be continued...
Dirtfelt Mundungus and the Snugpacket of Doom - Part IV
Episode 4. In which our heros learn something useful, and the elevator announces its engagement.
Outside, the temperature had dropped suddenly, and lay in murky red puddles on the floor. It was beginning to snop, and the Weedmobile had huddled around a vagrant's bonfire for warmth and sympathy. Sharing the fire was a huddled mass of indeterminate description. Its bluish fingers made continual twitching movements in time to an arrhythmic chanting emanating from near the top:
"/me inhales. /me exhales. /me rubs hands together. /me holds hands to fire..."
The Weedmobile moved further away from this disturbing creature. It had a lot to think about - especially the matter of trying to work out what the weather thought it was doing - but who's interested in the thoughts and philosophies of a mode of transport?
Far more interesting are the thoughts and philosophies of meteorologists, who at that moment were considering the matter of trying to work out what the weather thought it was doing. In the end they gave up and went home, so tomorrow would dawn with absolutely no weather at all. But that was a matter for tomorrow to worry about.
Today, inside the shop, Dirtfelt and Edgeworthy were learning some terrifying things from the customer with a peculiar affection for trashcans. Fortunately, few had anything to do with the search for Nerfwiggly Snugpacket or anything else that would prove of significance in this story, so the narrator feels it prudent not to disturb the sleep of his readers with a complete dialogue. Some of the things he said about frogs would make your eyes bug out, though.
"Do you know where and when was the last confirmed smelling of an outer petrel?"
"Of course," Dirtfelt answered. "Papua New Guinea. 1978. Shortly after breakfast."
"How do you know that?"
"Buffy's Big Bumper Book of Bunions, Bands and Birds, (2nd. ed.); p.47, just below the coffee ring."
"The Coffee Ring?" Edgeworthy chipped in.
Trashcan (it will do as well as any other for an alias) answered.
"A small sect popular last century, which had claimed that drinking coffee opened the door onto a higher state of consciousness. Especially when consumed as part of a healthy and nutritious breakfast."
He swung about and speared Dirtfelt with his gaze. After apologizing and helping to stich the wound, he said "Do you find that significant?"
Dirtfelt snopped his fingers, much to his own disgust. "Of course! I see it now!"
"You do?" Edgeworthy asked.
"Of course, Milli! The last known outer petrel was a member of the Coffee Ring! The reason why no-one has smelt it since '78 is because it had passed through the door into a higher state of consciousness! (Man, I'm good..)"
Trashcan glanced out of the diner's front window to where the elevator had gone down on one knee and given the payphone a ring.
Unfortunately, the story ends here. The author, however, left some notes as to what would have happened if it had been finished.
- ... it turns out that Nerfwiggly Snugpacket is indeed an outer petrel, working under the cover of the Coffee Ring for the Animal Liberation Front which has aims to take over the world.
- Remember to make it necessary for Edgeworthy to write his initials somewhere - to much merriment.
- Driving down First Street, they passed the mortuary, scene of the infamous and scandalous Chipmunk Bomb Conspiracy. Dirtfelt considered his not being involved with that incident to be his second luckiest escape of all time.
- (Dirfelt's luckiest escape was in connection with the Case of the Elastic-Sided Eggwhisk; an adventure he was certain he could not have survived had it ever occurred.)
- The only legacy of that fateful incident was the fireaxe still embedded in the back of the badly-made and incredibly ugly flamingo statue on the front lawn.
- They came across a sign. It had a map on it and a label that said "You Are Here." They decided to give up the element of surprise, as it was obvious the animals already knew where they were.
FME was my fault
by Dylan Behan
Way back in the good old year of 1995 (or was it 94?), [melvan notes: yes, it was 1995] I believe I sent a poem to Melissa, one of the creators of FME. Over the following months many poems were exchanged, each of them more absurd than the last, creating a war of words.
When we stopped insulting each other and exchanged actual words we began talking about our lives. At the time, my highlight was Dead Pig Digest, a e-zine written by my friend Sam and I and mailed out to people, the same way FME is.
Melissa was so inspired by this,she decided to go about with her friend Renee creating an e-zine, using much material they previously wrote together in high school. Years later, Dead Pig fell by the wayside thanks for commitments such as school and distance, while FME continued to grow strong, to the zenith of its popularity today.
With FME finishing it's prestigous run as one of the finest e-zines on the planet, I would like to say that without me it never would have started. It's all my fault.. Now, don't I deserve some money?
Funny Stories From eener
We were driving down the highway in Orlando, when out of the blue Darin says "milk of magnesia." For some reason, I didn't hear what he said properly and I turn to him and ask "Did you say Malcolm Eggbeater?!" And somehow he keeps his composure and says "Yes, that is what I said." But then he can't help himself and starts laughing and says "No, that isn't what I said!! Malcolm Eggbeater??" And we both get a huge kick out of it. But I still point out to him what a wacky thing it was for him to say "milk of magnesia" out of the blue anyway. He says it just came to his mind, and he said it. Heh heh heh....
Another funny thing that happened was when we were home in Atlanta. We were driving and listening to the radio. An advertisement was playing and the announcer says "This has been sponsored by the Tune-up clinic." For some reason I thought they said "The Tuna clinic." I found this humorous and turn to Darin and say "Hey, if the tuna clinic and the mayo clinic get together, we could have a great sandwich." He starts laughing and says "The tuna clinic?? They said the tune-up clinic!"
Hmm....perhaps I need to get my hearing checked, huh?
NOTICE: For those of you who use the phrase "When Hell freezes over" often, there is a town in Michigan called Hell which gets very cold this time of year. Just a warning
NEWS FLASH! I (melvan) finally decided to go get new nose pads on my glasses. I figured that since they had turned green and one was half broken off, it was time for new ones....
Attention, everyone! Almost two years ago we ran a story by melvan about her never having eaten Spaghetti O's. We would now like to present to you
I'm almost 22 years old and have finally eaten Spaghetti O's.
Today, January 20, 1998, I drove to the grocery store and started shopping. My initial purpose in going there was to pick up a magazine. But I didn't have enough cash to pay for it, so I decided that I'd buy some other stuff so I wouldn't feel silly writing a check for only $3.00.
As I walked through the store, I wondered what else I should buy. I wandered into the canned food aisle and picked out two cans of beef stew. I then noticed the Spaghetti O's sitting on the shelf nearby. I looked more closely and thought to myself, "Should I?" I pondered it for a few seconds, then tossed the 7.5 ounce can into my shopping basket.
I arrived home and emptied the contents of the bag onto my bed. As I started putting the cans away, I realized I hadn't had much to eat during the day. I decided to eat the Spaghetti O's.
I took the tiny can to the kitchen and opened it. I began pouring the contents into a Correlleware bowl (the kind that last forever, unless they fall out of the freezer and break into a dozen oddly-shaped pieces). The noodles wanted to stay in the bottom of the can. I reached in the silverware drawer and pulled out a spoon, then scooped the remaining contents of the Spaghetti O's into the bowl.
It was then that I read the cooking instructions on the side of the can. I popped the microwave door open, stuck the bowl inside, and set the timer for one minute. Sixty seconds later, I heard the "ding" that would change my life.
My Spaghetti O's were done.
I opened the microwave door and took the bowl out. The reddish orange mixture was warm and steaming. I stirred it. Grabbing the bowl, I headed to my room where I sat down in front of my computer and started writing about my Spaghetti O's experience. Minutes later, I laughed at myself. "You're writing a story about Spaghetti O's!" I stirred the Spaghetti O's once again and took a bite. It was lukewarm from sitting on my desk for ten minutes while I had been typing. I ate fast, since I only had five minutes before work. Aside from the fact that I like very few foods with tomato, the Spaghetti O's weren't that bad.
Addendum: I, eener, asked melvan when she came to visit, if she had yet eaten Spaghettios. The date I asked her was January 23rd, her birthday. She affirmed that yes, she had. Little did I realize just how recent her Spaghettios experience had been until I read this story. Now her life is complete.
Attention again: melvan finally saw a cockroach for the first time in eener's house this weekend. And she finally rode on a plane. And she finally saw mountains.
Note: cockroaches suck. eener hates cockroaches. How do those little critters manage to sneak in here anyway? Arghhhh.... We hadn't seen any cockroaches around here in quite a long time, so melvan just lucked out and happened to see one while she was visiting. What luck!
NEWS FLASH: melvan has bought a new monitor!
That's right, folks. Today, April 5, 1998, I drove to Woodbury, Minnesota ("that other state") and bought myself a brand new monitor. This means that now, my parents have their own whole, working computer. However, this purchase was not made without a few hassles along the way. I entered the store and walked over to where the monitors are displayed. I looked at the monitors. The one that I wanted, which was in the ad I brought with me, was not there. I stood there, looking at the monitors and assuming that one of the salespeople would come over and say "Can I help you find anything?" or "Are you finding everything?" like they usually do when you don't want them around. They didn't. I waited longer. I thought I was invisible. (Hey, I'm an introvert, I wait for other people to approach *me*.) Finally someone came over and found my monitor. I bought it. I drove home. I hooked it up to my computer. I inadvertently bumped the power cables and turned off my computer. Twice. But I'm not really any better off than I was before I bought the new monitor, because my video card sucks. So that's my next purchase...and I thought I was done upgrading! Sheesh.
The Wise Sage
Dear Wise Sage:
Why does the refrigerator have a light but the freezer does not? ... And does the refrigerator light go out if the door is closed?
One time I slowly closed the refrigerator door....millimeter by millimeter.....and peeked into the crack to see if and when the light would go out. When I got it almost closed, I saw the light wink out. Tada! Abracadabra! So the answer to part of your question is YES! The light does go out if the door is closed. As far as a freezer not having a light-it's because the companies that manufacture refrigeraters are stupid. Yes stupid. (I've heard rumors that those companies use the metric system....) It sure is a pain to try to get ice cubes in the dark...they tend to go flying out of your hands and land on the floor. Well, they do this when the light in the room is on as well, but still.....
Dear Wise Sage,
How does a boomerang work? And why does it have such a funny name?
Too Much Dr. Pepper Man
Dear Too Much Dr. Pepper Man,
Dear Wise Sage,
Are you in anyway related to sagebrush?
My uncle's third cousin's roommate's best friend's grandfather is a travelling salesman who occasionally sells organic herbs. Does that count?
Dear Wise Sage,
What word has the most silent letters? I'd bet it's French. Oh yeah: and should the air conditioner be doing that?
The word with the most silent letters is "TQWERTYHQWERTYEQWERTY." Actually, this is "The." but the qwertys are silent. Also, any word that a mime says has a lot of silent letters.
These are some questions that were sent to the "Ask Marilyn" column. Apparently the reader who sent these questions to us thought the wise sage could answer the questions better. Since there were a lot of questions in the column, the wise sage only answered a few of them. Here they are. Enjoy!
"How do they fit all that hot air into blow dryers? Why don't they ever run out?"
The Wise Sage's answer: In order to answer this question, I must first bring up the movie "Honey, I shrunk the Kids." If you recall, in this movie, there was a machine that could shrink objects, including people. This resulted in a person floating around in Cheerios and almost getting eaten.
Now, if you carry this logic over to blow dryers, think of this: Auctioneers. Hundreds of them shrunk by this machine.
Blow dryer manufacturers couldn't figure out how to fit enough hot air into the dryers until they thought of this idea. They shrunk auctioneers and put them inside the hair dryers. Then they were instructed to behave as if they were auctioning off products, which produced an incredible amount of hot air!
"I say that a song popular during the 1950's went 'Oooh eee ooh ah ah wing wang walla bing bang, ooh eee ooh ah ah wing wang walla walla bing bang.' My boyfriend insists it went, 'Oooh eee ooh ah ah ching chang walla bing bang, ooh eee ooh ah ah ching chang walla walla bing bang.' Who is correct?"
The Wise Sage's answer: It's "Oooh eee ooh ah ah ching chang walla walla bing bang." What is even more intriguing than this, however, is the question of what are the real lyrics to "Louie Louie?" Even in all my infinite wisdom, I have listened to "Louie Louie," and all I can discern of the lyrics are: "Louie Louie, Heyyyy mumble mumble mumble...yah yah
"Could you please tell me the number of shades of green? After driving around and looking at the scenery, I've decided there must be many."
The Wise Sage's answer: You'll never know if you use the metric system.
"Is the earth at a different angle in the morning than it is at night? In the morning I have to put something against the front door to hold it open. At night, it stays open by itself."
The Wise Sage's answer: If you have small children, and start having a hard time hearing, they might've put glue in your ear. Yes, it's true! I heard a story once about a man that this happened to, and it was discovered that his toddler had squeezed super glue in his ear while he was sleeping. Crazy.
"I've heard that people have magnetism in their noses. Is this true?"
The Wise Sage's answer: I haven't seen people walking around with refrigerator magnets stuck to their noses lately.
"It appears to me that in the past 100 years, an overwhelming amount of progress has been made in the world. What did all those people do for the first 2000 years?"
The Wise Sage's answer: They were eating grape taffy.
"I do not understand women. Would the study of quantum mechanics help?"
The Wise Sage's answer: No, but it might help you to read Dave Barry's informative book: "Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus."
"If M&Ms melt in your mouth but not in your hands, what about your underarm? I want to test it, but my mom won't let me."
The Wise Sage's answer: Tell your mom you have to do it for a science project. She'll be so grateful that you aren't growing something scary in the fridge that she'll let you do it, and you will know the answer!!
The Jar of Coins
We have a jar of coins. It sat in our kitchen for a long time. Every time we got some extra change, it was put into the jar. After some time, Darin took all the coins and divided them into piles. Piles of ten pennies...ten dimes....etc. They were assembled in an orderly fashion on top of the dresser in our bedroom. One night we decide to head to Wal-mart. While we were on the way, I suggest we take the coins to Kroger, our grocery store, and put them through the coin counting machine they have there. So I stupidly toss all the coins back into the jar, disassembling all of Darin's orderly piles. We get to Kroger, only to discover that the coin counting machine has a service charge, which we decide we don't want to pay. The next day we're out and about and decide to stop by the bank. The bank is closed. It's Martin Luther King's birthday. Duh. So I decide I'll take them to the bank the next day. (By the way, this is a fairly heavy jar of coins, and the lid was missing, so it's a pain to carry around.) The next day, I bring the jar of coins to the bank. I stand in line, only to have the teller say..."You have to roll the coins yourself." ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH...by this time, I am HATING this jar of coins. She hands me some coin sleeves. I leave. I decide these coin sleeves probably aren't enough to cover all the coins. I go to another bank and stand in a LONG line. Of course they have no coin counting machine, but at least the teller gives me a lot more coin sleeves. I go home and try to put the coins in the sleeves, but they are stupid little sleeves, and require you to put your finger in one end while you're loading them. I get frustrated and give up...wishing I would have left the coins in the nice, sorted piles.
Cut to several days later. melvan's visiting, and we're shopping at Underground Atlanta. We go to the "Everything's a dollar" store, and in there, guess what I find? Better coin sleeves! They are already assembled, and easier to use. I buy a bag, and bring them home.
But we have yet to use them.
melvan's Computer Story
And now, yet another OH SNOP! from melvan, about her computer. I hope this story makes sense to those of you who know nothing about the inside of a computer.
On the Monday evening that I returned home from visiting eener in Atlanta, my brother gave me my birthday present: a Pentium 90 motherboard and processor. He told me all I'd need to buy was some memory. Tuesday afternoon, I was bored out of my mind (not a stretch, according to my brother), so I decided to go shopping. A few hours later, I returned home and started taking things apart.
I put the new motherboard into the case. It barely fit. Cables, wires, and cords stuck out everywhere. Some of them I found homes for; others weren't so lucky.
It was about this time that I realized I had no idea what I was doing.
I decided to wait till the next day when Andy could help me out. He suggested I put the old motherboard back in. After everything was back inside, I flipped the switches on the monitor and case. The fans came on, and nothing else happened. I tried it again and again, and still nothing.
By Thursday afternoon, I was getting desperate, not to mention bored. As a last resort, I decided to buy a bigger case. It was at my house when I returned from work that night. Unfortunately, it cost me $70.
For the third time in one week, I completely dismantled my computer. I took it back into my bedroom, turned it on, and was relieved to see words on the screen. My relief, however, was to be short-lived. It couldn't find the hard drives.
As if my week hadn't already been torture, Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat. After reconnecting the hard drive cable, I tried once again to find the hard drives, and this time it worked. For the first time in three days, I booted my computer without the aid of a foot.
Then, just as it was booting, it spewed errors everywhere. I rebooted to Dos. After checking my email and IRC, I booted Linux from DOS. This time, it showed no errors. After work that evening, I put a port in for my mouse. It didn't work. The errors returned. I gave up at 3:00 a.m. and went to bed.
Saturday morning when I woke up, the cold had hit me full force. My throat was sore and my sinuses were plugged. The computer still fought with me every time I tried to make it behave. I backed up my important files in preparation for a hard drive format, then my mom called me for supper. I shut the computer off and left the room.
After supper I pushed the power button on the computer and nothing happened. Try again. Still nothing. Try different outlets. STILL nothing. Frustrated, I left it and watched a movie on TV. When I couldn't keep my eyelids open anymore, I went to sleep.
Sunday morning, I took everything out of the new case, then put the case back in its box. Andy took the case back to his friend, the computer dealer. The next day he returned with the same case, saying that it wasn't faulty, but they did replace the power supply. I put everything back in the case.
Tuesday I was bored enough to use one of the library's computers. For the next week, I went without internet. Saturday I bought a new cdrom drive and borrowed my brother's Windows NT install cd. Before the installation was complete, we saw the Blue Screen of Death; that is, the screen that tells you about General Protection Faults and the like.
A few days later, Andy borrowed a Windows 95 install cd from his friend. Surprisingly, it did install. Unfortunately, my video card wasn't supported by Windows 95. I had no working computer. I had no parts with which to fix it. I had no money to buy the parts to fix it. I was stuck. By this time I was ready to sell the whole mess and buy a new computer that I knew would work.
Fast forward to Tuesday, February 17. I checked the mailbox and found my tax refund. I ran back to the house. Twenty-four hours later, my new motherboard arrived. I installed the thing myself (yes, girls CAN do that, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)
And now that I have my computer back, I'm happy.
melvan's Weather Rant
(written shortly after Christmas 1997):
For the last two years, you've all heard complaints about Wisconsin's seemingly permanent winter weather. But this year it's different. This year, we've hardly had any snow at all, while our neighbors to the south (Iowa & southern Minnesota) get dumped on an average of 3 times a week. I'm exaggerating, of course. We had a brown Christmas. We got some snow this weekend, and it stuck for a few days, but today it's all melting.
melvan's big feet
I have big feet. Any size between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2, depending on the style of shoe. I also have wide feet. I didn't realize this until a few years ago. I guess you don't pay much attention to that stuff when you're a kid. I don't care if I have big feet. However, the problem with wide feet is that it's very difficult and/or expensive to find shoes that fit! I've been through this scenario dozens of times: I go into a shoe store (or Wal Mart's shoe aisles), I find a pair of shoes I like, and though they are size nine, they're not size nine *wide*. Last night I found a pair of nine wides, but they were a little too short. I looked at the size 9 1/2 shoes. There was one pair, but it wasn't wide.
So I thought it would be a great idea to start a wide-sizes-only shoe store. I searched through Yahoo and found a place called Dave's Wide Shoes. Unfortunately, the prices of their shoes are about what I paid for my car. So I guess I'm stuck...
melvan's work stories
A couple months ago, Jason, one of the cooks I work with, cut his thumb while cutting some meat. He went to tell Jeanne, the manager, and she said "You have to go to the hospital!" He argued with her, but he went anyway. The next day, Jason was at work, telling everyone about what happened and showing off his battle wound. Later that evening, after we had decided what jobs everyone was going to do for the night, Wayne (another cook) said, to everyone, "If anyone else puts any pizzas in the oven, I'll cut your hand off." Jason replied, "Too late. I've already started."
A few days ago, a manager and a delivery driver were talking. The driver, Eric, said he wasn't sick anymore, but he was feeling a little sad. Michelle, the manager asked "Why? Did your girlfriend break up with you or something?" Eric said "Yeah, kinda." So Michelle said she felt really bad for him, then she asked him, "Does this mean you're available?"
eener's work stories
Well, most of you may not be familiar with eener's job, since she doesn't write any stories about it in this esteemed 'zine! melvan's not the only one with an interesting job...heh heh heh....
Without further adeu...er....adew....adiue? adieu....there we go.... Here are some stories about eener's job!
I work as an airline reservations agent, for an airline which I will not mention, but it has a large blue and red widget as a symbol. (Hmm...) My job is to take calls and book airline reservations for people. I work the midnight shift, so as you might imagine, we get some quite interesting people calling in...One of the weirder ones is the fingernail man. He tends to call about 4 a.m., and he calls OFTEN. So often that a lot of times when he goes on a calling spree, most of the female agents who are there on a given night will get him. (he doesn't seem to like talking to guys....) He'll start out by saying "How're you doing?" And then he'll say "I'm sitting here biting my fingernails." And at this point, if you've talked to him before you're thinking "Oh no... the fingernail man again..." And then he proceeds to ask you about the length of all your fingernails and if you bite your nails or not, etc.... really makes you wonder "Why in the hick does this man call an AIRLINE RESERVATIONS department and ask them about their fingernails?! What could he possibly get out of it??
Next in the line-up of strange callers is the "Kiss me" man. After you answer the phone, and ask "How can I help you?" He says "With a kiss!" And hangs up. Duh.
We also have the "Toe sucker" man. I've never talked to this one...shucks. Supposedly he calls and asks if he can suck your toes.
Also, we have the "Zipper man." Never talked to this one either, but he asks if you have zippers on your clothing. Ooookay?!
Of course, there are also the normal, day-to-day calls that are received. There are the people who call in wanting to know if the plane is on time. Then they stop. They expect us, as airline reservations agents to know exactly WHAT plane they are referring to. They never say where the plane is coming from...or where it is going to. I long to say "You have NOT dialed the psychic hot-line. Please hang up and dial again."
Along the same line, people call in and say "I want to fly from here to Florida. What's the cheapest fare?" DUH. First, we have to ask them, in a kind, patient, understanding voice: "WHERE ARE YOU LEAVING FROM??!!!!" And then..."WHERE IN FLORIDA DO YOU WANT TO GO??!" and then..."WHEN IN THE HICK ARE YOU GOING??!" Heh heh heh...
I know of one person who works in our international sales department who received a call about booking a reservation. When he quoted the fare to this person, the person tried to barter for the ticket with farm animals.
Final Comments about FME
First, we will hear from melvan:
(sure, put ME on the spot first!
Uhhh......(melvan stares blankly at the screen, wondering what the hick to type...)
OK, I've got it.
A reader asked me a question a few days ago. [Well, ok, it was actually in January. But I originally wrote this in January, so it actually WAS "a few days ago" then.] He asked if there would be any other publications that would come from FME. The answer is this:
Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe melvan and eener will write a book. Maybe melvan will write a book herself. Maybe pigs will fly. Maybe staplers will grow out of our ears. Anything is possible.
Next we hear from eener:
No really, that's not all I want to say.
I am sad to see this end, but unfortunately, being thousands of miles apart makes it hard for melvan and I to create these wonderful collections of wit. (note from melvan: that should be "melvan and ME" <-- eener's reply. ANYWAY, as I was saying, we both have enjoyed writing this. It's very special to know that the things we write are read and enjoyed by so many people. (who must be mentally disturbed Thanks so much for reading the crazy things we write.
And now, we'd like to include a poem that sums up the last two years of FME:
(note: While transferring this issue to the new site, melvan realized that the poem is actually MISSING. We do apologize for this, and ask that if anyone still has an original email copy of this issue, please contact her so she can put it back in its rightful place. Thank you.)
The ever-popular Macheen Shed explodes in your face every day at http://www.melvania.net/macheen/
This collection of lunacy is copyright 1998 by Renee Werner and Melissa Hoffmeyer, except for letters, essays, parodies, poems, stories, and whatnot sent in by our clinically insane subscribers. FME reserves the right to edit any material sent for publication (if you can call it that), regarding spelling, punctuation, content, fishing lure earrings, AND fresh bananas. And sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats...
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