Monday, December 29, 2003

lemurs and naked santas

When I first said I wanted to be a comedian, everybody laughed. Well, they're not laughing now. Bob Monkhouse

And British comedian, actor and game show host Bob Monkhouse is dead. I always rather liked him -- he seemed to be someone playing the part of an unctuous game show host, rather than the real thing. He started out in comics, and remained a comics fan and reader for the rest of his life -- I remember being astonished, after a signing at Andromeda Books in Birmingham in 1988, to be asked to sign some copies of Black Orchid for Bob, who had called and reserved them. Here's a slightly strange -- or at least uncomfortable -- obituary, and a canonical list of jokes. Some are funny, some aren't.

A few weeks ago someone asked you how you felt about Madonna not allowing photography at her book signings. In your response, you compared your post flight self to a disgruntled lemur. This made me pee with hilarity and, being that I work at a zoo, I promptly named our brand new lemur Neil in your honor. Today Neil bit off a lot of my leg. I was wondering if you could ask him to stop biting off parts of people through your super secret Neil-y connection.

I just realized not a lot of this is at all relevant. I blame it on post being-mauled-by-a-cute-and-fuzzy-animal stress.

(You'll find me explaining that in photos I look like a stunned demonic lemur at I wonder if Neil-the-lemur thought that "demonic" was part of the job description.)

Anyway, I'm not sure that it'll work, but I'm happy to give it a try. Right: Neil the lemur, if you're reading this on some Zoo Underground Internet connection, stop taking chunks out of the leg -- or any other bits -- of the nameless zoo correspondent. You're a vegetarian, dammit. Read the literature. This is a direct order from Neil High Command.

(Good luck. Let me know whether Neil-the-demonic-lemur reforms, and which zoo he can be seen at.)

Here's a link to a newspaper article, via Patrick Nielsen Hayden's blog. It's a correction to the errors in an article published a hundred years earlier. (One imagines the journalist finding the original article, to reprint for an anniversary edition, in the dusty and crumbling bound archival volumes, and going "But this is... utter bollocks from beginning to end!" -- or rather whatever the Virginian equivalent of Utter Bollocks is. Either that, or it was reporting the news from an alternate universe...

Normally, when I talk about Minneapolis SF book and comic shops, I talk about DreamHaven. But there are some excellent other comic shops in the Twin Cities, and some excellent SF shops, foremost among which is probably Uncle Hugo's, which is not just a good bookshop, but unique in being the only Minneapolis based SF bookshop to find a naked man in their chimney on Christmas.

Which reminds me -- the amazing Dianna Graf sent this link: It's a quicktime movie, and a big one, so don't click on it unless you're on a fast connection.