November 23rd, 2009

Chicken John
====== THE GENUINE & ORIGINAL =========

Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret
3359 Army (Cesar Chavez St.)   
San Francisco, California
[Where Mission St. Joins Cesar Chavez]

And take note:
FRIDAY, November 27th!

NINE P.M. SHARP!         
THE PRE-SHOW begins about Eight-Thirty. We will be starting as close to Nine PM
as we can. Despite a long history of lagging audiences, we’ll try not to hold the
curtain as we have in the past–
WE CLOSE, ideally,  before Midnight, to give our East Bay friends the chance to
make it in time to catch the last train from the 24th St. BART Station, a few short
blocks North of the CHEZ POULET GALLERY-CABARET [Last East Bay train departs
about 12:16 AM] in S.F.’s colorful Mission District!

Yes! You read it right! The original, unabridged & authentic Ask Dr.
(beware of derivative question-and-answer shows) is
back in action– with Chicken John & all your favorite, frantic ADH
crew!  With Robert Levy at the door! KrOB at the controls! Pete
Science Scoops! David “Yo-Yo King” Capurro body-surfs
the Internet!
Dr. Hal answers your queries! They’re all back– doing
the show once more! Everybody– even– Woo-hoo! –Frank Chu!
It’s just as if we never left! But beware– the final curtain might fall while you aren’t paying attention– and you’d miss it all!
Admission —       $10.00      (TEN AMERICAN DOLLARS)  

[Our usual (reasonable) Admission Price.]

=========The Dr. Hal Report============
Vol. XII                                                                         No. 7

“Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.”
– Jean Paul Richter
“The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are
always being asked to do thing
s, and yet you are not decrepit
enough to turn them down.”
– T.S. Eliot
“Call this an unfair generalization if you must, but old people
are no good at everything.”

– Moe, from The Simpsons

Just before every performance begins, we screen a great animated cartoon– each, one
of the best seven-minute theatrical shorts ever committed to film. The previous week we
brought you, as promised, the outstanding Warner Bros. short, Book Revue (1945). But now
we go to Disney for holiday inspiration, when the hovering question of Will Power versus
Self-indulgence looms the largest. In that spirit, KrOB offers No Smoking (1951) in which
Goofy first attempts to reject, but then fully embraces the tobacco habit. That’s why lame-o
censors, the people who know what’s good for you better than you do, have decreed that
this little cartoon be never, ever shown. But of course at Ask Dr. Hal! we are, as always,
taking pains to give you the whole thing, complete and uncut. So join us this Friday night,
won’t you? –in time to catch up with yet another treasure of your Nation’s once flourishing
but now (that the Conspiracy has dumbed it all down) mostly vanished popular culture.
Remember, our show will start right up at the very moment the cartoon ends. So be on time!

” A Disney cartoon from the 50’s that would have today’s censors going nuts.”
Also with…
Clash of Combat– with Dry Bones!

As every schoolboy knows, Prince Phrixus of Boiotia, son of Athamas, and his twin sister Helle
were both cordially hated by their cruel stepmother, Ino (Their mother had been Nephele, a minor
goddess of the clouds, but someone Ino always felt herself being unfairly measured against). So she
arranged an honor for the two– to be sacrificed to the Harvest Gods. (It may have been a very great
honor, but the kids were actually dubious about this.) Fortunately, Nephele sent them a miraculous
flying ram, on whose fleecy back they got away, just in time. Starting either from Halos in Thessaly
or, according to some, Orchomenus in Boeotia, they cruised at a low-flying altitude over the strait of
the Dardanelles until, when they hit an air pocket, Helle slipped off and fell all the way into the sea
and was killed. They call that body of water the Hellespont, in Helle’s honor– or, the Sea of Helle.
At least there’s the honor. Phrixus eventually landed in Colchis, where he was adopted by kindly King
Aetes. The ram, as a reward for saving the Prince’s life, was sacrificed to Jove– a great honor, to
be sure– and the golden fleece of this deceased magical beast was hung up in the Holy Grove of
guarded by a reptilian monster, a many-eyed, multi-headed dragon. So, to make a long story
short, Jason and his Argonauts appeared. With Princess Medea’s help Jason managed to kill the
guardian monster. And then, as they were trying to leave, Aetes, to stop them, sowed the dragon’s
teeth (a Hydra in the movie) –from them, up sprung the legions slain of the monster, a skeleton army.
So watch as KrOB marshals a skeletonous skirmish, animated by the divine Ray Harryhausen, our
Master Puppeteer. Cheers! Oh, what happened to the fleece, you ask? Why, Zeus placed it amid the
stars, a thoughtful gesture. The constellation of Ares is principally formed of the stars Hamai, Sheratan and Mesarthim, the latter one of the very first binary stars ever to be discovered, in 1664.
The Cloven Foot of the Ram. Just ask Pete Goldie. Hamai is a magnitude 2.2 star. Ares, or Aries
may be found somewhat below Triangulum. By the way, you might want to know that Hamai, 72 light-years distant, is heading straight for us– rapidly approaching at 9 miles per second.

Read the latest hard-hitting interview with Dr. Hal on Laughing Squid’s Blog:

Not counting the inevitable Fernet Branca shots for the (un)lucky.
With Venom Mango Energy Drinks given away– on the house!!

This week on ADH we can expect the multi-talented David Capurro once again to
ride herd on the accompanying images which constantly stream under his assured
direction to accompany and illustrate the conversational vagaries and Mercurial
meanderings of Dr. Hal, Pete Goldie and the guests of Ask Dr. Hal! But there are some
who though used to “Cappy’s” magisterial, incense-shrouded presence on our stage, are
unaware that he’s also a master manipulator extraordinaire of that curious artifact, the
Yo-Yo. In fact, he’s one of the brightest lights in the Yo-Yo world, and, a veteran of
countless shows, has appeared on both Cable and Network TV. He is the head and
founder of the foremost contemporary society of Yo-Yo gentleman adventurers, the
Spin Doctors’ Yo-Yo Club, headquartered in scenic Alameda, CA, and is a former
member of crimefighting Team Yoyojam. No amateur, he has been a player in the Yo-Yo
industry, with a professional résumé from BC/Tom Kuhn Yo-Yos. In 2007 at the US
National Yo-Yo Contest, David received the prestigious National Achievement Award.
For those unfamiliar with the honor, the National Achievement Award is bestowed on
“a person whose effort successfully improves the sport, and positively influences the
industry.” We couldn’t list all the venues David’s Yo-Yo’d for– there wouldn’t be room,
even here. But some of them include the Fillmore, the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s,
Jimmy Kimmel Live, Paul Nathan‘s Dark Kabaret, Sioux City Art Splash Festival 2000,
The Odeon, Chris Karney‘s Visceral Variety Show, the Discovery Channel, Bravo, the
(U.S.) National Yo-Yo Contest, the Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Contest, the California State
Yo-Yo Championships, the West Coast Regional Yo-Yo Championships, First Night Santa
Cruz, Chicken John‘s You Asked For It!, the Steel Reserve Brewing Company, the
Exotic/Erotic Ball and on and on. Modest Mr. Capurro could brag, but doesn’t, about his
extraordinary list of awards and citations– here’re just a few, to give the idea: in the 1998
Bay Area Classic, Dave took 1st Place in the Advanced Division, scored 1st place in
1-Handed Compulsories and Freestyle Divisions during the 1999 Southeast Regionals, also
scoring in the 1999 Marin County Yo-Yo Classic in the Freestyle Division. Again in 1999, at
the East Bay Super Spin-Out, David took the 1st Place Award in the 1-Handed Freestyle
Division, and he won 1st Place as well in the Expert Division of the Northern California
Championships. 2001 saw him achieve victory in the California State Championships,
winning 1st Place in the Ladder Division for his age group. More recently, in the 2004 Bay
Area Classic, he became the overall high scorer among all Age Divisions for his victories
in the Sport Ladder Division. Every now and then, he’s been known to break out his Yo-Yos and give Ask Dr. Hal! audiences an impromptu thrill. He should also get some kind of
award for the Most Free Fernet Shots Finagled out of Chicken John…

“Why the !!?@#$%?!!,” Chicken John recently expostulated, “do we have to let !!?@#$%?!!
Pete Goldie go on and on about the !!?@#$%?!! “Chandra Levy Orbiting Oscilloscope” or
whatever the !!?@#$%?!! it is?” But in fact, old contentious Chicken was just blowing off steam–
he really knows the score. In what some consider the best part of our show, ADH Science
expert Pete Goldie leads attendees through the endless reaches of the Universe in his
continuing segment & educational project, ” (The) Waste(s) of Space.” Pete will be on hand
this week too, to present more of the newest discoveries made in the eternal realms of the
unfathomable void.


“What’s with this snubbing the press?” rhetorically asks a sneering column by San Francisco
hometown newsrag The Chronicle, with a byline by one C.W. Nevius. In a rant about how the
seems to be hiding after dropping out of consideration for the gubernatorial race, his
downfall is intimated a few lines later as “Nevius” cites, “…it wasn’t so long ago that he was
such an imposing candidate that the best opponent his enemies could find was Chicken John.”
We at the Dr. Hal Report regret the affront to the standards of journalism exhibited by the
Chronicle in this none-too-subtle suggestion that beloved Ringmonster Chicken John’s late
mayoral candidacy was in essence sponsored– and, it follows, financed –by Mr. Gavin
Newsom’s clandestine “enemies.” To this allegation we at Chicken John Productions can only
reply in bewilderment, where then is the emolument from the Newsom-hating cabal? Lately
money seems to be flowing the other way, from instead of to embattled Chicken as he
continues the struggle against the encircling, constricting tentacled grip of bureaucracy. In a
few words, “Show us the money!”
For the full text of this editorial, go to

For everyone who missed Dr. Hal’s last art show, some of the images shown there are now featured again,
together with new and previously unshown works. It’s all happening at the Mercury Café, 201 Octavia Street
(at Page). The opening party featured entertainment by Dr. Hal and KrOB. Keep watching this space for our
announcement of the closing party, which, when it happens, in addition to another appearance by the
demented duo, will present a live performance by Dr. Hal ably assisted by KrOB’s visual and auditory magic!
It will also be an opportunity for those who are interested to purchase a limited number of Dr. Hal’s books, The
Meaning of Lost and Mismatched Socks
(which is becoming quite a rarity– Random House is now out of
them), Dinosaur Alphabet and Alien Apocalypse 2006, including autographed and dedicated copies.
This may be the last, best chance to get some of these. Art Prints of many of the pictures can be ordered from
Studio Reflex of San Francisco– pick up a form at the show. The Mercury, serving organic and fair trade
coffees as well as locally produced foods, can be reached at (415) 252-7855.
Reuben Pickering of this City writes,
“The Quantum Mechanics vs. Relativity bit. Thought the answer fudged in a way I didn’t like. I was hoping
to get you to pick one or the other theory as wrong, then make some shit up, instead of essentially blowing
the whole thing off. Anyway, the grounds for your answer were demonstrably wrong, as even at a small scale
where no curvature is locally detectable, a curved spacetime puts constraints on the math that pretty well
fuck [Quantum Mechanics}.
“However, I had a second thought. What if one were to claim that spacetime is both flat and curved at one
and the same time? Then your answer could work. Logically impossible? Maybe. Yet we already have evidence
demonstrating the seemingly logically impossible notion that subatomic objects possess the characteristic of
wave-particle duality.
“One other thing. String Theory. You will never see a question from me about that. In string theory, we see perhaps
the finest minds of my generation having somehow been conned into engaging, in the 21st century, [the]
mathematical equivalent of a grand old Medieval pastime. To wit, debating how many angels could dance on
the head of a pin.
“String theory makes too many claims which simply are not either directly or indirectly testable to be anything
other than bulls___… er, metaphysics.”
Dear Reuben,
We’re sorry, as always, when one of our answers fails to give complete satisfaction. But we did advance the
simultaneity of flat and curved spacetime as a possible answer, one to which you now, at length and after
consideration, seem to be giving more credence. Keep in mind that during the show we have to think on our
feet, coming up with answers at once and on the spot. This being said, the shibboleth of String Theory was
introduced not by us, but by prayer-and-golfing-partner “Chicken” John. We too are uncomfortable with this
topic and avoid it when we can, feeling that today’s science, for a variety of reasons, often finds itself politically
or factionally bound to support not-yet-justified hypotheses as proven– just look at the parlous state vertebrate
paleontology is in, for example. Finally, the canard that the Medieval Schoolmen debated on how many angels
could dance on the head of a pin is inauthentic, not originating with them, but advanced as a parody by a known
wiseacre, one François-Marie Arouet, a.k.a. Voltaire.
Thanks for your interest in Ask Dr. Hal! –and we’ll do our best to entertain you more the next time!
Ask Dr. Hal! fell victim to rainy weather last Friday, and there were all too few of the faces we long to see
each wk., even some who had pledged to be there, & our tears of sorrow flowed from our eyes, mingling with
the precipitation on our Cherubic cheeks… But, when all is said, cold & rain are well-known discouragers of
entertainment– & besides, The Show Must Go On, dig? So, on it went, and it was crackerjack, according to
the review from the Faithful Few… Persistent Paul Pot, f’rexample… We appreciate that you all could have
at the simultaneously occurring Toshio Hirano concert at the Mercury, still home for now, by th’ bye,
of Dr. Hal’s ongoing Art Show, The Productions of Time. Why not take a look-see? Anyhoo, good-looking
Gina Andrews came, not in vain, despite the rain… Determined Dekoo submitted many a contrary query… Pert
Paula Eckels hasn’t made up her mind whether or not last wks.xtravaganza exemplified faux futility or dusty,
doddering Dr. Hal’s sad senility… Guess the old, grizzled geezer didn’t pleaser… We did welcome escape-artist
& comedian Chris Karney, our old fellow-traveler, & there’s no blarney… But creative Chris also escaped the show,
leaving us early after getting squirrelly… This week we’ll be folding an acknowledgement of hoary headliner
decrepit Dr. Hal’s 59th birthday (November 28th, Saturday) –or was that his 95th? –into our tribute to the Season’s
just-celebrated Holiday, Thanksgiving Week-Out
(November 26th, Thursday) & hope to do better luring our quirky
quondam patrons, all fully stuffed to repletion with the savory flesh of the mutant descendants of Melleagris
, to waddle in for what’ll be the climactic Ask Dr. Hal! Show of the Year, we hear. Yes, declining Dr.
will shortly be 59, and is accepting condolences at this time…This time of year is short on cheer… But we’ll
bounce back like a new bambino, we prophesy– don’t worry –when these dark daze are past, with plenty of
Slack… Patient photog Puzzling Evidence needs some– he was again shooting us more for those You Tube
entries of his on PuzEv TV, rite thru th’nitebut You Tube’s been balky about
accepting ‘em of late, according to perplex’d Puzzo… We’ll all just have to be patient while th’ Tubesters
re-configure @ Y.T. HQ… Meanwhile, have you yet checked out the recent ones? Just use the search words Puzzling Evidence TV– maybe throw in You Tube– & view ’em all!

That’s it! See you at the exclusive
3359 Army (Cesar Chavez St.) San Francisco, California  

[Where Mission St. Joins Cesar Chavez]     

Happening This Friday Night– Nov. 27th!