ASK DR. HAL’S Transcendent 10th!

January 5th, 2009
   The Dr. Hal Report
Vol. IX                                                                      No. 10
“The World’s great Age begins anew,
The vanished years return,
The Earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn.”
A S we set our feet on the path of another year, the Ask Dr. Hal! show
finds its purposes renewed, and determines to make this new era known for
its best days ever. Thirteen years on the boards– hard to believe –are just
prologue, that which we have done but earnest of the things which we shall
do. So stick with us, and make time to attend our new shows. We’ve got some
amazing new attractions in the pipe. And this very week, you won’t want to
miss the moment– that unrivaled moment… when…
         KrOB, San Francisco, Presents:
(Life-Struggles of the Pre-Diluvian World)
–Another unforgettable KrOB “Edit!”
Diplodocus carnegii was one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered. It may have
been the longest land animal (at 54 meters or 177.5 feet) but was not the heaviest.
It was a saurischian or “lizard-hipped” dinosaur, named after industrialist and
philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. This sauropod was once the most famous dinosaur
on the planet, as the tycoon, who had sponsored the excavation and scientific
preparation of the type specimen, was rewarded for this act of largesse by having the
beast named after him. His expansive ego tickled by that tribute, Carnegie had many
copies made of the skeleton, which he then donated to a number of the great science
museums of the world. There is a famous replica of the Diplodocus, nicknamed “Dippy,”
in front of the Carnegie Museum of National History in Pittsburgh, PA. (also the home
of entertainer-chanteuse Phat Mandee), a replica actually constructed life-size to give
people an immediate picture of the overwhelming, looming, bulbous bulk of the
animal. Diplodocus was a herbivore whose main food was thought to be conifers. It ate
no flowering plants, since they, the angiosperms, had not yet been invented. Nor did
they have any grass back in the Jurassic (150 million years ago). So, it must have eaten
an enormous amount of the nutrition-poor plants of its day, every day. It didn’t chew
them– constantly eating to sustain its grotesque mass, it swallowed leaves whole
which it stripped from high branches with the peg-like teeth in its (comparatively) tiny
head. Its vast, rounded gut sloshed and gurgled; its bowels emitted vast flatulent
clouds of methane and heaved out tons of excrement. The monster also swallowed
large stones, or gastroliths, which, rolling and grinding together in its immense
stomach, helped digest the tough plant material. These eating machines may have
traveled in herds, migrating when the food supply was depleted. And, a herd of these
things could devastate a forested area just in passing through. In fact, it’s not
unreasonable to suppose that the presence of these critters and others like them may have
caused climate change in their day. When Life provides abundant food, it then often
provides giant beasts to eat it up. It’s all part of Nature’s ruthless way of maintaining
homeostasis and providing biospheric balance. Diplodocus bred from eggs, like other
sauropods, which it laid while walking (and of course while eating). How could those
eggs, even leathery-skinned dino eggs, fall twelve to fifteen feet to the ground without
being destroyed? Easy– Diplodocus had an extensible ovipositor. Well, sir, this huge
creature was given an extremely long neck and a long, whip-like tail. Most of this
herbivorous animal’s length, in fact, was in the neck and tail. Diplodocus had one of the
smallest brains for its size (the size of a human’s fist), and they say its intelligence was
among the lowest of that of the Dinosauria. Now, the pillar-like legs of Diplodocus rested
on feet that were five-toed (like those of elephants); moreover, one toe on each foot had a
thumb claw, probably for protection. For it needed protection in those days, yes it did. There
were fearsome carnivores who would attack despite its intimidating giantism, clawed feet
and deadly whip-like tail. One was the Allosaurus. For a description of Allosaurus atrox, see
The Dr. Hal Report (Vol. VIII, No. 5) in the notes on KrOB’s edit, “Attack of the Anarchic
Allosaurus.” Well, folks, we’re showing footage of just such an inter-species combat. See
these prehistoric Titans locked in mortal combat! Which shall prevail? The answer may
surprise you. And, as a coda, we’ll demonstrate that even the most ruthless land predator
of its time may be vulnerable to other, more fearsome enemies… View it all on our Giant
Screen. But, before that…
Just before every performance begins, we screen a great animated cartoon– each one
seven minutes of the best theatrical shorts ever committed to film. Last week we brought
you, as promised, Red Hot Riding Hood (1943). And, if you liked that one (which your loud
applause indicated you did) you’ll be happy to know that we have more of those– the Wolf,
Red– even Grandma will be back. But this week, we’re presenting a mind-boggling work of
our favorite all-time animation director, Bob Clampett (1913 1984). The film: the
outstanding Warner Bros. short, Book Revue (1945). In 1994 it was voted #45 of The 50
Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. At first Book Revue
seems to be one of those pedestrian cartoons wherein “after Midnight, books in a
bookstore come to life” of the type that frequently appeared under the Merrie Melodies
banner (such as 1938’s Have You Got any Castles). But it quickly spins wildly out of control
from this sedate premise in true Clampett style as a manic Daffy Duck (Clampett’s Daffy,
not Chuck Jones’s Duck) enters and takes over. The cartoon is loaded with puns and pop
culture references, even by Warner standards. After this lampoon, Warner never issued
another cartoon of that genre. Like all Clampett cartoons, Book Revue (later released as Book
Review, spoiling the pun), has run into censorship problems in this over-protective,
social-engineered age. For example, Daffy’s line about “La Cucharacha,” “So round, so
firm, so fully packed, so easy on the draw” is often cut by the crowd of PC Nervous Nellies
(possibly because of its sexual innuendo), though this line is actually one of the taglines for
Lucky Strike cigarettes. Actually, the same people don’t want you to mention the cigarettes,
either. Oh, well– forget them– we are, as always, taking pains to give you the whole thing,
complete and uncut. So join us this Wednesday 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!
” Clampett at his high-octane best… with a show-stopping and hysterically funny
performance by Daffy… the duck just rocks. The concentrated energy of this cartoon blasts
off the screen! …(O)nce Daffy appears on screen, brother, clear the decks…”
                                                                                                                 –angelynx 2, IMDB
Yes, Frank is back! And we’ve got him! At some time during our next show, and indeed during
(nearly) every show, by special arrangement, the perennial protester/holy man, protest sign grasped
firmly in hand, the living institution after whose oracular rantings the late, great 12 Galaxies night
club was named, will ascend the stage once again– and deliver a rapid-fire, impassioned,
incomprehensible bromide. Believe us, no one can figure out what he’s talking about. It’s kind of
an Invocation, wherein we request the blessings of and endorse the presence of Chicken John’s
favorite deities, Randomness and Chaos. You may rely on it (as the Talking 8-Ball says).  Go,
Frank, go! We’ve even got him answering questions!
David “Yo-Yo Pro” Capurro provides a running visual commentary as the show progresses. To
see what that means, you’ve got to watch the guy in action. IJ (Internet Jockey) Capurro, also
known for his alter-identity Yo-Yo Pro, one of the original Monsters of Yo-Yo and Master Yo-Yo
Manipulator extraordinaire, keeps the show connected to the digital world, all the while scheming
to bilk Chicken of as many free shots as his inserted questions can receive, as they are rewarded
in this curious fashion for their excellence and entertainment value. Sometimes he shows pictures
of us. Who knows? Maybe he’ll suddenly put up one of you, one you never knew existed. What a
sense of humor the guy has. But we guess you really have to be there to appreciate this. So, be
ADH Science expert Pete Goldie will lead attendees through the endless reaches of the universe
in his continuing segment, “Waste 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. It’s an exciting
time. He’s got a  nifty little model of the Cassini-Huygens Probe, too, that you’ll see at the show, the
amazing, far-travelling spacecraft that our pal Paul Pot perpetually toils over, refining its intricacies.
Yes, something’s always happening in Space these days– and sure as Entropy, Pete (when not
interrupted by a rogue gorilla, a giant, dancing megalo-chicken or an unseemly eruption of
roof-dwelling hillbillies) is going to be telling each and every one of us al-l-l-l about it.
“Hey, everybody– come see the Ask Dr. Hal! show in a brand new location: my living room. It’s
4 guys doing improv on 4 different levels. It can be amazing.”
So there won’t be any booze for sale, OK? We don’t do the show in a bar any more, so, it’s OK to
drink, but BRING YOUR OWN. We encourage you to. Of course, good questions will still be rewarded
in the traditional manner– with that old standby, Fernet Branca, TM –the “Miracle Liquor.” That’s how
Paul Pot and David “Cappy” Capurro do it– and that’s the one way you can still get a drink at Ask
Dr. Hal!
Dots & Dashes & Lots of Flashes… Flash! Our New Year’s Bash was a smash! What with all
the other parties going on, we half expected to get plowed in the attendance dept., but
no! A good-sized mob jammed into the old Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret to welcome in
2009 with the Ask Dr. Hal! show. Not that ADH attendance hasn’t been good since we started
up at the CPGC, FYI, but we knew there’d be magnum competition, party-wise… We did have,
as advertised, the “Da-Da-ist Peep-Show Booth,” There it was, right outside our doors, and
inside– Wowee! Hubba-hubba! Also, Eccchhh! That would be for the, er, Grand Guignol
aspect of 1 of the shows. After all, you can’t go flinging the name “Da-Da” around and then put
on some ordinary Peep Show. We were lucky enough to get a pre-show preview of this novel
attraction, but were occupied elsewhere while we were doing the show. Still, the Booth was a
tremendous draw, pulling in bewildered neighborhood residents as well as ADH “regulars.”
This space indeed oughta thank Helena Nolan & the whole Krewe for providing the whole
megilla. Thanx too due 2 the roster of performers: Anomaly a.k.a. Sadie Lune whose silvery-
suited gyrations created quite a furor– Anom’s abt. to do some traveling, but we’ll see her again
when she returns to Our Fair City sometime this Feb. (if she decides we deserve it), the Alpha
couple of the rusticated Po’bucket family, Spy Emerson & consort manic Moses, whose stint
demonstrated that the Path of True Love ne’er Did run Smooth (& could involve massive loss
of blood and other bodily fluids) –and, since every Vaudeville performance requires a funnyman,
Spiegelmania’s own madcap Mike Spiegelman… Meanwhile, inside the Ritzy jernt, KrOB ran the
cartoon– Red Hot Riding Hood– Tex Avery Rides Again! — we followed up with Pete Goldie’s
Astro-Science Roundup, & were starting, just after coming on stage, when– Flash! The cops were
there! Yes, the gendarmerie thot our Peep Show was a Menace– not so much to morals, tho’
that too– but mainly their fear that some swerving drunk might barrel off the street right into our
kurbside krowd, squashing patrons into unrecognizable shapes… No, nobody was standing in
the street– it was all decorous (for New Year’s) but that’s how cops think… Well, Chicken ran out
and smoothed their feathers. Gotta love this town… Then– well, it’s not too easy to remember
just what happened next– a swirling haze of celebratory mind-altering substances –and devices
–saw to that… But they say it was a pretty good episode of Ask Dr. Hal! Who they, you say? Hey?
How ’bout gad-about Sherilyn Connelly, or Sarah Goldie (née Szczechowicz)– those Goldies
must have great child-care –or night-clubbers August & Laird? Then there was Captain David
Doyle, late the quondam 1st Mate of the bonnie bouncing barque Whispering Si (get it?). We saw
Todd Curtis, our friendly fan Kaye, & Madeline (Bunnywhiskers) Boyle, who we promised we’d
take to sea in our beautiful pea-green boat on our next Nautical Adventure. There’s a lot to see on
some of those– just ask Justin Credible (& she is)! And we cuddled n’ canoodled with marvelous
Mici. But who’re we forgetting? Lots of folks, we’re betting.Let’s see, there was… Charles Gatewood,
outré photographer for ours & future ages, entertainer Eric Cash, oft mention’d in these pages,
approachable Melinda Adams, called by some Ms. Kitty, Carla Conaway– they both adorn this lucky
city. A certain Junkyard Siren’s laced-up corset left men gaspin’ –but we missed Robin Coomer,
off vacationing in Aspen. Robin got away to breathe that Rocky Mountain air– since she’s “the
Bomb,” is that why they complained of bomb threats there? We saw the phiz of Little Joe, who’s
seen us oft before, and couldn’t miss Big Daddy, taking tickets at the door, Stacy Meadows in a red-hot
dress that wouldn’t quit, Circe M. Fry-Gluck, who on our stage most fetchingly did sit– and… wait a
minute! –there was no gorilla this time– was there? (Why’d we eat three of those Memory-mangling
“Gage” baked Cookies?) No! No ape, I’m fairly sure, thank you, but there was… a giant chicken! Yes!
Not that one, not our Ringmonster, Mister Rinaldi, but… well, while backstage, we got to help
delectable Dawn Stott into the (tight-fitting) chicken suit. Wotta good sport she is, sports fans… Flash!
Puzzling Evidence showed up and, as usual, shot (possibly incriminating) video of the goings on. Puzzo
puts ’em right up– on You Tube– just scroll on down to some of the linx directly below, if’n you don’t
believe us… maybe that’ll help us remember what happened, what we did– we do remember languidly
lolling on the round bed in the corner after the show with exquisite Eva & her beautiful sister– Church
Air was liberally dispensed– We didn’t get hardly any –and that’s how we embarked on a whole new
year. Flash! Paul Pot finagled more than his share of Fenet out of an inadequately suspicious Chicken.
No, no, Flash wasn’t there, sillies. You’re not paying attention. At this time of year he’s surely got a big-
time bar-tending gig at some hi-toned bash. But we’re fairly confident we’ll be seeing him soon…
how ’bout you?
Did you know you can watch some of the show right this minute? Well, thanx to
Puzzling Evidence, you can! Go ahead– scope out a few of the hi-lites from
previous episodes of Ask Dr. Hal! –on You Tube! It’s easy! It’s fun! It’s time-consuming!
And it’s technologically au courant, and absolutely the next best thing to being there
in person! How? Why, just click, clickety-click, on these handy URLs.
Gaze now at this exceptional edit, excerpted from our recent exhilirating December 24th
performance (Pt. 1):
Behold the second half of the exciting “extreme” excerpt of the show on December 24th
(Pt. 2):
Scope out outré out-takes from our December 17th serendipitous show:
Take in tantalizing tid-bits from our December 10th show. Try clicking on this:
Peer at picturesque portions picked from our December 3rd show. Click on this, or, if that
doesn’t work, just cut and paste it into your browser:
Audit choice fragments from our November 26th show on You
Tube, courtesy of Puzzling Evidence. SEE Chicken unfairly
berate KrOB. HEAR Dr. Hal as he wanders farther afield even
than usual in his meandering “answers” to several questions.
Just go to:
See selected clips from November 19th’s show. Warning to Parents:
Chicken really ladles out those cuss-words. Go to:
The endless-seeming Election Period is now, at last, behind us. For
those who would like to indulge themselves in one final wallow, check
out this ultra-entertaining (Adult-themed) Puzzling Evidence video
clip from the ADH Pirate Cat radio show featuring Dr. Hal, KrOB, Pete
“Savant” Goldie and the additional appearance of special guests
Presidential Candidate John McTaint and vivacious wife Sindi
McTaint. Go to: