Date: Tue, Mar 23, 2004 12:26 PM


"Ask Dr. Hal" to present The Tale of Rapunzel

Wednesday night at the Odeon, San Francisco's noted Variety Arts
Showcase, the award-winning "Ask Dr. Hal" show will feature yet another
in an ongoing series of ten-minute fairy tales animated in
three-dimensional stop-motion by Ray Harryhausen. Having previously
shown "Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel und Gretel" and, most lately,
"The Story of King Midas," the Dr. Hal show on Exxon Valdez Day (the
day in 1989 that alcoholic Captain Hazelwood, several sheets to the
wind, made an unexpected delivery into the waters of Prince William
Sound-- mark your calendar for March 24th) will bring you "The Tale of

[This is also the day, incidentally, when, in 1973, Lou Reed was
attacked on stage in Buffalo, N.Y. by an incoherent, screaming "fan"
who shouted "LEATHER!" and bit him severely on the left buttock. Well!
Although the Dr. Hal show is appreciative of audience enthusiasm, we
don't condone such demonstrations, no matter how supposedly supportive.
Just fling a few rose petals.]

Yes, we'll show "Rapunzel." As always, these films will be narrated and
have character voices provided by me, Dr. Howland Owll, while the music
and sound effects tracks will be the work of K-Rob.

"Rapunzel" is one of the most interesting of the short films
Harryhausen produced for Bailey Films in the Fifties after animating
the famous giant gorilla, Mighty Joe Young (forget the recent Charlize
Theron/Bill Paxton CGI remake) in 1949 for RKO, John Ford and Merian C.
Cooper under the tutelage of his mentor, Oakland's own Willis O'Brien,
creator of the original and never equaled King Kong, before Ray
animated the Rhedosaurus seen memorably in Warner Bros.'s The Beast
from 20,000 Fathoms. Guaranteed analog, nothing digital, all hand-made.
The ball-and-socket armatures for the characters were machined by Fred
Harryhausen, the animator's father.

Attending the show among others were Odeon regular David Capurro,
television personality and yo-yo manipulator extraordinaire,
plane-crash archaeologist and scientist Pete Goldie, well-known clubman
and bon vivant Flash, artist-sculptor Dana Albany, model/Domme/Pleasure
Activist Anomaly and, as advertised, Mark Bode, alternative cartoonist
and son of the late legendary Underground cartoon sensation Vaughn
Bode, in town for a tattoo convention. Before the show, Dadafest
organizer Katy Bell arranged a potluck dinner for yours truly, mainly
consisting of Indian food and sumptuous desserts, which I was able to
eat safely, despite my inability to consume sugar (a medical
condition). It was another Odeon first, but rumor has it that it won't
be the last-- she intends mid-month at "Ask Dr. Hal" to be the date of
a similar feast from now on. So, if you want to participate, bring a
little something on April 14th for the next Katy Bell potluck-a-thon.
And make a note-- come early. Otherwise, the ravenous wolves in the
crowd may have gobbled it all down before you arrive, leaving behind
only damp paper plates which have been repeatedly licked.
Thanks, incidentally, to all you confused people, who, under the
impression that since there was a party it was my birthday (in reality
November 28th), warmly wished me a Happy Birthday and even brought
presents! Sorry about the confusion, folks, but the gifts were great,
particularly the one from Flash, who took the term, "potluck" quite
literally. Thanks, Flash!

Some of my favorite Questions

Oldest Human Being Ever Known

Despite repeated ejaculations of, "Bullshit!" from Chicken, in 2001 I
related how until modern times, and discounting the long-livers in the
Bible, since otherwise nobody could beat Adam, Methuselah and that
crowd, the oldest man known was Thomas Parr, also known just as "Old
Parr." An English servant born in 1483, Parr lived a record 152 years.
He waited to marry until he was eighty years old, and his first wife
lived thirty-two years after the couple was wed. Eight years later, he
married again. At 130 he was still working on his master's farm,
pounding the grain and plowing the fields. At 150 his supernormal age
and intelligence intrigued King Charles I, who sent for him. The stress
of the journey to London, where he was mobbed by admirers, proved too
much for the old boy, and he took sick and drew his last breath at the
age of 152 Years and 9 months, having lived under 9 kings of England,
who I listed at the show as part of my answer, but won't here. The
noted physician William Harvey, credited with the discovery of the
circulation of human blood, and with being an ancestor of Burning Man
honcho Larry Harvey, examined Parr's body and found "...ye
Constitution & Condition of said Parr's Innards & all internall Organs
[to have] approach'd a State of Perfection." A monument to him (Parr)
was erected at Westminster Abbey.

This all-time record, however, was surmounted in modern times by
Javier Pereira, a Zenu Indian from Colombia. Pereira died in 1955 in
his hometown of Monteria at the advanced age of 166. Oh, his age was
attested by friends, municipal records, and Pereira himself, who could
remember with great clarity the Battle of Cartagena, fought in 1815,
numerous Indian massacres (or, as we say today, Native American Direct
Actions) and a famous famine. Toward the end of his life, Pereira was
brought to New York to be examined by a coterie of medical experts.
Their conclusion: though they found him "remarkably well-preserved,"
with "the blood pressure of a young man," arteries intact, a good heart
and a clear mind, they conceded that he was indeed a very, very old
man, "...more than 150 years old." When asked his secret for longevity,
Pereira reportedly advised, "Don't worry-- just chew coca, drink lots
of coffee and smoke a big cigar whenever you feel like it."

Nixon's still "the One"

At last Wednesday's show, the highlight was apparently the delivery of
the maudlin Farewell Address of Richard Nixon in the carnival-code
patois known as ap-ish or ap-ap. I didn't see that it was all that
funny, but the crowd loved it. Remember, a generous emolument in the
envelope will produce, on request, a "Bardic Recitation" from me, Dr.
Howland Owll. The irrepressible K-Rob will, as always, exhibit a
film/video/collage/ "pictorial tapestry" before, during and after, to
augment the show and his own inimitable musical meanderings.

The "Ask Dr. Hal" show is open to all comers over the currently legal
drinking age of 21. Come one, come all. Not for children or those
easily shocked. Easy to play. Fun, scientific, educational. No
complicated machinery to buy. Tells the future, casts spells, heals,
sickens, knows the Meaning of Life and the secrets of human hearts.
Bring your parents and loved ones. A co-production of the Church of the
SubGenius. Brought to you by Lucky Strike cigarettes, now back in L.S.
green (remember L.S.M.F.T.-- Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco) and by
Fernet Branca, the Miracle Liquor, a proud sponsor of the Ask Dr. Hal
show since 2001. All questions become the property of Ask Dr. Hal, Hal
Robins, Chicken John, and Chickhal Productions, which reserves the
right to reject inappropriate questions (or questioners) at will.
Although it is not necessary to pay to enjoy the performance, and
payment will not ensure your enjoyment of the evening, all questions
must be submitted in a regulation envelope (containing a gratuity) to
receive the fullest possible consideration. No refunds given or answers
guaranteed. No one religion or political party is endorsed. Read all
instructions before participating. Drink responsibly, but heavily.
Robust alcohol consumption is recommended to take full advantage of the
ambience of the institution.


Up one level
Back to document index

Original file name: A MESSAGE FROM DR. HAL - converted on Saturday, 25 September 2004, 02:05

This page was created using TextToHTML. TextToHTML is a free software for Macintosh and is (c) 1995,1996 by Kris Coppieters