HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, OK, so I'm a couple of days early. Thanks for the
many cards and letters to SUNFUN Central. I have enjoyed hearing
from so many of you. Christmas was so nice at our house, and I
hope it was the same for all of you, too, wherever you are in the
world. And I wish that all of you have a wonderful and
prosperous 1997. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you in
the upcoming year. Be safe, be well, and _have_fun_!
Have a Great week and a fine New Year's Celebration
RETURN TO SENDER
Many of you sent Christmas packages to friends and loved
ones away from home. That's exactly what 48-year-old David A.
Neel of Point of the Mountain, Utah did this year. Only problem
with that is that David A. Neel is in prison serving a life
sentence and the package contain only David A. Neel.
His attempt to mail himself home for the holidays failed
when a prison guard found the large package suspicious.
"The guard went through kicking the boxes, like he normally
does. For some reason, he thought this one didn't seem quite
right," spokesman Jack Ford said.
Prison authorities are searching for accomplices who sealed
the box once Neel was inside.
And now, the latest news from the "Tickle Me Elmo" front...
All the hype over the most popular toy this Christmas made a
few people do really stupid things.
Two employees of a San Antonio, Texas Wal-Mart store were
fired for hiding 'Tickle Me Elmo' dolls from customers so they
could buy them for themselves, a Wal-Mart store manager said
The two were turned in by angry customers who saw them
buying the popular dolls, store manager Gerald Smith said. "They
took the items that were meant for customers, hid them within the
store and purchased them later," Smith told Reuters.
[Wal-Mart spokesman Dale Ingram] said demand for the dolls
was so high many Wal-Marts were auctioning or raffling them off
to raise money for charity. He said a store in Greenville,
Mississippi, had raised $10,000 for the Salvation Army by
raffling one Elmo. (Reuter)
Reports that a Wal-Mart store in Fredericton, New Brunswick,
Canada, had 48 "Tickle Me Elmo" dolls brought 300 people to the
store five hours before it opened. As soon as the doors were
unlocked, a mass of shoppers raced down the aisles like a tsunami
until it reached the employee setting up the "Elmo" display. He
was trampled by the crowd and had to be taken to a hospital for
SANTA CLAUSE SURPRISE!
This almost belongs to the 'Movie Mistakes' edition ealier
this month... Disney's Christmas movie from 1995, "The Santa
Clause", new to video this year, mentions a telephone number
which led to an Ohio grandmother's embarrassment. In the film,
Tim Allen's ex-wife offers to give him her phone number and he
jokes, "What is it? 1-800-SPANK ME?"
The grandmother, Shirley Dirth, thought the number was a
fake so she didn't mind letting her two grandchildren call it.
She was shocked when she found that the number belonged to a real
phone sex line which let callers choose their own fantasy. On
that phone number, a woman's voice says, "Hi, sexy! You've just
connected to the hottest phone line in America."
A spokesman for Disney has said it is just a coincidence and
no one is begin punished. Maybe it was some Disney writer being
naughty and not nice?
THE OFFICIAL US MILITARY SPECIFICATION FOR FRUITCAKE
Recipe MIL-F-1499F -
The US Military has a reputation for giving incredibly exact
specifications for the products they buy, so they can be sure
that they always get exactly what they ordered. Holiday food
items are no exception: this recipe is 18 small-type pages long.
And if you follow it to the letter, out comes what the Pentagon
considers the perfect holiday fruitcake.
Being the Pentagon, the recipe is not titled "Fruitcake"; rather,
it's called "Military Specification MIL-F-1499F, amended 1980,"
and it was placed in the Congressional Record by Sen. Sam Nunn of
Georgia, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services
Private contractors were ordered to use the recipe to make 12
tons of fruitcakes for U.S. troops overseas, and the Army's
Research, Development, and Engineering Command left nothing to
chance or the cook's imagination.
For instance, Nunn noted the question of flavoring, in this case
vanilla, which is item 3.2.7. Here's what 3.2.7 orders:
Flavoring -- Vanilla flavoring shall be pure or
artificial vanilla in such quantities that its presence
shall be organoleptically detected but not to a
Or take 3.2.9, Candied Cherries:
Candied cherries shall be made from pitted cherries.
They shall be thoroughly processed with sugars to a
soluble solids content of not less than 72 percent, and
artificially colored with a red dye. They shall be cut
to yield 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6.4 to 12.88mm) cherry pieces
on the average.
Actually, that was the proper way to handle the cherries until
1980. But one of the more recent changes dictated by the Defense
Department shifts "the tolerance of candied cherries from 12.8mm
to 12.7mm." Always onward and upward. I suppose that the larger
cherries were ordered to help offset the downsizing of the US
Besides specifying the exact caliber of the cherries, the recipe
also orders exactly how the finished cake fits in the tin.
Section 3.5.1 states that "the finished product shall conform to
the inside contour of the can or can liner." And fruits and nuts
"shall be evenly distributed." And lest they forget, commercial
bakers are admonished, "The flavor of the finished product shall
be typical of the type indicated. There shall be no off-flavors
12 Days of Christmas - Lawsuit Edition
Dec. 26, 1995
I went to the door today and the postman delivered a "Partridge
in a Pear Tree." What a thoroughly delightful gift. I couldn't
have been more surprised. You're an angel.
With all my love and devotion,
Dec. 27, 1995
Today, the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine
"Two Turtle Doves." I'm delighted at your very thoughtful gift.
They are adorable and I love you for them.
All my love,
Dec. 28, 1995
Oh! Aren't you the extravagant one? Now I really must protest.
I don't deserve such generosity as "Three French Hens." They are
just darling but I must insist, you've been too kind to me.
Dec. 29, 1995
Today the postman delivered "Four Calling Birds." Now really,
they are beautiful but don't you think enough is enough? You're
being too romantic.
Dec. 30, 1995
What a surprise! The postman just delivered the "Five Golden
Rings"; one for every finger. You're just impossible, but I love
it. Frankly, all those birds squawking and calling were
beginning to get on my nerves.
All my love,
Jan. 2, 1996
I couldn't believe my eyes this morning as I walked out onto the
front porch and there were "Six Geese A-Laying" on my front
steps. So you're back to the birds again - huh? Those geese are
huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are complaining
and I can't sleep through the racket. Besides, I can't use goose
eggs for anything. I love your thoughtfulness, BUT -
Jan. 3, 1996
What's with you and the birds??? Today I received "Seven Swans
A-Swimming." What kind of a sick joke is this? These birds
crap all over the house and they never stop with that awful
racket. The only place they have to swim in my apartment is the
bathtub, which is now so foul and smelly that I can't use it.
I can't sleep at night and I'm a nervous wreck.
This isn't funny anymore. Just knock it off with those stinking
Jan. 4, 1996
I think I preferred the birds. What the hell am I going to do
with "Eight Maids a Milking??" It's not enough with all those
birds and the 8 maids milking, but they had to bring their cows,
too! There are cow droppings all over the lawn and I can't even
move in my own house. Just knock it off, smartass!!
Jan. 5, 1996
What are you??? Some kind of sadist??? Now I've got "Nine
Pipers Playing" and do they play! They haven't stopped chasing
those maids since they arrived this morning. The cows are
getting upset and they're stepping all over the screeching,
stinking birds. What the hell am I going to do?? The neighbors
have started a petition to have me evicted.
I'll get you for this!
Jan. 6, 1996
You Rotten Bastard,
Who in hell needs "Ten Ladies Dancing??" I can't imagine why I
call these sluts "ladies." They've been fooling around with the
pipers all night long. The cows can't sleep and all the racket
around here has given them diarrhea. My living room is a sewer!
The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why
the building should not be condemned!
I'm calling the police on you, you stinking garbage!
One who means it!!!
Jan. 8, 1996
Listen, you DUMBASS,
What's with the "Eleven Lords a Leaping"??? The old farts are
going to hurt themselves. I don't need this! The pipers aren't
getting anywhere with the maids, so they're chasing the ladies
now. Some of them are even looking strangely at the cows. All
23 birds are dead - they were trampled to death in the traffic.
I'm being sued by the neighbors and the building owner. My
building has been condemned by the city as unfit for human
habitation. I hope you're satisfied, you rotten, vicious
I hate your guts!!!
Badger, Bender & Cahole
303 Knave Street
Chicago, IL 60606
January 9, 1996
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of "Twelve Fiddlers
Fiddling" which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss
Agnes McHolstein. As you no doubt have guessed, the destruction
of her property was total. You are advised that all future
correspondence with our client is to be cleared through this
I feel compelled to warn you that if you should attempt to reach
Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants of that
institution have instructions to take whatever measures are
necessary to prevent you from contacting our client. With this
letter please find attached a warrant for your arrest.
J. Frank Cahole
© 1996 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.