Nutworks magazine

Electronic Humor Magazine.

Issue025, (Volume VII, Number I). January, 1989.

NutWorks is published (far too often) by

Brent C.J. Britton, < Brent@Maine.bitnet>

"We're gonna rock, stomp, get psyched up..."
-- Mick Jones

"Plant some trees, man! Fast!"

-- Us


NewsWorks ...................... Points of Interest
Nuts & Bolts ................... Commentary
The Newlyweds .................. Joke
Jeeves and the
Slippery Paradox ............ Story
Personality Building ........... Self-Help Guide
The Lutheran Party ............. Essay
Kritik's Korner ................ Movie Review
Outfoxing the
Spelling Checker ............ Memo
Sneak Preview .................. Advert
Columbus ....................... Poem


Uh, hi.

Back in the heady, optimistic days of this past summer, the NutWorks
editorial staff made vague suggestions about converting their monthly
periodical into a bi-weekly. Although an official announcement to this
effect was never made -- the astute reader will recall that the NutWorks
editor departed last summer's news conference with a female correspondent
shortly before he was to make that announcement -- a great furor arose
on the rumors nonetheless. Our mail room was flooded with cards and
letters of gratitude, the New York Stock Exchange rallied to a post-crash
high, really hip parties were thrown in our honor, and the academic
community become so electrified that one expert said "NutWorks going
bi-weekly would, by all accounts, be the best thing to happen to
computers since Slotted Aloha."

Unfortunately, shortly before the first bi-weekly issue was to be
released upon the world, a small wormhole in the space-time continuum
opened up and sucked the entire NutWorks staff into an alternate universe
where "Unix" is a type of lawn furniture, duct tape is served up as an
appetizer at most restaurants, and the popular euphemism for sex is
"polishing the brass". We would have rushed right back through the
wormhole in order to get this issue of NutWorks out on schedule, but the
multi-breasted inhabitants of the altiverse were so hospitable that we...



Nuts & Bolts

by Brent C.J. Britton

There seems to exist in this country an ever-changing set of grossly
overused words and phrases perpetuated chiefly by the broadcast news
media, Madison Avenue advertisers, and others who believe that the
average American's intelligence quotient falls somewhere in the same
neighborhood as the tree slug's.

I'm talking about those expressions with which it has, at least for a
while, become fashionable to describe some fragment of the cultural
milieu; words and phrases that get a lot of airplay... sort of like the
vocabulary top forty.

Take, for a start, the once perfectly delightful phrase coined by
scientists to describe a now well-known atmospheric phenomenon:
"greenhouse effect". "Greenhouse effect" serves as a perfect example of
how journalists will seize upon a catchy, quaint, concisely descriptive
term (on the rare occasions that the scientific community provides them
with one) and then employ it so frequently that it loses any semblance of
charm and ceases to be an enriching addition to the lexicon.

Similar examples are "new age" and "postmodern" which are basically
used to describe just about everything. You can't swing a dead cat
these days without hitting something postmodern.

Or how about the popular term for the recent proliferation of
corporate acquisitions: "merger-mania". I guess the people who make up
these words feel that we simple folk can better relate to a concept if
it sounds like it has something to do with a state lottery. In fact,
I'm surprised they don't let Robyn Leach anchor the news:

"...and so on Wall Street today it was merger-mania for these
fast-flying financiers. Have *you* launched *your* hostile
takeover yet? XYZ company turned down management's tender
offer, so this week's jackpot is *overFLOWing* with highly
leveraged megamillyuns!"

That, by the way, was a "sound bite", which is something developed
by the people who brought you president-elect George Bush. One of George
Bush's most famous sound bites is "read my lips" (whoooee, can that guy
think 'em up... I don't know where he gets 'em), and another is "a thou-
sand points of light" which I bet is what you see on the wall next to him
if you shine a flashlight at George's head.


The Newlyweds

Submitted by someone to whom we are most grateful,
but whose name we forgot.

The newlyweds retired for the night. About an hour later the bride
said, "How about it dear?" But he made no answer. More time elapsed and
the bride asked again, "How about it dear?" and still received no reply.
The night had passed and dawn was already breaking when the bride tried
again, this time pleading, "Please, dear, how about it?"

"How about what?" he replied with exasperation.

"How about going to sleep, dear?"

Jeeves and the Slippery Paradox

by Johnathan R. Partington

A recently discovered manuscript containing an unpublished P.G. Wode-
house story has led some scholars to the theory that the "Bertie Wooster"
stories were in fact based on the career of Bertrand Russell, and that
the Drones club was none other than Trinity College, Cambridge. Here is
the story so that readers can decide for themselves.

"Professor Whitehead to see you, sir," said Jeeves, as he shimmered in
with my morning coffee.

Pieface Whitehead is one of my oldest friends and we had been out on
the town together only the previous night, celebrating the Boat-race.
Indeed two pals of ours, Stinker Hardy and Bingo Littlewood, had been
caught throwing a porter's bowler hat into the fountain and it was only
thanks to Jeeves' persuading the Senior Tutor that they were washing it
for a friend that the Dean had let them off the hook.

"What-ho, Pieface!" I said brightly.

"What-ho, Bertie!" my friend replied. "Dashed off any more of the
jolly old Principia lately?"

At this time Pieface and I were collaborating on a little venture
which we had given the snappy title of "Principia Mathematica" not real-
ising that it had been used before. My aunt Dahlia (the nice one, not to
be confused with Aunt Agatha who is the one who eats broken bottles) had
said that she had long known that her nephew Bertrand Rooster had the
mind of a shrimp, but that hitherto they had managed to keep it in the

"No, I'm still having a spot of bother with the jolly old plot," I
confessed. "I'm trying to sort out the proof that 2 plus 2 is 4, but the
bally sum doesn't seem to be coming out."

"Well stick at it, old man," said Pieface. "By the way, ever heard of
an old boy named Frege? He's sent me this book about set theory. Can't
make out what the old buzzard's getting at."

"Foreign johnny, isn't he?" I replied. "One of Jumbo Hilbert's cro-
nies? Man with a strange glint in his eye? Met him once or twice."

At that moment Jeeves shimmered in with a telegram and stood respect-
fully waiting while I read it.

"What do you make of this, Jeeves?" I asked. "NEED YOUR ADVICE,

"I fancy that Professor Frege is in a logical dilemma, sir." replied
Jeeves after some thought. "It might help if he were to go to a lady
barber, on logical if not sartorial grounds. Naturally one would not
expect him to grow a beard. As the poet Wordsworth puts it..."

"This is no time for the poet Wordsworth, Jeeves." I snapped. "Mat-
ters of philosophy are at stake."

"Very good, sir. If I may make a suggestion, sir..."

"Oh, fire away, Jeeves. Now is the time for all good men to come to
the aid of the party, if that's how the saying goes."

"Well, sir, it occurred to me that Professor Frege's logical dilemmas
merely constituted a new form of the Epiminedes paradox. Possibly if you
were to devise a theory of "types" for him, then he would be able to
prove the existence of his shave."

"Er, really, Jeeves?" I asked, somewhat impressed.

"Yes, sir. Indeed it might well lead you to a new proof that 2 and 2
make 4, if I may venture the observation."

The rest is history...

PROGRAM -- 1. (noun) A magic spell cast over a computer to enable it to
turn your input into error messages. 2. (v.t.) A pastime similar to
banging your head against a wall but with fewer opportunities for reward.

The >>>> (TM) Chris Boyd (C) <<<< Guide to Personality Building

(I) Get a userid on a computer sufficiently far away to prevent
(II) Suss out the local bulletin board.
(III) Locate those users whose contributions are notably daft and insult
them. Pointing out spelling mistakes and rank contradictions in
their items is a favoured technique, and is usually as easy as
shooting fish in a barrel.
(IV) Invent a spurious logic.
(V) Pay particular attention to any debate where a dangerous consensus
is emerging and either (i) destroy it by introducing a devastating-
ly controversial red herring or (ii) argue the contrary view with
passion and conviction.
(VI) Blatantly plagiarize pieces by funnier people, and pretend to have
reinvented them.
(VII) Never, but never never EVER apologize for anything.
(8) Never be consistent.
(9) Don't let on what sex you are.
(10) Occasionally remind other users of your impending birthday.
(11) Periodically upset any user who thought you were an ally by
entering into a completely unprovoked personal attack, paying
particular attention to their lack of sexual prowess (or even
(12) Invent and publicize a whole set of neologisms and acronyms.
(13) NEVER go on about bloody computers.

The Lutheran Party

By Eric Iverson

Two weeks ago I was idly browsing the personals, when I saw an ad for
a Lutheran Party. Now I don't normally respond to these things, but I
couldn't help noticing that I not only happened to be Lutheran, but was
also a great lover of parties. It seemed like the perfect match, and so
I wrote the following letter:

Dear People,

I was heartened and a bit surprised to see your ad for the Lutheran
Party, as I was not aware that such a party existed. I am currently a
Democrat, but after this latest election I guess I'm willing to try just
about anything. To show my devotion to your cause I have drafted the


In many ways a political platform for the Lutheran Party goes against
our grain. What with our motto "Anything worth changing is probably just
as worth keeping the same" and all, a piece of paper with a bunch of big
ideas on it just isn't the way we do things. In fact, under a Lutheran
Administration, about the only thing that might change is that we might
get to that fence out back that needs a coat or two of paint (that is if
we can decide on a color). Nevertheless, here are a few things we as the
Lutheran Party could maybe think about doing.


Under a Lutheran Administration, all US residents would be declared
legally Scandinavian (or at least slightly Germanic on their mother's
side). To signify this, residents would in addition take on a new Scan-
dinavian name. In cases where the resident refuses to do this, an
auxiliary pseudo-Scandinavianization will take place. This is a simple
process wherein one or more "j's" will be inserted in unlikely locations
in the person's first name, while a "son" or "stad" will be appended to
the persons last name. For example, the following are good Scandinavian

Kjerstin Rustad
Hjalmar Andbjornson
Gjertrude Aslakson

while below we see the fruits of pseudo-Scandinavianization:

Miguel Hernandez Mjigjuel Hernandezson
Gina Cabrini Gjina Cabrinistad
Malcolm X Mjalcolm Xstad
Prince Pjrinceson

Mind you this process can be dangerous in the hands of improperly trained
personnel, so watch out:

John Jones Jjjkjgjhjjjjohjjkjjn Hjkjonestadsonstad
Paul Hanson Isadora Lutz


Unlike its alphabetical predecessor, the Libertarian Party, the
Lutheran Party does not favor a radical reduction in the size of the Fed-
eral Government. (Well I suppose you could reduce the size a little, but
only if it's not too much trouble.) Instead, the Lutheran Party advo-
cates increasing the size of the Federally Governed. This can be
accomplished through a national diet filled with white sauce, granulated
sugar, butter and of course hot dish. After all "yew can't have a big
strong government if yew aren't big and strong yerself."


In order to pay back the federal deficit, new sources of funding must
be found. One way is to restructure the US currency system in a manner
more in keeping with the traditional pioneer values that made this
country great. In this spirit, the Lutheran Party recommends that the
new value of the US dollar be based on that of sod. This would not only
immortalize the numerous sod homes that once dotted the Prairie, but
would also act as an incentive for people to keep their lawns properly
cared for so as to protect their investment. We also propose that new
coins bearing the likenesses of long dead Danish and Norwegian Kings
actually be made of sod; as the sod's natural mottled green color would
most likely better represent these Kings' natural appearance.


One of the Lutheran Party's prime environmental goals is to inform the
country that Lutefisk is actually not a toxic waste, and can in fact be
eaten. In order to do this, we propose creating a new character: LeRoy
the Lutefisk who will resemble a talking cod soaked in lye (actually a
cartoon cod soaked in cartoon lye) and will say things like "Give a hoot,
eat yer Lute" or "Der's no risk in Lutefisk". If this doesn't work, our
new president will begin making speeches at Rotary Club gatherings about
how Lutefisk tastes even better than sod. (See Currency Regulations.)


"I tot I tode yew I'd paint de fense in da spring! Can't yew see it's
still vinter?"

In common word and sacrament,
Eric Iverson

We care.

We care about people. Deeply. Vaguely. Many parts of the world are
not very nice. We want to help. Help us find out which parts they are.
Or whatever. You know.


PO Box either 207, or 702, or 027,
That Big Town With The Exhibition Centre And all The Tunnels,
Can't Remember the New Name of the County But It Used To Be
Called Rutland Or Something. Anyway, You Can't Miss It. BM9 3TX.

(From Not the Nine O'Clock News)

Kritik's Korner

by Pauline Kael
Submitted by Hugh Cushing

SORORITY SLAYFEST (date unknown) -- Buddy Bowers' sublimely earthly
comic-horror piece is the sort of >meurtrier foux< essay that you seem to
detest less and less as the blood memories fade. It attempts, and occa-
sionally succeeds, in splattering one's most bellicose and inebriated
fantasies across the screen and the first few rows (the cinematographer
is uncredited). Kim Cattrall is Mona (she swallows the second syllable
of her name as naturally as she swallows the copious amounts of semen
provided by special-effects artist Leonard). She simmers with a sort of
nihilistic spunk; you want her to be the sole survivor. But the often-
overworked script forces her emotional turns to lose their
adrenaline-drenched power. A few good slashes applied to the plot would
have helped here. More importantly, the casting agency should have put
their receivers down long enough to realize one cannot kill more than
five cherubic, apple-cheeked teenagers without losing the audience's
interest. Bowers should listen to his own Slasher Harry: "queen-bitches
must go" as well if the emotional roller-coaster is not to break down.
And Bowers often seems to expect grandiose results from limited
resources; the scenes played to build sexual tension before each kill are
quite torpid. Yet your eyes remain nailed to the screen. With Tara
Strohmeier, David Naughton, and Michael Talbott (from Miami Vice) as
Harry. Script by Bowers and Dennis Miller. (235 West 42nd Street, Apt.

5A and Olympia Quad through March 27th.)

Outfoxing the Spelling Checker

They're know miss steaks in this newsletter cause we used special soft
wear witch checks yore spelling. It is mower or lass a weigh too
verify. How ever is can knot correct arrows inn punctuation ore usage:
an it will not fined words witch are miss used butt spelled rite. Four
example; a paragraph could have mini flaws but wood bee past by the
spell checker. And it wont catch the sentence fragment which you.
Their fore, the massage is that proofreading is knot eliminated, it is
still berry much reek wired.

(Reprinted with no permission at all from the NUMAC Newsletter, who got
it from "Interface" (vol20, no7) published by the University of
California, Santa Cruz.)

Sneak Preview

by Brent C.J. Britton

Available in book stores next month.

The latest book by Albert Goldman,
highly acclaimed biographer of dead people.

From the one man who had the guts to put down on paper what everyone was
saying about Elvis Presley anyway...

From the man who dredged up all the muck and slime you always wanted to
know about the life of John Lennon...



the unofficial biography of Albert Einstein

Finally, Albert Goldman reveals the gory details about the sordid life of
one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century in this muckraking

As these excerpts indicate, THEORIST DEAREST tells the whole gritty story

The Irresponsible and Abused Adolescent:

Einstein was late to class, as usual, the day grades were announced,
so he had to wait until lunch hour to find out that he had flunked
high-school math. According to sources close to him at the time, he
feared that his father would probably kill him.

The Wild Patent Office Years:

"Einstein vas ahead of his time," says a coworker. "Alvays he vas
getting drunk unt saying zings like 'Hey Klaus, vhy don't you and me
fax our penises to London, eh?'"

The Plagiarism:

It is widely accepted that Einstein wrote his greatest papers while
working as a patent clerk, even though some sources claim that they
were actually the work of "Fritz", Einstein's estranged junkie who
mysteriously disappeared in early 1905.

The Lust for Money:

When asked what he would do if he couldn't be a physicist, Einstein
remarked that he would like to have been a plumber.

The Princeton Coeds:

Helga, daughter of Einstein's maid: "Herr Dokter Einshtein vas often
valking around mit his shoes untied because he had no time to tie
zem up vhen he vas sneaking out of ze girls' dormitories. Vhy did
you zink his hair alvays looked like zat?"

The Nasty Temper:

Einstein was arguing with another researcher about the validity of
quantum mechanics. "God does not play at dice!" he insisted as the
argument raged on. Eventually Einstein said "Look, let's have a
thought experiment. Suppose you and I are standing at ze train
station waiting for ze train as we will do tonight after class.
Now suppose I shove you off the platform onto the tracks and ze train
comes ripping over your helpless body at nearly ze speed of light.
At zis point, relative to my frame of reference, you are dead and no
longer around to bother me about ze fucking qvantum mechanics!"

Don't miss THEORIST DEAREST, the unofficial biography of Albert Einstein.

By Albert Goldman.

Highly acclaimed, but obviously constipated bald person.


by Ogden Nash
Submitted by Johnathan R. Partington

Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
And he said the world was round,
And everybody made an uncomplimentary sound,
But he went and tried to borrow some money from Ferdinand,
But Ferdinand said America was a bird in the bush
and he'd rather have a bird in 'and,
But Columbus' brain was fertile, it wasn't arid,
And he remembered that Ferdinand was married,
And he thought, there is no wife like a misunderstood one,
Because if her husband thinks something is a terrible idea
she is bound to think it a good one,
So he perfumed his handkerchief with rum and citronella,
And he went to see Isabella,
And he looked wonderful but he had never felt sillier,
And she said, I can't place the face but the aroma is familiar,
And Columbus didn't say a word,
All he said was, I am Columbus ,
the fifteenth-century Admiral Byrd,
And, just as he thought, her disposition was very malleable,
And she said, Here are my jewels, and she wasn't penurious like
Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi, she wasn't referring
to her children, no, she was referring to her jewels,
which were very very valuable,
So Columbus said, Somebody show me the sunset
and somebody did and he set sail for it,
And he discovered America and they put him in jail for it,
And the fetters gave him welts,
And they named America after somebody else,
So the sad fate of Columbus ought to be pointed out
to every child and every voter,
Because it has a very important moral, which is,
Don't be a discoverer, be a promoter.

Issue025, (Volume VII, Number I). January, 1989.