May 8, 1998
The rumors aren’t true. Not that I ever believed them. I was suspicious from the first moment that I heard a small meteor had recently hit the Earth, and when I heard it hit in Titusville, I knew it wasn’t true. Titusville, for those of you who don’t know, is a small town in Tennessee, and is home to my infamous Uncle Rupert. The same one who tried to drive to Europe, repaired a neighbor’s air conditioning but blew up her house, and fertilized a kudzu vine, turning an annoying weed into a mutant menace. Actually Titusville is where he and my Aunt Vita live when they’re not hiding out–I mean doing missionary work in Florida. But while the meteor story isn’t true, there was an explosion and a small crater. Uncle Rupert recently overcame his fear of technology and bought a bug zapper. This was a big move for him, especially since he’d heard that bug zappers and six-packs of beer always went together, and Uncle Rupert is a teetotaller. He wouldn’t even take cough medicine until all the alcohol was taken out and replaced with a less sinful combination of morphine, assorted barbituates, and Vitamin K. So he and Aunt Vita were sitting out enjoying their new bug zapper, and Uncle Rupert noticed an earthworm on the ground. Always a curious fellow, he decided to see what would happen when an earthworm and a bug zapper came together. For some reason, the people who design bug zappers have decided that it’s necessary to put a protective metal mesh around the glowing center that electrocutes insects, in case people decide to do something silly, like putting earthworms in their bug zapper. After several attempts, Uncle Rupert realized that he just wasn’t going to be able to throw an earthworm just right and get it through that mesh. Now, with all his experiences with electricity, you would think that Uncle Rupert would use something other than a large piece of wire to move the earthworm into position. The bad news is that Uncle Rupert no longer has a bug zapper. The good news is that his experiment attracted the attention of both Hollywood and the FBI, and there are already large delegations following him to Florida.
THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES
During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.
Most dogs are immortal.
If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick’s Day parade – at any time of the year.
All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French Bread.
It’s easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
Once applied, lipstick will never rub off – even while scuba diving.
The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No-one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition – even if you haven’t been carrying any before now.
You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.
If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beast, the mayor’s first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
The Chief of Police is always black.
When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a bill – just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.
Interbreeding is genetically possible with any creature from elsewhere in the universe.
Kitchens don’t have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.
If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now.
Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it.
Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
The Chief of Police will always suspend his star detective – or give him 48 hours to finish the job.
A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of RFK Stadium.
Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.
Although in the 20th century it is possible to fire weapons at an object out of our visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology.
Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.
Even when driving down a perfectly straight road it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they’re going to go off.
It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.
A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.
Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.
It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts – your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage.
No-one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.
Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds – unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
An electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight year old child.
Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment.