By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
7. Mister Morrison. Because he talks in 5-minute-long sentences that include many words he invents on the spot. Then he stops and makes balloon animals.
8. The two girls from Venice, because they are completely normal. (I'm not kidding — I don't know how they got on cable access, they aren't crazy or anything. No one even sings karaoke.) They just give tips on how to be nice to people — it's like Oprah shot on a $5 budget, without an audience, celebs or Oprah.
9. The three young filmmakers who sit and discuss recent film releases. Not because they actually sound intelligent, but because they have inexplicably chosen to aim the camera at their crotches.
10. Any other on-air "personalities" who manage to fill entire broadcast segments without using the terms juice, fasts, juice fasts or spiritual juice fasting.
FIVE CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD BUILDINGS THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY DOESN'T OWN (YET)
1. THE MAX FACTOR BUILDING (current tenant: the Hollywood History Museum).
2. FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF HOLLYWOOD BUILDING (current tenant: not sure, but whoever it is has left that damn Chicken Run poster in the window for two years).
3. J.J. NEWBERRY CO. BUILDING (current tenant: Hollywood Toys & Costumes).
4. THE MAGIC CASTLE (current tenant: a private magicians' club — also rather secretive, but at least they don't accost you on the sidewalks offering to test your aptitude for card tricks).
5. WARNER/PACIFIC THEATER BUILDING (currently vacant, but there are lights on the radio towers, and it's not boarded up anymore . . . Gee, you think maybe . . . ? Uh-oh . . . ). —Nicole Campos
DANCING BEARS WE HAVE KNOWN BRUNO —JONATHAN GOLD
TRUE HMO STORIES
"I went in for surgery on a broken ankle, and that went fine. But then they made me leave right after the surgery. I was drugged and barfing on myself. My girlfriend had to carry me. When we asked for a pillow to prop my ankle for the ride home, they said, 'No.'"
"I went into Kaiser on Sunset to get a skin biopsy. When I went into the room for the procedure, there were tons and tons of toenail clippings all over the floor."
"Each time I'd get my annual Pap, they'd say, 'Don't call us, we'll call you if anything is wrong.' When I called anyway, they got nasty and refused to pull the chart, saying they would've called if anything was wrong. Weeks later, I called in to follow up on some other problems I was having. An intern read my chart, saw the Pap results, and said, 'You'd better come in right away.' Turned out I had a very serious problem."
"Right before the nurse was about to shoot a syringe of water into my ears, she asked the doctor, 'Ever done this before?' The doctor shrugged and said, 'Only on myself.'"
"When I delivered my baby, I was told that it would be covered by the comprehensive health plan that we had. I even called Aetna myself to verify that everything was covered and to pre-register. After my daughter was born, I was charged $1,500 for procedures not covered."
"I was in the waiting room, and there was this drunk, homeless guy picking his boogers and rubbing them all over the seats."
A Dozen Orchids
1. THE BEE ORCHID. It looks like a bee. Smells like a bee. Male bees try to have sex with it because its flowers look like the backside of a girl bee. But sorry, boys, it's a flower.
2. THE VAMPIRES.Dracula vampira. Hate sunshine. Have hairy faces with very long tails, strange patterns, and deep maroon stripes that look like trickles of blood. Sometimes, they look like monkeys. They like to hang from the ceiling. They grow in dark, dank, cool places like, say, graveyards and crypts.
3. THE BLACK ONE. Fear of a black orchid? It's said that no true black orchids exist. Some say that's a lie. Others say that depends on what you call "black."
4. THE BLUE BABE IN A CRADLE.Spends most of its life underwater.
5. THE GHOST.Also known as the "frog orchid," Polyrrhiza lives in the Florida swamps, stuck to the side of trees. It has no leaves, just a tangled mess of gray roots and a single otherworldly white flower that hovers, ghostlike.
6. THE PIGEONS.Seven days after a rain or a drop in temperature, the pigeon orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum, flowers. The blooms open all at the same time and last for only one day.
7. THE QUEEN.The biggest orchids on the planet. Grammatophyllum papuanum's monstrous pseudobulbs can grow 25 feet tall and weigh over a ton, with flower spikes taller than a man.
8. THE SPIDERS. Their petals look like spider legs.
9. CHOCOLATE & VANILLA. Vanilla bean comes from an orchid. But the Sherry Baby, an oncidiumwith thumb-size purple flowers, smells like chocolate.
10. THE STINKING CORPSE. A fleshy flower bigger than a medium-size dog. Looks like a giant red eyeball with pus-colored bumps. Smells like rotted meat.
11. THE SAMURAI. In feudal Japan, samurai warriors traveled for miles in search of Neofinetia falcata, a dainty little orchid with sickle-shaped spurs. If the warrior succeeded in his quest, it was considered a sign of bravery. If he plunged down the side of the mountain cliff where the Neofinetia liked to grow, it was considered . . . really damn stupid?
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