[an error occurred while processing this directive] ZEPHYR Magazine
                              T H E  
                           Z E P H Y R
                  __     M A G A Z I N E
                 Issue #56                5-22-88
            A weekly electronic magazine for users of 
                        THE ZEPHYR II BBS 
                    (Mesa, AZ - 602-894-6526)
                owned and operated by T. H. Smith
                    Editor - Gene B. Williams 
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                            (c) 1988

   My apologies for the long absence. (Then again, no one else 
came forward to offer to do an issue.) Things on my end have 
been ridiculously busy. For those keeping track, I've just 
signed two more book contracts and have three pending. Those 
deadlines are more important, since it's what pays the bills 
for me.
   Anyway, I'd just completed a book and decided to reorganize 
my office before starting in on the next. That got me back into 
my files. There I came across some of the strange items I love 
to collect. (For those of you who are new to Zephyr and to the 
magazine, I used to write a couple of regular magazine columns 
of strange events and weird happenings.)
   So that's what we have this time around. Lots of bits and 
pieces of information that will do you absolutely no good at 
all. Totally useless.
   But, I think, rather entertaining.


   The national deficit is presently $18,569.10 per man, woman 
and child in America. (Get out your checkbook! The interest alone 
is considerably more than the ENTIRE federal budget of 20 years.)
   Meanwhile, the number of pawnbrokers has increased by 500%.

   Taxes for the wealthiest 1% of our population have decreased 
by 2.5% in the past decade.
   Taxes for the poorest 10% of our population have increased 
by 1.5% in this same period.

   A company sent its check to the IRS for payroll taxes in the 
amount of nearly $5 million. The IRS in its infinite wisdom decided 
that the check was 10c short and started proceedings against the 
company, which included a penalty of nearly $50,000. The company 
put a team of lawyers and 5 accountants on the job, at incredible 
cost to the company. Numerous letters and representatives were sent 
to the IRS office to get things straigtened out. This went on for 
almost a half-year - at which time the IRS dropped all action without 
any explanation. Or apology.

   Amount spent on pet toys & clothes per year   $1.42 billion
   Amount spent on stray pet care per year        0.75 billion 

   Amount spent by women per year in hair salons - $20 billion
   Amount spent by men per year at the barbers   -   3 billion

   Amount spent eating out per year               $185 billion
   Amount spent eating "fast food"                  50 billion

   Value of food stamps given out by the government - $11 billion

   Amount spent on recorded music (records, tapes and CDs) by 
people under 19 - $1.5 billion

   Percentage of kids under 15 who have their own TV  - 45%
   Percentage who feel they SHOULD have their own set - 65%

   Number of hours spent per week shopping - 6
   Number of hours spent per week reading  - 1
   Percentage of people who go to a mall with no reason - 75%

   Cost of a ton of rice in America - $ 180
   Cost of a ton of rice in Japan   -  2000
   Ahhh, but the Japanese government forbids the importing of rice 
in their country. Sound familiar?

   For those of you thinking of saving money on beef jerky by 
buying "Dog Jerky" - its primary ingredient is cow lungs.

   Speaking of which, about $1 billion is spent by Americans every 
year for medical disorders brought on by the eating of meat.

   Top paid male entertainer  -  Bill Cosby ($58 million)
   Top paid female entertainer - Madonna ($26 million)

   2.9 billion ounces of Coca-Cola are consumed every day, which 
is enough to fill 539,244 bathtubs. (That comes to a little over 
a trillion ounces, or 196,824,060 bathtubs full, per year.)
   The average American gulps down 42 gallons of pop per year.

   6 billion Oreo cookies are sold per year.

   In a survey of college students, about half thought that condoms 
come in different sizes, and 20% thought that having intercourse 
during menstruation was dangerous.

   In a survey 71% of Americans claimed to believe in an afterlife; 
and 5% said they thought it would be boring. (36% claimed to have 
had a personal conversation with God.)

   In a survey taken in Germany, 12% of those polled couldn't remember 
if they'd read any poetry in the previous year.

   Amount of time recommended per day for brushing teeth - 5.1 minutes
   Average time spent per day among Americans               30 seconds

   Average salary for a dentist - $105,000
   Average for his hygienist    -   18,000

   Average for a mid-level college professor - $31,500
			Beginning salary        25,000
   		        Top average salary      38,000
   Average for a college football coach      -  78,000
			Beginning salary        50,000
			Top average salary     105,000

   The lowest paid, both initially and through advancement, of 
any career requiring college - teaching (other than sports).

   Amount of dust falling on an average 6-room house per year 
- 40 lbs.
   Percentage of women who think they should take care of the house 
- 46%
   Percentage of men who think women should take care of the house 
- 50%

   In New Zealand there are 3.5 million people and 68 million sheep.

    Dr. Stephan Kaplan claims that there are 200 living vampires in 
America, most of whom live in California. (He's from Elmhurst, NY.)

    Temperature of lightning   54,032 F
    Temp of sun's surface      10,922 F
    Temp at which butter melts     88 F

   Percentage of whites on deathrow for killing a black - 50.4
   Percentage of blacks on deathrow for killing a white - 41.4

   Number of executions since 1977 of whites for killing a black -  0
   Number of executions since 1977 of blacks for killing a white - 17

   Number of women on deathrow - 21

   Percentage of garbage collectors who are nonwhite - 32.9%
   Percentage of garbage collectors who are white    - 67.1%

   Percentage of total presidential campain press coverage given 
to the New Hampshire primary - 20%
   Percentage of total pop.   0.4%

   Percentage of Americans who agree with the 55-mph limit - 66%
   Percentage of Americans who obey that limit             - 17%

   Percentage of Americans who think female nudity in films should 
be illegal - 32%
   Percentage of Americans who think pornography should be legal
for adults - 78%

   Percentage of parents who think that sex education should be 
taught by the parents - 90%
   Percentage who actually teach it - 9%
   Percentage of people who learn about sexually transmitted diseases 
from their parents - 12%

   Percentage who think that children should learn about sex from 
friends - (less than) 1%
   Percentage of children who do - 84%

   Here's a selected list of upcoming videos to be released

   In Indiana a man was listed as a suicide victim. Cause of death 
was given as 52 blows to the head with a hammer.

   In Virginia a pregnant woman has filed a $600,000 lawsuit against 
a department store which demanded that she remove her clothing from 
the waist up to prove that she wasn't stealing a basketball.

   A football coach in California was fired after he drew female 
genitalia on the tackling dummies to encourage the players to 
practice with more enthusiasm.

   In Canada a young drunk driver unsuccessfully tried to eat his 
underwear when stopped on the road. His excuse was that he thought 
the cotten would would absorb the alcohol in his stomach and thus 
change the breathalizer testing.

   In British Columbia a female hair salon attendant found herself 
in trouble for whacking a male customer on the head with a hair 
dryer. She'd seen his hands moving beneath the sheet and assumed 
he was . . .  well, doing something he shouldn't. It turned out that 
he was cleaning his glasses.

   Women concerned with rape can now buy chain-link panties, complete 
with padlock, for $180. Inventor Harry Bouwhuis of Canada claims that 
the nearly 2-pound "garment" is pierceproof.

   A new video has come out. The 60-minute video sells for $7.95 
in selected video stores and is titled, "The Wit and Wisdom of 
Ronald Reagan." 
   The tape is blank.

   In ancient Rome (pre-Christian) a witness called to testify 
in court swore to tell the truth while placing the right hand 
on his testicles.

   Empress Anne of Russia was giving court one day and had to 
pass sentence on a nobleman. She gave him a choice. Death by 
hanging; or sit on a nest of eggs and cluck like a chicken. (My 
source didn't say what the crime was, or what choice he made.)

   A case from way back in 1821 involved a man named Desjardins, 
who was charged as an accomplice in a murder. Desjardins readily 
admitted to his part in the murder, but when finally brought to 
court defended himself by saying that he was a horrible liar. For 
this end he brought forth countless witnesses to testify as to 
his poor character and unreliability. The court finally tossed 
out the case saying that no one could believe a word Desjardins 

   In 1943 a Minnesota man named Dittrick was committed as a 
"sexual psychopath" because he wanted sexual intercourse with 
his wife "as often as 3 or 4 times per week."

   In 1974 a 47-year-old California woman won a $1 million suit 
against a health club. According to the testimony, she'd been 
accidentally locked in a sauna for 90 minutes, which caused her 
to pick up 24 men in barrooms. 
   The same lawyer, Marvin Lewis, had also successfully brought 
an earlier client $50,000 in damages when the woman claimed that 
an accident she'd had involving a street car caused her to become 
a nymphomaniac.

   In a 1915 case (The People vs. Gerstenfeld - New York) it was 
declared that two men greeting each other by placing the thumb 
against the nose and wiggling the fingers is an act of 
disorderly conduct.

   In a 1972 case in Japan, a talking crow was brought up on 
charges of pecking children and using obscene language in 
public. They had to let the bird go when it refused to answer 
questions at the police station. 

   In 1970 a woman's group was brought up on charges of bombing 
Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. It seemed 
that it was an open-and-shut case, since the women admitted to 
the bombing. The case was dismissed, however, when the Cambridge 
Police Department testified, "This was a very sophisticated bomb. 
We feel that women wouldn't be capable of making such a bomb."

   In Jackson, Mississippi in 1972 police stopped a car that 
was weaving all over the road. There was indeed a drunk in the 
car - as the passenger. His friend was driving him home because 
of his drunken state. 
   The friend was totally blind.

   It's illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket 
in Lexington, Kentucky.

   Still my all-time favorite - in Ohio it's illegal to fish 
from a bridge while sitting on a giraffe.

Until Next Time

   Thus ends another issue of the magazine. I'm still buried 
under by deadlines, and if things go the way they seem to be 
heading, in the next week or so the situation will only get 
   I do have three articles to get done, so perhaps I'll strip 
them down to ASCII and use them as Zephyr Magazine issues - or 
at least modified versions of them.
   Or . . . . .

Zephyr Magazine is © Gene Williams. All rights reserved.