Sunday May 29, 2005    The Daily Oklahoman  

Twisted 'facts' and fiction by Dennie Hall
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Ever hear of a fictoid? You're not alone if you haven't, but there are plenty of them to be devoured in an Oklahoma City man's funny book, "Fictoids" (Dutcher & Co., $12). Author Bill Dutcher is smart and clever. When he isn't writing, he works as an independent oil and gas producer.

Dutcher's definition of a fictoid is a "fictional factoid." Employing twists of names and events, Dutcher created the "fictoid concept" in 1997 and has written hundreds. He has included his favorites in this book, which provides a chuckle on almost every page. Cartoons by Jack Ziegler add greatly to the book's appeal.

Dutcher's experience in oil and gas must have inspired this fictoid: "Soon after the collapse of Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma City, local ministers noticed many banking oilmen leaving the Methodist Church to become Presbyterians, apparently because, as they say The Lord's Prayer, the Methodists ask for forgiveness of their trespasses, while the Presbyterians pray for forgiveness of their debts."

Here are a couple on President Bush:

"During a poorly planned 2004 campaign rally at a recently closed mousetrap factory in Omygosh, Wis., President Bush admitted to a disgruntled group of laid-off workers that he really didn't know who kept moving everyone's cheese; and while his economy folks blamed an old boy named Adam Smith, a Scottish economist with invisible hands, Bush said he was keeping an open mind, because economists tend to misoveranalyze things."

"Later that day, asked by a mildly hostile reporter if the President was having a problem with syntax, Feckless Spinmeister, assistant press secretary for subsequent clarifications, replied that the president was opposed to any new taxes, whether levied on saints or sinners."

The character index has some amusing names. Examples are Al Cappucino, Mia Culpa, F. Stop Fitzgerald, Johnny B. Humble, Rush Limbo, YoYo Mama, Dean Martini, Ralph Nadir, Mia Pharaoh, Girl Saturday and Anwar Sedate.

Dutcher closes the book by writing, "All rights reserved, all wrongs regretted and all disclaimers apply." It's a happy book.