'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
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.
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.