Demitasse #2


Demitasse -- a sip of the Compendium
May '96
Demitasse is a free sip of the sardonic social commentary and reports of real-life weird that fill the Ladies' Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology (the Compendium).
(c) copyright Kathy Biehl 1996


Feel free to distribute copies or excerpts of Demitasse, as long as you include the copyright notice and do not distribute Demitasse for commercial purposes.
Call for Entries
Whimper for Help
What's up with the Society
What's up with The Compendium
How to subscribe to the Compendium
How to subscribe to Demitasse
The Compendium on the Web
Call for Entries:

Rex Celestis asks:

Why do hardware manufacturers persist in placing the open/close button *under* the disc tray on CD-ROM drives (convenient, until the tray is in the open position)?

To get you started, he offers the following:

Hardware manufacturers persist in placing the open/close button *under* the disc tray on CD-ROM drives...

...because most of them have their CPU situated on a shelf above their monitor.

...because, to combat the back disorders occasioned by sitting in front of computers for protracted periods, hardware designers generally work suspended from inversion boots.

Send your favorite explanation(s) by May 30, 1996 to [now defunct address]. If you cite another source, please credit it. The best entries will appear in the summer issue of The Compendium. ("Best" to be determined, as always, by editorial whim.)
Whimper for Help:

Ben Her is looking for a Great Performances recording of Bill Irwin's Broadway show "The Regard of Flight." He's tried WNET and PBS, with no luck. Can anyone out there answer his plaintive call? Please respond to [now defunct address].
What's Up With the Society

One of our tenets is not having meetings, at least not intentionally. Occasionally, though, we back into them.

Such was the case on a balmy evening mid-April, when the writers' group known as The Flying Dutchman sponsored a reading at a wine and coffee bar in Houston's self-styled trendy museum district. "Still Life with Tattoo and Cheese" was the announced theme, but two others soon made themselves known. Since I was on the program, the audience included a hefty dose of my friends and, not coincidentally, Compendium subscribers. Even in such a small cross section of the population, introductions quickly became necessary. (Not all of my friends are acquainted with each other, and some of those that are aren't exactly on speaking terms.) One was even in order for me.

Special Pals Lizzie-Ba and Paolo introduced me to the person who has been sending E-mail under the name Uncle Aus, who is in fact a woman (and a very pleasant one, at that!) Uncle Aus then met the men known in the pages of the zine as Rex Celestis and the David whose Ford truck keeps breaking down. Rex and David finally formally met prolific Compendium correspondent Vox Popeye. ("Vox Poop!" proclaimed Rex, invoking a name appended to one letter in the latest issue.) "I feel like I'm living a magazine," commented Rex.

(Lest anyone feel left out: Also present were Katherine and Paul the Friendly Giant, who kept a safe distance, and Michael Crawford, who took the equally prudent approach of slipping in after the reading started.)

The other unintended theme? After an evening teeming with implication after implication of seduction (and of consuming chocolate), Vox Popeye made the identification. "The subtext of this program," he concluded, "is subtext."
What's Up With the Compendium

Would someone please turn off my internal radio? Or at least remove Lou Christie's high-pitched "Lighting Striking Again" from the playlist?

In January, the copy shop handed over the winter issue missing the master. The reason being: it had been shredded. Not at my request, and definitely not at my pleasure, but at the whim of someone who has been copying the zine for about three years. Included in the carnage was the last remaining Photostat of my logo. Anguished apologies ensued, from the minion and her supervisor's supervisor, who offered to take care of reshooting the stat.

In April, the copy shop handed over the spring issue missing the master. This time I noticed the omission before leaving the premises. The ever-so-helpful employee to whom I pointed this out searched to no avail (surprise) and paged the production manager. Before he answered, I thumbed through the copies. They employed a pagination system too radical even for my devil-may-care approach to publishing: 1, 2, 13, 12, 11, 10, etc. When the ever-so-helpful employee returned to report that the production manager thought the master had indeed been shredded, I showed her the novel handiwork of her co-worker. "It'll be ready first thing in the morning," she replied. "How are you going to copy this without a master?" I asked. "That's our problem," she said. "You're right," I agreed, and left.

It *was* ready the next morning, minus the inexplicable tire tracks across the back cover that have become one of the unbargained-for perks of this arrangement.

The high-pitched voice is still piercing my ears, but it's hammering a different tune into my head. "We had joy, we had fun, we had --" AUGH! NO! Flip flip flip -- "So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu --"

At last, a context in which that insipid refrain is welcome. What was it that reviewer said? Oh, yes: "This zine will convince you that we're all controlled by perverse universal forces." Pagan Kennedy, Voice Literary Supplement.
How to subscribe to the Compendium

Send $10 ($14 outside US and Canada) for four issues to:
[defunct address] [SEND BACK ISSUE INQUIRIES TO kbiehl AT]

Or send $3 ($5 outside US & Canada) for the current issue:

Shaking Things Up '96 (Vol. IX, No. 1): On the Migratory
Properties of Inanimate Objects: Where do objects
go in that weird interim between when you notice
they're missing and you finally find them,
usually right where you last saw them?

The Seven Dwarfs of the Apocalypse: One by one, these
small but potent irritants of late 20th century life
have revealed their noxious identities to us. Now,
Dwarf No. Seven shows its loathsome face. Received a
spoken-word cassette tape lately that left you
questioning whether the giver was really your friend?
You may have been touched by this ultimate dwarf.

Zeitgeist: Thumbnosing. Noticed the rise of coffee
and cigars and beef-focused menus? It's an outcry of
pre-millennial angst, and ground zero for this primal
scream is a restaurant in Houston.
Demitasse is an electronic newsletter of highlights from the Ladies' Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology. It's published just as erratically as the print zine, which is to say, whenever. It will also contain behind-the-scenes announcements and ramblings that may or may not make it to the photocopied page. It's free for the asking!