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In a serendipitous double whammy one day last month, a Hollywood actress and a Mesquite, New Mexico bishop both posted messages on our GuestMap within a few hours of each other. The one-in-a-million coincidence reminded us of that time-honoured cliché, "as the actress said to the bishop".

The Dictionary of Slang says it's "a jocular catch phrase that draws attention to an otherwise innocent statement by imbuing sexual innuendo. Other variations include as the mistress said to the gardener."

Leslie Charteris (born Leslie Charles Bowyer Yin), author of best-selling books about The Saint in the 1930s, was fond of the phrase. In nearly all his adventure stories, hero Simon Templar, a Robin Hood/James Bond type, quoted the phrase to hint at possible double entendres.

Google offers more than 600 citations, many of them too risqué for family reading. We found this recent example in a web discussion about UK theme parks. Punk Rock Princess 631 wrote:

Have returned to TP [Thorpe Park] twice since initial report and while still not freaked out by Nemesis Inferno, am getting to enjoy the ride more and more. I really think that the more often you do it, the better it gets - as the actress said to the bishop!
Getting back to our GuestMap, we were delighted to find these two messages posted within a few hours of each other:
Posted by : Edie Mc2
Date Posted : July 11, 2004 08:40:55 AM
Email :
Website URL :
Town/City : Hollywood CA
Country : USA
Comments : I love Anu Garg A.Word.A.Day and have signed up for this one. Learn something new everyday. Keeps the gray cells busy. Of course, I forget it very quickly.

Posted by : S. Hart
Date Posted : July 11, 2004 11:35:42 AM
Email :
Website URL :
Town/City : Mesquite, NM
Country : USA
Comments : Great site! I especially enjoyed the article about Reason Magazine's clever approach to alerting us about privacy invasion.

When we followed the designated links, we found two very interesting websites:

First, the Actress.

Edie McClurg is starring in her first one-woman show:


Written by Edie McClurg

IT'S EDIE IN HERE is Edie McClurg's hilarious and moving story of her early life. We meet all the strong Midwestern women and men who influenced the dreams and aspirations of a child of blue collar parents in Kansas City, Missouri. The genesis of all Edie's portrayals in her professional acting career can be traced to these funny and poignant personalities from her family, neighborhood, schools, and work...

Edie McClurg began her performing career at age five with the oxymoronic Kansas City Rhythm Kids. She retired at the age of six when the dance teacher was arrested on a morals charge.

Edie then concentrated on her education and received a Master of Science from Syracuse University and taught radio at the University of Missouri/Kansas City for 8 years. There, she re-entered the entertainment field as a DJ, newswoman, and producer for the NPR affiliate KCUR-FM.

Her proudest moment was portraying John Ehrlichmann in Conversation 26 of the NPR national broadcast of the Nixon Tape Transcripts. Thus did Edie contribute to the peaceful overthrow of the government of an un-indicted co-conspirator.

Her career-long devotion to satirical improvisation included an impressive tenure with "The Groundlings". She went on to create original characters, performed on the daytime David Letterman Show: Mrs. Marv Mendenhall, Dot Duncan, Whirly June Pickens, Officer Jeanelle Archer, 105-year-old Edie, among others.

TV has been a home to many of Edie's characters ­ on "The Richard Pryor Show," as Lucille Tarlek on "WKRP in Cincinnati," and as Mrs. Poole on "The Hogan Family."

Her movie career growth paralleled her 10 years with The Groundlings. Her first film was the teen horror favorite, "Carrie." She did several John Hughes films including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," "She's Having a Baby," and "Curly Sue." Offbeat cult faves are "Eating Raoul," "Elvira," HBO's "Pee Wee Herman" special, and Martin Mull's "History of White Man in America."

In more mainstream films, she received a National Media Award for her portrayal of a mentally disabled woman in "Bill: On His Own," starring Mickey Rooney, and she's acted for Robert Redford in "A River Runs Through It," for Oliver Stone in "Natural Born Killers, for Diane Keaton in "Hanging Up," and she was named Best Actress of the Chicago Alternative Film Festival for her portrayal of Ted Kazcynski's mother.

A few of Edie's most recent accomplishments: David Spade's nasty neighbor in Paramount Pictures' "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star", Jane Kazcmarek's friend in "Malcolm in the Middle", guest star on NBC's "Providence", WB's "7th Heaven", Lea Thompson's mother on "Caroline in the City;" and several animation roles for TV and in features ­ such as "The Little Mermaid," "The Rugrats Movie," and as Dr. Flora in "A Bug's Life."

Second, the Bishop:
The Contemporary Catholic Church is an independent, esoteric and Apostolic Catholic Church that was founded to serve the spiritual needs of people in this highly changing and stress-filled world. We believe there is a deep spiritual and even mystical hunger in our society today.

The Contemporary Catholic Church seeks to address this hunger by providing a spiritual direction which seeks to combine the best of contemporary insight within the framework of the Catholic faith.

When we replied to the GuestMap message, we received this email:
From: +Sharon <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 08:52:34 -0600
To: Eric Shackle <>
Subject: Re: GuestMap

Dear Eric,

Thanks! And thank you for posting to Wordsmith about your magazine!

All Blessings,
Bishop Sharon

If Edie McClurg ever sends an email to +Sharon, we hope our two friendly correspondents will let us know just what the Actress really DID say to the Bishop.




Story first posted August 2004

Copyright © 2004

Eric Shackle

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