Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Q: How Can You Tell I'm in Control of the Party Stereo?

A: "Troglodyte" by Jimmy Castor is gonna come up. I don't care if it's a Halloween party, Christmas shindig, Christening or Bar Mitzvah, that jam's coming on. And I've been doing it even before I discovered this awesome video.

Seriously, is that not the greatest thing you've ever seen?

Once I turn up the Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Thin Lizzy, however, it's probably time for someone to either drive me home or put me in bed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to Scare the Children Theatre

I loved horror movies as a kid. Loved 'em. When I was a kid and we lived in the dorms at Mississippi State, every summer Friday night I'd walk down the hall to the communal TV and catch "Friday Night Frights." I'd spend my Scholastic book ordering money on monster books, so I knew all the monster's backstories.

Consequently, while I was scared of a lot of things in life (little yappy dogs, teenagers, lightning, etc.), horror movies didn't really scare me too much, mostly because I knew that they were made up, and that the chances of me running into a vampire or Frankenstein in Starkeville, Mississippi were pretty rare. My parents did take some archaeology classes, though, which freaked me out; everyone knows archaeology is all full of vengeful mummies and curses that can turn your kid into an orphan.

However, there were a few movies/TV shows that scared the crap out of me.

Sesame Street
The Count always sort of freaked me out. No, not because he was a little plush Bela Lugosi, but the fact that he had to count everything really rubbed me the wrong way. "Why? I know he's a Dracula, and they do weird stuff, but why can't he just stop counting?"

The Swarm
Saw this when I was about 8 with a friend in the theater. It's about killer bees coming up from Mexico and biting the hell out of people. The thing that really got me is the shot of a schoolyard (I think, I haven't watched it in years) where they show a dead little kid's hand clutching one of those big lollipops while bees walked over the sweet, sweet candy. That night my friend and I lost a lot of sleep due to the air conditioner's bee-like buzzing. I think we might have sealed up the windows and doors with towels just as a precaution.

So in this movie, Face from "The A Team" gets turned into a snake by a mad scientist. I'm not really sure why the scientist wanted to turn people into snakes, that's just the sort of thing you do, I suppose. The most horrifying part is the rejected man/snake hybrid:

I recently re-watched this, and yeah, it's still pretty creepy. But what was even more terriying than the creepy snake-man was the fact that my friend's mom was chain smoking while we were watching the movie. My mom had drummed into me the horrors of second-hand smoke and I was sure I was slowly dying of lung cancer as I watched a man turn into a snake.

The Legend of Lizzie Borden
So I watched this when I was probably 13 or so, much too old to be scared by anything on TV. It started the woman from "Bewitched" as the parent killing Lizzie Borden, and was a made for TV movie. How bad could it be?
Well, there's all this stuff about how the dad had a funeral home in the basement and it was sort of implied there was some bad touching going on down there among the corpses. I seem to remember that Lizzie knocks out a blood tube from one of the bodies as well that goes all over the place squirting blood. Later in the movie, Lizzie strips down so she won't get blood on her clothes while hacking up her parents. "Wow! Naked Bewitched lady," I think. "Now we're talking. Ahhhh! She's chopping up her parents!" The whole arousal/fear thing overloaded my teenage brain and freaked me out for days afterwards.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dr. Livingston, I Presume?

Say I commissioned you to create a portrait of a creepy guy. Give him a scraggly beard, greasy hair, a weirdly rumpled assortment of clothing and a knack for ignoring personal boundries. Then you'd have an idea of the guy that came up to the desk last week. He was looking for some sort of information I can't recall right now, something about middle school locations, where to buy used vans and Miley Cyrus tour dates. After a while he stops and says, "Yeah. Yeah! That's it!"

I'm used to exclamations like this from the public, so I let it slide.

"That's who you look like! Did you ever see Sex in the City? You look like that one guy," he shouts.

"No, never really watched it," I said.

"Oh you know, he was in the movie The Office, what's his name?"

"Uh...heh...sorry, don't know."

"Yeah, see, you do that same smirk! Just like that guy!"

Guy wanders off somewhere and comes back with the IMDB profile of Ron Livingston, along with a handsome head shot.

"There, see! Looks just like you!"

I don't really get it, but at least it's not John Candy or something. I've also gotten Bill Murray and that guy who played Mr. Bean before. Nope, don't see any of them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Sting

I decided to take Thursday off. I had some errands to run and hadn't been able to get out on the trail in a long time, and besides, I just needed a little time off. Hey, get off my back, it was a long week. Jeez, what are you, my boss?

Say, you don't suppose my boss is reading this and realizes that I didn't have extra deadly swine flu Thursday, do you?

So I must have had my mouth open when I was riding down the trail. I've been perfecting my mouthbreather Halloween costume. All of a sudden I feel a bug fly into my mouth.

"Hey," I think to myself. "That was a really big bug." The thing is all tangled up in my mouth between my lower lip and teeth and I'm trying to spit it out while trying not to veer off the road. I'm also noticing my lip feels like I got slapped, but I figure that was just the impact.

The bug doesn't want to leave my inviting mouth. After a couple spits I finally get him out of there, but not before I start feeling sort of funny. "Must have been where he hit me," I'm thinking. "I mean, right there in the inner lip, of course that's gonna sting for a while."

So I've got about 6-7 miles to go and I can feel my lip swelling up. Again, I'm thinking that it's just the impact, since we were both going pretty fast and that's a sort of sensitve area.

By the time I get off the trail my lower lip has swollen to Popeye proportions. I get home and call the doctor for an appointment and sound like a stroke victim over the phone. Never one to let a gross medical condition go to waste (maybe I can squeeze some sympathy out of it, or at least post gross pictures of it on the internet) I try to take some photos of my swollen lip but nothing comes out.

Of course by the time the doctor can finally see me most of the swelling has gone down and he can't find any stinger or anything in me. He writes me a prescription for some steroid pills and sends me out into the world, wondering why I came into his office with such a made-up story. Later on I notice that doc's steroids haven't made my arms any bigger either so I'm thinking of just buying them from that dude that hangs out at the gym from now on.

So my relaxing no work day ended up full of bee venom and doctor tedium. To make matters worse, there was a retirement party that day so I missed deviled eggs. I have learned my lesson and will never play hooky again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009