Traitor Pants

Today’s brought to you by the letters S,H,I and T and the number 4. It’s not that it is a bad day but it reinforces the fact that if there is a possibility of shit happening, it will most likely happen to me. I was in Kinkos today running off training manuals because that is what I do for fun when the unthinkable happened. Let me paint you a picture. I have a pair of pants that are my favorite pair in the whole world and if they are ever lost I may swear off articles of clothing from my lower extremedy all together. The only problem with them is that the fly is made of Velcro and after 7 years of ware, let’s just say I am aware of it’s position at all times. But today they betrayed me. I was in a rush to get these training manuals copied and threw on these pants after a shower. (I was commando, so what?) Well, let this be a lesson to all those who disregard the common law that boxers should always be worn under old velcroed pants. I managed to let my guard down and accidentally exposed myself to the staff of Kinkos. I don’t know if I feel embarrassed yet. It will take some time to let the full scope of my ordeal. I will say that I will never forget the large woman saying, “I think someone is trying to say hello.” I want to die.

Traitor!

A Tribute To Stephen Gammell

Sure there is a lot of attention to the author of the Scary Stories books, Alvin Schwartz, but I think the illustrator Stephen Gammell deserves his time in the light too. I have spent countless hours staring at his visions of the macabre. I mean they are really disturbing when you look at the way they are drawn!

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There have been countless hours spent just staring at the bizarre world Steve Gammell has created for Schwartz. His expressive and haunting strokes give me the creeps, even 17 years later. I have tried many times to pass these books off for book reporting material but to no avail. It doesn’t matter because I am sure the report would just be filled with pointless statements like “This dead chick looks scary on page 57.”

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Jesus! See what I mean? How scary looking is that? It’s for kids too! I don’t know what goes on in Gammell’s head but he needs to hang out with Rob Zombie. Can you imagine having a beer with this dude? I can. I would ask him what is his motivation for drawing such macabre images. I think Gammell should also work in a tattoo parlor. I’d get another if he designed it.

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What do you think….head in a jar? That is what I think. There is one thing for sure. Gammell’s art really put a dent in my reading level because I have no idea what the stories are about. I do know that my imagination stirs after spending an hour staring at these pictures. I begin to think of them later on at night. I wonder if I have the gift to draw nightmares?

Nope! That’s my head in a jar and the only thing that is confirms is that I suck. I doubt Alvin Schwartz will be calling me for an artistic touch to his scary tales. Oh well.

Oh my God! What the hell is that? I can guarantee you that The Ring was less scary to me because freaky chicks have been burned in my brain since the day I saw this. Thanks Stephen. Taken off guard while flipping pages, this made me choke on forbidden candy during mandatory reading time in homeroom many years ago. I didn’t die but I received a demerit for eating candy in class. Insult to injury.

I don’t mean to “paint the picture” that all Stephen Gammell’s art work is dead chicks and clowns. He illustrates other books like the poem book, The Burger and the Hot Dog. I love this book. I know, I’m 29 and a 29 year old dude shouldn’t like such things but here is a line and you’ll see what I am talking about.

A burger and a hot dog
One day had a nasty spat.
The burger got insulted
‘Cause the hot dog called him flat…

Priceless.

Well, thank you Mr. Gammell. Thanks for sharing your talent and for giving me the creeps, even at school. I can’t believe it has been almost 20 years and believe it or not, I don’t think I have even read a single story from Scary Stories 1, 2, or 35. Sorry Alvin. But mission accomplished Stephen! I will leave you all with this. Good night. Try not to read these in the dark.

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Second Verse….

To all my Villanova MBA pals, I have finished my Six Sigma term paper and it only took the better part of 2 months to do it. I know that is far less than others and for that, I am sorry. But, I am going to crack open a beer and think of you who are not finished.

I’m back on flight status this coming Thursday so if anyone needs some help with Six Sigma email me at wewjr@aol.com. Thanks for reading my nonsense!

Commercials That Make You Open A Savings Account

It is truly amazing what people buy. I will admit that I have blown my money on utter shit before but spending last evening watching TV with a particular attention to advertisements it is clear that there is a market for idiots. I must have stayed up until 3 am just listening to an elderly lady make small talk about a poodle cookie jar. I believe someone called in to buy it just to shut the old lady up and move on to the next dump in a jar. Somewhere in the United States there is a poodle cookie jar being bubble wrapped and shipped to some poor soul’s door mat.


Before I rail on internet dating I would like to make it clear that I don’t look down on it. I know it must be hard to be a professional and have the time to meet people of the opposite sex but the commercial for eHarmony really creeps me out. That old guy just looks like he is secretly getting off on people’s profiles. I actually heard that people have been rejected from this service too! How’s that possible? There is a 29 point compatibility questionnaire sheet! Watch the commercial to see. They have this guy LJ, who you might remember on the commercial say, “I don’t have to put on a false front.” Remember him? He sounds like an absolute moron. He must have put all C’s for his 29 point compatibility because somehow, someway, he found a normal looking chick. At least she looks normal. LJ may wake up to find his man hood cut off and made into a door-stop. I hope not LJ.

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This commercial cracks me up. It is an ad for, what I believe it is, the birth control Yasmine. I can’t believe I am blogging about birth control but this commercial was to painful to ignore. It is set at a hip, outdoor club with three late 20’s girls talking about their birth control methods. The snotty brunette takes center stage and give a 7 paragraph rant with arrows, x’s and o’s all about how wonderful Yasmine is. To top it off she boasts, “I didn’t go to medical school for nothing.” Lady, you went to medical school after you flunked acting school. Don’t say it was for nothing. Every time this commercial comes on I have to buy a new remote because I break the old one over my head in disgust.

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Billy Mays, the man without an indoor voice! I watch his infomercials and all I can think of is how this guy must be at dinner in a fine restaurant. It must go some like this:

Waiter: What will you have, sir?

Billy: KA BOOM! I’LL HAVE THE FLANK THTEAK for $19.95.

Waiter: Very good sir, please keep your voice down.

Billy: IF I ORDER NOW CAN YOU THROW IN A BAKE POTATO FOR NO CHARGE?

Waiter: Sir, could you please lower your voice. We have other patrons.

Billy: DID YOU KNOW BEETHS AND DOGS CAN THMELL FEAR?

Waiter: Sir, you’re going to have to leave.

Billy: BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

His poor wife must have a hearing complex. But they must have one hell of a clean bathroom!

I am absolutely positive that the only parents who buy their kids video games from from TV infomercials are the same ones who home school their kids. This proves my point further that even if they try and socialize their kids they can’t because anyone who comes over to play will be forced to play Math Frogger, Spelling Donkey Kong or wost yet, Bible Knock Out. I would like to believe this is a form of child abuse.

On topic of bad toys that people add to their credit card bills because of momentary stupidity while innocently watching TV, Blow Pens take art to a new level of wrong. Don’t add oral fixations to a creative output.

Halloween……really?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Rob Zombie. I liked him in White Zombie back in the nineties and as a painter when he redecorated the Headbangers Ball’s studio with B horror art. But now he has the artistic license and money to take on films as a visionary director. I saw House of 1000 Corpses and believe it or not I really liked it for what it was. He has a knack for reviving the old drive-in horror for it’s intended purpose. Now, however, he has taken the project of remaking the classic, Halloween. Please don’t put a bad name on this great movie. They shot the original in 21 days with a budget even I could afford and made an immortal mark on US cinema. Good luck Rob!

I hope the new Halloween starts out like this. I doubt it will but there is always hope. I remember when I saw this movie and much like Jaws, the beginning musical score really set the tone. When ever I hear it I actually smell pumpkin innards. It will be hard to follow what Clive Barker wrote by just messing around on his piano. Rob might be tempted to go quite a bit further.

What a classic introduction to a sequel! With the creepy “Mr. Sandman” song everyone is quickly brought up to speed on how Haddonfield, Illinois is still not done with their Halloween night. I saw Halloween II before the original so I was one of the many who appreciated it. Believe it or not, this was my first horror movie. When I saw that chick boiled in a rehab bath I knew my relationship with Micheal Myers would be special. He’s my pal.

Even the young Myers is a drastic change. One looks pretty scary and the other one looks like the drummer from Hanson. I truly got the creeps from the first Mike. His blank stares give an open ended question to how a little kid could be so sadistic. The surfer to the right is just trying too hard. Now that I think of it, I am pretty sure this kid flicked me off while I was in Star-buck’s. Fuck you little Hanson.

That’s why I am worried that Rob Zombie will put too much of a character behind the mask. The whole reason that Mike Myers was scary to begin with was that there was no reason. I heard that the new movie will delve deep into Micheal Myers psyche and give reason for his psycho behavior. I just want to leave it that he was that Boogieman. For once there has to be a bad guy that is just evil for no reason! Don’t let me identify with the killer! That’s not scary!

Well, good luck in remaking this timeless classic, Rob. Don’t fuck it up. Samhain is watching.

Getting Ready For Fall: Beer Review

Well, as most of you know I have recently left South Florida and now I can finally have the seasons back. It has been two years and I know I am wishing them too soon but I can’t help it. As August draws to a close, Fall has begun to creep in the retail, grocery and drug stores. This means only one thing. Drinking beer with a celebratory purpose! Tonight I have purchased the J.W. Dundee’s Beer Pack because J.W. is directly responsible for me being intoxicated many Halloweens in a row. I consider Honey Brown the poor man’s snooty beer that you can find at Kroger for $10 or less. For that, I love J.W.

There she is! The box of hopes, dreams, loss of virginity, and many nights roaming around fields, talking to myself at 4 in the morning, pissed that Balky Bartakomas never returned to his homeland of Meepose. This box made me what I am socially and now I can pay tribute to the cheap lager that separated me from the rednecks at the party.

Ah, look what we have to choose from! Four glorious beers of different taste and alcohol percentage. By the time one beer was downed the chance of the other three getting their fair shake was iffy at best. So tonight, now that I am 29 with a seasoned liver, the other three will get their time in the spot light.

The cell phone camera doesn’t do it justice but the fine print says “perfectly balanced.” True that, because that is the first thing I will say to a cop when asked to perform a sobriety test. “Officer, there is no way I can fail. I drank 9 perfectly balanced beers and if I falter, I am suing.” People don’t drink health drinks to be sick!

I actually have a normal looking hand but I can’t figure out the dimensions of the picture enough to care. “I am not deformed.” (That is for you Kneg) Pale Bock is the beer you drink at the Hayride Drink-Tank to show how festive you are. Unfortunately this beer can also screw you over because it is too heavy to mix well with Jell-O shots and if you drink this to look sophisticated, you may have your card pulled by yarfing on the girlfriend’s overalls while making out in the pumpkin patch. Not that I know.

This beer, Pale Ale, had to be tasted with a careful balance of Birthday cake ice cream. Sophisticated beer calls for sophisticated ice cream. I drank this while finishing my degree from University of Maryland and believe it or not, people respected my choice of beverage. They form opinions about foreign policy, politics, engineering projects and national policy but they are still impressed by the mere fact I did not drink Bud lite for $1.50 but choose to drink a $3.50 Pale Ale. Did that make me rich in personality or wealthy in appearance? Who knows, but that is the loudest voice of nonconformity and they judged me on what I drank.

Ah….the oldie but goody! This beer symbolizes the end of summer and the beginning of fall. This is the beer that I drank in graveyards at night and behind football stadiums after the varsity game. The best times of my life have been forever linked to this beverage. This beer symbolizes old friends reunited and new friends met. I think that is what the fall season is as a whole. You know what? I am going to pay tribute to Honey Brown and the J.W. pack tonight. I know it is August but what the fuck? What can I carve?

Why not? Jack-o-Lanterns where able to scare away evil spirits so why not peppers? I think I will make a tribute to my favorite Fall time beverage from J.W. Dundee the way I want to. I am going to make the most sincere Pep-O-Lantern (Kristiane) anyone has ever seen and try not to cut off my finger. I am carving under the influence!

It is not the greatest but it makes me happy. Shit, that is all that matters anyway. Thank you for the memories J.W. Dundee. I am a better man because of you and I know, here in August, to not let Autumn go by unnoticed. It will be hard to not notice with Matt’s X-Entertainment.com Halloween countdown anyway. We are lucky to be living right here, right now.

I am going to leave you with that. A pepper that can ward off evil spirits. Do you think I am drunk yet?

Mr. Furley, Where Did You Get Those Threads?

 

It is true that no one can support a neckerchief like Mr. Furley from the 70’s classic, Three’s Company. If I could only find a store that still sells his signature line I would make an earnest effort to resurrect¬† the style. From his wacky belt buckles to multicolored pants, he made a statement. Even if it was a statement of physical comedy.

Sweet Jesus, look at that! Can you imagine that there was a time when you put on a 100% polyester suit and for the finishing touch, stand in front of a mirror and tie on a neckerchief? I wonder who came up with that? I guess that is what happens when your collar is roughly the 4 ft x 4 ft and ties just would be too cumbersome. No, you would need to tie the necktie directly to the neck.

Grrrppleeebblleeeeshshhhpppss……….Huh? Wha? I’m sorry. I think I just had a mild seizure from the color combination Mr. Furley put together. There is something about pale blue, bright orange, and a crazy purple multicolored tie that sends me into spasms. The producers of TV Land should really warn people to have a bite stick at the ready when watching Three’s Company. See? I just broke my Tom Collins glass! Damn it Mr. Furley!

Ah….how could I stay mad at a guy who looks like that? Plaid vests are very disarming.

R.I.P. Don

Oh If They Could See Us Now

Do you ever wonder what people back in the 1950’s would think if they were able to get a glimpse of life today? I do. I do because that is where my mind goes when I am not being productive. I would imagine they would be a little disappointed that we are not flying to work in Jetson cars or living on Mars yet, but that goes with out saying. I am mainly curious what they would think about our everyday life. If I was to go back in time and take Jimmy Smith from his tree fort and bring him to 2007, what would he say?

“What did you do to your dog?”

That’s right Jimmy, we dress our pets in costumes. I don’t think man’s best friend was would be sporting a dress when Ol’ Yeller and Lassie was the ideal dog. Back then if you stepped out on your porch with the family dog in drag you may have an issue on your hands. Surely it would be the influence of Communism and kids would most certainly fall victim to the wrath of the Greasers.

“Do you want to play catch?”

No he doesn’t Jimmy. Or maybe I should say he can’t. He can’t because he is a level 40 Deathdealer Elf from the land of Delvasar. If that is confusing to you Jimmy that is understandable. I am too. But believe it or not, he is just as confused by what a sandlot is. Kids today will usually go outside for the following reasons: earthquake, burger runs, fire, the rare occasion for social interaction, or if there is a power outage. Today, what may look like the family television is really a gateway to friends, fortune, popularity and magic. Oh yeah, and none of it is real. Mind-fucked yet Jimmy?

“Holy Cow! Is that a space ship? Whose the girl that needs more sandwiches?”

Oh Jimmy, if only we all thought that way. Yes we go to space but for some reason that is not as important as the girl who does need a sandwich. It’s hard to explain but that girl and her lifestyle, that seems to be circling the drain, is all we hear about. I heard a rumor that the shuttle went up in orbit the other day but I’m not sure. Linsay, on the other hand, is doing fine and she was seen today getting a tan during rehab. What is rehab you ask?

“Whoa! Did we get invaded?”

No Jimmy, that is not an alien. Believe it or not, to avoid getting old or to make ourselves feel better about our looks we can cut our faces off, stretch it out and sew it back on tighter. People also inject a fat-like substance into the lips to make them puffy. Most of the people who do this are the rich that find out money can’t always make you feel better. Oh yeah, we can also take off our noses and trade them for new ones. Jimmy? Did you just get sick in your hat?

“Santa! This year I want a BB gun, a fire engine, Cowboys and Indian figures and…….why does Santa look mad?”

Well Jimmy, Santa is pissed because we can no longer say Christmas. It is Holiday. It seems too many people were offended by the term Merry Christmas so we replaced it with Happy Holiday. If you say Christmas your thumbs will be cut off and sewn onto you elbows. And Santa? This was an artists rendering of him a few years ago before he finally lost his mind over little kids not being allowed to have an imagination from network TV choosing to skip classic Christmas specials and saying Mom and Dad are really Santa. He started strangling kids in there sleep and SWAT had to take him down. Sorry Jimmy.

“Jesus! Look at the size of that bag of dicks!”

Oh yeah, we ruined baseball too. Sorry again.

Scenes That Keep The Closet Light On

It takes a lot for me to get the case of the creeps when it comes to horror movies. I think it is a combination of both the lack of creativity in recent horror movies and the fact that I read quite a lot of horror novels proving that my imagination is far more disturbing than what could be put on the silver screen. That doesn’t mean that there are not some scenes that to this day will make me seconds guess turning off all the lights before bed. I don’t know why I subject myself to these movies, knowing full well, any noise after 10pm would certainly be dead souls about to “doorbell ditch” my house. I love it though. Here are some of my most memorable scary moments and the way it changed my childhood sleeping habits.

The first on the list is the dead kid from the movie Salem’s Lot. When I saw this movie I was probably about ten and it was over at a friend’s house on a Sunday evening. It’s funny what you remember because I can’t even recall people’s name in my own family but I remember this. Well anyway, we started the movie around 2pm and by the time it was over it was close to 4. The sun was going down and I made my trek home for dinner with the disturbing realization that soon it would be dark and thoughts like the video above would haunt my imagination. I blame this movie for my dread when the sky turns orange at dusk and Monday hangs over my head. I also, from that day on, refuse to look out the widow at night. Just in case the un dead is flying around outside. I hate seeing that smile through the fog.

Ah, the Freeling’s family from the classic movie, Poltergeist. When I saw this, the one scary part that stuck out the most was how normal the family was. It’s not like they were into the occult or the daughter played with a Ouji board. They were content to be the average family that had inadvertently bought a house that was the vortex to the other side. Every non-special effect really scared me to the core. The fact that furniture moved by itself, laughing voices, that odd mumble conversation between Carolann and the TV all made it seem that normal people would probably react the same way. That is what was so scary to me and when I was younger, hockey masks certainly did not frighten me as much as a kitchen chair sliding across the floor.

As terrifying as it gets. Curiosity killed the cat on this one. I originally saw this scene from the documentary Hollywood Ghosts back in 1992. I was horrified to watch this priest have a casual conversation with that monster strapped to the bed but then to find out that girl was my age and that was based on a true story! It was almost too much to take for a kid that couldn’t sleep from the library scene in Ghostbusters. So a few years later I finally saw the whole thing and to my surprise, it was not the scariest of all the scenes. It is just the one that I still can’t get out of my mind. The Exorcist, what a brilliant film.

The made for TV movie, Stephen King’s IT, really was a campy movie at times but some scenes hit home runs. I love the fact she was in an abandoned house the whole time. I have a fear that one night I will sleepwalk and wake up in a cemetery or some other creepy place. I don’t know if this movie prompted this fear or it validated it. Either way, I got the serious willies. That and the fact Tim Curry is in the movie.

I will add more I am sure, but for now that’s it. So, do what I do. Turn on the Cartoon Network, keep the closet light on and try not to think of dead kids crawling on the bed. It’s hard to think about that stuff when Scrappy Do is pissing you off.

Alright, I have another. I don’t know, I might have some issues with windows and chairs because this clip from the movie The Amityville Horror features both. Maybe I should be in an apartment without windows and full of bean-bag chairs. I doubt floating bean-bag chairs would be too scary. This movie was on HBO back in the day when the intro was really cool. I was not really sure what I was in store for so I sat in front of the TV, slouching and Indian-style. Little did I know that in two hours, the walk from the basement to my room would be the most heart stopping journey I have ever had. You can also be sure no rocking-chairs were looked at on the way.

Zelda the sick sister from Stephen King’s movie, Pet Sematary, tapped into my deepest fears. The fact that there is a crazy monster living just feet away really is the stuff nightmares are made of. I saw this when I was in middle school and nothing from the movie was overly frightening. That is until the wife’s flashback to the dirty secret her jacked up parents kept hidden away. Zelda made me take more vitamins. Thanks Stephen. Bet you didn’t expect that.

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