Camera

In an effort to make this blog as dumb as possible I bought a better, fancier and more expensive camera that will insure all videos going forward will be 1080 HD full 3D PP. I don’t know. But a new toy means fun for the blog and just in time for the 2012 holiday season. Turn off the brain and get ready for new vlogs and trips!

Oh, and I was testing the camera for the new mini studio I am building in my office for the Halloween-shoot and I pressed some button and this happened…

clip-2011-12-31-230000.mov

 

VeggieMacabre Revisits Savannah, GA

Sometimes you just have to get out-of-town and if there is a opportunity to mix a getaway with a business trip, I say do it. Fortunately for me my adventures have brought me back to an old haunt, so to speak. You may remember last year’s trip to Savannah when I took a look at some supposed haunted pubs that I knew of and managed to knock out some power lunges for the un-rested dead. This year was pretty much the same but it was a solo trip that included a bit more nightlife and a stay in a haunted room. Let’s recap my trip to one of the weirder places in these great fifty states!

I pulled into town late morning and wasted no time finding a parking deck because if you forget where you parked on the street and the meter lapses, expect a $100 ticket. This is a tourist city and they thrive on idiot dollars. The ticket clerk was nice enough to provide me with a map of the city, where to find college girls and drew boobs to show the places to most likely find them. All of this information was voluntarily provided. I just smiled and nodded. That was the first creepy event of the day.

There was still a few hours before my check-in time at the hotel so wasting no time, I headed back to the Moon River Brewing Company for an early lunch and hopefully a seasonal beer or two to make my Uncle Nat jealous. You may have remembered this place from last year.

This is their famous “Apparition Ale” and holy macaroni is it good! I get it almost every time I come here and this year is no different. It’s a bit hoppy but overall not offensive to any of the senses and most would agree, this beer has to be guzzled in a place renown for it’s haunted prowess. In fact, like a typical tourist with no sense of shame for asking, I questioned the bartender if anything spooky happened lately and she proceeded to rattle off at least ten events over the course of a couple of weeks that left her shook up enough to never go to the basement or upstairs office without someone else. One event involved something four feet tall in a top hat showing up behind people. If I saw something that is four feet tall in a top hat, I would punch it. I would punch it so hard. I don’t do short creepy things.

So after a couple glasses of courage and some really awesome crab cakes, I once again ventured back down to the basement where numerous people have not only seen but have supposedly been attacked by a…thing. Without company, I went alone to say hi and snap some pictures. Luckily for me I have an app on the phone for a timer and a stool so I was able to once again do this. Albeit a little quicker.

I am not really sure why this is becoming a Moon River tradition for me but when I am down in the basement where people have died and an evil presence dwells, I feel like the gift of physical fitness is the only thing I can offer. I didn’t get choked or possessed so perhaps it is appreciated. But most likely, if there is something we can’t explain in this cellar, they probably just feel bad for me.

Just before I said goodbye to the Moon River Brewing company I needed to make a pit stop at the restroom and was greeted by a four-year old pooping in the urinal. I can hold it. Off to River street!

Savannah is older that just about any English settled city in America and much of the structures and streets are just as they were almost three hundred years ago. To get from the Main street down to River Street much of the way down looks like this. Never mind the Exorcist stairs, try getting down these after a night of boozing at the club. I am almost positive that people have died on these but this town is so macabre, it probably went unnoticed.

Somehow I always end up back at the Pirate House. Even though we have a special history, I have to say that this place officially sucks. I chalk it up to a Disney restaurant on the outskirts of the park. It’s gimmicky, the staff (at least the ones who served me the last two visits) are rude, the food is laughably overpriced while it tastes like something pirates would eat, the historic atmosphere is plagued with campy pirate shit and most of all, the part that makes this place cool is completely covered up! You would never guess that a tunnel runs directly under you that led hundreds of unsuspecting travelers to their doom. Nope! But you can get the kids eye patches with their kid’s meals. I hope Black Beard hammer punches someone in the nose for what they did to this place. arrr…

After that disappointing trip to the Pirate House it was time to check in and boy was I looking forward to this, for this was no ordinary room. This room is said to be haunted and was investigated by numerous paranormal groups over the years and I just happened to get a last-minute reservation for…way too much. I’ll just say that. But no matter, this blog needs better material and I am willing to battle the forces of the dead to do so. See? I do care.

As I was checking it, the room checker-inner advised me to stop by the consioure desk for a brief history of the room and a guest waiver. I kid you not, I had to sign a waiver before going up to the room! Whether it was a gimmick or not, I will tell you I got a bit nervous signing a waiver to sleep alone in a hotel room. And that’s when I was told why they think the room is haunted and so many leave to either switch rooms or check-out totally. Here is the conversation. By the way, the conseour guy’s name is Scott. I am tired for misspelling consiourre. I think there is a ‘g’ in it.

Scott: “All we ask is that you are respectful to any of our guests that may be present, whether they are seen or unseen. There has never been anyone hurt though many have been frightened by occurrences like noises or things moving. If you decide to leave for reasons of this nature you will receive a full refund. Just sign here noting that I have explained this to you and you understand.”

Me: “Why do people think this room is haunted”

Scott: “Because it is. The cleaning staff will only clean the room with the door open and usually it is two people cleaning it.”

Me: “What happened in the room?”

Scott: “In 2006 a gentleman took his life in the room. People have reported incidences since.”

Me: “2006?!?!?

That immediately sucked all the excitement and wonder out of me. 2006? This is more of a tragedy than a hokey night stay in a place where some folklore was said to have taken place. Also keep in mind that there was no expression in Scott’s tone. He was friendly but very matter-of-fact. I kind of believed him.

Here it is. It’s a pretty small room that is far from special and very much over priced. I couldn’t tell if it was the waiver that I had just signed or Scott’s “serious” face but this room was deafeningly quiet. I don’t know if there is a trapped and tormented soul from beyond there but the area was so small, I couldn’t help but think that it could only be feet away.

It was oppressively sad and I am sure it was all in my head but you just can’t help but feel bad. I really wished I didn’t ask and carried on the idea that some civil war soldier still occasionally camped there. I turned on the TV, took a shower and changed clothes, all will eyes and ears open, maybe wanting to experience something but also hoping not. I needed to get out for a bit so I headed out. I left the TV on. Hopefully the ghosts like Everybody Loves Raymond as much as I do.

Back on the bustling streets of Savannah I felt a little better. I mean, I was taking pictures of a dog in sunglasses so obviously I was in a better place. I did, however, accidentally tip that guy a five dollar bill in the dog’s water dish by mistake. Oh well, it spends that same.

And this place, ladies and gentlemen, is where I spent the majority of my night. The Crypt Pub is a horror bar during the evening hours and some kind of vampire dance club after midnight. Luckily, I am a guy who is long gone by the time that transition happens. But until then, it was a blast with great people and interesting drinks.

The whole bar had those changing portraits that look innocent enough until they morph into some hideous beast. I love them. The walls are blood-red and everywhere you turn there are skeletons posed as patrons or bats swinging from the rafters. This is not a Halloween themed bar but rather a good taste of the strange and spooky Savannah. I can’t think of another city where this kind of bar would survive. And the drinks?

This is a “Frankenberry” and it is glorious. It does taste like Frankenberry cereal but that isn’t why I love it. I love it because I am still a twelve-year-old in a thirty-four year old’s body. It has dry ice and looks like something that the Munster’s would serve. Brilliant and I bought at least three…that I can remember. Look at it in action!

?action=view&current=2962D402-F0D8-4907-BF97-644E583E7017-5947-000003345C8CD32D.mp4

Everyone seemed to be in great spirits that night. No matter where I go I always seem to make a couple of friends. The couple next to me were doctors from Michigan for the same conference I was there for. Although it seemed a bit strange that cardiologists were in a macabre bar, I took it at face value that Savannah can cast a spell on even the most high in stature. We toasted our foggy drinks to health and fun. Then I watched more horror portraits.

The staff was a lot of fun, too. Shut up.

As the night wore on I decided to say my goodbyes and head out to the crazy bustling streets and try one more bar before going back to the infamous room. It was an English pub that I had visited before and I really wanted to catch the second half of the UGA game so I grabbed a seat at the bar and got into a great discussion with a really cool bartender over pumpkin ale. We all watched the win and pretty soon other people joined the bar including a bunch of frat-looking guys around my age. And wouldn’t you know it, one of them grew up in the same neighborhood my parents live at? What are the odds? The night was going great and I was having a great time until…

That scene actually happened to me. These gentlemen were cool, MARRIED, guys who tell their wives that it’s guys night out and in less than a second they went from high-five football gurus to people wanting to go to the bathroom to do…well…you can assume. I don’t know what’s more shocking; the 180 degree shift in demeanor or the candor in which they assumed I would be okay with that. Now don’t get me wrong, some of my closest friends are gay and I love them to death but they would never come on to me that way. For a brief second I could understand how chicks at a bar feel. Emasculated, I paid my tab and headed for the room. But not before stopping one more place when I was waved down by my bartender friends for a beer. That made me feel a little better.

Soon it was time to depart because I am an old man and 1:30am is like a young man’s 5am. I can’t believe I paid so much for a room that I dreaded all night to come back to. It was an ever presence in my mind and soon it was time to face what I asked for. I am glad for tipsiness because no matter how freaky something could get, nothing was keeping me up long with four bubbly rum drinks in my bloodstream.

Did anything happen that night? I don’t know. Sure there were times when I thought the facet was on or something moved but really, besides the ice machine dumping causing me to do practically the same, I can honestly say it was uneventful. Had this been a popular haunt with historic significance, I probably would have approached it differently and been disappointed that nothing happened. But this felt wrong. I felt like I was as guilty of exploiting this guy’s death as much as the hotel. For whatever reason, I hope he isn’t stuck there. It’s a pretty dull room and there is no AMC channel. Double farts.

So who knows if all these paranormal things are real? It seems that there are plenty of reality ghost hunting shows to say otherwise but it is kind of funny to think they all might be one big snipe hunt. Someday, I am sure we will find out. Until then, I’ll watch Poltergeist and think, “wouldn’t that be cool?”.

Here’s a Joe Bob Briggs breakdown:

Trip Totals

Beers                                               15

Bubbling Death Cocktails         4

Boobs                                               0

Friends                                            8

Unwanted Advances                   One Too Many

Beating Galaga                              1

Pirates                                             100

Cool Graves                                    1,000’s

Ghosts                                              ?

Box Awesome And Monster Soda. Soda.

I have no idea how to market retail products nor do I pretend to. I am, however, a gullible consumer so most of this article is a tip of the hat to the box designer(s) of World Market’s Monster Soda Pack. They got me and next time I will take the three seconds to look at the package before forking over thirteen clams for NORMAL soda. But at least I have a pretty sweet box to show for it.

I must have been in a fog of pre-Halloween glee because when I saw this variety pack there was no question whether this was coming home with me. Had I known this was just a fancy box with random everyday soda, I probably would have passed and bought  a dozen Halloween cards with fat cats posing in costumes while having Tootsie Roll indigestion.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice? I’m a duck.

Everything about this soda variety pack feels right from first glance. It is covered in 1978 Halloween goodness keeping every vintage art in tact and represented. An orange sky and witches make nights during the harvest so much richer. I have fond memories of 1983 Kmarts with just this tone of orange.

There is no question that these four sodas are about as Halloween-like as my Aunt Rose. (In her later years she thought Halloween involved fireworks and oranges) There is also not a question that these four brand sodas are the most common in the World Market selection so it leads one to believe that by disguising them in a Halloween box, they can recoup some overstock. But, if you think about it, isn’t that what Halloween is all about? They are just wearing a Halloween costume and I was tricked into buying a treat! I am an eternal optimist and a sucker for writing like an uncreative third grade home-school teacher.

Luckily for me most defeat can be soothed by liquor. So what that these sodas don’t have names like “Linda Blair Lemon/Lime” or “RedRum Rootbeer” and they are just everyday brands with questionable expiration dates? The box brought a bit of nostalgic happiness and I would not normally buy strawberry soda. Actually, I don’t think I have ever bought strawberry soda.

Okay, one more complaint. The handles to Box Awesome are not awesome. In fact they caused a scene in the parking lot but luckily for me the Earth rotates only so fast and the moon is only so close because any closer of faster, I would be the owner of a wet Box Awesome, filled with glass shards.

That was a gravity joke.

BONUS!

I just downloaded my most favorite free app for the iPhone and iPad. Zoomvision’s Night of the Living Dead app has me so happy I might just super lunge to the beat of “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt.

It’s the whole movie and it takes up virtually no space. How that works, you tell me. But it’s fun to sit in a waiting room or before a board meeting and watch Barber’s older brother taunt her before getting his head smashed by a zombie. Just a bit of horror to break up an otherwise dull day.

Nosferatu Beer…I Am Serious

Oh boy oh boy, was this video a pain in the ass to post. I am an unabashed amature when it comes to these vlogs even though this will be year three that I am doing this. You would think they would get better. I am working on that so stay tuned-getting help.

So, yeah…the good people at Great Lakes Brewing Company have a red ale beer that is mascot-ed by the 1920’s nightmare, Nosferatu. This says “HALLOWEEN” like I would say “FRANKS AND BEANS” because you can’t be more subtle. And, as you will see, beside the reddish tone, it has bite! *ba-doom tis* It is an absolutely perfect biting vampire beer.

 

Also, you will see a quick shout-out to Dan of 3-Dmonster.com and an awesome print I bought. These sites are great and I encourage you to check them out. And buy some stuff too! You always get bonus gifts!

Enjoy the video!

Frick

I am currently wrestling between iMovie and WordPress Video, neither of which will take my video that was shot a while ago. I am about to punch them in their computer faces. Especially since I have spent much cheddar insuring that enough space and editing software is made available. If I see another “HTTP ERROR” or  YouTube Time-out I…I will just lose my shit. So until a little later tonight, I will entertain you with three creepy movie moments for me. Hopefully YouTube will not deactivate the videos before the end of the Samhain season.

UGH! There are so many great scenes in the 1979’s The Brood, but this particular scene makes the hairs standup and pretty much fall out. I think it’s how the music dies out and not only the teacher but the children are completely like “what the fuckin’ heck?”. It’s a brilliant scene and even though it seems a stretch that Fisher Price hammers could kill a person, the little devils in snowsuits remain high on the creepy list.

Okay, so this isn’t in English. That’s not the point of this particular scene in the 1997 creeper, The Blair Witch Project. I challenge anyone to turn off the lights, turn up the volume and watch this part of the movie without admitting a slight discomfort. Little dead kids laughing and making guttural sounds in the woods, miles away from any help, is enough to rename Captain Badass to Private Peepants. I especially love the foggy camera lens and the feeling of damp cold as the victims awake to a nightmare. Amazing.

The Exorcist will always go down as the movie to end all movies in my little world. There are numerous scenes that make you cringe or look away but when it comes to a creepy scene that only recently was introduced through the help of computers, the spider crawl really spooked me. I am not usually one to “add-to” a classic movie (GEORGE LUCAS) but if it’s a scene that causes me to wince in fright, I love it.

So, there are the three creepy scenes that will tide you over until I choke WordPress or iMovie. Whoever’s fault this is. I’ll be right back.

Tales From The Darkside Got Me Grounded

This story is a testament to how much simpler life was back when I was a kid. I had almost completely forgotten about this story until recently when I was talking to Kristen and low and behold, it just popped in there! The brain never ceases to amaze me because this memory has been stored for over twenty years only to randomly fallout like a picture used as a bookmark falling from a Garfield comic. (Because we all have read these in the 80’s) It comes at a good time too because this blog was turning into rubbish with mindless beer reviews and beef jerky. That’s no way to go through life, son.

Saturday nights for a certain period of my life were a special time. For whatever reason, from 7:00 to let’s say 10 or 11:00, my parents hosted a few couples from church for a bible discussion party. Well, I assume that’s what it was though I can’t be sure because my evenings were far better, which you will find out soon. After their bible yap, everyone would mingle and share the desserts each couple brought. I was allowed downstairs for that. Until then I was confined to the parents room with the TV, books of sharks, and whatever else a young seven-year old needed to pass the time. But at 9:00 my attention was devoted to a very special program that sometimes proved to be regretful whether it was later on at night from fears of what lurks under the bed or….well…keep reading.

I didn’t have cable until high school so with five channels (not including PBS because that was like watching school) and four channels on the smaller rotating dial, the selection was limited. But on Saturday nights there was quite the programing on Atlanta 46! The most memorable, of course, was “Tales From the Darkside”. For those not familiar, get out. I kid! I kid! It was a thirty minute program that featured two stories of macabre and strange tales usually starring some middle of the road actor from the time. Not all the shows were great but to a seven-year old, each one was a masterpiece.

One fateful Saturday afternoon my Dad informed me that a couple would be bringing their kids to the bible party and I would have to share my Saturday night of B-rated TV. While I was a little disappointed because as an only child I am a spoiled little dick, I had no say in the matter and began looking for the bright side. I mean, it could be fun.

It wasn’t at all. I knew it the second they arrived as I watched them pull into the driveway. These kids were melvins who brought their own pillows. They brought their own pillows for Christ sake! I sighed and walked limp-armed back to the parents room across the hall, head hung low and waited to hear people walk up the stairs. But instead Mom called for me to greet the un-welcomed guests and walk them to my Saturday sanctuary where no parental guidance was required.

I must have look like a pill giving a limp handshake to…Whats-his-face (let’s call him Jimmy for lack of memory) and his little sister, Rebecca.

Rebecca would be a problem for me.

With their idiotic board games and pillows in hand, we trudged upstairs to ruin my night. I offered to leave them in my room to do their will upon my collection of GI Joe and Legos, but that only appealed to Jimmy; the one kid I thought wouldn’t mind a night of twisted tales of grown up gore. Rebecca was stuck to my side like a rock in tire tread. Looking back as an adult it was pretty cute but to a kid that waited all week to hear the intro to “Tales From The Darkside”, it was an un-welcomed advance and there was no way to give these home schooled kids the slip.

Throughout the evening I tried to be entertaining and cordial. Jimmy wasn’t too bad, partly because he had Castle Greyskull to play house with and could care less about the world around him. Rebecca, however, sat hip-to-hip with me on the floor, eyes fixed on the TV as we watched “Small Wonder” and I nervously counted down the program schedule until “Tales From The Darkside” aired. Only one more “feel-good” show to go!

Dad brought us popcorn and cokes and asked if I was being a good host to which I responded “yeahyeah” without breaking gaze from the TV. He left to rejoin the adults and I could hardly wait because now was the time I had waited for patiently and even though I had to share this moment with these two weirdos, it was happening.

The intro alone distracted Jimmy from battling the forces of Cobra as he joined his sister and me on the floor, soon to witness the macabre and scary tales this glorious show had to offer. And brother, this one was a doozy! It was the first episode and pilot for the show that George Romero himself wrote and produced. The episode was called “Trick or Treat” and had demons, witches, pirate zombies and Satan himself all wrapped into a half an hour. Let’s break it down, shall we?

After the magical introduction we begin the story with a typical Scrooge-like character, Mr. Haggles, played by Bernard Hughes (one of my all time favorite actors). He is having his books balanced by a couple of accountants and we begin to learn what a cheap miser he really is, charging one of them .04 cents for another cup of coffee. But we also learn he has a twisted side too as he scares the two accountants into a bowel evacuation by an animatronic…thing that he uses on children during his favorite “SEASON”, Halloween.

It’s Willy from Alf!!!

That’s right. Mr. Haggles says what I have always believe and that is Halloween is a season, not a day. Anyway, he goes on to explain how every year he tempts the children in the valley to find the IOU’s of their parents that he holds liens on, hidden somewhere in his house, and if they find them all debt is forgiven. But no one ever has because of the terrifying tricks he has set up around his home.

We see during the afternoon of Halloween the bind he has on the parents as they are so deep in debt to Mr. Haggles that they even have to buy costumes for their children on credit in his general store. He taunts them into sending their children to the Hell house with the chance to have their debts forgiven.

Much like Romero’s style, there is a deep cultural issue hidden behind a cheeky horror story. We see how desperate people in financial distress can be and in some cases, putting their children in harm’s way to get out of their situation. I’m not going as far as saying prostitution but…kind of?

Oh Jimmy, find the IOU’s and get those much need braces or don’t find them and get a beating. The odds aren’t good since Mr. Haggles has a house full of spooky sounds and animatronic ghoulish surprises in store. Jimmy comes close but just couldn’t take the torture of Mr. Haggle’s taunts.

As Jimmy runs out of the house his father picks him up in a nurturing way and walks home defeated. Mr. Haggles laughs at the terrified kid but there is a moment when he has his bubble burst when Mr. Muldoon isn’t angry but rather a caring father. You can almost hear Mr. Haggles sigh a “humbug”. Who is next?

Another potential victim rings his doorbell and from his Wizard of Oz type control room, he looks to see who it is. Another kid? A parent coming to whoop an old man’s ass? Not quite!

In every story when a greedy person meets their fate, there seems to always be this third-party who’s entire being is for punishing the sinner. By far, this is my favorite punishment. He looks into the peephole only to see one of the scariest witches as she cackles a “trick or treat”. He opens the door to shoo away this prankster only to come to the realization that this is a real witch. She flies through the house on her broom and magically finds the hidden IOU’s and blows them in his face. Frantically, Mr. Haggles jumps to catch them all completely overlooking that he HAS A FUCKING WITCH IN HIS DEN and runs through the house shouting “my money!”.

 

In each room he is met with these type of creatures, who are not animatronic, but real and all over his cash. He is in disbelief that a pirate-zombie is sitting on his check deposits and scurries to salvage the flying cash. Which leads him to….

 

 

Ah, Satan himself. The Devil reverses the taunting and repeats “you’re getting warmer” and Mr. Haggles crawls his way down a bright red corridor which is made of what appears to be bubble wrap. While the set design looks to be a mediocre haunted garage that can be found in any suburb on Halloween night, it is a little creepy. Mr. Haggles crawls his way, chasing his blowing cash, to what is perceived to be Hell. Good riddance.

But what about all the poor people who were in debt to Mr. Haggles?

 

 

Well, the witch gave it all to Billy. The End.

As we finished this tale of awesome, I came out of my “Tales From The Darkside” trance to the world around me. Only Jimmy was sitting next to me but where was Rebecca? Apparently during the Hell scene she ran from the room and down to the bible study in tears telling her parents that I forced her to watch ‘R’ rated devil shows. Before I could evaluate the situation I heard the familiar sound of my Mom’s fast paced stair climbing gape. There was nowhere to hide. Jimmy looked at me and said, “You’re in a lot of trouble”. Fuck you, Jimmy, you home-schooled melvin.

The credits were still rolling while Mom and her parents breached the door and she yanked me from the floor so fast there was a tiny pop from a sound barrier break. I was escorted to my room by the elbow and Jimmy was taken downstairs to join his traumatized sister and would be given cookies and cake until their parents decided to leave. I cursed them all from my bed having daydreams much like Ralphy from The Christmas Story, thinking how sorry they would be if I was blind or have an affliction that required sympathy. But I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

By the next week when bible study came around, the melvins did not join me. I was thankful for this but my Saturday nights had to be spent without TV. But was it worth it?

Yes it was.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: