My great pal, Brian from Review The World, shot me a message informing me that Taco Bell has a limited item featuring three burritos with varying level of heat. Now I haven’t been to a Taco Bell since I don’t know when but I have heard when it comes to spicy food, they actually keep the heat real. Also, I use the term “food” loosely. It’s probably healthier to eat a handful of Legos.
Called the Dare Devil, these are chipotle, habanero and the dreaded ghost pepper burritos and I knew I had to follow-up the ghost pepper fries with this. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) these have not made it to North Carolina. So, I had to rely on the lame-o limited time Sriracha taco to review on this rainy Saturday afternoon. I waited almost twenty minutes in the drive thru so I need to get something out of that adventure.
Imagine a regular taco with Sriracha sauce on it. There you go! Good night folks!
It’s actually a little more interesting than just that. I was on the fence with a taco and an asian spicy sauce because I’ve never gotten why sriracha is such a popular thing. Other than the witty Oatmeal cartoons, it’s always been a ‘meh’ condiment to me. But, surprisingly, it compliments a shitty taco pretty well. Maybe that was the secret to bring Sriracha around for me.
I’ll still keep an eye out for the mysterious ghost pepper Dare Devil Grillers or whatever they are called. They will definitely be reviewed and added to the FLTO section because I need to have gastro-disastro and remember it forever. There are more than a few benefits to having a blog about stupid things.
I need to at least get 300 words and now I almost have. Done!
I have been a huge fan of John’s site, Freddy In Space, for quite sometime and if you want to know anything horror or related to that genre, this is where you go. He’s a great writer and a good blog-buddy. So after you read this, please pop over and take a gander at an awesome site.
So, John always has great ideas when it comes to joint blog-ventures and this one is a topic that I just can’t pass up. Back in the mid-eighties a great movie introduced me to Universal monsters in the film, Monster Squad. I could go into the plot of the film but for this project we only need to look at their treehouse.
I think every kid had a dream of starting a secret club and building an awesome fort for meetings and sleep overs. John asked the question, what mandatory ten items would you have in your Monster Squad Treehouse? So here are mine.
The horror House Target Set
I am a huge sucker for vintage horror memorabilia. I don’t know if I would ever taken this out of the box if I owned it but as a kid I am sure this set would have slowly disappeared from poor marksmanship. But it is fun to have an initiation where you have to kill at least four monsters to join.
Lucio Fulci Movie Posters!
These posters and VHS box art used to terrify me as a child when we would rent movies at the local rental store but after around the age of nine, my fear turned to fascination. Pretty soon I was that kid from Salem’s Lot who had an entire room full of macabre items and for a bit my parents thought I was Satan’s minion. It would have been nice to have a club house where I could enjoy these pleasures only with fellow weirdos.
Duke Nukem: The Shining Edition
Of course my Monster Squad Treehouse would have power and with that power would come the ability to play scary video games. My absolute favorite right now is The Shining version of Duke Nukem. I don’t think any haunted hotel and axe murdering psychopaths would be a big deal with a shotgun. Groovy. I like to image my buddies playing this for hours and talking in their best Duke Nukem voice.
See? How can you not get into this? Sure “Ghosts & Goblins” is fun to play but when it comes to my club, only gratuitous sex and violence. Thanks Duke!
It’s a boys club. Sorry, no girls allowed.
Every club house should have a proper amount of nudie magazines and my Monster Squad Treehouse will have a double secret hiding space where our stash will be hidden. This is as good as any currency between like club houses. I still have a really shitty Freddy Krueger glove from such a trade. It went like this:
Me- “What will you take for Freddy’s glove?”
Kid- “Whadda ya got?”
Me- “I have a rookie Mark McGuire card in a case?”
Kid- “How about a nudie mag?”
Me-“Banana Boobs for a Freddy Glove? Deal!”
Oh we would need masks! I love these rubber and latex art. It would be a trip to read Famous Monster Magazines in these masks and eat our weight in Twizzlers. And after that we would sneak down and scare my buddy’s sister.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about masks but if I had a Monster Squad style Treehouse without a Frankenstein’s monster mask, I might as well call it a Rainbow Brite Festivity Club. Cause only Sally would join.
This is a must for all club members. It’s a test of courage for any ten-year old who has an eye for monsters, ghosts and creepy things. I remember when I first watched the whole thing as a kid and really hated watching the sun go down for fear of heading to bed. It’s a much better film to watch with your gang during a sleepover. And it’s fun to watch new members squirm during the famous needle in the neck scene.
Candy Candy Candy Candy
If I had a Monster Squad style treehouse Halloween candy would be available year round. Of course if this was back when I was ten, I probably would not have opted for candy corn since that’s more of a nostalgic treat for me today. I probably would have had quite a bit of Bonkers candy, instead. Remember those? Why the fuck did those disappear but we still have Peeps? This world confuses me at times.
Just looked up Bonkers and they are coming back for Halloween 2013! And the day just became brighter!
I don’t think Legos had a specific model back in the mid-eighties but if they did, the haunted mansion would be a mandatory decoration in the club. What a cool item to have for kids to piece together. There is no doubt that this would be in a million pieces after it gets put together but I think on a fun friday night in the club house, this would be a cool project.
Toben’s Spirit Guide from Ghostbusters
This is a real thing, right? Gosh I hope so because these would be definite for the treehouse. Imagine the hours of fun it would be to look up ancient spirits from the movie and cartoon like Samhain and the Sandman. Sheesh, even as an adult, the Sandman still is a bit creepy. Am I right?
And Finally…What Ever the Fuck This Thing Is
I saw this on weirdotoys.com and this would have been in a prominent spot in the Treehouse. New members would have to leave offering gifts at its feet. All would respect it and nonmembers would never be allowed to see it.
I will be honest, it’s disturbing to look at. Kinda reminds me of Victor Crowley from the movie Hatchet. I mean really, he’s wielding a hatchet while eerie music plays to his distorting face. Absolute perfection to a club that worships the strange and unusual. Because I, myself, am strange and unusual.
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.
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?