Monday, August 29, 2011


Where does one find a seahorse that big? 

This is a point that's always creased me. For some reason I can suspend disbelief when it comes to a guy talking and breathing underwater and telepathically communicating with starfish, but I've never accepted the idea of a 9 foot seahorse. A 9 foot seahorse named Storm (Junior's was named Imp, FYI). Why a seahorse? Why not something cool like a Great White, or practical like a Hammerhead? We never heard mention of other mega-seahorse, no roving schools of hippocampus gigantus. 

Maybe my ire stems from my utter and total fear of being in the water with wildlife the same size as me or bigger. It doesn't matter if it is a fish that is undeniably harmless, has a bushy bunny tail and blows rainbow kisses, if I can't pick it up with one hand its to be treated as a clear and present danger. 

There was a legend of a monster carp in the creek my friend Theodore and I used to fish in before school. Several times a week and every weekend we'd meet at a quarter to six a.m. for an hour or so of fishing. Just two 11 year old boys chomping on 59 cent Century Sam cigars, lightheartedly cajoling each other about being attacked by "Ol' Samson", as this fresh water behemoth was known by the locals. 

Until the chill Saturday morning he struck and legend became reality. 

While crossing the creek to get to the aptly named Bug Island, waist deep in brackish crick water, something bumped me. Not brushed. Bumped, nearly knocking me over. The sun was just cresting the treetops, long shadows eerily playing across the still black water, Ted was on the other side of the creek, out of earshot and opportunity of assclownery. I was alone. My fear of water beasts began creating probabilities of Canadian fresh water gators and mutated Leech Men. 

It might have been my urine that caused Samson to surface, it might just have been his whimsy to make his presence known, I'll never know, but when Ol' Samson broke the stillness of that black creek less than 3 feet in front of me I knew both fear and awe. 

A carp is nothing more than an overgrown goldfish, but this...thing...was something else. Something old, something sentient, something not to be trifled with. My cheap cigar clamped firmly between clenched teeth I continued to quietly sully my hand-me-down Levi's orange tabs. I marveled at its nearly 4 and a half foot long body, the rising sun glinting off its ruddy brown scales, realizing I wasn't much bigger than it, suddenly feeling somewhat less signifigant. And it just sat there on the surface, completely still other than its slowly undulating tail, staring. At me. Its cold, wet, black eyes were like two stagnant pools of hatred, probing my soul and finding it wanting. Eyes that calmly told me everything I needed to know. "Booooooy. This is my domain boy. You are not welcome here. Get. Out. Boy". I don't remember telling my legs to move but move they did, and out I got, with one last look over my shoulder to see the leviathan slowly, almost leisurely, descending back into the murky depths from whence it came.

Or maybe it just creases me that Aquaman named his pet walrus Tusky. 

Tusky? Really?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Nuthin' says nuclear devastation like Crispy Corn Puffs.

Just months after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, effectively destroying the city and directly killing an estimated 80,000 people, Kix cereal offered an Atomic Bomb Ring in exchange for a box top and 15 cents.

Look it up.

"Little Boy" tested, mother approved.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I recently wore this shirt to my local. The bar is a far cry from Mos Eisley, but you are not going to find anything served with a side of citrus either. It reminds me of the inside of a lung: it is dark and nicotine stained, and on a Saturday night it could be described as "phlegmy", but you know, in the good way. Not unlike the blind date my mother set up for me in twelfth grade with the niece of the deli-counter girls friends neighbor: it has "a great personality and character", and after a few beers I had a good time, but it ain't much to look at. 

As my 2 cohorts, the Intrepid Shapiro and Fearless O'Toole, split up in search of suitable seating and suitably intoxicated Little People respectively (it's his thing, I don't judge), I ordered us a round of beers from the weathered and cragged barmaid tending the only just slightly less weathered and cragged bar. As I patiently awaited the foamy nectar of the gods to be slowly poured from the tap by the bitter yet buxom single mother of 2, this rumpled heap slouched in the corner, with one eye closed and the other powerfully squinted in my direction, slurred "Robin is a dick". 

What was confusing was he said this like he was expecting me to debate this point. This is a widely regarded given, Robin is indeed a dick. "Yes, yes he is. You're quite right" I smiled and politely replied, ensuring I didn't make eye-contact. I read somewhere once that maintaining direct eye contact with a feral beast is considered an act of aggression. "What did you call me?" Popeye quietly spat through gritted yellowing teeth. I stood my ground. This was done less out of stalwart manly manliness and more so due to the fact that my beer had yet to arrive in my sweaty slightly trembling hand. In an unwise attempt to establish dominance I turned to face the drunken puddle. And that's when this abhorration of nature unfurled himself. My neck craned as I followed his ascent to his full 6'4" and he clenched his fists. Jesus, even his ragged fingernails had muscles! 

Taking in his calloused knuckles, sloping brow, and absence of a neck I quickly determined that this man suffered from a decided imbalance of hormone. I was certain the address on his NRA card simply declared "Up A Tree". 

I quickly surveyed my situation, summing up this drunken monolith of a man and noticing for the first time that this particular model came with 3 interchangeable toadies skulking in his ginormous shadow. "What did you call me, pussy?" he stupidly asked again. I scanned for backup, but the Intrepid Shapiro and Fearless O'Toole were nowhere to be seen. Of course. Discretion being the better part of valor I thought maybe to give him the benefit of the doubt: it was loud, he was drunk, maybe he didn't hear me properly. I'm an affable fellow, I don't consciously offend big men like this. I opened my cotton mouth, intending to quell the situation with an offer to buy the giant and his motley crew a round of fermented hops and barley, but Kong cut me off, shoving a hairy sausage-link like digit in my face, "Robin is a dick and so are you and Batfag". Bat...Fag? Was this neandrathal actually trying to antagonize me by hurling slings and arrows about fictional comicbook characters? Batfag? BATFAG!  Much louder and much much slower I succinctly clarified what I was trying to say originally: "You. Are. A. Huge. Douchebag". I may be affable but I tend to consistently err on the side of umsmart.

The madness and mayhem that ensued defies description. Well at least by me as I was somewhat preoccupied. Shapiro and O'Toole seemed to be engaging in a running commentary as they casually supped upon the beer that I had procured for us, starting up the chant "Two men enter, one man leaves!"

Afterwards, as they dusted me off...actually mopped me up would be more accurate...they defended their inaction thusly: 1) Shapiro- someone had to guard the beer, and 2)O'Toole- what did I think was going to happen when I decided to sport a bright orange shirt prominently featuring Robin in mid-pirouette.

After much discourse and deliberation, and many fine ales, I came to the conclusion that both were very valid and acceptable points.

Robin actually is a Dick.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Shit Bob, I think I left the cover off the exhaust port again. 
And you wanna know another thing? I'm pretty frickin' sure those WERE the droids we were looking for.

Friday, August 5, 2011


There are certain movies that have an innate re-watchability, whether you stumble across them at 2:00 A.M on late night cable, or make the conscious choice to own them and compulsively watch them over and over and over again, obsessively reciting the lines, possibly while wearing a homemade costume, and serendipitously discovering something new with each viewing. I fall into the latter category. Well actually I fall into both categories. My guilty pleasures are the usual geek suspects: The Army of Darkness, A Christmas Story, Highlander, Planet of the Apes (I don't feel the need to specify "The Original"), Bladerunner, and The motherfucking Wrath of motherfucking Khan! 

There is only one movie that surpasses the ridiculous amount of times I have watched Khaaaaan! And that my friends is 1982's Conan the Barbarian..."Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of....". Man, I can recite that flick line for line. Of course, that's because I've seen it more than 75 times. Seven. Five. In your face Thulsa Doom and your wretched Riddle of Steel!

Perfect casting, kick ass score, and gratuitous amounts of nudity and violence. What more could a prepubescent boy not in control of his hormones ask for? I'll tell you what: To see it in the theater on the Big Screen.
It was rated R. I was determined. I was also 11. 

Having kept a nickel from the change every time I purchased my mother's cigarettes (Benson and Hedges Menthol 100s please)for her at the corner store (needing only $4 and a note signed by, uh, anyone), I had saved up enough to purchase a one-way ticket to Cimmeria. I stood on tip toes, wearing sunglasses and deepening my voice to something between Mickey Mouse and a Eunuch on helium, and I tried nonchalantly to buy a ticket from the Box Office (I may have actually asked for 2 tickets to sweeten the pot). The denial was bland, curt, dismissive. Hearing the snickers behind me from the pricks who were probably going to see Conan for the third time I mumbled "Just kidding" and hurriedly bought a ticket for The Last Unicorn, or maybe it was The Secret of NIMH. 

And then promptly snuck into Conan. 

I felt the same trepidation that Conan must have felt when he stole the priest's robes to infiltrate the Cult of Set. Like a chameleon I blended into my surroundings, pushing myself as low as I could into the E-Coli infested purple seat, not moving not breathing for fear of drawing undo attention to my underaged self. Oh god its gonna start in 2 minutes then I'm home free. Suddenly a blazing light like the setting Aquilonian sun blinded me. The usher was subtle and understanding, "Kid. Out. Now". I looked around, feigning both sympathy and disgust for the poor kid that couldn't possibly be me. 

"Don't make me ask twice. Move it". Pointing at myself in surprise, I pulled out my ticket. I put on quite the show, checking the ticket twice, squinting, slapping my forehead in mock disbelief, and chuckling at the obvious but understandable error I had made "I'm in the wrong theater" this pantomime clearly said to my rapt audience. Slapping the usher on the back like we were old war buddies I escorted him out so he could get back to his ushing. 

As soon as we hit the lobby I launched into my plea, quickly explaining all he needed to know to do The Right Thing. I passionately advised him that I'd read ALL the Robert E Howard books chronicling the adventures of the lone barbarian of the Hyborian Age, and had all the comics and magazines, and had been waiting FOREVER to see this film, and nobody, and I mean NOBODY would have to know. Except for the glaring absence of anything he should give a shit about, it was a solid argument. I was expecting something along the lines of "What daring! What outrageousness! What insolence! What arrogance!... I salute you!". He didn't even bother to look at me as he continued to expertly ush and said "Rules is rules. Its rated R for a reason kid. Lots of blood and nudity. It's awesome". 

I put a hand on his arm to stop him, and looked up at his face, noticing for the first time the crimson pimple on the end of his nose just ripe for popping, and reading his plastic name tag I simply said "Lawrence. Please." My baby blues silently imploring, I was projecting my desperation, psychically commanding him to empathize with my plight. He had to be picking up what I was laying down. Without missing a beat he replied...and this is burned into the recesses of my fractured mind... "Life sucks. No ticky, no titty. Annie is playing in cinema 6. Fag".

And that was that, by Crom.

Albert Finney owned as Daddy Warbucks.