Archive for October, 2012

TEN MORE BAD THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN

October 31, 2012

Like I said: I love Halloween!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in spite of what you may have heard in popular song). But like soap on your windows and TP in your yard, there are always things that can dampen your holiday spirits.  Kinda like a rotten apple lurking amongst the Romes in your bobbing tub, here are TEN MORE BAD THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN.

Candy Corn.  I come not to bury candy corn but to praise it. Why people want to turn this delicious confection into the fruit cake of All Hallow’s Eve is beyond me.  There’s tons of worse candy out there – Now And Laters, Necco Wafers, Nik-L-Nips and black licorice – to hate on.  Stop with the candy corn defamation.

Frankenberry and Count Chocula. These cereals rule. Yet they are only available during the Halloween season.  Why, General Mills?  Why?  These breakfast monster cereals should be available ALL YEAR ROUND!!!

Homemade Costumes.  Now, as a bloke who’s cobbled together pretty passable costumes for the likes of Flaming Carrot, Ash from Pokémon (complete with Pikachu), Space Ghost and the Legion of Super-Heroes’ Mon-El from materials he found or bought himself, this may seem like an odd castigation. What’s wrong with homemade costumes? Not a damn thing if you did it yourself. But when you’re a kid and mom wants to save a few bucks and decides to make you a Chewbacca costume out of an old mohair coat and some clippings off the family dog, well, you might as well get her to apply the “Kick Me” sign directly to your backside because your preteen ass is getting a whipping from every other kid whose parents decided that ten bucks for a K-Mart Darth Vader costume was a small price to pay for their precious snowflake’s Halloween happiness. I mean, check out this Target ad. 

This kid is NOT happy.  His mother thinks she’s a freakin’ Martha Stewart and is oblivious to her young’un’s shame and humiliation.  And, hey, check the store-bought number.  Sweet!  That thing comes in MY size and I’m Tony bloody Stark’s alter ego come October 31.

Moving Trick or Treating. You can have your blasted Halloween party whenever you like.  You can dress up and show off your Halloween spirit on any blasted day of the week that suits you.  But for the luvva Pete, trick or treating must be – should be – can only be – on October 31!  You move it from Sunday to Saturday and you’re a tool.  No matter what reason you give.  Kids should be able to Trick or Treat on Halloween.

Intricately-Carved Jack-O-Lanterns.  Sure they look neat, but download all the patterns your PC can handle; you will never be able to make it look like it does on TV or in the picture on the kit.  Better stick with triangle eyes and a goofy, snaggletoothed grin.

The Weather.  Let’s be honest. The last day of October is a crapshoot as far as weather goes.  It often rains and it can be chilly.  This doesn’t play much havoc with adult parties but if you’re a kid your way awesome He-Man costume just doesn’t have the same flair with that heavy coat your mom makes you wear.

The Psychos.  Whether the Halloween madmen and criminals exist or not is moot.  Whether anyone ever actually received an apple with a razor blade in it or a popcorn ball laced in LSD doesn’t matter.  The stories are there and they have persisted since that first kid rang that first bell with an alliterative demand for sweets.  And now Trick or Treating is a mere sanitized shell of the grand adventure it once was.  Back in my day, children would swarm the neighborhoods in hordes and mass bands of masked kinder would bang on any door with a jack-o-lantern.  Now-a-days, neighbors must be vetted or Trick or Treating limited to family members only or secure indoor festivals.  I mean, come on!  Halloween’s supposed to be the one day out of the whole damn year that you can and are encouraged to take candy from strangers (thus being the exception that proves the rule).

X-raying the Candy.  Once you’ve given in to the fear, what’s the next logical step?  Taking all that scrumptious unopened candy to the local general hospitale where good-intentioned medicos will zap it with enough electromagnetic radiation to sterilize a rhesus monkey in order to verify its safety.  So, congratulations.  You’ve now replaced the infinitesimal chance of biting into a caramel Red delicious with a Wilkinson Sword inside it with the less remote possibility of getting jaw cancer thanks to the bucket of irradiated candy you’ve just made.

Christmas Decorations. They are already on sale at stores and displayed prominently often right beside the Halloween stuff.  Now I’ve given up fighting the earlier and earlier onset of Xmas in retail – I swear I saw tinsel and ornaments next to the Independence Day supplies this year – but there is just something unpleasant and unsettling about Halloween and Christmas decorations right next to each other in your neighborhood box store.  And bloody hell, NO, it’s nothing to do with holy and/or unholy and how some religious freaks perceive a holiday that long ago became secular vs. a holiday that was never about Satan worship in the first place.  For me, I think it’s what the holidays convey. Halloween is all about fantasy and wish fulfillment … dressing up, candy, being someone you’re not.  And Xmas is all about stress and being uncomfortable… scheduling nightmares, awkward office parties and being crammed in with relatives you’d rather forget.  Stores, keep your Halloween supplies front and center until November 1. Then you can switch ‘em out with Christmas.  Meantime, keep them separate, well apart, ‘cuz ne’er the twain shall meet.

Wiccans.  Okay, yeah, we get it. Nobody likes to be stereotyped.  But you getting all up in arms and indignant because little girls want to dress up as something with more roots in the Wicked Witch of the West than your brand of New Age, Gaia-worshippin’ Earth Love is as ridiculous as the notion that you can be divined by drowning.

Sparky MacMillan is 18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!

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THE 13 WORST THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN

October 30, 2012

Don’t get me wrong. I love Halloween! The candy, the costumes… well, hey, that’s pretty much enough to make a party in my book.  But like any party, all it takes is one gropey uncle or one spiked punch bowl to make it a miserable experience.  So that’s why I think it’s important to take note of what ruins a good Halloween.  Like the Special Dark lurking in a bag of Hershey’s miniatures, here are the 13 WORST THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN.

TV episodes where all the people have costumes far cooler and more expensive than real folks would ever have.  It’s a cool sitcom contrivance: the high school, college or office Halloween party.  It’s topical and can get you a decent promotional push.  But almost every time, the attendees are depicted wearing get-ups that would make even the late Stan Winston envious.  Theatrical make-up, tailor-made costumes.  In real life, it takes lots of time and money to make a really good Halloween costume.  And I’m not talking about taping some candy wrappers and a soda cup to your shirt and going as a movie theatre floor.  Something really cool can cost you big bucks or a good weekend or two if you’re making it yourself.  And yet every Saved By The Bell and 90210 has these kids running around dressed up like they’ve spent eight hours in the make-up trailer preparing to be an extra in Lord of the Rings.

The older trick or treaters.  Me, I stopped trick or treating in earnest when I was 11.  When I was 12, I got dragged along by some friends, even though I insisted we were too old (and I felt way guilty about it).  Still, every year I was in junior high and high school, after all the little kids had come to our door, the older kids would come by – kids my age – and beg for candy.  Most of them had very little in the way of costume, too.  Not saying they were naked, just wearing their every day street clothes and maybe and eye patch or a funny nose they’d hope would pass as a costume.  It was stupid, it was humiliating and these jokers weren’t fooling anyone.  They were past it.

The wanton vandalism. Eggs. TP.  Soaping the windows.  Destroying jack-o-lanterns.  Anyone who’s ever been a victim knows it stinks.  And it’s not as though someone took “trick or treat” as gospel and decided to get even with some old crone who gave them a popcorn ball.  No, they just decided to be punks and have a little fun.  Fun?  Seriously, what are you?  15?  And, if you are 15, grow the hell up.

Spiders.  I  know the decorations and themes are supposed to be scary but enough with the spiders.  I know that no one would have a real bloody skull floating in the punch bowl, but that spider on the table could be real and there isn’t enough candy in the world to make me want to brave a tarantula on the lazy Susan next to the ghost cupcakes.

The lights-outers. I’m not talking about the folks who have their lights out.  Nope, these good people are using the universal symbol of “no trick or treating please” – the unlit porch light.  I’m talking about the goofballs who turn off their porch light out as you walk up to the door!  Happened to me more than once when I was a kid.  Never forgot it and I’ll never understand it.

Bad Dracula impressions.  What is it about a person that makes them want to do an impression badly?  “I vant to suck your blood!”  Guaranteed the idiots who take great joy in doing this have never seen the original 1931 Bela Lugosi film.

Waiting for an adult.  That agonizing time between when you get home and get your costume on and the adult who’s taking you trick or treating gets home and gets ready.  And god help them if darkness falls and you haven’t set out on your trek yet.  Once, when I was about 7, I not only had to wait for my mother to get home but I then had to wait for her stupid boyfriend to come over and take me out trick or treating.  I’m sure the phrase, “But all the good candy will be gone!” was exasperatingly uttered more than once that night.

The Monster Mash. A bad song?  No way. It was cool. The first time you heard it when you were 8.  But ten million plays later, it loses its charm and novelty and makes you want to stab Bobby “Boris” Pickett in the chest with a wooden stake, an act made only slightly less satisfying by the fact that he died in 2007.

“And what are you supposed to be?”  People who don’t get your costume suck.  I’m not talking about people who can’t understand why the sorority girls all dress in green, forcing them to say with sheer glee as if they were the first to ever think of it, “We’re Gang-Green!”  Or those who can’t grasp the obscure TV, film or comic book references that are so esoteric they barely qualify as pop culture.  No, those costumes aren’t meant to be “gotten” by most and that’s why people do it.  No, I’m talking about when you’re six and you go trick or treating and you get to that door with the over-eager dowager who’s so pleased to be getting visitors and she says, “And what are you supposed to be?”  “Lady, I’m six, my mom bought the costume at Woolworth’s.  I’ve got a tail, I’m dressed in fur and I’ve got a cat mask on.  I’m a freakin’ cat!  My brother, the one with the white sheet and the two eye holes, he’s a ghost. And, right now, we’re both this close to knocking your fat arse down and taking all your candy and running.”

Local haunted houses.  Not saying they can’t be fun, but when the Jaycees decide to raise a little money and turn a closed-down Applebee’s into a haunted house for the Halloween season, it’s never really that scary.  It’s guys wrapped in toilet paper and Jell-o brain molds and people jumping out from behind doors.  Dude, I watched The Exorcist when I was 12, you wanna scare me, you better rip someone’s still-beating heart out of their chest with your fist and eat it.  All this is made more disappointing because I’ve seen it done right.  When I was a kid, a group of theatre students every year would rent some old spooky house and do it up and call it Scream In The Dark.  They’d get made up in amazing costumes and make-up and scare the roof off the sucker!  I went every year from when I was 10 to 17 and I was never disappointed. One year, I took a bunch of neighborhoods kids with me, all a few years younger than I was, and they were scared $#!&less!  One had to be led out crying by one of the staff because he couldn’t make it all the way through.  Awesome.

People who think it’s all about Satan.  First, do some research and study history.  It’s got to do with the Celts and the harvest and a bunch of other crap.  If you think dressing up as Gopher from the Love Boat is evil, you’ve got bigger issues than condemning a holiday that is sod all about the devil and more about getting all the candy you can carry.  And yet every year these righteous holes have their Hell Houses and trunk or treating to keep the good kids away from the bad kids who want to play chicken with the demons by dressing up and going door to door.

The lame stuff.  Toothbrushes.  Bible verses.  Candy apples.  And don’t even get me started on having to go to the hospital to X-ray your candy.

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Donny & Marie.  Florence Henderson.  Betty White.  Billy Barty.  Pinky Tuscadero.  Witchiepoo from H. R. Pufnstuf.  KISS.  And the funniest confirmed bachelor the 70s had to offer.  Now, this is true evil!

               Sparky MacMillan will rise out of the pumpkin patch. He flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.

Trick Cur Treat

October 29, 2012

I’ve seen a lot of people dressing their dogs up in costumes lately.  A Halloween thing, don’tcha know.  Usually these nunderchucks wait until Christmas to adorn their cards with snaps of Fido wearing antlers and Ruff in a Santa suit, but now it seems hip to stress out puppy with a pumpkin parka or a skeleton hoodie. 

Yeah, alright.  Go ahead.  Keep it up.  Embarrass your canine.  Make a mug of your mutt.  Push poochie past the breaking point. 

You may think it’s cute and all to have man’s best friend decked out in festive, seasonal garb but we’ll see who’s laughing when Cujo’s treating your jugular like a Milkbone.

“I will take my humiliation out of your flesh in bloody chunks.”

Whither Weather?

October 28, 2012

Oh my god! Run for your lives! It’s a bigoted hideous mockery of life! Fear this Dixiecrat monstrosity that will tear you apart with its backward politics! Tremble at its aged ignorance and racist hypocrisy sure to strike fear in the hearts and minds of an educated electorate! Reel with – hmmm? The what? Oh, Franken-storm? I thought it was Franken-Strom. Which, as you can imagine would be pretty nasty. I mean, a 100-year-old Senator back from the dead as a grotesque shambling hulk. But, no. Frankenstorm. Frankenstorm not Frankenstrom. 

Still bad ‘though.

Too Cleese For Comfort

October 27, 2012

Today is John Cleese’s birthday. Do you know how old he is? He’s 206! And while this celebrated Python can easily be immortalized in the Comedy Hall of Fame (if indeed such an entity existed) for a whole slew of reasons (dead parrot & silly walk sketches, A Fish Called Wanda and Fawlty Towers undoubtedly on the short list) I honor him with one of my personal favorites – The Cheese Shoppe. Bon appetit!

WALK, DON’T RUN

October 25, 2012

The Presidential election is just days away and we’re being assailed by bids and polls and announcements from candidates and pundits and the like from all quarters.  But what about me, you ask?

Let me make this clear: I have no political ambitions whatsoever. If asked, I will not run. If chosen, I will not serve.

And yet: could I? Would I? Is there even a possibility? Not in this life. Too many things prevent me, too many reasons not to vote for me.  And so. Here it is. A list of the many reasons I cannot, could not, may not, would not and shall not ever – EVER! – be President of the United States.

I was once the Coordinator of the Carolina Comic Book Club at UNC

The fact that I own no suits

My middle name is “Desiree”

I taught Honey Boo Boo everything she knows

Allergies to cumin

I lie like a dog

I think Publisher’s Clearing House is a conspiracy and won’t rest until their doors are closed and their board is deposed

Willie Nelson and I did our taxes together once

I make my women walk two paces behind me

Abs of steel; brains of tartar sauce

My success in Branson has made the Oak Ridge Boys my eternal enemies

I have gone on record as saying that I will never appear on TV until “Small Wonder” is brought back

The “Flat Earth Society” has me on their speed dial

I was a teenage werewolf

I once played hide and go seek with Kool from Kool & the Gang

That “Kiss Me, Hillary” tattoo on my arse

I live for “the perfect wave”

I am a vegetarian

Were I to place my hand upon a Bible, I might just burst into flames

My addiction to cough medicine

Pink is my best color

Restraining orders by both Gilmore Girls

I know the lyrics to all of Ace of Base’s songs and sing them whenever I am in front of reporters

I don’t know the definition of the word “quit.” I honestly don’t know!

My membership in the Cutey Bunny fan club

A hot dog makes me loose control

I owe Tracy Morgan money

I was born on the Isle of Man and am not legally an American citizen

July 16th, 1995 (no specifics)

I never miss an episode of “The Chew”

My blood was replaced with a mixture of maple syrup and Tang in 1988

I think the three branches of government are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic

Those photos of me and Bill Nye the Science Guy with those sorority girls

I wouldn’t kiss a baby if my lips were on fire and the baby was made of water

Of course, the main reason I could never be President – my integrity and principles.

Sigh.  No politics for me.  Oh well.  There’s always morning radio, I guess.

Pumpkingsize

October 24, 2012

Can we just STOP IT with the giant pumpkins?

Every autumn, these yokels make the rounds at fall festivals and state and county fairs, showing off their mega-produce.  They gush over the care and tending of their large charges.  Pumpkins the size of small cars.  1200 pounds! 1500 pounds! 1800 pounds!  ENOUGH!

You can’t eat them or carve them, I don’t think.  As far as I know, they exist solely as monuments to a gardener’s vanity, perhaps even a Freudian show of overcompensation.  And they are completely pissing me off!  So stop it!  Just bloody stop it!

You should be ashamed.  Even Linus Van Pelt would be sickened by this gross display of excess.  (Or perversely turned on.  Which is worse.)

FIVE RANDOM FIVE

October 22, 2012

Five Forgotten SPAM Precursors

BORK – Pork shoulder and beef

MUCK – Chicken and mutton

DAM – Duck mixed with ham

FEEF – Fish and beef

PENISON – Venison with pork

 

Five Cartoon Crushes

Daphne from Scooby Doo

Jessica Rabbit

Sailor Moon

She-Ra, Princess of Power

Josie and the Pussycats

 

Five Danica Patrick Wreck Excuses

“I swerved to avoid a deer.”

“The traffic was really, really horrible.”

“Daydreaming about my new sexy GoDaddy.com commercial.”

“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear… who knew?”

“Women drivers. Am I right, guys?”

 

Five Signs Sesame Street Characters Hate You

Bert & Ernie have unfriended you on Facebook

Every morning your lawn is full of trash courtesy of a certain Grouch

Grover the waiter always spits in your soup

Cookie Monster makes throat slashing motions whenever he sees you

The tell-tale yellow feather in the bird poop on your car

 

Five Unfortunate Prom Themes

A Stairway to Heaving

A Night to Dismember

Enchantment Under the Stairs

Save the Last Dance for MeeMaw

Cupid’s Balls

Sparky MacMillan has binders full of women.

When Is October 19th? When ISN’T October 19th!

October 21, 2012

Community fans rejoice! October 19th will be here sooner than you think.

Indig-nation

October 19, 2012

Oh gosh.  Oh golly.  Iran is upset.  At a movie.  Boo freakin’ hoo!

Yes, Iran is having a hissy fit over the country’s negative depiction in the Ben Affleck film, Argo. Never mind it was based on a true story! Yep – actually happened. But that doesn’t stop ol’ thin-skinned Iran from getting all hot and bothered. And it’s not the first time. Just a few years ago, Iran got upset about how ancient Persians were portrayed in the box office smash, 300.  And this is not all so different from the time President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lodged a formal complaint with the Cat Fanciers Association claiming that the Persian breed should be renamed because it was “too wussy.”  Sh-yeah.  Or that time the Ayatollah said the FCC should ban the Flock of Seagulls tune I Ran because its title was misleading.  (Of course, he secretly admitted he detested the catchy synthpop rhythms of the Liverpool quartet merely on principle.)  Oh yeah.  And then there was that time the Islamic Republic once walked out of a United Nations assembly because it thought Azerbaijan was “looking at it funny.”  Pffff!

It’s just growing pains, I tell you.  Iran is just acting out, like a petulant adolescent.  They only want attention.  Bunch of oversensitive bleedin’ drama queens, the lot!

Go suck a uranium rod, ya posers!