Archive for October, 2013

TEN MORE BAD THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN

October 31, 2013

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!!! (more…)

THE 13 WORST THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN

October 30, 2013

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. (more…)

Bananadrama

October 28, 2013

I was watching old episodes of The Banana Splits on Boomerang late last night and it suddenly occurred to me that, if you can overlook the catchy music and the psychedelic videos and the egregious slapstick, Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky are basically a gang. I mean, look at the facts: they hang out in a clubhouse or hideout, they have a known rivalry with another gang (the Sour Grapes Bunch) and they wear colors (okay, technically, they wear colorful Sid & Marty Krofft designed costumes, but I’m stretching an analogy here). And what do bananas come in? A bunch. And what’s another name for a bunch? A gang! Let’s face it: venerable children’s icons or not, these guys are just one drive-by away from being rounded up under the RICO act! And I’m not suggesting that the rise of gang-related violence and activity in the 70s and 80s was directly attributable to a generation of kids growing up watching The Banana Splits but it does somehow begin to make sense, doesn’t it?

Alls I’m saying is it doesn’t help their case that in order to join their group’s fan club back in the late 60s, you had to bust a cap in the Hanna-Barbera character of your choice. (I chose Lippy the Lion, BTW, so you can thank my 6-year-old self that leonine loser was a veritable no-show in the Laff-A-Lympics a few years later.)

Nuts To You

October 25, 2013

If you think your life sucks, just think how much suckier it would be if you were Shermy.

Yeah, Shermy – one of the original four characters in Charles Schulz’s funny page staple, Peanuts. Don’t remember him?  Of course you don’t. For him, it was all straight lines and full-feature focus. Hell, he had the very first line when the comic made its debut on October 2, 1950. He was a cool, sarcastic li’l SOB until Schulz systematically phased the sucker out of his very own strip! Oh, sure, some would say that it was always Charlie Brown’s sandbox and that everyone else was just an extra, but if you asked old Shermy I’m sure he’d have a different opinion. One day, he’s sittin’ pretty and, the next day, he’s Barney Googled out of his own series! I mean, dammit all, even Zeppo got more respect.

So, if you’re having a bad day and think your life is crap, just take heart in knowing it could only be worse if you were poor, poor, pathethic ol’ Shermy.

Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #8

October 24, 2013

When booking entertainment for your child’s birthday party, do you go clown or magician? Maybe you could get a comic magician or a clown that does a few card tricks, but really it’s a basic choice that even the best of parents have lost sleep over – clown or magician? Clown or magician? Or, hell, you could do what my parents did and pay a homeless guy five bucks to make balloon animals and pull a rabbit out of his hat. Only he didn’t have a hat. And that was no rabbit!

FIVE RANDOM FIVE (Halloween Edition)

October 22, 2013

Five Treats Worth Tricking Over

Caramel Apples

Gum

Mr. Goodbar Miniature

Nik-L Nips

Luden’s Cough Drops

Five Costume Ideas I’m Considering

The Walking Dead (Jerry Garcia as a zombie)

The lead singer of Ylvis

Uncle Grandpa

The Crunchberry Beast

Uranus

Five Other Vampire Weaknesses

Shrimp forks in the elbow

Pillow fights

Sunny D

Long Division

Sister Wives marathons on TLC

Five Bad Haunted House Ideas

Giant bowl of lukewarm soup

Sauna full of Duggars

Community bulletin board full of spelling errors

Trailer park garage sale

KFC with a B sanitation grade

Five Horror Movies That Would Suck

The Cabinet of Dr. Philgari

Drag Me To Helsinki

The Blair from The Facts of Life Project

When A Stranger Caulks

Rosemary’s Bieber

Ahhh… Geek Out!

October 20, 2013

Doctor Who + 50 years = nerdgasm.

Hello, Kitty

October 18, 2013

I was surfing the web a while back when one of those animated ads caught my attention. It was a cat, a cute little cat, that’s all – and the caption said, “Pet the kitty.” Normally, I eschew any and all attempts to lure my attention via these web site atrocities – I mean, hey, theoretically we’re all just one click away from some Nigerian prince phishing scam – but instinctively, reflexes borne of years of veterinary and no-kill shelter work, my hand moved the mouse over to where the feline sat. I didn’t even click on it or anything when suddenly the ad morphed into some gridiron motif and the following words appeared: “Did you really try to pet the kitty? You need some fantasy football!” Yes, it was an ad for fantasy football.

Well, I could go on and on and wax philosophical about how our nation’s screwed up notions of what is and what is not manly has turned men into testosterone-fueled jokes, one hate crime away from pummeling all that is different and “girlie” into macho submission. I could point out the hypocrisy of how the same guys who gave me swirlies in high school for carrying around 20-sided die now spend more time playing fantasy games than I ever did. I could even wail and gnash over the base immorality of the vile bait and switch used in what is, if not the most evil, certainly the most annoying form of advertising known to man – the website pop-up.

But all of that is irrelevant to one simple fact: SOMETIMES I LIKE TO PET KITTIES! That doesn’t make me less of anything and I don’t apologize for it. Cats are nice. I like them. They’re sweet and cute and furry and bundles of fun. And I like to pet them.

Deal with it.

Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #31

October 17, 2013

When I was a really young kid, around 4 or 5, I was witness to a bizarre supernatural happening that I’ve rarely spoken about.

It just so happens that my bedroom was next to the bathroom and sometimes, very late at night, in those early morning hours when the whole house was asleep, I would wake to a strange, unearthly sound and the sight of what can only be described as – a ghost wheel. Yes, a ghost wheel. A tire, unattached to an axle or auto, spinning in place, there in the doorway of that bathroom. Amazingly, I would wake up and see this ghost tire spinning in place, never getting nearer, never moving forward or backward, just hanging there, an apparition suspended in air, rotating on an unseen axis. All the while, a familiar melody would waft eerily through the air: Blood, Sweat and Tears 1969 #2 hit, Spinning Wheel.

I swear I wasn’t asleep, yet I was never scared of the ghost tire. And to my knowledge no one else ever saw this otherworldly white wheel. It was an event that recurred with an odd regularity for several months when I was in kindergarten and yet it ceased as quickly as it began.

As an adult, I have no idea what the hell it all was – a waking dream or hallucination or – something else. Perhaps I never will. But I’d like to think that the truth is out there somewhere. That’s why I now work with the FBI’s X-Files.

Pig Out

October 15, 2013

I read somewhere that when CBS cancelled Green Acres, the cast and crew killed and ate the pig that played Arnold Ziffel. The same source I got this information from admitted that it was probably erroneous, but I just can’t get that blasted image out of my head – poor, little Arnold, apple in his mouth, being roasted on a spit over an open fire. Mr. Haney, Eb, Mr. Kimball, Alf and Ralph hoisting back a few cold ones while they wait for their co-star’s flesh to cook. All the while, Eddie Albert banging his chest and exclaiming, “Fresh air!”

Some things are just wrong.