"How can they say my life is not a success?
Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?"
- -Logan Pearsall Smith
I've actually read a couple of the dreamlike/utterly insane works of Fletcher Hanks, so damn skippy I just bought the book.
Last night, I looked at the clock at 10PM and saw that it was 11. Maybe my missing time was because I was abducted by Aliens, or maybe yesterday was Daylight Lost Time, when you turn the clocks ahead an hour and don't get squat for it.
Or maybe I was too busy chasing flies and seeing if there was anything on Amazon to add to my order ("Super Saver Shipping" is a brilliant con--I spent $12 in order to save $4). But I should've at least tried to find a link beyond Boing Boing about Fletcher Hanks' comics. Here's a nice one, with plenty of scans of his stories (and a goofy "cartoon" based on one).
I received my copy of the Fletcher Hanks book today, and boyohboy. I only read the first 2 stories, and they're as crazy as I'd thought they'd be. And the book's comic-book sized! That's important, as they look as weird as they read--the drawing is primitive, but it only adds to the odd effect.
And then I put it down, as this is the inkiest-smelling book I've ever read in my life. When was it printed, 3 days ago? I know that reading Hank's work is like huffing industrial chemicals, but I wasn't expecting to have that experience first hand.
I once won $66 in the state lottery! The thrill lasted exactly long enough for me to calculate how much I'd probably spent on the lottery up to that point. I estimated about $75.
When I was young, I once won a model truck from a local moving van company! It might be worth something today as an old promotional item. I was reading in my room a few years after I won it, and it rolled by itself off of a high shelf and smashed itself on a bookcase below. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of being won by me, it committed suicide.
And that's all I've ever won. Until TODAY!! (third item down) Well, not today, a week ago. I check Thrilling Days of Yesterday every Sunday, and missed the announcement until this afternoon. And, after all these years online, I assumed that "send me your name & address" meant "email and made-uppy name."
I won a DVD of what's said to be a very good serial, and a Twilight Zone radio episode featuring none other than Stan Freberg. That is Cool. Until, of course, the DVD bursts into flames in my player, rather than let itself be won by me.
It's also amusing that I'm referred to as "one of the Back Bay Spluts," when a few months ago World O'Crap said I was of "the West Egg Spluts." Great Salon blog minds think alike.
Best article I've read today, "Osama Bin Laden can suck my insouciance":
CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We'll be in the pub, flipping you off. I'm slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I'm sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.
US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!
...and I'm just a little tired of being on the wrong side of that historical arc."
I generally don't link to anything too bloggo-incestuous, such as liberal sites making fun of right-wing columnists that no one reads except the liberal sites that make fun of them. Seriously--when was the last time you heard anybody opine outside of the web on what Michelle "NO I'M NOT NO IMMIGRANT!!" Malkin ever said? Show the picture of 2 skanky blond moron millionaire bimbos to the guys at work, and how many will immediately identify one as Paris, and have no idea who the shit-spouting man-handed hag with an Adam's apple is? (Note: If you know who the second one is from that description, you, like me, read too many liberal politcal blogs)
One legend in the leftist blogosphere is Jonah Goldberg's eternally delayed book, "Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton." YES THAT'S THE PREMISE. 30 years ago in high school, I'd call people "Nazi Commies" purely because it made no sense. I was making a joke. This guy actually means it. His book was supposed to be published two years ago, but I guess he had a bit of trouble actually making the Mussolini-Clinton link, so the subtitle is now "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods." Seriously--the Fuck? Not Kierkegaard to Costco? Not Schopenhauer to Shop-Rite? Not Wittgenstein to Wal-Mart? Not the Kwik-E-Mart and--uh, that philosopher with the name that begins with "Kw"? I'm thinking of Kwocrates, right? Franz Kwafka? No, wait, he wrote "The Kwastle," he's not a philosopher. I mean Kwiedreich Kwietzsche, certainly. He wrote "Also KWAK! Zarathustra." I think it involved a very large and powerful duck.
At any rate, professional nepotist and Doughy Pantload Jonah's book gets another rewrite right here. Don't worry; you won't need the advanced degree of philosphohicalessnesses that I know in my head brain. And I know the difference between Aristotle and Dana Plato! (HINT: One wrote "The Republickw." The other was a Roman gladiator who rode dinosaurs into battle) This is because, unlike most treatises of heady philosoff...Christ, that's hard to spell. Unlike most treatises of DEAD GUY THINKINGS you might have to read in school, this one uses LOLcats to make its points. Has Adam Smith ever been more clearly summarized? Possibly he was, when I gave that summer course "Dead Guy Thinkings as Performed by Puppets," but that's not a complaint on the site, that's because I'm a fucking genius. And I had all these puppets.
Both my work schedule and personal preferences preclude seeing the movie I want to see right now, as I refuse to pay more than matinee prices for any movie, no matter how much I want to see it in a theater. And matinees when school's out...yeah, those are fucking awesome. Hey, lady, your 4-month old really appreciates this PG-13 movie! Could you, I dunno, pinch him with pliers so the people in the theater next door can also enjoy his unending caterwauling? Don't take Mr Colicky outside for a few minutes, he'll might miss some of the plot! And then he'll be confused for life, wondering what happened to Frodo.
Since the movie I would've wanted to see was Ratatouille, I settled for Netflixing another CG flick about rodents, Flushed Away. And Aardman--I'm not watching anything else you do that doesn't have Wallace and Grommit in it. It was awful. I'm sure kids would like it, but I'm not a kid, and kids also like to eat bugs. It was just like the equally chickenshitty Chicken Run: When a scene begins, I could figure out how the next scenes would play out. Actually, it was worse, as now it was all non-(YAWN!)-stop excitement, because hair-raising escapes at the last minute are so not like watching an egg timer count down to *DING* It's interesting when there's no clear chance of a character's escape, and there's no interest when it just happens automatically. And if you think that I'm sneering at a kids' film, that's something kid films got from Hollywood's adult "thrill rides." There's nothing duller than a Bay and/or Bruckheimer explosion-a-minute movie, with every scene pitched at exactly the same note.
Oh, wait, did I say "characters"? They're aren't any characters, just plot-drivers. Weirdest is the central plot point that the hero needs a family of other rats. Weird, as it pops out of nothingness two-thirds through the movie. Hmm, let's see: his only interaction with his kind is that one invades his home, flushes him into the sewer, then everyone tries to kill him for 90 minutes. Yes, that would certainly make me want to seek out the company of others. With an eensy-weensy rodental sniper rifle.
I'm giving this more space than it needs, but there's also the design. Aardman clay critters look cool, but when they're transferred to CGI, there came this point when all I could focus on were the teeth. They show all their teeth when they speak. ALL of them, and the lipsyncing was not that great. And try that--talk with all your teeth exposed from your lips. UNNATURAL.
But I think the biggest insult I can hurl at the film is that the only funny part of this "comedy" is...Christ, I hestitate to type it. But the funniest part...
was a mime.
(Sticks tongue out as he hangs himself with an invisible rope)
Irony! Well, let's just make that our theme for tonight. Today I was forced to listen to our manager the drunk rail about the "unprofessionalism" of a counterpart of his in our other store. Seems he was rude! (Drunky swears at everybody, even customers, all the time) threatening physical violence! (just ilke he does) and UNPROFESSIONAL! (see all above) This coming from the boss who fired 2 people last week (one of them for calling out of work to go to her just-killed-in-a-car-crash friend's wake) and told them by...posting a schedule with their names on it, but with no hours listed. He was hoping they'd just not come to work, with him not saying anything. He'll theaten to beat customers up because they bring back dirty deposit cans, but he can't tell a teenage girl to her face that she's been fired for deciding a funeral was more important than her 3-hour shift.
Wait--is that irony, or just being a fucking asshole?
It's still Friday here, but by the time you read this, it'll be 7-7-07, and you know what that means--JESUSFEAST is in full swing! Oops! Seriously, the a & s keys are close together, I meant to type "Jesusfest." Not an all-you-can-eat Jesus buffet of communion wafers.
It's at the "Agricultural Fairgrounds," and it kinda bothered me that I have no idea where that is, despite living in this town for 20 years. So I checked their site for directions. It's conveniently located between the residential sprawl that's attached to Cemetary Road ("Welcome to Necroburbia!") and the bucolic countryside that is Industrial Park Road West. Fundies are instructed on places to park, and we are sadly told there's no longer a shuttle bus from the church to the Fest. Which is a whole 800 feet from the Fest. Oh no! The average American can't walk that far! If I was a Christian entrepreneur, I'd have $10 wheelbarrow rides from your car to the Fest. I'd charge $25 for the trip back, and I'd set my booth up right by the fried dough shack.
I was startled the first time I saw their site and found the warning to not treat the Jesusfest volunteers like shit, just like they usually do to retail workers. Apparently, there's not much Christian kindness among the Christians! And while most of the directions are in the same typeface you're reading now, here's the finale, taken right from their source code:
Fave line of the day, as said by octogenarian comedian Mort Sahl: “I know George Bush. I’ve met him and spoke to him a number of times. He told me he had stopped drinking. When I asked him how he did it he said he was born again. I said, you were born again? WHY WOULD YOU COME BACK AS GEORGE BUSH???”
The True Story of how Valerie Plame was outed as CIA. It must be true, it's by Colin McEnroe!
Surely only the first in the upcoming waves of snarky secularists visiting the Creation Museum is the Buffalo Beast. You may know the Beast from the only consistently funny year-end list, The Year's Most Loathsome Americans. It always makes me bust a gut, or at least lose control of my bladder. And if you don't know them, their name is pretty much synonymous with "well-written," "hilarious," and "very wrong." They infiltrate the museum's opening day with the perfect human shield, a reporter pretending to be "developmentally disabled." Despite the article's title--Let There Be Retards--he's not retarded, he has "Asperger’s Syndrome by Proxy."
...And here we break for intermission, and suggest Trailers from Hell (warning: audio, and loud) Old trailers with commentary from current directors, although why the commentaries are the default, I don't know. How do I know what they're commenting on if they don't let me see the trailer first? Opt for "Without Commentary" the first time you watch them. And possibly stay there, as the commentaries I've heard aren't exactly the stuff of legend.
Hot and humid, so I decided against hiking in the woods and instead decided to see a matinee of Ratatouille. Which was a terrible idea. No matter how hot it is, never dress in shorts and go to a Showcase Cinema; you'll freeze your Dibs off.
There were some trailers from hell (Underdog, Bratz: The Cross-Merchandising, and some big weepie I've forgotten the name of). The last trailer was for Pixar's release for next summer, Wal-E or something. An older kid said "That didn't tell you ANYthing!" He was a kid, and thus unfamiliar with the trailers before the last 15 years, in which you're not told the ENTIRE MOVIE'S PLOT in 3 minutes. I had just seen everything I needed to know about Underdog-doo, Bratz: Peer Pressure is Bad Unless It Makes You Buy Our Crap, and Cathy Zeta-Omega's Sister Dies, so those are off my must-(never)-see list.
But the movie, Ratatouille, c'est magnifique! It's not the same director's The Iron Giant, which is my favorite "kids" movie, but also one of favorite movies, period. But it's the equal of The Incredibles. I don't think that it'll do the box office of that movie, due to the subject matter--as a kid, I was more interested in superheroes beating the crap out of each other than I was in French cuisine, and it's a cartoon, so that's who'll be seeing it. And there are no obvious celebrity "Look at ME!" voiceovers, no instantly dated pop culture non-jokes, no supposedly comic montages set to a song from the Oldies station. Sure, it looks fantastic. How many CGI cartoons don't? But you can almost feel the fur on the rats backs, and see every individual hair. And while they're cute, they act just like rats, and still are freaky-creepy when they swarm. There are frenetic chases that defy your eye to follow, but are never confusing. But it's by Brad Bird, and all that really matters are the characters.
It's amazing what can be accomplished with a shrug of the shoulders, or a look in the eyes with a head slightly shaken in sad disappointment. There's a brief but pivotal scene when someone takes a bite of food--oh, didn't I say? It's about a gourmet chef who's a rat--and then a flashback that tells you everything about a food-loving character's backstory, and it lasts just a few seconds. And nothing the character does afterwards would make sense without that simple shot.
Well, I just spent a few minutes trying to think anything negative to say, and, umm--Janeane Garofalo's accent is so heavy, I missed a joke. And, everyone said "Watch all the credits for the 2-D animation!" but you really only have to stay for about 3 minutes, then you can leave. And...possibly this movie will inspire children to take in filthy street rats as pets and make them chefs in French bistros, and also possibly eat garbage. "I think it was once a wrapper," INDEED!
I give it a Thumbs Up! A thumb that I once used to kill a man!
The music of the Bad Brains mixed with the GREATEST MUSIC VIDEO OF ALL TEH TIMES.
And speaking of old movies...Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Five, "MEPHISTO'S TRAP."
The opening caption says that Lance saved Linda. Ooh, LIAR! Linda saved HIM, with the only aimed gunshot so far! Is this evidence that in 1945, there was sexism?
As you may remember, last time Lance, after heroically not-saving Linda, proceeded to not-intelligently stand on top of a trapdoor. In his favor, it should be pointed out that it didn't have a flashing neon sign marked "TRAPDOOR STAND HERE EINSTEIN." And Lance fell in, and Mephisto filled it up with "GAS," great grey clouds of it, and all hope was lost. Until Linda sticks her head in the window and opens fire on Mephisto, missing him by--well, she really didn't miss; the squib pops directly behind Mephisto's head, so apparently his conker's made out of sponge. Possibly he lives in a pineapple under the sea. Mephisto, realizing he's up against the only person on Planet Earth who can operate the new-fangled technology called "a pistol," scampers away wike a widdle bunny wabbit. He's sooo cuute when he scampers! that Linda forgets to shoot him while he's in clear view. She probably thought that it wasn't sporting.
With her help, Lance crawls out of the GAS, which I guess isn't particularly fatal, given that he's breathed nothing but it for 3 minutes, and it's blowing all over the place. Maybe Mephisto justs squats on a pipe after every time he eats at Taco Bell. Linda says that "This is how he controls the GAS! I saw him operate it!" Which is kind of comical, as she's pointing at a giant prop-comic lever marked GAS. I also saw him operate PANTS, and they were held up by some sort of belt-like device! Lance tells her not to touch the GAS lever--GAS which is still filling the room, so maybe it's as deadly as potpourri or Renuzit--because he wants Mephisto's fingerprints. Which he obtains by very vigorously rubbing a handkerchief over the lever for 5 minutes. That'll rub 'em into the cloth real good!
Having not-saved Linda a second time (although he does give her credit for his rescue), they confront the 4 brothers who could be Mephisto. Four fat, balding, old alcoholic dullards who are named Milton and...Bradley. Something. Maybe they're the Parker Brothers. They have interchangable personalities (ie, none whatsoever), and that's the only flaw in the "Who is really Mephisto?" game: Who cares? It's a game like Clue, where the only possible murderer is Aging Dullard in the Boring Room with a GAS. It's a serial, so of course there's no time to flesh out the idiosyncracies of four characters, but they could have at least one unappealing characteristic each. Colonel Picks-his-Nose-at-the Dinner-Table! Professor Kicks-Puppies! Mister Bigger-Drunk-than-the-Others! Carrot Top!
Boy, are they proud of the "Transformation Chair" sequence. They show it twice every chapter. Since it involves a very loud factory fan that spit sparks, Lance should probably abandon the fingerprinting (since it changes his whole body, why would Mephisto's fingerprints stay the same?) and just perk up his ears. It sounds like a train full of fireworks derailing, and it's right behind a wall.
Meanwhile, Lance dusts the doorknob (the doorknob? Where'd that come from?) for fingerprints by dumping a whole can of Gold Bond powder on the doorknob (the doorknob?), so if that doorknob has an irritating anal itch, it's free of it now. Skipper picks this particular moment to teleport in from Dimension X, and at gunpoint barks "I'LL take that KNOB!" which is possibly that first and last time that line's been used in the history of human speech. Cue director Yakima Canute and another hypercrazy fistfight! Oh, woe it is to be a piece of furniture in Yakko's World! Best bit: recognizing the only real threat, Skipper takes Linda out by throwing a chair right at the camera, which knocks her out despite it splintering into balsa shreds. Lance pummels the shit out of Skipper, but then decides to give Linda a massage. Yes, Lance, she's a hottie, but take her out to a movie first next time. Skipper takes this opportunity to pick up the phone, rip it out of the wall, and fling it at Lance, who gets knocked out when it hits his left lower shoulder blade. He's got a glass shoulder! Most Evil Scum would take this as a chance to kill them both, but Skipper could hold a gun to their heads and still shoot himself in the butt, so he runs away. With the Knob of God, of course.
(Have you noticed that every time I've done a chapter of this serial, it gets longer? That's because this is great! You can make fun of any serial--or any movie, for that matter, if you were sociopathic enough. But most serials are fights punctuated by inept ennui. This one's just a pile of fun to watch! Trust me, the chair thrown at the lens seems like nothing, but it's a clever bit in a no-budget serial. It means somebody cared to make this the best it could be)
Lance and Linda return to the wine cellar--no reason given, unless they're hoping to find some new knobs. Lance finds a secret door open by the wine press, so he goes in, while Linda stands point. Skip and a random gunsel follow them down, and despite outnumbering some skirt two to one, are smart enough to not mess with Linda. They hide. There's a sound, and Linda hides. And down comes--that guy! That fat old pasty doughy guy! No, not that one, the other one! NO, not him either! Milton! "He must be Captain Mephisto!" says Skipper. Uncle Miltie goes through the secret door, and Linda follows him while Skip and the gunsel follow her. Eventually Skipper and Gilligan open fire at point blank range, which means that Skipper blows off three of his own toes, and Gilligan shoots himself in the eyebrows. Then Lance nails Gilligan in the stomach, and tells Linda to guard him. As the guy writhes on the ground and bleeds to death like a gutshot deer. Skipper calls Milton "Captain Mephisto," and Milton the Monster gives a Dick Cheney double-chinned sneer, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. (My money's on all four of the Dullard Brothers being Mephisto, each in turn) Milton escapes, and Lance cleverly runs into the Giant Wine Press and--yes! Skipper locks him in and turns it on. This wine press looks more like the type of device junkyards use to turn SUVs into little cubes of metal. It also has a handy and goofy looking arrow on it to show its progress. And it grinds all the way to the bottom, making a sickening crunch not unlike the sound of a Lance-sized cockroach being squished.
While there's no way Lance could've escaped being squished like a grape by a giant grape-squisher, once again he was smart enough to leave Linda outside Mephisto's Trap. She'll save him! And if she doesn't, I suggest you pass on the Chateau de Mephisto Claret '45. It has a definite overtone of crushed monkey-boy in the finish.
Yesterday's movie: Death Race 2000, set in the far-off future of 7 years ago. I saw this 30 years ago at Oberlin, and thought that it was a hilarious satire on the way American pop culture was headed. Basically, it's NASCAR crossed with professional wrestling and the "Faces of Death" videos, although none of those existed like they do today in 1974. It's Wacky Races as a bloodsport. If you aren't old enough to remember Wacky Races, it was a cartoon, and so is this movie. A live action one, and produced by Roger Corman (but don't let that put you off it). In the future, America is a dictatorship with a president for life who keeps the proles in line with the ol' bread'n'circuses bit. Keep the people comfortable and entertained, and they won't care about what the government's doing to them. But there's an underground movement to take America back. It's fronted by "Thomasina Paine," and that's as subtle as the movie gets.
It's over the top and that makes it funny, as any movie with main characters named Frankenstein or Matilda the Hun should be. And it's absurd! The villain is Mr President, who's suspended the Constitution, invaded foreign countries, takes lots of vacations, and wraps himself in the flag while giving lip service to patriotism. He's so desperate to deny that there's widespread oppostion to his policies, he blames the home-grown insurgency on--the FRENCH! That line got a huge laugh when I saw it in the theater in 1978. Can you imagine an America so blindly loyal to a corrupt regime that they'd believe France was their enemy? How absurd!
And a guy who's been President for 30 years! There wasn't a backstory in the movie, but I guess that he stole an election or two, consolidated power through a spineless Congress (in this film, Congress is headed by the holy and President-worshipping "Bipartisan Deacon"), kept the people in line through fear for their safety against exaggerated enemies, and then he and his corrupt cronies refused to leave office when his 2 terms were up! That could NEVER happen in the real world!
It's good gory goofy nihilistic fun. Watch it before January 2009, when it'll be banned.
I'm listening to the "ecumenical station" right now, as there's nothing else on the radio I care to hear. They just ran a PSA about Jesus, as that's their thing (along with the only true Muzak you can tune in). And the guy just said that believing in Jesus is exactly the same as believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa. And he meant it as a good thing. "If your parents told you that the Moon was made of green cheese, you would've believed it! That's called trust! Trust is faith! And that's what Jesus wants from us!"
I am actually fucking speechless. I'm supposed to believe in the Invisible Man in the Sky who knows when I've been Bad or Good because of the Tooth Fairy. If I hadn't just heard this guy say it, I wouldn't believe it when someone else said it happened. So feel free to not believe me. (and, actually--no, I wouldn't believe my parents if they said the moon was made of green cheese. I remember seeing an Astroboy cartoon at about age 6, where it was discovered that the craters on the moon were from where giant rabbits plucked huge mushrooms. And if I was smart enough at 6 to--man, I give up. Speechless. Jesus left quarters under my pillow, and still believing the same made-up shit when I'm old enough to dress myself somehow makes me intelligent.)
That makes even LESS sense than what this guy says, and he's not expecting me to take him seriously. No, I take that back--believing in God makes exactly the same sense as believing in Santa. I just can't believe that I heard this presented as a reasonable argument that I should.
I'll post more tomorrow, if I can find the strength to come out from under the covers..
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter S
Oh, Linda's dead! Who cares! WH CA-A-A-ARES?!
Chapter Seven, "The Death Drop." A cough drop with cyanide? Thank you, Trade and Mark the Halls Brothers, and pass me a big box!
Do we have to watch this again? The motorboat splinters, Linda's corpse falls into the ocean, Lance swims over, her corpse floats on the surface like a someone doing the Dead (Wo)Man's Float, Lance grabs her and
HEY! SHE'S NOT DEAD AT ALL!!! I NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING!
No, really, I didn't. Jeez, what am I going to do with all these flowers I ordered. Not to mention the giant crates of "LINDA'S DEAD!!" black armbands I was going to sell online...
While your mind reels from this incredibly unexpected development (no, not that Linda's alive--that Lance finally rescued HER), something even more astonishing happens. Lance and Linda are wearing the same clothes that they both almost drowned in, but the clothes are freshly laundered. Nothing like a good near-drowning to bring out that springtime freshness in your one ugly checkered suit, eh Lance! Meeting Mephisto's descendants, the AARP Commandos, Lance claims that Melton is dead. "Anybody we should send the stiff to? Anybody? Hey, pasty old man--no, not you, the other pasty old man--want a Melton? He's in a barrel full of brine, and he hasn't started stinking up the place yet!" The California Raisin-faces are startled at this news, and their servant, Guy of Indeterminate Ethnicity (Male Only)--let's just call him Gitmo, stands perfectly framed in front of the portrait of Mephisto. A hint that he's the villain? It's already been established that the Mephisto Machine changes your skin color, so why not? Of course, it's also been proven that it turns either old farts or skinny servants into macho fighting machines, so...Why do they care about whatever the hell it is they're all fighting over, anyway? Seriously, I couldn't take Gitmo in a fight, but I could use his machine to turn myself into a powerhouse! I could change myself into a male model who's wearing a $2000 suit and go pick up chix in bars! And if I got them pregnant, BAM! "Sure, run your DNA test! I think you'll find that I'm not the child's father, but a weenie little net geek!" This machine is a 14 year old boy's DREAM! Or girl's, for that matter. Could you get pregnant if you were using someone else's body, and then magically traded it in at the end of the night?
Mephisto should mass market these machines! He'd be a billionaire! Of course, then people would be committing murders and changing back, and eventually some pyscho would pretend to be President and start a nuclear war, and we'd all be dead. Okay, maybe it's not quite the great idea I thought it'd be.
But it'd still be better than being some potbellied old fart on an island who gets to play pirate dress-up.
Mephisto tells Linda's dad that she and Lance are leaving the island, and they will DIE! Which is, umm, I thought that the whole reason Dad was working for you (and not actively trying to kill you, like in the first chapters) was that Linda was around. Mephisto's plan? To destroy Lance with a "hamper of lunch!" Direct quote, people. It's a pic-a-nic basket of DOOM! Oh, if only Ranger Smith had thought of this! How peaceful Jellystone Park would be! (Note: Gitmo is distracted by the phone, while an unknown assailant slips something into the "hamper of lunch." So maybe he isn't Mephisto. Also, his name is finally used, and it's "Ragu." Maybe the Something in the Hamper is a jar of cheap spaghetti sauce) Mephisto gloats: "Our celebrated criminologist is going to find his luncheon thoroughly indigestable!" and Skipper makes the forced, mild chuckle you do when your idiot boss makes what he thinks is a joke. Yeah, yuk it up, guys. Linda's back from the dead, and don't be surprised if she's using pickle slices like shuriken soon.
Flying in a private plane, Linda has accessorized her only outfit with a smart little hat. Lance has added a Halloween mask of a stupid monkey--no, wait, I just haven't seen his face in profile before. There's a shot of the Hamper of Lunch, and then an xray view inside of a cloth, and then another xray view inside the cloth, and don't ever invite me on a pic-a-nic lunch for the rest of my life, as I will torment you with asking to see the inside of the Hamper of Lunch. It's a BOMB! With a clock, what appears to be an off-switch, and apparrently a volume control. Lance, quick, turn your lunch down from eleven! Oh, wait, apparently in 1945 dials only went up to Nine. I guess they couldn't count that high then. But something's throwing off the plane's compass. Mephisto, that beast! He's planted one of them fridge magnet bombs! Lance asks Linda if she has "A flashlight, or any other electronic gizmo in your purse!" Maybe she has an iPod made out of a giant lodestone. He then tells her to "check that lunch hamper!" HAMPER of LUNCH, Lance! It's not going to become a catchphrase unless you use it! Linda finds a bomb, and then just stares at it, as it clicks to Midnight in her immaculately manicured hands. For someone who almost gets killed a lot, she still finds the time to take care of her nails. Lance grabs it from her and throws it out the plane's open window. This is the second time he's successfully disposed of a bomb while Linda is flabbergasted. If this were an RPG, it's clear that Lance's main skill is "Throwing Explodey Things," while Linda ranks high in "Shooting" and "Rescuing that Dumbass Lance."
Mephisto is so convinced that they're dead, he calls them on the radio. Skipper says "They don't have radios where THEY went!" and Mephisto looks at him with a "I tell the unfunny jokes!" glare. And...yes, Lance ANSWERS. Let Linda use the radio from now on, eh?
Lance goes to a Curio Shop to find a map to Mystery Island, but Skipper has used his portable rocket sled to get there first. Curio Shop Man swats Skipper's gun from his hand, and gets knocked out with one punch. He spends the rest of the scene lying on his back and thinking about his paycheck. A fistfight ensues and--well, Curio Man, sure hope you have insurance! Priceless Medieval Tapestry, ripped up! Elizabethan coat-of-arms display, smashed on Skipper's head! Ancient Ethiopian assegai, thrown like a lawn dart! Cheap 1945 end table made of balsa, splintery! And if you are going to throw an irreplaceable 17th century Louis XIVth porcelain bust--hey, could you at least try to hit something other than the wall? Notably, if there's a bookcase in a scene, even if it's 6 feet off the floor, someone will end up on top of it and fall off, taking it with them.
Skipper's henchman goes at Lance with a giant medieval putty-knife, but Lance shoots him, clearly ripping off that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Man, this whole serial rips EVERYTHING off of that movie! Skipper grabs an axe--for a curio shop, there's a lot of weapons--but Lance grabs a shield, and even throws it like Captain America. Except he misses, and smashes the Curio Shop's door.
Having done 4 billion dollars worth of damage in the curio shop, Lance and Skipper discover that there's nothing left to club each other with besides a Pet Rock and some Beanie Babies, so they continue their antics in the hallway. Without any Ming vases to toss, Skipper runs to a fire extinguisher and grabs a...one of those things. Lance beats him with the extinguisher, then Skippy throws Lance out of the 99th story window, and Lance magically grabs a firehose. On the way out the window. He falls 44 stories, then the hose stops him from falling further. Lucky grab, really. Or--IS IT? Seems that the Thing Skipper grabbed was a wrench that is used to...remove hoses from 99th story windows. In case firefighters needed to, oh I don't fucking even know anymore. This, apparently, would be the "Death Drop."
At the bottom of Lance's skyscraper-long drop to the pavement? Linda, of course! I don't know how Lance will get out of this, but I'll bet it begins with an "L."
Things are back to normal!
I've started receiving Googles for this serial. Someone looked for "linda stirling fight scenes" and apparently looked a lot, as I was hit #93. Hit #92? Girls in Blindfolds, which mentions Linda among 357 other meticulously documented and carefully rated scenes. Of course, someone else found this by searching for "SpongeBob - intent look, tongue out," so there's room on the net for every bizarre obsession!
Speaking of obsessions: Do you know what time it was when I started the DVD for this 15-minute chapter? Midnight. The time now? 135AM. Just to let you know that I don't have the time to do this every night after work is all.
Although you might prefer to see her in a more natural pose:
And here's the rest of our dramatis personae. Mephisto:
And, of course, Lance:
And now, on with the show!
Lance, while dodging his car through falling bombs: "Well, it looks like someone isn't happy to see us back on the island!" Linda replies "This is getting to be a regular Mephisto welcome!" in the same tone of mild annoyance you might use when finding out after leaving the drive-thru that Burger King did not in fact hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. I suppose that if you've been almost killed as many times as they have in the last 3 days, it's not that big a deal. Especially when you know that Skipper, the dundering nimcompoop, is behind it. But let's give Skipper's the benefit of the doubt, and call him "homicidially challenged."
They meet the remaining Mystery Island old farts, one of whom they know is Mephisto, and have the type of calm and reasoned discussion one normally has with people who've repeatedly try to kill you. One of the geezers gets mad and storms off in the direction of the Transformation Chair, so he's the suspect du jour. Their servant Ragu appears, and I'm sorry to report that I heard his name wrong. He's actually "Ruga," the spaghetti sauce for the dyslexic. Then that knight's helmet on the wall opens up, and, as you can see,
...there's nothing about THAT that would draw suspicion! Lance and Linda whisper about the radium detector that they'll use to find her father and his awe-inspiring whatever-it-is thingie, and apparently sticking your nose through a wallhanging gives you super-hearing. They stroll down a dock near the least enticing vacation getaway destination ever, a few storage sheds at the bottom of sheer 100-foot cliffs. There are only 2 people on the dock, and of course one is Skipper. The other is a gunsel who hopefully has already made out his will. 3...2...1...FISTFIGHT! Linda stands back, protecting the radium detector and probably thinking that even Lance can handle Skipper and a dead man brawling. The gunsel takes a dive, and Linda throws a net over him, while Skipper attacks Lance with a lance, that same harpoon that he's used in like 5 other chapters. Incredibly, the gunsel manages to escape Linda's bondage (me, I wouldn't even WANT to, hubba hubba, wink wink!), and knocks her unconscious by pushing her. No, that's it, just a push. It's like Supergirl being defeated by some slob who thought about Kryptonite once.
Lance leaps into the escaping gunsel's motorboat (and it looks like the stuntman playing him breaks his leg). Linda regains consciousness and pursues them in the other motorboat, because they rented 2 damn motorboats for this serial and damned if they aren't going to use them in every other chapter! Lance and the doomed guy wrestle with a gun, and the future corpse shoots the part of the motor labeled "WARNING: Do Not Shoot This. Boat Will Be Explodey." Gunsel drowns, or maybe explodes. Who cares? Lance has jumped into Linda's boat, and they proceed on their plan to fuck Mephisto's shit up.
Back on the island, Mephisto says to the doddering slackwit Skipper, "So! They got away again!" Hey, SHERLOCK! There's something on the floor! I believe it's not excrement! Skipper mumbles something about not meaning to roll over Dad's car, and of course Mephisto gives him his three hundredth and second chance to redeem himself. At this point, he really should just soak Skipper in kerosene overnight, and then set him on fire with instructions to run off and give Lance a really big hug. No, Mephisto will fool the radium detector by having Skipper move the radium. Because Skipper is the kind of guy you really want to trust with MOVING DEADLY RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES AROUND. Yeah, give him some Tupperware to put it in. Skippy will forget to burp the seal on it. Why don't you first start with teaching him how to dress himself?
After an informative lecture on how a radium detector works ("It's microtomic!" and has needles that point inward as they near radioactivity. As Lance explains this, the needles point inward, so I guess that if Lance and Linda get married at the end of the serial, they won't be having kids. At least none without 12 eyes) They use the radium detector--which is actually made by "Radium Detector Inc"!--to follow the trail of lost hair and pissed blood to a primitive cave, the type that has one of those automatically-closing, escape-preventing doors normally associated with Fatal Floods. "The radium should be right here!" Lance exclaims, noting the fact that his hair has started falling out and that his pee is full of blood.
"It IS right here!" cackles Mephisto from a hole in the ceiling. "This cavern connects to an underground river that I use to dispose of my enemies!" How environmentally FIENDly! "Open the floodgates and drown the rats!" he sneers to Skipper, who apparently has found the one damn job he can do: flush a giant toilet! Oh, who's a BIG Skipper boy now, huh? Who's a big Skipper boy, using the potty! You are! You are!
And--umm, well, that's what he does. The unfortunate color and texture of said torrent seems more like an exploding septic line than an underground river, unless the "river" is below Brooklyn. That might explain why Lance and Linda can outrun the oncoming gusher, even finding the time to seek an alternate route, as the turgid pewpies slow the flow. They get stuck at a tiny cave opening at the edge of a thousand-foot-tall cliff, and--wait, I thought that they were underground! Are they in the Sunken City of Atlantis now? The water wooshes them out, and we get an outside shot, which looks like nothing less than a granite asshole the day after eating waaay too much curry washed down with a dozen bottles of Taj Mahal or Kingfisher beer.
Lance and Linda: violently diarrheaed to death. They didn't deserve it.
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Ten, "The Sable Shroud." Lance and Linda, caught in a Biblically-proportioned flood of raw sewage, are blasted out of a cave a thousand feet above the ocean, and land in water about 6 feet deep. How do they survive? They do. That's it. They just do. Look, Manhunt, you're not even trying at this point. Six writers, and you couldn't have them fall into a passing steamer from the Fluffy Marshmallows Factory?
After falling into the deep blue sea for about the fifth time in this serial, L & L are still wearing the same clothes. Aren't they all briny by now? You'd think that Lance would be pulling kelp out of his pockets for weeks. (Although you have to admire his incredible ability, even after being blown out of a mountain's colon at a hundred miles an hour by a million gallons of water, to keep his hat on.) Their clothes are springtime-fresh, despite having been under water long enough to collect barnacles, but the radium detector is kaput. There's no point in getting another, as Mephisto now knows to hide his nuclear pile from prying eyes. Does that sound dirty? Since in the last scene he was holding his radium by his pancreas, he probably not only has nuclear piles, but glow-in-the-dark hemorrhoids. L & L ponder as to exactly how Mephisto always knows what they're doing (HINT: discussing things in the room with wall-mounted knight's helmet/listening post probably doesn't help). And, in tonight's very special episode of Manhunt of Mystery Island, it's the TENTH CHAPTER RETROSPECTIVE EXTRAVAGANZA! Let's Remember When with Lance and Linda! Where were you back when the magic started, a whole 10 weeks ago?
No, I'm not kidding. Almost all of this chapter is an extended flashback. What, did all six of the writers schedule their vacations for the same week, leaving only the film editor to hash out an episode?
Linda reflects back to Chapter One, "Enter the Shaved Monkey," and even remembers her father and his buddy inventing the radium-Q36 explosive space modulator, despite that she wasn't there to remember it. She even remembers it better than her own dad remembers his lines, as he fixedly stares at an offscreen cue card. And that's all I'm going to say about that, as I already wrote about it. And it runs a good 5 minutes. Well, guess I'll go see what the cats are doing...
...They're sleeping. Well...they're cats. What's going on in the serial...Oh, ha ha! Remember when Lance escaped from the flamethrowing death ray by turning over a bathtub? Even then the escapes were kinda lame! Oh, those were the days! 12 days ago, actually. We were all so innocent then, weren't we?
Lance ends his reverie, and Linda thinks. Possibly about killing Lance to shut him up. Or maybe there's a school of guppies in her hair. No, she's wondering if another old flabby man might be Mephisto, moving us all the way up to Chapter Two. Oh, man, this chapter's going to last longer than most movies. Because they're cats. Cats sleep a lot. Wish I was a cat! But then who'd get stuck being the one who has to go to work? Maybe we could take turns being the responsible human.
I'm sorry. Now they're reflecting on Chapter Three. How time flies when you're paying no attention! Hey, remember the Kenny Loggins bomb?
L & L run out of suspects, but I've noticed that in every one of their flashbacks--Ruga is there! So maybe he's Mephisto! Filthy immigrants! This is why we need a border fence around Mystery Island! These illegals are taking away all the good criminal mastermind jobs!
Lance plans to reveal Mephisto by pretending that the radium detector still works, despite telling us a few minutes ago that a new one would be useless. The sneeringest of the possible honky Mephistos offers to put it in his man-sized safe. Mephisto is Dick Cheney, I knew it! Behind the vault's massive door is a cheap metal door, and past that, another cheap metal door. What is this, the opening to Get Smart? Don't turn around after the last door, Lance, it'll pinch your nose. And exactly why is hiding it in a vault that only the main suspects have access to suposed to accomplish? I just work here, folks, and sometimes that's more than the screenwriters do.
Lance uses his Radio Shack 50-in-1 Electronic Experiments Kit to wire a light to the vault door. "Swell!" says Linda. "Now all we have to do is wait!" They cheerily walk offscreen to rip off their clothes, scattering seaweed and fiddler crabs everywhere, and have hot, briny sex! Well, that's what I'd do. With Linda, I mean.
Instead, we next see them glaring at each other. Possibly Linda was disappointed by Lance's lance. Then the light turns on, which they instantly notice despite not looking at it. Anything to end an awkward moment, eh? Some dude's in the vault! Lance orders Linda to stay behind, always a good idea if you want to be rescued. Lance proves his stuff by jumping the miscreant and immediately getting defeated by having a curtain thrown over him. Christ, Lance. Did you go to Serial School with Skipper? If you did, were you out with a hangover the day they covered "There's always a giant fucking harpoon in every room 101"? Because there is! The villain jabs it into Lance with a sickening thud, and it sticks there. ShiskaLance.
And there the episode ends. I hope we all learned a valuable lesson from this Very Special Episode of Manhunt of Mystery Island. Accent on the special.
Scalzi has a new meme. And amen to that.
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Eleven: "SATAN'S SHADOW." I've been going back and forth for 15 minutes, deciding whether or not I want to do this tonight. My current guesstimate is: "It's 1220, do nothing else and been done by 2AM." Then I went to my gmail account, and they had this inspirational quote: "The most effective way to do it, is to do it."--Amelia Earhart. YES! I'll do it!
Although I'll bet the most effective way to fly across the Pacific is not to crash and die.
Yes, Satan's Shadow, believe it when I see it. The last chapter was titled "Sable Shroud," and I didn't see any sable shroud. Sure, Lance gets a beach blanket thrown over him, and then stabbed with a giant lance, but it wasn't sable at all. Sable is black. At most, one could describe it as a Persian rug, or an embrodiered arras, certainly...not...
A GIANT LANCE! That guy lanced Lance! Oh, the Morrisettian irony! Perhaps next, Linda will be attacked with a giant LIND--wait. That didn't work. Skipper could get stabbed with a...a MUDSKIPPER! Oh, just forget I even brought it up.
The perp--who is pretty clearly the Mephisto Suspect who showed Lance the vault, despite wrapping a kerchief around his neck--HEY, maybe he could ironically SNEEZE himself to death! Get it? "Kerchief"? "KA-CHOO!"? After catching a cold when it rained on his wedding day? And fall on a thousand spoons, when he only needed...?
(checks clock) I'll bet that distraction just pushed my completion time up to 2:10AM.
The perp is frightened away by a shadow. SATAN'S shadow? No, Linda's, and damn if I were in his penny loafers I'd be more a-scared of her than Satan. Lance is okay, as "the spear just missed him!" Linda and the rest of the Usual Mephisto Suspects (and let's just call them the UMS, to save me typing) drag him over to the comfy chair, and one of the UMS actually fluffs the throw pillow before they put him down. Aww, get him some bon-bons and a nightgown, then he'll be cozy. Get him a purse puppy and some cocaine, too, and the poor widdle baby'll be Paris Hilton.
Yes, the missing UMS is the perp. He was only trying to...No! That rascal, Skipper the Menace, snaps a single wire and the house plunges into darkness. Linda screams! And I mean SCA-REEEEAMS. She's scared of the dark?! Then we see the men all wrestling pointlessly with each other, so maybe they all took this chance to grope her. Monkey Boy and 3 rest home rejects, believe me ladies, you could be Red Sonya and you'd scream, too. Just think of the cooties! The perp--who we'll call Armstrong, as that as is his name--escapes with Skipper.
Or did he? The next day, he calls Lance to claim that he only tried to steal what he put in the vault to keep it from Mephisto. Shoplift at Wal-Mart tomorrow and use that as an excuse. Tell them that al Qaeda-in-Iraq was going to make IEDs out of those 30 boxes of Sudafed! (Note: your excuse will seem more believable if you twitch a lot, and pull a few of your grey, squishy tooths out of your head. Also mention a bullet point vis-a-vis "BUGS! re: up my legs, CRAWLING!")
Lance thinks it may be a trap! So he decides to sneak up in his little convertible, which sounds like a modern crosstown bus with a broken muffler, but which only throws out twice as much exhaust. He fails to notice Skipper, who's hiding in the front garden. Well, Skip is hard to tell apart from a lawn gnome, and certainly just as threatening as a plastic flamingo. He runs to his car and radios "CM," and who tells him to sit there. This is possibly the best strategic decision "CM" has ever made, besides telling Skipper that he might draw less attention if he didn't walk around in that giant hat made of fruit! "CM"--what? It means "Captain Mephisto"?! DAMN, their code is indecipherable! I thought CM stood for Carmen Miranda! Skipper proves the wisdom of this decision by hanging up the radio, and missing the receiver twice. Forget the baked potato, this guy can fuck up hanging up the phone.
Lance may be dumb, but he's not stupid: When he reaches the log cabin of the Unabomber Armstrong, he knocks on the front door (dumb!) but has a pistol in hand (smart!). Armstrong insists he has photos from his iPhone to prove that he isn't Mephisto, although Lance doesn't demand he explain why the living fuck Armstrong tried to stab him with a spear (DUMB!). Lance never puts his gun away (smart!) and then lets in Linda and her gun in (BRILLIANT! Armed Linda: Don't Go Out Without One!). Armstrong has to mix some chemicals in trays to make his photos (man, those old iPhones were primitive!). They turn off the lights to develop them, and Mephisto and Skipper drop in! After 11 chapters, they've finally realized Rule No. One: Knock Linda out first! Sadly, she's become incredibly easy to knock out. One push, and Good Night, Irene. Thus ensues the usual brawl. It's some log cabin out in the woods, so OF COURSE there's that same damned harpoon. And there's a bookcase loaded with volumes, probably Unabomber manifestos, turnip gardening tips and "Making Bombs From Wood for Dummies," all which topple onto Lance and Skipper, the two furniture-crawlingest guys on earth. Lance, that bureau was in Skipper's way, now you threw it over and he can punchificate you! Skipper, Skipper--don't expend the energy to pick up that chair and smash it on Lance! It's made of balsa! It all is! Haven't you learned by now? Never try to beat someone to death with anything that won't hold your own weight! Mephisto, instead of knocking over the shelves above the sink, can't you take the time to wonder why there's a box clearly marked "SHREDDED WHEAT" above it? Is that what Unabombers use for dishwashing detergent? And why does the rustic cabin have a fucking armoire filled with Franklin Mint commemorative plates? Do you even KNOW how much those 1945 "Gone With The Wind" ones would be worth today?
It's clear that no one will ever win this fight, so Mephisto runs away. I'm sorry, but I just have to say this: PUSSY! Maybe he just ran away because there was nothing left to smash. Seriously, check out the debris field at their feet:
Also notice Skipper attacking his enemy with the only piece of furniture left in the cabin, desperately hoping "THIS one must be made of particle board, it MUST!" You might try smiting him with jawbone of an ass, Skipper, but then how would you chew your food?
Meanwhile, Lance chases Mephisto through some scenic walkway. There are cute bridges and rope-lined trails, and Mephisto, desperately without furniture, throws a Duraflame log at Lance (sound effect: plunk!). Then, he rolls a handy pile of either bocce balls or oranges at him (sound effect: rattle!). Then, apparently beyond being embarassed by even the dorkiest shit he does, throws a lobster trap he found at the top of a cliff (?!) at him. It goes crunch! although I'm not sure if that's the crunch of a baked Cheeto or a fried one. Either way, having a little wooden cage disintegrate into pieces doesn't stop Lance (try throwing a lobster trap with actual lobsters in it next time, that could work! But take the rubber bands off the claws first).
Mephisto finally reaches the end of the scenic vista's hiking path. It's pretty clear that Lance has decided the best way to determine who's Mephisto is by a DNA test done by swabbing whatever paste of him is left on the field of boulders 200 feet below. In fear, Mephisto looks around for a new weapon. This crumpled McDonald's wrapper? Not enough heft! That Franklin Mint Wizard of Oz plate? Too collectable! These bunny slippers? Not pussy enough! This used Q-Tip? EWWW!!! That Franklin Mint Civil War Chess Set? Too many pieces missing! This giant harpoon? Already used it this chapter! This busted hamster ball? Well, it's no rotted-out lobster cage, but--hey! Maybe this fucking two-by-four? Call me crazy, but maybe, just maybe, this could be used to kill somebody, if properly applied to their skull! It's worth a shot! It's either that, or this bag of cotton balls! Sound effect: skull-crush!
Amazingly, hitting someone with an actual weapon hurts them! Lance is hurt so bad that he doesn't just fall off the cliff, he turns into a poorly-stuffed dummy!
Okay. No "sable shroud" last time, and no "Satan's shadow" this time. If the next chapter is titled "LINDA IN HER UNDIES," I'm going to get very excited, then probably very, very angry.
Elapsed time, excluding any typos that I assuredly missed: it's now 2:50. Shit! I haven't even finished all my regular internet reads!
Look. There's only 4 chapters left. You don't want me to do them as half-assed as I did tonight, do you? I don't. I'm enjoying blogging this, but I also enjoy SLEEPING. I'll finish this up on my weekends, Sunday and Monday. I know that it's a long time to wonder how Lance's straw-filled dummy survived, but I can assure you that he probably did. I read somewhere that he went on to become a very successful crash dummy.
I generally don't link to Sites That Are Everywhere, but here's the one about the nursing home cat who only comes to people about to die. No one knows why, although the article itself says "He's become part of the death ritual, along with lowered lights, aromatherapy, and gentle music...Either he wants to give comfort. Or he is just attracted to all the quiet activity that surrounds a patient close to dying." Well, that could be the answer right there, especially as the cat likes all the attention he gets when he does it.
On the other hand...When my father died, I wrote this:
Three weeks ago, I was putting away the Monthly Buy-Ins at the Liquor Store. Just a few years ago, we had to buy a month's worth of booze to get the good price. Now it's 2 or 3 month's worth. And our store does about $40-50,000 of business. A week. We buy a lot of booze at the end of the month.
While I was in the upstairs storage room, waiting for the endless stream of liquor to come up the conveyor belt, I noticed a spider. She was on the outside of a 2nd story window, and another, much smaller, spider was in her web. My knowledge of spiders consists of "Radioactive ones let you beat people up, but your Uncle Ben gets killed and then you have to live with your Aunt Jemima" (or something), but even I knew that this must be some courtship dance. And the lil' spider did, running up and waving a few legs at her, then running back. It went on and on, and since I don't get paid to watch spiders mate, I never found out how it ended.
The next day I found out that it ended well! For Mrs Spider, anyway, as Mr Spider was now a dessicated husk wrapped like a mummy in her web casting. The next day, he was tossed out of the web. And Mrs Spider was bigger.
A few days later, she laid an egg and got smaller. And she caught a bug and et it.
Then she got big again and laid another egg.
Then the first egg hatched, and tiny, tiny golden microspiders clustered around the empty egg husk. My knowledge of spider birth consists of the last chapter of Charlotte's Web, so I expected them to grow little gossamer parachutes and depart for worlds unknown. While going "Wheee!" But they didn't. They just sat around the egg, day after day.
Then she laid another egg. Three so far, two unhatched. She fixed up her web, making me wonder if little spiders don't leave until they catch something. Well, it'd have to be a very little something.
And then she went away. I don't think she died, she just...went away. To make a new web, one closer to the ground. Did she build it so high up that her kids could fly away? Like in Charlotte's Web, the most accurate documentary of our time?
Well, the weekend came, and when I was back at work, the minis were gone. It had been windy that weekend. Maybe that was what they were waiting for. It didn't matter, as the second egg had opened, and another crowd of arachnidettes were clustered around their old egg.
Today, a pair of grasshopper/locust-y type bugs were hanging out by their web. They were either there to eat the spiderkids or make kids of their own. And Mr Locusty Thing did his dance, and I saw him wave his green weiner or ovipositer or whatever at Mrs Hopper, but I never saw them make the Insect With Two Backs. I had work to do. When I came back, Mr Hopper (all my knowledge of insects comes from A Bug Movie) as having a nice nosh. On the unhatched egg. After a bit of chewing, he suddenly hopped away from the egg and furiously wiped his mandibles. Possibly hs lunch had bit back. Maybe he was an herbivore, like a locust, and just wanted to eat the outside of the egg, and then, like you or me when eating a dumpling, reacted violently after finding out that it was filled with live spiders. Or maybe, since all my knowledge of locusts comes from watching Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, he was Lokar: "Spiders! GET THESE SPIDERS OFF MEEEE!!"
He went away. The spiders stayed. So did Mrs Hopper. Was her romance a failure and she awaits a new suitor, or is she pregnant and planning to deposit her eggs right on the baby spiders?
Then I saw, on a window inside the store, 2 smaller ladybug-like beetles making circles around a very large one. One of the suitors was kicked to the side by the other. Again, I never saw what happened, but they were both gone after a coupla hours.
Look, bugs: Liquor stores are not where you go to find a mate. That's what insect singles bars are for! What, are we some exoskeletal meat market now?
Readers: I will name the children after your suggestions! But you'll need a lot of names. Hundreds probably. And, of course, when you next hear a splat! on your windshield, it could be your little Johnny!
I got a hit from a search for "she force herself to gas,and ask him to pee in her anus". Yeah, I know, I shouldn't make fun of people who can't speak English. Not when they come from backward and ignorant places like Asheville, North Carolina.
The condo association (or, as I like to call them, "the condo ass") left a sign on our mailboxes. They're going to work on our chimneys this week, so "Please arrange your schedules accordingly." Okay, I guess that I won't walk on a fourth-story roof those days. I've lived here for 20 years, and I didn't even know we had chimneys. We don't have fireplaces, but I guess even oil heaters need chimneys. So I took a look. And there's one chimney per building, and guess whose bedroom it sits right on top of!
So I guess I should arrange my schedule to not sleep those days. Though I'll climb up there with a shotgun if they start to sing "Chim-Chim-Cheree."
I had a good reason for not looking at Manhunt of Mystery Island yesterday: IDFFLI. That's an Internet acronym I just invented that means "I DIDN'T FUCKING FEEL LIKE IT!" But today, IDFFLI! Um, that's the acronym with "DO" in place of "DIDN'T." Hmm, maybe IDFFLI will not achieve the popularity of LOL or STFU.
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Twelve, "CAULDRON OF CREMATION." Ooh, nice title! Hopefully this one will actually involve a cauldron, as we were shorted on both our sable shrouds and our Satan the last two times.
Last time, Mephisto destroyed some photographic evidence proving who he was, maybe him having dinner with the Loch Ness Monster and stiffing his waitperson for the evening, Bat Boy, on the tip. After ruthlessly trying to kill Lance with an egg carton, a rubber band ball, and his own deadly bellybutton lint, Mephisto cleverly decided to attack Lance with a club. He hit Lance so hard that Lance's bones turned to jelly, and he fell to his straw-filled dummy Doom. Fell the distance equivalent to stepping off of Maachu Picchu and hitting someone at the end of the burro ride at the floor of the Grand Canyon. Reaching the terminal velocity of a crashing jet fighter, Lance falls in a fishnet. You know, like they make the sexy stockings from. And, rather than passing right through, cut up into McLance nuggets, he pops out fresh as a daisy that just fell off a mountain after being beaten senseless. And his clothes are perfect. Say what you want about Monkey Boy's checkered suit. It may not be fashionable, but it's tougher than Kevlar. Mephisto responds by climbing higher (um, to where? Heaven?) and Lance runs away.
Believe it or not, the battle between Skipper and that penultimate possible-Mephisto, Armstrong, is still going on. With every bit of anything in the cabin reduced to splinters, I guess now they're trying to toothpick each other to death. Of course, Armstrong is much older than Skipper, so he's someone Skipper is almost equal to. I'll bet Skippy hopes that the next battle takes place in a kindergarten. He'll fuck those toddlers up! And he can regain his strength during naptime. While Armstrong searches for some sawdust to beat Skippy with, Skipper has the brilliant idea to hit him with a piece of metal. Hey, wait, thinks Skipper: This metal has been forged into seperate machine-tooled pieces, and then assembled into a...GUN! Which is full of bullets! With no time to remove the bullets and throw them, he shoots Armstrong. Armstrong dies in a really moving scene--well, no, he dies with a good impression of someone who just smelled a fart. But it kills him, and you can't argue with results! Skipper runs away before Linda wakes up, but if I was the bad guy, I think that I would've tried shooting her, too. But I suppose she'd just catch the bullet in her teeth and spit it back, blowing out Skipper's duodenum. That would kill Skipper, although I would get to find out where the duodenum is. The foot, right?
RUN, Skippy, run! Oh no, you ran right into Lance, who shoots at you with the gun he didn't have before. He either found it in the fishnet, or pulled it out of his duodenum (which is impossible! I never saw him take his shoes off!). So he runs back, and Linda's blasting away. Skipper takes shelter behind a car, and bullets ricochet off of the radiator, not something I'd normally consider bulletproof. Heck, it was World War II, the Japs could invade any minute so I guess everybody drove around in armored Studebakers. Not that it matters; every shot fired misses. Skipper's revolver runs out of bullets after firing 32 rounds, one for each flavor of Baskin-Robbins plus the weekly special. He does what he always does--when the gun clicks, he glares at it, then tries to fire it again and it clicks again, and he glares at it. I'm no NRA member, but I'm kinda sure that you can't get a gun to reload itself by giving it dirty looks. Then wouldn't the bumper sticker you see on redneck pickups say "Keep honking, I'm stinkeyeing my gun"? He escapes in the car. Mephisto watches, as he has climbed all the way to the top of the mountain and is thus near the bottom. Oh, I get it! It was a waterslide! Six Flags Over Mystery Island!
Lance and Linda look at Armstrong's corpse. His arms aren't so strong, but his smell is, LOL! Well, that's what I would say, so STFU. Lance says, "Too bad he had to die to prove his innocence!" using the same tone you might use to say "Too bad he had to learn the hard way not to eat spaghetti in a white dress shirt."
Skipper drives up the mountain and picks up Mephisto--wait, wasn't Mephisto just going down--and when did they build a road up to--? Nevermind. Mephisto says that Armstrong's death was necessary, but that leaves only two possible Mephisto candidates. What? The other one died in like Chapter Six! What, is he alive now--nevermind. The Radio-Atomic Transmitter! Mephisto will use it to control All World Commerce! because it radios atoms transmittedly--nevermind. Mephisto decides to force Linda's Dad into finishing it! Not that that's not what he's been trying to do all serial, but by gum he will now even morely!!
Linda's Dad is carefully tuning the Radio-Atomic--oh, let's just call it the RAT, by banging a screwdriver into it with a hammer. No, he really is. That's how they built the Atom Bomb, you know. They hit it with rocks. But they were really good rocks. Linda's Dad tells him, "I am neither frightened nor impressed by your piratical swashbuckling!" YEAH! Mephisto doesn't even have a parrot on his shoulder! And how many times has he said "ARR!"? NONE! I was counting! "Then maybe THIS will impress you!" says Mephisto. And he puts on a pegleg and an eyepatch! No, wait, he says "You have TWO DAYS to complete this project!" ...Or? No, seriously. Or what? Captain Mental, this serial's in its third month. He's never going to finish the RAT. In fact, Dad gets so mad that he smashes the bit he's working with the primary tool of any electronics designer, a ball-peen hammer. "KILL HIM!" Mephisto barks, and Skipper reluctantly raises his revolver. The guy's a foot away, and at that range, Skipper will certainly shoot himself in the duodenum! "Wait! Death by shooting is too QUICK! We will devise another way to BLAH BLAH BLAH." Yeah, throw him off a cliff or into a wine press. Put him in a shaft and fill it with "GAS." Blow him up with a DANGER ZONE Hamper of Lunch! Shit, dude. I realize that they haven't invented James Bond movies yet, but that doesn't mean that you should! SHOOT HIM! FSHN!!! ("Fucking Shoot Him NOW," that's another net acronym I just coined)
Mephisto shows his steely resolve to eventually do something by retreating to his room. That always works for 12-year-olds having arguments with their parents! Maybe he should've added "You can't tell me what to do!! I HATE YOU!" while slamming the door for effect. Mephisto has a plan: Kidnap Linda and bring her to her father. That's his Plan A. I assume Plan B was "Cover myself in Fancy Feast and kidnap all the hungry lions and tigers from the zoo!" Plan C was probably to gain superpowers by eating Poison. Poison, the band.
Okay, I was wrong. There are two more possible Mephistos. Their characters are all depicted so differently that I can't understand how I forgot! They're all pasty personality-free old farts, but their hairlines recede totally differently! One has a phone message from someone who knows Mephisto's identity and--WHOA! Mephisto's hiding behind the flower pot! So it can't be ANY of the suspects unless (yawn) it's a guy in disguise. Lance races to shoot at Mephisto, then carefully puts on his hat so that we know that the stuntman's taking over his role. A car chase begins, assuming that those things the size of an average bodega are cars.
A guy in a mask sneaks up behind Linda and overpowers her. Overpowers LINDA. With what? A thousand-gallon tank of chloroform? A robot dinosaur? The entire Russian Army? No. A bandana. A FUCKING BANDANA! And he's only holding one of her arms! Man, Linda with one free arm is like Rambo with 20 rocket launchers! Within 2 seconds she should be beating the guy to a pulp with his own ripped-out leg! She should be choking him by stuffing his duodenum down his lower stomach! But, NOOO, he's got a bandana! Thank god he doesn't have a scarf!
Hey, did I tell you about the time I defeated vampire Frankenstein and zombie Wolfman and their horde of walking killer whale mummies with only a Hello Kitty sweatsock? BECAUSE I DID.
Meanwhile, back at the car chase, Mephisto in his crosstown bus races away from Lance in his convertible Winnebago. Races right up the mountain he just climbed, descended, then climbed and descended, and now climbs. They stop, using up all the handicapped spots, and Lance confronts Mephisto by a big flaming pit. A cauldron, one might say, one useful for cremation. Or maybe Satan's in there, a chapter late. Lance is quickly captured by some guys who don't even have bandanas. Before they throw him into the Black Cauldron, along with Hen Wen and Gurgi (How's that for obscure? No, wait--"HTFO"?), Mephisto decides to explain his Evil Plan in detail. Dude, I SAID don't invent the Bond movie!! "You were purposely led here in order that [Linda] might be made prisoner!" which is a really brilliant piece of gloating, except that Lance lets it sink in for exactly no time at all, and then channels Linda and smashes everybody in the room to bloody mush. I guess. This is the first fight scene so poorly lit that only the SMACK! POW! BIFF!s are clues that they aren't doing the hokey-pokey. They certainly turn themselves about! It's so dark that I can only say that I kinda sorta think that Lance throws Mephisto into the cauldron of carbonization and movies Disney won't reissue, so I guess that removes that guy as a suspect. Then, after more impossible-to-follow dancing in the dark, you can't start a fire without a spark, Lance throws another guy in the cauldron. Or maybe Bruce Springsteen throws in that chick from Friends.
Well, the chapter ends here, so I guess it wasn't Lance throwing some guy in a fedora in the cauldron, it was some guy in a fedora who looked like Lance throwing Lance and his fedora in. Good thing that he's not made of straw this week!
Well, he was asleep, until Kill Kill stormed through--that's her tail in front. He laid there, bewildered, while she went from her usual default Fuzzy Doorstop mode into Full-of-Beans insanity. I tried to get a picture of her as she squirmy-wormed...
Yeah, there's some Pulitzer Prize photography. She did eventually settle down, and
turned to meow at Byron at the last second.
The always cool music blog of WFMU had an MP3 link today, to the Feelies flexidisc from 1979. Hey, I have that! I know where I got it--Capitol Records, in Hartford CT--but I don't recall how. They were either giving them away with purchases from Stiff Records, who I bought a lot of in those days, or they were selling them for a buck. It's a 4-song medley, and I liked the flexi even more than the actual album it was promoting. You'd like them if you liked Wire, Devo or the Talking Heads, although they don't sound like Wire, Devo or the Talking Heads. "Fa Ce-La" gets automatic points for the opening lyric "Get a message down to Darien, everything is alright!" as Darien is in Connecticut. Although it's in Fairfield County, which people here consider to not really be Connecticut, but a rich suburb of NYC. If your view of CT is a place full of rich, white, privileged assholes, you're thinking of Fairfield. Except for the poor parts. And the people who aren't assholes. Or white. Stereotypes are funny that way.
If you like the ongoing review of Manhunt of Mystery Island, you'd like this review of another serial, The Adventures of Sir Galahad, starring an actor who played Superman and falls off of his horse. "Ulric's beard is the most impressive facial hair I've ever seen. It looks like a relief map of the Ukraine." WARNING: Not as sweary as this page; may be SFW.
And the Clown Prince must be having a good dream atop the mini fridge with the giant magnet--even in his sleep, he's giving it a thumb's up!
When I started to boil the corn, I thought, "Wait, I haven't done this in years. Is it 5 minutes or 10? The Tubes will know!" And a Google search led to How To Cook Corn on the Cob dot com. It was the first link. And...it's about cooking corn on the cob! Pretty lame excuse for a domain name (and for content), but it's Google's first hit and whoever owns it gets income from the ads. So it's not really lame, it's kind of clever.
Note: searches for "cook bacon" or "hard boiled eggs" do not lead to similar sites. Snag those domain names and here's your chance at web entrepreneurship!
I'll bet boilingpuppies4soup.com is still available, too! Oh wait--some guy named Vicks just snagged it.
The 2007 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Awards.
I found out about Spockboy via Cartoon Brew, and yesterday they had the premiere of something I've been waiting for: Cartoon Dump. It's a look at the worst cartoons ever made, and I thought that it would like Mystery Science Theater 3000, what with the fact that one of the people doing it is from MST3K, "TV's Frank." And it was pretty dire. No MYSTing of the actual cartoon, just some framing skits that aren't just bad, they're so bad you feel sorry for the people doing them. And the cartoon was only funny up until the point it became clear that it was just some crappy old government-made thing for Phys Ed classes. Since it's the only the first of a weekly series, you could say that "They have nowhere to go but up!" Unless you've seen the Sci Fi Channel era MST3Ks, which every season kept finding new ways to hit bottom. But there's no reason to not give it a chance and watch it for a few weeks.
Life imitates the Onion: China tells Bhuddists to obtain government permission before they reincarnate.
It'd be funnier if the self-proclaimed reincarnationees didn't "disappear" afterwards.
Being Green is making global warming worse. Don't walk to the store--it's better for the environment if you drive! Why? Because the carbon you don't use by walking is more than offset by the carbon you use by replenishing the calories you just walked off by eating beef. I'm sure you just had the same reaction that I did: "And what if you don't eat beef?" I drastically cut my red meat intake 20 years ago, because I believed that you couldn't call yourself an environmentalist if you were contributing to Amazon deforestation and global warming by promoting the raising of cows for food. (This was back when talking about "global warming" was considered as insane as saying that "tens of millions of Americans will someday have tattoos in order to prove how 'individual' they are") What if most of your protein comes from poultry? It's too bad that the article starts out with that, as it ends with a list of ways that you may be harming the environment by using conventional wisdom to help it. I guess that you should choose plastic over paper.
In other important news, Marvel Comics vs. Science: 5 of the Most Absurd Superhero Origins.
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Thirteen, "BRIDGE TO ETERNITY." It's exit 3 off the highway. No, I said exit 3, exit 2 is the Bridge to Terabithia, and exit 4 is the Bridge over the River Kwai. If you've reached exit 5, you've gone a bridge too far. What, would it kill you to stop and ask for directions?
Last time, in an inky blackness Lance or somebody else in a hat and suit fell into a blast furnace, instantly killing Lance! Or somebody else. All I know is that it wasn't Skipper, as the guy was wearing a Lance hat and suit, not a Skipper hat and sailor suit. So who is our side of blackened Cajun?
It seems that the guy didn't so much fall in as deliberately on purpose with malice aforethought jump in, and just drop a few feet to the floor. While the fire rages in back projection, Lance hippity-hops in and captures--Skipper?! IT TOTALLY WAS NOT SKIPPER ON THE WAY IN! I call rip-off. And it wasn't Mephisto that "fell in the flames," but Higgins. No, I don't remember who he is, either. And "fell in the flames"? Since one just hops down onto a stage, I don't see how that would kill anybody anyway. But oh, pooor Professor Higgins! If only the rain in Spain had fallen on the flames! Wouldn't it be loverly if he survived? Instead, someone got him to the charnel house on time.
After 13 flippin' chapters, Super Doctor Einstein Sherlock Brain Head Man Lance finds out that Mephisto uses a Transformation Chair to make himself all piratey'n'shit. How? Skipper tells him. They have quite the nice conversation at gunpoint, with Lance hoping to trade Skipper for Linda, "if you play ball with me." Skipper hopes it's not dodgeball, as the 4th graders are certain to kick his stinky butt.
If you're wondering about the "trade for Linda" part, she was captured by a fucking bandana last time, which I guess is like Linda kryptonite.
Meanwhile, back in New Dork City, Linda's dad AGAIN has the conversation about how he'll never complete the Super-Radio-Atomic Laser-Guided Smellovision DOOMdad for Mephisto. How many times is he going to have this conversation? How many times more before he realizes that every single time he has it, Mephisto's STANDING NEXT TO HIM? Dude, I would've learned before the first time it happened to look around the room before mouthing off. I have complaints about my boss, but it's not like I bark them to the world while sitting in his lap. But this time Mephisto has an ace up his sleeve, or at least a babe up his...wait, that didn't work. He has Linda! And she's restrained by--having her arms tied back! And not even with a bandana! And that...stops her?! Incontheevable! It's like stopping the Hulk by tying his shoelaces together.
BANNER: You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. And wearing tight shoes.
ARRRGGH! ME HULK NOW! Hulk no wear shoes, Hulk feet size of Mini-Coopers and smell like metric ton of old Fritos! ARRRGGHH!!! Hulk prefer Crocs. Now--Hulk have fun stormin' the castle! (excerpts from "The Princess Hulk," 1985)
Linda seethes with anger as her pop agrees to finish his Nuklyar Missile Defense Shield and Pocket Fisherman. Dad is apparently most swayed by Mephisto's insistence that Lance is dead. Hey, didn't Lance declare Mephisto dead a scene ago? Maybe LANCE is Mephisto! Nah. Mephisto dresses like a pirate on the world's shittiest Mardi Gras float, but even that's a step above Lance's awful checkered suit. Mephisto goes to the Transformation Chair, and this serial would've lasted 3 episodes if they cut that same repetitive sequence out. Lance's plan is to drive around the island until someone calls him on the car's radio. As plans go, it's better than "sit on my 'rent's back deck, eatin' Doritos and smokin' a bone, hopin' Mephisto gets hit by a meteor," but not by much. It takes about 30 seconds for the plan to work. Mephisto is more than willing to trade Skipper for the incredibly hot mama he has in bondage, and I think that explains everything we need to know about Mephisto and Skippy's relationship. Skipper's an incompetent fuckup who's still trying to remember that guns work best when you point the part with the hole at the people you want to kill, but it's 1945 and Castro Street is decades in the future, and beggars can't be choosers. Skipper's not just a bottom, he's the bottom of the barrel. I think Mephisto could do better--just look at his fashion sense--but I guess that if you find that one guy who's willing to play "the Naughty Skipper and the Mean Old Pirate" every day, you stay with him.
Mephisto orders Lance to go to the suspension bridge. Bridge, bridge...I seem to recall something about a bridge...Something bad...Ahh, whev, it probably wasn't important.
Lance pulls up to the bridge, which is about as wide as the straps of Lindsay Lohan's shirt, and leaves Skipper in the car. Displaying a resourcefulness that he's exhibited never, Skipper writhes away from his ballgag.
He forgets to turn his frown upside down. He looks less like Skipper than he does Thurston Howell the Third, realizing that no matter how long they're trapped on the island, Ginger and Mary Ann will never have sex with him, and he's stuck flaccidly putting it to Lovey, who is as sexy as a rosin bag.
Apparently the gag was the only thing holding Skipper back, as without it he can wriggle his way to the front seat of the car and turn the radio on. With his nose. Possibly he wins a lot of bar bets with this talent. He still refers to Captain Mephisto as "CM" on the radio, because who'd figure that code out? Mephisto gags Linda and leaves. Look, the gag didn't work on Skipper Retardo, did it? Why would it work on Linda, a force of nature untamed? You dumb, Mephisto. You DAMN dumb. Why don't you tie her legs together with pipe cleaners while you're at it? You dumbass.
Lance arrives at Mephisto's hideout, a comically goofy hillbilly shack straight out of Lil' Abner. Mephisto, master of subterfuge, hides behind the door, and Lance, shit of brains, waltzes right in. Mephisto could shoot him right now, but no! Turn around first! Ooh, Mephisto, you scalawag! Shooting him in the back! And POW! Mephisto reels! From a punch from our hero? No, Linda, bound and gagged, kicks a stool into his head! I SAID tie her feet, dumbass! He drops his gun, and when he reaches for it SPLAT! guess who gets a shapely foot smashed in his dumbass pirate fucking face? Dude! this serial would've lasted NO chapters if you'd only killed Linda first! She's not going to be your girlfriend, so stop deluding yourself and shoot her!
Ho-hum, another fistfight. More busted furniture. SEEN IT. Only good part: they stumble into a Franklin stove, and it instantly disintegrates into its Ikea parts. No wonder you had 15 screws left over after building it! Of course, it builds to a raging inferno in half a second, while Lance and Mephisto knock over the bunk bed. I wonder who slept on the top bunk, Mephisto or Skipper. As the cabin is engulfed in flames, Lance saves Linda (that's a first!) and retrieves his gun. From the flaming maelstrom. Say what you want about Lance's lapses of judgement involving death traps, evil villains and checkered suits, you ain't grabbing no burning guns out of raging infernos and shooting them. Shit, I'd pick it up with BBQ tongs, dunk it in the toilet to cool it off, and then pick it up. Unless the toilet hadn't been flushed. Then I'd just stare at it. Man, I'd make an awful action hero. That's how Dirty Harry got his name. He was so tough, he wiped his ass with that .44 Magnum. "Do you feel lucky, punk? Did he just shoot 5 bullets or--oh , man. Wet fart. Let me just wipe a bit here and BANG! OH GOD MY COLON!"
Lance frees Linda, and they escape the flaming Armageddony maelstromy infernoish--shit, I ran out of made-up adjectives. Damn you, Roget! Mephisto escapes across the spindly rope bridge, and Lance fires, his gun not even cooled off yet. Ka-PWING! the bullet ricochets off of the...wood? Is he shooting bullets, or just grapes? They chase Mephisto onto the bridge, and..."Bridge." I seem to remember something about a bridge...and I think it was bad...Nevermind. Lance fires, and hits Mephisto in the leg! It makes him stumble, then he races along the...bridge. Hmm...no. Can't think of why that seems significant. Lance fires again, and hits Mephisto in the arm, and he keeps on going. Shit, he really IS shooting him with grapes! And not even the ones with seeds! Mephisto reaches the end of the bridge, and takes out his box cutter to saw the bridge down. Lance doesn't shoot, but at this point, do you blame him? Hopefully he can reload with some Bing cherries. Mephisto cuts through the twine holding the bridge, and Lance and Linda almost fall into the precipice. Then he cuts another bit of yarn! OH NO, Lance and Linda are dangling to their doom! Or, given how fakey they look, at least Ken and Barbie are. He then cuts another string, and they still don't fall. Linda even pivots away from the camera, so we don't even get a panty shot and HOW IS THAT FAIR?! He finally saws through the bridge's last Twizzler, and they fall to their DOOOM! Or possibly to Iceland, as that's exactly what a cloud behind them looks like:
Land THERE, guys! Aim for Reykjavik! They have European health care and Bjork!!
Next chapter: POWER DIVE TO DOOM, and unless they're diving into a sauna in Keflavik that's holding a Sugarcubes reunion...they are fucked.
Manhunt of Mystery Island, Chapter Fourteen, "POWER DIVE TO DOOOOM." I added some extra Os to make it more dramatic.
When we last left our intrepid heroes, Linda and Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, they'd shot Mephisto twice before he cut through the suspension bridge (to eternity) they were on with his butterknife. "The Captain was here!" he doesn't sneer, "Always drink responsibly!" because Captain Morgan is always forced down by the responsible college freshmen. (Their newer slogan is "Put a little Captain in you!" which I'll bet the equally drunken sorority girl thinks while she's having sex with the frat boy) Linda and Lance, unfortunately, have a little Captain trying to kill them, and they fall to their DöööööM! which I spelled with umlauts this time as it's always scarier when you're being murdered by an 80s heavy metal band.
And how does one survive a fall from the upper troposphere into a river less deep than the average plastic kiddie pool? To your D&&&&M?! which I spelled with ampersands this time because...umm, let's move on. You do it the same way you did when the giant sphincter cave wet-farted you out at 300 miles an hour a few episodes back. You splash, you swim away in water clearly shallow enough to stand in, and, if you're a well-dressed monkey-boy, you keep your hat on. Exactly the same way, as they even use the same footage they did in Chapter Nine.
Lance and Linda, after having been nearly killed for 14 straight weeks now, are getting a tad pissed about it. They storm into Mystery Mansion and confront the only surviving suspects, Dumpy Old Guy, and his friend, Dumpy Old Guy. They shot the Captain in the arm, and he has a little lead inside him. Please shoot responsibly! Thus, anyone with a bullet hole in him is Mephisto! He was also shot in the leg, which should mean that anyone who's as mobile as Steven Hawking should be a suspect, but they leave that detail out. Dumpy Old Guy indignantly cries "I don't have to prove to anyone that I'm not a reincarnated pirate who goes around killing people!" I am so working that into every conversation I have from now on! Although I'll replace "killing" with "DOOMING" but with the Os replaced with smiley faces. I wouldn't want to freak people out. His friend and colleague, Dumpy Old Guy, adds "Or a murdering Jekyll and Hyde with the habits of a werewolf!" Or a stinky ol' mummy with the personal hygiene of an Elvis impersonator! (NOTE: This serial had six writers. Six! I think that for this scene, the 3 directors went around the room the writers were passed out in, and just kicked them until the least-drunk one woke up and staggered to the typewriter) Dumpy Old Guy shows his scar-free arm to Lance, and then Dumpy Old Guy shows his. It's like a methadone clinic at the nursing home! Meanwhile, that stupid knight mask on the wall opens up, and everyone's favorite kuckleknob Skipper shoves his face in.
Some mysterious person transforms himself into Mephisto, as we have to see that same scene twice an episode. Mephisto brags about how confused they were when they saw he had no wound on his arm. Skipper says, "But I'm just as mixed-up as they are!" Skipper, buddy, the word you're looking for isn't "mixed-up" but "retarded." Mephisto says, "My dear Skipper! Can't you see that I LOVE YOU? This 'conquering the world' nonsense was but a ruse to win your heart!" and they embrace and then get married and open a popular seafood restaurant on Martha's Vineyard THE END. No, wait, that's how The Sopranos ended. Haha, how unbelievable would that be!
Mephisto really says, "My dear Skipper! When I go through the transformation, the molecular arrangement of the blood corpuscles is soon changed, and any wound is healed immediately!" Well, that makes se
You--you have this thing that REVERSES BULLET WOUNDS? And you use it to play PIRATE DRESS UP? Gee whiz, if memory serves, back in 1945, there was some thingamabob going on...it involved bullet wounds, I'm sure, and began with "WW." "Wascally Wabbits"? No..."Weebles Wobble"? No...oh, I got it! WORLD WAR TWO. And you use this miracle machine in an attempt to steal the Nucleo-Radium Toaster Segway, and not make an automatic healer that has the only side effect of making you look like a pirate when you want it to? How many millions of lives could you have saved, and how many BILLIONS of dollars--and I mean 1945 dollars!--could you have legally made with this? What kind of fucking sociopath are you, Mephisto? Even Halliburton would've figured that out! I have lost ALL respect for you! And you know what? PIRATES DRESS LIKE FAGS, except WITH NO FASHION SENSE!!
Well. I didn't want to say it, but I said it. And I'm glad. No. Look in the mirror! You're 38! Dressed like a pirate! Does that make you proud? And if it cures all wounds, what the hell's with that scar on your cheek? What about the wound you put...in my heart?
Meanwhile, back in the movie...Mephisto and Skipper go to the Old Fortress, which is on a scenic overlook of the ocean. On Martha's Vineyard, maybe? Linda's captured professor father has invented something. A "teletube." It says "UH-OH!" and carries a purse. There's also a television, which the professor calls "a television," which has a joystick. Before you can think "Oh boy, Centipede!!" we're told that the teletube needs to be attached to "the company plane." Oh boy, Time Pilot!! Mephisto naturally instructs Skipper to install it, much in the same way you might trust your car's brake job to a particularly dim badger by smearing raw meat on the pads.
In the next room. Linda says, "There must be some way to find father! We know that Mephisto visits him, and so does Skipper!" Well, yes, there's that. And the fact that it's been established that they're in the next room, behind the stupid knight mask. "You've hit it!" exclaims Lance. "We also know Skipper's car! All we have to do is follow it!" It's already been established that the Skipmobile is like the Staten Island Ferry on wheels, except louder, so yeah, follow that. Or any dipshits wearing sailor man hats who walk around in public with pirates, there's that too. Maybe you could start your search on that island you're on, the one with 6 buildings and a population of the people in one mansion. Here's a sample question you might posit to the locals: "Mayhap you have seen a man dressed as Thurston Howell III and a pirate puttering down the road in the Exxon Valdez?" It may take a while, but it could jog someone's memory.
"I'll take the car," says Lance, "you take the company plane!" Next shot: Skipper putting, in a strangely handy external hole, the teletube into the company plane. Then he drives off in his car, the Lusitania, and no one is the wiser. Until Professor Dad turns on the television, and it's reality TV: Linda's getting in the company plane! Before she can feel a fear factor and eat some worms, she takes off. Professor Dad refuses to operate the plane--oh, wait, I got it! Waaay back in Episode One, The Phantom Menace, Prof flew a little radio controlled plane! That's what they've been fighting over all this time! A drone plane! NOT a machine that cures fatal wounds while giving you a Halloween costume! Which is a good point for us to sit back and remember the classic words of George Bernard Shaw, "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!" FOURTEEN CHAPTERS, and it was all about flying a plane with a joystick?! Can't you wait until the 1980s and fucking buy Microsoft Flight Simulator?
"Let ME operate the controls!" says Mephisto. "The worst I can do is crash it!" While that's a good summation of most people's first stabs at Flight Simulator, or Windows, it doesn't go over well with the guy whose daughter is flying the plane. (Let me desnark for a second, and point out that a female woman girl who is a lady is expertly flying a plane in a 1945 movie. When would there be another movie with such a capable and kick-ass heroine, 1978?)
Dad takes control, using the TV camera that is now flying alongside the plane. It's a really good camera, OKAY?! Linda can't control the plane, and radios Lance. "I KNEW it!" says Lance about sending her up in the death trap. Lance would've said "I TOLD YOU SO!" to Mary Todd Lincoln after selling her those theater tickets. The serial takes great care to show that Lance hangs up his giant All-Day-Sucker car microphone in between calls to Linda, which is an interesting choice, as they don't bother with the rear projection showing his car apparently driving sideways.
Despite all this, Linda spots Skipper's car--it's the only one in the parking lot with Leonard DiCaprio on the hood yelling "I'm KING OF THE WORLD!"--and Mephisto takes over the plane's controls. "It takes practice, you'll crash it!" pleads Dad, "And wipe out all my high scores!" Since Mephisto is a colossal dick, he decides to fly Linda so high that she'll pass out and, possibly, enter into a power dive of some kind, maybe even one of DOOM, which I spelled correctly but I want you to imagine is in the font of the old video game. He even shoots Dad's partner, a character so inconsequential I don't think I've mentioned him before, and he comically dies waving his arms around like he's the worst Charades player ever.
Linda passes out, and in a scene that's truly exciting (I make the fun, but as I've said before, this is the best serial I've ever seen), Lance races to the fortress where she saw Skipper's Love Boat. He bursts in on Mephisto, and disarms him and Skipper instead of plugging the two bastards in between the eyes. He unties Dad, but looks away for half a second and FISTFIGHT! A brief one, as Skipper jams Lance into a harpoon! Oh, wait, for once in the serial, this room has no harpoon. Whew! Instead it's the joystick that controls Linda's plane OH FUCK THAT AIN'T GOOD! And Lance unintentionally puts it into the Power Dive of DUDE, She's So Dead. Linda wakes up just as the plane's about to crash, and she pulls it out of the Power Dive of DOO OH FUCK SHE DOESNT, SHE SCREAMS AND CRASHES IN A HUGE EXPLOSION AND FUCKING DIES AND I HATE YOU MEPHISTO STUPID PIRATE ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Manhunt of Mystery Island, LAST CHAPTER (yes, that's how it's titled), "FATAL TRANSFORMATION." Which is a lot less lame than "FATAL GOBOT-IZATION" would be. Seriously--Rock Lords? Robots that turned into rocks? This is why there'll never be a 200 million dollar GoBots movie.
Last week, Linda was in a plane that was performing a Power Dive to Which I put in a blink tag, as that's the second scariest thing you'll see on the internet. Be thankfull that I didn't make it a pop-up ad with audio! She raced towards the ground, she screamed (for the first time in the serial), and the plane crashed into some trees and exploded. Bummer!
This week, she opens her mouth to scream as the earth rushes up to greet her in the head, but Lance pops Skipper one in the kisser. Skippy goes down, pulling the power cord to the plane-crashing machine, thus giving the controls back to Linda. Are you rolling your eyes and saying "Oh, suuure he did!" now? Well, duct-tape your eyeballs before they roll right outta your head: Linda doesn't scream or crash the plane, she soars above the trees, so close that she knocks leaves off it. While I'm glad Linda survived--this is CHEATING! She screamed and crashed last episode! Was that supposed to be happening in some alternate universe, where Spock has a beard and it rains donuts?
(Note: This serial has some pretty incredible special effects for 1945. I had to watch Linda's plane clipping the branches off the tree 3 times before I was sure that it was a miniature, and not a real plane.)
Meanwhile, back at the melee, balsa furniture is busted at a prodigious rate. Lance pulls a gun out of his red baboon ass and opens fire on Mephisto and Skipper, who immediately run away. Lance could go and killify them, but Linda's dad Professor Whiny wants to be untied. Lance complies, as there's no way two crazed thugs might think to double back once he puts his gun in his back pocket. Dad calls Linda on the radio wireless thing the kids today all use, and you'd think that she'd be happy to finally know that he's okay. But she's exhausted from her ordeal. Or has just realized that he was kind of a drag before he was kidnapped. "Okay, Dad," she dramatically sighs, and you can hear her mentally adding "Whatever!"
Linda takes the plane down in a Power Dive--to SAFETY! Dad's plan is to be taken prisoner by the dread pirate captain Mephisto--which may sound dangerous, but given his track record, it's like being taken prisoner by this icanhascheezburger LOLcat:
At the mansion, Dad and Lance meet the only survivors of Mephisto's bloody rampage, Dumpy Old Guy and Dumpy Old Guy. One would think that after the amount of corpses, car crashes, bombings and plane crashes on this tiny island, the police might've shown up by now. But maybe Mystery Island doesn't have a donut shop. Dad guzzles the Dumpy Old Guys' free booze, and pretends that Linda is dead. Why? He has a teletube in his pocket! No, he's not just glad to see you, it's a remote TV camera. Is it the X10 spy camera? Christ, I hope not! Then it'd only show the inside of his pocket, and I really don't want to get that familiar with Dad's crotch. Instead, it shows him from across the room, in a way that's kinda...all "ignoring the actual laws of physics"-ey. It's in his pocket, but somehow bounces the image off the opposite wall and then back again? It's 1945, they didn't have cameras like that! They don't have cameras like that now! Know when they'll have cameras like that? NEVER!
Dumpy Old Guy tells Dad, "I'll get you a stimulant ! You have a chill!" Oh no, he's getting him Viagra! He knows that's only a teletube in his pants! The other Dumpy Old Guy, Dumpy Old Guy, says "What you need is an aspirin!" Yeah, thanks, I've been held prisoner by a homicidal lunatic who dresses like he wants to be the next Muppet, my daughter's just barely escaped being killed for the fortieth time in 3 days, that Lance guy dresses like a red-assed baboon in a checkered suit, and y'know--maybe I want a stimulant a little more potent than a fuckin' Advil, pal. How about 20 tabs of E and a 50-gallon drum of Absolut Citron?
As soon as they leave, we get yet another look at the knight's helmet on the wall, and Skipper looking out of it, and, crimeny, the directors really wanted to get the dollar's worth they spent on that. He grabs Dad at gunpoint, and Linda watches from her teletube vantage point, which is about 30 feet away and still not in her father's pants, thank god. Why, I remember Linda when she was just a glint in her father's teletube! Apparently, it also functions as a combined GPS and MapQuest, as Linda says "He's taken a right-hand turn onto Unknown Street! 500 feet until turn! 400 feet until turn! 399 feet until turn! Press button, at bottom of portrait, for secret doorway! 397 feet until secret lab! Take next left!" Lance tells Linda to fly the company plane to the mansion, because that worked so great 5 minutes ago, while he leaps out of his car and runs up the stairs. And...oh GOD, not the transformation sequence again!! Christ, I hope it really is deadly this time, because after seeing it 25 times it's certainly deadly dull. Lance surprises Skipper, and is in turn surprised by Mephisto, so PILLOW FIGHT! Oh, how the feathers fly and the fake furniture breaks! Lance gets kicked in the face, but it doesn't phase him, because seriously, have you seen his face? Mephisto grabs a handy saber, which is odd, as every other episode has involved a handy harpoon. Lance fights him off with a chair, but then Skipper knocks him down with a vase to the head! Lance falls but instantly recovers, as he is no stranger to vicious blows to the skull since the obstetrician dropped him on his head during delivery and good his brains be ever since then the jelly monkeys Margaret bowling pin! He pulls the rug out from under Mephisto, and I mean that literally, and then takes another 400 blows directly to the fucking face, slamming his brain to the back of the room and that never slowed down anybody with their brutal fly pies and Truffaut rickshaw jelly monkeys beret croissants! Then he fights Mephisto in a balsa sword duel to the DEATH his brain is fine for good now! JELLY MONKEYS!
Lance and Mephisto continue their swordplay, despite all the brains Lance is leaking, until Skipper FINALLY finds the room's harpoon and throws it at Lance. Who dodges it in the same way that you'd dodge...well, I don't know. Something deadly that you dodge every day at work without any real fear of it hurting you. Like I dodge college kids with fake IDs, yeah! Harpoons are just part of Lance's workweek. When he applies for a job, he asks "Is there harpoon insurance?" Well, ask for "Being hit with a tiny piece of ceramics" insurance next time, Lance, as somehow Mephisto manages to beat him into submission with a Precious Moments figurine.
Skipper wants to kill Lance with a --I have no idea what he's using, it looks like a giant can opener. But NO! Mephisto has a much more crafty and retarded plan! He'll turn Lance into Mephisto, as apparently the Transformation Chair only turns people into identical Mephistos, or Rock Lords. Then he'll send him out to be killed, or even Cy-Killed, and yes I'll stop with the GoBot jokes now, and pretend to capture him in his secret identity as Dumpy Old Guy! Then he'll eat some more paste.
Actually, his stated plan is to "Dress him in my costume!" first, so there will be this point where Mephisto and Lance will both be naked and one will be dressing the other and LA LA LA I CAN'T HEEEAR ME!!
I'm sorry. I had to run out of the room and dunk my head in a bucket of ice water. Linda, gun in hand, has raced to the scene. She opens the door, notices something is wrong, and then realizes that there's a harpoon stuck in it. Hilariously, her reaction is "Shit! Another harpoon! We need to spray for those!" and she ignores it. Meanwhile, some guy dressed as Mephisto groggily wakes up in the Transformation Chair, stumbles into the room, and Linda, clearly thinking "You're not gonna throw a harpoon at me! I'm sicka that shit!" shoots the pirate right in the middle of his dead man's chest. Despite surviving multiple previous shootings, Mephisto goes down like a sack of doubloons. To quote Die Hard: "Yo-ho-HO, motherfucker!"
In walks Dumpy Old Guy and Oh My GAWD that was LANCE she shot or some shit!! Linda becomes worried--"Look at this room, there's been a fight!" Why do you think that? The fact that it looks like a balsa wood scrap yard? "Something's happened to Lance! Something dreadful!" What, besides his moms having sex with a gorilla? Or him being so poor, he can only afford that one checkered suit? Unless he looks like a monkey in a checkered suit that also randomly explodes, I'm not sure what you're driving at.
And who should walk in now but a monkey in a checkered suit! Lance is ALIVE and I know that you're yawning in a vague feeling of relief! Seems that after he was beaten unconscious, he woke up and beat Mephisto unconscious, possibly using a set of Franklin Mint Elvis plates, leaving Captain Morgan to wander around drunkenly and get gutshot by Linda. So, after all this time, we find out that Mephisto was really Dumpy Old Guy! WOW! And all this time, I had my money on Dumpy Old Guy! Shows what I know!
Dumpy Old Guy gives Dad a document that "hands over all of Mystery Island's vast deposits of radium-bearing pitchblende!" Dad says, "Thank you, Dumpy Old Guy! This assures the success of my radioatomic power transmitter!' No...it assures that you've all spent the entire serial standing on a RADIOACTIVE PILE OF DEATH, and that you'll all be pissing blood and losing hair in clumps soon. This makes Linda scream! Although I suppose that it'll be edited out of this episode, too. But it's not the thought of a lingering death from radiation poisoning that makes her scream--it's the servant, coming out from the secret passageway with a mop! He was cleaning the secret passageway! That thing must be full of spider webs. You know, everyone wants a secret passageway, but who ever thinks about the upkeep? They all laugh, and Lance turns to Linda and tenderly says "Jelly monkey."
And, yes, that's it. Manhunt of Mystery Island, she is over.
I haven't done a Review the Reviewer post on Somebody and Roeper in a bit. My money's on Ebert's replacement being--ta-daaah!--the guy who got Siskel's job at the Chicago Tribune, if for no other reason than they don't have to fly him in every week. I'm sure that's how Roeper got the job, what with him not even being a film critic and all. It was a travesty of justice, much in the same way I've never been made the coach of the Swedish Bikini Team.
There was a Rex Reedy kinda guy a coupla weeks ago. When he started talking, he waved his right wrist in front of the camera--hey, that's a really expensive watch! I thought. Then he gave first Thumbs Up, and, hey. Expensive watch you got there. Then I kept noticing his watch. I keep mine on my left wrist, but I dunno, maybe lefties keep theirs on the right, facing the camera. Hmm, I also keep my watch under my shirt sleeve, not out of both it and my suit jacket. And there it is again! Dude--you sure love you some watch, huh? It's almost like you wanted it to be front 'n' center all the time. Dude--you're freakin' me out. I was half-expectinng to hear the news story "Richard Roeper has been found strangled with a Rolex. A costumed supervillian calling himself 'The TIMEKEEPER' has claimed responsibility. Roeper's show will now be taken over by a recent guest host. His watch is really nice."
This week's show began with Roeper saying, "In the seat opposite me isn't Roger Ebert, but he has something in common with him, and it's not his shoes!" It immediately struck me as a weird thing to say, especially as Roeper has had to face years of comments saying that he's not fit to fill Siskel's shoes. My next thought was that it'd be even weirder if the guest host was a fat old guy with glasses, and...you probably see where I'm going with this. The other thing they had in common was "They both have won the Pulitzer Prize!" I've grown to not hate Roeper like I used to, but the only prize he's got a shot at is the Crackerjack. At least he didn't add "One thing Roger doesn't have in common with him is a jaw!!"
I liked the guy. He was very articulate and quick, although at the start, he didn't look at Roeper or the camera when responding, but at some vague spot 10 feet away hovering above the floor. He stopped doing it after the first break, so maybe the director said something to him.
I wouldn't mind him becoming the New Guy, but again, I think they'll think about their budget and go with the guy who takes a taxi to the studio and not a 727. He's okay, as he's at least an actual film critic, but for the show to go from 2 great critics to a great critic and some dude with minimal experience in film, to an okay critic and the guy who for years hated all anime for the deeply-thought-out, love-of-the-cinematic-arts opinion "I don't like how big they draw their eyes"...
But who else is there to watch? Michael Medved?
"It seems to be like about 20 years old.
Not to used.
I go it from at the post mall.
A girl gave it to me.
It has no holes or cuts.
It looks like all the other bills"
Sign you are the mother of a toddler: While shopping in a liquor store with your 2-year-old in tow, you find out if there's a bathroom you can use by asking "Is there a potty?"
I won the auction for the next serial!
I paid $12.49 including shipping, which is not bad for a 2-disc set. I assume, anyway; the seller has a 100% rating for 852 auctions, so the DVDs can't suck that badly.
I paid for it after 20 minutes of trying to pay for it. PayPal claimed "This account has been permanently locked with a $0.00 USD balance. All information associated with this account has been blocked from the PayPal system and cannot be registered with another account." What does that mean? It didn't say, nor list a way to find out. After some finagling, I was able to pay using a different credit card and my old Hotmail address. And I was waiting for Hotmail to time my account out, due to the unbelievable amount of spam they let through. No matter how many times I flagged emails beginning with "Confirmation dept." as spam, they always let them through. Guess that now I'm stuck with logging in once a month forever if I want to use PayPal.
The serial? As I mentioned, I remembered it from its goofy title, and then found out a few similarities between it and Manhunt on Mystery Island:
I don't know when I'll get it--hopefully by Labor Day. And I'll do it weekly, just like serials were meant to be watched.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same writers or directors, so we'll have to see if Linda's portrayed as another ass-kicking henchman-destroyer, or if she just screams a lot. The serial doesn't have a very good reputation.
Which is surprising, as it's titled The Purple Monster Strikes. Does it star Cookie Monster's healthier cousin, the one who only eats eggplant?
This week on Review the Guest Reviewer and Roeper, it's the return of THE BALD ANDROID. Too perfect in look and speech, never fazed by the yappings of the pathetic Hu-Man, as shaved bald as Yul Brynner's CowBot in WestWorld, where absolutely nothing can go wrong! go wrong! go wrong!...
Man, I don't like this guy. I kept waiting for him to drop his human guise and pop his false eyes from his head and shoot lasers, while Transforming into Cineasteous Prime, using the fat rendered from his Hu-Man victims to wax his forehead.
Noticably missing from this week's show: thumbs. Yes, the show's trademark was gone. Not a single thumb was shown, up or down. Is it because--BALD ANDROIDS HAVE NO THUMBS? Does it disturb their sleep, and their dreams of electrically shorn sheep?
Speaking of reviews, my decidely human thumb (GO SAPIENS!!) is up for The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. It's a parody of old 50s sci-fi movies, and perfectly treads that line between satire and loving tribute. There's no way that they could get so much right about the genre without enjoying it enough to watch those old movies. If you aren't familiar with those films, you may not get the jokes. At one point, there are several random shots of squirrels. You'll either scratch your head or laugh, knowing it's a nod at the tendency of the no-budget movies of the time to insert stock footage of animals. There's another shot of a special effect (although, in this case, it's more of a "Special Ed-fect," if you get the gist of my nub) of a spaceship landing. The heroes comment on it, and the effect starts back earlier than the last shot of it ended. You'll get it, or you won't. Just like the deliberately wooden dialogue that no human would ever speak outside of a 50s sci-fi movie:
(NOTE: This page is not, nor ever has been, a member of the Communist Commenters)