Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
When I was a kid, I used to be- like so many other kids my age, a huge monster movie freak, absolutely adored the classics. The original Frankenstein, the wolfman, the mummy, The Creature from the black lagoon and of course my main man Dracula.. The only problem with me and my favorite monster movies- being a kid after all, was sometimes- well no, every time that I watched them I got the living shit scared right out of me. The good news was that I usually watched them on Friday and Saturday nights so the next day I didn’t have to go to school. Only thing was, I usually got so scared I didn’t get to sleep until early the next morning. The monsters were going to come and eat my brain, I just knew it. Mom was getting fed up with it and had almost on a couple of occasions decided to pull the plug on my weekend monster movie marathons, that is until I pleaded and begged. And groveled too I might add.
“Please Ma No!! I promise I’ll close my eyes when the scary part comes on! Or I’ll hide behind the couch or something.”
Well she eventually agreed to not take my monster movies from me, based solely on the promise that I wouldn’t allow them to scare the wits out of me.
So therein was the problem, how do I make monsters NOT scary? I consulted my step father immediately. And he gave me an ingenious idea,
“When the scary part comes on son, just picture the monster in his underwear. People in their underwear are ALWAYS funny. ”
Monsters wear underwear? When did this happen? Frankenstein wearing bloomers? Dracula in Granny panties? Did I fail to mention that my step father was a demented, warped S.O.B? But I had to admit, the idea was intriguing so I decided to try it for myself. The very next Friday night there I was sitting right back in front of the television, waiting with baited breath, Popcorn and soda pop at the ready- then the announcement: “Tonight’s feature presentation on Creature Features.. Frankenstein Versus the Brain Munchers.. Ooooooo.. A classic! (no.. don’t get your panties in a wad.. That wasn’t the real title.) I gotta admit, I wasn’t sure how I would react to seeing Frankie in his long johns but the image was kinda funny. I eventually got over the bad dreams that monster movies gave me, but not by picturing Frankenstein in his underwear, I discovered that you can get over a lot of different fears by simply facing them and injecting the situation with a bit of humor. If you make something seem funny to you, then you more than likely will soon realize that the truly funny thing is that you were ever afraid of it in the first place.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
It appears as though it can happen to anybody, at anytime and anywhere.. You are cruising along in your new automobile, and you suddenly get the urge, it happens to the best of us, you pull over in what looks like a “SAFE” neighborhood and decide to go into the local coffee bean barn for a morning mocha, java or cappuccino. You swear you will only be gone for two minutes, if that, what could happen in two minutes for Petes sake? And yet when you walk back to the curb you find your Escalade, Porsche or Mercedes wearing cement loafers. that’s right, your baby just had her new Bridgestones jacked. Stunned, alarmed and well…. Pissed off, you begin the immediate process of locating witnesses before finally reporting the incident to the local police.. Minutes later, the police arrive to inspect the crime scene.. They try to interview the same witnesses that you already have, but of course nobody saw nothing, so two stand around scratching themselves inquisitively.. Two decide they need a coffee and a donut while your baby gets manhandled by crime scene investigators all because you stopped in the wrong neighborhood for a cup of Joe. Relax Holmes.. It isn’t your fault after all it can happen at anytime and anywhere.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Hunting Bear in Alaska
Frank traveled up to Alaska, spotted a small brown bear and shot it. Soon after there was a tap on his shoulder, and he turned around to see a big black bear.
The black bear said, 'That was a very bad mistake. That was my cousin. I'm going to give you two choices. Either I maul you to death or we have sex.' After considering briefly, Frank decided to accept the latter alternative. So the black bear had his way with Frank.
Even though he felt sore for two weeks, Frank soon recovered and vowed revenge. He headed out on another trip to Alaska where he found the black bear and shot it dead. Right after, there was another tap on his shoulder.
This time a huge grizzly bear stood right next to him. The grizzly said, 'That was a big mistake, Frank. That was my cousin and you've got two choices: Either I maul you to death or we have 'rough sex.' Again, Frank thought it was better to cooperate with the grizzly bear than be mauled to death. So the grizzly had his way with Frank. Although he survived, it took several months before Frank fully recovered.
Now Frank was completely outraged, so he headed back to Alaska and managed to track down the grizzly bear and shot it. He felt sweet revenge, but then, moments later, there was a tap on is shoulder. He turned around to find a giant polar bear standing there.
The polar bear looked at him and said, 'Admit it Frank, you don't come here for the hunting, do you?'
Friday, June 25, 2010
I always find myself scratching my head at all of the odd little idiosyncrasies of people, how they make assumptions about other people without ever having met them. Talking in carefully guarded whispers whenever someone they deem to be- “Odd” passes by, and of course the ever present leaping to narrow minded conclusions about people they don’t even know. Case in point, two guys that have recently moved into the apartment just four doors down from me, they are quiet, courteous, well mannered and dare I say even polite on most occasions that I have crossed paths with them. This morning I was down in the laundry room, and there was a young guy and a girl in there talking about- “The new arrivals.” the banter that I heard going back and forth pertained to the two guys never being seen with women, so the inevitable conclusion that was reached after a short deliberation was that they must be gay.
Normally I don’t force my opinion on other people but I must say that the subject material got me more than a little curious so I carefully inserted myself into the conversation.
“So you think that they are Gay? Or you KNOW that they are Gay?”
The Girl told me.
“Oh.. They are gay.. Trust me.”
“And you based this judgment on what exactly?”
Well long story short I never did get a straight answer from either of them, but it did get my wheels turning. I’ve always been a believer in the simple philosophy that if you want to know something definitively usually the best way to get to the meat of the matter is to simply go to the source.
So I saw one of them getting into the trunk of their car and in a non offensive manner I struck up a conversation with him, and in a few short minutes I found out more about my new neighbors than those two closed minded idiots could have learned in a lifetime. By simply talking to them, I discovered that they were two brothers that moved here from Los Angeles, They both recently lost their jobs and moved here in hopes of finding new ones. They both have girlfriends that they are going to move down here as soon as they get enough money, and the reason that they are both living in the same apartment is they thought that renting two would be a waste of money. I considered going to find the pair of gossipers to set them straight but would good would it have really done? What’s the old saying? If someone is talking to you about someone else.. Then tomorrow they will more than likely be talking about you to them.. Jim Morrison was right. People are strange.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
You never forget the first time that the devil taps you on the shoulder. You never forget where you were, or what you were doing. I was working the graveyard shift in a foundry, in Carson City Nevada, in the middle of winter. It was bordering on 100 degrees inside. that’s me, the third guy from the left- the tall gangly looking smart ass, the one with the one gallon ladle full of molten aluminum pouring the caterpillar piston. Damn that looks hot, and not in a good way. I remember that night, a lot of shit gets fuzzy after awhile, but that night is still clear as a bell. I remember that I was just sort of buzzing right along, Doing my thing- I had my cold Pepsi cola sitting under the cooler, pouring pistons and smoking my cigarettes, business as usual, no problem. until I couldn’t catch my breath and I felt my whole chest tighten up, luckily I wasn’t holding a ladle of hot liquid metal at the time. So all that I had to do was rip off all of the safety equipment and go outside to try and catch my breath.
Call it luck or call it fate, whatever, maybe it was the cold air outside, hell who knows? but the pain in my chest subsided as quickly as it came and I finally managed to catch my breath. I didn’t die but it felt like I was definitely on the waiting list. Ok, the truth be known, it wasn’t really the devil. It was all on me, just me and the bad decisions that lead up to that point in time when I was forced by my own body into making a choice. When I was 13 years old I touched the first cigarette to my lips, I lit it, I inhaled the smoke, I chose to light the second one, and the third one after that. Nobody Twisted my arm, or threatened to beat my ass if I didn’t start smoking, nobody was there to hold a gun to my head, it was all on me. No troubled youth who was raised in a bad home environment stories, no lame ABC after school special bullshit. Just a dumb 13 year old kid that made a dumb decision to start smoking cigarettes because he thought that it would somehow- make him cooler.
I’ve stole cigarettes from people, took a few coins here and there to feed that nicotine addiction, and the long story short is the only person who really suffered from any of it was me. Nope no sob story to tell. I finally kicked the habit so to speak for 3 years in 1987. Kicked it clean, I got to breath normal again, until 3 years later when my mother passed away and I let stress get the better of me and I started again before finally throwing them away for good in 1998. Now at the risk of sounding like a politician- let me make this perfectly clear- over the years I had tried virtually every conceivable remedy to permanently purge the nicotine addiction from my body, to no avail. I tried patches, I tried chewing gum, popping pepper corns.. (Don’t remember where that one came from) I tried several times to just quit cold turkey, and each time I allowed myself to become an irritable jerk to the point where family and friends would practically throw cigarettes at me to end the tirade. Finally I must admit that I didn’t even eventually quit because I really did want to, I quit because I felt that I HAD to.
Thankfully the final word came from my body itself, after consuming two and a half packs of cigarettes a day, My lungs and heart had gotten together and in unison on that near fatal night and issued me an ultimatum.- “Quit poisoning us or we will go on strike. The cigarettes or us.. Your choice.” thankfully I still pride myself on being smart enough to listen. I threw a pack and a half of Marlboro’s in a pot of hot metal, tossed the lighter in the dumpster and I haven’t smoked since, nor have I once even paused slightly in retrospect to reconsider that decision. Strangely enough I have had some of my more Christian friends come up to me and say that it was indeed the devil that kept pushing me towards that abyss that I was headed towards. Nope, I beg to differ. There was no little devil sitting on my shoulder carefully orchestrating my every misguided step. It was all on me. Choices, that’s what life really boils down to, you make choices, for better or worse, and you and only you are forced to live with the inevitable consequences. No devil, no crutches, no excuses. You make your bed, and you sleep in it. Advice? Nope, I’m certainly not an expert and I am certainly not going to preach. So what would I say to someone who is trying to quit? if anything? Simple, be honest with yourself, and if you’re really going to quit, do it on your own terms. Because in the end, if you wait until you are forced into quitting, it may already be too late.
~Scratch A.B.T. Copyright © 2010 ~