Christmas Rewound

It is Sunday Funday here over at VeggieMacabre HQ and we are smack in the middle of the Holiday Hell Show. Today, I am dipping into the realm that Dinosaur Dracula does so well. I have been on the couch with Christmas movies on the TV, homemade chicken soup cooking in the crockpot, a glass of merlot by my side and the YouTube Time Machine whisking me away to the commercials that filled the time between Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. It is magical. Let’s take a look and dissect these toy ads we grew up with and rip on the kids who were in these.

I was only marginally into He-Man growing up. I loved the idea and Castle Grey Skull was cool but at the end of the day, I just couldn’t get down with characters that look like a well fibrous poop. The accessories, however, were pretty damn amazing. Take Skeletor’s Dragon Water Blaster pack, for an example. You had the ability to soak your friends’ toys and be the little dick of the neighborhood.

HeMan Dork

Let us look at this advertisement. It is hilarious to look back and see these kids imitate their He-Man characters in the gruffest voice a nine-year old could make. I think it was just in the 1980’s that toy advertisers propped up kids to overact their group playtime. I never remember doing any of this! And look at the little fool who takes it to a new level and freezes himself for the duration of the commercial. He is only over to play because either these are all his toys or his mom is friend’s with one of their mothers. No one likes him.

Crappy kid

But the one that stood out the most was the little nut-weed who had the Dragon Blaster Skeletor. Just look at him cackle with delight forcing his playmates to freeze. I know this kid. He’s the neighborhood dick who bullied you into throwing oranges at cars or rings door bells and running. He had an older brother who would beat the hell out of him so shit would roll downhill if you ever came over to his house. He is Reed and he was the one who threw the Cadberry Cream Egg through the kitchen window, not me Dad. “I SAID FREEZE!..OR I’M NOT PLAYING!”

The Sly Snootles and the Max Rebo play set was such a weird toy to get. I guess if you had the entire Jabba Palace play set it wouldn’t be complete without musical entertainment but to just have this set, I don’t know. I guess you could pretend they are a Nirvana galactic cover band touring for your other toys. It’s a stretch but I guess it works.

At least these kids got to kill Sly Snootles.

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Is it just me or is Droopy McCool the shittiest of all Star Wars characters? He looks like a waterlogged pig who was put in jorts and pushed down a well.

I’ve covered this one before and every Christmas I tend to bring it up again. It’s getting to be a tradition. I never got the USS FLAGG and I’m still bitter about it. Looking back I understand because it was hard to sell the folks why I needed a toy bigger than the dinning room table. But I didn’t care and I blame this commercial.

GI Joes commercials always superimposed kids into the battle to ride in the vehicles and immerse themselves into the world and fight against COBRA. It worked and watching three kids run up and down the flight deck of the USS FLAGG made me want it worse than my dog wanting his hump blanket.

I have faith the new line of GI Joe will release the FLAGG and this time, it will be mine. I want to eat sushi off the deck of it in my living room and watch Nightmare On Elm Street 3. You have to have goals in life otherwise you’ll never have anything!

Oh hell, I had a lot of these. I don’t know if it was all at once or over the course of many Christmases but even today, if you go down in the parent’s basement, I bet in under ten minutes you will find a ROTJ Speeder Bike part. They blew apart with a little button in the back and in my house, that means they never stayed assembled.

While researching for this nonsensical post, I learned the Kenner Star Wars theme song never changed for any toy over the course of the trilogy. It wasn’t anything Lucas but it was something that has been in my head since three this afternoon. And will probably be there until three o’clock in the afternoon of December 14th 2027.

I love watching these kids race their speeders around the yard showing off the speed breaks and blow-apart action of the Speeder Bikes. This was a little before my time judging by their hairstyles. They seemed to have the Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed cuts.

Alright, for a guy who remembers not being the biggest He-Man fan, I have to add another vintage commercial. Boy did I like this and it solidifies why I am such a big fan of monster movies and the dark side. The He-Man Snake Mountain play set looked evil it completely lived up to expectation. Even including a Hensen inspired bird face that would move its beak as you spoke through the echoing (reverb) microphone. Pure gold.

Snake Mountain

Today, the true prize is watching these kids play with it and imitate Skeleton in a voice that makes you question if they even watched the cartoon. And the ginger kid rocking the mic made my millennium. Look at his contorted face! I hope he grew up to be the scary warning voice for animatronics horror rides on the boardwalk.

Well, that concludes my little skip through time to revisit some of the great toys we grew up. It’s nice to relive some of the best times of our childhood while watching the advertisements and the silly kids who played with their toys all wrong.

Goodnight! I SAID FREEEEEEEZE!

Poe For You This Christmas!

Hey-O! Just me here and I have a present for you. This past summer I had a business/personal trip to the great states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rode Island and while I met numerous wonderful people the highlight of the trip was the chance to hangout with the great J.W. Ocker. Who says blogging about jelly beans and ghosts will get you nowhere?

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If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Ocker he runs an amazing site of all his travels over at O.T.I.S. (Odd Things I’ve Seen) and is the New York Times best selling author of  Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan PoeThe New England Grimpendium and The New York GrimpendiumIt is without a doubt some of the most interesting, funny, creepy and impressive writings on the web and in print.

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So, while I was in Boston to meet up with the parental units for Mom’s birthday, he met me at the hotel for beers before we set out on an amazing tour of the great historic Boston. It was a real treat to have one of the premier experts on not just Edgar Allan Poe but quite a bit of the darker places in Boston. We even were called out by a fan of J.W. Ocker at Cheers. No shit, this awesome dude ran into him at the bar and tagged along with us as we hit the pubs. It was surreal.

So, why am I writing about this some six months later, you ask? Well, J.W. Ocker sent me a few copies of his books which are autographed and instead of me keeping them for my own collection, I have decided to give them to you for Christmas. I have read them all and have my own copies.

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How do you get them? Easy! Just follow me on Facebook and message me! Also you will need to follow O.T.I.S. on Twitter too. It’s a win win win! Trust me, you want to read these three each about two times. More if you have time.

So, no cost to you and I will send them out mega fast shipping to anywhere in the US. If you are reading this from the former USSR, message me and I will see what I can do. There is still love for you too.

So one more time, follow me on the Facebook page right to the top right corner of this site and follow J.W. on Twitter  and then message me. I only have a limited amount so let me know!

Get ready for stupid holiday videos. They are in the editing room as we speak. Soon.

The Amityville Horror Gingerbread House

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Hello all and welcome to another long-awaited entry to the Holiday Hell Show. This weekend I decided to step outside of both my comfort zone and my man card zone to construct a gingerbread house. I am not very crafty but when inspiration strikes I try not to ignore it because who knows when or if it will strike again. On Saturday, I listened. Here’s what happened.

For the longest time I have been a huge fan of Ray Keim and the website, Haunted Dimensions. All you need is thick weight paper, a color printer, some glue and scissors and with a little kindergarten recollection, you will have a 3-D model of your favorite horror setting. It’s the nerd in me that makes me want to stand on street corners and shout the website url over and over until the government wraps me in blankets and leads me into a padded van.

So, on Friday I was in my office struggling for something different to cover for the website because, that is what I should be doing at work, right?! Then it hit me. Kinda like this. Why don’t I use Haunted Dimensions as the model for a gingerbread house? It had to work. It just had to! And what better design than the famous 1975 horror classic, The Amityville Horror. It was a movie that terrified me as a child and fascinated me as an adult.

HOOOOKAY! Now, I have never successfully constructed a gingerbread house. The last time I attempted was in Tiger Scouts back when Ronald Reagan was in his first term so it has been awhile. I still remember it today. We had to cover an orange juice container with icing and stick gram crackers to the sides to make it look like a house. I can’t remember the details but I do remember having to be hosed off in the driveway of the scout parking lot. So, this project manager doesn’t have a very good legacy of success.

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Here’s the plan. I have the layout of the Amityville House and in my mind, all I had to do was cut out the pieces, build the model, find gingerbread flat sheets, paste them on top and decorate as I desire. Seems easy, right? Yeah, no way. First problem was the fact that no one sells flat sheets of gingerbread. I don’t know if I made this up in my mind but I could have sworn that’s a thing. It is not.

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So, I had to bake the sheets from mother furkin’ scratch. I’m not lying, I had the iPad on the counter with YouTube guiding me through the basics of gingerbread making. There were eggs and warm butter and flour. It was Hell.

WHEN YOU SAY BAKING I SAY FUCK!

BAKING!

FUCK!

BAKING!

FUCK!

But, I made it and it actually came out okay. The size was right and using the model for shapes worked out surprisingly well. I only burned myself four times which is as rare as getting hit by a meteorite especially when pans are involved.

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So, while waiting for the building materials to cool I set out to construct the model. I figured it would be easy to just glue the gingerbread pieces to the model rather than thinking silly thoughts like making this 100% edible. I was going for looks here. Plus, if people knew what went into my baking procedures, they wouldn’t dream of eating this.

The model is very easy to build but unfortunately, I fail at scissor. I always have because it is half patience and it is half skill, both of which I neither have nor desire. So, not all pieces fit perfectly. There were some jamming and cursing that went into the skeleton but eventually it did come together. After all, it would be covered by gingerbread, frosting and Satanism.

Funny story, while I was finishing the model I heard a ruckus right outside the house. Immediately I went in search of my cat because she isn’t fixed and has been desperately trying to escape to find a male suitor. Well, somehow she succeeded. I don’t know how she did it but she did and was having loud cat sex in the driveway. Let me lend you advice, my friends. Never break up cat sex. There will be blood. And there was.

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A bit later after bandaging both hands and placing my cat in solitary confinement, I was back to proceed with construction. I figured the best way to glue the walls of the house was to keep constant pressure and no better way to do so than place four brake rotors around the structure because they can at least do something until I put them on my car. That’s another project.

It worked so freaking well I can’t even say more. Things like this never work well for me. Usually I get this far only to place kick the project in the backyard and go back to the couch to sulk in the warm glow of cable cooking shows. Maybe my crafty ways are coming back. I mean, my Christmas Sweater article from 2008 still gets like 600 hits a day thanks to Pintrest.

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Oh the roof was the part I was having the most anxiety about. It’s an odd New England style home and that type of roof doesn’t translate in Candy Land. I baked four gingerbread strips and glued them to the model roof. Thank God I didn’t already add the model roof because there was no way for the strips to stick at that angle. So I placed them on the roof model and pressed them for an hour. This project came together like lamb and tuna fish. I don’t get it. This never happens.

Now that the glue was dry and the structure sound, it was fun time. The decorating. I’ll be honest with you, after the long process I had just building this, I gave decorating a half-hearted effort. I used Twizzlers for the roof, vanilla icing for sticky spackle, pretzels for storm gutters, caramel squares to build the chimney, Tootsie Rolls for the logs to keep George warm and cut marshmallows in half to give a snowy appearance. All-in-all, kinda shitty. Completely forgot the bleeding walls that Edie suggested. That would have been awesome.

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So here you are. The house George Lutz claimed to be haunted by the same demonic forces which drove Ronny DeFeo to murder his family. Not exactly the Christmas spirit but I am not sure anyone has attempted to turn this iconic house into a jolly gingerbread house. But I have!

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Oh yeah, and cat? Eat ass.

And thanks to Dinosaur Dracula who does this stuff one million times better and funnier. This was inspired by my long love of that site and X-E. Thanks for reminding us it is okay to be a kid and enjoy the little things. Cheers!

Holiday Cheerwine Punch

Oh, the Holiday Hell Show is off and running and today we are going to talk about pure Christmas in a bottle. Seriously, if Santa got drunk and depressed over the war on Christmas and decided to slit his wrists in the tub, there would be Holiday Cheerwine Punch everywhere.

Dude, that went dark.

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Okay, let’s start over. The makers of Cheerwine have put out a limited edition Holiday Punch which is a little lighter in color and fruitier in taste than the original. If you have not had the original, I suggest you give it a whirl. As a local to North Carolina, the home base of Cheerwine, it take it for granted and assume everyone has had it. I learned that is not the case when I have visitors.

If you have the means and are within distance of picking Holiday Cheerwine Punch up, please do so. If not to drink at least to put on the table and enjoy the hue of fallalalalalalalalalalalalalalala.

I made a quick video to show it is not only drinkable but also why I should never use hair products. Enjoy!

Snoopy Hot Dog Toaster

Welcome to the show my friends! I was struggling to find a good theme for these next couple of months which would bridge Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years but nothing seemed to fit. Then a stupid title kind of fell on my lap. Okay, my dog gave it to me but still, it was a struggle.

This year I am launching the Holiday Hell Show and it is incorporating everything silly and fun that a mid-30’s guy should not be involved in. I plan to have lots of fun with this especially since I feel like I missed most of the Halloween season. I imagine this is what an estranged and neglectful father does in his twilight years to his kid. Let’s do everything!!!

I know what you are thinking. “Whoa, dude. It’s just November and you are launching a holiday show?”

Yes.

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Today I was checking out the local CVS for their holiday loot and found a line of Snoopy (Peanuts™) products. The one that stood out the most was a hot dog toaster that not only toasts the bun but the hot dog too! The idea of a cartoon dog on a toaster that also cooks meat was almost too much. And those on Twitter agree since my picture of it was retweeted almost thirty times. There’s definitely a market for hot dog toasters.

Come check out the first of many Holiday Hell Show posts. I cook hot dogs in my office. This all seems so right.

Second Verse

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The fog of a crazy October has lifted and in its wake of black and orange we now come to a sea of green and red. It is time to toss the Jack-o-Lanters aside and look to nervous turkeys under tall pines which we will chop down, drag in the house, place in water and electrify. This time of the year blends two holidays into one and I, for one, am okay with that.

If there is one thing that being a senior account executive has taught me, don’t over promise your hobbies. The career has a crazy way of stepping in front of grandious plans like a cat photobombing the camera as I practice my cartwheels for YouTube. As hard as I tried to film, edit, buy, review, travel and photo, a new project with over-ambitious people reared the head of un-fun work and most of October was late nights and work trips. I am not complaining but I think we have all been there if this is the medium for recreation.

Now that my sad sack story is done, I am ready for two months of festive fun. And there will be fun! Expect the first ghost..er..video by midnight tonight. I have found a grocery store near me that goes shit-house mad with awesome Christmas party fun foods to review plus libations to cause embarrassment during the company holiday party. I have a bar to post these great eggnog drink concoctions now.

I Remember Halloween

Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves
I remember Halloween” – The Misfits

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This 2014 Halloween season did not get fully going like I had hoped. I want to say it was because I have finally grown up into a mature adult and waxing my Porsche, day trading and Saturday evening book clubs have taken the place of watching Halloween for the 5,723rd time, but that is just not the case. The real truth is my company is slightly restructuring and that metamorphosis begins with people in my position. Since September I have been in at least eleven states and times two in hotel rooms. Going out to business dinners is about as thrilling as pressure washing the side of the house and if I hear the acronym “EHR” one more time, I might tie my wrist to my testicles and enter into a Frisbee-Golf competition. Lets just say, work has come and killed my Great Pumpkin.

Looking back, however, it hasn’t been a total loss. There were some spooky trips, met some amazing people and done some amazing things all in the name of The Spook Show. The great novelist, J.W Ocker, toured me around Boston, I flew down to Key West and hung out with a real live voodoo doll named Robert, visited my buddy Travis from Bayou Babylon and his wonderful wife, Crystal to shoot some creepy scenes in a graveyard, made a cameo in The Sexy Armpit’s Halloween Show, had Ben (Juggernaut Cave), Brian (Review the World) and DJ D (Retro Ghouls and Shocks) over for a weekend to review tons of spooky crap and well as Blair Witch 2 and last but not least, I was the guest host on the great DJ D’s radio show, Dark Entries.

Oh, also was blown away by Matt’s annual Halloween countdown over at Dinosaur Dracula.

I guess when you list it out, it’s been a pretty busy season even though I feel like it was half-hearted thanks to such a busy schedule. I still have lots to cram in like a Q&A with a give away from J.W. Ocker and his new novel plus a look at the amazing artist Thomas Boatwrite. I bought the coolest commission ever and am excited to push his stuff to the next level.

OH! And mother frickin’ Final Cut Pro crashed so many times I have finally given up on it. I’m done. It’s a neat piece of software but a twenty-minute video shouldn’t take eight hours to export. And Apple wants me to buy it again for $300. Nope!

So, enough with the pouty puss talk. I am sorry for an empty Spook Show this year, 2014. Work really was the boogeyman. I owe you something…but what?

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Hrm…I have one Pop Rocks Pumpkin Patch Orange left that I was saving to put in the company coffee pot on Friday but I think I owe it to you. But how?

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Oh I do love you. I will dump this in my three-hour old cup of coffee and drink this just for my penance for a below average Halloween season. It’s all for you, Damian! It’s all for you!

Okay, I am coming right back.I just wanted to get this off my chest and say I’m a little sorry. Just a little.

 

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