What Scares You?

  I had a long discussion with a friend of mine about what is truly scary. Being the one who initiated the question I sat there listening intently to his concerns and terrors. It turns out that his scares were a real downer. Not what I was going for. You know, cancer, losing a loved one, financial fallout, career ending events….real stuff. When he was done he posed the same question to me and I simply nodded and listed the same. But that wasn’t what I was going for. I was talking about odd fears and it was clear that we couldn’t salvage that discussion after he dropped the “c” word. Cancer, not….you know. Anyway, this is what I was going for so now you will know.

Jim Henson’s serious muppets. I don’t like muppets that aren’t funny and I feel that their lack of punchlines are Satan’s work. I can’t describe it but I get the heebs just watching them. I think it is a gut feeling more than anything. Sort of like eating something that has expired and no matter how good it looks you know there is something off. That’s how I feel about drama muppets. Except for Fizzgig. I like Fizzgig.

This was the first truly terrifying moment in cinema for me. In 1985 my parents took me to see Ghostbusters and I still remember having the confused notion that this was a biker movie. I don’t know what goes through a 7 year old’s head that biker = ghost busting but who knows? Regardless of my expectations, within 10 minutes it became clear what Ghostbusters was when the free floating, full torso apparition changed into that thing above. I was so scared my feet fell asleep. Actually I believe they fainted. That scene took the innocents away from the movies for me. Before then the only shocker was Bambi’s mom getting smoked. From 1985 on, I had my guard up in the theater to keep me from shitting myself like I almost did that day.

Jerry Stiller’s hands are that out of a science fiction novel. They haunt my dreams and plague my thoughts with such questions like, “where does he buy gloves?” and “can he fit those grabbers in his pockets?”. You may think this a silly fear but Mickey Mouse hands freak me out. Hrm…. maybe it is Mickey that scares me.

The process of giving and taking blood makes feel completely weak. It’s not the needle as much as the bend in the arm and I’ll tell you why. Many moons ago when I was a private in the Army, I was volunteered to attend a combat lifesaving course. Not knowing what I was in for I gladly accepted the challenge. It was a two day course involving every form of battlefield casualty and many splints where made by yours truly. But the last day was reserved for the fun task of pair up and giving each other IVs. I didn’t think too much about this until they gave us a box of tubes, needles, iodine swabs, bands and a bag of fluid. Our instructor? It was a VHS US Army instruction video from 1980. Soon we began the process of administering the IV and let me tell you, there was blood. Lot’s of it. People were passing out, heads were hitting the floor, and spurts that hit the ceiling. To this day the smell of rubbing alcohol invokes an arm jerk reaction that makes Rock Balboa look like the girl next door chucking a football. I know that maybe an exaggeration and a poor comparison but at least you are imagining Sly Stallone throwing a football like a girl.

This is a stretch but my heart would stop if it ever happened. Minding your own business, swimming in a lake, far far from the ocean when all of the sudden a great white bites you. Think of the disbelief! Ever since Jaws, and I’m not alone on this, just swimming in a pool can bring up thoughts of teeth and fins. But really, the green hue of a man made lake, muddy bottoms and unsuspecting bathers really makes for a great movie. I know Bull sharks live in lakes and rivers as well as the ocean, but I talking about the big guy. The white death. I need to write to Spielberg.

Still a little freaked out by this. Nuclear war is far from most people’s mind but not mine. Not since seeing Sarah Conner’s dream.  It makes you wonder if anyone in the 50’s knew that hiding under your desk just wouldn’t cut it.

You see? I couldn’t talk about these irrational fears with anyone but you. Thanks for listening.

Where Did You Go 2

  Ok, so I’m not done with my list of people that have ducked out of the limelight as I know it. Sorry this took more than a week to post but work is an SOB lately. I know it’s an accuse and people with far more responsibility manage to post when they say they will like my pal Kristiane but Hell, at least I am doing now. So without further ado I present to you some others that I ish we would see more often.

Art Evans, mang! This guy was a key element in defeating the terrorists in Die Hard 2 and was a pretty shitty detective that completely blew off Charley Bruster in Fright Night. His demeanor was always one that commanded at least 35% of a viewers attention. We acknowleged  him but when he shows up in other movies the brain goes into the “where have I seen him before” mode. Personally I think Die Hard 2 would have sucked without the charm of Art and his quick witted line, “where are you going to get those lights? Borrow them from Batman?”.

Stephen Geoffreys was best known for his character Evil Ed in Fright Night.  Every time I saw this movie I couldn’t help but become a little annoyed with him as Ed. That is until he was bitten and turned into a vampire with really exaggerated teeth. I mean he could eat apples through a picket fence. His vamped character was spot on, man. Spot on. But with all that going for him, Steve took a different career road than budding actors. He went straight to the hard core gay porn industry. No shit. Some of his later movies were (and I’m not making this up) Butt Pirate, Latin Crotch Rockets, Seamen In Training, and Leather Buddies. Well, what ever floats your boat or in Stephen’s case, beats your banana. Good for you Steve. I’m glad you are who you are.

Who you callin’ Dicknose? Jerry Levine is that sarcastic guy you just can’t help but love. My earliest memory of Jerry was his character in Iron Eagle as Doug Masterson’s buddy. They had kind of a weird trifecta friendship between them and their token black friend, Reggie. Really? Reggie? But again I digress. Jerry has been in many great films including his major role in Teen Wolf which told all us teens to be popular we must exploit our friend’s differences to give meaning to ourselves. Jerry is now a director for the funniest show on TV, Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I knew he was funny. He just needed a better agent.

Damn, I need to finish this later on tonight. The one fucking coffee shop that has wifi has just been invaded by mother fucking high school drama students. I hate all these kids. I hate drama kids. Drama college students are cool. Drama high schoolers are seriously unbearable. Too loud, to dramatic (no shit) and all annoying. I’m not even going to spell check this. It’s so funny to hear how hard life is to them. seriously? Declaring themselves bi-sexual? in a coffee shop? Fucking little assholes. I hope a there is a prom knock-up soon in their future. Hee….

Where Did You Go?

I’ve always had a fascination with obscure stars that leave Hollywood and assimilate themselves with us “normal” folk. I believe it started when I was in San Diego minding my own business at a Holiday Inn lounge. I turned to my left and wouldn’t you know it, i was drink a beer next to Emerson Hart, the front man for the band Tonic. This was well after their popularity dipped to almost zero. So, just like the tactful jackass I am I said, “i liked that video when you were getting punched repeatedly…..remember that?” Who am I, Chris Farely? He was pleasant enough to say yes and thank you. I bought him a gin and quit while I was ahead. That meeting inspired me to keep the spotlight on more obscure stars that most people never think about.

Atreyu and what’s his face. I am going to start with Atreyu. His real name is Noah Hathaway and from what I gather on the Wiki world he can kick your ass six ways to Sunday. His hobbies range from tat’s to martial arts to professional motorcycle racing. In his younger days he was the prettiest boy I ever did see and on the playground being called Atreyu was not a compliment. I think Noah realized this and did a 180 when he turned 21.

Get the fuck outta here!

Good ‘ol what’s his face. Actually it’s Barret Oliver. He will always be immortalized in The Never Ending Story, D.A.R.Y.L., and Tim burton’s, Frankenweinie. At times I find myself quoting him when I am out to lunch with others. I take a bite of my sandwich, and with a half full mouth say, “No…not too much. We still have a long way to go.” If there is anyone who has not seen The Never Ending Story it leads to severe awkward looks. I think Barret is a professional photographer in LA now. Good for him. If you can’t be in the shot you can at least take it.

Danny Cooksey. This guy brings back so memories from his short time on Diff’rent Strokes as little Danny. The cute innocent kid that managed to get kidnapped by the family that recently lost their own son. To this day I don’t talk to strangers. Thanks Danny!

He was also in MacGuyver and sporting a mullet in Terminator 2. I guess he turned to metal when he grew out of his cute because he has been in and out of rock bands since the 90’s. Last I heard he was in a band called Lucy’s Milk and married to a make up artist. I hope he goes back to the bowl cut. It suites him.

Gotta love this guy. Dabney Coleman has been in so many films and TV series that if I had a dollar for all of them I wouldn’t be writing this in a coffee shop…it would be on a boat. A big one. He’s still cranking them out too which is pretty incredible because he was born in 1932. I’m surprised he retains his lines! His most memorable roles for me was Cloak and Dagger, Tootsie, Muppets Take Manhattan, War Games and Lilo and Stitch: the series (don’t ask). It seemed to me that he was always in the Airforce. Does that ring true with anyone else? I guess it’s his persona that screams, “I’m grumpy but I am a softy”.

Rick Ducommun is quite possibly my favorite actor of all times. It had a lot to do with his character Art Weingartner in the movie The Burbs. I am in the process of writing a tribute article and a web page to The Burbs. Seriously. But I digress, I love this dude. I wish he was in more films because you just can’t help but smile when he is talking. Or eating.

I have no idea what Rick is up to today. I guess he went back to Canada but I am always waiting for his comeback. You can do it Ricky!

Oh Danny Schneider! Best known for Ricky in the great 80’s movie, Better Off Dead and the fatty nerd that thought he was the smartest dick in Head Of The Class. He’s still working hard as a writer and producer for Nickelodeon. He also has a rare collection of Bakelite radios. Now you can sleep easy knowing that. He hasn’t aged that bad. He still looks the same. Check him out now.

(oh… I’m an asshole)

I have a lot more. I actually have a couple of index cards filled with names that I’ll write later today. This is fine for now and I better get back to work before I get sucked away into blogland. Hope you enjoyed my list of missed characters. I’ll leave you with this.

R.I.P. Roy. I hope there are bigger boats in Heaven!

1932-2008

TV Show Intro’s

They say smell is the closest sense to memory we have. To me I think my memories align with TV sitcom theme songs. I guess it was how I was raised as an only child but when certain shows from the 80’s come on I feel the need to get on the floor, face the screen less than a foot away, sit on my knees and drift into TV heaven where every episode had a moral lesson and every crisis lasted only 30 minutes. It is weird to think that Nell Carter’s voice can bring up memories of Fun Fruits.

These songs were really catchy too. I swear that if they came on the radio I would crank up the volume, singing every word without a care who was in the car. Even if I was carjacked the dude would have to shoot me before I changed Webster’s theme song.

Small Wonder wasn’t a huge show by any standard but to a third grader in the 80’s it was my world. God, I had such a crush on the girl who played the robot, V.I.C.K.I.. It’s kind of strange that I thought she was hot but in real life at school I truly thought girls were more or less bio-hazards. I guess they ranked about the same as Harriet. Oh goodness I hated her. I had fantasies that Vicki would punch the freckles right off her face. No such luck.

What would we do, baby? I never was too into Family Ties because, well, I never identified with the family. That song does bring up a little nausea, though. We were sitting in the family room watching Family Ties when I honked on my lap due to many many Samoa Girl Scout cookies consumed earlier in the day. To this day I can’t stand coconut, cookies with holes in the middle, the color purple, merit badges, or the Family Ties cowbell. Go figure?

One Day At A Time was on when I was still shitting myself and while I don’t have any real memories of this show I do remember my Mom playing this on the piano. Everyone confused her for Mackensie Phillips so she learned the theme song and sang it all the time. I guess she felt flattered by the comparison. Regardless I can taste Gerber peaches and smell the old ’71 Beetle when I hear this.

I still remember that this came on at 8 am on PBS. It’s not like I was down with reading or the fabulous book reporting the kids did or even the blind guy from StarTrek but this song means summertime. I have turned on this show many times in my bathing suit getting ready for a productive day of running through the sprinkler. Plus that synthesizer is just too cool. I still find myself imitating it even today. “beepee bop booo beeee pee bop pooo” I went a little too far, haven’t I?

Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t sing along with that? You can actually walk through the mall whistling “Charles In Charge’ and with in seconds some person with harmonize “….and our rights/nights.” Try it. I promise it will happen. If it doesn’t I will mail you a pink hat that says “Alamo” on it. I’m good for it.

This was mainly an after school show that involved me not studying Algebra and ultimately led me to a C. I never did thank Scott Baio for that. So, thanks Scott and after seeing your new show on VH1 I was right, you are a douchebag.

I loved this show when I was little. He was a pretty cute little kid and if George and Ma’am wanted to adopt a little bear cub that could talk this was as close to it as one could get. But I have a bone to pick with this show. My last name is Webster and most of the eighties and early nineties I was subjected to the same gay joke, “are you an adopted black midget?”. So, I owe the creators a thank you too. Thanks assholes.

Is there anything more one can say about ALF? Great show, good cast, funny puppet, and I was right at the appropriate age to really get into ALF. There was no shame in having Alf PJ’s or an Alf doll as a kid. In fact it was greeted with a tip of the hat and thumbs up among the peers. But recently I was watching an old episode and I had this uncomfortable sensation that I was in trouble. Then it hit me. Back when this show was popular I was a bit of a Hell raiser and about 8:10 on a Monday night, 1989, my teacher called to inform the folks that I was sent to the principals’ office for fighting. Can you believe a thirty year old guy’s heart jumps when the phone rings during Alf?

Nell Carter really wails, huh? I loved this show and I am not too proud to admit that if this was on a Karaoke list i would be all over it like Nell on a biscuit. OOOOOOH, I went there.

No real sensory driven memories about Gimme A Break but I just wanted to let everyone know I appreciated it. And I guess that will be all for now. I know there are a lot more like Growing Pains, Golden Girls, Empty Nest, C.H.I.P.S., Magnum PI, and….

Fuck me, I almost forgot Airwolf. This was the show I waited on all week. Even today when I am in a plane this song is on replay in my head. There is nothing cooler than this theme song and if anyone cares to argue you will be met with me plugging my ears, chanting”…I want to kill everyone, Satan is good, Satan is our pal..”

Ok, seriously. That is it.

You Staring At My Scooter?

When you say the word “scooter” I twitch. I can’t explain why but I do. It’s not that I look down on those who ride them, in fact I commend there little effort to limit emissions and our dependency on oil. I even admire the way they completely sacrifice the dignity as a fellow motorist. I have driven one but it was in another country, far from any friends who could ridicule me for driving above 35 mph with a horn that sounds like Fran Drescher climaxing. What I am really saying is that it is hard to take a vehicle seriously that can be chained to a tree when parked.

So I was in traffic this morning and to my right was a Hell’s Angle on a scooter, patiently waiting for the light to change. I sat there staring at him, a little impressed by his bravado to not only battle traffic on what really is just a heavy bicycle, but to expose himself to the frigid climate as well. What drives a guy to strap on a helmet, gloves and parka, mount a Yamaha with a guvnor and take off to work? He must feel like a guppy in a stream of migrating salmon.

(sorry for the picture quality) But upon closer inspection of this cyclist, I noticed something that led me to a summary of what drives this dude. He thinks he is the shit on his thunder bike. He looks in the mirror no less than 20 times, trying to decide what looks better; visor up or visor down. Every place he goes he carries his helmet wishing it was socially acceptable to just wear it all the time. And after a tough day at the office he cruises to the local bar, puts his “skid lid” on the bar, orders an O’Doul near-beer and scans the bar for chicks that may want a ride on his steel gelding. You know how I know this?

Because he is rocking Harley Davidson boots! That’s a enough for me to summarize this guy. You can tell a lot from a man’s shoes.

(I don’t have anything against scooter riders. I was stretching for material today)

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