How I Ruined A Halloween Play

There are certain moments in our life that define us. Whether it is an act from another person or an event which forces us to rise or fall to an occasion, there is no doubt these moments shape the way we are, how we view the world and how the world views us. A particular defining moment happened to me way back on an October evening in the year 1985. I was in the first grade and even though most of that year is a clouded-jumbled mess, I remember this evening vividly clear. The annual Mt. Bethel Halloween Play.

From kindergarten to fifth grade, every class participated in this play which took place at 7:30pm, some weekday evening in October. The whole cafeteria/auditorium was decorated to the nines with hay bales, overstuffed scarecrows, pumpkins and what seemed like hundreds of the iconic Beistle Halloween decorations. It was absolute heaven and for the couple of weeks leading up to this performance, we got to eat square pizza at lunch in a literal Halloween wonderland proving yet again, the 1980’s was the decade to be six.

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As the play drew closer, each classroom practiced their song or skit or whatever during music class. We had one music teacher who was responsible for the whole Halloween play and looking back, that would be like training twenty dogs to bark “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while at the same time worrying about one of them shitting. I have a lot of respect for the patience and organization of that woman.

The younger kids had a simple song to learn while the third grade and above incorporated instruments like bells, a piano and the dreaded recorder. Goddamn, I hated the recorder. No kid in the history of anywhere was decent at the recorder. And when you have thirty-five kids blindly blowing in those things, it’s like listening to Celine Dion seven octaves higher and backwards  with her hand in a blender.

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Lucky for me at that time, I was only in the first grade. Our class had just one song to perform for the night but this wasn’t just an ordinary Halloween tune about spooks or lame pumpkins. No sir, this had a hidden surprise at the end and to a first grader, little surprises where never taken lightly. In fact, it captivated the minds of me and my little group of buddies.

The song is “Stirring Our Brew” and to my surprise, it’s still a relevant children’s song. The melancholy tune has three parts which goes:

Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew

wooo wooo

Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew

Tip-Toe Tip-Toe….

This all builds to a climactic end when we slowly turn backwards then spring out screaming “BOO!”. That was the part we could not wait for. In fact, my cohorts and I wanted to secretly take it a step further with arm motions and an improvised “BOO”. It was the one chance we had to shine and mediocrity would just not do. In our little minds we absolutely thought this would put terror in the hearts of our peers and parents.

If you are curios how the song goes, click here. This kid does it justice.

The day finally arrived for the Halloween Play. We all wore the costumes to school that we would wear that night. I guess a dress rehearsal of some sort. It’s an unwritten rule that no teacher ever wants to put on a play and leave a kid to his or her creative accord without giving a nod of approval first. Once the lights go down, their butts are in the kids hands.

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I was a hobo. See, if I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to be or the folks wouldn’t buy me a $40 oversized latex mask, I went as a hobo. It was part laziness, part an opportunity for my Mom to put blush on my cheeks and nose. Later in life I learned she dressed me as an alcoholic, homeless man with blown out capillaries on his face but back then, I was closer to a clown than a guy who cleans windshields with newspapers. I think there were at least five hobos that year.

Another standout memory from those autumn plays was the fact we were at school during the nighttime. That was almost taboo to me. It was crazy to see my friends in a school setting past 2:15. The windows that were always so bright were now darkened by night and in some weird way I felt this was like seeing your teacher in her bathrobe. The school felt vulnerable and there was black and white difference with everything. As if there was an absolute difference between my desk during the day and at night. Is any of this making any sense? It’s okay to say no.

Back to the play. We all gathered in the hall outside the auditorium/cafeteria as the school principal, Dr. Butts (I know), thanked the parents for coming and praised the staff for putting together such a great play. My parents were in the packed crowd and I was excited to give them the scare of a lifetime. My buddies and I had agreed to take this climactic “BOO” to the next level. Some bragged how high they were going to jump, others mimicked their clawed fingers and snarled faces. I, myself, had a spin on the “BOO” adding extra parts. This was jump-in-place excitement.

The retarded kindergarteners were finally finished and Mrs. Hudson rose us from the Indian-style seating position and we were shuffled onto the three leveled stage. I remember vividly the enormous crowd with flashing cameras. It was a sight to be taken aback by but before I knew it we on the stage, me dead-center. The piano started up and with over exaggerating mouth movements, Mrs. Hudson began the chorus.

Stirring and stirring and stirring our brewwwww

WOOOOO-OOOO WOOOO-OOOO…

The excitement was almost more than this kid could bear. Did they know what was coming? How scared will the audience be? Do you think someone will have an accident and have to throw out their underwear like Ms. Taffle made someone do the first day? The possibilities were endless and the cross of anticipation was getting to be too much to bear.

The distraction of my excitement would be my undoing, however. You see, while my mind was busy imagining shrieks of horror from the audience, I lost where we were in the song. I was a whole stanza ahead.

While the second part was halfway through and the kids were still stirring their brew, I slowly began to turn backwards, completely missing the fact the entire first grade was still looking ahead. I curled my fingers and raised my lip over my teeth, making the most intimidating six-year-old face a person could ever lay eyes on and waited to the last “Tip Toe Tip Toe..

What I thought to be that said last “Tip Toe” was the cue to spring around in the most violent fashion imaginable and yell at the top of my voice “BOOO!”. But I didn’t just yell “boo”, as you remember I improvised the startling “boo” sounding more like “BOOOYOOODLELOOPIELOOPIE WOOOBOOP!”.

The piano kept playing but the class stopped and every six-year-old pair of eyes were on me. Also, every audience member’s.

Mrs. Hudson made a face like this:

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And in that single moment I was frozen in time, making monster fingers at an audience who were both confused and humored. I collapsed into my peers, completely mortified. They didn’t even finish the song!  We were walked off the stage to a lukewarm applause and laughing adults.

I remember that being the first time I experienced what it is like to truly blow it. Almost everything after that is a blur except when we were allowed to find our parents. I was greeted by my Dad who was over the top with how praise totting how great I was. It was the final straw and I busted out in tears. A six-year-old with running hobo makeup. Leave it to Dad to solve and cause all problems in a young kids life.

Life moved on, of course. The next week Jeremy Pricket pissed his pants when the fire department came to visit doing disorientation practice by spinning us around and having us crawl to the fire escape. That will always take the heat off of any faux pas. Beyond those two district memories, I don’t remember much of the first grade. I know I passed.

So, while this may have read a little depressing, it really wasn’t. Even today, Dad will still tease that timing is everything. We live through these funny moments that do shape us, even if they seem silly or trivial to others. It’s been thirty years since that funny night and I still remember it so vividly and worst yet, that annoying song, “Stirring Our Brew”.

BOO!

Goodbye

Well, I guess this was coming. I mean, I post about as regular as Jamie Lee Curtis. (Activia joke) I need to get a different forum and narrow the topic to a specific direction. While Veggiemacabre has been great, I am a different person than 2007. Maybe better or maybe worse but not the same. I loved this place and the people I have met through it.

I know Matt ended X-E and started DinosaurDracula. This is sort of the same thing but going forward you will see more of a media side since I have invested so much into software. I have a vision and as soon as the know-how happens you’ll see. Thank you for a wonderful five years. Watch below to get the skinny.

By the way, Veggiemacabre.tv will still be here. Just leaving this blog.

Good Journey!

OK Computer. You Win

I know. Don’t tell me because I already know. About a month ago I said that in two weeks there would be a finished product to an amazing multimedia, interactive website. Well, it is now about two weeks over the two week deadline, making this a month without much to show for. But not to fret my pet for I have placed the design and happy-fun time fun in the hands of a guy who knows….Dreamweaver; a mystical web design product that I care nothing to learn about but am willing to pay for. To few this may sound lazy or even a bit…I forget the word. I would say like an old person who refuses to get a cellphone. Makes sense?

So as an apology I will now give you Silver Surfer.

Where Did You Go? Part 12

Man,  I havn’t done one of these for a while. Actually, I haven’t done much of anything on here for a while. And for that, I am sorry. So to make amends, I am writing this pants-less with large foam sombrero on my head. The things I do for you people. Now let’s get down to business.

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“Graaaaaaaaace!” Holy shit, this lady is one of my favorites. It is Edie McClurg, the round, bubbly, chipper mid-western lady that occasionally will drop an F-bomb. Everything about her, I love.  And it is not just because she has been in John Hughes films. Although that is a big part. What am I talking about? Between Ed Rooney’s secretary role and her role in Planes Trains and Automobiles, she can do no wrong with me. In fact, even if those were her only two times on the silver screen, she would still be a huge star to me.

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But even though she rocked the last half of the eighties, her type-cast didn’t hold her back from continuing a very busy career all the way to today. She started satirical acting at a young age and was even a voice in the 1960’s cartoon The Jetsons. (How awesome would it be if she was Astro?) Her first real movie role was Carrie an since then she has been in John Hughes’ films,  Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, voice overs for Pixar movies and numerous of TV shows like Small Wonders, Diff’ent Strokes, Mr. Belvedere, Sienfeld, Rosanne and so many others. Oddly enough she was never in an episode of Murder She Wrote. There goes that theory. But still, her role as Grace the secretary made her what she is for me today: a sex symbol I am not proud of. Rowr…

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If you look close, that is Edie in the shower. Yeah, I need to get out more.

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I forget who requested Wyatt from Weird Science but here you go. His real name is Ilan Mitchell and was discovered by a talent agent at a ballet studio in Massachusetts. Yeah, speaking of weird. From then he went on to a brief but successful acting career including, of course, Weird Science, The Chocolate War, the TV series Superboy and few others. To be perfectly honest, I only remember him as Wyatt and have very fuzzy memories of Superboy. But that is okay because…

41he wasn’t meant to be an actor but rather a real life professor.

It’s true, Ilam went from Weird Science to Weird-Beard and also…total…denim. Sorry, that distracted me. What was I saying? Ah yes, Ilam is married with two kids and is an assistant professor of English. Oddly enough his wife never knew of his acting career until one day she confessed to loving The Chocolate War. That is when Ilam not only confessed to loving The Chocolate War as well but also to staring in it. TA DA! I don’t know what is more disturbing; being married to the star of your favorite movie and not knowing it or not knowing you’re married to the star of the John Hughes 1986 classic, Weird Science. Either way, that is a great excuse for domestic violence.

Chris Burke03aPlease don’t think that I am about to do what you think I am. I am actually curious to see what Chris Burke, who played Corky Thatcher in the early 1990’s hit show Life Goes On, is up to today. And looking to IBDM for a reference it seems that Chris has been on a few other shows like ER and Touched By An Angle. There are others but to be honest, if the role he plays in Life Goes On, Touched By An Angle  and ER is the same, is it worth listing? That’s what I thought too.

I might be alone on this but did it piss anyone off that his family nicknamed him “Corky” on Life Goes On? If you have a downs syndrome kid, don’t give him a fucking nickname. Especially if it is cute and ends in a “Y”. AT LEAST Chris was able to rise above it. In an interview he said:

People said I could never become an actor because I’m retarded. It goes to show you that anyone can make their dreams a reality… unless they’re brain dead.

Holy Fuck.

In my quest to see what Chris is up to, I found this on YouTube and had to sit for awhile after. There are somethings that leave me unable to add anything to them. This is one of those times. If there are small children in the room, you might want to ask them to leave now.

So…anyone for a chip? Yeah, I lost my appetite too.

Today Veggie Turns Two

It’s true. This blog is now two and oddly enough this is the 200th post. Weird, huh?

I just wanted to thank everyone that has shared this with me. Some have come and gone and some have come and stayed but I will be honest, I never imagined that I would meet such amazing people on this www dot  journey. I am so blessed to be able to share my life and be able to share some of yours even though we may never meet. It’s weird wild world and this trip would be so less without all of you.

The funny thing is I misspelled “macabre” in the video. Of all things, you know? And I am not sure why Dire Straits is the anthem but it seems to fit the flow. Regardless, if you have been around over the past couple of years you may recognize many of these pictures.

Thank you again. I love ya from the bottom of the heart and I ain’t afraid to say it.

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