This Was Your Life!

21 Sep

September 21, 2014

Generic, syrupy, goofy game show music swells, but with some odd, dark notes thrown in.
Stage lights swell, bright, a little too bright, with red lights on the audience.

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: Let’s give a big, warm welcome, heh heh, a very warm welcome, heh heh, for our next contestant, Willy Baxter! Willy Baxter, COME ON THE HELL OUT!

From stage left, Willy Baxter walks onstage, half escorted, half pushed by two very muscular red devils complete with horns, tails, and pitchforks. Willy looks very, very scared and confused.

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: And now, here’s our host. You know him as the taskmaster who punishes contestants with thorns and bleeding pores, and that’s when he’s in a good mood. Demons and devils, incubi and succubi, I give to you, Guy Lucifer! C’mon the Hell out, Guy, we love you!

Guy Lucifer suddenly appears in a cloud of smoke. The odor of brimstone causes Willy Baxter to vomit onstage. A small winged nymph flies over and hands Guy a microphone.

GUY LUCIFER: Hey, it is so great to be here. Welcome to the show where every day, someone new gets the chance to win fabulous prizes. Johnny, tell this poor piece of crap what he can win!

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: He can’t win a new car, that’s for sure!

Audience laughs in strange combinations of animal grunts and semi-human howls of pain.

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OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: Willy Baxter, you’re not playing for anything! You’re here for our eternal amusement!

Guy Lucifer smiles and a small black beetle crawls out from between his teeth. Willy Baxter falls to his knees and vomits some more.

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: Oh Willy, I’m just kidding. You do have one chance, one chance only!

Willy looks up, hopefully.

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: You might win this! (Curtain opens!) A lifetime supply of Turtle Wax! HA HA HA! HA HA HA! HAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

GUY LUCIFER: Don’t you get it? You’re dead! DEAD! Willy F-ing Baxter, YOU ARE DEAD! Some ass ran you over with his motorcycle while you were crossing the street!

OFFSTAGE ANNOUNCER: That’s right! Your head ended up twenty feet away from your body! AH HA HA HAAAAAAA! It was great!

GUY LUCIFER: Let’s get started Willy, we don’t have all day. Here on This Was Your Life, we bring out people who were close to the contestant, reunite them with their near and dear, give them just a taste of what their life was like. Then we turn you inside out, impale you on a spit, and roast you alive!

WILLY BAXTER: I’m dead?

GUY LUCIFER: Shut the F up you worthless toad. Time for our first guest. Willy, do you remember this voice?

VOICE: What happened, you crap your pants? Drop down and give me twenty!

WILLY: Uh, what……?

GUY LUCIFER: That’s right, it’s your old high school gym teacher, Ed Sprick! C’mon out Ed!

Ed Sprick enters stage right, crosses to Willy, and kicks him square in the crotch. He waves to the crowd, leaves the stage. Willy lies doubled over in pain while the demons take turns kicking him and breaking his ribs.

GUY LUCIFER! Time for a commercial break! But don’t worry Willy, there’s lots more to come, lot’s more, including all the woman who refused to go out with you! We’ll be right back!

Fade out.

 

 

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H.G. Wells was a blogger.

19 Sep

September 19, 2014

Long time readers (those of you are still mentally stable) many recall this image which used to grace the sidebar of this blog.

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Here’s an example.

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While H.G. Wells may not have been a blogger, he knew them intimately. He knew the psyche of the type of person who wrote cranky letters to the editors of scientific journals. Or maybe just wrote mean letters to the local penny press. Who is more invisible than the anonymous blogger? Like the Invisible Man, the anonymous blogger blows up institutions, metaphorically. He uses words but the effect is the same. What put this into perspective was one of those internet “Which character are you?” quizzes. This one used Universal horror monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, The Invisible Man, etc.) I took the quiz and got The Invisible Man, and the accompanying graphic put it all in focus.

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That sums up bloggers in my book. Of course, the “genius-level smart” and “extraordinarily clever” parts may exist only the blogger’s minds, but I say the “kind of a dick” part is right on the mark.

Take it from a blogger.

 

 

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A New York Minute (18) September 2014- Al Pacino!

17 Sep

September 17, 2014

Hello, and welcome to your New York Minute. This week’s episode is brought to you by Pharell’s big hat.

Al Pacino was born in Manhattan, but it took some Brooklyn law breaking for him to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

I live in South Brooklyn, and in more than one New York Minute I talked about organized crime and the movies. There was Kid Twist and Coney Island, the Bowery Boys, even the mob shaking down the crew filming Saturday Night Fever. Al Pacino starred in some of the greatest organized crime films ever made, The Godfather and The Godfather Part Two. Many years later, he also starred in a Godfather parody called The Godfather Part Three.

Pretty much for as long as I can recall, I had been told that one of the houses in The Godfather was actually located right around here, so the other day, just for you, I set out to find “the Godfather house” and sure enough, it was right in my backyard.

As seen in the movie

As seen in the movie

Turns out it was the house that Clemenza lived in, and although I already had the address, I found out that the neighbors are pretty good about people, like me, who still come around looking for the house and taking pictures. I’d ask if you go, please be nice and respectful, as it is a quiet residential neighborhood. It’s a narrow street, so don’t try to double park, and also, please don’t knock on the door and ask if Martin Scorsese ever drops by from some capicola. Um, not that I did that.

The house today. I took the shot on the right.

The house today. I took the shot on the right.

The most interesting thing about the house isn’t the building itself, which is pretty nice, it’s the neighborhood. It is located just a few minutes away from the inspiration for another famous Al Pacino film. Just the next year, Al, (we’re on a first name basis, we’re good like that), was back in Brooklyn filming Dog Day Afternoon, and unlike The Godfather, this was based on an infamous bank robbery that happened wayback when I was a kid. And it turns out that I pass the robbery location almost every single day.

The scene of the crime: then and now

The scene of the crime: then and now

I’m not talking about where the film was shot, this is the actual robbery scene. Back in the 70’s this was a Chase bank, but today it is vacant. Want to rent it? The way this area is going, it’ll be sure to be a hipster juice pub thing any day now. Anyway, the building has gone through a few owners, it still has the cut corner that was a trademark of Chase banks of the era.

The movie was filmed in Windsor Terrace, still in Brooklyn but with Prospect Park as a backdrop. In a nutshell, the bank robbery went bad, hostages were taken, and it turned into a police standoff with the hundreds of onlookers rooting for the crooks. In the end, the cops seem to give in to their demands but Pacino’s character gets 20 years in prison. Spoiler warning! That was a spoiler.

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Interestingly, both films also starred the amazing yet odd John Cazale, and if he were born in Brooklyn this would have been a neat and tidy way of wrapping things up but he had to spoil it be by being born in Massachusetts. No foresight there, thanks a lot.

Although I was too young to see any of the filming of these movies, in 1991 I did get to see the filming of Steven Segal’s Out for Justice, and believe me, that’s not a feather in anybody’s cap.

This has been your movie star, and Steven Segal, -filled New York Minute, and like Pacino said in The Godfather III- “just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!”

What, you were expecting Scent of a Woman? “HOOOOOO-AH!” There you go.

An audio version of this story recently appeared in the amazing FlashPulp website. Check them out for awesomeness and goodies!

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