Thursday, September 29, 2016

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk (Slowly, With a Cane)

Sorry for the long hiatus around here. I've had some health problems, mostly impaired motion due to pain, which has led to impaired motivation due to whininess, but I won't bore you with the details because I've done that before, and I swore on my mother's grave that I'd find some fresh, new way to bore you. (Just kidding! My mother was cremated, so none of this is legally binding.)

On the bright side, some of the silence is thanks to actual paying work. But as is usually the case in my script doctor practice, the patients are both dead and late for an appointment, so there is much frantic working of and at long and odd hours.

Anyway, I've managed to miss three -- THREE! -- important birthdays, plus my own podcast (Hank wrote to say he figured I wasn't feeling well when he noticed there was a new episode of The Slumgullion up, but no mention of it on the blog -- a fact which suggests that pain is stronger than egotism. Granted, there is as yet no scientific evidence for this hypothesis, but I submit that it could be proved with a lengthy series of easily repeatable experiments involving somebody kicking Donald Trump in the shin).

Before we descend further into self-promotion, let's pause to blow a single mournful note on a party favor in honor of these Crappers who didn't receive their Sexy Birthday Lizards in a timely manner:

September 5: D.Sidhe

September 19: M.Bouffant

September 23: acrannymint.

Geez, I suck.  However, let me make some small amends by passing around the celebratory hot dish:

Satisfy? Oh, perhaps. But I shudder to think what will ultimately happen to the "Inner Man" after eating whole onions stuffed with beans.

Please join me in wishing D.Sidhe, M.Bouffant, and acrannymint a very happy, and very belated birthday. And since it's a group celebration, let's hire a rainbow gecko made from the union of many melted Crayons to jump out of the cake and serve as our...
Sexy Birthday Lizard!

Before we get into this week's (actually, last week's -- geez, I suck!) podcast, I just want to thank Doc Logan for his kind comments about The Slumgullion, and Wo'C scribe Hank Parmer for his emails on the subject. The feedback is both helpful and enormously appreciated, guys.

Here's the link to the lost episode. Sure it's old, but you could say the same about me, so who am I to point a palsied, knobby-knuckled finger? Besides, a lot of stuff happens in this one. We talk about the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Christian propaganda movies like God Is Dead, and play the "Who Should Beat Up Kirk Cameron?" game. Jeff introduces a new theme song for the Unknown Movie Challenge, and then we split open the carcass of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai -- Across the 9th Dimension and crawl inside and make a fun fort out of it.

(I should probably add a disclaimer here: I recorded the episode with a migraine, so by the end of it I kind of sound like that faint, tinny voice emanating from the post-mortem radio set in The Dead Talk Back.)

The Slumgullion Episode 16 “The Quicker Picker Upper”
• September 14, 2016Starring Scott Clevenger and Jeff Holland

In which our heroes, dealing with pain, insomnia and demonic possession, discuss MST3K, religious propaganda, and who could and should beat up Kirk Cameron, as well as have a free floating discussion about a free floating film: “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai-Across the 8th Dimension”.  Other things are mentioned and the theme for the Unknown Movie Challenge is revealed.

And here's the bright shiny new episode: 

The The Slumgullion Episode 17 “My First Straight Boner”
• September 25, 2016Starring Jeff Holland and Scott Clevenger 
With Special Guests Mary Clevenger and Indy McDanie 
In which a happy discussion about Stranger Things turns into an angry rant from Jeff about three new horror films.  After we relive some childhood memories, the Unknown Movie Challenge is 1957’s Invasion of the Saucer Men.  And it's ultra cheap remake, Attack of the the Eye Creatures.
Click here to check it out.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, S.Z.!

Astronaut/Supermodel/Spy (Ret.)

Blow your flu-flubers, and bang your tar-tinkers, because today is the day that gave birth to Sheri Zollinger, who later gave birth to World O' Crap (it was a natural, at home, through-the-forehead birth like Athena's), and even later co-parented Better Living Through Bad Movies (in which we took turns doing the Lamaze breathing, but she was too high minded to take the epidural so she gave me hers and hoo boy did I go on a bender -- which turns out to not be that much fun when you can't feel anything below the waist).

But for many years now she has dedicated herself to others, visiting the orphans and widows in their affliction, and keeping herself unstained from the world with the stain-fighting enzyme crystals in new Bold detergent!

She's also the patron saint of pets. In a town that lacks a shelter -- and therefore condemns stray animals to summary execution -- she volunteers her time to find homes for displaced cats and dogs, and offers her own home until that can be done. I try to remember her example -- bottle feeding kittens one moment, cleaning up explosive diarrhea from a parasite infested puppy the next -- whenever I'm inclined to bitch about having to walk two blocks to the grocery store for a small bag of Iams.

In addition to all that -- which seems like more than enough goodness to contribute to the world -- she's also one of the smartest, nicest, funniest people it's ever been my privilege to know. And a good friend.

And does she ask anything for herself? Just one, small, insignificant thing: a prune party.

I think it's the least we can do, don't you?

Unfortunately, like everything else in this fallen world, prunes have become debauched, and before participating in the festivities, they demand to be whipped!

And before we can do that, we have to determine if Frank Perdue is a top or a bottom.  Because I'm too faint-hearted to lay on the lash with any conviction, so we clearly need a hard man, a tough man. But a man, howsoever tough he may, who knows how to leaven stern discipline with tenderness, lest our prunes be reduced to juice. And judging by this viral video, which I've had examined by the finest wingnut photoanalysts, Frank is both tough and tender. And a tenor.

All right, let's bring on the plump, tender prunes and whip them mercilessly until they're quivering with flavor!

Now I don't want to embarrass Sheri with the fulsomeness of my praise, because she's a modest, private person who doesn't seek the limelight and likes her birthdays the same way she likes her prunes: "never mushy!"

So we'll just quickly run through the recipe so everyone can play along at home.
Combine all ingredients except prunes in double boiler over boiling water. Beat with rotary beater 10 minutes or until mixture holds its shape.
If the mixture doesn't hold its shape you can punish it with a forced enema the way Sally Field's mother did to her in the 1976 TV mini-series Sybil ("Hold your water!"), although giving an enema to prunes seems like gilding the lily.
Fold in prunes and chill.
After folding in prunes I like to Netflix and chill, but then I'm a sybarite.
Serve with custard sauce and watch your family's smiles grow wider by the spoonful.
Prunes apparently work the same way The Joker's "Smilex" gas does in the 1989 Batman.
You'll discover all your prune dishes being received with equal delight
This part I believe.

Ahhh. I don't know what it is about this particular birthday celebration, but I feel not only relaxed, but relieved. Let's close in the traditional way, shall we, with an indigenous and Sexy Birthday Lizard!

Utah's Green Basin Collared Lizard, with Special Guest Appearance by some burnt umber and avocado green lichen from the Seventies!

Please join me in wishing Sheri the very happiest of birthdays. Never have so many owed so much to such a one.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Breaking All the Rules...of good taste

By Bill S.

A while back, s.z. and I both explored the deeper meaning behind Charlene's pop hit "I've Never Been To Me", an song that barely made a dent on the pop chart in the '70's but exploded in the '80's when a DJ ran across a copy of it and began giving it airplay, making it the musical equivalent of a zombie (more so than it was in 1977). The song still remains popular as a camp classic-there's even a dance remix, complete with a rap interlude. Here's the link to that:

No need to say "Thank you", the look in your faces is reward enough. But prior to the song's '80's resurrection, it was covered by several other artists. Jazz/pop stylist Nancy Wilson had a modest hit on the R&B chart with her version, Mary MacGregor recorded a version that reached the Top 30 on the Adult Contemporary chart, making it the most successful version at the time. (It's also the best one, by default, because a little less dirge-y than the others). MacGregor is best known of course for her massively popular 1976 hit "Torn Between Two Lovers". She's usually labeled a One-Hit Wonder but this isn't technically true, as she scored a second Top 40 hit in 1979 with "Good Friend"(from the Meatballs soundtrack). She had another single that fell just a few spots shy of the Top40, "This Girl (Has Turned Into a Woman)". If the title of that one doesn't tell you everything you need to know, you're probably too young to be reading this.

But back to her biggest hit. If you were looking for the song that summed up what was most embarrassing about the Me Decade, "Torn Between Two Lovers" would be the best choice. So it's a bit surprising to learn it was written by veteran folkie Peter Yarrow, and allegedly inspired by the love triangle in Dr. Zhivago, with the genders flipped around. That makes me think if the song had been recorded by a man, and been about a bisexual love triangle, it might have been subversive. Or interesting, at least. As it was, "Torn..." isn't even embraced by drag queens, because, unlike "I've Never Been To Me", it's too aggressively earnest to work as a camp classic.

Mary MacGregor " Torn Between Two Lovers " ( Live )

There are times when a woman has to say what's on her mind
Even though she knows how much it's gonna hurt

Yeah, "even though". And sometimes, "especially when".

Before I say another word, let me tell you I love you
Let me hold you close and say these words as gently as I can

It doesn't bode well that you seem to be trying to prevent me from grabbing any sharp objects.

There's been another man that I've needed and I've loved


But that doesn't mean I love you less

Well, it kinda does.

And he knows he can't possess me, and he knows he never will

"He wanted to possess me, NO! He cannot possess the goddess!"

There's just this empty place inside of me that only he can fill

Are--are you talking about butt stuff? Because you know, I might have been wi--oh, never mind. You probably WEREN'T talking about that.

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

Not as much as me.

Loving both of you is breaking all the rules

No, not ALL of them. Just the ones set when you enter a monogamous relationship. If this was an open one, it wouldn't even be an issue.

You mustn't think you failed me just because there's someone else

WHAT. THE. FUCK? Are you high? That is so NOT what I'm thinking. And what a thing to assume.

You were the first real love I ever had

Faked it with everyone else, eh?

And all the things I ever said, I swear they still are true.

Well, mostly true.

For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

You mean the part that faked being happy while secretly craving side action? Gosh, I'm honored.

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool

I'm feeling like Jeannie Berlin in The Heartbreak Kid

Loving both of you is breaking all the rules
Torn betwee- Oh, you know the rest.

I couldn't really blame you if you turned and walked away

Could you blame me if I started throwing all your stuff out the window?

But with everything I feel inside

A deluded sense of nobility?

I'm asking you to stay

Oh, I am staying. The cab's for you, Felicia. Don't let the screen door hit you on your way out.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Short 'N' Sassy!

We've got a special Slumgullion short for the holiday weekend, in which Jeff lets off so much steam I felt like I was conversing with a Rug Doctor. But then, I wound up surrendering the Moral High Ground; in fact, I tripped and tumbled Jack 'n' Jill-style all the way to the bottom, where I got in a weird rant about the child stars of Stand By Me. Because that's how we roll. Down hill.

Anyway, please enjoy this aural amuse bouche.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, Ivan and AnnPW!

It's Labor Day Weekend, which means picnics, appliance sales, and the beginning of Peak Birthday Season at World O' Crap, because if there's one thing that unites the readers and writers of this blog, it's that our parents liked to boink in the bleak midwinter.

Yesterday, our friend Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., proprietor of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear got things rolling with his natal anniversary, and today AnnPW (in whose honor we remember the Sexy Birthday Lizards) keeps it going. By the way, if you haven't dropped by Ivan's place in awhile, I highly recommended it. He's blogging up a blizzard of book, movie, and TV reviews these days, so pop in and check out B-Western Wednesdays, or Forgotten Film Noir Fridays, and enjoy the aroma of horse manure and extra-sweaty Edmund O'Brien!

Now, since this is a double birthday party, we can't just squeeze everyone into the conference room for coffee and sheet cake. We'll have to treat this as an event, a sophisticated soirée, and serve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. So! Here you go -- have some appetizers. (The cocktails will be along shortly, and then shortly after that they'll be traveling down my neck.)

Anyway, enjoy the Pentagram of Penis-Shaped Meats on Burning Balls.

Vienna Sausages on Flaming Ball. Place can of Sterno in hollowed out center of cabbage.
Remember to drink the Sterno first, then place hollowed out cabbage on your head at a rakish angle. You are now King of the Hobos.
Stick food picks holding Armour Star Vienna Sausages into cabbage. Guests roast sausages over flame. Truly gourmet appetizers!
Disappointed people huddled over a small flame, heating tiny fragments of meat and hoping for a bite of cabbage. It's just like the fabulous parties written about by F. Scott Fitzgerald, if Jay Gatsby had lived under the Sixth Street Bridge.
Deviled Appetizers.
Goes well with your Pentagram O' Flesh serving board!
Make 'em with Armour Star Deviled Ham -- the smoked ham with subtle spices added.
Note: Spices are 28% more subtle than the added rat hairs.
So good you've nothing to do but spread it!
And Armour Appetizer Meats wins the award for the douchebaggiest pick-up line in history.
Meat Medley Canapés. No work! Simply spread Armour Star Potted Meat Food Product on crackers The mixing and spicing of various meats has been done for you by Armour to give wonderful flavor! You'll love it!
You'll love it, or you'll find out first hand what goes into our Armour Star Potted Meat Food Product! Like "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities", "Potted Meat Food Product" is a vague, yet transparent euphemism that nonetheless provides plausible deniability in the event of war crimes tribunals. Enjoy it on toast rounds in the Hague cafeteria.

Now for our Sears Portrait Studio Glamour Shot segment. For Ivan, we've selected the delightfully deadly Peggy Cummins:
"Don't I look sweet and innocent? Like Vera-Ellen's kid sister, maybe? You think so too, don't you? I can tell. Well I'm flattered, and I hope you always remember me this way; right up until the moment I snuggle in close and put a bullet through your belly so I can watch your baffled eyes glaze over...
Oh, and, uh...Happy birthday!
I guess I should have led with that..."

And for Ann, here's Barely Legal Robert Mitchum:
"If you wanna go hang out under the boardwalk, I gotta joint hidden in my shorts."

And what birthday(s) would be complete without our traditional...
Sexy Birthday Lizard!™

Today's specimen is a Green Anole, which like Ivan is from Georgia. I'd try to dig up one of Ann's native reptiles, but I don't know where she lives, so I hope she'll consent to share this little guy, because frankly, I think we could all benefit by his example. Just look at him: hangin' out, chillaxing, casually devising a detailed scheme to murder and replace the kitten in that "Hang in There Baby!" poster you see in every head shop.

There we go. I may be tardy, but I'm sincere, so please join me in wishing both Ivan and AnnPW a very happy (belated) or (just in the nick of time) birthday, as appropriate.