Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Excerpts from 'Cruel Shoes' – Steve Martin

Wrong Number
One day I called someone up and got the wrong number. I apologized profusely but then realized that just an apology was not enough. I offered some money as a partial compensation and threw in some stocks and bonds at the last minute. Then I thought, perhaps if I could take their address and send them everything I own, then take a journey to Tibet to acquire wisdom, I could then inform them of the truth, something money cannot buy. Naturally they were still indignant, but were at least convinced of my sincerity in wanting to make it right. They suggested that after I go to Tibet, I kill myself, thus offering up my last breath as penance. This seemed slightly out of line, but not being a good business man, I agreed.

So now I’m in Tibet, standing on my head on a llama, thinking 'bout the day I got the wrong number.

Shuckin’ the Jive
The crazy bastards were going down the pool hall to play a little pinball when their car exploded, blowing everyone to smithereens. Some of Tubby’s flesh flew off to the side of the road, and in time nourished a sunflower growing there. Soon the sunflower was eaten by a horse and the horse was eaten by some hobos out for a wild time. Then one of the hobos met an eastern wandering Canadian guru. But before anything significant could happen, the hobo died, being attacked by a dog heart in a scientist’s laboratory. The death was listed as a heart attack. Then slavery was abolished.

The Nervous Father
"Daddy, where did I come from?"

"Uh...uh...well, Tommy, well, it seems...well...why, why out of the garbage can, son. The garbage man comes and throws you in the garbage can and Mommy goes out and gets you. You see, the garbage men pick you up at the creampuff, cherry gingerbread house run by the angels with puppy faces, and the North Star wonder men with the magic seeds tiptoe ‘round the huckleberry tree."

"Well, where did the clock radio come from?"
"Oh...same place."

Comedy Events You Can Do
Put an atomic bomb up your nose, go to a party and take out a handkerchief. Then pretend to blow your nose, simultaneously triggering the bomb.

Friday, July 26, 2013



I’ve since come to a rather bummer conclusion ...they don’t make good old fashioned "jungle pictures" anymore. Such films were big in the 30s and 50s. Today, nobody wants to see academics, porters and regular-Joe explorers trekking through exotic jungles in search for something lost, hidden and famed. Such premises are considered old and rickety. Stale. Now, everything is superheroes, sports cars and giant robots. If jungles are involved, they’re typically overblown features of some larger fantasy world, often CG animated. But back in 95 Hollywood was still riding high off Jurassic Park, so they tapped Michael Crichton’s work for yet another, similar style FX-bonanza, techno-thriller adventure.
I have no delusions about Congo being a great film. It plainly isn’t. Yet, I distinctly remember seeing it at the age of 15 -- stepping from the midday summer heat into an empty, but air conditioned, auditorium of some secondhand movie theater -- and enjoying the hell out of it, for playing as good old fashioned B-movie exploit. The story elements alone are outrageously fun: a lost city, a talking gorilla, diamond treasure, high-tech satellites, volcanos; a scene where the heroes shoot down heat-seeking missiles with flare guns, are rampaged by hippos, outrun lava tubes, and fend off killer apes with a laser cannon. I mean, shit, it’s practically a live action Saturday morning cartoon. 

Crichton’s original novel is far more intelligent and densely (yet interestingly) academic in areas of technology, history, corporate intrigue and third-world geopolitics, but also just as exciting as a pure adventure yarn; sort of a techno thriller homage to H. R. Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The movie never measures up by comparison. Still, on its own, I think it’s pretty good entertainment. Actors Laura Linney and Dylan Walsh give stock, serviceable performances as the brainy leads, Tim Curry hams it up with comical gestures and an outrages Romanian accent and Ernie Hudson scores extra credit for, no doubt, understanding exactly the kind of movie he was in and playing his ‘great white hunter’ character ("Who just happens to be black") with perfect, golden age screen charisma. I enjoy the action scenes and the set design artifice coupled with the pulpy, bright colored cinematography, which at times feels like a Universal them park ride. And, of course, Jerry Goldsmith’s rousing score saves the day.

Congo was PG-13, and thus friendly enough for kids to tap a merchandizing market that, in retrospect, seems charmingly naïve.

"I've got leeches on my nuts!"

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This is my first post on this blog -- my only blog, no less -- in, like, forever. Many moons. A long time. Ages. Since Way back. So, where have I been? Doesn't matter. I only use this account so I'z can chat-up on JKM's blog, and a few others. But, then, I just noticed some comments in my Nurse Pilbow post. Two, in fact. And I was like, "Huh, where did those come from?" Nobody's ever commented on this blog before. Likely, no one ever will again. And, once again, here I am now by myself, uh, talking to myself. That's, that's chaos.

Anyways, back to my point: Ninja Turtles. They're making a new movie, which will likely be terrible (Bay's involved), but in my fantasy TMNT movie the turtles and the rest of the characters would look like below. Check it out, whoever you aren't.