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Thursday, March 30, 2006

the curse of the bambi

What a cursed deer. I mean, with a name likee Bambi...we all saw it coming. The onomonopeia BAM says it right there. The deer is dead. Deal. I just wonder what Disney was thinking because to me, and this is just me talking here, I just really thought these were kids movies. And yeah, sure they were...but the adults were there too. And what kind of self respecting parent takes thier kid to a movie like this? It just blows my mind. And don't give me that, they didn't know what they were getting into bull shit. Allow me to set the scene...

Its your day with the kids...You've just piled into the station wagon, gotten popcorn, 4 jr. sodas, and movie tickets for what seems like the whole block. Did your neighbor have another kid? Why am I counting more than I have. Ah damn it, Billy sneaked in the car. I hate that fucking kid. "Sure Billy, just put on your seatbelt. I SAID PUT ON YOUR GOSH DARN SEAT BELT." These were the days when Gosh and Darn were swear words. A time when the wonder years was based on. A time when a plumber could still drive a new car, and support a family of 4. Simple days, when we sent our college bound sons to die in a rice patty, knife in his back. When Kent State was all but looming. And you take your kids to see Bambi.

Anyone that walks in and sees cute bunnies and deer and all that crap- you just know something bad is bound to happen. Besides, you're from the Flinstones generation. Sure you're an army brat and your dad never let you watch cartoons, NOR were they in color. But you knew who Fred was. You knew it was Barney who would cause a ruckus. Your parents knew that it was just an animated version of the odd couple, set before the dawn of man. You also knew about a character named Bam Bam: a hormunculus of a man who carried a club and destroyed everything.

Now, introducing Bam Bam s a classic sit com move. A show is dwindling in numbers, lets introduce some new characters and try and win back some of this audience we lost. And it worked. It even spawned a series of cross over films where the Jetson and the Flinstones had BBQ's together. ANYWAY...

You sit down in this movie theatre, kids everywhere, sceaming, crying, laughing. Finally the lights go low. Bambi: the story of a deer who lost his mama. After this film ends, you walk outside. Keep it together Charles, you think as you try and smile at the neighborhood you're now driving home. You feel a tug at your leg. Its Billy. And for once, Billy isn't annoying as hell.

"Mr. Johnson, why did Bambi's mam die?"

Oh how can I answer this.

"Well, Billy. Everyone dies. All things die. You'll die, your parents will die, that's the nature of life."

No, that won't work. He's 6 for christ sake. Think damnit THINK!

"Because they needed something to make a sequal out of."

"Whats a squeakwal?" He asked, eyes wider than before. Billy was learning. He liked Mr. Johnson.

"Why that's a device that will someday be so overused it will lose all meaning. Essentially, a sequal is like a second chapter of a book. There's more story to tell."

"I'm reading a book at home. I'm on chapter 6."

"Good for you Billy, good for you."

From that moment on, you knew this film had affected you, and names like Bambi and Thumper are forever engrained in your head.

Flash forward...Billy is in college...he's smoked a hooter with his friends. He's watching Diamonds Are Forever and James Bond is his idol. He's the coolest motherfucker ever.

"Ooh, what's he doing at this pool?"

On Screen:

I'm Bambi

and I'm Thumper.

Ok, dead give away. bambi never lives, the bitch is gonna die. And what happens? She does die! All Bambi's die. Its an effin curse.

Flashforward. again. Billy's son is watching Emeril.

Bam! Lets kick it up a notch!

audience applause

Yeah, you know what Emeril, lets not and say we did. Emeril did that for damn near 5 years. He was huge. But like all Bam's in the world, it too died.

Don't name your kid Bambi. Unless you know they're going to turn out really sexy. Then you can, that's ok.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Crash: a film by Paul Haggis

this morning, something important happened. I posted this on my myspace blog, but had to post it here as well so everyone hears the story. Ironically, this is the 2nd time in my life that I have done something like without further ado:

A lot of things go through your mind when you're driving your new route to work.

"I just moved. This is my commute now. How long is it taking? Crap, I didn't check what time it was when I left. Ok, if it's 7:57 now, then...shit, I forgot to take my vitamin. Man do I hate Laurel Canyon. This song is depressing. Is the air more mild here? Maybe it's the altitude I'm at right now."

Balmy spring air flows over my skin, through the windows of an otherwise fart-ridden car. I know, I know...I wanted to blame me too. But it was actually a residual from last night. Again, not mine. And I won't blame anyone (grant) either. It's not my (grant) style.

Matthew Sweet's 100% fun plays on my stereo. I drive without really looking, absent mindedly swerving around and over pot holes. It's over cast. Somewhere a baby cries.

Then, out of nowhere, the mexi-laden pick-up truck in front of me swerves, spins and flips. it rolls to come to a complete stop right in front of me. I witnessed this. I am sitting there, the next car in line on a windy mountain road, in the middle of morning rush hour, and it flips. I panick. Endorphines race into me like a scene from Requiem for a Dream. My heart palpitates. I immediately shut off my car, throw my emergency lights on, and call 911. I get out and run over- the only person in a sea of cars and working people to get out and help. My phone won't connect me. A woman runs over.

"I've got 911 on the line."

I hang up and begin pulling these guys out of the truck. A small cab 1989 Ford F-350 with 5 of the luckiest mexicans I have ever seen. They are all thankful, but do not speak a lick of english. I try to communicate, but fail. I'm not sure if it was because I couldn't remember a word of mexican then, or if they couldn't process language. The mind is a crazy crazy thing at times like that.

After helping pull 4 guys out of this truck, all of the other helpers are gone. It was as if the woman on the phone and I were the only ones there. The guys look at me, say their muffled thank yous (nothing I would ever expect after something like this), and one of them speaks in broken english.

"Go on, get to work. Thank you for everything."

"You're welcome. Is everyone ok?"

"ah si, si. We are all fine sènor."

"OK then."

I collected my thoughts, got back into my car, and drove off to work, passing onlookers and rubberneckers galore. That was at 8 AM. It's now almost ten, and I can feel that adrenaline in me like a proctologist. The entire day has been a blur thus far.

I never really stop and think about life- what it is, what mine means, what purpose I serve. Its a question that can't be answered, and thus: one I never waste my time on. But to see something like that- to bear witness and to help and shout "SOMEONE CALL 911! NOW!!" It was just totally surreal.

On the northside of Laurel, after crossing Mullhollund Dr., I came to a school. Parents were walking their children across cross-walks, through recess yard gates. They said their goodbyes, patted thier little chldren on the back. Some gave hugs. One father even waved after his son had entered the school yard.

Juxtapose that with a line of cars on a winding mountain road. Of a possible 50 people present at the time of the accident, maybe 2 got out to help besides me. Everyone else just sat there. Some people even gave me weird looks as I got back in my car.

"What was that guy doing? That truck could have rolled onto him. He could have been killed too."

"Why would someone even get out and help? I bet if those mexicans saw me flip, they wouldn't help me."

Its not a question of why, or how. Its simply this: only at life's most extreme moments does a true measure of character come to light. Perhaps, karmaicly, nothing bad will ever happen to those people.

Perhaps, karmaicly, nothing good will ever happen to those people either.

Either way, they will spend their nights, sleepless, wondering if there was something they could have done. Or if they should improve the way they conduct themselves.

I can tell you this- if I die, trying to save someone's life, or help them live, then my death will never be in vain. I will have served a purpose, and helped to make this sespool a better place to live.

Happy monday. Oh, and this is completely unimportant, but our new apartment is amazing.

Friday, March 24, 2006


How was it that Oscar the Grouch could live in that trash can like that? I mean, I know he loves stinky garbage and all that fun stuff. I know this. And he does smell. And he wears his trashcan lid as a hat sometimes. Sure. I'm still with you sesame seed. err street. sesame street.

but I gotta wonder if Oscar wouldn't be a grouch if he would get out of the damn trash can. I'd be pretty pissed off too if someone came by throwin trash on me all day. Talking to me like, "Hey Oscar, why are you so annoyed? You're really grouchy."

doy duh um yeah, no shit. You just threw a plate of spaghetti on him. And you know it's spaghetti. Cause that's like one of the things that comprised his costume. 3 or 4 sewn on threads that looked suspiciously like spaghetti, but clearly weren't. It was just really thick yarn.

Hey, do you think the guy who actually played Oscar got trash thrown all over him too? Do you think they had some amazing props department that created 'fake' food so he didn't come home every night smelling like Old Spaghetti Factory himself? I'd hate to be that guy's wife.

Honey, I'm home.

You brought dinner?

Nope, just smell really bad.

Well what are we going to eat? The kids are hungry.

Well, I know trashcans are an excellent source of food.

and that, my friends, is how the first hobo in america was born. ... you know ... once sesame street was on the air.