Posts Tagged surrealism

Of Antlers and Essence

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(Whatever you do, when you get up to the counter, do not say the word “antlers”.  You want a cup of water.  This is McDonald’s.  There are people in line behind you.  They are anxious to get their McRibs or apple pies or whatever they came here for.  Just say “Water, please”.  That’s all.  Don’t screw this….)

Woman Behind The Counter:  Welcome to McDonald’s.  How can I help you?

Me:  Antlers.

Woman: (with a quizzical, mildly amused look)  Uhmm.  How can I help you?

Me:   Antlers?

Woman:  Sir?

Me:  (pleadingly)  Antlersssssss…

Woman:  (in a sacchariney sweet “oh, I get it, your trying to be funny and I’m trying to get through the day without choking a customer” voice)  Ha.  No sir, we don’t have antlers?  Would you like a Quarter Pounder?

Me:  (I swear, I’m trying to say “water”)  Antlers…antlers, antlers…..aaaaaanttttlers.

Woman:  (losing patience)  Sir, we do not have antlers?  What is it that you….

Me:  (I have lost any control of my tone)  ANTLERS!!!!!!!!

Woman:  (looking frightened)  Uhm.  Sir, are you okay?

Me:  Antlers?  Antlers!  Antlersantlersantlersantlers!!!  ANT-LERS!!!!!

(The people in line behind me are growing more impatient.  There is angry mumbling.  People behind the counter are starting to pay attention)

Woman:  (near tears)  Sir, I’m going to have to go get the manager.  I don’t understand…..

Me:  Antlers!!!!!  What part of antlers do you not understand????  ANTLERS!!!!

(The woman behind the counter turns and begins to walk towards the back of the kitchen)

Me:  (Turning towards the gathering crowd behind me) Antlers!!!!  All I want are some antlers!  Antlers!  I’m thirsty!!!  Don’t you understand! Antlers!!!!  Anyone….please!!!!

A large man in the line:  (helpfully)  Are you okay?  Do you need some….assistance??

Me:  I asked for antlers!  Not a difficult request!  Antlers!  Antlers!  Antlers!  Am I not speaking English or something?

An elderly woman behind me in line:  (slowly dipping her hand in her purse for either mace or a cellphone)  I think that you are confused.  Antlers are things that are on a deer’s head?

Her husband:  Or an elk.  Or a caribou.  Or a…..

Me:  Listen you ignorant mongrel!  I came in here, I asked politely for antlers and these people are acting like I’m crazy.  ANTLERS!!!  You are trying to confuse me, but I’m not confused.  I’m as clearheaded as I have ever been IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.  I was born in New Rochelle Hospital!  My mom’s maiden name is Czechlowski!  I have green eyes!  The 18th President was Ulysses S. Grant!  ANTLERS!!!!

(The enormous manager comes out from behind the counter with a menacing look.  He puts his hand on my shoulder.  I spin around and glare at him.  His name tag reads “Timothy”)

Manager:  Sir, I’m going to have to ask….

Me:  ANTLERS!  Listen you burger flipping, fry shoveling fascist!  I made a simple request.  I asked for….

Manager:  (sternly)  You are going to have to…..

Me:  NO!!!  I will not be silent in the face of tyranny! I will not wilt in the face of oppression!  I will not change my order!!!  I will not stand mutely as you ignore my desideratum!!!!  You will not press down upon my brow with this crown of French fries!!!!  You will not crucify me upon an arch of gold!!!!!!

Manager:  (looking towards the kitchen)  Somebody needs to call the police.  CALL THE POLICE!!!!  (looking at me)  Sir, if you do not calm down you are going to be arrested.  Please…CALM DOWN!!!!

Me:  Calm down!!!  Don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t you understand!!!  Antlers….you mindless chromosome deficient mongoloid!  Antlers are all I wanted!  ANTLERS!!!!!  The world is falling apart!  The ice caps are melting!  Small microbes are currently circulating through this room AS WE SPEAK that have the power to kill us all!  I just want some ANTLERS!!!!

Manager:  (trying to hold in his fury)  Okay….OKAY….we don’t have any antlers?  Is there anything….ANYTHING….else we can get you?

Me:  ESSENCE!!!!!

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Gorguts to Guest Star On Thursday Night’s Episode of The Honeymooners

They are Canada’s favorite technical death metal band and now they are set to appear on CBS’ hit television show The Honeymooners.  Gorguts, those wild and crazy Quebecean death metallers who burst on the scene in 1993 with their Top 40 hit “Orphans of Sickness”, will become the first band ever to appear on the show.  Honeymooners star Jackie Gleason is a huge fan of the band who claims to have listened to the album Obscura over 400 times in a row when it was released.  Gleason, who became a fan when Considered Dead was released in 1991, said in a recent interview that no band he knows of “has been able to link the primal, bestial rage in the human soul with such profound, technical craftsmanship.”

The episode titled “Hey, Hey Luc Lemay, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?” was filmed on Monday afternoon in front of a live studio audience.  The story is thought to be one of the more experimental Honeymooners episodes, although by no means as surreal as the episode where Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are trapped in the stomach of a moose.

It begins with a knock on the door from a shady, elderly man played by Sir John Gielgud, the elderly British actor known for his stirring performance as the butler in the movie Arthur. Gielgud introduces himself as “Luther” and hands Alice Kramden a box.  He tells her she has three wishes once she opens the box, but should be careful what she wishes for.

After the man leaves, Alice and Ralph tear the box open only to find the paw of a monkey with a bow around it.  Ralph holds up the paw and wishes for enough money to never have to work again.  Suddenly, a box appears on their coffee table.  Ralph opens it and is stunned by piles of hundred dollar bills.  However, he is appalled to realize that in the box is also the severed head of his neighbor Ed Norton (played by the loveable Art Carney).

In spite of the beheading of Ed, they decide they are glad to have gotten the money and decide to make another wish.  This time Alice holds the paw up and wishes that she could get the chance to see Gorguts live for the first time.  Immediately, there is a knock on the door and the band appears.  They run around the house smashing the furniture and throwing food at each other.  Singer Luc Lemay knocks Ralph to the ground and tries to force him to swallow mustard until he chokes.  Meanwhile, guitarist Kevin Hufnagel destroys Ralph’s favorite bowling trophy by attempting to play a solo from “Rottenatomy” using the trophy as a guitar pick.  Finally, Alice has had enough.  She holds up the paw and screams, “I wish Gorguts would go away!!!!!”

With that, the band disappears and the archangel Gabriel appears on top of the dining room table blowing his horn.  Ralph, covered in mustard, launches into a recital of a Willie Loman monologue from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” while Alice begins to grow a teeth out of the side of her face.  The episode ends with Ed’s head rolling onto the floor and the entire cast, including the head, launching into an impromptu version of the song “Officer Krupke” from the musical West Side Story.

Gorguts appearance on The Honeymooners is not the first appearance of a metal band on a major television show.  Who could forget the time Anthrax rocked out on Married With Children?  Or the time Immolation played “Into Everlasting Fire” with Ricky Ricardo’s band on I Love Lucy?  Gorguts’ appearance on The Honeymooners is certain to rank as one of the most entertaining and important moments in television history.

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Five Zombies In Search of A McRib

The Nexus of the Crisis and The Origin of Swarms

They were banging wildly at the windows.  Bloody, barbeque sauce stained hands clutching at whatever they could grab.  We had kept them at bay by throwing of the store’s stock of McRibs through the drive-thru window into the parking lot.  The horde of undead monsters gobbled them up, consuming them in a grotesque span of seconds. In their fiendish delirium, they could no longer tell the difference between human life and a dollar ninety-nine cent sandwich (2.99 in some markets).  The five of us were about to become a very unhappy meal.

There was Janet, the waitress, Addams, the cop, McBain, the lawyer with great hair, and The Doctor.  They had gone through their lives secretly wondering when their hour would finally come round.  They never would have believed they would perish terribly, mistaken for a limited time sandwich.  I had dressed well, anticipating teaching an excellent day of thought provoking history classes.  Instead, I was going to be eaten by zombies at my local neighborhood McDonald’s.

Janet:  We should feed them something else.

Addams:  We should not feed them, it will just encourage them.

McBain:  We should reason with them.

Me:  We should run.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor.

Janet:  We should scare them.

Addams:  We should shoot them.

McBain:  We should trick them.

Me:  We should hide.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor.

Janet:  We should climb out through the air conditioning ducts.

Addams:  We should set off an explosion in the parking lot.

McBain:  We should wait for the army to save us.

Me:  We should help them.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor!

(Banging on the windows is growing louder)

Janet:  We should feed them the cop.

Addams:  We should feed them the lawyer.

McBain:  We should feed them the poor.

Me:  We should try to understand them.

Doctor:  I’m a Doctor!

Janet:  We should fight them with our mop handles.

Addams:  We should make an example of one of them and scare the others.

McBain:  We should poison the McRibs, then feed them to the zombies.

Me:  We should educate them.

Doctor:  I am a….Doctor!!!!!

(More zombies pounding on the windows.  The zombie moaning is becoming intolerable)

Janet:  We should protest their actions.

Addams:  We should show no fear.

McBain:  We should see if we can pay them to go away.

Me:  We should build them houses.

Doctor:  I……AM…..A…..DOCTOR!!!!!!

Janet:  We should raise their taxes!

Addams:  We should use our weapons!

McBain:  We should offer them a simplified tax code that does not punish job creators!

Me:  We should offer them adequate dental care!!!!

Doctor:  I am a doctor…I am a doctor….I am a doctor!  I’m a Doctor!!!

(The glass in the main window begins to crack.  Zombies swarm towards opening with horrific glee.)

Janet:  We should pray with them.

Addams:  We should pray for them.

McBain:  We should pray for ourselves.

Me:  We should love them.

Doctor:  I am a doctor????

(The window shatters and the zombies pour through)

Janet:  This can’t happen; I’m too young.

Addams:  This can’t happen; I have a family.

McBain:  This can’t happen; this is America

Me:  This can’t happen; we’ve acted honorably.

Doctor:  This can’t happen; I’m a doctor.

The zombies attack and overwhelm us.  Lots of gore and guts and gizzards and grossness.  You’ve seen this movie before or at least one like it.  Just make up your own ending.  Mine is…They all die.  Alone.

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Metamorphosis on Main Street: A Psychological Review of Graveyard’s “Hisingen Blues”

I started off trying to review Graveyard’s new album Hisingen Blues.  Things were going really well.  I had a neat little intro where I talked about their 70’s retro sound and compared them to a few bands.  There was a cool section where I discussed the driving intensity of their sound and compared them to a freight train.  It was going really well.  All that is gone now.  All that is left is chaos, despair and panic.  I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of a Burger King fast food.  It’s 4:47 in the morning.  How did I get here?

I was writing the review at the kitchen table.  My wife and kids were playing in the other room.  In the distance, I heard the vaguely menacing sounds of Dora The Explorer.  My ears were much more attuned to magniloquent sounds of the song Hisingen Blues by Graveyard.  I’d listened to the album a few times, but kept coming back to the title track.  “WHERE IS THE FUTURE?!?!?!?!”

I was grooving to the song.  I closed my eyes.  The next thing I knew my wife was screaming.  “WHAT ARE YOU!?!!?!??!?!?  GET OUT OF HERE!!?!?!?!”

I tried to say “Honey, it’s just me.  Why are you screaming?”  But it came out “Kjqgjgnqrwlkgnjwqrngljnwrjlgnlg?”.  I sounded like the creature in the Predator movies when it tried to talk.  What was happening?

My wife picked up a broom and started hitting me.  “Stop it!” (“Njndgjlqwrnlgkn!”) The sounds that came out of me only made her more frightened.  I ran upstairs.  Suddenly, I started thinking about our cat.  I have to eat the cat.  I have to eat the cat.  I sprinted around the bedroom looking for the cat.  I thought of how good the cat would taste.  I have to eat the cat.  “WHERE IS THE FUTURE!?” echoed in my minds ear.  I need to eat the cat.  It would be so delicious.  I have to eat the cat. I looked under the bed, I looked in the shower.  I looked in the closet on my wife’s red sweater where it likes to sleep. All at once it occurred to me that we don’t have a cat.

I looked into the mirror.  What looked back at me was horrifying.  Green neck, green skin, pointy nose, scales.  I was…..a lizard!!!!!!!  Dear God….A LIZARD!!!!!!  I ran downstairs to try to explain it to my wife.  She had both of the kids in her arms and she was screaming into her cell phone.  “SDGASFHAFSHERJJET!” I pleaded.

“Get away you…..BEAST!  What have you done with my husband????”

My children’s eyes were filled with confusion.  I was not daddy anymore.  I was some “thing” that they could not possibly understand.  Some “thing” they conjured up in a nightmare, but not daddy.  “WHERE IS THE FUTURE!?!!?!!” My wife’s eyes gleamed with hate and fear.  I was a stranger to them.

I grabbed my keys and ran out of the front door towards my car.  Our neighbor was blissfully jogging up the street with her headphones on.  At first, she did not notice me.  All at once her face grew pale.  She turned and sprinted away from me.  I leaped in my car.  Could I even drive?  Could I get the key in the ignition?  My lizard fingers clumsily pushed the key in and I was off to somewhere.  But where?

Most of the last nine hours has been about staying alive.  I have cat scratch marks all over me that I cannot explain.  I feel the empty exhaustion of a sleepless night.  I don’t remember much of what has happened, but I am here.  Soon, the sun will rise.  I have to stay safe.  There is no room for my kind on the street.  Not among the animals.  Not in the daylight.

And what of my condition?  How did I end up here? Something in the song brought me to this place.  I have become the poetry of doom and horror.  Something in the song turned me into this creature.  Something inside of me, both wretched and righteous, has escaped and become my form.  “WHERE IS THE FUTURE?!?!?!”  I am no longer what you would call human.  I wear alienation as my skin.  As the moments recede backwards into the night my fate stands before me.  I am lost.

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To Be And Not To Be

Sometimes simple written juxtapositions can simply shutdown the inner workings of one’s mind.  Zen Buddhism uses koans for this exact purpose.  Mediating on the sound of one hand clapping or why Joshu would bother cutting a cat in half with a pair of shoes on his head are the psychological equivalent of throwing the emergency brake on a Ford Escort while doing 110 miles per hour on the Santa Monica Freeway.  If a person pays attention and is tuned into the general weirdness of the universe it becomes apparent that these bizarre feats of language are everywhere.

This evening I found one such “accidental” koan on Yahoo Sports. It managed to make all of the synapses in my brain stop dead in their tracks.  The current sports media obsession revolves around the potential trade of basketball star Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets.  About an hour ago, I read a headline that said “Anthony To Meet With Nets”. Below it was a headline that said, with equal certainty, “Nets Not Meeting With Anthony”.

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!

If these two headlines are read together they can cause severe damage to one’s cerebellum.  How can Carmelo Anthony meet with the Nets while the Nets are not meeting with him?  Does this mean that Anthony is in the room with members of Nets management who are spontaneously ignoring him?  The Nets are trying to trade for him….why would they be so outwardly hostile towards him?  Imagine Carmelo busting into a hotel room filled with Nets brass watching the All-Star 3-point shooting contest.  At first, Carmelo talks softly, then he shouts and screams, but the Nets front office simply sits silently avoiding whatever Carmelo does.  They shun him.  Carmelo jumps in front of the television, he begins to sing the theme song from “Green Acres”, he pulls his liver out of his body and begins chewing on it….no response.  What am I to make of these conflicting headlines?!?!?!

I need to know how this is possible.  Maybe the two things ARE happening at the same time.  Carmelo is in an alternate universe discussing his plans to go to New Jersey while in another dimension the Nets refuse to meet with him.  Maybe there are two Carmelo Anthonys in this world and two sets of different Nets.  Carmelo A is meeting with Nets A while Carmelo B and Nets B avoid each other.  What if these two dimensions simultaneously converged upon on another and Anthony was traded to the Nets while he remained untraded?  The Nets of the Nether Dimension would have added a 20 point per game scorer while the Nets of our current universe would still be stuck with Devin Harris and a bunch of guys in the witness protection program.  What if the Nether Dimension Nets played the Carmeloless real world Nets?  Who would win?  If Carmelo scores 22 points in the Nether Dimension and 20 in the real universe, does it mean he’s scored 42 points?  How would the NBA possibly track these statistics? Wouldn’t he have an advantage over, say,  Kobe Bryant who is currently only allowed to play in one dimension?

What if the Nets got crafty and traded for BOTH Carmelo Anthonys?  This would probably kill their salary cap number but they would have added two All-Star caliber players.  I wonder if the two could co-exist?  Is there room in New Jersey for one Carmelo Anthony?  How about two?  If the Nets learn to master the art of dimensional travel it is entirely possible that they could assemble a team of all Carmelo Anthonys.  Twelve 20 point per game scorers on one team!?!?!  They’d average 240 points per game!!!!  They’d win the NBA title four or five times possibly in the same year.  What if other teams caught on to their multi-dimensional strategy?  LeBron James’ PR image issue would be gone.  He could simply sign with EVERY team in the NBA.  They’d love him again…EVERYWHERE!  In other sports this could be huge.  The Yankees would certainly go out and sign Albert Pujols 47 times.  They’d have Albert Pujols selling tickets, serving hotdogs, playing first base, exterminating bugs, and on and on and on.

Eventually, it is possible to create a worldwide army of Carmelo’s marching towards endless victory. Millions upon millions of Carmelos pulled from millions of different dimensions.  Imagine an enemy army trying to hold a city when thousands of 6’9 small forwards come racing over a wall.  Who could stop them?  They could forever change the world balance of power.  What if a foreign government got their hands on a Carmelo dimensional prototype?  They could create a nation of anti-American Carmelo Anthonys.  The thought is terrifying.

Maybe I’ve taken this too far.  I’m no longer sure of anything. I was having a perfectly normal night trying to find You Tube clips of professional boxers fighting kangaroos when this madness seeped into my brain.  Yahoo owes me a basic explanation as to how a man can be doing something and not doing it at the same time.  I will not rest until I’ve gotten one.

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