Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What happened to the cast of Predator?

I’ve seen a lot of movies in my life.

Some of them have been great works of art. Some of them have been duds. Others would fall into my other category...BADASS.

My BADASS movie category includes such films as Die Hard, Time Bandits, Aliens, Rocky 3, First Blood, Fight Club, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Wanted: Dead of Alive (starring Rutger Hauer and Gene Simmons).

But, by far, the top movie on my BADASS list is Predator.

I was 14-years-old when Predator was released in the theaters in 1987. And, having the strict R-rated policy that I would come to hate in the Ohio Valley, I had to go see it with my mom and dad. When I found this little tidbit out, I quickly called up a couple other horror-junky friends of mine and dragged them along with me. And yep, we sat as far away from my parents as possible.

What followed was two solid hours of kick-ass ultraviolence on screen. I could feel the blood, the sweat and the mud of the film. I could feel the heat of the Central American jungle.

In addition to many one-liners in the film ('If it bleeds we can kill eet' and 'Here I am. Keeeel Meee. Keeeel Meeee') this movie left a permanent scar on my retinas that I simply cannot get of my mind to this day.

Just like The Goonies, every single time Predator is on television, I have to watch it. It’s like I’m transfixed. Almost like a mid-western wife watching American Idol.

This movie has left such an impact on me that I still don’t use shaving cream when I shave - just like Bill Duke’s character in the movie. Also, when I hike, I’m always scanning the trees with hopes of catching a chameleon-like alien out of the corner of my eye.

The other day, on my way to work, I was listening to Jesse Ventura on the Opie and Anthony radio show. Suddenly, my mind reverted back to the movie. Then I started to wonder about the rest of the cast.

Where are they? What have they been up to since the release of that kick-ass 80's film?

Well, to answer your questions, look no further than here. Starting with the most famous actor of them all…

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Probably one of the most recognizable actors in the film, Schwarzenegger, who played ring leader Dutch, went on to star in 17 more movies after Predator including Terminator 2, True Lies and the god-awful Jingle All the Way. He also had a bit part in the movie The Rundown with The Rock, which people took as a handing over of the action crown to the former wrestler. In addition to his acting duties, every Spring the former Mr. Universe still flies back to Columbus, Ohio, to pimp his annual Arnold Classic Sports Festival. Oh, and after announcing his intentions during a broadcast of The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, Schwarzenegger was elected the governor of California in 2003 on the Republican ticket. In addition to a possible run for the California Senate seat in 2010, it's rumored that Ahnuld will make an appearance in the fourth Terminator film directed by McG and starring Christian Bale.

Jesse Ventura
Ventura, who played the 'I ain’t got time to bleed' machine-gun toting Blain in his first film role, appeared in 17 more films including an upcoming 2008 film called Woodshop. The former Navy SEAL and professional wrestler was also hired as host for the failed XFL Enterprise, served as a referee at a World Wrestling Federation match and published several books including Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me, released last month. Oh yeah, he was also elected mayor of Brook Park, Minnesota in 1990 followed by governor of Minnesota in 1998 on the Reform Pary ticket where he served one term and opted out of re-election. TRIVIA: Ventura appeared in two other Schwarzenegger movies including The Running Man and Batman & Robin.

Director John McTiernan
After Predator, McTiernan had a string of successful movies including the untouchable Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, The 13th Warrior (some may disagree) and The Thomas Crown Affair. We’ll forgive him for Rollerball and Last Action Here. (At least I will.) In April of 2006, McTiernan was sentenced to four months in federal prison for lying to the FBI about hiring private eye Anthony Pellicano to wiretap a producer. After a five-year filmmaking absence (his last film was 2003's Basic starring John Travolta), McTiernan is set to go behind the camera with four movies currently in pre-production.

Shane Black
A gifted screenwriter, Black - who played the bespectacled Hawkins in the movie - gave us the characters of Riggs and Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon series. In addition he went on to write a number of other screenplays including geek-favorite The Monster Squad, Last Action Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Last Boy Scout, which was one of the highest selling screenplays at the time. After a 10-year hiatus from acting and writing which, according to a story in Entertainment Weekly was due to a bout of depression, Black returned in 2005 with his writing and directing debut Kiss, Kiss Bang Bang starring Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr.

Jim Thomas and John Thomas
The Thomas Brothers, who wrote the Predator screenplay, went on to write Predator 2, Executive Decision, Wild Wild West, Mission to Mars and received a story credit for Behind Enemy Lines starring Luke Wilson and Gene Hackman. Although they’ve been fairly quiet in the screenwriting department, they also received credit (and I’m sure some dough) for the two Alien vs. Predator films. Neither brother has any upcoming projects listed in the near future. To be honest, I couldn’t find too much about these guys at all even searches for upcoming novels came up nada. They must be counting their money somewhere.

Sonny Landham
Landham, an American Indian who played the role of tracker Billy, appeared in 16 movies including Carl Weathers’ Action Jackson and Sylvester Stallone’s Lock Up and a number of B-movies. Although credited for a role in 2007’s low-budget flick Disintegration, Landham retired from acting in the 90’s and became a paralegal in Ashland, KY. Like Ventura and Schwarzenegger, the former 70’s porn star (you heard it right) threw his hat into the ring in a bid to become Governor of Kentucky in 2003. Sadly, Landham lost. Now, he spends his time serving as president of the Sonny Landham Foundation and speaking at various engagements across the United States.

Bill Duke
Duke, who played the dry-shaving Mac, is still making a fairly successful living in the movie business. After Predator, Duke has acted in 34 movies most notably Menace 2 Society, Payback (with Mel Gibson) and Action Jackson (starring Predator-actor Carl Weathers with Predator side-kick Landham). In 2008, Duke directed Not Easily Broken and is in the pipeline to star in one movie and direct another in 2008. Duke also directed a number of television series including Miami Vice and Matlock and a handful of films including A Rage in Harlem, The Cemetery Club, Deep Cover (a personal favorite) and the meh-incuding Sister Act 2. He was appointed to the National Endowment of the Humanities by former president Bill Clinton and has also been appointed to the California State Film Commission Board by Predator Governor Schwarzenegger. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the American Film Institute. Trivia: Prior to Predator, Duke also appeared in Schwarzenegger’s Commando.

Carl Weathers
Known to some as Apollo Creed from the Rocky series and as Chubbs Peterson from Happy Gilmore, Weathers - who played the deceitful Dillon in the movie - went on to act in a bevy of TV series and films including an In The Heat of the Night TV series and, most recently, the stupid-sports comedy The Comebacks. In 1988, Lorimar Film Entertainment tried to make him a franchise name with the entertaining, but equally horrible, Action Jackson where he played a tough Detroit cop who goes after a sociopathic car manufacturer. He also played himself in the underrated comedy series Arrested Development. Currently, Weathers is doing some acting and is a principal of Red Tight Media, a film and video production company that specializes in tactical training films made for the United States armed forces.

Kevin Peter Hall
In addition to playing the Sasquatch in the 1987 comedy Harry and the Hendersons and the short-lived 1991 TV series of the same name, Hall – who played The Predator - appeared in a number of films requiring a big guy including Big Top Pee Wee and Star Trek, The Next Generation. In 1990, he reprised his role as the 7-foot tall alien in the sequel Predator 2. Sadly, Hall died on April 10, 1991, from an AIDS-related illness as a result of contracting HIV from a contaminated blood transfusion. He was 35 years old. His last film was the somewhat enjoyable horror film Highway to Hell, which was released after his death. Trivia: Hall can be seen in the first Predator without costume as the helicopter pilot at the end of the film.

RG Armstrong
Even though he had a long, versatile career, Armstrong - who played General Phillips in the flick – is more popularily known as spooky Lewis Vandredi in the Friday the 13th TV series. In addition to playing Prunefrace in Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy, he also appeared in a number of television shows including Silk Stalkings, Milennium and L.A. Law among others. He finally retired after six successful decades in show business, with his last film appearance in 2001’s B-movie The Waking. TRIVIA: You may have also recognized Armstrong as the old man in Metallica’s Enter Sandman video.

Elipida Carrillo
The only female actress in the entire movie. Carrillo - who played Anna - went on to star in a number of American and Spanish television shows and movies including Salvador where she acted alongside James Woods, the underrated Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her, Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris and the controversial comedy A Day Without A Mexican. Currently, Carillo is filming the movie Seven Pounds starring Will Smith and directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness). TRIVIA: Carrillo reprised her role as Anna in Predator 2, starring Danny Glover. She can be seen in a brief appearance on a video screen where she shows the damage to the Central American jungle caused by the explosion at the conclusion of the first film.

Richard Chaves
After Predator, Chaves, who played Poncho in the film, got another career boost as the role of Lt. Colonel Ironhorse in the War of the Worlds TV series. However, his character was killed off in the second season, which sparked an uproar in the small, but mighty, War of the Worlds geekdom. An American Indian, vietnam veteran and playwright who wrote the highly acclaimed Tracers, Chaves is currently acting in a straight to DVD movie from the Left Behind series titled Lost Warrior. He also has his own fan club and appears at a number of science fiction and comic-book conventions around the country.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adios FUCK! It was nice knowing ya.

For the most part, I consider myself a pretty good parent.

Sure, there are those night infant feedings that can really grain on your nerves and make you question your sanity.

But, pretty much, I think I do a pretty good job, with one exception.

Both my wife-to-be and I cuss like truck-driving, dock-working Teamsters.

And I'm not talking 'darn-it' and 'oh phooey' cussing.

Please. That's amateur hour bullshit.

I'm talking FUCKING, GODDAMMIT, COCK-SUCKING, ASSHOLE, DICKHEAD, FUCKFACE, MOTHER FUCKER cussing.

Look, if you read this post, you know I loooooove the word FUCK. I think I've mentioned it on more than one occassion. Hell, I even drew a cartoon about it.

But with my almost two-year old daughter running around the house and mimicking every word that we say such as 'COOL' and 'WOW' or even 'YAY', I don't want to be the one responsible for teaching her that the word 'SHIT-EATING ASSHOLE' is as cool a word as 'MOO' or 'RUFF RUFF' or even 'CHOO CHOO'.

And I'm not naive. I know it's a brutal word out there. And, with as many R-rated movies as I watch not to mention my extensive hip-hop library growing at an alarming rate each week, I know it's inevitable that she will eventually pick up a cussword or two around the house.

But it's not going to be from my lips.

I also know that down the line, she's going to be hanging out with her little brother and possibly and couple other snotty nosed kids saying cusswords to one another and giggling like little hyenas.

At least, that's what my brother and I did.

But, until that time, we've both decided to put all of our cusswords into a sack, tie it and, like a farmer with a bagful of newborn bastard puppies, toss it into some unmarked stream only to be opened up later years down the line.

Oh, it's not going to be easy. I'll be the first to admit It's going to be pretty hard to not scream 'COCKSUCKING MOTHER FUCKER!' to some old man who pulls out in front of me on the highway going 15 miles an hour. Probably harder than kicking a cigarette, heroin or even crystal meth habit.

But, I'm sure it can be done.

Hey, at least, I have this blog to turn to as an outlet for my inner FUCKS.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stories From Ghetto Kroger #4: Goldilocks

When I was in college, my mom and aunt would often come up to visit their favorite starving student.

In addition to taking me out for a free meal, they would also buy me some food at the grocery store.

Awww. Ain't they nice.

On one particular visit, we were walking down High Street near campus and a bum approached my aunt for some money. She reached into her little purse and gave the bum some change.

Less than a minute later, another bum asked my aunt for money and again she slowly reached into her little purse and pulled out some more change. Then it happened again. And Again. On more than one ocassion, she would even toss a bum a dollar bill or two.

This happened five of six more times before I decided to toss in my two cents.

"You know," I would tell her. "You don't have to give money to every single bum that you see."

"Oh, but I have to," she retorted. "Because you never know if one of them is an angel in disguise."

"Well," I said obviously annoyed. "Then, I guess there are a lot of angels walking around Columbus then."

She grabbed my arm and glanced up to me with a tender smile.

"You never know," she said. "You never know."


Back to reality...


In addition to being right next to a mental health facility, the intersection of King and High Streets - also known as the location of Ghetto Kroger - could be a considered a bum paradise.

Plenty of liquor stores. Rich, spoiled college kids to hit up for money. Tons of discarded clothes and food to be pulled from a plethora of garbage bins.

Like I said, bum paradise.

It was no surprise that Ghetto Kroger would get its fair share of angels, er bums, coming in and out of the store on a regular basis.

Almost every single day that I worked at Ghetto Kroger, I would have at least one bum approach me and ask me for money to 'buy some food' or 'get some gas'. No lie.

There was this one skinny black guy who carried around a gas can as a prop device to get unsuspected sorority girls and their parents to give him dough.

"Awww, man," he would say, "I've got my wife and two kids in the car a couple blocks away and I left my wallet at home. All we need is just a couple of bucks to put in the tank to get home."

And people would actually fall for this guy's story.

To be brutally honest, the first time I heard his schpeel, I felt sorry for him as well. Hell, I'm sure that I probably gave him a couple bucks too.

But, when I saw him around again and again and again almost every other day, I would glare at him with disdain mixed with a little pity. He would see me and know that I knew that he was lying. So, he stayed away. As did most of the regular bums after they realized they weren't getting shit from me.

Same grift. Different day.

Suffice to say, when you're sitting outside, staring at a parking lot for eight hours...the shit gets old. So to pass the time, I would strike up a conversation with a bum or two sleeping on a bench or just sitting around outside asking people for money.

(I should also note that the store manager really frowned upon this type of activity and quickly hustled the store cops to get the bums out of the front entrance. I guess it was bad for business or something.)

In any event, one this one particular night I met this bum who was sitting on the ground, drinking what appeared to be some purple stuff, which I believed to be Mad Dog 20/20. He was strategically sitting behind this big Double-Coupon Days poster outside the store, which was just out of viewing range of the store cop and manager.

He was a white guy, about 50-years old, scruffy beard and scruffy clothes [much like the picture you see above].

Oh yeah, I should also note that he also smelled like rotten eggs mixed with urine.

Suffice to say, I kept my distance.

He took a swig of his mystery bottle and offered me up a drink. I politely declined.

"So," I asked. "How's everything going?"

The man's eyes lit up like I offered him up a hamburger and french fries.

Then he started to talk.

Then he talked some more.

Then he wouldn't shut up.

Then I started to get a little annoyed.

As it turned out, he was a Vietnam Vet, who sort of lost his mind on a tour of duty. Somehow, (I forget) he wound up in Columbus and had to stay close to the Mental Health facility to get hold of his daily prescriptions or as he called them, 'scrips'.

He told me that the facility would only give him a day's worth of scrips so he (a.) wouldn't abuse them, (b.) try to sell them on the street for money or (c.) try to kill himself with them.

Good policy.

Then he mentioned that he used to be married. And that he had two kids.

"A wife and kids?" I asked. "Really?"

"Oh yeah," he shot up. "I had a wife, house, kids, dog. Everything."

"Here?" I asked. "In Columbus?"

"No, no, no." He said. "Indiana. Yep, they're over there and we'll, I'm right here." He tossed his arms in the air and took a look around at his surroundings.

"I lost it all," he laughed.

I left to grab a view carts and help a couple customers. About 10 minutes had passed and I peered over the corner to check on my new bum friend. He was crouched over, huddled in a fetal position and dead asleep.

"Oh well," I thought to myself. "I'll let the cop deal with him." It was time for my lunch break, so I went inside.

About 30 minutes later I returned to find the bum sitting up, drinking the rest of his mysterious purple Kool-aid wrapped in his cliche'-ridden paper bag.

"Howdy," he said.

"Hey there," I shot back.

Out of nowhere, he sauntered up to me. Almost face-to-face like he wanted to whisper something in my ear. Or kiss me. I wasn't sure. In fact, it was a bit too close for comfort for my taste. The smell of rotten eggs and urine permeated my nostrils.

I took a couple steps back, lowered my brow and gave him my 'You best step back mother fucker' stare.

He looked back and forth. Then stared straight into my eyes.

In a million years, I would have never guessed the next thing to come out of his mouth.

"So," he whispered. "You're probably getting some steady poontang, huh?"

I thought about it for a second. Then I made the brilliant deduction that he didn't really know who I was. The man completely forgot the conversation we had about an hour and a half ago.

Maybe his meds kicked in. Maybe it was the agent orange from 'Nam. Maybe it was the Mad Dog 20/20 in his gut. But you could just tell that this guy wasn't right. You could see it in his eyes.

He was crazier than a shit-house rat.

So I did what any college kid would've done. I decided to lie.

"Fuck Yeah," I said sarcastically. "I got a wife. Two kids and a dog too!"

Just in case anything weird was about to happen, I scanned the inside of the store for the cop. I didn't see him.

Fuck.

"Must be nice," he said. "To get some regular pussy action like that."

"Yeah," I said. "It's fucking great."

In actuality, I was pushing on a six-month dry spell of no poontang action at all, which feels likes five years when you're 20.

After a couple seconds of awkward silence. He looked at me again with those crazy bat-shit eyes.

"You know who I like to fuck?"

Realizing that this conversation was totally going south, I was one-second from heading inside and grabbing the store cop.

But, after sizing up the bum, I knew I could take him out with one quick punch to the face. So I decided to play along with his little game. Plus, I was really curious what he was going to say.

"No," I said acting extremely uninterested. "Who do you like to fuck?"

He quickly held up his hand six inches from my face.

"Goldilocks," he said rolling his thumb around. "And her four little friends." He then moved his fingers back and forth.

I pushed his hand away from my face.

He then smiled a toothlesss grin and started cackling like the Wicked Witch of the East when she released the winged monkey creatures to attack Dorothy in the forest.

Then he glared at me. I thought maybe he was going to stab me with something. But instead, he walked over to his paper-wrapped bottle and started to pick up all of his belongings, which wasn't much.

Still cackling and coughing, he meandered and weaved out into the darkness of the parking lot.

But, right before he was out of sight, he turned around and looked at me with his arms held high.

"Goldilocks," he yelled at the top of his lungs. "And her four little friends!"

Then he started laughing again.

Then he disappeared behind a building to God knows where.

I could hear his cackles echo into the cool, silent Autumn night.

Sigh. Another day in bum paradise.

Other Stories from Ghetto Kroger:
Story #1: Intro
Story #2: Magic
Story #3: Big Head

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh Yeah!! Refreshing Kool Aid Links

More links to make you want to crash through a wall:

Mysterious Lights in Arizona....Again!

Everyone's heard about the 'strange light formations' that appeared in the Arizona sky in the Spring of 1997, right?

No? Well, here's a video,



To quote Carol Ann from the hit film Poltergeist 2.... "They're back!"

In a story from KNXV-TV Channel 10 in Phoenix, Arizona, last night there were numerous reports about similar interesting light formations which seemed to mimic the Star Destroyer from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. (The above link also lets you click on an amateur video of last night's light show, but first you have to sit through a :30 second commercial.)

I'm not sure what to make of this. Is this the beginning of the End of Days with Arnold Schwarzenegger? Are the aliens trying to recreate Spielberg's Close Encounters of The Third Kind with Camelback Mountain in place of Devil's Tower? Are people in Arizona forming mountains of mashed potatoes into crude starships and mountain ranges screaming "This means something. This is important?" Can I possibly make one more movie reference before this post ends?

Who knows!

All I know is that this story (first found on Drudgereport.com) made this boring Tuesday morning just a little bit more interesting.

Not put that in your milkshake and drink it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stories from Ghetto Kroger #3: Big Head

I've witnessed many crazy moments at Ghetto Kroger. But one of the craziest had to do with a movie starring Cher.

So there I was a month and a half into my bagging duties at Ghetto Kroger. Getting my groove down. Macking with the ladies. Making some money. I even made some pretty good friends at the store.

When bagging groceries, I would sometimes imagine I was in the Super Bowl of Bagging. I would time myself to see how fast and accurate I could bag groceries. I even pitted my time against other baggers.

Hey, it passed the time.

One Saturday morning, I was bagging like a mad hatter and soaking up the views in the process. Many cute little sorority ladies would walk through my line donned in scantily clad Scarlet and Gray apparel purchasing alcohol, pretzels, hot dogs and whatever else you buy for an Ohio State football game.

My early morning shift was going a-ok. The sights were especially good. And, with my shift ending right before kick-off, it was turning out to be a great day.

I said was.

That's when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Walking into Ghetto Kroger was this black dude who had what appeared to be a giant foam head on his shoulders....much like the heads you see in the Mardi Gras parade.

I started to laugh out loud. Giggling, I poked the cashier in front of me on the shoulder and pointed to the guy with the funny Mardi Gras head.

"Check it out," I snirked.

That's when I saw the eyes on the Mardi Gras head blink.

That's when my smile turned into a frown.

That's when the blood drained from my head.

That's when I realized It wasn't a Mardi Gras head, but the dude's actual head!

My jaw had officially dropped.

"Psssst," A cashier stepped up behind me and whispered in my ear. "Stop staring at him."

"But...what?....huh?" I mumbled in total shock. I couldn't stop looking at the enormous head.

Big Head and his posse of five or six guys walked over to the produce section and eventually out of my line of sight.

I pushed my jaw closed and turned around towards the cashier.

"You ever see the movie Mask with Cher?" she asked me.

I nodded.

"Well, that guy has the same disease as the guy from Mask, Rocky Dennis."

"Ohhhhhh," I said. Not really comprehending anything she was saying.

"When he comes through the line, don't look at him too long," she said. "Those guys he hangs out with don't like it when you look at him for too long."

"Okay," I thought to myself. "Don't stare at the guy with the enormous Big Head."

About 20 minutes passed and I was bagging groceries completely unaware of my surroundings. Almost like a fish swirling around in a bowl.

That was until I looked up and saw Big Head waiting in line in my bagging aisle. His mouth opened and a big Jabba the Hutt tongue came out and he licked his lips.

"Don't stare at the guy with the enormous Big Head." "Don't stare at the guy with the enormous Big Head." "Don't stare at the guy with the enormous Big Head." "Don't stare at the guy with the enormous Big Head."

But, I was transfixed. I couldn't stop looking at Big Head.

You know that feeling you got when you watched that documentary about the 16-year old girl with two heads? Well, multiply that by 30. And that's how what I felt right at that exact moment.

My heart was beating. My hands were getting pasty. I felt extremly light-headed. I was going to pass out.

I had to get away from Big Head immediately!

I found myself walking away from my bagging station. I had no control over my body. My legs walked me all the way to the back of the Kroger store right into the restroom. My hands tossed some water on my face. My lungs took a couple of deep breaths.

For a brief second, I wanted to quit, leave the store and drink about a case of beer with my friends. Then go hide in a corner.

Just to be sure he was gone, I walked the entire length of the backroom and took an extremely long drink from the water fountain on the other side of the store.

With my composure maintained, I walked back to my bagging station and, to my relief, Big Head was gone.

"Whew!" I sighed.

"Eimer," the store manager yelled. "We're empty on carts. Go bring some in from outside?"

I nodded and hightailed it outside. But, as the automatic doors flew open, I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw Big Head and his posse in the parking lot slowly walking away from Ghetto Kroger.

A white frat boy on a bike pedaled past Big Head and did what seemed to be a quintuple take. Like a five-year old boy attempting to take his first ride, the frat boy meandered on his bike and struggled to maintain his balance. All the while staring at the giant blinking globe.

Two guys from Big Head's posse started beating their chests and yelling insults at the frat guy. But Big Head didn't turn around.

"What's the matter?" yelled one of the guys. "Ain't you never seen anyone with a big head before?"

I'm going to go out on a limb answer that question for the frat boy.

"No."

EPILOGUE:
People might be wondering if Big Head was a regular mainstay at the Ghetto Kroger.

Sadly, no.

Although my good friend once served him up some fish filets at the Seafood Department on a different day, I only had the surreal opportunity to witness the craziness that was Big Head once. And, to be honest, that was enough.

During my Ghetto Kroger tour of duty, rumors would always swirl around about Big Head. Some said he was living on borrowed time due to his disease. Others say he donated his head to the Ohio State University after he died in exchange for $20,000 a month while he was alive. I also heard that Big Head and his posse would walk around the campus area beating up and robbing shocked observers who would stare at his giant dome. During one particular lunch break, I struck up a conversation with a cashier who lived in the area about Big Head.

"Oh he a playa," she told me. "He's got, like, 20 kids from 10 different women. My cousin is one of them."

Big Head? A playa?

Of all of the rumors I've heard about Big Head, I found that one the hardest to believe.

Other Stories from Ghetto Kroger:
Story #1: Intro
Story #2: Magic

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cash by Cash

Quote by Rob Gordon (John Cusack) from the movie High Fidelity:

Hey, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I've read books like The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Love in the Time of Cholera, and I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography Cash by Johnny Cash.

I agree with Rob (actually High Fidelity author Nick Hornby and screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis). Every dude should read this book even if you don't like Cash. Click here to order it online from Amazon.com.

And no, I don't get any commission from sales.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Warm Run in Bath.

On my way home from work, I stuck my head out of the window.

Mid 60's with a slightly warm wind.

Perfect running weather.

I hopped out of the car, kissed the kids on the forehead, made a beeline to the bedroom and tossed on my shorts, t-shirt, running shoes and bandana.

In less than a minute, my gladiator outfit was complete. I was ready for a run.

I hit the pavement with full gusto. But, before I could take a single stride, my neighbor pulled up beside me in his riding lawn mower.

"Howdy," he yelled.

I acknowledged him with a nod.

"Almost Deere Season," he yucked pointing toward the green and yellow beast under his ass. "You ready?"

"Yup," I said slightly annoyed and pointed toward the highway horizon. "Well, the road's a calling."

The sky was blue. The birds were chirping. Chainsaws were purring.

Spring was in full bloom in Bath, Ohio.

I inhaled and took a deep sniff of my surroundings.

Wild flowers. Freshly cut grass mixed with gasoline. A dead possum thawing out on the side of the road.

Ahhhhh, the smells of paradise.

I ran down the hill and dodged a beer can thrown out the window from a passing Porsche. A baby boomer returning from a hard day of 18 holes, no doubt.

The can clanked and clacked on the side of the road until it came to a complete stop in the mud. It was Labatt's Blue. The best selling Canadian beer in the world. Good brand. Bad tact.

"Thanks rich Bath dude who likes to drink and drive," I yelled as I put up my middle finger. "You rock."

I concentrated on the road. I concentrated on my running. I took deep breaths and let them out slowly, just like the September 2006 issue of Runner's World magazine told me to do.

For a brief moment, the world was my oyster. I closed my eyes and outstretched my hands in a Christ-like pose.

The rays of the sun warmed my cold, rickety bones shaking away the six-month Northeast Ohio winter. The warm air blew through my slowly receding hairline. "Ouch." I slapped at a sting on my arm. It was a dead misquito.

The blood dripping from my small wound let me know that the season was alive.

As I approached the bottom of the hill, I heard a scurry in the woods, followed by cracking branches and splashing water. Four deers hopped out of a brier bush and sailed into the woods. I could have sworn I saw turds fly out of one of the doe's butt.

"Fancy that," I thought. "I scared me up some game."

The beauty of nature indeed.

I careened into the graveyard to greet the dead bodies and wish them a happy Spring day.

"Hello Martin Douglas," I yelled to his gravestone. "Born January 3, 1920. Deceased September 20, 1985. Sixty-five years on this planet. Not too shabby."

"Hello Dolores Baker. Born May 21, 1905. Deceased June 17, 1940," I yelled at another gravestone. "Thirty-five years on this beautiful Earth...wait a minute. That's how old I am!

Suddenly I got depressed. Only three more months until I pass Dolores up on the annual birthday scale. Suddenly I got happy again.

"Ha Ha, Dolores," I whispered out of the side of my mouth to her decaying body six-feet under. "I'm almost beating you in the game of life."

I continued the loop, looked up from the ground and, suddenly, stopped in my tracks.

There was a car. Parked near the woods. Away from the gravestones. Next to the stream. And it was running in neutral.

I looked around for an old man (or an old woman) with flowers in hand kneeling and blubbering over a loved one's slab of stone. I found none.

"Who could it be?" I thought to myself. "Who could be parked in my graveyard?"

I decided to forge ahead and solve the mystery once and for all.

As I approached the car, I heard what sounded like Pink Floyd's The Great Gig In the Sky blaring from the speakers. The car was also moving side to side. Side to side. Side-to-side. In a rythmic motion. Almost to the music. As I got closer, I noticed a faint silhouette in the car.

Someone, or something, was inside.

As I slowly tip-toed beside the car, I slyly turned my head to see what was going on.

A full moon greeted me with a vertical "Hello." It was a dude's ass bobbing up and down. Up and down in the wide backseat of the car. Beneath him, I assumed, was a woman. The painted toenails gave her away.

I looked around for dug-up graves. There were none. More than likely, she was alive.

"Well, well, well," I thought to myself. "This lad was laying some backseat pipe to his girlfriend in the middle of a graveyard."

They didn't notice me. They didn't miss a beat. They were doing their thang without a care in the world.

Ahhhh...young love.

"Carry on my good man," I shouted to the gentleman in the car. "Carry on."

I, too, went on my way.

Yet as I headed out of the graveyard I couldn't stop myself from glancing back at the car one more time.

That's when I noticed the bumper sticker.

"Go Revere High!"

Screw Deere Season. It was Parking Season. Spring had officially sprung in Bath.

Oh, and for the parents who happen to be reading this blog...

Blue Toyota Corolla. Ohio License Plate #GVW 365.

Now you know where your kid was last night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Murder Hill Revisited

A couple weeks ago, I was rummaging through a big box of stuff searching for my 2005 tax return (don't ask).

Although I didn't find the tax return, I was extremely excited to unearth this long-forgotten piece of early Eimer lore (click on each image to enlarge):



I was around eight-years old when my brother, my neighbor Tony and I wrote up our secret plans for Murder Hill, a torture area for enemies who breached our secret hideout.

It was our Guantanamo Bay. It was our little own Abu Gharib Prison. It was our little Hostel getaway where we could hop off the school bus and blow off some steam by torturing our very own terrorists before dinner.

Geneva Convention be damned! I now introduce you to Top Secret Plans of Murder Hill, which was a real, authentic clubhouse designed by my brother and I nestled somewhere in the Martins Ferry, Ohio, countryside. My lawyer also advised me to say that no real tortures took place during this time.

You Must Say Password To Continue. (HINT: It rhymes with PILL)

MURDER HILL JAIL

This was a very interesting drawing by yours truly. First off, I'm not sure what benefit a 'Mote(sp) of Dirt around the jail' would have. But, hey, I was smart enough to realize there was no way in hell we were going to build a moat of water and stock it with a fire-breathing dragon. So a moat of dirt seemed like the next best thing. Also, I think my early viewing of prison movies led me to engineer a 'door to put food through' and to include no handles on the inside of the jail. Eat your heart out Frank Lloyd Wright.


MURDER HILL PLANS


The plans were pretty straight-forward. However, I think I needed a bit more creativity on the No Trespassing signs. In regards to entry #3 (Get Hat Off Rack), my brother and I had an extensive hat collection. In essence, I think the act of choosing a hat off our rack was a quicker way to initiate someone into our gang than getting a skull tattoo, which I'm sure was discussed.

In regards to entry #2 (Make Two Things That Will Hurt People), Tony and I got a little overambitious and decided to create three things that will hurt people. On that note, I'm not too sure where my brother's torture device drawings were. Perhaps, being three years older than us, he pulled the hierarchy card and opted out of this particular plan.


MURDER HILL TORTURE DEVICES
Here are three torture ideas from Tony who, ironically, went on to become a jet fighter pilot for the United States Air Force (no kidding):




My personal favorite is the go-cart torture. I give Tony props for using his go-kart to create a very effective and wicked torture device.

And now, I introduce my three torture devices. All mispellings aside, my ideas are a little more copy-heavy than my neighbors. Some may even think a bit more creative. However, I'll let you be the judge of that:





Personally, I think all of my torture devices rock. But, if I were to build a torture chamber in the near future (say in a year or two), I would definitely use the hammer/mouth torture as a marquee attraction to lay some psychotic pain on unwanted intruders.


MURDER HILL WHEN DONE


Well, there you have it, the blueprint of Murder Hill when finished (or 'done' as I eloquently stated). I like how the author (i.e. myself) also teased future members with the possibility that this wasn't it. Oh, there were many, many more torture devices in the pipeline for the Murder Hill Gang

Just like Fight Club, this was only the beginning of something bigger and better. Tyler Durden would be proud.

I'm still on the lookout for the other top-secret files that I created for another one of our gangs, The A-Team, a blatant rip-off of the hit TV show. Of course, I was Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith (played by George Peppard in the show) because I also loved it when a plan came together.

Much like the Murder Hill Plans you see above.

Monday, April 14, 2008

One Sentence Movie Reviews - W2 Edition

More Movie Reviews To Take Your Mind Off the W2 Blues.

Them
French psychological thriller that puts the latest American horror movies to shame.

Enchanted
Surprisingly fun flick from Disney that mocks the Disneyesque Cartoons of yore and turns the genre on its ass.

Wedding Daze
Michael Ian Black (from Stella and Ed fame) wrote and directed this different type of romantic comedy starring a sexy Isla Fisher (The Wedding Crashers) and Jason Biggs.

I Am Legend
After writing about it here, I Am Not That Bad.

Southland Tales
The director of Donnie Darko tried to put too many different ideas into this mess of a dystopian future flick.

Dan In Real Life
If you put The Weather Man, The Big Chill and The Family Stoned into a blender and added a sprinkie of Not Funny, you'd get this flick.

The Mist
I wrote about it here, and let me tell you the creatures are amazing, the acting is exceptional and the pacing, editing and screenplay even Darabont's shocking alternative ending is fantabulous.

Beowulf: Directors Cut
I wrote about it here and, after watching it, I'm sticking to my guns and saying it sucked.

Atonement
If you like British movies about aristrocratic, spoiled little girls ruining other people's lives, then you'll like this film.

No Country For Old Men
After finally seeing this movie: Limited dialogue, great cinematography and acting mixed with solid story of Good vs. Evil vs. Nasty makes this a great horror movie by the greatest living writer (Cormac McCarthy) and directors (The Coen Brothers) of our time.

Into The Wild
I wrote about it here, and I can honestly say this is the best film I've seen this year, so far.

1000 Places to See Before You Die: Collection 1: Disc 1
A 90-minute crappy infomercial about hotels, destinations and hot spots in Brazil, France and Alaska.

No Reservations
It's Raising Helen with Kate Hudson, but set in a different industry (fine dining industry instead of fashion).

The Darjeeling Limited
In addition to the nude Natalie Portman scene, Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) paints a beautiful film with the backdrop of India as his pallette that transforms this movie into something more special than your basic film.


Other One Sentence Movie Reviews:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dream Review #4 - Zombie Picnic

I was a big-time director filming the final scene of this movie I wrote called Zombie Picnic, which took place at Bath Nature Preserve in Bath, Ohio.

It was a five-minute, unedited pan of the zombie picnic.

Basically, the zombies won and took over the town of Bath. To celebrate, they were, unintentionally, having a picnic and feasting on all of the humans at the nature preserve.

Picture this: Body parts being ripped apart. Blood flying everywhere. Zombies fighting over scraps of human brains. Humans screaming in agony.

Not tooting my own horn, but - with the sunset coming through the lens followed by the colorful flowers, picnic tables, soccer fields and the playground mixed in with the macabre imagery - it was a beautiful shot.

But something always went wrong. Some zombie extra would sneeze. A key actor would accidentally look at the camera. The boom mic would get into the camera shot.

We must have gone through the shot 10 times. And I was staring to get pissed.

In any event, we had one more shot before the sun finally set. I grabbed a megaphone from my assistant and yelled to the cast and crew.

"This is the final fucking shot,"I screamed. "Everyone better be on their A-game on this one or your all fucking fired!"

"YOU UNDERSTAND ME MOTHER FUCKERS!!!" I walked over to the cinematographer and grabbed the camera. "I'm shooting this one."

"ACTION!"

We filmed the five-minute shot to perfection. Every actor hit their cues. The blood spurted at the exact moment I wanted to. Zombies dug their teeth into the mayor's brain on cue. In short, the shot turned out beautifully.

"Cut," I yelled. "Good job everyone. That's a wrap. Go home." Everyone let out a cheer and started to leave the set.

Suddenly, my producer came running over to me.

"We didn't get the shot," he said patting me back. "Sorry."

"What," I screamed. "Why not?"

He pointed down to the camera I had in my hand. But it wasn't a camera at all. It was a severed head with a worm squirting out of one of the eye sockets.

I was filming the final scene with a zombie head.

"Fuck," I said. "Isn't there someway we can hook up wire to its brain so we can get the imagery?"

"I don't think so, sir" My producer siad. "Nothiing like that has been invented yet?"

"Goddammit," I screamed as I threw the severed head into the woods walked over to my trailer and did two lines of coke.

Then I woke up.


Links to my other Dream Reviews:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Things Overheard In Cleveland #2

(click image to enlarge)

Stories from Ghetto Kroger #2 - Magic

November 7, 1991.

A day that would live in infamy.

Well, at least to one cashier at Ghetto Kroger.

It was a normal Thursday. I drove into work with high expectations of the upcoming weekend. Ohio State Buckeyes football. Plenty of alcohol. Parties. Oh yeah, and payday. Being paid weekly had its privileges. Unlike a lot of people who get paid twice a month, I always had money for the weekend regardless of what week it was.

So, I clocked in and set up shop behind the hottest cashier I could find and started bagging groceries.

I was getting my jollies drooling over my cashier's beautiful ass when I heard the sobbing a couple lanes over. It was Fred, a full-time cashier who would shortly get promoted to Produce Manager.

Curious, I left my bagging station behind the cute cashier, and started bagging groceries behind Fred.

Fred was an interesting guy. He was a short, mid-western looking white guy in his mid-20's with a short brown hair and a mustache.

Yet, and here's the interesting part, he talked and acted like he was black. I'm not sure where he was from or where he grew up, but if you were talking to him on a phone, you would swear this guy was African-American. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

And boy could this guy play basketball. I played a couple pick-up games with him around Ohio State University and he could shoot a perimeter shot and toss no-look passes like the Nets' Jason Kidd in his heyday. And let's not even get into his rapping skills.

In short (no pun intended), Fred was a very kind, very cool guy that I was happy to consider on of my Kroger friends.

So there he was blubbering like a little baby. Blowing his nose and shaking his head while ringing up customers. I should also note that is was the first of the month, which was the busiest time of the month at Ghetto Kroger due to the monthly release of food stamps. However, I'll talk more about that in another entry.

"Hey Fred," I whispered while I was bagging Filet Mignons, lobster and baby formula. "You okay?"

He looked back with bloodshots eyes. Tears were flowing down his cheek.

"You didn't hear?" he asked.

I shook my head. I had no clue what he was talking about. "What's up?"

"Dude, it's been all over the news," he barked out. "Magic Johnson retired."

He wiped another tear from his eyes and blew his nose.

"He has AIDS."

I stared at him in silence. To be honest, I didn't know what to say. Words escaped me.

"I know. I know," he said to me. "It's a fucking tragedy."

Well technicially Magic Johnson didn't have AIDS, but that didn't stop everyone in the United States from saying that. On this particular day, after missing the first three games with an unspecified "stomach ailment" Johnson made the announcement that he was infected with the HIV virus and would immediately retire from the NBA.

Everyone that came through Fred's line had to hear about Magic Johnson having AIDS. A couple people gave him support. Fred even got a couple customer hugs as well with comforting thoughts.

"Everything's goin' ta be all right," one lady told him "Magic's goin' ta be here a long time." Ironically, this lady was right. Magic is still alive and well 17 years later after being diagnosed.

The crying and comforting continued throughout my shift. Not sure, but I can almost guarantee he cried into his pillow that night as well.

Flash-forward to a couple weeks later in the break room.

I was sitting with a fellow bagboy, who was telling jokes.

"Hey I got a good one," he said looking at me. "What does MAGIC stand for?"

"I dunno," I said with a shit-eating grin on my face. "What does Magic stand for?"

"My Ass Got Infected Coach!" He proudly cackled to himself.

All of a sudden, Fred marched into the room with this pissed off look on his face.

"Who said that?" he said looking as angry as a hornet.

"What," the bagboy asked.

"The Magic joke," Fred barked looking at me and then back to the bagboy. "Who said it?"

"I did," said the bagboy. "You wan't to hear another one.."

Fred walked over to the bagboy, picked him up from the seat and slammed him against the wall.

"If I ever hear you tell that joke again, I'm going to kick your fucking ass!"

Just like that, Fred released the bagboy and made a beeline out of the room.

After a couple minutes of silence. The bagboy sat back down in his seat.

"Sheesh," he said retying his Kroger apron. "That guy must fucking love Magic Johnson."

"Yep," I said. "I guess he really does."

From that time on, I don't think I ever heard another Magic Johnson joke again at Ghetto Kroger.

And I'm 100% certain it was because of Fred.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Ohio

This past weekend, we Ohioans finally got a taste of good weather. Mid-60's. Partly sunny skies. Lows in the 40's at night.

Almost perfect.

It's weather I've been waiting for since, oh, November. And it's finally here.

Almost.

I'm sure there will one or two frosty days before the flowers start to bloom, the grass starts to grow and the bugs start to swarm.

However, this past weekend, it was nice to hear the birds. It was nice to have my kids finally out of their five-month prison sentence. It was nice to hear all the old men (including myself) fine-tune their lawnmowers and weedwackers in anticipation of Mowing Season. It was also nice to see my neighbors who, like the rabbits from Watership Down, finally crawled out of their little burrows to forage for food, and beer.

Which brings me to a dreamy revelation...after living in Ohio for 35 years, I've got to get the FUCK out of here.

Don't get me wrong there are plenty of great things about Ohio. Going to BW3 on a Sunday afternoon comes to mind. But, I want to experience this type of sunny weather year round. I want to walk down the street with my shirt off 12 months out of the year all day and all night. I want the homeless people I walk by on the way to work to have six-pack abs and nice brown tans.

I want to move to Puerto Rico.

"Why Puerto Rico?" you ask.

Well, there are a bevy of reasons:

  • It's an island in the caribbean.


  • It's a semi-autonomous territory of the United States subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sovereignty. (thanks Wikipedia!)


  • All you need is an American license to get back and forth to the states.


  • It's extremely multicultural, which is great for my kids...and myself. I want to immerse my family in as many different nationalities and cultures I can instead of living in white-bread cracker land.


  • The official language is Spanish and English, which bodes extremely well for my whole family picking up two languages.


  • And most importantly, it enjoys an average temperature of 82.4 degrees throughout the year, which will significantly cut down on my t-shirt purchases.

Now many of you are probably thinking, "Dude, you'd ditch your family and friends to go live in Puerto Rico?"

For five-plus years in paradise? Hell yeah! Look, unless you're a Buddhist, we only go-around once on this Earth. All our clocks are ticking. And don't think just because you're young, this equation doesn't count for you. You never know when you're going to croak? Go ahead and ask Patrick Swayze. Or Biggy Smalls. Or even Tupac

When I'm lying on my death bed, I want to have no regrets. I want to believe that I did everything I possibly wanted do in this life. (Within reason of course.)

So, my question back to you is 'Why The Fuck Not?'

And if you really truly miss me, you can come visit anytime you want - passport free! I can guarantee you that the scenery and temperatures during winter would be a lot better than in Northeast Ohio.

Now when I have this conversation with other people. Some idiot always pipes up and says "I don't know if I could do it, man. I enjoy the seasons too much."

I'm calling bullshit on that. Besides a couple days of skiing at Holiday Valley, the winter sucks. Either it's snowing in Cleveland (which turns a rank shade of brown in two days), raining in Columbus and completely cloudy everywhere else.

Our autumn has been reduced to, basically, early October to the end of November before we segue into Winter. And our Spring has been reduced to a couple weeks in May, which then turns into a hot and humid summer. Which, I should admit, isn't half bad especially when you live by a big body of water such as Lake Erie.

That said, for the five years I'm away, I'll use my vacation time to come up to Ohio during the whole month of October (or at least three weeks). That way, I've captured the fall foilage, enjoyed a couple Ohio State Buckeyes football games and gotten in touch with family and friends too afraid to come visit me. Then, I'll hop aboard a jet and head back to my homeland before Jack Frost nips at my asthmatic lungs.

My only hesitation? I was under the impression that if you took your pet to Puerto Rico, it would have to be quarantined and examined for 30 days before being released. According to the USDA, if your pet has all its shots, he can hop right off the plane and start chasing lizards.

Sign me up for a one-way ticket to paradise!

Now all I have to do is get this credit card debt paid off and start making some money.

Hmmmm. Maybe I'll write a book.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stories from Ghetto Kroger #1 - Intro

It was the summer of 1991. I had just moved into a five-bedroom (six, if you count the basement) house on the outskirts of Ohio State University.

In less than a month, we were all planning on starting our sophomore year at the school.

In need of money, I scoured the campus area in search of a job. I filled out applications everywhere. Gyro shops. Pizza places. Stores. Malls. I even filled out an application at a chinese restaurant.

I must have filled out more than 100 applications in a three-day period. No lie.

The days continued to roll by. And the phone continued to not ring. I was running out of options. And money. I needed to find some sort of employment. Somewhere. Anywhere.

While attending a party, I overheard this pretty brunette talking to a group of girls about her job. As it turned out, she was a cashier at Kroger on East 7th Avenue and High Streets. In fact, three of the four girls at the party were cashiers at that particular Kroger.

And, I should mention that they were all pretty freaking hot.

"Are they hiring?" I asked half-jokingly. To be honest, I had driven by this particular Kroger numerous times. And to be honest, it wasn't on my top 100 places to work in Columbus if you know what I'm saying.

"As a matter of fact they are," she beamed. "You should totally go down there tomorrow and fill out an application. They'll hire you in a second."

Not sure if she was hitting on me or not. But I was flattered to say the least. As the night wore on and the more buzzed up I had become, I thought to myself. "Hey, if these hot ladies aren't afraid to work there, than why should I be afraid?"

In the distance, however, I heard a quiet whisper breeze through the wind. "Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid," it said.

The next morning, I checked the answering machine one last time. No messages. I conceded defeat. Reluctantly, I hopped into my Chevy Spectrum and drove down to the East 7th and High Kroger and begrudgingly filled out an application.

"Thanks," one of the manager's said scanning over my application. "If we need you, we'll give you a call."

Not even before I could get in the door and crack open my 40-ounce of Mickey's Malt Liqour, I recieved a message on my answering machine from Kroger. Less than one hour after I filled out the application.

They wanted me to come in for an interview.

"This is how desperate they are for workers?" I thought. "What am I getting myself into?"

I went in for an interview and before you could say "Paper or Plastic" I was hired as a bagboy/cart getter.

In a recent entry, I compared the difference between Walmart and Target. Well, let me just say that the people who frequented this particular establishment were not even close to those shoppers. They were some crazy wack jobs. In addition to an out-patient mental facility right next door, the Kroger on East 7th and High Street attracted some rather odd nuts.

To add to that, it wasn't exactly located in the most poshest of Columbus locales. In fact, it could be argued that, at the time, this particular location between campus and the Short North was one of the heaviest crime-ridden places in Columbus save Main Street and the West Side. I mean, it's never a good sign when, on more than one occasion, a dead body is found behind the store you're working for.

And to set the record straight, the nutjobs came in all sizes, shapes and colors. White, black, fat, skinny, asian, mexican, european and possibly a couple extra-terrestrials extras from the film Men in Black thrown in.

On my first day of work, I was bagging groceries when a guy with with a white kitchen apron splattered with blood came down my line.

"So, how do you like it here?" he asked with a sarcastic smile on his face. I quickly noticed the guy's Kroger nametag. Bruce. He was one of the company's prized meatcutters.

"It's okay," I shrugged as I looked around. "Seems pretty interesting."

He let out a quick laugh.

"Ohh, it's interesting all right."

All of a sudden, we heard sounds of a struggle in the frozen food aisle.

This white dude with wife-beater shirt and an extra pair of baggy gray sweatpants hurdled out of the aisle and hightailed it towards the exit doors. All the while holding onto his sweatpants to keep them from falling down.

"Hey! Stop, right there!" a police officer came from the aisle and was closing in on the man.

The sweatpants guy was almost out of the store before a store manager lunged in the air and football tackled him.

Freshly wrapped Steaks, filets and lobsters exploded in the air around him.

The cop hopped onto the guy, rammed a hard knee into the guy's back, latched on a pair of handcuffs and dragged him to the back room. Straightening his tie and fixing his mussed-up hair, the store manager followed behind with an angry grimace on his face.

And, just like that, everyone went back to work without missing a beat.

The only look of shock on anyone's face was my own.

The meatcutter noticed the look on my face and started to laugh.

"Welcome to Ghetto Kroger," he said as patted me on the back. "Never a dull moment here."

He was right.

The next year-and-a-half was filled with some craziest experiences I've ever had at any job in my entire life. Ever.

Some of those hard-to-believe stories I'll share with you from time-to-time on Eimer Debris.

Hopefully my good friend and partner in crime at the store can back me up on some of these stories.

Believe It or Not!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Links O' The Day

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where In The World Is John Hughes?

Ever since National Lampoon's Vacation glazed across my eyeballs back in the early 80's, I've been hooked on the work of John Hughes.

For anyone living in a Bigfoot cave, Hughes is a screenwriter/director who gave my thirtysomething generation (although I should say countless generations) reasons to laugh and cry. But mostly laugh.

We all wanted to be Ferris Bueller and take a day off high school...in style. We all wanted to be those two computer geeks that could create Kelly LeBrock via a computer. We all wanted to get detention in hopes of having the delightful conversations and adventures that Anthony Michael Hall and company experienced in The Breakfast Club. We all wanted to have a dad like Clark Griswold. Well, maybe just me.

Much like Judd Apatow is doing at this moment with films like Superbad, Drillbit Taylor and the short-lived TV dramedy Freaks and Geeks, Hughes mastered the fine (yet tricky) art of high school dialogue and comedy in the 80's. Simply put, he was one of the comedic voices of my high school generation.

Off the top of my head, here are my favorite six John Hughes' flicks:

  • Vacation (wrote)

  • Weird Science (wrote and directed)

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (wrote and directed)

  • The Breakfast Club (wrote and directed)

  • Sixteen Candles (wrote and directed)

  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles (wrote and directed)


  • Oh sure, the man has written a ton more other popular movies as well. Home Alone , Pretty in Pink, The Great Outdoors and Uncle Buck come to mind. He's also had his share of stinkers, but the fresh tomatoes far out-weigh the rotten ones.

    Which brings me to the whole point of this entry.

    Besides a co-writing nod on the new Apatow-produced Drillbit (which was from a script he'd written a long time ago), Hughes has basically disappeared from the entertainment landscape.

    No television. No books. No movies. No producing. No nothing.

    A quick scan of IMDB.com has Hughes last directing and writing performance being the lackluster Curly Sue in 1992.

    I'm curious what Hughes has been up to in the last 15+ years?

    Is he tightening the screws on his new Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller screenplay? Is he shacked up like J.D. Salinger writing endless screeplays with explicit rules they only be released upon his death? Is he working on the next great-american novel?

    Where in the world is John Hughes!

    As it turns out, a lot of other movie Web sites and blogs were wondering the same thing. Rather than pull stuff from all of their sites, I thought I'd give you a rundown of various links I found concerning the strange disappearance of John Hughes:

    (Click on the links below)

  • An upcoming low-budget documentary on the John Hughes generation called Don't You Forget About Me


  • Click here for a Slashfilm article on the new poster for the documentary American Teen, which mimics The Breakfast Club.


  • Here's a Hughes-centric rant I found on Chud.com titled Leave John Hughes Alone


  • Here's an interview with Patrick Read Johnson, who worked with Hughes on a couple of his later films.


  • Want to know what happened the teens in John Hughes' films? Click here for an article from MetroMix Chicago.


  • Whatever happened to Long Duk Dong? Click here for an article on the last Hollywood stereotype.


  • Another John Hughes retrospective courtesy of Slashfilm.com.

    Just out of curiosity, what's your favorite John Hughes film, if any?