Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dick Clark's Book of Assholes

So, unless you live under a rock, you probably heard that Dick Clark passed away last week.

I didn't know the guy, but I liked the guy. I mean, New Year's Rockin' Eve, $25,000 Pyramid, American Bandstand.

Hell, I even liked his restaurant, which had a brief appearance in Columbus, Ohio, in the early 90's before closing up shop.

Truth, be told, and all stroke and Ryan Seacrest sex jokes aside - Dick Clark was a pretty cool guy.

But, what made Dick Clark even way cooler in my mind, might be something that's not even true.

So, I'm not sure where I heard this rumor (or truth). Maybe it was in journalism class at The Ohio State University. Maybe I read it in a book. Maybe I was smoking pot with some professor - a' la Donald Sutherland in Animal House but more female - and they whispered it into my ear. I'm not sure.

Whatever the situation, the rumor that I heard was that Dick Clark had a big book of assholes.

Now when I say assholes, I'm not saying that Dick Clark had a book of human sphincter's that he physically chiseled from the butts of both dead and alive human bodies (For a second, let's think about the movie Hostel 2).

No, if this book even exists, it was a different type of tome.

As the story goes, Dick Clark had a list of names of people who treated him like shit during his various trials and tribulations in the Hollywood trenches and during his eventual path to super stardom.

Think about it. It's a great idea.

Picture a young innocent Dick Clark knocking on various Hollywood doors asking for a job, money or advice in how to succeed in this tough-as-nails business. Only to have said person(s) on the other side hurl some sort of snarky insult, hock a loogie into his innocent, boyish face and slam the door.

Does this up-and-coming celebrity rest on his laurels and accept his fate? Hell no! Mr. Clark whips out his journal and jots down the name of said asshole (for all intensive purposes, let's call this producer person Jake the Snake) and proceeds to stride on down the street and knock on someone else's door.

Okay now, let's say 15 years goes by. Since that time, Dick Clark has achieved his millions of dollars and mounds of success. On this particular day, he's enjoying a day off at one of his mansions swimming in a pile of gold like Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales.

That's when the doorbell rings.

Dick wraps a towel around his boyish (did I say boyish twice?) frame and answers the door to find Jake the Snake with a big smile on his face.

"Haven't we met before?" Dick asks the older, puffier Snake.

"Oh, no, no, Mr. Clark," says Snake as a droplet of sweat rolls down the side of his face. "I'm sure we both would have remembered."

But Dick Clark, who has met so many different people in his mucho years in this business can't seem to place Mr. Snake. So, he invites this man into his humble abode and listens to his 'pitch'.

But something isn't right. This guy looks familiar to Dick. That's when Dick excuses himself, hops up the steps to his 15,000-square foot bedroom and opens up his hallowed book - which I'm picturing placed on some sort of wooden altar worthy of a Pope's sermon.

In any event, Dick scans his book, which, by now, is etched with thousand and thousands of names and, Voila!, he comes across Jake the Snake's name - including the exact date and circumstances on how he became an official asshole in Mr. Clark's mind.

A pensive Dick Clark pushes a red button on the wooden altar and two metallic body guards appear. Then, they proceed to follow Mr. Clark down the steps, beat the living shit out of Jake the Snake and throw him to the curb.

Or something awesome like that.

Well, although I'm not powerful (yet) or have achieved any sort of literary super stardom (yet), I myself have a big book of assholes. Well, it's more like a smallish list.

This list is made up of people whom I've worked for that have pissed me off, people who have said nasty things to my wife and my family, company leaders that refused to hire me for one reason or another, and some people who are, quite frankly, just real arrogant dickheads.

And now, I would like to share that list with you:

(scroll down to see if you made the list!)




Just kidding. This particular list will remain in my head for all eternity. Or, at the very least, until you want something from me. Then you'll know.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Scares My Kids....

My kids are 4 and 5...almost 5 and 6.

My wife and I try to protect them from the crazy, dark, terrible world as much as possible.

Truth be told, I would like to think that we're a bit on the conservative side when it comes to taking care of our kids.

Like all normal parents, we make them say 'please' and 'thank you', we curtail their pop and sugar drink intake, we keep the candy and treats to a minimum and, believe it or not, we send them off to bed around 8 p.m. every night.

Yeah, yeah, I know. What fantastically awesome parents don't do this? Right?

Anyhow, when it comes to movies, I think both of us tend to fall on the liberal side. They've already seen Labyrinth, The Goonies, Short Circuit, Something Wicked this Way Comes, Wizard of Oz, The Dark Crystal, All three Spiderman films, all six Star Wars films, Planet Earth (uncut!) and even a couple mild horror movies. You get the idea.

Come to think of it, I think members from both sides of our family are very liberal when it comes to movie watching.

Case in point.

About six months ago, my kids stayed overnight at their grandmother's house (I'm not going to tell you which one). The next day, when we walked into the house to pick up our kids, JAWS was playing on the television. Not the watered-down, syndicated CBS version, but the real JAWS. The bloody JAWS.

It was the final scene where Quint was being eaten by the big fish. I remember this distinctly because I thought, "Wow, I guess they watched the whole film."

The kids sat there dumbfounded and creepily enthralled. Their mouths were agape. Their unblinking eyes glued to the TV set in a horror-movie stupor.

My wife casually glanced over at the 'grandmother-who-would-not-be-named'. And, taking note of the looks of disbelief on both of our faces she immediately went on the defensive.

"What? You guys watched it when you were their age!" she barked.

So true.

Expecting the worst nighmares that night from our children, we drove home and proceeded to get our kids ready for bed.

Guess what happened that night? Nothing. Not a peep.

They had just witnessed bloody arms floating in the water, a shark being eviscerated with a license plate falling out of its gut and Quint getting gnawed by a Great White - like a dog chewing on a discarded Turkey bone.

And they slept like, well, babies.

Enough of the backstory.

So, last night, I decided to use my Time Warner Kids 'On Demand' to select a cartoon for the kids to watch before they went to bed (Membership has it's privileges).

I came across The Berenstein Bears. In particular, an episode titled 'Get The Gimmies and The Green-Eyed Monster' caught my eye.

"What the hell? Looks interesting enough" I thought to myself and clicked play.

The first 15-minute episode was about Brother and Sister Bear learning a lesson that they can't always get what they want (as the Stones so prophetically stated in their song of yore).

However, the second episode "The Green-Eyed Monster' was a bit different. It told the tale of brewing sibling rivalry and jealousy from Sister Bear, when she receives Brother Bear's hand-me down bike due to the fact that Brother outgrew his smaller bike and the Bears had to buy him a new one.


Well, Sister Bear is pissed. In fact, she so perturbed that she creates a doppelgänger of herself which the Bears refer to as the little green monster. Well, you can watch half of the episode here to get an idea of what the hell I'm talking about (if you're antsy forward along to the :24 spot):

After the show was over, I stood up, clicked off the TV and said, "Okay guys, time for bed."

Total silence.

That's when I looked over at my two offspring. Their eyes were wide open. They had petrified looks on their faces like they just witnessed a dead shark being eviscerated by a knife and a license plate falling out. My son's lips were quivering in terror.

My daughter, in all sincerity, asked, "Is the Little Green Monster going to kill us tonight?"

Really? I mean, really?

After about an hour of explaining that we just watched a cartoon, that there is no such thing as a little-green monster and that it's all made up - they finally went to sleep.

However, my daughter had two nightmares about the The Little Green Monster, which were both apparently disturbing enough for her to pull herself out of bed in the darkness of night to wake my wife and I.

And my son? Well, he woke up in the morning and talked about the many graphic dreams he had concerning the little green monster.

WTF Berenstein Bears? Thanks a lot for scaring the living shit out of my kids!

I guess there goes my viewing plans for the kids this week...Nightmare at 20,000 Feet from Twilight Zone: The Movie...