I still can’t look at Harrison Ford without feeling a pang of guilt for the time I kicked him down the toy aisle at Sears.
I still can’t look at Harrison Ford without feeling a pang of guilt for the time I kicked him down the toy aisle at Sears.
Before we had a kid, my wife and I did some research about the best way to raise children in an interfaith family. There seem to be a number of spiritual hazards, not the least of which is confusing your kid to the point where they eventually reject their comparatively liberal, mostly Jewish upbringing and jump off the theological deep end, handling snakes, embracing polygamy, ritualistically eating peyote in backyard sweat-lodges or injecting, without irony, the phrase “Whore of Babylon” into conversations with uncomfortable coworkers.
I’m a sucker for alternate realities. Hell, I can’t grow the faintest hint of beard stubble without feeling like Spock from the “Mirror, Mirror” episode of Star Trek (or Evil Abed from “The Darkest Timeline” on Community).
I especially love alternate-reality mash-ups. That kid who spent hours having his G.I. Joe action figures storm the Death Star? That was me. When the kids on my block were torn between playing Cowboys & Indians or Star Wars, I was the one who said, “Let’s do both!”
I’m bringing back “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky!” You know, from when Han Solo says it to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. I say it all the time now. Watch out, people who just did something great but are starting to get cocky about it—you’re about to get put in your place. By an old man quoting Star Wars.…
Benedict Cumberbatch sure has nice hair, doesn’t he? What kind of product do you think he uses? You know what’s weird is, at some point, his character had to take a break from being evil to go into a store and buy some hair gel, or paste, or fiber or whatever. Unless they have technology that styles your hair for you in the year 2233. Or better yet, wi-fi connected gels that shape themselves from pre-made templates you can download into your follicles, with ad-supported free versions available, of course.
Is that what the future holds for us? Having our hair advertise to us all day until we pay for premium haircuts?!
For Benedict Cumberbatch, that’s still probably better than sitting in a chair under a barber cape, listening to his stylist talk about her boyfriend’s podcast. Which leads me to wonder, why can’t J.J. Abrams focus on what’s really important?! Benedict Cumberbatch’s Star Trek villain’s hair stylist’s boyfriend’s podcast. It’s mainly about Starfleet merchandise from the early 2200’s, and Star Wars movies. I mean, it stands to reason there are Star Wars films in the Star Trek universe, right? What with them being set in Earth’s future and all. There’s just one crucial difference—Jar Jar Binks is amazing in this Earth’s timeline! He’s like Mal Reynolds, Seinfeld, and Prince all rolled into one toungue-lolling, slightly-racist, Galactic-Senate-delegating Jedi masterpiece.
Which reminds me, this alternate Earth is also home to the greatest T-Shirt every screenprinted in any universe, which is an illustration of a paper Seinfeld mask with the eyeholes cut out, next to electric neon letters that read, “Eatin’ Ass in a Seinfeld Mask.” It might interest you to know that Benedict Cumberbatch is wearing it under his stylish coat, as he plunges the Star Trek universe INTO DARKNESS. In theaters May 17th.
When I look back on childhood, I realize that some of the best memories I have are from summer camp. There were the pillow fights, the scavenger hunts, the dance at the girls’ camp across the lake, and the zany hijinks we pulled during arts ‘n crafts. The look on the counselor’s face that time! And then, of course, there was my bunk-mate Rudy, who spent the first half of the summer dragging me along on zany escape attempts, but by Family Visiting Day, we realized we were having the best summer of our lives!
Of course, it’s possible that I am remembering my repeated readings of the children’s novel I Want To Go Home by Gordon Korman, a Canadian author whose books were all I wanted to read as a kid. That seemed like a fun camp.
As for my other camp memories, I recall a bench outside the mess hall that I always stuck my face up against because it kind of smelled like pancake syrup. There was a swimming hole I never wanted to go in, although it occurred to me some time later that it was probably named the “Meese Hole” after the owners of the adjacent piece of land and not because of some infestation of grammatically incorrect plural mice. I remember an eleven year-old who was said to give out handjobs to younger boys who inchwormed their sleeping bags over next to hers, although I don’t think I knew what a handjob was at the time. That might be about all I’ve got, despite having returned to the same YMCA camp year after year. But, this stands to reason, as I only got one-third of the true camp experience, anyway. See, I was a day-camper.
I’m at Dragon*Con, the world’s largest fantasy and science fiction convention. I point to a man and woman in green face-paint and say, “Hey, that couple is cosplaying as Shrek, and Shrek’s wife.”
My friends correct me: “You mean Fiona.”
Later, I meet a guy who shows me a shitty tattoo on his forearm that he’d gotten of his girlfriend. He says, “I know it’s ugly, the tattoo artist messed it up. It might as well be Shrek.”
So I say, “Why don’t you just go full Shrek? Get all of Shrek’s friends in there, too. Shrek & Company. The donkey, Shrek’s wife…”
He corrects me: “You mean Fiona.” Sure, I guess. Fiona. The lady ogre that Shrek took as his bride. Am I not giving the love of Shrek’s life the respect she deserves? Do you want me to use her maiden name as well? Did they hyphenate?
The most involved I ever got in politics was in 1985 when I wrote a letter in crayon to Ronald Reagan on green and white computer paper I took from my family’s Commodore 64 printer.
We had hundreds of pirated games for the Commodore 64 on floppy disks, including a game called Space Taxi, a game about a taxi flying through space picking up passengers from giant candy canes and enormous beach umbrellas.
If you touched a candy cane with your Space Taxi, you burst into flames and you and your passenger died a fiery death. If you ran into a passenger with your landing gear down, he yelled, “HEY!” and exploded. If you managed to get your passenger from the candy cane to the beach umbrella safely, you made $1.87. These are all details I included in my letter to President Reagan, in case he wanted to incorporate Space Taxis into his “Star Wars” missile defense program.
The reason I decided against mailing this letter to Ronald Reagan is because shortly after I wrote the letter, I saw an old woman die right in front of me. Like, not the moment I set down the crayon, but pretty soon afterwards. If I’d been a little quicker on the draw with getting my letters to the President in the mailbox, we might have enormous candy cane satellites circling our planet, and $1.87 is all you’d need to take a space taxi to the moon.
Pauline took knitting lessons from my mother every Saturday in the living room and I’d watch cartoons in my He-Man Underoos. The thing about He-Man Underoos is, you’re Inception-ing your own underwear by having a drawing of a man in his underwear on your underwear.
Some purists might say, “He-Man is not wearing underwear. He is wearing a furry loincloth.” To which I say, is not the loincloth the Neanderthal that evolved into the Homo-Sapien of Underoos, tighty-whiteys, and eventually, boxer briefs or boxers, depending on how tightly encased you’d like your Masters of the Universe to feel? We all have to show our bare legs and the undersides of our butt cheeks to the world at some point in our lives. What we don’t have to do is let the world decide for us what counts as underwear and what counts as bathing suits.
So it’s Saturday morning, I’m in my Underoos, and my mother is teaching Pauline how to knit in the living room. I’m not putting on pants, because an old woman learning how to knit is no reason to stand on ceremony. If she didn’t want to see my pale, skinny legs, she shouldn’t have waited until her golden years to finally getting around to learning how to knit. Come to think of it, seeing me without pants on might have been what gave her the heart attack. Any of my ex-girlfriends will tell you, the sight of me in my underwear is not for the faint of heart.
Midway through her knitting lesson, Pauline asks for a glass of water. She takes one sip and begins to choke and claw at the air like a Space Taxi passenger on a collision course with a skyscraper-sized beach umbrella. ‘Man,’ I think to myself, ‘she really doesn’t like the taste of our water.’ I mean, I know well water tastes different than city water, but there’s no need to get dramatic about it.
I realize something more serious is happening when my mother frantically dials 911.
Now, even in the middle of a big city, with its delicious water, getting the kind of immediate medical attention that a heart attack requires can be difficult. When you live on a winding dirt road deep in the middle of the woods on lakefront property, it’s nearly impossible. In fact, it was quicker for the hospital to send an ambulance by boat.
My mother grabs a big white bed sheet and says, “Go down to the dock and wave this sheet around so the ambulance boat can see you.” I say, “Let me put on pants first.” And she says, “GO. NOW.”
I’m standing on a dock in only my Underoos, waving a white sheet around. Our neighbors come out to their docks when they hear the sirens of the boat ambulance. Everybody in the whole neighborhood, it seems, has bought a ticket to my impromptu burlesque performance. I want to wrap the sheet around my waist, but the boat ambulance driver might mistake me for a topless Lady Justice statue, and if the ambulance driver is a young John Ashcroft, he might insist on having curtains installed on our dock so no one has to look at my just, righteous nipples.
I wave the sheet as hard as I can and yell, “HEY!” like a guy being impaled on a Space Taxi’s landing gear. I have changed my attitude about my underwear. My underwear is now a beacon. My underwear is a tight white lighthouse literally guiding a ship to shore. I am now He-Man, and my underwear is now a loincloth.
The paramedics arrive and pronounce Pauline dead at the scene. I put on a pair of pants. The lighthouse has gone dark.
I never mailed the letter to Ronald Reagan. I now lived in a world where a safe and boring activity like a knitting lesson held the potential for violent death and forced exhibitionism. Telling the President about my favorite video game dropped to the bottom of my priority list.
Ronald Reagan died of Pneumonia after years of Alzheimers on June 05, 2004. I think we should all take a moment to wave a bed sheet in our underwear on the docks of our hearts in his honor, and in honor of the nice old woman who died while my mom was giving her a knitting lesson, and the unsent letter that would have revolutionized the 1980’s “Star Wars” missile defense program.
And that is why I never got involved in politics, and why I never take my pants off near women who are learning how to knit.
Michael Bay is in negotiations to direct a fourth Transformers film. I think Michael Bay should make a movie about Gobots. You could get Gobots for a quarter at Kmart when I was a kid. So cheap. Put them in your mouth, who cares. Put Michael Bay in your mouth while you’re at it. I bet a Gobot would put Michael Bay in his mouth for a part in a Transformers movie.
The Mythbusters accidentally shot a cannonball through a family’s home while shooting an episode. Witnesses reported the cannon fired prematurely after seeing Kari Byron in a swimsuit. I tweeted that joke and was pretty proud of it.
Nichelle Nichols revealed the character of Spock on Star Trek was originally written as a woman. For some reason, when I think of a lady Spock, I think of her having long, amazing, beautiful hair. I had a strange, half-asleep thought about Spock being female when I woke up this morning: “This is the kind of thing that happens when William Shatner wishes on a monkey’s paw.” Did characters ever make wishes on Star Trek? “I wish you’d make it so, number one.” “I wish you’d beam me up, Scotty.” I bet William Shatner makes wishes all the time on the lock of Leonard Nimoy’s hair he keeps in his wallet.
James Earl Jones revealed that George Lucas initially wanted Orson Welles to play the role of Darth Vader. Last night a cute bartender girl told me that she had a hooded sweatshirt exactly like mine, because she stole it from a guy she dated. We both agreed that it was incredibly comfortable. Then she said it was a good thing she wasn’t wearing it last night because then we’d both be wearing the same thing, and I said the world wouldn’t fall off its axis if two people wore the same sweatshirt. I guess the world wouldn’t have fallen off its axis either if Orson Welles had played Darth Vader.
PICTURED: Darth Vader. He probably sounds like Orson Welles.
Finally, this French Bulldog puppy hates an ice cube. In his defense, he ordered his whiskey neat.
Some gamers have observed that the horse in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is able to climb impossibly steep mountains and defy gravity by walking up completely vertical surfaces. To be fair, the last time a horse had its legs up in the air at such an extreme angle, Seabiscuit got a response to his H4HH personal ad on Craigslist.
I myself observed the main character of Skyrim drinking a potion he found next to a rotting corpse in an ancient tomb, making the redneck boy that lived in a filthy trailer down the street from me with a closet full of Hustler magazines and a kitchen so filthy I was forbidden to eat or drink anything from his house look like a sommelier at Le Bernardin in New York City. Developers have already planned a contemporary sequel to Skyrim in which the hero drinks a Capri Sun he finds under the body at an open casket funeral.
The SyFy Channel has announced that they’re renewing Being Human for a second season, the main characters of the show being a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf. Coincidentally, this is the same list of sexual partners that Franken Berry is legally obligated to notify that they’ve been exposed to herpes.
Fans of full frontal nudity and dragons will be pleased to learn that Game of Thrones has released a teaser trailer for Season 2. However, fans of full frontal dragon nudity will have to settle for watching Dame Judy Dench undress from a nearby tree branch with their fingers crossed.
Finally, a pug was dressed in a Wampa costume:
The pug’s arm was later severed by a Labradoodle dressed as Luke Skywalker.
In Insidious, a couple moves into a new house. But then one of their kids falls off a ladder and goes into a coma. A haunted coma! The doctor is like, “It’s not really a coma, he just won’t wake up and also has all the symptoms of a coma. But it’s not a coma. Because of ghosts, I guess. I have no idea why I went to medical school.” Pretty soon, the wife starts seeing ghosts in the house. Also, a demon who looks like Darth Maul from Star Wars. The Darth Maul demon appears behind a chair in their dining room and scares everybody. Now they know how George Lucas’s maid feels.
The husband stays at work late because he can’t get a moment’s peace with all the ghosts running around this house. The wife convinces him to move because she doesn’t want to live in a haunted house. But after they move, she sees more ghosts in the new house! She’s like, “Damn it ghosts, what are you doing here?! I mean, you have the ability to travel between planes of existence and move freely between the lands of the living and the dead but I thought if I put four city blocks and a Dairy Queen between us you’d never figure out where we lived! I hate you, Google Maps for Ghosts!”
The husband and wife bring in a psychic lady and she says the kid is haunted because he astral projected too hard and now all these dead people want to steal his body. Although the ghosts seem way more interested in jumping out and scaring people than actually trying to possess this kid. Get your act together, ghosts! There’s not even a dreamcatcher over his bed. If his body was any more receptive to a ghost being inside of it, he’d be making pottery with a shirtless Patrick Swayze.
Then the psychic reveals the husband used to be able to astral project and tells him that a dead lady tried to steal his body when he was a kid. The psychic is like, “Here’s a bunch of photos of you when you were little with an old woman’s ghost in the background. We kept them in a shoebox all these years because we figured the first photographic proof of life after death in human history belonged in a closet somewhere. Go fuck yourselves, scientists and religious scholars!” The father astral projects himself into the land of the dead and has a staring contest with the dead woman from his childhood photos. “Hey old lady, stop staring at me and trying to get into my body!” he yells. Now he knows how Madonna’s personal trainer feels.
I guess if there’s a lesson to be learned from Insidious, it’s that you should never astral project your soul too far into other planes of existence, because dead people want to wear your skin. Thanks for the tip, movie! I bet Ann Landers is stomping her feet in heaven right now wishing she’d been the one to give out that advice. And also wishing she could steal our living, breathing bodies, apparently. The end!
One of the conceits of Fanboys is that Jay Baruchel’s nerd and Kristen Bell’s nerd are madly in love, but their nerdiness gets in the way because he’s too shy and thinks of her as one of the boys because she quotes Han Solo and wears nerdy T-shirts. So does every hot girl on the internet. If I had a midi-chlorian for every picture of a cute pixie girl with a Luke Skywalker shirt online, I’d have enough to Force Choke twenty Ewoks.
And it’s not like Jay Baruchel and Kristen Bell are believable as people who’d have a hard time getting laid, no matter what movies they like. Jay Baruchel is the kind of hot that vanishes with your girlfriend at a Brooklyn loft party. Oh, where’s my girlfriend? I think she went on the roof with Jay Baruchel. Noooooooooo! Kristen Bell is so hot she’d make a preacher lay his bible down, to quote Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb. And then sell that bible to buy Millennium Falcon condoms.
And what the hell does Fanboys have against gay people? Everything is like, “You’re gay! That’s gay! Gay this, gay that!” I’m sure some people might say, “Thats how me and my friends talk to each other all the time and we’re Star Wars fans!” Look, nobody cares what you and your friends say to each other in the privacy of your own Chewbacca bedsheet fort. Though you should know that masturbating to a deviantART drawing of two Slave Leias making out doesn’t count as supporting gay culture. I’m just saying, why even throw gay jokes in a movie about Star Wars fans breaking into Skywalker Ranch? What the hell does Dan Fogler mincing around and lisping like a redneck at the Atlanta Pride Festival have to do with Star Wars?
Fanboys had a bunch of celebrity cameos, including William Shatner. I met William Shatner once— he even posed with Leonard Nimoy for one of the best photographs I’ve ever taken. He also managed not to make any slurs against gay people in the five minutes I spent with him, so Fanboys might want to take a leaf out of Shatner’s book. Anyway, Fanboys is like the Ocean’s Eleven of movies about liking Star Wars, if George Clooney worked at a comic book shop and was afraid of two penises touching each other. Also, Fanboys features Kristen Bell in a metal bikini, which is like Nerds candy and Dairy Queen Blizzards— you had no idea how much you liked the combination until you experienced it for yourself. Come to think of it, they should make a Star Wars Blizzard called the DQ Nerf Herder. Or the Ackbar Crunch. It’s a frap(puccino-flavored frozen treat)!