Sunday, March 4, 2012

We Interrupt This Month

  To give you a "Best of Al" repost from last year's A-Z Challenge.
  Sidebar, your honor?  Does anyone ever fall for that "Best of..." nonsense?  I mean, do you think it's really the "Best of Rush Limbaugh" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) or a "Best of Al Qaeda"?  In reality, what it really means is that the host is busy doing something else, so someone else has to choose a "best of."  Which may not really be a "best of..."  It may only be a "Quit Yer Bitchin'-At Least You're Getting Something of..."   At least it's not "The Suckiest of..."       
  So it is here.  As the next A-Z Challenge approaches, I began to feel there were some posts I wanted to save until next month.  In a perfect world, I'll have them all done ahead of time, sitting on delayed post until April.  That way, I can spend all next month responding to your comments (which I hope will number in the thousands.  Or tens).  I also wanted to read some of your posts and comment on those, too.  That's in a perfect world.  In reality, I'll be lucky enough to remember to put on pants to go to work.
  Some of you may have already read this.  So, Eva, Manzanita, Jenny, Barb, and Antares (if that's your real name), you may want to give this a pass.  There were others who commented last year, but I haven't seen them in a while.  So, who knows?  I may have scared them away.
  I promise that each post in April will be new stuff.  Well, except the one for the letter 'E.'  You may guess what the topic is.  Hint:  It's not 'Enema.'  Although......  

  While the below may not be a "best of," I hope it at least isn't a "The Suckiest of."

  From the April 7th entry of the 2011 A-Z Challenge:

Ghosties, Ghoulies, and Things Which Go Bump In the Night

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I was raised a Catholic and, as you know, was even an altar boy.  However, I was married to a Jewish girl for a few years before I married her Presbyterian hairdresser (I’m continually amazed at her poor taste in men).  Anyway, the following may offend the deeply religious and people from Bridgeport, Connecticut.  In any case, if that describes you, you may wish to move along.  Yeah, as if....
"Gross! Aren't you too old to be pissing the bed?
And why are you asleep next to that dude's foot? Freak!"
  My daughter loves to watch “Ghost Adventures.”
  For those of you who have lives, Ghost Adventures is a program on the Travel Channel that purports to show what the “living-challenged” are like.
  Oh, sure, some of you may smugly think you know everything there is to know about ghosts.  You’ve seen Casper cartoons, watched Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, and thought Patrick Swayze was the hottest spook you have ever seen (incidentally, he is now a ghost.  Ooh, too soon?).
"Let me take my shirt off
and watch those lady ghosts go wild.
Aaron? You can keep yours on. Dude."
  Anyway, “Ghost Adventures” follows the...uh...adventures of Zak (he of the big biceps) and his two sidekicks as they crawl around supposedly haunted places in the middle of the night (never in broad daylight.  I think that’s a law or something).  Using state of the art equipment, a goatee, male pattern baldness, and panicked gasps of “Dude!” from Aaron, they try to convince us that mouse farts are, in reality, calls from beyond the grave.
  Hey, who’s to say that “PFFFFFTTTTTTBLURRRPPPPP!!!!!” isn’t
“Get out before I pants you?”
  Sometimes I watch the show with my daughter just to make fun of it and poke her in the side screaming, “Boo!”  Our favorite episode was when the boys visited the abandoned Remington Arms factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
As seen from the Mayor's Office
  For those of you unfortunate enough to be traveling through Bridgeport, you can see the factory just before you disappear in a pothole on I-95.  The reason I liked that particular show was that, since my personality was forged in that cauldron of urban decay, I recognized the area.  Which is why I moved very far away from it.
  I had to laugh at Zak and company.  Even though they tried to impress upon us that their immortal souls were in danger, they were actually safer locked inside.  I’m not saying Bridgeport is dangerous, but even the birds carry guns.
The movie which set Linda Blair's career in motion.
For Exorcist II.
And that's it.
  The more I thought about the idea of ghosts, the more I thought about what do people do to get rid of them (especially if they’re stupid enough to build a house over an Indian graveyard.  Always Indian, never Amish)?
  For instance, are Catholics the only ones allowed to be exorcists?
  But, what happens if a priest wasn’t available and you had to call in, say, a Lutheran?
  OK, raise your hands.  How many think a demon would be intimidated by a Lutheran?  That’s right, any self-respecting spawn of Satan would just yawn and put up drapes.
  I would think he’d have to call in a priest (sort of like a theological Batman).  Who’d then sprinkle some holy water on the sofa, say a few “Be gone from this holy place, foul demon!” incantations, and hand out some Bingo cards.  Still, it’d be-voila!-no more demon!
  It couldn’t be that simple, though.  Certainly, there’d have to be Jewish ghosts.  Would a Catholic work then?  A crucifix would have no effect on a Yiddish evil spirit, I’m sure.  Maybe a Star of David?
  I would think for a Jewish ghost, you’d need a rabbi.  Imagine that....
  “So, Mr. Fancy-pants, you think you’re so special you can come in here and terrorize these nice people?  Stop being such a big shot, get your coat, and scram, ya schmuck, ya. And don’t forget to wipe your feet.”
  Plus, what about Muslim ghosts?  How would even know your ghost was a Muslim?  Would you have a shoe thrown at your head in the middle of the night?
  How ‘bout Mormon ghosts?  I wouldn’t think that’d be so bad.  They’d probably only possess your bicycles.
  Finally, how would you get rid of an atheist ghost?  Surely there have to be some.  Maybe all you’d need to say is, “You don’t believe in me?  Well, I don’t believe in you.  Swear to God.”  Problem solved.
  Just to be on the safe side, better keep the Vatican on speed dial, though.  


  1. Awesome writing Al. I can't wait to see how you, Robyn and Sherilin all do in this Challenge, I'm excited for you guys. That Patrick Swayze joke made me laugh but I felt so guilty about it for ages, maybe even a year on from this it's still too soon for me!

    In response to your comment on my most recent post I always assumed Mrs Penwassser fell for you because of your extremely extensive, hilariously impressive humour. Living with you provides her with a constant stream of jokes, sounds fair to me!

  2. Hilarious, and yet you also make a very valid point.
    I'm a committed atheist and there's a few people I might come back and haunt. Be no getting rid of me.

    I like it when people re-post, when I first joined blogger if I found a blog I liked I'd read it from the start, but I no longer do that. I have enough trouble keeping up with reading new posts at the moment, so it's great when an old gem comes to light.

  3. Does an agnostic call everyone to be on the safe side?

    1. Only if they have an unlimited cell phone monthly plan...

  4. LOL well I hear the ghostbusters aren't getting back together. So I guess their out, Buffy has retired and The Winchesters are fighting God, so looks like the vatican it is. But if they throw that shoe at me, I'll throw it back..haha....oh and I thing the crappiest of would be fun too.

  5. When I read the words best of I think ok this can go either way some best ofs are great some are anything

    Now moving onto ghosts, some ghosts are fine to have around we have one or more in this house and they do not bother us although hubby is really fasanated by them he wants to be able to communticate with them yeah I know I just humor him............why because I love him..............

  6. Al, nice blob. I have an affinity with it for a variety of reasons... AHEM: I was born and raised in B-Po [our local term of endearment] and saw that ridiculous episode. I love that show, and find Zacky a wee bit cute, so what? And I am a bit o'the ghost adventurer myself, always have been, but not with Radio Shack (TM) equipment. I'm just "sensitive" and stuff. Never thought God/Athiesm had any correlation to ghosts. Maybe I am wrong.
    I am not sure what I am saying, if anything at all, but I figured that a man who grew up with a Shag Toilet would not mind some random blathering. I am always good for that.
    And a few ghosts.
    And hot dudes.
    In that order.
    Or maybe reversed... unless the hot dudes bring hot ghosts.

  7. I would love to see a Jewish exorcist.

  8. I thinks Muslims have Djinns rather than ghosts. Some of them might behave like Barbara Eden in I dream of Jeannie, but it's not something you rely on.

    1. they're probably more like the blue genie. The one that tried to kill Major Nelson for no reason and got scared by the TV.

  9. @Matthew: I felt a little guilty about that Patrick Swayze one, too. Especially since I like his movies ("NO ONE puts baby in a corner!"). Probably IS too soon. I think I'll stick to Lincoln jokes.
    @dirty: An addendum to that post: I told my daughter that she'd better treat me well in my old age. Otherwise, I'd haunt her until the end of time (imagine a poltergeist of me walking around the kitchen in my underwear. Yeah. Spooky.)
    @Ruth: Oh, that's good. Wished I'd thought of that. Swear to God.
    @Pat: Put a cape on the Pope and you have the newest superhero.
    @Jo-Anne: Your husband and my daughter think the same way. Me? I just can't get that picture of skeletons from "Poltergeist" out of my head. Or would that be that little munchkin lady who told Carol Anne to walk away from the light?
    @Violet: You're from BridgePit (our term for it)? I escaped years ago with my family. First to Stratford, then Wallingford. My sister's daughter married a guy from Bridgeport last October (in a classic bit of family irony). I think you and I are of the same mind. About ghosts. Not hot dudes (frankly, I wouldn't know if Brad Pitt was hotter than Danny DeVito).
    @Mark: That would be one funny sketch.
    @Gorilla: Come to think of it, you're right! My luck, if I had a bottle, it wouldn't be Barbara Eden that would pop out. More likely, it would be someone like Helen Thomas.

  10. First thing that came into my mind was "So Satan walks into a bar with a priest, a rabbi and a minister...." You are one funny man, even if you aren't from Jersey! lol

  11. "So, I should look like I'm possessed?'

  12. Danny DeVito... hands down!
    Brad is soooo passe'
    I wonder if I know said B-PO-ian... cosmic irony abounds!

    AND I joined the 30 day challenge as well. But not for my gratuitous blob, for her softer-edged cousin:

    Who's shameless now?

  13. His last name is "Luu." Yep. Chinese. He has a great sense of humor and he fits in really well with my family. Plus, he delivers (ok, now THAT was uncalled for!).
    I still know a LOT of people in Bridgeport/Stratford/Fairfield. Chances are probably pretty good you may know one or two of them. In fact, my book, Shag Carpet Toilet (thousands left on Kindle!) takes place in Stratford.

    1. I do not know him... But I MAY know the toilet. I grew up in Stratford after Bridgeport and before New Haven. If I do not know the toilet personally, it is likely that the toilet is a familiar to a friend. I lived by the train station for some time, but had pals in Lordship, by St. James, up near St. Mark's, near Shelton and beyond. A dear friend lives on Patterson... I want to know more!

      I am kindle-less so I cannot find out that way.

    2. Print it as a paper book, with shag carpeted cover and I will buy a few copies. Represent!

    3. Did you go to Stratford High School? I lived on Thompson Street-two blocks up from the Windmill (and one block from High Park-as described in the book). Book is coming your way. One of the chapters concerns the Stratford Theater. Yes, THAT Stratford Theater.

  14. I didn't remember this, so I'm glad you reposted it! Good stuff!

  15. I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do I do I do I DO believe in spooks!

  16. For that matter, Al, how would you know your Jewish ghost is Jewish?
    I mean, wouldn't you have to walk in on him polishing off his chocolate croissant? And that could be a little awkward. Don't you think?


  17. Please stick to Lincoln jokes in the future. Looking forward to more hits in your "best of Al" collection! Julie

  18. The 'Best of' has lived up to it's name. I'm still laughing at the description of the Jewish exorcist. I tend to scare away readers, too, so at least we have something in common.

  19. No Scientologist ghosts? I think those would be the worst.

  20. I'm thinking that there should be an exorcism movie made with a Jewish exorcist. Of course Mel Brooks would be in the starring role...
    Great post! I truly belongs in the "best of."

  21. @Eva: I kinda liked it, too. Thanks!
    @Mary A: Oh, a classic! "Well, they threw part of me over there and then they threw the other part of me over there!" "Well, that's you all over."
    @Robyn: It would only be embarrassing if he splooged ectoplasm everywhere.
    @Julie: Lincoln's Last Words: "Shoulda ducked."
    @Shockgrubz: I would love to play that as a skit. I wonder if something like SNL already has...?
    @DWei: And they'd all look like Tom Cruise.
    @Pat: How funny would that be? Mel Brooks-perfect.

  22. Zak Bagans, oh how I do loathe thee. Not sure if you read our write-up on Ghost Adventures, but we had a hell of a fun time making that one.

    1. Let me know where to find it and I'm there. So THAT'S his last name?