Hello! Happy Halloween!
You may have heard that there was a bit of hurricane that blew up the Northeast Corridor, and so state governments around here have been rescheduling Halloween for this coming weekend and beyond, but for much of the country today is still The Devil’s Christmas or whatever the kids are calling it during this time of rampant immorality. After all, we’ve got preachers saying that The Gays caused Hurricane Sandy and it’s certainly fitting that it would fall right around the most immoral of all holidays. Halloween: When women all dress as the “slutty” versions of favorite childhood characters and when gay people are…gay…or something.
Look, I’m just looking forward to the election being over, alright?
In honor of the holiday, we at the Polyskeptic Compound have been watching various thematically appropriate pieces of media. For instance, we have all the seasons of Are You Afraid of the Dark…and I am not ashamed to admit that I am loving it. I didn’t have Nickelodeon growing up, and this is one of the shows that I watched when I got the chance at my grandparents’ house or something.
Of course, Goosebumps was on broadcast television and I watched the hell out of that. Mental note: Download Goosebumps also.
Last night, we watched the movie Pet Sematery, based of course on the novel by Stephan King. Jessie is a huge Stephen King fan and I admittedly have not read or seen very many of these. I started reading Pet Sematary once and got terrified and put it down. But I figured that I’d watch it because at least it didn’t have a bunch of twisted, blue, cat children like all the Japanese horror movies of recent acclaim.
Several years ago I went to see The Ring in theaters. I went with three friends and it was a while after its initial release, so the theater was empty. I spent most of the movie peaking sheepishly from behind my jacket and when I left, I was fairly convinced that I was going to be dead in 7 days. I had a television in my bedroom at the foot of my bed and my door didn’t close properly and my window was in an odd place so the air current coming from it never reached me, but it would reach the door. For 7 days I kept expecting a fucking phone call telling me of my fate, kept hearing the door creak in a sinister fashion from the wind convincing me that a weird hair-faced girl decided to take the stairs instead of the television…and then remembering “no, that’s stupid. She’s totes coming out of the tv…at the foot of your bed.” I only breathed easily after 7 days…because I’m a jackass.
What I’m saying is, I scare easy. This is why I don’t go to haunted barns anymore. Also haunted silos…and prisons…and hay bales.
Anyway, I learned an important lesson from watching Pet Sematery. Namely, if the people in my house were the family in the movie, the movie would have been about 20 minutes long. And so for your Halloween Reading Pleasure, here is a comparison:
***SPOILER ALERT! IF IT’S, LIKE, 1989 OR SOMETHING***
The movie opens with us meeting a young doctor, his beautiful wife (Tasha Yar), 7 year old daughter and 2 year old adorable son. There is also a cat named Winston Churchill. They’re new in town. They have a nice house on lots of land, but beware, there’s a big nasty road nearby. FORESHADOWING!
Their neighbor, an old an wise man, comes to introduce himself and warn them of the big nasty road nearby. Everyone thanks the old man, but don’t really think anything of it, nor do they do anything about it. Within minutes in the movie, the little kid has already run toward the road in a haphazard fashion. FORESHADOWING!
OK, so at this point we already have a problem. If this was the Fenzorselli/McBrownigal household, I would already be pushing pretty hard for some kind of fence. We have a crazy dog who likes to run around and not particularly come when she’s called outside. If we also had a gaggle of unaware kids and cats that liked to be outside (which we do now)… Hell, I barely trust myself not to walk into the road in a haphazard fashion. We would build a freaking fence. So…at that point the movie is basically over.
But let’s assume that we build a shitty fence…which is certainly possible. Wes and I are all about the half-assed projects. Why use all of the ass when you only need to use half? EFFICIENCY!
The doc gets ready to go to work. He’s also bringing the cat into get fixed because unfixed cats wander or something. His daughter asks him to promise her that nothing will ever happen to the cat. He doesn’t want to do that since it’s a bold faced lie. Tasha Yar tells him to anyway. FORESHADOWING!
Obviously, no one in my family would tell the kid that the cat is immortal. Knowing us and our household opinion that cats are universally assholes, we would talk about cat stew recipes and how maybe the road will do our dirty work for us…because we’re terrible people. But even if we weren’t going to talk about caticide, we would tell the kid that the cat is going to die well before any of us. Then we would talk for the cat and say in a high scratchy voice, “AND I WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU…UNTIL YOU GIVE ME MORE CAT FOOD! ALSO, I WILL GHOST POOP IN YOUR BEEEEEEEED!”
Meanwhile, the old man has taken the young family on a field trip to the local pet cemetery at the end of the big nasty road. The camera pans to a weird pile of sticks or something and ominous music plays.
Gina sez: Hey, old man, next time can you pick a less terrifying place for us to picnic in? Jeez! Also, I’m never coming back here again. I don’t know if you noticed, but we have ample land on which to bury our animals.
Rest of the family: Yeah, this place sucks. Also, old people are weird.
Meanwhile, a teenager gets hit by a Mack truck on the big nasty road and dies. The doctor tries to help him, despite the fact that he is pretty much a lost cause. The teenager’s ghost comes back to warn him not to go past the eerie pile of sticks in at the Pet Semetary.
My family: Yes, no shit, ghost. We already said we’re never coming back here again and you’ve made fucking liars out of us. THANKS. Also, are you evidence of ghosts or do we just need to drink more?
The doctor’s family goes away for Thanksgiving. The doctor’s father in law hates him for some reason so he decides to stay behind and eat turkey by himself. The cat gets hit by a car. The old man finds the cat and tells the doctor.
At this point, most reasonable people would say, “Well, shit. I guess it’s time to bury this cat in non-weird soil…better yet, let’s cremate it.” That’s what we would do. Hence, the movie would once again be over. But let’s say we don’t just bury the cat and let the old man talk.
So the old man takes the doctor to an old Native American burial ground and tells him that it will bring the cat back to life. This way, the doctor gets to lie to his daughter some more and nothing bad will happen! The doctor asks questions that get no answers and instead of, you know, not burying the cat in the spooky burial ground that the ghost told him to stay away from, he does.
Presto change-o the cat comes back to life…as a total asshole! Now, we at the Fenzorselli/McBrownigal household wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the new “evil” cat and one of our standard cats. In fact, while watching this movie, we decided that Tandoori must have been buried in this place before we got him. I laughed hysterically every time the cat did something dickish because it was just so darn familiar!
Meanwhile, because the family didn’t build a damn fence, the adorable little boy gets hit by a truck and dies. The doctor is understandably grief stricken and, seeing this, the old man warns to not bury the kid in the burial ground. He tells a tale of a friend of his who did that, and his son came back as a crazy flesh eating monster. The old man (and a bunch of neighbors) came and burned the house down with the crazy flesh eating monster in it.
At this point, we’d all be asking this jackass why he told us to bury the cat in the asshole generating soil in the first place if he has first hand experience with its “magic”. And we definitely would have not considered burying the kid there after a story like that.
But this doofus decides that this sounds like a great idea because he probably thinks the old man is blowing it out of proportion and that the worst thing that will happen is that the kid will come back as a hipster or something.
Aaaaand the kid comes alive, finds the doctor’s scalpel and starts slicing everyone up…like you do. So, the kid kills his mother who comes back just in time (with the aid of the ghost who seemingly wanted her to die with all his freaking help) to get killed. So the doctor shows up, re-kills his son and then decides that he should now bury his wife in the asshole generating soil.
She comes back to life, shows up at his house, they make out for a while and then she stabs in the head.
Being skeptics, it’s possible that we would have tried the burial ground for the cat…but probably not because we would have thought the old man was off his rocker…and this would have been a good decision. But in the name of the scientific method, we might have wanted to prove to ourselves that burying things in the Native American Ancient Burial Ground was a terrible idea. Upon getting a really big asshole of a cat back (where there was less of an asshole before), we wouldn’t test it again…right? I mean, I guess reproducibility is the best route to declaring something a law. But we’d probably test it with hamsters or something…not people.
But as I said in the beginning, this all could have been avoided if they had just built a fence. Or more importantly, it could easily have been avoided had they hired competent people to build a really good fence.
Also, I would encourage us to either not follow the old man into cemeteries, or encourage him to be more upfront with his horrifying tales of horror from his past BEFORE burying things in spooky places.
The Fenzorselli/McBrownigal movie: Move in, heed the warnings about the shitty road, hire someone to build a decent fence. If the cat dies, bury him in the backyard and don’t lie about it. The End.
Man, pretty boring, right? Well, whatever. Fine…we’d put some scenes of us in our hot tub or something, ok?