Killer Stache

It just doesn't grow here and here...

"It Just Doesn't Grow Here and Here."

Mustaches aren’t like hair styles where there’s this unlimited number of them to choose from. There’s only like five of them out there. When Hitler went out and murdered 8 million people, he kinda reduced the options by like 20 percent. It was pretty cool when it was called the “abbreviated-stache.” Not so cool when it suddenly became “The Hitler.”

For men of my generation, you don’t miss what you’ve never had.  But for  those who were wearing it duringWWII?  The following is a brief conversation between one of those men and his peers.

Chaplain and his Boy
Charlie’s Boy Sits Him Down

One of his Boys: Dude, you gotta either grow it into a goatee or a full mustache, or you gotta shave it off all together.

Charlie Chaplin: Man, I’ve been rocking the abbreviated-stache since the 20’s, son.

One of his Boys, Doesn’t matter. You need to lose it.

Another One of his Boys: What about the fu manchu?

One of his Boys: Donnie, shut the fuck up.  Charlie, people are heil-ing you behind your back.    Believe me, you don’t need the aggravation.

Charlie Chaplin: But the Tramp…

One of his Boys: Trust us. Just lose it.

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It feels a little weird, but I'll get used to it.

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Taking My Vitamins, Saying My Prayers on a Deserted Island

24-Inch Pythons

24-Inch Pythons

You know that question where people ask you if you had to be stranded on a deserted island, what would you bring with you? I’d bring Hulk Hogan.

Then we’d build a tropical wrestling ring where the ropes were made from vines and the turnbuckles from coconuts. And a lemur would hop into the ring just as I threw the Hulkster into a sleeper hold. And the lemur would hold Hogan’s arm up and let it drop… a sure sign that he was fading in my death-grip sleeper hold. But on the third and final time the lemur held up Hogan’s arm, it wouldn’t drop… it would start rocking up and down. And Hogan would break free. And I would try to punch him, but he’d block it and counter with a shot of his own that would send me to the sand. Then he’d cup his ear asking the fans to  let him hear it. But there aren’t any fans because we’re on a deserted island so Hogan would go off the vines and finish me off with a leg drop. And for years to come we would observe that day as Awesome Day.

So, You Want to be a Black Belt?

AFI recently named Karate Kid to its Top Ten Sports Movies of All Time. I love the movie too, but the journey to greatness has a few loopholes as loose as the brick on Ali’s front porch.

Tue, Nov. 1, 1983 Approx 10:15 a.m. Miyagi and Daniel Enter Cobra Kai Dojo

Bonzai, Bitches

Bonzai, Bitches

We know the night before was Halloween (or as the Cobra Kai boys will forever call it, Pearl Harbor 2). Bidding farewell that night, Daniel says “Tomorrow morning? “ Miyagi replies “10:00.” Cut to: Daniel Son: “Good morning, Mr. Miyagi.”

Yes, I know, you’re like, “But Daniel, why aren’t you in school? And Mr. Miyagi, why aren’t you fixing shit?”

Let’s say it takes them 15 min to get to the dojo. Again, don’t ask why there’s a full sparring session well in progress at 10:15 on a school day. Logic does not exist in this dojo, does it? NO SENSEI!

My point is Miyagi convinces Sensei John Creece to prohibit his students from beating Daniel up between now and the tournament, or for one month and sixteen days. Plenty of time for:

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Daniel To Achieve Black Belt Status In One Month, Two Weeks, and Two Days

Minus “Karate from book” and a few lessons at the Y, Daniel has no formal karate training. But over the course of the month and a half he:

– Waxes on and off four cars

You're a Pushy Little Bastard, Aren't Ya?

You're a Pushy Little Bastard, Aren't Ya?

– Paints a fence and a house
– Sands a floor
– And spends one ridiculous session at the beach playing in the ocean and staring in awe/lust at Miyagi’s crane-kicking silhouette.

All told, he really only spent four days training and achieved black belt status. He should be more than ready for:

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The 18th All Valley Karate Championships

Bangs are for the Weak

Bangs are for the Weak

December 19, 1983 is the date. For those of you keeping score, it was a Monday. Again, no school, no work for the sold-out crowd on hand at the Matadome. One quick fact about the Metadome:

It’s record attendance: 3, 106 to watch US/Japan international exhibition men’s volleyball match. It wouldn’t be the last time the US/Japan connection came through…Aye, Daniel-Son.

3,106 people show up to the junior co-ed district karate championships? The Montreal Expos pulled in 3,780 against the Rockies in May of ’02. Six hundred more people at a MLB game… right.

The rest, of course, is history. A montage set to Joe Esposito’s You’re the Best gets Daniel through five rounds. Another two, and he’s hoisting the trophy above his head.

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Do I suspend disbelief for the sake of a great movie? Yes. Are these moments the least believable in the movie? No.

But if you don’t buy in from the beginning, you’re only gonna feel Rick-Rolled in the end.

Catch Something Else With Chopstick

Catch Something Else With Chopstick

F*/Marry/Kill Starring the Golden Girls

in-the-kitchen

The only rule is that Dorothy and Ma come as a packaged deal; f*, marry or kill, doesn’t matter.  Them Petrillos are inseparable.

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F*:
The safe bet here seems like Blanche, right?   I’m going with Rose.

It’s a late night.  Rose and I finish Bringing Up Baby on AMC (she likes romantic comedies; I’m trying to get in her pants).   She asks me if I’d like to go into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.  I tell her I’d rather go back to her room.  “Oh,” she says, and smiles coyly.

She says she’s going to freshen up and… slip into something a little more comfortable.  I get chub.

"You look amazing," Earl said

"You look amazing," Earl said

Suddenly she appears in the doorway wearing a nightgown that somehow reveals less than the jogging suit she changed out of.

craftmatic-bed

The sex is okay.  At one point, I accidentally roll on the remote for the  Craftmatic Bed.  The foot of the bed raises and messes up my rhythm.  She takes a long time, and I’m kind of chafed by the end of it.

We spend the rest of the night spooning.  As soon as she’s asleep, I roll out.  Let a butcher butch, y’all.

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MARRY:
So I go with Blanche for this one rather than the f*.

The first three months go well… a lot of trips to AC Moore filled with laughter and a lot of early dinners (like a quarter-to-five-early).

But many nights I want to sleep while Blanche wants to “go out.”  My mind races as I lie awake, waiting for her to come home.  Oh, Blanche, don’t take your love to town.

miles

Silver Fox or Home Wrecker?

Then Miles Webster starts coming around again.  He’s Rose’s friend, but I know he nailed my wife.  A man can just sense these things.

One night, in the darkness of our room, I blurt out: “Who’s a better lay, me or Miles?”  She groans and says Big Daddy was right: never marry a Yankee.  That means Miles is.

The next few months are rocky.  Every once in a while it seems like things are getting better, but my insecurities haunt me and I end up saying something snide about my wife, the village bicycle.

The divorce is uneventful.  I didn’t bring anything into the relationship.   At one point I tried to make an argument for the wicker furniture in the living room, but I never got very far.

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KILL:
Damn it, there I go thinking with my small head again, and drafting poorly.

I should’ve took Rose.  Instead I gotta take out two of them.  One of them is practically a man.

roll-into-the-kitchenI hang out in the kitchen with the lights off.  Rose is in St. Olaf at a cow-themed wedding.  Blanche is out, probably with Miles.  Hours pass until I finally hear Dorothy talking to Ma.  Their voices become more audible as they get closer.  And then the kitchen door swings wide.

“Oh my God,” Dorothy exclaims.

We stare at one another before I lunge at her.  Despite her old age and sex, I struggle to wrestle her to the floor.  As we grapple, I realize that I am losing my footing.  She’s winning this thing.  I’m about to go to plan b when all of a sudden… BANG.  Sophia rocks me upside the head with a frying pan.  Rock a bye, baby.  I’m out cold.

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CONCLUSION:
I’m on an ambulance stretcher outside the house.  Neighbors gather in the wee hours of the night to see what’s going on.  My eyes first focus on Dorothy, still visibly shaken and hugging her ex-husband, Stan Zbornak.  Sophia is next to her, quietly whispering, “it’s okay, pussycat.”

Paramedics start asking me questions.  Do you know where you are?  That sort of thing.

Earl the Butcher Was Here

THAT'S MY WIFE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!

As they lift me into the back of the ambulance, I see a couple walking towards the scene.  Clutching hands, they jog as fast two old people can.

It’s Blanche and Miles.  She gasps when she recognizes me.

With two fingers, I point to my eyes before pointing back at her.

I’m watching you, Blanche.   I’m watching you like a hawk.

2 Cops Walk Into a Bar

rush-hourThe buddy cop genre. Perhaps the slipperiest slope in cinema. When casted correctly, no genre can touch it. But when miscast, you could be in for a long two hours.

There’s certain elements that are tried-and-true to the genre. Most times you’re gonna get an interracial coupling of cops. Usually black and white, but occasionally black and Jackie Chan. And they’re usually going after a drug dealer, cartel, syndicate, what have you.

As far as quality, you run the gamut. So, I’m gonna rank a few of them.

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lethalweaponLethal Weapon: Pretty much the gold standard for the genre. Mel Gibson is always at his best when he’s not taking himself too seriously. Danny Glover is pretty much one of the worst actors ever. But he gets to play the tentative voice of reason who is always skeptical, the one who has to take a deep breath and say something like, “Oh what the hell,” or, “I’m getting too old for this,” before jumping off of the bridge. Fact of the matter is, the script rocked and there’s the perfect combination of violence and comedy. ✪✪✪✪✪ (Five badges).

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48 Hours: Remember when Eddie Murphy made a good movie? That was awesome. And Jack Cates is Nick Nolte’s second best role ever. His first, Coach Bell in Blue Chips. ✪✪✪✪✪

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Hank's Understudy

Hank's Understudy

Turner and Hooch: This is where you begin to see how vital it is to have two strong actors in these kinds of movies. Hooch does his own stunts in the movie, which is amazing. But Tom Hanks as a cop? Puh-lease… Now, here’s what they should’ve done: replaced Tom Hanks with a dog. Two Dogs! Two dog cops hunting down the killer, and one of the dogs is real close to retirement and gets shot. Okay, I’m getting sidetracked. Not a bad movie; I’m giving it ✪✪✪✪

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Training Day: Denzel could carry a movie playing opposite the Money You Could Be Saving With Geico. Unfortunately Ethan Hawke isn’t even that good. All those scenes where Denzel is like, “Wait in the car,” my guess is that was him ad libbing. Ethan Hawke is horrible. You know it’s bad when you root for the good guy to die. But Denzel’s watershed performance makes it worth the while. ✪✪✪

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newjackNew Jack City: Some guys you buy as cops. Eastwood, definitely. Leslie Neilsen, sure, why not? Ice T and Judd Nelson… Ice T hates cops too much to be able to objectively play one. And Judd Nelson being good in anything is as rare as a cab with a license plate that says “Fresh.”  Anyway, thank goodness Mario Van P kept this flick on track. It could have gone very differently. ✪✪

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lenocollisioncourseCollision Course: A Detroit Cop (Jay Leno) teams up with Mr. Miyagi (Mr. Miyagi) to track down a stolen turbocharger. This movie has disaster written all over it. The logline: The only thing stopping them from solving the crime is…each other. What would you rather see: this movie, or blood in your stool? I’d love to give this one zero badges but Mr. Miyagi’s in it so… ✪

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Righteous Kill: Deniro and Pacino together again, just like the movie Heat.

Only ten years lamer. Zero invisible stars.

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I know there’s so many more… Kindergarten Cop, Red Heat, Se7en, etc. And I would love to do them all but I just saw that Cop and a Half is on TBS. Oh TBS, very funny.

Off the Rails of a Swayze Train

Can somebody please tell me what kind of a world we live in where Laura Dern is as healthy as a horse, but Patrick Swayze has to waste away into nothingness? I don’t have enough on my plate with this recession and T.I. going to prison?

Now I have to deal with a tabloid headline in the grocery checkout line: “I’m not dying.

So I looked at the picture inside the magazine. Not dying? There was more of him lifting the penny in Ghost than there is of him now.

ghost2cancer-2

And of course, my mind went to that dark place again… that place where God takes Swayze before me. And I started thinking, if Patrick Swayze was gone tomorrow, would my list be ready?

So, without further ado, here’s my top three Swayze Moments:

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1) Dirty Dancing as Johnny Castle

The Scene: The Last Number of the Season at Kellerman’s.

corner1Trips to Europe, that’s what the kids want. You have to realize what’s at stake here. Johnny has been fired. He’s officially trespassing at this point. It doesn’t matter; nobody’s going to stop him. Not Jerry Orbach, not Robbie the slimeball, and not even Newman who was definitely on the stage. Johnny rescues Baby from the corner, restores his reputation with Dr. Houseman, interrupts the Pechanga, and delivers the most chilling line in movie history: “I’m gonna do my kind of dancin’ with a great partner.”

Cue The Time of My Life, as a performance for the ages unfolds. For my money, it’ll never get better than when they nail the lift at the end.

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2) She’s Like the Wind as Swayze
The Whole Video

Swayze’s agent sold it like this: Here’s the plan: this amazing song you sang, we’re going to have you sit on a stool and dramatically sing to someone just off-camera. Then, we’ll take scenes from the movie, turn them black and white, and add a ripple effect on it. Then, you just go home and wait for the call from the Grammys.

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3) Ghost as Sam Wheat
The Scene: The One Where He Makes This Face:

ghost-1Apparently it was supposed to be Bruce Willis in the role of Sam. But Swayze signs on, he’s the one who lobbies for Whoopi, and I end up dropping the word “ditto” on my eighth grade girlfriend who broke up with me the same night (second one from the right. What’s up, Sidney? Thanks for dumping me at Megan’s party. Remember when I said I wouldn’t tell anyone that your father was an alcoholic? Whoops.).

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mulletswayzeSome reports say he’s on his death bed now. Others declare we have at least two more years with him. It’s hard to say. But I know that between giref and nothing, I’ll take grief. And so I continue to let myself be vulnerable, hoping and wishing for one last, great Swayze moment.

The Kimmy Gibbler Experience

kimmie-credits

I’ll admit it: I drank the Kool-Aid.  I thought that, as the lights went down one final time on the set of Full House, they were simultaneously rising on the career of Andrea Barber.

I was sure we had found Julia Robert’s successor as America’s Sweetheart.  Seriously, if Kimmy Gibler went public, I’d have been a majority shareholder. But then, she just fell off the country’s radar.  We had forgotten about the Next Big Thing.

So, fourteen years after Full House, I went digging on the internets to see what ever became of Andrea Barber.

First Stop: Andrea’s page on IMDB.com: Noteworthy Credits: All of them, bitches.  I already told you she was supposed to be America’s Sweetheart.  Specifically though, Full House, and hmm, what’s this?  A little film called   Skateboard Kid 2 (go straight to 1:14 for the good stuff).

Next Stop:  Skateboard Kid 2 page on IMDB.  “12 year old Sammy takes to the skies with the help of a magical flying skateboard.”  Sure, I’ll click here to read more…

Next Stop: Netflix.com.  Guess what just moved to the top of my queue?  See above.

Next Stop: Google.com.  Woah, the second result is the “unofficial Andrea Barber Homepage!”  It’s unofficial?  Where’s the official Andreabarber.com?  Who’s got that sweet piece of e-real estate?   Surprisingly, there is no official one.  One of the major oversights on the world wide web.

fullhouse_andrea-barber11Next Stop: Urban Dictionary.com.  Searching Kimmy Gibbler,  hold please.  And the results come up: “When you refuse to leave after you have a one night stand, even when they ask you nicely.” Oh, man, that ain’t right.  You show America’s Sweetheart some respect.

And then I kind of hit a dead end.  Some lame members.tripod fan pages, but nothing on scale with what you would expect from the Tanner’s next-door-neighbor…

Found her on Facebook; became a fan (all over again).  Found her on Twitter, started following her.

But it’s all a cheap substitute for the Andrea Barber Experience that never was.