Some Thoughts After Performing in the Minnesota Orchestra’s Production of “Carousel”

Read these words.

Read these words.


I’m a terrible dancer. I don’t think saying that in a public forum will result in any shocked gasps or clutched hearts. I’m a terrible dancer. Watching a choreographer demonstrate a move is the physical equivalent of trying to follow a foreign film with the subtitles turned off: I know they’re doing something important, but I hope no one’s life depends on me figuring out what the hell it’s supposed to mean.

Asking me to perform someone’s choreography is a slap in the face to, not only all dance professionals, but to all people who use legs in any way in their professional lives. Civil War surgeons were kinder to legs than I am on stage. And, my arms are so embarrassed to be associated with my legs that they panic and just start flailing.

That being said . . .

I was recently in the Minnesota Orchestra’s production of “Carousel,” directed by the dazzlingly shod Bob Neu, and dance I did. I had to! We had a choreographer I had heard of and I don’t hear of choreographers. I can remember that the Autobot whose loyalty wavered between his own faction and the Decepticons in the first season of G1 Transformers was Mirage, but I can’t keep anything dance-related in my head. Mirage. That guy.


That guy.

We hadn’t even had a dance audition. Bob simply put faith in the fact that I entered the room without falling down the stairs and assumed I could waltz. Which may be an appropriate assumption for a normal human being. “I have to waltz!” I yelled at people. “So?” they invariably responded, “Anyone can waltz.”

I was once in a production of “And the World Goes Round.” Early on in the rehearsal process, I and another cast member were to waltz across the stage during a solo number. That’s all. Stage right to stage left. 1-2-3, 1-2-3. She tried to get me to successfully cross that stage for weeks. Finally, the director said, “You know . . . we’re just going to cut that.”

So . . . I had to dance.

Fortunately, I had two amazing dance partners in the course of the show. Erik Pearson and I were paired for the “Blow High, Blow Low” number. The moment he moved towards me I thought, “Oh, good. He’s so tall, everyone will be looking at him.” But, there’s something about working with someone who’s better than you that really pulls you up to, well, not their level, but up to an approximation of their level. We matched each other in enthusiasm and facial expressions and I felt, for the first time, confident while dancing on stage.

My other dance partner was Emily Gunyou Halaas. We were officially a husband/wife team-up in the town of . . . Wherever, Maine(?) and somehow managed to screw up all of our dances in new and creative ways each performance. But, and this is a big but

A) We screwed up with aplomb, and
2) I friggity flippin’ WALTZED, G!

The “This Was a Real Nice Clambake” dance had a brief waltz that I looked forward to each night. There was this thing we did with a picnic blanket spinny thing flippy around moment (if you weren’t there, I can’t describe it any better than that; if you were there, it was the picnic blanket spinny thing flippy around moment) that made every bus ride to Orchestra Hall worth it. I mean, other things made it worth it, too, but in that moment . . .

The choreographer was Penny Freeh, who is awesome. Not everyone on stage was a dancer (see paragraphs 1-10) and she somehow managed to get us all dancing without EVER. LOSING. HER. PATIENCE.

If you’re not familiar with theater . . . choreographers sometimes lose their cool. I’ll just – I’ll just leave it at that. Penny did not. Maybe we all just trusted her. Maybe she’s actually a magical being? Maybe? Probably. Probably that’s it.


If you want my body/And, you think I'm sexy . . .

If you want my body/And, you think I’m sexy

When we got our first rehearsal breakdown, I was a little shocked to see time set aside to block “Policeman” and to see next to the word “Policeman” the name (Phil). Naturally, I assumed this was some other Phil who had . . . not . . . made the cast list? Or, that it was a typo which would be resolved shortly. I was so convinced I was not actually going to play “Policeman” – a character with lines and everything(!!!) – that I didn’t actually look at the scene until the day before we were set to block it. I kept expecting an email to arrive from our amazing Stage Manager (Katie Hawkinson – amazing) saying, “Yeeeaaahhhh, I meant to type a different name. Not your name. It shouldn’t be your name. It’s another more ‘different’ name.” But, hey, I was actually “Policeman!”

The coolest thing about playing “Policeman” was getting to watch Bob work with the principals. Bob works at a rapid pace, throwing the actors up on stage – almost completely memorized, I’ll add – giving them basic blocking and then working the scenes. Really working them. One of the hardest things about directing a musical – which I’ve done – is actually finding the time to direct the musical rather than just shuffle people around. Obviously, Bob has done a million shows and so watching him was a master class in efficiency.

Bob had the principals during the day, so he got a lot of time out of them, then. But, this was a three week process. I’ve poured over that rehearsal schedule, dissected it, and figured out how to make it work in a typical six week period. I did this while observing the way Bob collaborated with the actors  – encouraging new ideas, blocking, fight choreography – while keeping everyone aligned to his very tight, very specific vision.

One of the most difficult parts of directing a large cast is ensuring that, at the end of the day, everyone on stage is in the same show. That requires a strong vision that the director sticks with. I got to stand close by during my scenes and watch Bob work with the leads, taking mental notes in the margins of my mind. I learned a lot about my own craft by watching Bob at his. It was truly an invaluable experience.


There’s always someone in every cast. You know the one. The actor who doesn’t get along with the group, who complains, gossips, rubs people the wrong way. There is always one.

Nope! I mean, with a set up like that, obviously I’m going to make it a switcheroo on everyone and BLOW YOUR MINDS but, really it was an extremely strong ensemble. But more than that, everyone in the show was kind.

Kindness . . . it doesn’t tend to show up in groups. Like, groups of kindness. But, every single person in

We're all crammed into a vending machine nook because as actors that's JUST WHERE WE BELONG!

We’re all crammed into a vending machine nook because as actors that’s JUST WHERE WE BELONG!

the cast was a kind person. I mean, we were all a bunch off goofs and weirdos, but that’s theater. Everyone seemed to genuinely care about the other people in the cast. To support their choices and want everyone else to do well. Again, that’s rare. I was nervous going in. Hell, I was scared. This wasn’t my world. I didn’t know many people in the show – none on the production side of things – I had trouble eating and sleeping and thinking in the week leading up to rehearsals. And, that first day? I relaxed. I fit. There was a place for me at this table and I went along for the ride.

I really clobbered that metaphor. Damn, that was painful.

It was an extremely positive environment. I do not take that for granted. Such good people.


The word “problematic” gets thrown around a lot in reference to “Carousel” and I’m going to go on record as saying . . . yeeeeaaaaah, not really. The characters are certainly mired in their era. The situation they are in is troubling. Their options are not the best in the world. But, “Carousel” is a play about people in a hard situation, with limited options making the best choices they can with limited world experience and failing miserably at those choices. The theme of “Carousel” isn’t “It’s okay to let your husband hit you,” even though Julie pretty much kinda sorta says that to her teenage daughter in the end. Julie is a broken character. She’s not the author’s voice. She’s not speaking the theme of the play. The Doctor at the end is. He’s the one who says, “Look, life is hard. And, we all make terrible mistakes. And, our parents make terrible mistakes. But, we can’t beat ourselves up over them. We can’t lose ourselves in the past. We have to keep pushing forward. Keep working towards a better tomorrow. Without fear of the dark” in so many words. It’s a message of hope, not answers.

I wasn’t looking forward to doing “Carousel.” I didn’t know the show well and always found it a bit flat. I was wrong. It’s a frighteningly complex play. The music, the lyrics, the dialogue, the staging – they all interplay and intertwine propelling the characters forward. There’s very little actual “story” so much as “lives being lived.” It’s heartbreaking. And funny. And an important show to understand in order to understand musical theater at all.

Mark Sweeney, I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

It was a profound experience for me. I’m so glad I auditioned.


And now, it’s over. I met so many wonderful people I hope to work with again. I reforged a friendship I’d thought dead and buried. I hung out with fascinating people. Mourned the loss of a literary great in the wings. Met a fascinating artist with a story to share. And, now I find myself in that post-show funk. A funk I haven’t felt in a while. The funk of forty-thousand years.

Because, it’s Thriller. Thriller Night.

Categories: Carousel, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING, Theater | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Halloween Interlude – Re-Animated

oak_leavesIt would be wrong to say that death was the beginning for me. Death was simply part of a much protracted end. An end that I face, but cannot see. Real sight is denied me, now. The dead have no useful eyes; for they are shunned by light. The dead have no love; for they are shunned by salvation. The dead have only blistering desire; for the dead are embraced by corruption. I carry corruption with me and it drips from my sagging flesh.

Sensation flooded my body when I awoke on that table in that room in the dim light of an oil lamp. I cannot, in truth, say what I felt for the emotions of the dead remain unnamed. As I remain unnamed. In life I was a man – that much is clear from a glance at my own anatomy – but in death I am nothing but a moveable husk. Naming me would akin to naming a pile of clothes or a gust of wind. Names are for those things we find important and that we wish to incorporate into ourselves. I am a dead man and none wish to incorporate with me.

I screamed. It was involuntary. A scream is the purist action a human body can take. It is a release of all tension and a denial of the exterior world by way of a corrupting propulsion of miasmic air and fetid sound. I screamed and flung my arms about hoping to find purchase on this world; something to grab, to clutch, to hold. An anchor.

The sound of footsteps. A door smashing against the wall. Shouting.

I rose.

A man’s arm wrapped around my neck from behind. I gripped the forearm in my hands, fingers like claws against his rippling muscles. He was strong. But, in death, one does not hold back. The impulses that drive the living to survive also keep their actions in check. Hands that can splinter wood resist splintering bone. Teeth that can tear meat resist tearing flesh. The dead have no such issues. To the dead, life is an obstacle that is best gotten over or gotten through. My fingernails easily tore his skin. I pulled his arm and he began shrieking. I found his bone and and gripped it as if it were a club. Pulling, I removed his arm from around my throat and from his own body. My power was immense.

The man was squealing on the floor at my feet. I took the forearm and drove it down into his chest, puncturing bone, lungs, spine. I pulled the arm free and thrust it down again and again and again until I was certain I shared the room with no more life.

At the edge of my hearing, a sound. People. More than a few. Several? They seemed far off but growing closer. I moved away from the voices and found a window. My legs were strong and they drove me through the glass. Shards cut my skin, but pain was no longer a concern. Neither was infection. I had no need to remove the glass from my body, so I ran.

A smell assaulted my nostrils. Decay. Stretching out before me. Woods. Forest. I plunged in.

I avoided the trees by the stench of their life. I clambered towards the fallen, the rot, the pulp. In death, the ground is your sky. The world is inverted and you long for the cool rain of dirt to clean your face and wash the water from your unseeing eyes.

A shout. I turned and charged towards the offending voice.

Meat met meat as I tore into the warm body before me. Barely had it time to cry out before I extinguished the horrible living, breathing, pulsating freshness it carried about the world. I had to, I needed to, obliterate the living. Warm blood cooled rapidly on my skin and coated me in the smell of purification.

More voices. More yelling. I ran. Although I was strong, I was not invincible.

Mud. Deep mud. A cover. I plunged in and buried myself in its cool depths.

Now, I wait. This is no life. But, I want no life. This is death and death is not the end. Death is a way-station. Death is a portal. I can no longer see the world of the living but the world of the living is limited. I will see beyond that world. That is my destination.

When night comes, I will rise. I will enter my new world through this old one.

Until then, I wait. And hate the living.

Categories: Halloween Interlude, Halloween!, Horror, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween Interlude – Rock-afire Implosion

1359497031-screen_shot_2013-01-29_at_3.57.04_pmThere is no love in the eyes of a dying gorilla keyboardist. Those eyes cannot “feel” as we think of feeling. They certainly cannot love and they have no desire to.

“I’m fading,” Fatz Geronimo whispered as I cradled him in my arms, “Would that we had learned more from your world. Would that we had been open to learning.”

The old silverback coughed, a harsh metallic hack, and looked at me with a soulless gaze.

“Where is Dook?” he asked.

“Dook is . . . he’s safe,” I lied. I’d seen the dog take off in his rocket ship, fleeing the carnage, the devastation, the pain. His vehicle disintegrated before it ever reached the clouds. Sabotage. Your tax dollars at work.

Fatz took my hand. I knew that it was impossible for him to truly care – robots don’t care; they don’t do anything except what they’re programmed to do – but his touch felt sincere. I wanted to believe that he had compassion and empathy. And, there was no one around to contradict me. So, what was the harm?

“Find Mitzi,” he said, “Find Beach Bear. If Billy,” he coughed again, “If Billy hasn’t gotten to them yet, then join them. Help them fight. Help them . . . keep going.”

A shift in his position and the lights went out behind his beautiful eyes.

Above me, in the blackened sky, Looney Bird soared. She saw everything. She certainly saw us. Before long, Billy Bob’s creations would find me. I had no time to mourn my friend. Is that what he was? A friend?

“Goodbye, Fats,” I whispered into his unhearing ear.

I rose to my feet and surveyed the world, my world now.

Thirty-five years ago, a group of robots arrived on our planet to give us music and joy. To teach us what it was to be truly unified as a people. Instead, we corrupted them. Fats was wrong. They had been open to learning. They had learned . . . too much.

Behind a black cloud, the sun looked out. Its smile long faded, it cowered in the face of hopelessness.

I threw my pack over my shoulder, hefted the skee ball that now served as my only weapon, and began the long trek to –

To what?

Who knew?

I hummed to myself as I walked.

“Roast beef sandwich and a -”


Categories: Halloween Interlude, Halloween!, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Halloween Interlude – Wormy Boners


What’s that sound on the bedroom door?
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!
What’s that smell on the kitchen floor?
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!

What made the dog scream with fright?
What keeps you sister up all night?
What wants in but it’s just too tight?!
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!

Some say a boner with no worms in it
Is a boner only in name
Some may try wrapping their boner in worms
But, it isn’t the same
And ain’t that a shame?

So, why is that clown coughing up so much blood?
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!
Why is my child buried deep in the mud?
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!

Why did that baby doll rip off my skin?
Why are we just shells with no soul within?
Why is living a torment; a game we can’t win?
Ooooooh! Wormy Boners!

Categories: Halloween Interlude, Halloween!, Horror, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Halloween Interlude – Little House of Pancakes

ihop happy face pancake  Brad was having trouble picking out which breakfast he wanted from the 17 different options available on Jimmy’s menu. There was the Pile O’Cakes – a stack of eight pancakes, topped with butter, jam, syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar, surrounded by bacon strips and hashed browns all served in a skillet. There was the Bottle Cake Platter – a plate of pancakes baked in glass bottles which are then shattered, revealing bottle-shaped cakes, served with bottle of international syrups surrounded by bacon, bacon-bits and scrambled egg hash. There was the Smile Face Pancake – a single pancake topped with ingredients arranged to look like, as the menu put it, “an actual living face!”

“What?” Brad wondered.

“I’m sorry sir, did you have a question?” the server asked.

“Yeah, does the Smile Face Pancake . . . is it any good?”

The server looked at Brad for a few seconds with an unsteady gaze.

“Sure,” she finally said, “Sure, it’s good.”

“Does it really look like an actual living face?” he asked.

“Sure,” she said again, “Sure it does.”

“Okay, I’ll try it,” he said. He wasn’t interested in the face so much as the serving size. One pancake he could handle. This place was ridiculous.

Ten minutes later, the server returned with a large plate. On the plate, was a large pancake. On the pancake was a human face.

“Enjoy,” the server said and ran off. Brad was momentarily surprised to notice she had tears in her eyes.

He looked down at his pancake.

Whatever ingredients they had used to make the face really worked. It looked, for all intents and purposes, as if his pancake had a real human face made of real human skin and real human muscle. He couldn’t figure it out but the effect was unnerving.

Raising his fork, he prepared to spear the pancake right in its too-human nose.

“Wait!” the pancake screamed.

Brad leapt about a foot and a half out of his chair. He looked around. None of the other customers had noticed him or, apparently, had heard the scream coming from the pancake. He looked at his plate.

The pancake had opened its eyes. They were real, honest to goodness, eyeballs. Looking up. Looking at him.

“Did, did you just say something?” Brad asked the pancake.

“I sure did,” said the pancake, “I said ‘wait’ because I wanted you to wait. I didn’t want you to stick that fork in me until I’d had a chance to talk to you.”

Brad didn’t really know what was going on, but he had never been spoken to by a pancake before so he had no frame of reference for this. Every impulse in his body told him to run, get the hell out of that restaurant, put as much distance between himself and the talking pancake as he could. Perhaps, call the police? But, again, no frame of reference. This could be some sort of magic wishing pancake. It could be the answer to his prayers. He’d be a fool to turn away from something so potentially life-altering as a talking pancake.

“Okay,” he said to the pancake, “What do you want to talk about?”

“You’re going to eat me,” the pancake said.

“No!” Brad said, “Not anymore! Don’t worry about that!”

“No, no, no! Shhhh. SHHHHH!” said the pancake, “It’s okay. It’s cool. I want you to eat me.”

“Wh – you do?” Brad said.

“Yeah, yeah. I waaaaant you to eat me. It’s what I’m here for. It’s why I was made. To be eaten. To be cut up into little pieces and shoved into your mouth and chewed and chewed and swallowed. Leh-leh-leh-leh-leh-leh.” Here the pancake was waggling its tongue in and out of its mouth.

“I – I don’t think I even could anymore,” said Brad.

“Oh, but you must!” said the pancake, “You must! You have to eat me. It’s the circle of liiiiiiiife! To not be eaten is the worst thing that can happen to a pancake! It’s torture to exist on this planet. We long for realease from our sweet sufffffering. Leh-leh-leh-leh-leh-leh-leh -”

“Okay, okay, wait,” said Brad, “Can’t i just feed you to a dog or something. I don’t think I can eat something that’s talking to me.”

“No!” snapped the pancake, “It has to be a person and that person has to be you! You, Brad!”

“How do you know my name?”

“All will come clear,” said the pancake. And it closed its eyes for a minute.

“Are you still there?” asked Brad.

“I’m thinking,” said the pancake, “and getting ready for this, the next part of my journey. Into your mouth. Over your tongue. It will be bliiiiissssssssss.”

“Well,” said Brad, unhappy with this whole mess, “how should I do it?”

“Cut me up!” said the pancake. “Cut me up and eat me! I’m deliciousssssss. Delllliiiiicioussssssssss.”

Brad wasn’t so sure about this. It seemed wrong to eat the pancake, no matter how much it implored him to. Plus, it was more a big face than a pancake. Honestly, it was so well crafted that it didn’t look like it was made out of batter at all. It was more a big piece of rubbery skin with a face in the middle.

“Come on!” shouted the pancake, “Come on, ya pussy!”

“You’re not making me want to eat you,” said Brad.

“I’m sorry, buddy. I’m sorry. I just want you to eat me sooooo muuuuuuch. Leh-leh-leh-leh-leh-leh.”

“Fine!” Brad shouted and he stabbed down into the pancake with his fork.

“Oh, yeah!” the pancake said, “Tear me apart! Yeah! YEAH!”

Brad cut and tore and ripped apart the pancake. A strange fluid that may have been buttery syrup drained from its cracks and crevices. Still, it continued shouting.

“Cut me, baby! Ah, yeeeaaaahhh! CUT ME UP! WOOOO!”

Brad finished cutting the pancake up into bite-sized pieces. Still, the yelling continued.

“Now, put me in your mouth! AWWWW, COME ON! Stick me in there yeeeeaaaahhhh!”

Brad started shoveling the rubbery chunks of pancake into his mouth feeling the fleshy matter slide over his teeth as the voice continued.

“Now, chew me up, yeeeaaaahhh! CHEW IT! CHEW!”

Brad started chewing and the voice got more and more excited.


Only wanting the yelling to stop, Brad forced the rest of the pancake into his mouth and chewed and chewed. He washed it all down with a great big glass of refreshing milk.

Sitting in his chair, Brad felt horrible. The thing he had eaten had in no way tasted like a pancake. It was more like old bologna. His stomach roiled. Brad glanced up, certain that the patrons of the restaurant would all be staring at him.

They were all staring at him. But, their expressions were blank. They simply gazed, with their eyes betraying no emotion. Brad’s stomach kicked. He felt like he was going to vomit.

He stood up and started walking towards the bathroom. His server was standing in his way.

“Excuse me,” he said, “I think I’m going to be sick.”

The server didn’t move.

“I have to get to the bathroom!” he yelled at her, and tried to push past.

The server grabbed his arm with vice-like fingers.

“Ow, hey, let go!” he said, “I’m going to throw uuuu -” he could feel the food rising up in his throat.

The server’s face opened up. Her jaw seemed to unhinge and her mouth fell open far wider than should have been possible. As Brad felt his hastily eaten horror-meal begin to shoot out of his face, she clamped her mouth around his and accepted the regurgitated meal into her hungry throat.

Brad was disgusted and horrified and could stop it all from coming back up and into the server’s waiting mouth.

When he had finished, she clamped her jaws shut and dropped Brad’s arm. He fell to the ground.

The server walked away into the kitchen area. Brad looked up. The rest of the restaurant’s patrons seemed frozen in place. Certainly, they were unaware that anything had happened.

Brad sat on the floor for a long while gathering his thoughts. No one seemed bothered by him sitting there, so he sat there some more. Finally, he picked himself up and started heading for the exit.

No, he thought this was stupid. He’d just eaten a talking pancake and them vomited it into he mouth of a person at their insistence! He turned around and headed towards the back. He was going to talk to someone about this.

Pushing through the door, Brad was stunned by what he saw.

A giant pancake, six feet tall if it was an inch, stood on end in the kitchen area. It had a giant face, not unlike the face on Brad’s own pancake. It had a little chef’s hat on it’s top edge. Before it, stood a giant silver bowl that the pancake was stirring with a large wooden spoon. It had no hands, but the spoon stirred anyway. Below the pancake’s mouth, a fleshy opening spilled an endless stream of thick sticky batter into the bowl. Every so often, a server would come by and scoop batter out with a cup and pour it onto a plate. The batter would bubble and form into a face pancake which the server then carried out to the dining room.

Brad was sickened by what he saw and was about to turn and run when he looked up.

High overhead, hanging from the ceiling, were dozens of servers, men and women. Their heads were thrown back and out of their open mouths long strands of batter held them firmly in place. Their bellies were swollen beyond belief. A quick perusal confirmed that his server was up there as well, her belly not quite as distended as the others.

While he stared, horrible sound began emanating from one of the servers in the back. A low, wet, ripping sound. With a sudden gush, the server’s body erupted, spraying human insides everywhere, all over the kitchen. In the server’s place, still hanging from the ceiling, was a giant pancake. A sudden scuttling noise alerted him to another pancake, this one with many legs, crawling up the wall. It cut the batter adhesive and the newborn pancake fell to the floor with a flop.

Knowing that this was probably his last chance to escape with his sanity, Brad turned and ran . . . straight into the pancake chef.

The giant pancake folded itself around Brad in some sort of pancake taco. Brad struggled in vain to free himself, but it was no use. His last thought was, “Great. I’m probably going to end up as one of the servers in this restaurant. That would be an obvious ending to this. Then I’ll go out and serve someone and they’ll ask for the face pancake and -” then he lost consciousness.

But, no. Brad woke up outside. He was covered in sweat and felt terrible. Behind him, Jimmy’s Pancake House stood, doing business as usual.

Standing up, Brad reached into his pocket for his keys. He found a folded piece of paper. Unfolding it, he read:

No one will ever believe you ate a talking pancake and then vomited that pancake into the mouth of a person so it could grow into a pancake monster that will serve as the chef at another pancake restaurant that is simply serving as a front for the creation of other pancake monsters so it is probably best you don’t tell anyone about it because that would be a really stupid story, Brad.

Brad agreed. It was a pretty stupid story.

Categories: Halloween Interlude, Halloween!, Horror, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween Interlude – The Bloody Skull of Bloodskull Ha-, uh Manor!


Lightning and thunder tore the sky apart as Jim Blackwell’s rocket roadster tore the road apart on its way to Bloodskull Hall! Manor! Bloodskull Manor!

“I hope I get to Bloodskull Hall Manor in time to inherit my riches!” Jim thought to himself. He was a handsome man with chiseled features and a wicked smile that made the ladies swoon and the men punch their fists into the air with outrage at their own rotten luck. Jim was currently looking to inherit riches from an uncle who had died under mysterious circumstances. The uncle’s mangled corpse had been discovered weeks earlier in the dining room of Bloodskull Hall Manor lying on the table. It had been badly damaged. The body. The uncle’s body. Not the table; it was fine. No clues as to what had killed his uncle had been found, but the housekeeper – Mz. Eliza Blazkey – had been woken by a loud argument the night before and had rushed down the stairs to find the dining room door barred and loud voices coming from within. One of the voices was certainly the uncle’s but the other voice sounded weird and bloody. Like a bloody skull.

The next morning, the uncle’s body had been found in its torn-apart state and only a bloody skull was found to offer any sort of clue as to what had happened. The uncle’s body was removed to be washed, to be hosed down, and the bloody skull was given to the housekeeper – Mz. Eliza Blazkey – who set it on the mantle where it seemed to judge the living!

“Hogwash!” thought Jim as he drove to Bloodskull Hall Manor, “I don’t believe in skulls and even if I did I don’t believe in SKULLS!” and he pushed really hard on the gas pedal with his foot. And he shifted the . . . the shifter of his car. I don’t know how to drive a stick. He sticked the stick and VROOM off down the road!

Fifteen minutes later, Jim was standing before Bloodstool Manor and wiping his brow. “Quite a drive,” he thought. “I drove the hell out of that car.”

Knocking on the door, Jim noticed that so much blood was oozing out of the house. “That’s odd,” he said out loud, “I’d better call the police on all this blood.”

Pulling out his cell phone, Jim called the police. But, he could NOT get reception!

“Blast and curse!” he screamed and threw the useless contraption into the bushes!

Entering the house, Jim was shocked to discover so much blood was all over the place! He slipped and slid, sliding and slooping his feet slithering and slurping all over the slip-slidey floor. He slalomed and slud and slanked and spun and finally landed on his bottom(!) in the kitchen where everyone was dead.

Everyone was dead and bloody and the skull did it there was no way to know who did it!

“Looking for me?!” said a creepy bloody voice from behind Jim.

Jim spun around. Around and around. He spun and spun and spun and got soooooo dizzy and threw up and fell in the blood and vomit and skull and blood.

“I threw up!” Jim said and began to cry.

The skull – drenched in blood and vomit because it had been standing behind Jim and then he had accidentally kicked it around a bit while he was spinning around on the bloody floor and then he’d vomited on it – helped him to his feet with its PHANTOM ARMS and gave him a glass of water and explained that it had killed everyone because of a curse or something.


“Honey, where are the mats? The food mats for the table?” Jim cried out. He was expecting guests any minute and couldn’t find the table food mats for – in order to catch the food.

“Just where you left them! On the floor of the kitchen after we made love!” came a voice from the other room. It was the skull! They’d gotten married because they had so much in common and GET THIS they had a baby and it was born with a skull head!


Categories: Halloween Interlude, Halloween!, Horror, Just a stupid thing, Just a VERY STUPID THING | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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