Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Five Greatest Movie Villains

Okay, I admit going into this that I don’t watch any horror flicks, so Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers didn’t make the list.  My villains tend to be from family films.  A good villain to my way of thinking has to give children nightmares and have some nuance. By nuance, I mean, cause me to have no sympathy at all when they burst into flame, melt into a puddle or fall into a nuclear reactor. Here’s the list of the evil villains who disturbed my calm as a child.

  1. The Wicked Witch of the West – When I was a kid, this hateful little woman scared the bejeebers out of me every year at Thanksgiving when they ran The Wizard of Oz on TV.  I mean, “…and your little dog too!” How much meaner can a person with warts on her nose be?
  2. Darth Vader – Who doesn’t have a horror that your dad is really an interstellar black knight that can strangle people with his mind?  For my dad to strangle someone, he had to eat pinto beans first.
  3. Cruella DeVille – The name says it all. Here was a nasty tempered woman, she was skinny and she smoked one of those cigarettes on a stick.  She was one bad dudette. I used to hide my dog Pudgie’s pups lest she drive by and spot them.
  4. Cinderella’s Stepmother – Stepmom’s have to at least be represented on this list and who’s stepmom better than Cinderella’s? She had that old evil stepmother voice thing going for her and then she deliberately sabotaged Cindy’s chances for love and happiness with the prince by locking her up in the tower.  That’s low, I don’t care how many cooties a girl might have!
  5. The Invisible Atomic Brain Monster – Okay, I did watch a scary movie when I was a kid. The Invisible Atomic Brain Monster was about this scientist who was doing experiments with human brains by exposing them to atomic radiation (nobody really knows why) and they come to life, become invisible and start crawling around using their spinal cords like some big-headed inchworm and they’d jump at you and wrap their spinal cords around your neck and bite your neck (I don’t know where the teeth came from) and suck out your brains and spinal cord and make more of them with it (I don’t know how), but they’d go on multiplying till someone cranked up the local atomic power plant, make them visible again and got a machine gun and shot them all, but not before they ripped the skirts off a couple of blondes for some reason not really clear to me at the time.  I slept for weeks with a pillow wrapped securely around my neck lest they should attack in the night while I was sleeping.  The pillow was to prevent them from sucking out my brains if they got past my barricaded door to my room!  I think that was when my mom crashed into my barricaded door with a hamper full of laundry that she made me stop watching horror movies on the Sunday afternoon movie.

This list undoubtedly says something about my character, but I can’t really figure out what.  It was going to be 10 Greatest Movie Villains, but it’s late and all I can come up with for the last five are Snidely Whiplash, Boris Badenoff, Witchie Poo, the rabid wolf in “Old Yeller” and the First Terminator and since three of them are TV villains, Arnold is governor of California and has had all the PR he'll ever need and since I’m too tired to go on, we’ll leave it at 5. 

Did you know that that’s why there weren’t the 10 Wonders of the Ancient World instead of 7?  They were making up the list, it was late and everybody was drinking and fell asleep. That’s how come they left out the Aztec Pyramids, The Easter Island Moa’s and Cleopatra’s bath scene in the Elizabeth Taylor film.

I’m just sayin’

Tom

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Top Ten Things to Drink When You are Really Thirsty

Admittedly, this list is not scientific by any means and is the result of a poll of limited scope - me and the missus were really thirsty and we were trying to think of what would really hit the spot.  What follows is THE definitive list of thirst quenchers.....

1.  Water very cold or on ice:   Plain old hydration.  No sugar, no caffeine, no electrolytes.  Useful as a chaser for some other drinks that provide immediate, but not long term relief.

2.  Coca-Cola in the original glass bottle:  There is nothing like it for cutting a dry mouth and getting moisture to your tongue and throat.  It loses it's effect if it's from a plastic bottle. It's not the same over ice, even in a glass tumbler.  It only works in that wonderful curvaceous glass bottle.  Tall or small, it matters not.  Coke does contain caffeine which actually kicks up the kidneys and makes the fluid run on through your body, so you should always follow up Coke with a water chaser to offset the evil effects.  Even with it's drawbacks, Coke is what you want first when you step out of the desert to clear your palate.  It's the real thing!

3.  Iced Tea in a tall glass with lemon, sweetened or unsweetened, no straw: Ice Tea was invented in the South because it is so danged hot down here. You can't drink hot tea when it's 105 degrees with 100% humidity.  It's just not civilized.  You'll sweat right through your white seersucker suit and you don't want to see a bunch of dowdy old white guys and their wives running around with those white outfits plastered to their skin. It's just not decent.  Sit down in the shade and pour up a big old glass of tea and sip it slowly to let the effects of the cooling liquid restore your spirits. It's civilized!

4. Beer, very cold:  I am told that a cold beer on a hot day is restorative.  As a confirmed teetotaler, I do not know this for a fact and having actually tasted beer cannot imagine how this could be so, but I take the word of others more experienced than I.  Beer does contain a lot of nutrients, sugars and carbohydrates in it. Originally, beer was invented by the Egyptians as a cheap way to keep the pyramid builders happy and hydrated.  It's like liquid bread! 

5. Gator-Aid: The original scientific thirst quencher, Gator-Aid and it's innumerable immitators do a really good job of replacing lost electrolytes, allowing athletes and 15 year old boys to keep going long after they should have fallen down in a heap panting for iced tea. 

6. Lemonade on ice with a little umbrella:  Developed by the British Navy and assorted pirates and merchant sea captains to prevent scurvy and disguise the taste of unflitered, unchlorinated water left too long in the cask, lemonade became fashionable in the South for when we weren't drinking iced tea or mint juleps.  Good stuff if it's not too sweet and you're really thirsty. 

7.  Orange Soda: Nehi or Mission Orange or Orange Crush in a glass bottle that's been buried in a cooler full of ice.  Must be drunk quickly while every ounce is freezing cold. 

8. Orange Juice on ice:  For sheer restorative power, a huge glass of orange juice on ice cannot be beat. I've been told that drinking that much orange juice can be harmful, but I do not see how and refuse to believe it.  A big glass of iced OJ with a pimento cheese sandwich, potato chips and a pickle can bring a man back from the dead. I've seen it. 

9. Diet Dr. Pepper on ice:  I love Diet Dr. Pepper.  It's what older East Texans use instead of Coke.  Pour it over a big glass of ice and it quenches the thirst admirably, without the carbonated creosote taste of Coca-Cola. I actually choose theaters by whether or not they serve Diet Dr. Pepper.  Diet Coke and Pepsi are absolutely uncivilized. 

10.  Dr Pepper in the small bottle:  Bottled in Dublin Texas using Imperial Pure Cane sugar instead of that horrible old corn syrup, Dr. Pepper in the small bottle is the last vestige of the age of enlightenment. Dr. Pepper any other way is just wrong.  This is the way my grandmother served Dr. Pepper when I was a boy. We Texans make pilgrimages to Dublin to buy case lots of Dr. Pepper made properly.

That's the lot.  If you disagree, you may comment.  You'll be wrong, but go ahead.....