Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Test Pattern Dance

Those girls at Latigo Flint's local nightclub establishment were completely unprepared for the raw passion and unbridled sexuality that is the Test Pattern Dance.

The rich, jaded beauties in this wretched, glorious City of Spanish Angels think they've seen every dance four limbs and a torso are capable of.

They don't know shit.

The digital children have never known the night-ending finality of a TV Test Pattern. They've never stood spread-eagle-naked in the color bar glare of a knob switched television as a steady droning tone screams out that any further entertainment must come wholly from them.

The digital children are accustomed to dancing with sampled, musical accompaniment - you're on your own when attempting the Test Pattern Dance. The digital children have only ever danced for fun - never to repel the demons of terminal boredom and Cribbage.

Latigo Flint locked eyes with that ancient DJ, Tunesmith Slappdyfunk. At 29 years of age, Tunesmith Slappdyfunk is a relic, a dinosaur, an analog ghost.

Latigo Flint spoke in his normal voice, low and cold. Tunesmith Slappdyfunk heard him perfectly, even from across a crowded, screaming floor.

(A true DJ always comprehends if you're saying something worth hearing. It's only the feebleminded, simpering nonsense that elicits a dismissive shrug.)

"Howdy there Slappdyfunk."

The pinky finger of Tunesmith's volume knob hand lifted and pointed directly at me. Tunesmith Slappdyfunk had never met Latigo Flint but he somehow knew me, and knew me well. Anything I said next would be heard.

"How's 'bout a little Test Pattern Dance there Tunesmith? A TPD one more time for me... I'm an analog ghost too you know."

There was a slight upward twitch in Tunesmith's cheeks (the DJ equivalent of uncontrollable laughter and joy). His left hand flashed and forty speakers fell silent. His right hand slid and a dozen giant monitors went black.

Hundreds of indignant, whiny cries were drowned out by the piercing, monotone of the TV Test Pattern. Seven basic colors blasted from the club's plasma screens, casting strange shadows on pretty, unwrinkled faces.

And in the sectioned half-light on a nightclub floor in a nation on the verge of forgetting its history, Latigo Flint began to dance.

(Of course I'd had a few or twenty too many beers, and fell flat on my face seven seconds in. The little hipster bastards threw me in the alley and went back to gyrating to the sounds of robots fucking, but that's neither here nor there and in no way devalues the story above.)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Looking Within and Nary a Tremble

Latigo Flint is the quickest Quickdraw the world has ever known. People blink numbly and cross themselves when they behold the awesome sight of Latigo Flint slapping thigh and shucking the iron of his authentic replica Colt Peacemaker revolvers from hand-tooled elk hide holsters.

Latigo Flint isn't afraid of a dern thing. (Horrible, hairy, poison-burbling spiders make Latigo Flint a mite uneasy but that's not the same as fear.)

The list could stretch for days, tonight I'll cap it at five. Five things Latigo Flint isn't afraid of:

1) Rabid animals.

Latigo Flint isn't afraid of rabid animals. Latigo Flint frequently kills rabid animals with his bare hands. Someone who was afraid of a rabid animal wouldn't be able to kill that rabid animal with his bare hands, he'd run away screaming.

2) Collapsing rafters in a fire.

Please! Latigo Flint isn't even a tiny bit afraid of collapsing rafters during a structural blaze. They never hit you, they're always near misses, and you get to look super tough and cool as you dodge them. Be sure to rub some soot on your face before making your triumphant escape. A sooty face in the context of a triumphant exit from a burning building is way-sexy. Ask anyone.

3) Reoccurring and probably prophetic death-dreams.

Yes, for 92 straight nights Latigo Flint has had that same dream in which he's outdrawn and gut-shot by a teenage Irish girl with a mocking smile. But you better believe he no longer fears it. (Admittedly booze helps a lot. So does a nightlight. If your friends make fun of you, just tell them the nightlight is to help you easily find more booze at 4AM. If they don't stop giggling at that point, punch them in the throat.)

4) Unpredictable transients.

Latigo Flint isn't afraid of unpredictable transients. Sure Latigo Flint treats unpredictable transients with a certain wary respect, especially if they're hopped up on PCP and seductively licking the blade of a knife, but he never, ever fears them. Remember, if that knife was worth half a damn, that hobo would have hocked it for goof long before now - it'll most likely crumble if he tries to drive it into your spinal column, and then you simply kick him to death.

5) Dying lonely and alone.

Latigo Flint isn't afraid of dying lonely and alone. Latigo Flint knows that nothing builds more character than standing in a darkened corner at the back of a church watching a girl you love marry someone else. Latigo Flint expects to do this several dozen more times before all is said and done. If character were thread, Latigo Flint would have a quilt... a really big quilt. It could cover a corral or, like, a parking lot or maybe a badminton court or something.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Mystery of the Girl With a Toy Husky

Most people don't really observe, and most people aren't really cool. It's cool to solve mysteries. You can't be a failure, looser or drunken-looser-failure if you've solved a mystery or two.

These were the conclusions reached last night by Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish.

The Kid and I were deep in conversation at our outdoor table at the local restaurant when a cute girl came into view. She was holding a dog, a miniature Husky, in her arms. I took a moment to appreciate her approaching form in the dim light before turning back to the Kid. "Kid, we don't have a deed or any papers of partial ownership on this cafe, yet unequivocally we consider it ours. Isn't that a bit strange?"

The Kid stopped sipping his beer, frowned and looked up. "Latty that's a mystery." The straw slipped from his lips and slowly sank beneath the foam. "It's a mystery, it's a mystery!" His mouth returned to the glass edge expecting to find the straw. Dismay tugged at his big brown eyes when he discovered the straw had descended to the bottom of the stein. I politely pretended not to notice. Then it occurred to me:

"I've got it Kid. See that patio umbrella?" The Kid turned his entire body to glance at it. "Kid, if someone tried to steal that patio umbrella, who would shoot him?" A wide, comprehending grin flashed across The Kid's face. "You and I Latty - You and I would shoot him. The owner wouldn't, the stockholders wouldn't, the busboy wouldn't. It'd be you and I who would shoot that lowdown patio umbrella thief."

I gave my relatively trusty sidekick a warm smile. "You know Kid, that's about the length and breadth of my reckoning as well."

We smiled at each other in a contemplative silence and then the girl with a toy Husky in her arms walked past our table. Turns out she wasn't cute - she was stunning. She was gorgeous. She was the sort of beautiful that would let you remember vowels... and very little else.

I bolted from my chair in a dead sprint across the patio in the opposite direction she was traveling. (It made sense at the time, don't ask me why.) My shin collided with one of those tall propane heaters so hard that I tasted marrow. I lurched back towards The Kid, dragging my left leg behind me. Kid had somehow managed to crack the wrought iron table nearly in two. We watched her walk away

I started screaming first, random lines from Jack London novels. The Kid leaned back, shrieked at the night sky and started driving silverware into his thigh.

Then she was gone.

Without taking his eyes from the empty street, the Kid reached back to touch me on the knee. He was holding a steak knife. I avoided his hand. "Latigo! Why isn't she coming back?!"

I shook my head sorrowfully. "Kid it's a mystery, a mystery. I'd burn this city down to have her walk past us one more time, and I know you would too. Yet for all that passion, she stays departed... I tell you, a mystery, a mystery."

The Kid slowly turned to stare at me, an expression of awe and respect replacing his anguish.

"My God Latigo... you've solved the mystery. Maybe it's not too late." He grabbed two nearby ambient candles and ran to the restaurant wall. "Help me Latty; enough candles and you know this stucco is gonna go up." I limped to the propane heater and started dragging it over.

The authorities stopped us shortly thereafter. We were unable to burn the city down and the girl did not return. If that doesn't solve the mystery of why the girl with a toy Husky in her arms did not return, then The Kid and I don't know what would.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Knights of the Order of a Most Romantic Death

Howdy. Can it be that Latigo Flint has all these many months failed to tell you about The Knights of the Order of a Most Romantic Death?! Why that's almost unforgivable. This heinous omission would shame Latigo Flint terribly if he wasn't at present obliterated beyond all recognition on diesel fuel fumes and peyote.

Let Latigo Flint take you back across time and waters to a forgotten land known now only as six oddly assembled letters on crumbling parchments: E u r o p e.

England, 1349, is a nation in turmoil. The Rodent Wars continue to rage unchecked and all the lands do fast approach the eve of a seventh straight decade of bitter strife and poverty. With every passing day, squalor and starvation consume the last remnants of innate human compassion. Opportunism and betrayal have become so commonplace they would surely have been considered synonymous with breathing and blinking had the word synonymous been invented yet.

Sister slays Brother for the chance to slay and rob helpless neighbor. Fraudulent raffles do shopkeepers hold for the prize of secretly poisoned meat pie, which in turn provides the base meat for future pies. Scamper open-mouthed do the thousands of enterprising orphans across hills of festering leper flesh for the fraction of a gram of protein the flies may yield. None can remember the last time two lovers embraced for a purpose other than the stealing of crusts from the other's pockets.

And then into this decaying land did one day ride the twelve Knights of the Order of a Most Romantic Death. Over crest of hill in such glorious clank-kankery fashion did they gallop atop sinewy steed -- HEY PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION!!! The friggin' Knights of the Order of a Most Very Romantic Death are goddamn cresting a sodding hill here!!!

what was i saying?

Ah yes... With hoof-pounding clumpedy-clumpfullness and in most glorious, clank-kankery fashion do they crest the windswept hill - All abreast and so utmostly triumphant of chin atop their sinewy steeds.

As one voice does come the mighty "Huzzah" from deep within the tanned chests of these twelve incomparable heroes: Gafferdine the Magnificent, Sergio Nuffintaffy, Bendlestaff O'Flankerien, Natches the Effeminate, Sir Napekiss of the Sylmar Plain, Suffpotte Lerhanklemor, Duke Cherrybreath the Wise, Fran Squire Weatherscout of Spuffington, Tortoisespleen Sorrowbough, Rapier Gentlestroke, Twitchworth the Gruff and Horkington Paddlestrong the Hesitant.

... is what their names were. Their sworn cause and knightly order? They were none other than The Knights of the Order of a Most Very Romantic and Triumphant Death.

And m'lady, I shall tell you of their adventures when either you or I are dead.

(Or in the three minutes between your successful fellatio of me and my subsequent slumber. One or the other. Thus has it always been and so shall it remain.)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Cowbells in the Fog

Friends, Latigo Flint does not recall scaling the shelving units in the music section of his local Best Buy, and spending two wobbly hours screaming at bewildered customers and staff about the glorious sound of distant cowbells in the fog, but multi-angle security camera footage doesn't lie.

Wednesday morning began like any other - I arose at dawn, watched Open Range, read a Louis L'Amour novel, drank approximately 37 Coors Long Necks and by 11:30am was prostrate in my closet, reenacting famous gunfight showdowns with a coat hanger and a trowel... Then the next thing I know, it's 8:00 in the evening and I'm sitting handcuffed at the in-store security desk of my local Best Buy, watching 16 different angles of myself leaping nude from shelf to shelf screaming about cowbells.

It was difficult to pay attention to the grumpy, uniformed men firing questions at me. Video of your own buttocks in action can actually be rather distracting. (Especially if they're as tawny and rippley as mine are.)

Some memory fragments started to come back. I had wanted to purchase a CD - something that would move me. I seem to recall becoming furious upon discovering there weren't any albums that featured the sounds of cattle roundups - specifically the glorious sound of distant cowbells clanking in the fog.

Youth culture dominates popular music, and most cowpunchers were young. Detecting the sounds of a lost herd somewhere nearby in the swirling mist would have been a tremendous feeling. In his exaltation the young wrangler would have felt like dancing with a passion and fervor to rival any seen upon today's stage and floor.

I believe that's more or less what was going through my mind just prior to me repeatedly screaming: "The free range beauties make the sound, Clank de-dank dank-dank!!!"

I don't quite remember why I needed to be naked to prove my point. Tearing down the long florescent bulbs from the ceiling and using them to violate the life-sized cutout of Rob Thomas probably wasn't necessary either.

But you know, now that I've had the opportunity to view this so-called security camera footage I'm beginning to doubt its authenticity. I don't care how distraught and disgusted with their taste I might become - I'm quite certain I would never be so vicious as to force-feed the contents of the "Hot New Releases" rack to a terrified group of young music shoppers.

The footage ends with me attempting a running leap from the top of a twelve-foot shelf in the general direction of the electronics department. At least this part I know to be accurate, I have the laceration on my inner thigh from landing on a digital camera's open viewfinder and a reverse "Philips" stamped on my forehead from when the display model plasma TV fell on my face.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Beautiful Kid Relish

Latigo Flint's relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, has recently devised a particularly cunning and cruel way to trick people into getting beat up.

Basically what Kid Relish does is he walks up to strangers on the street and says: "Never fight a man who is prettier than you, for he's got nothing to lose."

The people frown contemplatively and say: "Wait, shouldn't that be, 'never fight a man who is uglier than you, for he's got nothing to lose?'" To which Kid angrily responds: "You callin' me ugly?!" And then he viciously bludgeons them with his titanium pimpstick. (Which may or may not actually just be a lead pipe wrapped in aluminum foil.)

The Kid claims he's waiting for someone to respond something along the lines of: "Yes you beautiful man-child; that's exactly why I wouldn't want to fight you."

Kid says if and when that happens he's going to kiss them passionately on the mouth and then viciously bludgeon them with his titanium pimpstick.

Kid Relish also believes great critical acclaim and moderate box office success await any independent film in the Modern-Day Tragedy genre if it's about a guy who has to bludgeon people he loves with a titanium pimpstick... but then Kid Relish also talks to inanimate objects so you probably shouldn't invest all your money into every film project that's pitched to you that's about a guy who has to bludgeon people he loves with a titanium pimpstick.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Equilibrating Ear Fluid

It was important to Latigo Flint that the pretty woman he'd just met outside the local convenience store didn't go away mad. It was important to the pretty woman that she be allowed to go away mad, that very instant -- and she was willing to risk vehicular manslaughter to ensure it.

She emerged from the store, a diet soda and a pack of menthol cigarettes in hand, just in time to hear Latigo Flint speaking to a group of bewildered children: "I don't get it little buckaroos, those animal fun facts on Discovery for Kids dot com were very clear about this: Cocker Spaniels always land on their feet. You know, I must not have been holding him up high enough the first time."

The pretty woman shrieked just as I released the cocker spaniel. "What are you doing to my dog!!!" Her scream must have distracted the pup, 'cause it landed flat on its back with a whimper and a moan. The woman heaved her unopened soda can at my face, striking me on the bridge of the nose, and then I felt like whimpering. I wanted to cry. Truth be told, it hurt so dern bad I completely forgot how to do either.

I stood there blinking and mumbling Dwight Yoakam lyrics to myself for no discernable reason while she scooped up the staggering spaniel, kneed me in the groin for good measure and stomped off in a huff to her Chevy Tahoe. I fought off the pain-blurries and tried to flag her down in the driveway. "Ma'am wait, I just want to-" She gunned it and the glancing blow to the hip sent me headfirst into the side of a dumpster.

When I came to I was staring up into the children's inquisitive faces. (Except for the one who was crouched at my feet, stuffing scraps of rotting garbage into the tops of my boots - I didn't see that little bastard until I tried to sit up.)

One of the cherubs smiled when she saw my eyes were open. "Hey stupid. You're thinking of cats!" I struggled to rise, mentally marking garbage stuffer's face. He'd be seeing me again in about eight years.

"Child, I'm not stupid. I'm Latigo Flint." Her companions chimed in: "Yeah, stupid. It's cats that always land on their feet, not cocker spaniels." What the hell were they talking about? "Children, what the hell are you talking about, cats?"

"Cats have an equilibrating fluid in their ear you smelly dummy, that's why they always land on their feet."

They were speaking in tongues. I hardly knew how to respond. "Well... um... what if you dropped a cat off a hundred story building? What about then?" They rolled their eyes in disgust. "Now you're just being stupid... Stupid."

I crawled over to the space between the dumpster and the wall, and managed to stand by bracing with my arms on either side. "Children, I'm Latigo Flint, quickest quickdraw the world has ever known. If I'd been born 150 years earlier I'd have been a near deity in the American Old West."

"Well you look like a hobo to me."

I felt very tired right about then. "Children I'm weary. Weary with a fatigue that sleep can't cure."

"A stupid, smelly hobo."

I squinted up at the noon sun. God did I need a drink. "Good day children, I'm going to the bar now." I slowly limped out of the parking lot, pausing at the sidewalk to turn back and stare at them. "I'm sure I'll see at least one of your fathers there."

Yeeeeeah, that did it! Two of those mean little snots abruptly stared at the ground, lower lips beginning to tremble.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Red Sky by Morning

A strong gust of wind blew Latigo Flint's hat off his head and into a street gutter. I turned to a pretty young lady who happened to be passing by. "Excuse me Ma'am, is that a street gutter?"

She followed my pointing finger. "Um, yes. Yes it is."

I scratched my chin thoughtfully. "Yep, I thought so. My hat just blew into it."

She looked back at the gutter. "It did?"

"Yeah, right into it."

"Uhh, okay."

I sighed. "There are certain to be spiders down there."


I sighed harder. "Spiders. There are certain to be horrible, hairy spiders down there. My hat blew off my head and rolled into that gutter and there are probably spiders down there."

She turned to go. "So leave it."

"Ma'am wait." She stopped. "What is it?!" I detected some annoyance in her voice. "Ma'am, it's my favorite hat."

She shook her head in disgust. "Fine, then man-up and go get it."

I squinted at her. "Ma'am, is your boyfriend afraid of spiders?" She initially had no idea how to respond, but then shrugged slightly to herself. "No as a matter of fact. Not that it's any of your business, but my boyfriend actually isn't afraid of spiders in the slightest."

I nodded knowingly. "Well guess what missy... if your boyfriend and I faced each other in a thousand gunfights, I would slap thigh, shuck iron and shoot him twelve times before he could even twitch, every single dern time. So what do you think about that?!"

She slowly backed away and disappeared around the corner, never taking her wary eyes off me.

I snorted angrily and turned back to the gutter. "You have my hat you wretched spiders and any minute now I'm coming to get it."

I shouted over my shoulder in the direction the young lady had departed. "I'm picturing you naked missy and there's not a dern thing you can do about it!!!"

No response. I looked back at the gutter. "Go ahead spiders, lay your egg sacs on my hat... pretty soon I'm gonna come down there and get it, and you'll lose all your babies."

An hour later I slapped thigh, shucked my gun, and shot myself in the side - 'cause that's the last thing the spiders would be expecting me to do. It worked. I crawled down into that gutter, retrieved my hat and never saw a single spider.

Are gutters relatively sterile by the way?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Silas Weatherscout

Have you ever heard of Silas Weatherscout? It's okay if you haven't, Latigo Flint doesn't judge. (And besides, few people have.)

Silas Weatherscout was a European explorer/marine biologist, who traveled to the New World in the late 1600's. He soon saw the bountiful promise this vast, wild land offered and he immediately set out to find the "Midwest Passage", the connected system of waterways that he theorized must surely bisect the continent.

One of Silas' early journal entries:

"Breathtaking this mighty land of unsniffed forest and hill. Doubly sweet is the day whose fast we break with untaxed pudding."

Weatherscout's dream was simple: The traditional beasts of burden - oxen, horse and cow may have been okay for the dreary and crumbling old world, but most unfit for this new Eden. According to Silas, the perfect animal partner for men in the New World would be dolphins and porpoises.

Again from his journal:

"The plodding oxen tills the wheat and corn fields by day only to eat hungrily of grain at dusk. But the porpoise and dolphin may swim the canals wearing pulley system harness attached to plow, while feasting upon fish and freshwater mussel that would have otherwise gone undetected."

In May of 1692, Silas started up the Potomac from the Chesapeake Bay in a rowboat, towing several large crates filled with dolphins and porpoises. Early on it became clear his expedition wasn't to be without hardship. From his journal:

"Strangely, the river has yet to flow inward as my calculations insist it must. Its direction remains constant toward the sea and my rate of travel remains a disappointing quarter mile a day. Growing restless are my aquatic friends. Musket fire delays their mutiny."

A month later, French trappers report seeing an emaciated, badly sunburned man sprawled in the bottom of a tiny rowboat that raced toward the ocean much faster than the river flows.

A journal entry from approximately the same period:

"I have grown rather fond of the little spotted female and I believe she of me. I have given much thought to inviting her into the boat with me."

A Nova Scotian whaling ship bound for the waters off Iceland would rescue Silas several weeks later. By all accounts he had gone quite mad.

Silas Weatherscout eventually made a full recovery... physically. Five years later however, he was killed by outraged Iroquois braves while trying to establish a brothel exclusively featuring female dolphins and porpoises on the eastern shore of what is now called Lake Ontario.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Measure of a Man

Latigo Flint would be lying if he said he didn't regret a number of the flirtation choices he's made in the past. But if Latigo Flint could take just one back, it would definitely be my boast yesterday to the cute Starbucks cashier that I have a single, two-foot long chest hair.

I knew almost immediately that it was a mistake. The tattooed, rock drummer-looking gentleman behind me in line made little effort to conceal his harsh, braying laughter. (I made a mental note to pistol whip him later.) The cute Starbucks cashier stared past me at him, her eyes widening in appreciation. Tattooed, rock drummer-looking guys occasionally have that effect on girls.

"Well all right then, pard'ner!" She said it mockingly, not taking her eyes off the guy behind me. "Let's see your two-foot chest hair." Fresh guffaws from Tattoo Guy and she demurely giggled in response.

This was turning to absolute shit in one hell of a hurry. Not only had I just become a prop in a burgeoning romance between the woman I adored and a rock drummer-looking bastard, but I also don't have a two-foot long chest hair, never did. I was going to have to think fast to remedy this one.

"Ma'am that was wrong of me, I wasn't completely truthful just now. I actually don't have a single, two-foot long chest hair... Anymore, because see, the Portuguese National Soccer Team recently learned of its existence and thought it would bring them luck. They hired a ninja to steal it. I shot that ninja but not before his razor sharp katana sliced off the side of my nipple from which sprouted the folic marvel."

I pointed over my shoulder at the rock-drummer looking guy. "And he's got genital warts!"

What a disappointing turn of events. A Squinty-eyed Gunslinger's word is his bond. Honesty was the measure of a man in the glorious American Old West, and here I had thrice lied in the span of half a minute just to try to win the affection of a surly city girl who has made her low opinion of me abundantly clear on a number of occasions. Ashamed of myself I turned and stumbled for the door. I drank through the night and slept through the day.

I awoke shirtless, an empty Rogaine bottle in my hand and some sort of sticky mess all over my chest.

Now please don't think Latigo Flint hasn't learned his lesson - Because I have... sorta. It's just that, hot-dang, a couple of these look a mite longer than I remember, especially that little cluster of three or four near my right nipple.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A Sincere Apology

Latigo Flint would like to take this opportunity to offer a sincere apology to the citizens of Burbank, CA on behalf of himself and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish.

See, what happened was The Kid and I thought that the new traffic light at the intersection of Glenoaks and East Walnut was a Wendigo - one of those bloodthirsty devourers of humans from Native American lore. Naturally we believed it needed to be destroyed immediately, we thought a great many lives were at stake, and things ended up getting a little out of hand.

We hear most of you have your power back now - we're glad. We hope the Burbank DWP gets the rest of you back up very soon.

Not trying to pass any blame here or anything, but maybe in the future the city council might consider letting everyone know ahead of time if they're going to be installing a new traffic light. (Especially if it's going up on a street that people walk along to get from a bar to some apartments.) I know I don't have to tell any of you that at 3am when you've had a couple, an unexpected traffic light looks an awful lot like one of those demonic Wendigos.

Would the driver of the red Honda Civic please contact us and we will personally pay to have your car repainted, as well as replace the right side windows and the charred upholstery. The flames didn't appear to actually reach you, or at least not for very long, but if you do happen to be in need of any facial skin grafts, we'll put it on our credit cards.

So in conclusion: Kid Relish and I made a little error and we're sorry. We want you to know there wasn't any malicious intent behind the slaughter of every single house pet on Cornell Drive. We thought the drifting sparks from the explosion were pieces of the Wendigo's spirit looking for new hosts.

Frankly, we think after your rage dissipates you'll come to realize how fortunate you are as a community to have two residents who are so capable and brave that they wouldn't hesitate to destroy a Wendigo should they encounter one. After all, I think you'll agree that had it actually been a Wendigo and not a traffic light, the toll would most certainly have been a lot higher.

(Please tell the firemen of Station 11 that we're sorry for shooting at them with Shaman-blessed arrows.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Turner Row

So that was an hour and a half of Latigo Flint's valuable time completely wasted. Trust Latigo Flint on this, the alleged Turner and Hooch/Skid Row Synch-Up is a dirty lie. Don't you for one second believe all the rumors flying around about how if you start Skid Row's self titled debut album at the exact moment Tom Hanks' character meets Hooch for the first time, the two will match up and parallel each other in an uncanny synchronicity.

Okay, I'll admit there are a couple of mildly interesting moments. The silence between songs 4 and 5 (Pieces of Me, 18 and Life) does match Turner's shocked silence when he discovers Hooch has completely destroyed his kitchen, and Hooch's angry barks when he's left in the car fall on backbeats during Rattlesnake Shake. The only other occurrence of note - Hooch is excessively drooling during the opening lyric to I Remember You, but come on, Hooch drools excessively 90% of the time.

Just three pathetic coincidences?! No wonder that little bastard behind the counter at my local Best Buy couldn't keep from giggling when he saw what I was purchasing. I had half a mind to vault the counter and pistol whip him so hard his future children are born mute, but I was in a hurry to get home and experience the famous Turner Row Synch-Up, which I now know is a dirty lie.

I'll tell you this much - if he giggles again when I return the album and the movie for store credit I'm gonna shoot him.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Another Great Way to be a Hero

Another tremendous way to be a hero is to save a girl from a rabid wolf, sustaining horrible injuries in the process, chain yourself to a tree for her protection and then die a slow, brutal death in front of her teary eyes.

Now Latigo Flint isn't saying that you should intentionally allow the hydrophobic beast to chew on you as you're beating it to death with a blunt object - not at all. On the contrary, if you happen to find it's possible to leap between the terrified lass and the creature's deadly, slavering jaws and dispatch it without a scratch, by all means take it. You'll be a lesser hero, true, but it ought to be good for at least a few rounds of appreciative copulation.

No, what Latigo Flint is saying is that you shouldn't get all down and depressed if the battle is initially pitched and the wolf happens to eat your elbow before you're able to crush its skull. Yes, you're now assured a slow, painful death, but don't take yourself out of the game by pouting on a riverbank and letting the yellow-eyed monster savage the pretty girl's femoral artery. You won the hero lottery the second that wolf ate your elbow, so get right back in there and finish beating that furry fiend to death with something blunt.

You're allowed an hour or two of Ultimate Hero Reward, which mostly consists of the lovely lady crying and tenderly brushing the hair from your damp forehead as she runs a warm, wet cloth all over your blood smeared body, but don't tarry too long - remember, you've got the hydrophobia coursing though your veins. Sooner rather than later you need to be chained to a tree with her under strict orders not to approach nearer than the length of said chain.

In between your maniacal fits of wild-eyed lurching blood lust, you'll probably have moments of faux-clarity, calm and pleading. This is most definitely a trick - she must not fall for it. It's your duty while still sane to plan for this contingency and advise her accordingly.

(And hey, if despite your warning she still falls for it and gets her lungs torn out when she tries to bring you a cup of water, so be it, you warned her. Plus everyone's got to know that those who are infected with rabies have an aversion to water... Hydrophobia... You know, it's right there in the name and whatnot.)

Be sure to find your human voice again in the last minutes before you die. Tell her it's up to her to live well, free and happy, she's living for two now. Tell her no regrets, you wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Tell her the morning sun when it's in her face really shows her age... You still with me? I was just testing you there; don't tell her that last one. Tell her in this moment you truly love her, and of all the possibilities, that's a pretty damn good one to end on.

(Oh and also pray that with your final spasm you don't involuntarily crap yourself, 'cause she'll try to pretend, as she's weeping and cradling your limp body, that the smell doesn't change her opinion of you or your heroism in the slightest, but in spite of herself it will.)