HAZMAT-RETRO HALL of LAME: Vienna Sausages …Good Enough for Lohan, Good Enough for You

You Know You Want to Eat at Least Two

You Know You Want to Eat at Least Two

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD FOOD FROM CHILDHOOD )

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: VIENNA SAUSAGES

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: In America, these dainties consist of the unspeakable parts of beef, pork and chicken combined with wiggly rat tails (for color), all thrown in a Secret Hadron Atom-Smasher located 5 miles beneath the earth near Vienna, Austria and transformed into pudgy little cylinders of Molded Maybe-Meat.

DEFINITIVE QUALITY: They come seven-to-a-can but you only need three to make a classic “Hobo sandwich” if you slice each l’il treasure in half! Ask any thrifty granny.

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Allegedly, Lindsay Lohan, now that she’s a bit down-at-heel, mashes these babies up with a plastic fork, taps the whole mess down into the only crystal bowl she hasn’t yet pawned and serves it to guests (her mother) as pate de foie gras. (Or, as she calls it: “PATTY day FOY grass”.) You need to learn from the Lohan.

WATCH AND DROOL!: Vienna Sausages — Delicacies to be Loved and Shared with Those You Love.

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD FANTASY CINEMA): Trolling for Ideas, Were We?

Troll flick

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD FANTASY CINEMA) by Jonathan Kieran

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: TROLL (1986)

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Noah Hathaway as “Harry Potter Jr.”; Michael Moriarty as “Harry Potter Sr.”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus as “Jeanette”; Sonny Bono as “Peter”; Shelley Hack as “Anne”; June Lockhart as “Elaine St. Claire”; Phil Fondocaro as “Malcolm Mallory” and “Torok” (titular troll).

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Whoah, is this stinker ever loaded with the Buckshot of Badness! Hoo-wee, is this flop also a Scattergun of Suspicion! You’ve got Elaine Benes from Seinfeld, Ben Stone from early Law and Order and Timmy’s mom from Lassie, along with “Chaz” Bono’s daddy and noted thespian Shelley Hack (among others) in a fantasy film about a wizard-turned-troll who bewitches a young girl who must be rescued by her brother, whose name is … er … Harry Potter. Harry Potter asks an old sorceress (Lassie’s Lockhart) to teach him magic in order to save Big Sis. Moreover, you’ve got fairies, nymphs, goblins, and elves thrown into the mix that constitutes Harry Potter’s magical challenge. Harry is eventually armed with a magic stick that shoots bolts of energy. Okay. Let’s just get it out in the open. Does it sound like someone-now-richer-than-the-Queen of England pinched a fair amount of inspiration from one of the worst fantasy movies ever made? (Picture it — a hypothetical coffee-shop in Britain, where a young lady pauses for an instant over her notebook and says: “Piffle and rubbish! Wot wot! Nobody’s ev-AH going to remem-bah that bloody awful bit of cinematic spotted dick!”) Hmmm. Whatever the case may be, Troll is a moribund magical masterpiece of bedraggled special effects, terrible performances, abominable ’80s hair (even, ostensibly, on the troll), and a plot as painfully awkward as Elaine’s dance moves on “The Little Kicks” episode of Seinfeld.

DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “I think what he’s doing is going from apartment to apartment and turning parts of this building into fairyland.”

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Um … the movie’s main character and hero, a wand-wielding wizard-in-training named “Harry Potter” … um … may have gone on to … um … a few “bigger” projects. Maybe.

LAMENTABLE LEGACY: Troll 2, Troll 3 and possibly staggering psychiatric bills for Michael Moriarty. Shame hurts. It hurts bad. Also, there are (and have been) some grouchy words and legal chain-rattlings over the (ahem) possibility that the identity of the real creator of the Harry Potter “character” is open to question. Personally, we at the HazMat think ol’ JK would have to have been a complete nincompoop to consciously “borrow” anything from this howler, much less her main character. And let’s face it: fantasy works of the “classic” type tend to share some universal similarities (wizards, witches, magical objects, old magicians, young magicians, hordes of fantastic creatures, etc.) no matter how respective plots or characterizations might differ.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: June Lockhart is NOT baking apple pies and serving collie-chow in the sky; she is still very much alive, THANK YOU. Michael Moriarty is some sort of “political refugee” in Canada. Sonny Bono is sadly no longer with us (Cher, however, remains). Julia Louis-Dreyfus writhes daily in a polished emerald tub filled with century-old Dom Perignon and worships at Our Lady of Resplendent Residuals. Noah Hathaway (“Atreyu” in 1984’s Neverending Story) was last seen in something called Mondo Holocausto! Shelley Hack is a sometime producer (see Zombie Blondes, 2012).

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: Harry Potter knows how to USE that wand!

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y/Lord of the Rings-y universal Good vs. Evil kind of way (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click will suffice. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. I really do. – Jonathan Kieran

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD MUSIC): WORK that Monkey-Coat Right ‘Round!

Pete Burns, lead singer of Dead or Alive sporting a natural evening "look".

Pete Burns, lead singer of Dead or Alive sporting a natural evening look.

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD MUSIC)

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: “You Spin Me (Like A Record)” by Dead or Alive (1985)

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Lead singer Pete Burns for imitating Boy George imitating a rabid chicken imitating a goat being skewered alive up the wazoo with a rotisserie-spit.

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: One of the most egregiously nauseating sonic pop-disturbances ever to assault human eardrums — BUT a Top 20 hit in the USA in 1985 and a ’round the clock (RIGHT ’round) staple of nascent MTV programming. Back in the day, there’s no telling how many people threw themselves in front of oncoming locomotives or, conversely, onto drug-saturated dance floors upon hearing the first cat-in-estrus chords of this Offense Against All that is Good and Holy. Probably equal amounts of both. Statistics are inconclusive.

DEFINITIVE LYRIC: “You spin me right ’round, baby, right ’round, like a record baby …”

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Burns was once married to a hairdresser and is reputedly popular in Japan. He was also featured on the British version of Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Oh, wait … the dude knew how to wear the hell out of a colubus monkey.

LAMENTABLE LEGACY: It appears there is a slim chance an identity crisis may perhaps exist, along with a possible penchant for life savings-depleting surgeries of the cosmetic (~ahem~) “enhancement” variety. Plus, the dude wore a coat made of monkeys. I mean, c’mon.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Hopefully, seeking intensive psychological treatment or converting to Sufi Islam. Godspeed.

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: Behold the spastic, herky-jerky display of neurotic neediness, the finger-wagging insouciance, the atrocious dancing, the third-rate drag bar lip-syncing/posturing, the utterly embarrassed back-up band members, and, of course, the disco ball (for gravitas).

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. I really do. – Jonathan Kieran

HazMat Headline Du Jour: Are Those Kidneys Sustainable? by Jonathan Kieran

CAUTION: Scientist at WorkEars for Supper?

HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Science Fiction Comes Alive as Researchers Grow Organs in Lab

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 9.5 (Catastrophic) There is every likelihood that, given current trends in abhorrent human behavior, human organs could soon be grown and packaged as popular snacks and “What’s for dinner tonight?” solutions, rather than for medical purposes.

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Scientists are using industrial detergents to basically frazzle-fry parts of dead human bodies and are then using the gray, globby, gelatinous leftovers to “grow” things like noses, ears, esophaguses (esophagi?), arteries, and tear-ducts in jars. These parts are then used to replace the diseased or missing organs of living humans.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: While these scientists want you to think that mass-market “organ-farming” will help sick humans and put the kibosh on reprehensible things like the harvesting of organs from murdered Brazilian street orphans, one expects that they’re lying and that the ultimate purpose of this work is to grow even more enormous breasts. That is always the (hidden) ultimate purpose of science. One suspects there will one day exist vast “boob farms” and that consumers shall one day be able to choose from “Hickory Farms Honey-Glazed” and “Nature’s Own Sustainable/Organic” organs. Either way, there’ll be a price to pay for admission to the ole Slippery Slope.

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “Nose scaffold for clinical use. Do not touch. Thank you, Lola.”

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: Young Frankenstein (1974) starring Gene Wilder, Teri Garr

MUSICAL REHAB: “My Skin” by Natalie Merchant

DETOX DINNER: Grilled Sweetbreads

FURTHER READING: Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Accounts of Nazi Experiments on Humans

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. – Jonathan Kieran

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL of FAME (LOVABLY UNDERRATED CELEBRITIES): Titian-Haired Temptress Tina Louise

Tina Louise Still Lovely in Her SEVENTIES!

Tina Louise Still Lovely in Her SEVENTIES!

Tina Louise in Her Salad-Days

Tina Louise in Her Salad-Days

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF FAME (LOVABLY UNDERRATED CELEBRITIES) by JONATHAN KIERAN

TODAY’S FORTUNATE HONOREE: TINA LOUISE (Actress, Singer, Author, Model, Humanitarian, Rival of Ockham’s Razor as Philosophical/Existential “Debate”)

PEDESTAL-WORTHY LEGACY: “Ginger” on TV’s excruciatingly immortal Gilligan’s Island; “Charmaine Wimpiris,” one of the original Stepford Wives; “Griselda” in God’s Little Acre; J.R. Ewing’s ill-fated secretary, “Julie,” on the original Dallas series; It’s Time for Tina album of scintillating pop standards; NYC Public School System literacy volunteer; Full 50% of the Universe’s Now-Permanent “Ginger or MaryAnn?” Conundrum!

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: SST:Death Flight and Evils of the Night — two worthy contenders for “So Bad It’s Hilarious” film-making DIM-MORTALITY. We forgive Tina thoroughly for these atrocities — it was probably a “transitional time” in her oeuvre.

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Red-headed bombshell/pin-up girl and musical-variety actress who tantalized audiences in the 1950s and early 1960s with a series of breakout roles and projects that eventually could not compete with her immortality-securing stint as “Ginger” the Hollywood vixen “castaway” on Gilligan’s Island. Louise’s role on the 3-season fluff-series made her a household name (and the fantasy-girl of millions of males) during the program’s initial run, but almost 50 years of worldwide syndication has made Tina Louise a certifiable legend. The “Ginger” role also, unfortunately, pigeon-holed her stardom, despite an actually impressive list of dramatic/comedic gigs underscoring this beauty’s versatility as a performer. She has worked with some of cinema’s finest directors (Altman, Rossellini) and starred alongside some of its most sought-after leading men (Johny Depp, Howard Keel, Jackie Gleason, Robert Ryan) while carving-out a “constantly-working” career that none of her fellow castaways could really match in terms of diversity or longevity. Lately, Louise has distinguished herself as an author of children’s books, a dedicated literacy volunteer, and is in fact the mother of well-known humorist/writer Caprice Crane. Louise’s 1957 It’s Time for Tina album of pop standards has been reissued several times to warm reviews and enthusiastic reception by fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Moreover, Tina still looks chic and lovely (and she’s gotta be close to –ahem– 80?). We are firmly “Team Ginger” here at the HazMat.

DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “Wahine wiki huki luki nu, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.” (“Ginger” on Gilligan’s Island)

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Tina Louise scooped up a Golden Globe trophy in 1957 as Best New Star for her well-received performance in the classic God’s Little Acre. She studied at the Actor’s Studio with the likes of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and is a lifetime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In the late 1990s, Tina was voted the No.2 “Most Iconic Sex Symbol in TV History” by TVLand viewers (just behind Heather Locklear). Take THAT, MaryAnn, with your coconut cream pies and pigtails!

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Tina lives and works in New York City, happily ensconced on the island of Manhattan, attending film premiers and fashion events. She spends a few days each week volunteering as a literacy advocate and is reportedly writing her autobiography. We can’t wait — this lady has seen it all in Hollywood and she’s seen it up at the sharp end.

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: You’ve all experienced Tina’s sexy juju on Gilligan’s Island, but here’s a gander at one of her other iconic, signature roles: Charmaine Wimperis on 1975’s legendary The Stepford Wives.

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. – Jonathan Kieran

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL of LAME (LOVABLY BAD CINEMA): Goo-Lovin’ Giants … In their Own Village!

vggiant

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD CINEMA)

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS (1965)

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Director: Bert Gordon with “Stars”: Beau Bridges, Tommy Kirk, Joy Harmon, Johnny Crawford, Ron Howard, Robert Random, Toni Basil, Vicki London, and other Assorted Aces of Awfulness

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Based (more loosely than a herd of rabid, wailing cows attempting to convincingly dance the Virginia Reel) upon H.G. Well’s novel, Food of the Gods, this colossal 1960s drive-in stinker tells the story of several wayward teenagers who gobble a mysterious (and ominously named) substance called “Goo”, transform into 30-ft. tall, adenoidal and acne-scarred versions of themselves, and proceed to wreak sweaty, giant-teenybopper havoc upon a God-fearing California town (it was still the 1960s, hence the combination of God-fearing + California). The film’s primary theme/purpose (aside from an attempt to illustrate the dynamic of teens getting the ultimate chance to rebel against “evil adults”) is, basically … humongous female breasts and the notion that humongous female breasts can be made exponentially larger simply with the addition of a goo-like substance. Clearly, Village of the Giants was ahead-of-its-time — practically oracular.

DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “I was big enough before!” (Joy Harmon, as “Merrie,” after she notices her new, unwieldy wrecking ball-sized ta-tas)

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: This film is considered a front-runner on many reputable “Worst Film in History” lists, but one cannot argue with the caliber of certain cast-members who would go on to genuine greatness. Beau Bridges and Ron Howard (who guest-stars straight out of his Opie-era days as the pint-sized Goo-inventing “Genius”) are the obvious big names hopefully scarred forever by shame because of Village of the Giants, but (once reduced to normal buxom dimensions) Joy Harmon went on to littler and better things, and most people remember the fabulous Toni Basil from her “Oh Mickey, What a Pity” chart-topping days. The movie has a special resonance for me because I actually got to know one of its hot-mama “giants” — the lovely Vicki London, who played Georgette. Today, Vicki has a wonderfully humorous attitude about her Bad Film Immortality, and went on to become one of California’s most successful realtors, as well as a motivational speaker, jewelry designer, and “transitional therapist.” She lives (under her real name) in the SF Bay Area and makes the most magnificent lamb chops you could ever hope to sink your teeth into. Va-Va-Va-VOOM!

LAMENTABLE LEGACY: This magnificently awful film was supposedly spoofed by the legends of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but no one seems to have reissued the original episode. That is lamentable. Truly.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Beau Bridges was last seen (at least by me) in drag in a hilarious episode of The Closer. Ron Howard dog-paddles in pools of Hollywood glitter and freshly minted $100 bills. We know about Vicki’s lamb chops. They all survived the disaster, apparently.

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: From the opening “mud-dance” super-classic scene to guest-musicians “The Beau Brummels,” you MUST behold the BADNESS to respect it and believe it.

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. – Jonathan Kieran

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD TV): Bionic Babe Rules Globe! ~by Jonathan Kieran

fembot dollsas dolljamie's housejamie dolls
*Two days of madness and drama. (Or was it five?) Nevertheless, back we arrive in the realm of cultural detoxification with a few modifications. Namely, I am introducing a new feature, a little more razzle to flesh-out the dazzle. A variation on the usual crap, basically. Without further ado …

HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF LAME (LOVABLY BAD TV)

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: THE BIONIC WOMAN (1976-1977, ABC) (1977-1978, NBC)

GUILTY OF VEHICULAR FANSLAUGHTER: Lindsay Wagner as “Jaime Sommers”; Richard Anderson as “Oscar Goldman”; Martin E. Brooks as “Rudy Wells”

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Cultural Greatness was apparently incomplete with a mere Six Million Dollar Man and therefore required a more expensive robot-woman with probably the most fabulous lady-hair in television history (too bad for you, Aniston) who could also defeat Bigfoot in hand-to-hand combat and outrun her own damn Bionic Dog. Gay children around the world were elated –and summarily doomed– by the introduction of the Begging-to-Launch-a-Name-Calling-Stigma “fembots” in Season Two.

DEFINITIVE DIALOGUE: “If that’s Shalon, she certainly has big feet. Oh no!”

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Lindsay Wagner snagged an Emmy Award as Best Actress in 1977 for her performance in the dual-role “Deadly Ringer” episodes wherein she played Jaime Sommers and trashy-wench imposter Lisa Galloway. (Insufferable footage, but skip to the 6:10 moment to see Lindsay get her Emmy). Wagner also was immortalized in action-figure (DOLL!) form, complete with multiple outfits, sweet “carriage house” living accommodations, and pretty decent plastic boobies. Studies are not conclusive, but experts believe the Bionic Woman doll enabled most gay boy-children to actually survive the 1970s.

LAMENTABLE LEGACY: Open to question. However, 9 out of 10 Disgruntled Mothers of 1970s Gay Boy-Children surveyed say: “The Bionic Woman made my boy gay and that bitch is the reason I don’t have grandchildren. I tell you what.”

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Wagner went on to become the “Queen of Miniseries TV” in the 1980s (Scruples, Princess Daisy, etc.) and starred in a string of somewhat ill-advised “Bionic Reunion” programs in the late-80s and early 1990s. These days she guides people towards the exact “Sleepnumbers” they never knew they possessed or needed and babbles a fair streak of garden-variety New Age gobbeldygook. But we love Lindsay Wagner almost as much as we love Jesus and we will BUY her funky beds and we will pay her to give us some hot meditation tips.

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: Any time you can get the immortal Sandy Duncan to guest-star on your show and the episode features a cast of character-names like “Nedlick”, “Dallet”, “Apploy,” and “Faler” you know you have bitten into the rich, delicious nougaty center of Badness. The lavender jumpsuits, pot-bellies, and ascots favored by the aliens are positively Smithsonian. “Attack, Sasquatch … Attack!”

Pop HazMat Alert: PETA Weeps Over Abused Pool-Shark from Van Nuys … Kmart Circles Wagons

sharkyvan nuys

HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Humane Group Probing Death of Shark in Kmart Commercial Shoot

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 9. 5 (Near-Catastrophic. Target would have handled this with so much more dignity.]

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Despite frenzied attempts at revivification via oxygen and shots of adrenaline, a 5-ft. white-tipped shark died of likely humiliation after spending an undetermined amount of time in a “small above-ground pool” in a Van Nuys, California backyard, being subsequently flown from Los Angeles to New York, and placed in a pool full of manic, cannonballing humans for the purpose of filming a Kmart television advertisement, which many wildlife experts consider to be the ultimate insult in the entire animal kingdom, probably. PETA representatives are slashing their forearms in angst with bats’ teeth and currently investigating the case of shark-abuse. “Whistleblowers” are involved. The late shark’s booking agency, Critters of Cinema, has refused comment due to confidentiality agreements. The shark’s identity has not yet been revealed pending notification of next-of-kin by officials.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: Anything forced to spend time in a shallow, above-ground backyard pool in Van Nuys, California, is probably not destined to survive long upon the earth. Let this be a lesson to sharks, shark-handlers and aspiring Kmart TV-commercial starlets and underwear models everywhere. Team PETA.

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “We were there. We did not allow any people in the pool with the shark.” (Karen Rosa, senior adviser to the Kmart film and television unit)

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: Jaws: The Revenge (1987) starring Lorraine Gary and, of course, Michael Caine.

MUSICAL REHAB: “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys

DETOX DINNER: IMITATION Shark-Fin Soup Recipe

FURTHER READING: Martha Stewart’s Kmart Trash

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. – Jonathan Kieran

Pop HazMat Alert: Don’t Make the Roach Ride in Coach!

Team-Cockroach

HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Greyhound Bus Forced to Pull Over After Cockroaches Complain About Infestation of Humans*

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 7.5 [Considerable. The cockroaches were not at all pleased with the quality of Greyhound’s human clientele and were worried about the spread of potential diseases, to say nothing of rather questionable moral standards.]

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: A Greyhound bus en route from Atlantic City to New York was forced to pull over in Park Republic when cockroaches complained to the driver about the exceptionally repulsive nature of that morning’s human passengers, likening the group of forty-eight people to an “infestation”. The bus driver assessed the situation, agreed thoroughly with the disgruntled insects, and phoned headquarters. Greyhound immediately sent a second bus to pick up the 9,672 cockroaches, who continued their travel into New York under what one roach described as “much more pleasant and satisfactory conditions.”

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: Sociologists and officials from the CDC may wish to work in tandem with state and federal boards, devoting their energies to exploring alternative modes of transportation if cockroaches are indeed finding it increasingly difficult to tolerate the presence of human travelers. Something has got to be done.

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “I honestly felt bad for them. Poor damn bugs. I mean, we get some mangy lookin’ characters on our routes pretty much all the time. Driver like me gets used to it, ya know? But this bunch today was above and beyond the call of duty. Hoo wee. Maybe I’ve gotten too desensitized over the years or something, ‘cuz even I had to agree when them cockroaches complained. I’ve never had this happen before. Never. I’m thinking it’s time to get that job with Carnival Cruise my wife keeps nagging me to look into. Then again, I hear the roaches won’t even take that line anymore. What’s the world comin’ to? Can you answer me that?” (Ralph Cramden, driver)

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: Bug Buster (1998) starring Randy Quaid and Katherine Heigl

MUSICAL REHAB: We Will Survive (The Cockroach Song) by Stuck in Detention

DETOX DINNER: Jamaican Stir-Fried “Couch-Cushion Prawns”

FURTHER READING: Are Humans Parasites?

*Clearly I’m in a cynical mood about the human race today, friends. That is not typically the case. The Greyhound bus headline, however, was begging for a twisted satirical treatment. For the real story (which wasn’t much of a story) click the headline link. Photo via pudkearns.blogspot.com

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~I have written a new series of contemporary fantasy/horror books about a cynical 2,000 year-old sorcerer stranded among mortals and forced to feel sympathy for humans when a nasty goddess plans a mass-extermination. You know … one of those “everyday” occurrences. My warlock’s name is Rowan Blaize, the books are the kind that adults (and even young adults) will find fiendishly delicious in that mythical Star Wars-y universal Good vs. Evil sense (with some twists, I admit) and you can buy them here, at Amazon, in Kindle or paperback format, a mere click away. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I care. – Jonathan Kieran

Pop HazMat Alert: Famous Old Maneating Reptile Dies in Philippines (Not Imelda Marcos)

lolong caught

HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: World’s Largest Saltwater Crocodile in Captivity Dies in the Philippines

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 7 [Reports indicate that the recently deceased tourist-attraction will be stuffed, shellacked, and replaced with two more animals destined to be taunted with stones, coins, and loogies until they, too, will themselves to perish after years in bleak captivity.]

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: “Lolong,” a 20ft. saltwater crocodile reputed to be world’s largest in captivity, finally got sick of eating malnourished ditch-rats on command while grinning for hordes of sweaty tourists and perished in the Philippine town of Agusan del Sur. Estimated to be over 50 years-old and weighing-in at 2,000 pounds, Lolong’s belly was observed to swell with a telltale “death bloat”, as if having swallowed a diseased platypus or perhaps even one of the lesser Kardashians — hairy, deformed-looking mammals likewise known for the potency of their venom and the ability to cause immediate gastrointestinal distress at a mere glance. Gargantuan croc subsequently flipped-over to drown in the throes of its own misery, not to mention its dismally fetid and shallow pool. Veterinarians summoned to no avail. Defibrillators and ancient Philippine remedy of “submersion in lukewarm water” prove useless. Nation in mourning.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: Unfortunately, residents of the town of Agusan del Sur were genuinely heartbroken at the loss of their captive croc, which had revitalized the community as a tourist attraction and source of civic pride. Their previous source of vitality and civic pride remains unclear at this time. On the bright side (for villagers) two newer and relatively sizable saltwater crocodiles are being transported to Lolong’s former Palace of Reptilian Splendor (i.e. dank concrete sluice) and it appears that the population of Agusan del Sur shall not crumble in a landslide of economic ruin, after all. It should be noted that Lolong was captured in 2009 after a child was killed and a fisherman went missing. Thus, when shedding tears for Lolong, let them be … crocodile tears. Circles of life often assume oblong shapes.

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “I’ve come to love that crocodile.” (Mayor Edwin Elord)

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: Lake Placid (1999) starring Mariska Hargitay and Betty White

MUSICAL REHAB: Imelda Marcos, ousted Dictatrix of the Philippines (who owned several pairs of shoes fashioned from the skin of Lolong’s ancestors), sings in honor of her favorite leftover dinosaur, husand Ferdinand. Bellissima.

DETOX DINNER: Barbecued Crocodile Steaks with Asian Flavors (Check your exotic food-supply market for Asians. BUY LOCAL!)

FURTHER READING: The Australian Database of Known Crocodile Attacks

(photo courtesy of AFP)

Pop HazMat Alert: American Birds Migrating (For Their Very Lives) to North Korea?

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HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: North Korean Film Claims Americans Eat Snow, Live in Tents, Shoot Children

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT:6.5 = Significant, particularly if North Koreans derived this intelligence from Dennis Rodman (see photo above).

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: North Korea, a nation with an infrastructure held together by masticated wads of Kleenex, several rolls of used Saran wrap and three tattered old Air Jordan shoestrings, is allegedly producing propaganda films suggesting that the United States has reached levels of dystopian ruin on a par with The Walking Dead. Aforementioned cinematic efforts also insinuate that our coffee-products are inferior, bird-life doesn’t stand a chance of survival in America and that Republicans actually exist in the state of Oregon.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: No ramifications, because the North Korean film-makers have the gotten the facts entirely wrong. Americans eat children, shoot at tents and live in snow. (I mean, hello?)

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “You’ll see there are no birds. They have been eaten by the people who live in these tents and corridors.”

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: Combover: The Movie (2005) … This one’s for you, Kim Jong Two

MUSICAL REHAB: “Excellent Horse-Like Lady” by North Korean pop star Hyon-Song-Wol

DETOX DINNER: “Mom, can we have BOSINTANG tonight?!”

FURTHER READING: Escaping North Korea by Mike Kim

(photo courtesy of BET.com)

Pop HazMat Alert: Don’t “Pet the Dolphin”!

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HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: 3 Killer Commando Dolphins from Ukraine on the Loose

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 2 & 1/2. Negligible, particularly if killer dolphins are armed with mines and speeding toward infamous Carnival Cruise ship, Triumph, AKA “Fabled Floating City of Fecalopolis.” Potential for positive cultural contribution significant.

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Lovable sea-mammals, approachable in New Age “swim-with-the-dolphins” pseudo-spiritual encounters, can likewise be trained to disembowel humans with Blades of Slashing Death affixed to snouts. Occasionally, these echolocating Agents of Assassination escape frigid Ukrainian waters and probably head to Florida.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: Miami vacations spoiled by great crimson pools of human chum.

TAKE-AWAY QUOTE: “The dolphins are highly trained, intelligent and can strike anywhere.” (Told ya)

THERAPEUTIC CINEMA: The Day of the Dolphin (1973) starring George C. Scott

MUSICAL REHAB: Theme song from TV’s immortal Flipper series. Suggested lyric changes that may cycle intrusively through your mind for the remainder of the week: “They call him Flipper, Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning. No one, you see, kills swifter than he … And you know Flipper lives in a world full of wonder, to slash your guts under, under the sea.” SING IT.

DETOX DINNER: Extra-cheesy casserole made with Bumblebee (“dolphin-safe”) tuna. Don’t forget the peas.

FURTHER READING: 6 Facts You Never Knew About Dolphins.

Brightbourne Media is hosting a special promotion on all three of the Rowan Blaize books in my Enchanted Heritage Chronicles Series. In fact, all three books are FREE for download to your AmazonKindle from now until March 15. Click on the links below to investigate and, no, there are no marauding dolphins featured in any of the books. There may, however, be a few magical bull-alligators and a bit of blood, here and there.

Rowan Blaize: Book One of the Enchanted Heritage Chronicles

Rowan Blaize and the Hand of Djin Rummy: Enchanted Heritage Chronicles Book II

Rowan Blaize and the Starbane Exile: Enchanted Heritage Chronicles Book III