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Category Archives: creepy

Creepy things and what not to do in the city: Amy’s Dad reports!

Two days until ADVENTURES! I’m getting totally antsy. Well, I’ve BEEN antsy. I’m getting antsy-ER. Also, guess what time I have to get up on Saturday. No, seriously, guess. FOUR A.M. I know! That is a real time! That people get out of warm beds! To DO things! I have to be at the train station at 6. I think that’s overkill since the train doesn’t leave until 7 or something but what if I didn’t show up when they told me to and they didn’t let me go? I WOULD BE SO CRUSHED. There might be weeping. Weeping! In the train station! The worst KIND of weeping! Well, airport weeping’s pretty bad, too. I’ve totally done airport-weeping and bus-station-weeping, but have not yet hit the trifecta and conquered train-station-weeping, so let’s stay away from that one, ok? Great. Good.

No weeping in the train station! It totally upsets the trains.

No weeping in the train station! It totally upsets the trains.

I have a strange Dad-story called AN ODD CREATURE.

Dad: I need you to investigate something for me.
Me: Like a gumshoe? Or on the internet? I could do either, but the second would be easier, only because I wouldn’t have to get off the couch.
Dad: People in the real world don’t say gumshoe.

I found this on the internet. I'm pretty sure this is most definitely a euphemism.

I found this on the internet. I’m pretty sure this is most definitely a euphemism.

Me: What world am I in, I wonder?
Dad: I don’t know the answer to that. YES, on the INTERNETS.
Me: Oh, I’m very good at the internet. What am I investigating?
Dad: I went to the wood lot the other day and there was this dirt all over the snow.
Me: I don’t know that I can internet-stalk dirt, Dad.
Dad: So I looked closely at that dirt. And it was NOT dirt. Guess what it was.
Me: This is mysterious. I really have no idea what dirt that is not dirt is.
Dad: SNOW FLEAS.
Me: What? Snow fleas? Snow fleas are a thing?
Dad: Yes. The SNOW is covered in FLEAS. Little black fleas. If you scoop them up they start moving. And also you can squish them.


Me: Well, doesn’t that sound like a fun afternoon activity. Do they bite you like fleas?
Dad: I don’t know. I didn’t give them a chance. I squished ’em.
Me: I am kind of grossed out by this right now.
Dad: I want you to investigate these fleas and also how they live on snow because that snow is cold.
Me: OK. I can investigate this. I seriously have never heard of snow fleas. I’ve heard of sand fleas, but not snow fleas.
Dad: They’re really a thing because I was squishing them today.
Me: I’ll see what the internet has to say. I’ll let you know.

I really didn’t think snow fleas were a thing. I know. I should probably trust my own dad, right?

SNOW FLEAS ARE A THING!

But they’re not really fleas. They’re springtails. Springtails! Teeny-tiny little insects that pop around by curling their tails under their butts and popping around. They are  not black, but very dark blue. And when it warms up they sometimes crawl out on the surface of the snow. The internet says they do this to look for food but I think a better explanation is that they do this just to be creepy.

*shivers*

*shivers*

Also, they remind me of earwigs. Andreas, you are our Science Fellow, are springtails akin to earwigs? And if so, do you think a springtail would climb in your ear and lay eggs? GROSS GROSS GROSS. (Don’t yell at me, Andreas, I know it’s an urban legend. That doesn’t mean it still doesn’t give me the heebie-jeebies.)

*DOUBLE shivers*

*DOUBLE shivers*

Also, Wikipedia tells me that snow fleas have some sort of natural antifreeze that sciency-types are investigating to see if it can be used for organ transport and possibly (and strangely) ice cream. Please don’t put snow flea guts in my ice cream, people. I find this fascinating, mostly because I love sciency things.

So I called Dad and let him know about the snow fleas.

Me: Snow fleas are not fleas! They are SPRINGTAILS! And they have antifreeze in their tummies! Did you get the link I sent you?
Dad: I clicked on that link. You’re lucky it wasn’t porn. Your mother doesn’t let me click on porn.

Oh no!

Oh no!

Me: Why would…why the HELL would I have sent you porn in the guise of researching snow fleas? That doesn’t sound like me at all.
Dad: I’m just telling you, your mother wouldn’t like that, and also it would give me a virus, probably.
Me: Yeah, herpes.
Dad: HERPES. That is a good one. Because it’s like a sex-virus. You’re quick.
Me: I know. I learned from the best. ANYWAY, this conversation has taken an odd turn. SPRINGTAILS! ANTIFREEZE-BELLIES!
Dad: I like how you’ve turned bugs into cartoon characters.
Me: They totally are. Don’t squish them anymore. They have magic antifreeze!
Dad: You should ask the internet why they’re in my wood lot.
Me: The internet is often not that specific. I can’t just say, “Why are snow fleas in my dad’s wood lot, interweb?”
Dad: Maybe someday you can. The internet might get smarter someday.
Me: You’re the one who’s always worried it’s TOO smart and also controlled by the government and getting in our brains.
Dad: IT IS.
Me: Um…then I rest my case? I guess?

Then Dad had some helpful advice for my upcoming trip to the City. VERY HELPFUL.

Dad: When you go to that city, you shouldn’t go to the subway, because that’s where people push you onto the tracks. And you shouldn’t also go on the streets, because that’s where people shoot you with guns but they won’t let you have big sodas. Also don’t go places like buildings, because sometimes they get bombed or robbed. And also don’t go in the park because serial killers. And don’t go in restaurants because everything is much too expensive so maybe bring a granola bar. And don’t drink the water because you’ll catch diseases. Probably liberalism. MORE liberalism, I mean.

Dad should probably do one of these, he seems to know about what's up there.

Dad should probably do one of these, he seems to know about what’s up there.

Me: So…I should go to the City and stay in the train station?

Dad: Oh. Oh, no no. Train stations are bad news. Almost as bad as subways. There are panhandlers there. Best to just stay home.

There you have it: Dad’s advice for a fun trip to the City. DON’T GO.

(Don’t worry. I’m still going. I can’t even wait. I’m not even counting the days anymore. I’m counting the HOURS now. I’m very very excited. I’m bouncy like…a springtail! I AM TOTALLY BOUNCY LIKE A SPRINGTAIL WITH A SPRINGY BUTT!)

I hope no one squishes me, yo, that’d be the worst, right?

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I’ve come this far, but even so, it could be yes, it could be no…

Whew! Auditions are done, show is cast, most of my crazy week is almost done! Auditions are always kind of exciting, you know?

Not my theater. Just A theater. But this is kind of what our auditions look like so I’m STEALING it.

Everyone shows up, all excited and bright-eyed, and you get to watch them (hopefully! usually!) putting their best foot forward, and then you get to cast some of them in a show! And that’s the best thing, you get to tell people they’re cast. (SIDE NOTE! The only time I ever got to call someone and offer them a part, I was SO EXCITED. See, it’s the director’s job to do that. Because it’s a kickass job. It’s fun, the person’s all excited, etcetera, etcetera. So my friend K. asked me to call someone and offer her a part. I WAS SO STOKED! I got to call someone and offer her a part! And I was all YES I WOULD LOVE TO! So I did, and guess what happened, no seriously, guess what? SHE DID NOT WANT THE PART. No! I am SERIOUS! It was an AMAZING part, and the funniest part in the show – not the biggest, but totally the comic relief – and she was all NOPE. You could HEAR the sneer in her voice.

SNEEEEEEER.

She wanted one of the bigger parts. Which she was too old for and wouldn’t have worked for her at all. Also the part was a lesbian and she was like, “my husband’s a big deal in the community so people wouldn’t like it if I played a GAY PERSON.” So I had to call K. all, “she said no?” and when I told her why, K. was all, “UGH DEAD TO US” and I agreed – K. and I are very simpatico, yo – and we offered the part to someone else. And listen! Sometimes the stars align. Because the person we gave the part to? WAS that role. She was PERFECTION. She was hysterical, she was sympathetic, she was gorgeous, she was a joy to work with, she totally lit up the stage every time she walked on, and she’s still one of my favorite theater people and when I see her she gives me these huge fierce hugs. Oh, also? SHE PLAYED A LESBIAN WITHOUT BEING ONE! I know ZOMG, right? Heh. She had to eat a BILLION TONS of food onstage every night. Like, a BILLION TONS. I’m totally exaggerating. But lots. Her character was supposed to be nervous, so she had to eat all the finger foods at this wedding. So every night, I had to make this huge plate of like olives and berries and brownie bits and cheese and things that wouldn’t crunch and she could eat quickly and say her lines.

EAT ALL THE THINGS, A.! (Her name was A.) EAT THEM ALL! While ACTING! (She truly and well rocked my face off every single night.)

[SIDE NOTE WITHIN A SIDE NOTE: due to some terrible experiences, K. and I, every year, look at the list of shows we’re going to do and are all, “UGH THIS ONE HAS FOOD.” We hate shows with food in them. Seriously. All you have to say to K. is “remember the eggs?” We had TWO shows with eggs. We have MULTIPLE BAD MEMORIES OF SHOW-EGGS. Eggs, left even a day, SMELL, you guys. Never do a show with eggs. Also, if you are watching a show and eggs are involved, please give kudos to the stage crew; they deserve them.] She didn’t even complain! Not at all! Except she asked for more fruit and less brownies, because she was worried she would get fat. Hee! She’s about as big as a minute. I love her. ANYWAY! This isn’t even a side note. It’s like a whole blog post of its own. I tried to offer someone a part once, they declined in a weird way, and we ended up winning in the best possible way, so it ended ok after all. END OF THE STORY.)

Let’s start a new paragraph. Palate-cleansing-like. Anyway, the WORST part of auditions is sending out the regret email. Because then you’re crushing people’s hopes and dreams and I hate that part.

I hate making people sad-clown. Also, I hate sad-clown. SORRY YOU GUYS.

I mean, yeah, sure, not everyone in the world can get a part, I know, I KNOW IT, but it still is my least favorite. (I hate it especially much when I have to send regret emails to people I’ve worked with before and I love to death. That kills me. Because I LOVE them. And they are WONDERFUL. And I want to HUG THEM UNTIL THEIR HEADS POP OFF and they are JOYS to work with and they are SO SO TALENTED. But it’s not my call, it’s the director’s call…and who am I to say who he picked isn’t right for the show? The cast he picked is absolutely wonderful. There aren’t enough parts to go around. It’s the nature of the beast. I hate hurting my friends, is what it boils down to.) There are three types of people who audition (well, other than the ones we cast, of course): a., people who are very good and almost make it, but not quite; b., people who are kind of middle-of-the-road, but not delusional, and they know they’re not going to get the part when they see the talent they’re up against (this was me most of the time I acted, I can admit it); and c., people who are DELUSIONAL AND THINK THEY ARE THE BEST ZOMG.

Luckily, this time around, we didn’t get any Delusional Diedres. Or Delusional Dereks, I guess. Everyone was calm. We’ve had some weirdos in the past. I don’t want to…um…what if they’re reading…I can’t call ’em out. Rude rude rude. Um, well, what can I say. We’ve had crying in the lobby. We’ve had people who DEMAND to read for another role after we tell them we’ve seen everything we need to see from them and they can go home. We’ve had people send me mean, mean emails in reply to my VERY NICE regret email. (Yes, yes, I know it’s still a rejection, even though it’s a regret email…but be GRACIOUS. There aren’t as many parts as auditioners. There never are. And even if there are, some people aren’t right for roles.) We’ve had people show up for auditions who are forty years too old for the part and be SO UPSET when they weren’t cast. We’ve had people show up blitzed-off-their-face drunk and almost fall off the stage. Once someone (who I think was…um…home-challenged? FINE I THINK HE WAS HOMELESS HE HAD A SHOPPING CART FULL OF CANS AND ALSO FOR SOME REASON CARPET REMNANTS, NO, I am NOT making fun, I am AWARE I am almost homeless myself, thank you very much, I AM REPORTING JUST THE FACTS) showed up with a bunch of weeds and was all, “here are some flowers, cast me!” and they were CRAWLING with bugs and I was all immediately bug-covered and I was trying SO HARD not to scream and was like “thank…you?” and when he went into the theater (after asking me to watch his cart) I threw the weeds into our backyard and washed my hands a billion times.

Here are some purty flowers for you purty lady I am a cast member now?

Oh, and once a lady body-checked me into a wall because she was walking into auditions but not auditioning, and I didn’t know if that was ok with the director, so I asked her to wait a second while I ran in and asked, and she was crazy with lipstick that went outside of the lines, and she said “I WAS TOLD IT WAS OK BY THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR!” (I’m the artistic director) and body-checked me into the wall and ran in. Then came back out a few minutes later with a handful of gum-papers and rolled-up programs and tissues and said, “I found this on the floor in there; it is trash. Hold out your hands, I’ll give it to you,” and I was like, “Um. No. Garbage can. There,” and she was all “HUFF HUFF TRYNA DO A NICE THING HERE.”

This woman needed to go into the penalty box. What, you think I don’t know it’s called the penalty box? I totally surprised you. You’re WELCOME.

So…yeah. I know you’re all thinking I’m super-glamorous and I’m wearing all black and a beret and oh, I don’t know, snapping to show approval like a beatnik and shit, but really we sometimes have to deal with a lot of lunacy. And the BEST part is we have to be nice because we can’t piss off a potential patron because theater is not rolling in dough, you know. So you deal with the craziness and you paste on a smile. A BIG OLD SMILE. And then sometimes you run into the kitchen and you hide behind the fridge.

NOT ME. Except for kind of the glasses.

But also let’s say 98% of the time it is totally awesome. And I do own a beret. I don’t wear it, but I own it. I got it at this awesome thrift store and it was totally brand-new and it’s wool and it has a little dragonfly on it and it was three DOLLARS. I mean, even to never wear it I had to buy it. I WANT MY THREE DOLLARS.

I WANT MY THREE DOLLARS!!!!

Anyway, I sent out the regret emails and we’re all cast with a great cast and the show’s going to be wonderful. And I so so SO hope that some of the people come back and audition for our next show which I’m stage managing because this show only had 4 people, and our next show has LOTS of people, and also I’m stage managing it and there was a LOT of talent at auditions and I’d like some of that on my stage in February!

OK, this is getting long and I have things to do like watch Project Runway and eat a popsicle and pet Dumbcat who got a billion times needy for no apparent reason today and also hid in the pots and pans cupboard and meowed from INSIDE there today and made me think my kitchen was haunted. Happy day, cactus flowers! Do something fun!

(Title from “I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line…which has one of my favorite auditioning songs, “Dance 10, Looks 3.” Hee!)


What’s for lunch? Delicious moths? Um. No, no thanks. I’m good.

It’s going to have to be random-crap-I-found-on-the-interwebs-day because my brain is a little scattery at the moment. Sorry. BRAIN FULL OF SCATTERY! I blame Congress.

First (and I apologize I can’t put the pretty video in; DAMN YOU COMEDY CENTRAL!) you all seem to have OLYMPIC FEVER! so this will make you happy. It totally made me shout laughter. “I think I might have piaffed a little; I need a towel” had me in tears. Also, horse! A super-pretty horse! Which seems a little skittish, but, still! PRETTY HORSE! Shut up, I’m still a girl who likes horsies at heart.

I like how prancey they are. SO PRANCEY.

Next: the grossest thing EVER. Fine, fine, potentially just for me.

OK, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I totally have a moth phobia. I think they’re beautiful, don’t get me wrong. And I don’t kill them when I encounter them. I just find their fat furry bodies and dusty wings to be repulsive, and sometimes they fly into you and hit you with their bodies and that is UNEXPECTED and it is SO ICKY. They give me the shivers. Also, one time I was driving on a work-errand and my back was itchy and so I reached up the back of my shirt to itch and THERE WAS A HUGE MOTH IN MY SHIRT and I almost got in a wreck trying to get that thing out of there and also drive. UGH.

Ugh, look at the furry body. Just LOOK at it. Shudder.

I found this article the other day that is ALL ABOUT MOTHS. And, ew ew ew EW. I think the point of the post was that we were supposed to be all “WHOA MOTHS ARE THE COOLEST!” but mostly I was all “REMEMBER THAT TIME A MOTH WAS IN MY TOP?” and got all shivery.

Some things that freaked me right the hell out about this article:

“The Atlas Moth, of Southeast Asia, considered the largest in the world, has a wingspan of nearly a foot (30 centimeters) — more than that of a Baltimore oriole.” NEARLY A FOOT! You GUYS! That is as long as a RULER! What if THAT had gotten down my top? I WOULD HAVE DIED SO HARD. Ugh ugh UGH.

Look how big this moth is compared to those hands. JUST LOOK. I am dying inside a little at the moment. WHY IS THIS PERSON TOUCHING THESE MOTHS.

“To avoid being eaten, some moths have evolved to look like less palatable insects, such as wasps, tarantulas and the praying mantis. Some moths even mimic bird droppings.” I don’t like this kind of TRICKERY, moths. What if I’m all walking along and I think, well, gross, look at all this poo on the ground, oh, well, have to walk, no choice, and it’s all TRICKY-ASS MOTHS? I WOULD NOT LIKE THAT SHIT AT ALL. No pun intended.

This moth looks like tree bark. What if you leaned on the tree and then it was all MOTH TIME? NO NO NO!

“In some parts of the world, moths are a major food source for people too.” UGH NO. They’re all FURRY! They would get stuck in your THROAT! You would hack and COUGH with a throat full of TICKLISHNESS and FUR!

Then I found THIS whole ball of crazy, and that made me laugh until I coughed (like I had a throat full of moths, probably.)

So the scoop is, this professor at Arizona State University (that’s in Phoenix! Who’s also in Phoenix? BFF is! So it’s like HE is the one who found this very important discovery! What, shut up, it totally is), using a camera attached to an “orbiter” (I’m assuming…that’s some sort of satellite of some sort?), was able to get a visual on the flags planted in the surface of the moon from the space missions. That’s kind of cool, right? The only one that they were not able to get a visual on was the one from Apollo 11, and apparently Buzz Aldrin had said he was pretty sure that one was knocked over exhaust when Apollo 11 was leaving the moon. I think this is all very cool! Cool beans, professor from ASU!

I mean, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that this is a flag on the moon. But I trust the ASU professor. He’s from BFF’s town, why would he lie to me?

HOWEVER. STILL, many many MANY years later, there are people who think ALL OF OUR MOON LANDINGS were government conspiracies, and that it was all staged, and their explanation for these flags? MEN IN BLACK CONSPIRACY THEORY X-FILESSSS! Or that (of course) the whole thing was faked, via Photoshop, because of course.

See? It was all filmed in a STUDIO, of course! A STUDIO! LIES! LIIIIEEEESSSS!

Here’s my question. WHY would anyone have made up moon landings? Who would it benefit? What a long-running scam the government has run on all of us! How well they have hidden the TRUTH from us for all of these years! (I think it’s hysterical the government can’t do ANYTHING right, but they can totally hide aliens/moon landings/all manner of Mulderian nonsense from us and carry that off like CHAMPS. Maybe apply that to other areas of the government? That’s be a smart move.)

Mulder’s not falling for this falsehood, no no no.

This is a video of what happens when you accuse Buzz Aldrin of making up walking on the moon. IT IS THE BEST THING EVER.

PUNCHED THAT DORK IN THE FACE, YO. Don’t you get in Buzz Aldrin’s face. Don’t you even dare.

Whenever I think of the moon or moon landings or astronauts, I get this video in my head and I laugh until I almost die. Seriously, this has remained one of the funniest things I’ve seen on Saturday Night Live almost ever. I love this to death.

MOON!

Then finally I found this and it’s totally a Dr. Seussian animal kingdom thing, don’t you even tell me it isn’t.

Apparently dolphins are all cliquey, like Mean Girls, and also they are like the Star-Bellied Sneetches because some have stars upon thars. Except by “stars” I of course mean “sea sponges on their faces.”

Stars upon thars!

Were you all aware of this? That some dolphins wear sea sponges on their faces to help them hunt, and some don’t, and they learn it from their dolphin-moms? I LEARNED IT FROM YOU, MOM. I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU.

For no reason at all, this makes me laugh. A lot. What are dolphins hunting FOR that they need sponges on their noses? Dirty dishes?

So the sea-spongey dolphins hang with other sea-spongey dolphins, and the non-sea-spongey dolphins hang with the OTHER sea-sponge-absent dolphins, and I’m assuming someday, Sylvester McMonkey McBean will show up with his Sponge-Off Machine and ALL THE DOLPHINS WILL GET ALL MIXED UP and realize important lessons about themselves, and also probably racism or religious tolerance because that’s what Sylvester McMonkey McBean teaches us (and the dolphins) about.

Sylvester McMonkey McBean!

Oh, also, this only holds true for FEMALE dolphins. Hence the Mean Girls. MALE dolphins aren’t hanging out in their underwater man-cave with sponge-faces. Male dolphins are all doing their thing on their own like MEN RAWR! Female dolphins are HANGING OUT and probably GOSSIPING with CLICKING and I’m also going to assume EXCLUDING other dolphins whose sponges aren’t the right COLOR or SHAPE or THIS YEAR’S MODEL OR STYLE. Or probably also dolphins with braces, acne, or bad dolphin-perms.

Her hair is full of SECRETS.

I worry about the dolphins who are getting mean-dolphined. I think probably they need a support group. I’m going to hope it’s run by a wise sea turtle. Probably Crush from Finding Nemo. He’s not doing much at the moment and he was so chillllll, yo.

See? Wouldn’t he be the best mentor for the bullied dolphins? Sure he would.

There, all kinds of weird random internet crap. I think I might need ADD medication. Or to get out of the house more. Or both. Maybe both.


I don’t know what to believe anymore, Scully. These people sure love their stories.

Today, we need to talk about a very serious subject, and that subject is MONSTERS.

No, not this kind of monsters. Anyway, he’s a sellout now. He’s the VEGGIE monster now, The Nephew tells me. Sigh.

I am a huge fan of cryptozoology. This is because I like the following: mysteries; animals; and MONSTERS. Also people that take crazy things too seriously. That always makes me laugh.

I think I’ve told you this story before, but I’ll tell you again, in case I didn’t (or in case it happened a long time ago): one time, I totally got to see a CHUPACABRA.

Hee! I almost totally got chupacabra, dude.

My friend C. and I went to the local fair once, and it’s not the fanciest fair, but I always like going to the fair. Here are things I like at the fair: fried dough; that game you can play where you throw a ball into a bingo board with holes in it and can win VALUABLE PRIZES (i.e. crappy knife sets and travel mugs that leak); seeing (and secretly petting, if no one’s looking) the animals in the farm barns; the craft tents (I’m a total sucker for crafts, I can’t even help myself); and, if I’m really, really lucky, and it’s a totally scuzzy fair, the sideshow tents.

YAY FAIR!

They’re not sideshows like sideshows used to be with bearded ladies and fire-eaters and things, because I think that might be frowned upon now. But sometimes there are totally entertaining things and you can see them for like a DOLLAR. Who’s willing to pay a dollar for the sight of weird things? ME ME ME, is who!

TOTALLY worth it!

So at the fair like ten years ago we saw many interesting things, like the lady who was half-snake, half-lady, which would have been more believable if she wasn’t sticking her head out of a cement snake-coil (and listen, C. and I laughed until we almost peed our pants when we ran into some friends of hers and the guy said he’d seen the snake-lady and yelled to her, “Wiggle your tail!” and she’d GLARED at him) (OH SIDE NOTE! Snake Lady was TOTALLY DIRECTING TRAFFIC when we were leaving the fair! And she was totally not even half a snake. She had legs and everything. RIP-OFF! RIP-OFF! So I had my car windows open because it was very hot and I was all, “HOLY HELL! THAT IS SNAKE LADY!” and she SNAPPED her head around and GLARED and me and C. and I totally drove away all fast and gasping with laughter. This was the best trip to the fair ever, no joke.)

This was TOTALLY the kind of tent, too. So misleading.

ANYWAY, I’m burying the chupacabra lead here. So we went into a tent that was all “there are many WONDERS in here but most WONDROUS is an AUTHENTIC CHUPACABRA!” and I was all, “C., I totally want to see a chupacabra! That IS wondrous” and she was like, “You are CORRECT” so in we went. (Were you wondering if C. is the best? Stop wondering, she is.)

Oh, in case you’re wondering, a chupacabra is like a Mexican vampire goat-sucker creature and the internet says it looks like this.

…and if the internet says it, you know it’s true.

(SIDE NOTE AGAIN! One time, Dad was talking about some animal in his wood lot that he didn’t know what it was, and I said, “Oh, probably it was a chupacabra” and he was like “No it was not. What is a chupacadabra.” And I said, “It is a Mexican vampire goat-sucker that may or may not exist. IT IS VERY SCARY. Not chupacadabra. It’s not a magic word. ChupaCABRA.” And he said, “I don’t think it was a chalupacobra, it didn’t even look like a snake OR Mexican food OR a vampire, and there are no goats for it to suck at the wood lot.”)

Chalupa! Cadabra! Cobra!

So we went into THE TENT OF THE CHUPACABRA, and it was filled with grainy photos of things that they said were REAL MONSTERS like the Loch Ness Monster and such, and jars of milky fluid with things floating in them they SAID were like two-headed cows but could really have been anything because the fluid was so opaque, so pretty much C. and I were all sarcastically “OOH AHH”ing everything we saw, because I’d seen more impressive displays at a high-school haunted house. Then we got to the end and there was a chicken-wire cage, and I was all “THERE IS THE CHUPACABRA!” and got very excited. Only there was nothing in the cage. And there was a HUGE HOLE in the bottom of the cage.

The cage looked like this, only the bottom was ALSO chicken-wire. With a chupacabra-sized hole in the bottom.

“Huh. Guess it escaped,” C. said, in a very dry tone, and I got one of the worst cases of giggles I’d ever gotten in my LIFE.

On our way out, the bored ticket-taker guy was telling irate chupacabra-seekers “Oh, SO sorry, I guess the chupacabra ESCAPED, no refunds” and I seriously giggled through the entire rest of the fair. BEST FAIR TRIP EVER. I really have to go back to the fair someday. I love that place. Next summer. When I’m gainfully employed and not a drain on society. I promise, future-Amy! To the fair we will go! Let this post serve as a REMINDER!

Anyway, WHOO, that was the longest intro for a post in the history of EVER. So the other day, I started seeing posts about a MONSTER that had washed ashore in New York City. Well, shit. I like monsters! So much!

MONSTER!

The New York Parks Department was all, “this is a pig that someone discarded on the beach after a cookout gone awry” and threw it away, but as you can see in the photo, pigs don’t usually have LONG FIVE-FINGERED FEETSIES, NY Parks Department. What kind of pigs are you cooking and discarding on the beach, you guys?

See? These are pig-feet. HOOVES. Pigs have HOOVES. Not FINGERS.

So now the whole internet’s a’buzzin’ about the Manhattan Monster and what IS it, and is it a CHUPACABRA?!??!? (See, if that damn fair-chupacabra hadn’t escaped, I could help with this identification, ugh, thanks a LOT, fair) but most people that know such things think it’s a dog or a raccoon that was submerged for a long time because apparently that makes all the hair fall off something’s body and it all bloat up and therefore look all gross like this.

(I totally want to call Dad and tell him they found a chupacabra in Manhattan but mostly I know what his response would be: “Of course they did. That place is FULL of Mexican food.”)

Then my investigation into the MANHATTAN MONSTER led me to this: the MONTAUK MONSTER. I’d really be an excellent internet researcher. Is that a job? If so, how do I apply for that?

ANOTHER MONSTER! We’re all about monsters here in New York. Rarrr.

Apparently back in 2008, this MONSTER was discovered in Montauk (that’s at the tip of Longuyland, you guys, if you want to say it like a local) and it kind of looks like it has a beak, so everyone was (again) all CHUPACABRA (what about “Mexican” goat-sucker vampire beastie is confusing to you all? We are not IN Mexico, why do you think everything is a chupacabra?)…

See? See how far we are from Mexico, amigos and amigas?

…but many people were called in to investigate and, again, they decided it was a waterlogged raccoon and it only looked like it had a beak because of decomposition. Again, it disappeared before anyone could do any closer investigation. I call total shenanigans on all this MONSTER-disappearance. I watched a LOT of X-Files in my misguided youth. I KNOW ABOUT GOVERNMENT COVERUPS YOU GUYS.

See? I found this book and everything. It’s totally a thing.

Then THAT investigative research I did led me to ANOTHER MONSTER. This one’s in Canada. I don’t talk enough about Canada, so I was very pleased that I got to include a CANADIAN monster. Hi, Canadian readers! You have a monster, too!

The CANADIAN monster is called a omajinaakoos (that means “ugly one” and is that not a FANTASTIC word? Yes, yes it is) and it washed ashore in a small town in Northern Ontario called – ready for another gorgeous word? – Kitchenuhmaykoosib in 2010. Here’s what it looked like:

…and ANOTHER monster! Whoo, SO MANY MONSTERS!

If you click on that link above, the article totally makes me laugh because the title is “‘Monster’ washes ashore in Canada: Is it the Chupacabra? No, it’s probably just a decomposed mink.” Heh. Way to shit on those people’s chupacabra parade, Christian Science Monitor.

So, yeah, AGAIN, everyone was all, “IT IS THE CHUPACABRA!” but also they were all “it is the legendary creature the omajinaakoos!” and people were called in to investigate and they were, AGAIN, all party-poopers and said it was probably a decomposed mink. SIGH. We are NEVER going to find the chupacabra ALL THE WAY NORTH LIKE THIS at this rate.

Aw, mink! I bet Andreas hates minks. He doesn’t like weasel-beasties.

So what have we learned today, my little cryptozoologist research assistants? Well…um…nothing. No, no. That’s not true. We DID learn that whenever something washes up on the shore, it looks like a chupacabra, no matter WHERE it washes up. Also, that a long submersion in the water does WEIRD-ASS things to a critter. WEIRD-ASS THINGS. Like making them look like chupacabras. And people really, really, REALLY want to believe in chupacabras. So, so badly. But if you happen to be walking along the beach all fleet-footed and fancy-free and come across a gross dead thing, here is my advice for you.

  1. DO NOT TOUCH IT. Dead things are gross and you don’t know where they’ve been.
  2. Feel free to take a lot of photos. Photos are awesome and also maybe you can sell them to places and make a little cashola, I don’t know.
  3. If you can think of a way to keep the dead thing, then do it, but don’t TOUCH the gross dead thing. Like, maybe get a shovel or a doggie bag or something. ’cause, gross. Because if you call the authorities about the dead thing, you’ll never see it again. The authorities are all COVERING THAT SHIT UP. CAHOOTS! CAHOOTERY!
  4. Do not immediately assume that thing is a chupacabra. You’re going to look like a weirdo. Well, unless you’re in Mexico. Then I guess you can come to that assumption more readily than if you were in, say, New York or a town with an awesome name in Canada.
  5. Come to Lucy’s Football and tell me all about the dead thing, because I LIVE for this shit. I LOVE IT SO.
  6. Tell the story of the time you found a super-awesome beach-thing forEVER. That’s your claim to fame now! You’re the dead-creature-finder! You’re FAMOUS*! (*you might not really be famous)

Happy Thursday, explorers of the dark side of science! Keep your eyes peeled! If all else fails, it can’t hurt to play this, my favorite X-Files themed song ever! (Bee tee dubs, Mulder and Scully totally investigated the chupacabra in the episode “El Mundo Gira” but it wasn’t a chupacabra, either. It was an out-of-control athlete’s foot fungus. YOU’RE WELCOME.) Oh, yeah, well, this looks like it’s a Jerry Springer episode but I promise you it’s actually a very very very VERY awesome song. You’ll love it. When have I led you astray, jellybeans?


There is a hell, and it is populated by puppets.

It’s something we do, as adults, to reminisce about our childhoods. How wonderful it was. How everything was better then; more innocent, the days longer, no responsibilities, no worries, no cares.

So freeeeeeeee…

We tend to forget that childhood is a minefield full of terror and we’re lucky to get out alive.

There are a lot of terrifying things when you’re a child. Television shows that you don’t quite understand and therefore scare you, full of naked adults and people shouting and violence; the rumors of what happens once you get to high school, with the mean teachers and  mean other kids and ALL THAT HOMEWORK; and then of course there are puppets.

What? Puppets?

Yes. Puppets.

When I was a kid, there were very few things that were more frightening than puppets. And they’re for children, you see. They’re supposed to entertain children. Some sadistic son-of-a-bitch created these things, labeled them “for children,” and then sat back and reveled in the fear they engendered in the youth of the world. Well, there’s not ALL for children, but adults think they’re ok for children, because they’re just PUPPETS, so they feel safe entrusting their children with them. BIG MISTAKE BUB.

I don’t know what’s so frightening about puppets. The same thing that’s so frightening about clowns, I guess. You can’t see the face of the person who’s running them so you don’t know their true intention. The scary ones look murderous and maniacal. They have voices full of lunacy that are just a touch too high. Their stubby little arms flail without rhyme or reason. And they seem like they would pop up alongside your bed in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep, saying, in their too-high voice, “Here I am, Amy! Want to give me a hug? How about a kiss? How about a nice kiss? WITH MY SHARP SHARP TEETH?”

Now, I don’t hate all puppets. I’m fine with marionettes. Of course, the Muppets are fine. As mentioned the other day, I didn’t mind most of the puppets on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I wasn’t scared of anything on Sesame Street. Shari Lewis and Lamp Chop were ok, but she was kind of weird. (That baby-voice was offputting.)

Also, she wore way too much eye makeup.

But then there were the other things.

Wayland Flowers and Madame. Do you remember this? If you’re young, you might have missed out on this wonder altogether. This was pretty popular when I was a little one, like in the 70s and 80s. Madame was TERRIFYING. sj and I were talking about this just the other day. Look at that FACE. Wayland Flowers was EVERYWHERE for a while. With this stupid, loud, bawdy puppet. Here, in case you were too young, you can see what I’m talking about, and why this would have been terrifying for a child.

(Yes, I know, this is awesome because Bea Arthur. But look at that terrifying puppet! With her clacky mouth and her feathery feathers and her stupid sex jokes! She made me VERY NERVOUS as a child. VERY VERY NERVOUS. And you never knew where she’d pop up! You’d be watching television and all would seem fine and BAM! THERE WOULD BE MADAM!)

Shudder.

Then there was this movie. Have you seen this movie?

Aw, look how young Anthony Hopkins was. That’s the only nice thing about this. I can guarantee you that.

This is a movie about a crazy person named Corky (Hopkins) whose insanity manifests through his terrifying ventriloquist dummy, “Fats” (who, as you can see, looks very much like Hopkins, which is SO WORRYING) and then Fats insists Corky start killing people, so he does. Or Fats does. Or they both do. Either way, there is a murderous ventriloquist dummy in this movie, and it is HORRIFYING. Oddly, it was written by William Goldman. Who wrote The Princess Bride. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME GOLDMAN?

I’m sorry. It was mean of me to post that. But how would you believe me if I didn’t? I wanted to show you an actual scene from it but apparently it was TOO TERRIFYING FOR YOUTUBE and I couldn’t find anything appropriate. Or, inappropriate, I suppose.

Fats would totally eat your face, I’m not even kidding.

But before I watched that, I saw THIS, which I think was even WORSE:

Most Twilight Zone episodes I just found awesome and intelligent and fun and cunning, but there were a couple that terrified me. This was one of them. You’ve seen this, right? This stupid dummy with its huge eyebrows and it ENDS UP TAKING THE MAN’S PLACE AND IT IS BLOOD-CHILLING.

I think I mentioned this before, but when my brother and I were little, a family member (I don’t remember who) bought my brother ventriloquist dummy for Christmas. Who thought this was a good idea? I have no idea. It was this doll:

Because there’s nothing a kid wants more than a Charlie McCarthy doll. Especially in the 80s, when he’d never heard of Charlie McCarthy.

My brother tried for about five minutes to learn ventriloquism – which is SUPER-HARD, you guys, especially the P’s and B’s and any letter you have to move your lips for, pretty much – and then gave up. That doll creeped us both right the hell out. So he put it under his bed. WAY under his bed. And then surrounded it by other things to keep it safe under there and not able to escape and eat his face while he was sleeping.

Seriously, who gave that to my brother? And thought that was a good idea? He didn’t ask for it, and didn’t want it. He wasn’t an indoorsy-toy kid, anyway. He liked outdoorsy toys, or things like Transformers or G.I. Joes. Who thought he would make a good ventriloquist?

Shudder.

Then there was this, which isn’t quite puppets, but still made me VERY NERVOUS when I was a kid:

Stupid Mummenschanz. They would pop up on The Electric Company and The Muppet Show and they’d have toilet-paper faces and be all silent and quick hands and I COULD NOT SEE THEIR FACES and I THEREFORE DID NOT KNOW THEIR INTENTIONS and you all KNOW that makes me super-nervous. I DON’T LIKE THAT, MUMMENSCHANZ. (SIDE NOTE! I have a sliiiiiiight less hate-on for them because their name is German and I’m a grown-up now, but even that pretty German can’t change the fact that it’s German for “mummery” and mimes are effing FREAKISH.)

All of this creepy puppet-talk leads up to this article that I was pointed in the direction of yesterday. I don’t look back on my childhood with nostalgia. I look back on it and I’m just pleased I survived it.

In case you didn’t see this the other day, and would like an Amy-recap, well, I can’t say I’m PLEASED to give you one, but I think it’s like a public service. You need to know. And you’re probably not going to click. It’s ok. You might have a happier, better life if you don’t.

In Florida (what the HELL is happening in Florida?) a man named Ronald William Brown has been a Christian puppeteer for a long time. People trust him with their children. He drives their children to and from church. He has a ventriloquist dummy named Marty. As you can see from this oddly-grainy video clip, he’s not very good at it. His mouth moves a lot.

That dummy (the doll, not the man) is creepy as hell, yo. But they all are. There’s never been a not-creepy ventriloquist’s dummy. sj informs me this is a real thing and that she actually saw this program on television before. Shudder. SHUDDER I SAID.

Anyway, apparently there’s been a huge multi-state child porn sting going on lately. Ol’ Ron Bill got caught up in it. WHAT? NO NO NOT A BELOVED VENTRILOQUIST! Heh, that was a trick AND an oxymoron.

Ron Bill (I’m pretty sure he just goes by Ron but I like that he has two first names so I’m-a gonna use ’em) made friends with a man in Kansas named Michael Arnett. Which reminds me of Will Arnett, so I’m going to call him Gob. Ron Bill and Gob found they were kindred spirits, just like characters out of Anne of Green Gables,

Kindred SPIRITS!!!

because they shared a love of the following:

  • child porn;
  • child murder;
  • and cannibalism.

Ron Bill and Gob communicated back and forth about their love of the above, sending photos of dead and/or naked children, sharing their desire to kill and eat children, you know, like you do. Oh, wait, no, NO ONE DOES THIS. Ron Bill even had a certain young parishioner picked out that he wanted to make his victim (“I imagine him wiggling and then going still,” our ventriloquist friend said) and then Gob showed up one day so they could make their BFF-ship THE REAL DEAL, yo. But Ron Bill was scared of taking things to the next level so he avoided Gob while he was in town. I’m imagining he said things like “I’m totally busy with my dummy this weekend, Gob, you know how it is! Sorry, dude! It’s not ME, it’s YOU!”

(Ron Bill has dealt with the cops twice. He’s not lily-white. The cops found boys’ underwear in his car once, but he said he used them for his dummy – NOT A EUPHEMISM – and he didn’t get in trouble, and the neighbors reported him another time, I assume for being a Creepy McCreeperson, but again, nothing came of it. His neighbors all thought he was weird. You know, one of those.)

Ron Bill’s defense here is that it was just talk, he’d NEVER hurt anyone, and therefore he is INNOCENT. Well, he’s innocent of ACTUAL murder and cannibalism, maybe. He had child porn and child snuff photos and that’s a crime. Also, who’s to say that he wouldn’t have given into to these urges eventually? You don’t just talk about these things for fun. I mean, come on. It’s one thing to say, once and a while, you might want to burn down someone’s house in anger. It’s quite another to repeatedly discuss (and view photos of) child porn, cannibalism, and murder. You can say you were just foolin’, but there’s no take-backsies here, Ron Bill. We know you’re a creep and you got stopped (hopefully) just in time.

Also, listen, DON’T TRUST VENTRILOQUISTS. Look, this is another one of his “programs.” What kind of weirdo enjoys talking to little kids about porn using a ventriloquist’s dummy? This is just WEIRD.

So what have we learned today, my little tater tots?

Puppets are freakish and scary and NEVER EVER FUN. Ever.

Also, WHAT IS GOING ON, FLORIDA?????


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