Thursday, July 16, 2015
Today I'm going to write a bunch of briefies for your reading pleasure. Read them all or sample, it's up to you. That's the upside of a buffet. The downside is that bitch who picks out all the baby corn so you don't get any, and that guy who hogs the chicken wings. Well, he's going to get sick later because the mashed potatoes are past their expiration date. So there.
# # #
A couple blogs back I mentioned that guy who self-published a hard science fiction book called The Martian, which took off like a rocket ship and eventually brought him a movie deal. After I calmed down and got over my jealousy fit, I realized he'd proved a theory of mine. It is possible to make a million bucks a dollar at a time. He created a product, priced it at 99 cents, and got a whole shitload of people to each give him a dollar. Granted, he got a boost towards the end from the Random House hardcover sale and the movie deal, but he was doing just fine on his own before that happened. I don't know if he's earned a full million yet, which was also part of my theory: you won't get the million all at once. It's an accrual process.
The big question now is, what does he do for an encore? It's like being George Lucas after Star Wars. Not that Lucas ever had to work again after Star Wars. I suggest this guy retire, enjoy his good fortune, and write for his own amusement. Which is what led to his success in the first place. Good luck, guy.
# # #
The other day my luck ran out. The odds finally caught up with me. I was in the bathroom and using the handicapped stall when an honest-to-gosh handicapped person came in. There I was, parked in her designated space. I told her to hang on, I'd be right out, then I rushed through pulling up the pants and exited the stall posthaste. She was Mennonite, so I was spared any snide remarks or dirty looks. They're nice people.
I've been using handicapped stalls for years, and this is the first time this has happened. I'm not the only one who does it, either. They're a favorite of moms with small kids, especially if Mom has two or more in tow. Those stalls are nice and roomy. You can take the whole brood in there and keep an eye on them while they do their business. Plus there's the added safety of the bars, which the kids can hang onto or play on while Bro or Sis takes a dump.
I've found the bars good to grab on if I have to strain, and they make standing easier when my knee gives me trouble. Besides, I'm not as skinny as I was at 20. I've been in stalls that are narrow as cattle chutes. I feel like I should come out bucking. I have room to spread out and store my stuff in a handicapped stall. Given the country's obesity epidemic, I say all stalls should be handicapped stalls, so we can all enjoy these advantages.
I don't park in handicapped spaces, though. I like to park next to cart returns. Not only can I just drop off the cart, it makes it easier finding the car. Plus it wouldn't hurt me to walk a few extra steps. Do enough of that and maybe someday I'll be able to fit into a regular stall.
# # #
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Got watching the original '60s version of Planet of the Apes again the other day. This time something finally hit me: it's the only movie in the series where the apes are fully in charge. In the second one there was a group of mutated humans who could still talk and think. They blew up the planet at the end of the movie. Guess the damn dirty apes were right about mankind all along. The last three movies in the original series took place in the past (the moviegoer's present/near future) and showed how the apes came to power. I don't recall ever seeing the last one (Battle for the Planet of the Apes?) but I think some humans were still intelligent at the end of it. When Tim Burton did his remake, humans were repressed, but not mindless, dumb animals. I think there were native, intelligent humans in the TV series, too.
Why? Because we humans are an arrogant bunch, and we don't like watching movies where we're not at the top of the food chain. We want our happy endings, defined as "humans win." That's why Ripley keeps defeating the Aliens, and Arnie made his Terminator character a good guy after he became a big star. In Jurassic Park us hairless monkeys can't even hope for a draw, so the humans keep running away. The dinos always win in the end, but the human characters are still alive.
I blame Star Wars for today's near-extinction of the downer movie ending. More movies coming out of the '60s and '70s had downer endings. I'm not talking bittersweet or mildly hopeful. I'm talking flat-out downer, like the '70s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Man, I hated the end of that movie. But that was the '70s. That era ended when Jaws and Star Wars raked in the big bucks with high action and triumphant endings. Show me a recent movie that made huge box office while being a total downer. Go ahead, I dare ya. (And not Titanic. Rose survives. That had a bittersweet ending.)
In fact, I challenge anyone to show me an adaptation of Animal Farm that keeps the book's ending intact. I'm not holding my breath.
# # #
Finally, a question arose in the grocery store checkout while I was buying Mrs. Paul's fish fillets. Namely, what does Mr. Paul do? Sit home and drink beer while his wife is out working? There's a possibility Mr. Paul is the Gorton's Fisherman, which means he's out to sea most of the time. I suspect Mrs. Paul is having an affair with Uncle Ben behind Aunt Jemima's back. There's a whole sleazy soap opera going on in the packaged foods aisle. I'd stay away from the canned goods altogether. You don't want to know where the Green Giant's been. Ho ho ho!