Thursday, October 27, 2016

Monster Tales and Ghost Stories

Started a dark, gloomy day with early work. I was outside on and off during the morning. It started sprinkling lightly while I was on my way to the Acme. Spent the vast majority of my shift doing returns, which wasn't as much fun as usual. The store reorganizing continues. I keep tripping over people who are moving carts of boxes and bags and bottles from one aisle to another. I doubt they mean to do it, but they all block everyone when they're unloading and loading things, too. At least they're nice and will move, but there's too many of them in one spot.

It looked like it might have rained a little harder in the early afternoon. By the time I got out at 1, it was back to showering again. I went straight home. The clouds weren't vanishing, and it was chilly and windy. It was no day for lingering anywhere. It started raining harder shortly after I arrived at home, and would rain heavily off and on for the rest of the day.

When I got home, I had lunch while watching another spooky sitcom episode. Happy Days did its Halloween show early in its second season. Ralph insists on holding his Halloween costume party in a "Haunted" house. Joanie protests that the ghost of an old lady who lost her head will take off the head of anyone who enters. Richie's determined to show that the legend is nothing to be afraid of and that there's someone else behind the spooky goings-on.

Spent the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening writing. A big storm knocks out the power, just after Hank and Leia kiss. Everyone fusses in the dark, and Hank and Leia yell at each other to find flashlights. Before they do, two figures seemingly appear out of nowhere, dressed in the outfits of the late 1800's. The kids think it's Andrew and Patricia Waller, come to haunt them. Hank and Leia know better. It's two members of the First Order Gang dressed as ghosts to scare them.

A third figure appears on the landing, this one dressed as Darren Veder, the former police commissioner, and spouting all the wonderful things he did. Now Hank's angry. He knows there's only one person in New York who admires Veder that way. He storms upstairs, followed by Rey and Finn, and demands his son show himself.

Kylo Ren whines that his father ruined his dramatic entrance. Hank tells his son he and his mother want him home. Kylo - really Ben Solo, his runaway son - complains that they don't care about him. They have time for the kids in the Bowery who work for them, but not him. Hank tries to convince him that things will be different, but he doesn't listen. Ben ends up knocking his father to the landing with a hard uppercut to his face instead.

(Sorry, no death here, or likely in the Nutcracker story I'm hoping to do next. This is supposed to be a light comedy/drama. I may work Han's death into darker Force Awakens stories, and it'll be mentioned in a planned follow-up to Stories We Leave Behind, but it doesn't work with the plot of this one.)

Rey is MAD! Finn tackles Ben to the ground; Rey pummels him. Charles, Hank's partner and good friend, leads him downstairs. He insists he take Leia back to the landing to separate Ben and Rey, before they kill each other.

Hank is leaning against the fireplace when bony hands reach out and grab him. One wraps itself around his mouth. The other injects a sedative into his arm that puts him to sleep. The hands drag him behind the fireplace, leaving his brown fedora as the only clue to his whereabouts.

Broke around quarter after 6 to make dinner. Decided to try Chicken Tetrazzini, made with the last of the old home-made chicken stock and canned chicken. I think I used too much of that chicken stock. It was way too soupy. Still tasted pretty decent, though, and it did get rid of the stock and an aging green pepper.

Finished the night with Young Frankenstein. Surgeon and teacher Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) inherits his grandfather's ancient castle in Transylvania. He also inherits his reputation for some pretty strange science, including re-animating dead beings. Fredrick wants nothing to do with his family history at first, despite the encouragement of Frou Blucker (whinny). (Glenn Close) After he finds his grandfather's private papers, he becomes convinced the experiment could work. With the help of Inga (Terri Garr) and Igor (Marty Feldman), he does succeed in bringing a huge man back to life. Igor's mistake with brains leaves him with an abnormal mind...and a monster on the loose. Now Fredrick has to tame the monster and figure out what to do about the hostile locals (lead by Kenneth Mars) and his prim fiancee (Madeline Khan).

One of my favorite Mel Brooks movies. This is so atmospheric, it was filmed on the original sets for the 1932 Frankenstein. Brooks and Wilder mostly ditch the satire in favor of an affectionate homage to Universal horror and the horror films of the 1930's and 40's. If you're like me and would rather laugh at your fears, or want to try some less scatological Brooks, this is a lot of fun and is highly recommended.

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