...once again I couldn't get my act together and get a story ready for today.
Things should be back on schedule next friday.
The BBC have announced that the new co-star to appear alongside Matt Smith in Doctor Who is to be Jenna-Louise Coleman, who joins the show in the sixth episode this year, due to be shown at Christmas.
THE COLD INSIDE
By AL BRUNO III
Tuesday November 8, 1994
Tristam looked at his alarm clock. It was two-thirty. Wondering why he had woken he turned onto his side. A gasp caught in his throat as he saw the outline of a body lying next to him.
Panicking, he propelled himself away from the shape and found he was hovering a foot and a half above his bedroom floor.
His sigh of relief became a grin. Tristam flew straight up, passing from the first floor into his mother's bedroom, then through the ceiling and out into the night. The sky was cloudless, he rose up to join the night.
In moments he was hovering high above Albany, doing barrel rolls and loop de loops. From where he was the city was a network of sparkling illumination. Clusters of headlights flowed and paused, moving along the borders. Was he the only person in the world that could do this? If not then why didn’t he ever see anyone else flying around? Maybe he was crazy after all. He heard a roar and spun around. A jet was approaching, its wide winged expanse blacking out the stars.
This sky ain't big enough for the both of us. Tristam charged the aircraft.
A few seconds later they met, Tristam's ghost body passing through the fuselage to glimpse the cockpit and crew. It was no strain at all to keep pace with the airliner as it circled the Albany Airport, awaiting clearance to land. He wafted into the passenger compartment and looked at the people's expressions, they ranged from anticipation to boredom.
With a thought he slid through the airliner’s roof and trailed it down onto the runway. What if they crashed and I just kept pace and watched? He wondered, What would it be like?
Yesterday, while listening to Penn's Sunday School, a podcast from the very opinionated Penn Gilette, I learned some very tragic news. It seems one of my personal heroes had succumbed to a long battle with leukemia and he was no longer with us. The man I'm talking about is Peter Bergman, a founding member of The Firesign Theater. If you're of a certain age (read older than me), you might remember Firesign from their series of surreal, award winning albums from the 70s such as Were All Bozos on this Bus, Waiting on the Electrician or Somebody Like Him, Don't Crush that Dwarf Hand Me the Pliers, Dear Friends, and How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All. Each of these albums pioneered a style of improvisational comedy, took stoner humor to an intellectual level, and proved that comedy records could be as relistenable as your favorite rock record...
Even though I was a kid of the 80's these guys, like Monty Python and SCTV, were a huge influence on my sense of humor. If you've never heard the Firesign Theater's wild kind of comedy you should check their work.
Here is some now...
Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Still Not Quite What They’re Looking For
When I wasn’t gaming there was college and work. I only really ever came home to sleep, eat and write. More and more of my paycheck was being lost to postage and all I was getting back was rejection slip after rejection slip; Sometimes I got little checklists explaining the things that had made my story unacceptable. Did Clive Barker ever get those little checklists? Did Lovecraft?
Around the one hundredth rejection slip or so I started cutting back on mailings deciding instead to spend my extra cash on gaming supplies. I made no effort to put money away. Why should I when I could just mooch off my family for tuition and car repairs?
Besides there was a new drain on my finances, pornography. Now I don’t mean the odd Playboy, I mean actual dyed-in-the-wool-my-god-that’s-not-wool-and-that’s-not-dye pornography.
You see Tallulah had done more than break my heart, she had also activated my libido. A libido I was quite literally hard-pressed to find an outlet for. Once again please remember that this was an era when smut was something you were supposed to feel guilty about, not make in your basement with a webcam and a shaved monkey. It was something to hide in a plain brown wrapper. I was so embarrassed to be buying it that I would only go to newsstands and sex shops at least thirty minutes from my house.
For a man of the late 80’s/early 90’s pornography came in three formats; Video tapes, magazines and paperback novels that hid their true purpose behind a veneer of manly adventure.
Being a literary guy I had great affection for the Spaceways, White Squaw, and Blade novel ranges but in the end I found magazines with top heavy British lasses were my preference.
As my weeks and months of unintended celibacy wore on I found myself growing ever more pervy and desperate.
At least I wasn’t the only one…
Midnight Video was on the outskirts of Troy and more than half an hour’s driving distance from my house. It was pretty much your standard independent video store of the time, new releases mixed with an eclectic backlog of oldies, classics and lots of smut.
But Midnight Video had one thing that set it apart from the other stores- automated VHS vending machines. You see the owners of Midnight Video worked bankers hours so in order to make the whole ‘midnight’ thing a reality they installed two specialized vending machines in an after hours vestibule that only subscribers could access with the aid of a special swipe card.
But how did I, Marv, Kevin, Ida and Corey end up there?
The short answer is that Marv had a membership. The long answer is that we were all single. The hippie chicks had caught Corey and Kevin watching a Rambo movie and broken up with them. Joanna had dumped Marv, he didn’t say why but I was just relieved that I wouldn’t be seeing her around anymore. Ida always kept his personal life personal but he was always game for whatever the rest of us were up to.
A long bitter talk about women had led us to the idea to spend our night with Ginger Lynn and Barbara Dare. What better way to reaffirm our shattered masculinities than make a few lovely ladies pause and rewind to our will?
Too bad we couldn’t agree on which title to get.
“Al,” Ida said, “Hey Al!”
At first I didn’t hear him. A poster of Christy Canyon had caught my attention and set the blood roaring into my ears.
And other places as well.
“Al! Are you going to help pick this movie or not?”
“What?” I turned around, “Do we really need to make this into a big production? Pick any movie, I don’t care what it is. Just make sure there are no redheads in it.”
Marv nodded, “I understand, you don’t want to think that someone out there is giving the bone to a girl you still love.”
“Yeah.” I hissed, “That is exactly it. How very perceptive of you.”
Kevin tapped the glass of the vending machine, “How about this one? Oversize Load?”
Marv cleared his throat, “Uh, the label says that one has an all male cast.”
"Just look a little more carefully next time OK?"
Corey said, "I don't care what we get as long as there is no religious stuff in it."
"Come again?" I asked.
He explained, "If there are any chicks dressed like nuns or if any of the guys are wearing crosses I'll feel too guilty to watch."
"You know..." Ida pinched the bridge of his nose, "...that isn't the kind of thing they'll tell you on the label. Unlike something like, oh I dunno, if the movie has an all male cast."
Kevin slumped, "I'm never gonna live this down am I?"
"Not if I can help it."
Marv said , "Guys just pick something willya?"
Kevin paced the vestibule, the air was starting to become rank with the odor of sweat and frustration, "You ever wonder why it isn't as easy to get laid in real life as it is in these movies?"
"Actually it is," I replied. "If you're my Dad, or my brother or if you don't know the PH balance of the soil on the planet Skaro."
Corey tapped the dirty glass of the vending machine, "OK. How about this one? The Cockpit."
There was a long pause and then Marv pointed to the VHS in question, "What does it say there under the title?"
Cory blushed, "Sorry, I didn't notice."
"Say what it says, say it out loud," Marv’s tone was as gentle as it was sarcastic.
Corey blushed even harder, "It says all male cast."
Kevin shouted, "See? The print is too small."
Ida said, "I am starting to think this was a bad idea."
"Why don't you choose Al?" Corey suggested.
"Yeah," Marv agreed, "you're the one with all the dirty magazines in the trunk of your car."
Now it was my turn to blush, "Don't judge me. I have to hide them someplace."
Marv said, "Just pick something Al. Just nothing with any black guys in it."
Ida slapped his forehead, "Here we go again."
"What does the color of the guys matter?" I asked, "Black, white or green they're all gonna have terrifying and demoralizingly large dongs."
"No. Black. Guys."
Suddenly I just wanted to get out of there, I kept wondering what would happen if Tallulah or Lilly drove by and saw us here?
Or what if Tallulah and Lilly drove by on the way their to a mud wrestling contest where-
It is never a comfortable experience to feel tears and an erection welling up at the same time, I jerked a thumb at one of the videos “Just… let’s get this one and get out of here.”
Everyone stared at the random title I had pointed to. Marv’s voice was a whisper, “What the Hell is wrong with you guys?”