With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Nineteen: Fill the Trolley with Petrol and Follow Me Out of this Madness…

If you are like me (bummer ad infinitum if you nodded), you despise Thanksgiving. I understand the words I have just typed will ignite six-headed-dragon-sized controversy, but I adjure you to stay with me, friends. My primary objection to the Thanksgiving Table has always been, and will continue to be, NOT ENOUGH GARLIC. WHERE’S-A DA SAUCE? Okay, I’m retiring that bumfodder…here’s the strict criticism: sterile table conversation where the diners force chit-chat like the Doomed Captives of the “Saw” flicks — inconsiderate eye-warbling at YERS TROOLEE, regarded as Family’s Big Fall-Down Moment — I HAVE TO TUCK IN MY SHIRT!! — The Annual Diatribe of “Unpatriotic”, “Oddball”, and “That Really Your Kid, Dennis?” from the kids when I don’t reciprocate their salivating, undulating joy for football.

CANCEL THANKSGIVING! RE-TITLE THE DAY “QUIET OR DIE”! Do you think I can depend on Chris Christie to support my antipathy? No. Therefore, go the way of McQueen and Eastwood in two of their more stalwart roles – plan an escape. Put the Pressure on the Pedal and Race Cross-Country. Why Such a Journey? FOR THE GLORY OF THE HUMAN CONDITION! We have not wings from our backs, so we compensate with other vehicles of flight: an outlaw Ambulance (outlaw facial hair, to match), a Ferrari 308 GTS, a Lamborghini Countach, an Aston Martin DB5, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow…oy vey, you turkeyholics, I’ve got CANNONBALL FEVER.


5.) Death Race 2000 (1975) – David Carradine as Frankenstein in the movie wryly subtitled “The Chicken vs. the New Jersey Turnpike”:

4.) Cannonball (1976) – Carradine returns in the first movie based upon the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. This movie hasn’t the exposure of the other flicks on this list, but it is certainly of similar, speedfreakishly stern composition:

3.) The Gumball Rally (1976) – Raul Julia declares the First Rule of Italian Driving as he removes the rearview mirror from the car: “What’s-a behind me is not important”…Poetry from the late, great Mr. Julia, as well as a credo for my own automotive lifestyle:

2.) Cannonball Run (1981) – Reynolds and his Retinue Race from Connecticut to California; the audience is advised to retain lock of seat-belt. My first enjoyment of this reel came several hours after a viewing of “Critters” terrified a room of 8- and 9-year-olds at a sleepover birthday party. A colleague and I decided to fight the nightmares via Late Night, Unsupervised HBO viewing, and we were immediately delighted by this movie. We kept punching each other in the arm to retard our laughter and avoid stirring the parents from slumber. Thirty years later, ineffable comfort is derived from this movie, solace so rare in Day-to-Day Grind…Race on, Gator…:

1.) Cannonball Run II (1984) – Does the sequel surpass the success of the predecessor? Watch the trailer and listen to Mark Elliott tell ya ’bout the players in this here rootin’-tootin’ drama:

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Three: Grimace, Grumble, Gripe and Growl in the Aftermath of the Vagabond Villainy of VACATIONFACE!

(The title of the post is due to temporary bodily possession by the ghosts of Graham Chapman and Dudley Moore…these are the manner of poltergeist that is neither easily nor voluntarily expulsed. Consequently, beg pardon beg pardon beg pardon from Point of Type to Point of Beldar Conehead’s cranium. Stay with us, children…the terror has commenced…)

I’ve just returned from Martha’s Vineyard. The falafel is uproarious in the Vineyard. The idle gadabouts wear their “Masshole” and “Hahvahd” and “Life is Good” paraphernalia proudly in the region – Worry Not, True Believers! I countered with a “Life is Crap” hat, dark (prescription) sunglasses, and the blue t-shirt with Spongebob sternly asseverating, “I AM NOT A WEENIE!”, so the natives would realize the MARTIANS HAD LANDED. The mind raced the duration of my holiday – The culprit was not the caffeine. <—Great band title there…”The Culprit Was Not the Caffeine”…my gift to you…if plucked by a nameless musical quartet/band of sonorous scalawags, your sound is firmly fixed betwixt the twang of Anthrax and the twitch of Willie Nelson…

The mere freckles of time outside of Prince Namor’s Command were spent nose in several obvious orts of literature, the highlight being “Tales from Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?” by David Hughes, which documents the sotted, serpentine soirees-to-screen of Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes”, Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the 4th Indiana Jones movie, among others, and also tells the woeful tales of those projects that may never see the light of your local cineplex, such as “The Hot Zone”, “The Crusades”, and “The Sandman”. Oh, how we crash and burn, crash and burn, only to emerge like the phoenix and stagger a-gain and a-gain and a-gain – it is TO LAUGH. The Hollywood Insiders Don’t Want You to Read This Book! <—Did this statement impede your frenzied, arm-swinging jaunt to the bookmart for immediate purchase? C’mon, ya love movies. Read the book. Deadly mesmerizing. Grade: A

Segue into my appreciation for “The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show”…Ruby-Spears Production that ran on ABC from 1979-1981, heavily syndicated throughout the 1980s, last seen on your TeeVee Box back a spell prob’ly on the USA network. Good ‘ol USA Network: They Accept your Cartoon Discards. Next stop – Boomerang!
I-Yam-Wud-I-Yam Today because I was raised WITHOUT the USA Cartoon Express as my Good Parent. *sigh* The success of “The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show” meant zaniness and boyscoutishness could marry like Danny DeVito and The Fabulous Moolah in the superhero cartoon genre; hence, “The Tick” and “Freakazoid” were so successful in the 1990s. Here’s a short list of the unusual adversaries who attempted to render Plastic Man to Grandma’s Rotting Play-Doh-on-the-Windowsill Collection: The Weed (a plant in a trenchcoat!), The Clam (a clam with a skipper’s hat, an eyepatch, and a Mer-Man vocal dialect), The Carrot Man (NOT a half-man, half-vegetable – a disgruntled game-show contestant), The Disco Mummy (Try THAT role, Anne Hathaway!), Thunder Man (an African-American villain transparently conceived as the Bizarro Black Vulcan – an ostentatious, brazen jab at Hanna-Barbera [who eventually engulfed Ruby-Spears with the appetite of the shark from “Jaws 2”]), and my diggity-dang favorite baddie, the Hippotist, who was an anthropomorphic, aristocratic hippopotamus with a monocle. The question begged: Why Hippotist over Hypnopotamus? Aye, verily, I wander – One can easily categorize this TV program as one of the sustainable elements of my youth, next to “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”, “The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure”, and “Blackstar”. “We Were the Masters of the Universe (When You Blinked): The Rise and Fall of Filmation Animation” will surely be the subject of a later post…*chilling tones of grim foreboding to be inserted at this juncture*…

The lesson of “The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show” is your villains don’t need to be sober, straitlaced megalomaniacs, like Luthor, Brainiac, Kang, Dr. Doom – your villains are sometimes The Wacky Guy in the Contiguous Cubicle Who Has a Nifty Idea, born from Jolt cola and vending machine skullduggery. If the show was blissfully restored (yet justifiably given the same treatment as the original 1980 program – the recent Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Lantern, and Young Justice cartoons being evidence that superhero cartoons can also sink in the quagmire of self-absorbed ennui), I would love to see villains like Vacationface (sunburnt scofflaw on perpetual vacation, consistent week-long facial growth, unbuttoned shirt and flip-flops, supernatural ability to induce rapid indifference), Pottymouth (Toilet for a head and, surprisingly, Freshest Breath in the Underworld), and Itchy Palms and Hairy Knuckles (think Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise from their Cannonball Run days, now as cat burglars). Plastic Man’s new Numero Uno menace (logic/alliance of the stray philosophical nothingwheres of existence dictates) is:

Zooey Deschanel. The giggling, wriggling, walking pneumonia. 50% Armageddon, 50% Bjork. If you see Zooey Deschanel while you are Out and About in the Danger Zone, heed these sagacious syllables: CROSS THE STREET AND WALK IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. Furthermore, if you glimpse Kristen Wiig….get a good rev-up on the running clothesline, hmmm?

One Last Thought before I watch “One Step Beyond” episodes on Youtube: In My Next Life, I intend to be the Intangible Devastator that drove those “Final Destination” movies (another sustainable element in the Horror Movie Genre), and I shall specialize in the Chase and Conquest of Those Who Purchase Wu-Tang Clan t-shirts at The Gap…