Genre Busters

There are some films which can be hard to peg to a specific genre. Take Alien – one of my favorite movies. It can be classified as science fiction with it’s future setting, space frigate and alien life form. But it’s also possibly the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. I recall my old co-worker MT commenting how the later movies had, “cool CGI” which wasn’t all that scary but the original had, “a slimy puppet which scared the CRAP out of me!” So, which is it; science fiction or horror? I classify it as a horror – truly scary – even with its obvious science fiction setting.

Then there are movies which are classified as one genre but seem to not be as advertised. In the nineties no movie better epitomized this quandary than Fargo. Just about every video store I went into looking for it labelled Fargo as a comedy. What? Guy has his wife kidnapped by two criminals to get the ransom money from his rich father-in-law only to have it all backfire with death and mayhem…and Steve Buscemi in a wood chipper. (A misnomer if I’ve ever heard one as anyone or anything tossed into one of those things isn’t very chipper about the whole experience.) Sure, it had its quirky moments, and it really wasn’t a drama, it wasn’t a mystery (we knew who was behind everything from the start), it had really just two elements of suspense (the parking deck shooting and Frances McDormand confronting the bad guys), and almost no real action. So it was kind of a genre-busting film. Maybe that’s why all the critics loved it.

I recently saw Zombieland, which is oft categorized as a comedy. Sure, I was rolling at many moments in this movie. And I absolutely LOVED Bill Murray’s cameo. But I just can’t really agree with the comedy label. I mean, zombie apocalypse has taken over the world with incredible violence and gore, our four survivors are alone and desperate for survival, they have lost all family and friends – some dead, others possibly zombies which they’ll have to kill to survive. How awful. And, to top it all off, THERE’S NOT A TWINKIE TO BE FOUND ON EARTH!


Epitome of Random – vol. 18

Two children’s phonics books whose titles should never be placed together: Ann’s Big Muffin and Rag Gets Wet!

My wife told our girls that if they ever notice something on their bodies which wasn’t there before to tell them, or a doctor when they’re on their own. Always keeping things serious, I walked into the room, lifted my shirt, grabbed a chunk of my fat gut and screamed, “What, this wasn’t here twenty years ago!”

When I first took a job with my present employer we were sampling a chocolate bar flavored with bacon. It was quite tasty. I think Hershey should do something like that; they have kisses and hugs, why not add a good pork?

In Star Trek: The Next Generation the Cardassians tortured the intelligent and sophisticated Jean Luc Picard into near madness. Today, the Kardasians torture the intelligent and sophisticated of society into near madness.

I hear people today are mixing marijuana and milk…they call it casein the joint!

March Madness Algebra: MTSU > MSU = WTF! (Yeah, that completely busted my bracket.)

That’s My Boy

After four daughters we finally had a son. Some dumb jokes from friends involve whether or not I’m sure he’s my kid, because I apparently can’t father boys. But I know this is my kid.

After all, my wife’s fidelity is unquestioned. Heck, as a homeschooling mom she doesn’t have the time to see anyone else.

My son and I were born with about the same weight and length.

He has blue eyes, I have blue eyes.

He’s giving up his naps at a very early age, I gave up my naps at a very early age.

He drools a lot, I drool a lot.

He burps a lot, I burp a lot.

He farts a lot, I fart a lot.

He loves it when his mommy takes his clothes off, I love it when his mommy takes my clothes off.

Yup, that’s my boy!

When Girls Discover Boys

The first friends we made when we moved to our new hometown have two daughters of similar age to our two oldest. Their oldest is one year older than ours and their youngest is 2 years older than our second. It’s been neat watching them grow up together even if we don’t get to see them nearly enough as we’d like. Especially now that they are well into the “boy” years.

Our friends have a pretty good system worked out with which movies they allow their daughters to see. If they are concerned of any inappropriate content, they will screen the movie themselves and can have their daughters avert their eyes with the simple code word, “eyes,” shortly before said scene unfolds. I was talking with their mother months ago when she relayed a story about one such movie.

Now, I don’t remember the movie in question, but Benedict Cumberbatch was in it. When the questionable moment was coming up, mom whispered to her 13-year-old, “eyes.” She dutifully bowed her head and raised her hand to keep from seeing whatever the scene was. On the other side of the couch, dad told the 16-year-old, “eyes.”



“Yeah, he has pretty eyes.”


“Oh, right.”

I got a kick out of that story. And, with a 16-year-old of my own, I have moments akin to theirs. Just the other day we were talking about movies and celebrities when I mentioned her first celebrity crush, Zac Efron. To which she responded she really wants to see Dirty Grandpa.

“No way,” I said. “It’s rated R.”

“But I’ve seen the trailer and it looks funny.”

“You just want to see Zac Efron in his bathing suit flexing his muscles at the beach party.”

Jaw drops. “I didn’t see that, but now I want to.”

Okay, where did I put the phone number to the convent…