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My friend Jairo and I have a long-running inside joke into which I am about to invite you. We call it The Compilation. Let me give some back story. We are both former employees of a secondhand bookstore that shall remain nameless. Until a few years ago we had to choose “appropriate” music for store play via CDs for sale from our inventory. It was such a pain. Sometimes there was nothing that anybody really wanted to hear, so we would be forced to choose 5 lesser evils.

Sometimes we would be inundated by the Beatles, which in my unpopular opinion is utter torture. A lot of the time we had to listen to Pedo music. In layman’s terms it is called Doo-Wop and Motown. There are so many songs about teenage girls being pursued by adult men. How the hell is this acceptable? That’s fodder for another article. Eventually we got a satellite radio station we could listen to. It really wasn’t much better. It was just ok. One minute we would be hearing the wonderful bagpipes of “Under the Milkyway” by The Church, but then suddenly it would be some yodeling fool. I wish I were kidding.

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Being sick is the pits, but it doesn’t have to be the total pits! While you are lying in bed, sweating through your sheets while simultaneously experiencing a coldness that will never subside, you can still accrue life points. If you are gaining life points then time is not a-wastin’ and you will be able to rest more completely whenever you finally let yourself rest. And you need to rest!

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Whether you have a cold or a flu, a persistent infection of the sinus or the respiratory system, strep throat, earache, hayfever, measles, mumps, rubella — well, the list is as long and as varied as any medical dictionary — but no matter what you have, it is probably the worst you’ve ever felt. God knows the flu I just rapidly cycled through gave me lasting memories and a new inner strength that resulted from just surviving.

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Christians are all around us in many forms. Some of them are very self-righteous and will not rest until we heathens are converted. Others are peaceful and kind and sort of like really clean hippies who make brownies and baked goods which are found to be “special” only in the way that they have been baked with Good Christian Love. No, that still is not an herbal kind of love, but believe me, there are those kinds of Christians, too. Christians who won’t let their women dance or wear trousers, Christians who love everyone equally, Christians who hate the gays and the immigrants and those minorities, Christians in politics, Branson, Missouri, bad Christian films. In fact, there are as many kinds of Christians as there are different kinds of personality on earth! Well, all except one. You see, there are just not any creative Christians, apparently. At all.

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In their zeal to forward the good message of Jesus Christ, it seems that Christians completely give up their potential for imaginative thoughts. The more cynical of us would say that that is the primary function of religion, to erase creativity because creative thinking would possibly lead to the kind of thinking that makes the thinker think that what they are dedicating their lives to, this blind faith, might be a little stupid. And thinking like that WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

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Mark Twain was born on November 30th in the year 1835. His name then was Samuel Clemens but he obviously changed it at some point. According to this documentary I watched about him once, he had an exciting life and a complicated personality. I encourage you to go on ahead and learn more about him for yourself. He was also a humorous man, and if anything happened in the world, the newspapers would ask him for his opinion, because he was pretty good about only speaking in quotable soundbites. Later, people would gather these quips into quote books, so that we could always learn from his eternal, universal wit and wisdom. Also, he wrote books and stories.

mark twain

I was made to read a few of his books in school — I assume we all were. And I really hated Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I know it was “important” for a bunch of reasons, but I hate books written more or less phonetically. It was a pain. I don’t remember anything about it aside from how much I couldn’t stand how river people of the 1850s spoke. I can see how it was so amazing, or whatever, that he represented people from all classes and how they spoke, but I just couldn’t take it! Anyway, there have been a couple of short stories that I HAVE particularly enjoyed. One is “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut” and the other is The Mysterious Stranger.

 

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I recently had an article about the benefits of procrastination. Aside from being probably the best article I have ever crafted, it is filled with great notions. It’s seriously long, so I imagine lots of you couldn’t make it through the whole thing, with your post-Mtv buzzfeed listicle brains, so I will give you a little summary: I humorously described how to still be productive while feeling guilty that you weren’t producing what you meant to be at that exact moment.

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I still agree with that fully, but today there is a difference. When I had written that, I was still filled with the spirit of not-quite-efficiency. I had “up and at whatever” “can do some things” “go get ’em, someone, maybe, you tiger-shaped stuffed toy” spirit. Today, however, I am just a blob. This is not a depression. It’s just pure laziness. And I think that’s okay. I have believed the horrible things people think about laziness, too. But now, here, in the middle of a good powerful laze, I realize that I may have been being too hasty in my judgment.

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Sorry about bringing up clowns again, so soon, and outside of Halloween Season, and it’s not like I even love clowns all that much! And I’m not even saying that I am obsessed with them, but even so — obsessions don’t understand your notions of there being appropriate times or places. In fact, an obsession wouldn’t comprehend the word “inappropriate” at all, or “creepy” for that matter. And neither do I!

 

 

Anyway, I saw this beautiful gif the other day, while I was living on the internet as I do, and I became mesmerized with a thought. Mr. Rogers was a good man, a saint, and is very definitely a saint in our Sneerholic pantheon. He represents all that can be good in the world and is without blame. You know how we feel about him. On the other hand, clowns are commonly known to be evil, I guess, in these modern times. They are frightening and often up to no good. ALLEGEDLY. There are plenty of kind clowns out there, clowning for the sick and in parades, but every single one of us suspects their motives. Each of us wonders what possibly-literal skeletons are in the closets of their murderhouses. Thanks, John Wayne Gacy!

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I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.

me a lot

However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.

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The human clown is a Halloween costume that take you a lot of miles down the road to Terror Town. Weak-minded people believe that clowns are, by their very nature, terrifying monsters and not actually just kindly people in grease paint or in rarer cases, serial killers. People who have clown phobia will be made uncomfortable no matter how sloppy your attempt is at applying the right make up, so it is a real winner at any costume party. It is a golden standard of nightmare fuel.

However, there has been a “craze” lately where people think that you have to make the clown scarier. Those fools standing on the sides of roads, frightening people by being clowns where clowns are not supposed to be, seem to always be wearing those latex masks of a “scary clown head.” In my very honest and correct opinion, the very attempt to make it scarier makes it LESS scary. Somehow, clowns are the one part of life where I am brave. I just know that if I ever see a person in a scary clown mask, I would want to slap that mask right off of their face and tell them to get a clue. And that’s about when I realized I also needed to write an article about it in order to keep printed copies to hand out in just such an occasion. Today is the day. This is the hour.

My theory goes that all you must do is simply be a clown. It will make people uncomfortable, but it’s a little boring. To bring things to a more expert level, you will want to combine the clown part with pretty much any other thing. But which kind of clown with what sort of thing? Well, there are three general types of clown, so you have plenty of choices!

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My favorite part of Halloween is the discounted candy November 1. You can get a three pound bag of Milky Way bars for a dollar because they have bats on the label. It’s a wonderful time. But for most of you yahoos, it’s about scary things, like haunted houses and horror movies. There’s nothing some people like more than to put on a scary movie, curl up on the sofa, and drench themselves in terror for an evening.

I am not one of these people. Real life and actual people scare me far too much as it is. Remember the fad last year where people would dress as clowns and try to lure people into desolate wooded areas? As I write this, I have a stoma, which means my digestive system ends abruptly and prematurely at a hole cut in my abdomen. I don’t need your David Cronenberg. I use my entertainment to escape, so I watch sci-fi and comedies, funny-bad movies and just plain crazy stuff. Maybe even the occasional romantic comedy, because if there’s one thing life sorely lacks, it’s happy endings. What I’m saying is, I’ve never been much for horror movies. This upsets people I converse with to no end, as they say things like “You’ve never seen ‘Saw?’ Man, you gotta see it! It’s the best!” I usually counter by insisting they experience the overlooked genius of “Battlefield Earth,” because I want them to hurt. I’m petty.

So here now are my reviews of four classic horror films that I have never watched, nor plan to. I glean my information from Wikipedia articles, animated gifs, and recollections of any friends with a few minutes to spare.

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