Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sid

There have been many pro wrestlers that were better wrestlers than Sid. There were a few that were taller than Sid. But, not including Hulk Hogan's performance in Mr. Nanny, nothing about wrestling makes me laugh more than Sid.

Sid was born Sid Eudy in Arkansas back in 1960. At some point in his life he decided to join the ranks of Pro Wrestling. After all, he was 6 foot 9 and 320.

And, he was dumb as a bottle of strawberry syrup.

Sid started wrestling in 1987 after running into Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Can you imagine what that conversation sounded like?

MACHO: Oh yeah!
SID: I am really tall.
MACHO: Dig it! This is Macho Madness talking to you right now.
SID: Really, really tall.
MACHO: Snap into a Slim Jim. Spicy beef snacks! Get down!
SID: I could really go for some milk, with strawberry syrup.
MACHO: Macho man says dig it! Ohhhhhhhh yeah!

Yeah, I bet it was something like that.

Sid started wrestling under the name Lord Humongous a name it is assumed that he could not spell. It's also interesting to note that he was the THIRD guy to play Lord Humongous. The character was actually ripped off from the film Mad Max II and the name "Lord Humongous translated into Spanish and then back into English means "fat deity" or "Buddha."

Sid also wore a mask which was a good thing since he kind of looks like a hulked up William Katt.
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Soon, however, he dropped that mask and the whole Lord Humongous gimmick and decided to become Sid Vicious.

Like this guy:

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Not the most intimidating celebrity to emulate, but remember, there was already a wrestler with the name Sting.

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Sid Vicious was a staple in WCW for many years until he moved to the WWF. I guess Vince McMahon was not interested in having a giant redneck sharing the name of a skinny, British punk who killed his girlfriend. So he became Sid Justice.

Sid Justice had one of the most bizarre matches in Wrestlemania history. At Wrestlemania 8 he faced Hulk Hogan. After a long battle, Hogan hit him with the leg drop, a move that meant certain doom at the time.
Sid kicked out of the leg drop and then his manager, Harvey Wippleman, jumped up onto the ring apron.

Let us take a moment to ponder the name Harvey Wippleman.

At some point a man named David Lauer showed up for a job with the WWF somehow a discussion took place ending with the decision:

Harvey Wippleman is a good name for a pro wrestling manager. Harvey Wippleman translated into Spanish and then back to English is still really freaking stupid.

Anyway, Sid kicks out of the pin fall, Harvey jumped onto the apron. Thirty seconds later a wrestler named Papa Shango (a guy with a voodoo gimmick) ran down to the ring. Thirty seconds after that the Ultimate Warrior came down and chased Shango away. Even the announcers seemed puzzled by the awkwardly staged series of events.

Urban legends abound as to was supposed to happen, but it does seem clear that something went wrong.

Sid soon left the company for a variety of reasons. For starters, he was not the most skilled wrestler and apparently failed a few drug tests.

And he liked softball.

That usually wouldn't be a problem, but Sid really liked softball.

In fact, he often would skip televised events to play softball. He would pretend to be injured, call in sick and 30,000 people who paid to see him would see someone else.

And Sid would play softball.

Sid went back to the name Sid Vicious in the WCW. His wrestling there was not any better, but he was very interesting OUTSIDE the ring.

Once he stabbed fellow wrestler Arn Anderson 20 times with a pair of scissors. Another time he fought with wrestler Brian Pillman in a bar and threatened to hit him with a squeegee.

I'm not making that up.

Sid later came back to the WWF under the name Sycho Sid. Then he went to ECW, then back to WCW and then over to WWF again. At this point they just called him "Sid."

His career in the big leagues was highlighted by sloppy wrestling and sloppy speeches. He also held the WWF and WCW titles 2 times each.

He wrestled his last big match in 2001 for WCW. In the match he jumped off the second rope and broke his leg.

Really bad.

It was a double compound fracture and it was pretty ugly. Basically, it looked like his foot was connected to his knee by a big piece of rubber. It just wobbled around. The match finished as quickly as possible and the leg took a long, long time to heal.

In 2004 Sid returned to the ring, but in the small time wrestling federation Syndicate Wrestling.

He's still as dumb as a bottle of strawberry syrup.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Favorite Rejection Letter

Rejection letters are not usually fun.

Usually they are just cold form letters that rip out a piece of your soul and never return it.

That is why I am particularly fond of this one:

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This arrived a few months after I entered a contest to become the Vice President of the Dukes of Hazzard Institute.

It was a pretty odd contest. The Institute is (according to commercials) a real place where the Dukes are studied. The winner of the contest got $100,000 for one year of work.

The tasks involved writing a daily Duke's blog, appearing on TV interviews and driving the General Lee at some Duke's event.

I sent in some articles from this site, a video of me talking about TV and the lyrics to MY personal theme song. Luckily I didn't keep a copy of any of these things.

But I did keep this letter. It arrived long after I saw some dork on TV announced as the winner.

Sure, he got $100,000 but he didn't get one of these:

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It reads:
"Two VP's would have been more than the law would allow"

Then it says the obligatory "thanks for entering" nonsense followed by a "Uncle Jesse would be proud."

This pleased me until I started to wonder if they meant Uncle Jesse from the Dukes or Uncle Jesse from Full House.

In retrospect, I am sure they are both proud.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mister Rogers soaks his feet

Like most kids, I grew up watching Mister Rogers.

When I was a teenager I started to look back at those shows and was fascinated. That's when I became a FAN of Fred Rogers.

Over the years, I have watched the show occasionally. I have also read many of the books that Fred wrote before he died.

The show is still on daily, on local PBS stations and on some of the PBS cable stations.

Watching the show as an adult is interesting. Sometimes it's touching, other times it's dull, and sometimes it is unintentionally HYSTERICAL.

The other day PBS aired an episode from 1993. The description in the TV Guide said "Mister Rogers relaxes by soaking his feet."

That was the whole plot.

Mister Rogers told us his feet were sore, so he went to the yard and stuck them into a kiddie pool. Francois the police officer stops by.

Why does the Mister Rogers neighborhood NEED a police officer? Is there any crime here? I can't imagine.

Still, with the EASIEST police beat in the county Francois has sore feet!

So now, two men are soaking their feet together.



Mister Rogers tells Francois that he was telling his "television friends" about ways we can say "I love you." He asks Francois how HE says "I love you."

Maybe I am a prude, but this doesn't seem like proper foot-soaking conversation.

It does to Francois, however, who breaks into song.



As their feet soak.



Yup. Soakin' and singin'.

Francois finishes his song and Mister Rogers says "I'm very proud of you."

Realizing that he should probably get back to PRETENDING to police a crime free area, Francois takes off.

Not before, of course, Mister Rogers helps him dry his feet.

The Skipper and Mr. Carlson TOGETHER!

I have watched many movies in my life.

Too many perhaps.

I always felt that I was watching films because I was searching for something. Something to make me feel whole. Some display of unity and humanity that would make me a better person just for watching it.

This moment had eluded me for years.

Until now. I found what I was looking for.

What I really needed to see was a movie featuring both Alan Hale Jr. and Gordon Jump.

You know, The Skipper and Mr. Carlson!

To be fair, Alan Hale had almost 200 other credits to his name but we all best remember him as The Skipper on 'Gilligan's Island'.

Gordon Jump had about 100 credits but is best remembered as "the guy who tried to molest Arnold and Dudley on 'Diff'rent Strokes.'"

Oh yeah, he was also Mr. Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati.'

Together Hale and Jump play a cop and a medical examiner in a 1979 suspense thriller, Evidence of Power, about a small town that is besieged by a bunch of accidents that may be murders. All of the accidents involve electric power in some way.

WARNING: I am going to spoil the end of the film. If you plan on someday seeing it, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!


The Skipper has a grown son who shows up in town and becomes curious about the deaths. He starts investigating them himself, much to The Skipper's chagrin.

As he probes the mystery he learns that Mr. Carlson's son had died tragically. The more he investigates the more tragedy mounts. A man is killed by a meat slicer, and The Skipper dies in a car crash.

This was a shock since he seemed to be the prime suspect at this point. The other prime suspect was the deputy who looked like Charles Manson. To be fair, most people in the 1970s looked a little like Charles Manson.

The deputy and most other characters display a trait only found in suspense thrillers. They all act incredibly suspicious all the time.

The only person who really doesn't in Mr. Carlson.

Why?

You guessed it, he is the killer. See, when his son died it was because he couldn't get proper medial treatment due to a power outage. So, he sought revenge by turning power tools on people that wasted electricity.

It was THEIR fault and he killed them for it.

Except for The Skipper. He killed him because he said "he was getting too close." I think he killed him because the production really couldn't afford TWO sitcom legends and had to cut the payroll half way through the picture.

I liked the film. I was very surprised when they killed off Alan Hale and a little surprised at the ending. The video has been pretty hard to find, but I found a copy of it in a dollar store. The dollar DVD transfer was pretty murky, but there were a few scenes with Alan Hale and Gordon Jump standing side by side and that was all I needed.

So, with no further ado, here is THE ONLY photograph on the Internet with Alan Hale and Gordon Jump TOGETHER:
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Friday, February 17, 2006

Mocking the List: 5 things you GOTTA do this October

Try as I may, I am often late. Punctuality is a virtue, and I am one without virtue.

Turn you eyes from me as you walk down the street.

Today, I will try to fix that. I'll go to work early, I will be on time for dinner and I will read that stack of Disney Adventures magazines that have been piling up since October.

Holy Ida Lupino! I opened the magazine and there is a list of "5 things you GOTTA do this October" and I still haven't done them! Let me get to this NOW! Work and those other things can wait!

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1. Design a wacky face for your jack-o-lantern...
Wow, this is gonna be tough. I threw away my jack-o-lantern MONTHS ago (of course by "threw away" I meant "threw off the overpass into traffic," but charges are still pending. So, lets pretend I just threw it away.)

Maybe I have an orange... nope. Maybe a potato... Oh wait! I have a jar of dry roasted peanuts! Let me carve 'em up.

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I call the one on the left "Scary Sam," the one on the right I call "Dick Cheney's Trigger Finger."

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2. Help rake a pile of leaves and the jump into the pile.
See why you shouldn't procrastinate? Now I have to go help some one... uh... I will help em shovel snow and then jump into the pile.

Hey, this list is pretty stupid, what if you live in any of the parts of the world where the leaves don't fall? What if you are too poor to afford a tree? What if you are having waaaaay too much fun playing with your peanut-o-lanterns?

I'm skipping this one.

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3. Visit www.baseball-almanac.com to find a fun fact...
FACT: Milwaukee Brewers' pitcher Dan Thomas was arrested for rape in 1980. He hanged himself in jail.

Wasn't that fun?

How about this one:

FACT: Sox pitcher Frederick Oscar Bratschi killed himself in the early sixties by ingesting battery acid.

These really are fun facts! (Source:www.baseball-almanac.com)

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4. Invent your own catch phrase...
"This is as ill as battery acid to a Bratschi." That's my new catchphrase. It's pretty dope.

5. Map out the "good" houses on your trick or treating route to avoid those that give out pennies...
Piece of cake! I did that back in October:
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It's as ill as battery acid to a Bratschi!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Toilet Duck

I wanted to do a song about the Toilet Duck, the greatest invention of all time. I figured I could cover the entire product line: the duck shaped cleaner filled bottle, the slow dissolve tablets and the flushable brush.

Since I am not a songwriter I decided to do it to the tune of "Silent Night."

After I finished, I worried that I would be eternally damned for making a song about a duck-themed toilet cleaner to the tune of a song about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I talked it over with some theologians and it turns out that it is NOT a sin to make such a song. In fact, they believe Jesus WANTS us to keep our toilets clean.

So with no further ado, here is "Toilet Duck."

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Toilet Duck
Toilet Duck, Toilet Duck!
So glad to have you, what awesome luck.
Funky necked bottle curved up like a worm.
You kill 99% of all germs,
Also bacteria too,
You help us clean up the loo.
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Toilet Duck, Toilet Duck!
Like a super cleansing hockey puck.
No more stubborn build up of lime
You keep it clean for months at a time,
It’s triple action clean!
Triple action clean.
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Toilet Duck, Toilet Duck!
Finally! A disposable brush.
It actually breaks up in your plumbing
The whole idea is just mind numbing,
Toilet Duck we thank you.
Toilet Duck we thank you.

The Fire Rescue Toy AKA "Faster you foot"

I have always hated gifts.

Really.

I hate giving them AND receiving them. I know, it makes me sound like a Scrooge, but nothing is more uncomfortable than gift giving. Well, using a trough urinal with a bunch of strangers is more uncomfortable. But, you rarely see trough urinals anymore. If you have no idea what I am talking about count your blessings.

Speaking of which, we are definitely blessed when others care enough to give a gift to us. Still, there is an odd procedure that goes into opening a gift:

Step 1: You have to say something like "you shouldn't have done this" or "jeez, I didn't get you anything."
Step 2: You open it and either:
a) if you don't like it, you have to pretend to like it.
b) if you like it, you have to express that without making it look like you are just pretending.
c) you have to try and "return the favor" by remembering their birthday or being nice to their kids or not hitting on their girlfriend or something.

Anyway, I always have hated gifts.

That is, until someone gave me this:

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This is an awesome dollar store find. Special Designed Fire Rescue. He's like a real life superhero!

The image at the top shows a Victorian home going up in flames and an unrevealed number of human lives in danger.

If that doesn't say "fun toy" to you, I don't know what would.

On the other side of the package is the warning:
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I shall translate the foreign languages:

ENGLISH: Not suitable for children under 3 years.
FRENCH: It's not convenient to have nine menorahs or 36 mice.
ITALIAN: No addition by order of mob boss Al Bambini. It makes him feel inferior as he can not add above 36.


Sure, if this JUST included a photo of a historic building being burned and a warning about the dangers of Italian mathematics it would be a great deal for a dollar.

But there is more!

Look at the fire fighter. He looks strong and bold. Like one of the G.I. Joe figures you traded to the kid down the block who got more than one Cobra Commander for Christmas.

Still, it looks like his hat doesn't fit. Let's take it off and see why:
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HOLY IDA LUPINO! The man is DEFORMED! No wonder his hat doesn't fit.

Since it's not polite to mock the disfigured, let us look at his accessories instead.

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First off is a red thing that might be Tom Servo's head. Then we have the "don't smoking" fire extinguisher. Of course a traffic cone is standard issue to all firemen, and lastly is the barrel. I guess he has that to throw in case Mario is ever chasing after him.

But, take a closer look at that barrel:
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FASTER YOU FOOT.

I can add nothing to that sentiment.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gus goes to the Grocery Store

In 1976 Disney released one of the single most bizarre films ever made. Gus told the story of a mule that was recruited from Yugoslavia to be a kicker in the NFL. The flick starred Ed Asner, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bob Crane and Tom Bosley. It's hysterical and I highly recommend it.

Near the end of the film the mule is preparing to play in the Superbowl. Suddenly he gets kidnapped by Tom Bosley and Tim Conway. While that sounds like a dream date for any HUMAN, Gun is unhappy. So he runs away.

And into a supermarket.

The supermarket scene lasts 10 minutes and features every slapstick gag you can imagine.

It's easily my favorite scene in the film.

First of all, I like any scene that takes place in a store. I find myself looking around and trying to read everything on the shelves. It's like a weird little time capsule. Moreover, I think it's cool that these are usually REAL items in the background. Someone probably BOUGHT that can of peaches and ate them never knowing that a mule bumped into them as he fled Mr. Cunningham and Dorf. Then they recycled the can (in 1976 that meant "throw into ocean") never knowing that they had discarded a piece of American cinema.

Let's take a look at the grocery scene in Gus.

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There goes Gus, right into Ralphs.

Ralphs is a grocery store chain in Southern California, founded in 1873.

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As Gus moseys past registers 7 & 8 we see a sign advertising the "Anniversary Celebration." This could be a real sign since Ralphs was founded 103 years before the movie's release and so it could have been close to 100 years at the time of filming. Or, perhaps, 103 years is an important milestone in food years.

Take note the liquor supply in the background. California grocery stores usually sell booze. BTW, Gus gets drunk in this film. Not this scene, unfortunately.

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Here some goofball erects a giant tower of canned fruit.

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And of course, the mule knocks 'em down. Then Conway and Bosley trip over 'em.

I wonder if anyone ever REALLY stacked cans this way. It seems incredibly stupid.

Hey look! Pepsi is on special!

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Now, Gus gazes at the diaper aisle. Since this was made in the mid 70's that kid in on the package is in his 30's today. I feel bad for him. No matter what else he accomplished in life it probably never equaled the achievement of being on the Pampers package. Yup, he peaked at 1.

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Conway gets into a fight with a guy who looked like the WWF's own Hercules Hernandez. It happens right in front of Tony the Tiger, Post Toasties and Carnation products.

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This is a great shot. They should have made it the poster. Tim Conway stares at the mules behind as the woman in white stares at Tim. The girl in the red and the kid next to her stare DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA.

Behind Tim is a display telling you to "Enter Shasta's Toyota Corolla Contest." Funny thing is, I bet that sign would fetch a little more on eBay than a 1976 Toyota Corolla.
I can also imagine it's worth more than that 1964 Adam Corolla I see on TV.

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Eventually Tim hops on the mule and rides it past the snack aisle. In the center you can see some old-style Dorito bags and Ruffles are on the right. Ruffles seems to have changed little over the years. Still, if you were Ruffles, would you EVER change?

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Finally Gus runs away giving us another look at Ralphs and the Magnolia Pharmacy next door.

Well, now I'm starving.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Great Speeches in American History: Jake the Snake Roberts

In late 1999 pro wrestling was at the height of it's popularity. Wrestling events were selling out everywhere. Pay-per-view ratings were higher than ever. This led to the Heroes of Wrestling event.

It sounded like a really good idea. Take all of the older guys that couldn't get a job with the WWF or the WCW and let them wrestle.

The result was EASILY the WORST wrestling event of all time. The show muddled through a series of mediocre matches with occasional bright spots which were than darkened by bad commentary and worse production values. As the event passed the two hour mark the time had come for Jake the Snake Roberts to take on Jim the Anvil Neidhardt.

Jake was a mess. Bloated and pale he stumbled around the ring like a drunken has been. This was probably because he WAS a drunken has been.

Yup, he was smashed. The match was forgettable and more confusing than watching a David Lynch movie in reverse as you stand on your head.

The highlight was actually BEFORE the match, when Jake did his pre-match interview.
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Jake stumbled into frame and told the interviewer the following:

"In a casino, you should gamble. Let me tell you something, Anvil, you don't want to play cards with me, because I'll cheat. Ok, I cheat. You want to play 21, I got 22. You want to play black jack? I got two of those too. You want to play aces and eights? Well, I got some of those too. Bottom line is this. You do not gamble with me ... When you walk into a casino, when you want to gamble, the main thing you must do, is this, you must accept losing. I don't accept losing, and neither does Damien. Damien, my friend! My friend Damien is right here. You don't want to see this, do you? Let me show you something. I tell you what Anvil, go ahead and roll the dice. Mr. Cameraman, get your a## back up here. Hell-oooo, I'm talkin' to you. Get that camera back up here. That's what you should worry about Anvil. The bottom line is this, when the DDT comes, then the snake comes out. Worry about the DDT. DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! THINK ABOUT IT!"

He said this in the most slurred voice one could imagine. At many points he was almost indecipherable.

Let's take a look at this rambling rant line by line:

In a casino, you should gamble. Let me tell you something, Anvil, you don't want to play cards with me, because I'll cheat. Ok, I cheat.


O.K., I assume he is speaking ABOUT a casino because the event was AT a casino. He also confesses to cheating. Let's move on.

You want to play 21, I got 22. You want to play black jack? I got two of those too.


You may have blown by that last line and not realized the total insanity of it. For starters:
"Twenty-one, also know as black jack, is one of the most popular casino card games in the world. Much of its popularity is due to the mix of chance and skill. Players try to beat the dealer by getting closest to 21 without going over."
So, if Jake has 22 HE LOSES. Then he tells us he has two "black jacks." Normally I would think that he was referring to the card game which he just called "21" but maybe he was referring to the small dark oak tree known as a "black jack." Maybe he has a nice tree nursery with two black jacks.

Or, maybe he is just really hammered.

You want to play aces and eights? Well, I got some of those too.


There is no tree called an "aces and eights" so, lets just assume that he is saying he owns many decks of cards.

Bottom line is this. You do not gamble with me ...


I won't.

When you walk into a casino, when you want to gamble, the main thing you must do, is this, you must accept losing.


Right. Like if you got a twenty-two while playing twenty-one?

I don't accept losing, and neither does Damien. Damien, my friend! My friend Damien is right here. You don't want to see this, do you? Let me show you something.


During this brief bit of eloquence the camera panned down to reveal a bag containing Jake's snake, Damien. Damien apparently doesn't like to lose either. It's possible he has a better grasp of the rule to various games of chance, however.

I tell you what Anvil, go ahead and roll the dice. Mr. Cameraman, get your a## back up here. Hell-oooo, I'm talkin' to you. Get that camera back up here. That's what you should worry about Anvil.


This was my favorite part of the interview. He was LEANING on the interviewer for support and he seemed genuinely angry with the cameraman.

The bottom line is this, when the DDT comes, then the snake comes out. Worry about the DDT. DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! THINK ABOUT IT!


You know what I spent the past few minutes thinking about this soliloquy. I think that was more than enough.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Million Dollar Mystery

I love a movie with a gimmick. We talked recently about one of my favorites, Clue.

Today I want to talk about Million Dollar Mystery another oddball film with a completely different gimmick:


This was no ORDINARY movie it was also a contest.

AND A COMMERCIAL FOR TRASH BAGS.

Million Dollar Mystery: THE CONTEST was cosponsored by Dino De Laurentiis and Glad Bags, offering a million bucks a lucky moviegoer.

First, let me tell you about Dino De Laurentiis. Dino is a crazy old man who is partially responsible for just about every action film ever made.

He actually had little to do with this film, but was ALL over the gimmick.

Here is the basic plot of the film:

A bunch of oddball characters are eating in a diner when a man named Sidney Preston has a heart attack. Before he dies, he tells them about $4 million bucks that he received from the Libyan government. He also mentions that he hid it in four bags under bridges across the country.

At the end of the film three of the four bags of cash have been claimed. This left ONE MILLION DOLLARS to the person clever enough to figure out where it was.

All moviegoers were given a game card when they entered the theater. The card was shaped like a dollar bill, only instead of George Washington it featured Dino De Laurentiis.

The stars of the film were a unique gaggle of comic actors including Rich Hall and Eddie Deezen. It also featured Tom Bosley as Sydney Preston.

Tom Bosley was the spokesman for Glad Bags at the time so it shouldn't surprise anyone that he chose to use Glad Bags to hide the money in. In fact Glad Bags are the real star of the film as they get more mentions and screen time than any of the actors involved.

The REAL million dollars was not ACTUALLY hidden any place, but it was awarded to a California woman who correctly guessed that it was hidden under the bridge of the Statue of Liberty's nose.

By the way, watching the film really doesn't give you that many clues to go on. To actually find the money you needed to buy Glad Bags to get more clues.

So, was the contest a success? Well, it grossed $989,033 at the box office.

I am not really good at math, but let me see if I can figure out if the film made any money:

$989,033 (gross of film)
-$1,000,000 (prize money)
+$500 (in free trash bags given to the crew)
-$500 (Rich Hall's salary)
+ PRICELESS (Dino's face on the one dollar bill)
= Over 50 BILLION DOLLARS!!!

Congratulations to Million Dollar Mystery for becoming the biggest film of all time! We at bunchojunk.com salute you!

John Barrymore


Heres one of the more unique slabs of concrete in the Grauman's forecourt for one reason: it has an imprint of John Barrymore's FACE!

Legendary actor John Barrymore left his mark in the cement on September 5, 1940. The actor, who was known for his profile reluctantly agreed to have his face pressed into the cement... and hold it there... and hold it there. See, it takes a couple of minutes for the cement to set and few things are more uncomfortable than lying face down in cement. Of course it may have cheered Mr. Barrymore up to know some of those more uncomfortable things:

1. Having your fingernails ripped out like in that movie Syriana.
2. Getting electrocuted in a pool, as that kid was in Syriana.
3. Having to watch Syriana.

Anyway, the uncomfortable moment left a great imprint in the cement that remains today 65 years later.