Friday, October 28, 2011



You may recall the time I told you about meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Well, believe it or not, that wasn't the end of it.  Here's what happened after that...

One evening, as twilight gently descended over my cozy abode and I was just settling into my beloved swivel recliner to watch a Mickey Rooney marathon on TCM, a large foot came crashing through my front door.

It withdrew, and then the entire door was smashed into a million tiny toothpicks by a huge ham-fist.  Arnold Schwarzenegger popped into the doorway, his face contorted into a gigantic gap-toothed grin.

"PORFLE!!!" he bellowed.  Actually, it sounded more like "POE-WAH-FOOL!!!"

I sat up, startled.  "Arnold!  What the hell are you doing here?  Why did you just wreck my front door?"  I hadn't seen him since the day he'd forced me to play Tarzan with him in the city park on his day off from being Governor of California, and he was literally the last person I expected to come crashing through my front door that evening.  Well, except maybe for Billy Corrigan.

Arnold laughed and blundered into my livingroom over the scattered pieces of my door.  "Don't worry, I buy you a new one!" he chortled. Then he lost his balance and fell backward into my big-screen TV set, destroying it in an ear-splitting explosion of sparks, plastic, wood splinters, and other debris.

"My TV!" I cried.

"I buy you also a new TV, ha ha!" said Arnold as he lumbered to his feet.  I then noticed that he was carrying a large silver keg under one arm and a decorative beer stein in his hand.

"Are you drunk?" I asked warily.

"No, I yam drinking only bee-yah!" Arnold scoffed.  "Bee-yah does not ged you dronk, porfle, ha ha!  Everyboddy knows dat!"

He lurched forward a few steps, tripped over a braided throw rug, and launched himself at me.  I ducked hastily as the beer keg sailed over my head and crashed through the window behind my chair.  Arnold landed on my coffee table with a resounding THWACK! and broke it in half.  The impact knocked all the pictures off my walls except for a nude portrait of Phil Donahue on horseback, which had been super-glued there by vandals.

Arnold slowly dragged himself to the edge of my couch and sat with his shoulders hunched, a sheepish look on his face.  I could tell he was embarrassed.  He looked down at his decorative beer stein, which was now a mocking reminder of his previous frivolity.  "Perhaps I haff behaved in a manner which is unseemly," he muttered apologetically.  "It was not goober...goober..."

"Gubernatorial?" I prompted.

He looked up in awe.  "I love dat word."

"Well," I said, trying to lighten the situation, "what the heck brings you here this evening, Arnold?"

He brightened immediately, revealing his trademark gap-toothed grin again.  "For you I haff a wunnerful surprise, porfle!" he beamed.  "I know dat you are lonely und mit-out a girlfriend.  So tonight I bring my twin sister here for you to haff a blind date with!"  He stood up and shouted toward the front door.  "OLGA!!!  HE NOW ISS VERY MUCH EXCITED TO MEET YOU!!!"

Gripped with apprehension, I braced myself.  Suddenly, an eye-watering vision of horror which sent icy chills down my spine filled the doorway.  It looked like Arnold in drag.  With a wider and even more maniacal grin than that of her twin brother, Olga Schwarzenegger stomped into my livingroom wearing a skintight polka-dot dress and high heels.  She looked like she'd just had her hair and makeup done by Tom Savini.

"Hit a crab pose, Olga!" Arnold prompted.  She complied with a resounding grunt, bursting the buttons off the back of her dress like slugs from a .45 and richocheting them off the walls.  The expression on her face caused my cat to dash straight up the curtains and leap onto a hanging light fixture, hissing frantically.  For good measure, Olga threw in a couple of bicep poses and various crunches as Arnold looked on proudly.

"See, porfle?" Arnold beamed.  "She almost is as strong and powerful as I am!  If not for dah fact dat she iss a girl, she would easily become Mr. Universe!  But instead, she soon will enter the Ms. Fitness competition!"  He pulled a cassette tape out of his hip pocket and inserted it into my tape player, turning up the volume to maximum.  Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" came blasting out of it. "OLGA!!!" he screamed over the noise.  "PERFORM FOR PORFLE YOUR SEXY AEROBIC DANCE ROUTINE!!!"

With that, the radiantly-smiling Olga began to hop around and gyrate in a haphazard combination of frenetic calisthenics, gymnastics, and suggestive "Flashdance"-style choreography.  She looked like a demented moose in heat trying to back through a turnstile.


As the music reached its crescendo, Olga wiggled her massive hips coquettishly, gave a girlish wink, and, after a running start, launched herself into the air for a final leaping somersault.  She crashed through the wall into the kitchen and collided with my refrigerator, collapsing it like an accordion.  Ripping its door off the hinges in an effort to regain her balance, Olga spun through the gaping hole in the wall and staggered back into the livingroom, hurling the refrigerator door like a huge discus and shattering my front windows.

The force of her forward momentum carried her after it and she flipped end-over-end out the window, landing on my car and smashing it flat.  Mercifully, she was now out cold.  With a blood-curdling shriek of grinding metal, the car rolled backward out of the driveway with Olga sprawled across the crumpled roof and disappeared down the street, picking up speed until it eventually made its way into peak rush-hour traffic.  The sound of screeching tires, high-speed collisions, and screams of terror filled the air.  Distressed cattle could also be heard.

Olivia Newton-John's voice faded to silence at last as Arnold stood with his head bowed dejectedly.  "Once again I must apologize, porfle," he said.  "I fear perhaps my sister Olga and I have failed to properly rehearse her aerobic dance routine."

"That's okay, Arnold," I said, still shaking.  "It could've happened to anybody."  Then I thought about it for a moment and added, "Actually, there are probably very few people in the world that this could've happened to."

"It happened to Lou Ferrigno a couple of times," Arnold mused.  Then he gave me a hopeful look.  " think maybe you and Olga will now fall in love and have sexual intercourse?  And get married and make for me some brand new nephews and nieces to play with?"

"Oh gee, Arnold, I'd love to," I replied, thinking fast.  "Except for one thing...I'm gay."

His eyes widened in shock. "You are gay, porfle?  I did not know dat!"

"Yep," I affirmed, confident that my brilliant ruse would solve everything.  "I'm absolutely, positively, 100% gay."

"Den you must meet my twin broddah, Heinrich!  He also iss gay!"

As a jubilant Arnold dragged me kicking and screaming toward his Hummer, it occurred to me that perhaps I should've just left well enough alone and agreed to marry Olga.  Still, I did take comfort in the possibility that Heinrich might be prettier.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


One thing I've discovered about Super Wal-Mart--their salespeople are woefully inadequate when it comes to helping me pick out a suitable Halloween costume. 

In fact, it took me several minutes just to find someone I recognized as an employee.  He was hiding in the gardening department behind a stack of fertilizer, pretending to do something like they always do, so I pressed him into service as my Halloween "tailor", as it were, in order for him to meet my needs as a customer.

"I want to dress up as the Tyrannosaurus Rex from JURASSIC PARK," I announced.  To demonstrate my sincerity, I crouched into my patented dinosaur position and emitted a frightening growl, clawing the air with my "talons."

"We don't have any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes," he said.  Without even looking.  I mean, it was as though this guy wanted me to believe that he had memorized every costume they did or didn't have. 

"What the hell do you mean, you don't have any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes?" I countered, inching forward in my dinosaur crouch in order to intimidate him. 

"Look," the guy said, "all's we got is what you see here."  He waved his hand over a display of costumes ranging from "Sparkly 'Twilight' Vampire" to "Random 'Harry Potter' Character" to assorted princesses, pirates, game show hosts, etc.  There wasn't a single Tyrannosaurus Rex costume on the whole blooming rack!

"I WANNA BE A TYRANNOSAURUS REX!!!" I screamed in sudden rage, jumping up and down and pumping my fists.  He simply stared at me, nonplussed, so I continued to do this until a big guy from store security came over and asked what the problem was.  I was beyond verbal communication by that point, so I pointed at the salesguy and the costumes, and did my dinosaur crouch again, and then continued jumping up and down screaming, "I WANNA BE A TYRANNOSAURUS REX!!!"  Only by this time the words were garbled into something that sounded like "ARR GARR BAR RAR RARR RARRRRR!!!"

The security guy made a threatening move toward me, so I ducked out of his grasp and ran down the aisle.  Other customers were staring at me wide-eyed, obviously sympathetic to my plight and afraid that some simple request on their part might also result in them being persecuted for no reason. 

Regaining my ability to speak, I darted from person to person as I ran, grabbing them by the shoulders and screaming "DON'T ASK FOR TYRANNOSAURUS REX COSTUMES!!!" into each of their terrified faces.  Thank goodness my warning seemed to work, since several of them immediately ran away.

Upon reaching the electronics section, I whipped around resolutely and prepared to face my pursuers.  At first it seemed as though they were no longer chasing me.  I knew better, though, reasoning that they must be circling around for a sneak attack from one of the side aisles. 

Easing behind a DVD rack, I took the opportunity to check and see if any new "Pippi Longstocking" DVDs had come in that month.  They hadn't.  In fact, I couldn't remember ever seeing any except for those crappy recent ones that never got the character right like the authentic Swedish versions from the 70s did, and should burn in hell.

A saleslady walked by, so I asked, in my most polite voice, "Excuse me, are you expecting any new 'Pippi Longstocking' DVDs any time soon?  And I don't mean those crappy recent ones that never get the character right and should burn in hell, but the authentic Swedish versions from the 70s."  In order to better convey what I was talking about, I began to brightly croon Pippi's theme song while doing the Pippi dance. "I am Pippi Longstocking, a-hope and a-hey and a-hope sha-naaa!"

The saleslady stood there and watched until I came to the big finish, which involved a final hop-skip dance step into a frozen pose with the usual hand flourishes and big toothy smile.  "Uhh," she said at last.  "I don't think we have any of those."

"I know you don't have any," I said calmly, with only a small, controlled sigh betraying my annoyance.  "What I'm asking is, are you going to get any?"

"I don't know," she said nervously.

"Well then," I said patiently, changing the subject.  "Are you going to get any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes?"

"Any what?"


The saleslady screamed in terror, and suddenly the security guy and the fertilizer guy were after me again.  I scrambled down the main aisle that cut through the middle of the store and careened into the grocery section, flinging potatoes and heads of lettuce behind me.  But as soon as I turned the next corner, I spotted several uniformed policemen moving in from the frozen foods section.  I was trapped!

Looking around, I spied a large cardboard cutout standing next to a Kool-Aid display.  I darted behind it and waited for my pursuers to run past, chattering about how they were going to "catch that guy."  And I was that guy!  Me, an unflinchingly loyal Super-Walmart customer whose only crime was wanting a damn Tyrannosaurus Rex costume! 

Fear and indignation merged within my roiling breast as the unfairness of the situation began to consume me with a surge of manic intensity.  "GRRRRRRR!!!" I growled, grabbing the cardboard cutout in both hands and holding it in front of me as I charged my way out of the store.

It wasn't until I watched the video footage of the incident on the news that night that I discovered the cardboard cutout was--in one of those funny coincidences--a Tyrannosaurus Rex from JURASSIC PARK which was part of their commercial tie-in with Kool-Aid.  Since my anger had reduced me to non-verbal status again, the rampaging cardboard dinosaur seemed to roar "ARR GARR BAR RAR RARR RAAARRRRR!!!" as it crashed its way through the store and out the front door, with the security guy, the fertilizer guy, and the saleslady all running for their lives along with the rest of the screaming customers. 

Again, I hadn't realized exactly what was happening when I went on to terrorize an orphanage, a hospital, and an old folks' home in similar fashion, unwittingly chasing a wide and ever-increasing assortment of terrified people down the street until I finally ducked down an alleyway and made my way home. 

That night, Mom called and asked if I'd had anything to do with "that story on the news", and I asked her why she would simply assume that I did and she just sort of sighed.  Later, some little kids in weird costumes came to my door begging for free candy, so I grabbed my Tyrannosaurus Rex cutout and chased them away.  Pffft--like I buy that stuff just to give it away to a bunch of strangers.