Friday, October 26, 2012

Frightening Friday: The Very Boring Werewolf

Just doing some yard work. 

Well, we've once again reached that part of October where it's almost over, but not quite, so I am forced to not say, "Well, we've once again reached that part of October that is the end of October." In short, it is nearly the end of October, which means if you haven't picked out your Halloween costume yet, you are doomed to spend Halloween night wearing a costume made of sadness.

Which brings us to today's Frightening Friday post. I've done a lot of research into supernatural beings. I read all four Twilight novels and once dissected a strange, hairless, dead creature I found on the beach that might have been a chupacabra but was probably a raccoon who died of rabies. So, I feel I have the inside scoop on the daily lives of the supernatural. That's why, after I got back from receiving many, many rabies shots, I sat down and wrote this story about werewolves. I hope you are prepared for the terror of...

The Very Boring Werewolf

Far, far away on a dark, dark street in the suburbs, there was a house. And in that house lived a werewolf named Steve. But as you likely guessed, he wasn't always a werewolf. Sometimes he was just Steve, the marketing coordinator.

Every morning non-werewolf Steve would go to the office, and a coworker would say, "Hey, Steve. How's life treating you?" And Steve would respond, "Good. Good. How are you?" And the coworker would respond, "Not too bad. Want to grab lunch today?" And Steve would say, "Sure thing" and later, the two coworkers would eat soup together and make awkward conversation. Sometimes after work, Steve would go home, do something boring like read the newspaper, and go to bed. But sometimes--on full moon nights--Steve would go home and turn into a werewolf. And that's when things would get interesting.

Because while non-werewolf Steve might spend his nights playing Scrabble against himself before falling asleep at 8 PM, werewolf Steve did things that were far more exciting.

On the nights Steve turned into a werewolf, he liked to go out. He liked to get crazy. He would drive over to the local Applebee's and grab a non-alcoholic beer. After that, he would get even crazier. He might head down to the Home Depot and look at lawn mowers. The guy would come on over the intercom and say, "Customers, we will be closing in 15 minutes." And what would werewolf Steve do? He would keep on looking at lawn mowers until FIVE minutes to closing. Then, he would head out to the parking lot AFTER NOT BUYING ANYTHING, get into his Camry, and head out to do something EVEN CRAZIER.

Werewolf Steve would drive to the library. The library would already be closed, of course, so Steve would sneak up the front walk. AND HE WOULD DROP HIS LIBRARY BOOKS OFF IN THE OVERNIGHT BOX. And guess what else??? The books would be due that day, and because it was now after closing, Steve would end up paying a nickel in fines! But that's not all Steve the werewolf did on full moon nights!!

After going to the library and turning in his books totally late, Steve would drive out to the woods where it was dark and spooky. He would get out of his car and walk down the deserted road. At the end of the long, spooky road, he would drop in unannounced to visit his grandmother!!! AND THEN HE MIGHT HELP HER WITH SOME HOUSEHOLD CHORES!!! "You're such a good boy," his grandmother would say. Then, she would insist on feeding him LEFTOVER SPAGHETTI FROM THE CHURCH POTLUCK FOR DINNER!!!

Finally, at 10 PM, Steve the werewolf would do the craziest thing of all. He would head home. He would go in through the garage door, say hello to his cats, and then walk over to the refrigerator to just look in and see if anything looks good. But then he would think about the big sandwich he had for lunch and the leftover spaghetti and decide to pass on an evening snack. But if you think that's the end of Steve's evening, you're wrong. Because after a long day of working, turning into a werewolf, and going out on the town for a lot of crazy errands, Steve would turn on his computer. He would get on the internet. He would go to And then! Steve the werewolf would look for a NEW SHOWER CURTAIN!!!

And then he would fall asleep in his recliner during an old episode of TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Frightening Friday: Cursed Dismembered Animal Appendages of Death

Whatever you do, don't make any wishes.

Back in the olden days before PETA, people thought it was hilarious to sever animal appendages and keep them for luck and also for fun. If you lived in the olden days and your friend came up to you at school or the Civil War and said, "Greetings, chum, behold my lucky rabbit's foot!" you would probably get really excited for him and think he was the cat's pajamas. But in current times, if your friend comes up to you and says, "Hey, dickbreath, take a look at my lucky rabbit's foot," you might scream and scream and have nightmares and unfriend him on Facebook. This is because people have become increasingly sensitive to the suffering of animals. No longer can you freely skin a raccoon and wear him on your head, even though you might want to because the raccoon in question is a total homophobe. Nowadays, if you want to skin a raccoon, carry a rabbit's foot, or put a curse on the paw of a monkey so that people who make wishes upon it end up in terrible circumstances, you have to deal with a lot of criticism and red tape.

Unfortunately for the people of today's Frightening Friday story and monkeys everywhere, it takes place in modern times, and we cannot disregard the feelings of the monkey whose dismembered paw plays a central role in a great deal of misfortune.

Cursed Dismembered Animal Appendages of Death

Agatha was a normal girl in every way but one. And that one way was that she hated everyone and everything and wanted to spread misery and woe wherever she went. Now, perhaps you think you know someone like that. Maybe it's your older sister, an unpleasant movie theater employee, or Torquemada. But all of those people love something or someone. Your sister loves Chad, the sousaphone player in the school marching band. The unpleasant movie theater employee loves quitting time. And Torquemada loves persecution. But Agatha did not love anything or anyone. The only thing that even came close to bringing Agatha some kind of happiness was selling cursed souvenirs to the tourists who visited her town. But even that made her angry and unpleasant.

"Hell-O! We're from out of town!" tourists would titter when they entered Agatha's dark and unpleasant souvenir shop.

"Woop-de-freaking-do," Agatha would grunt. "Buy something or get out."

But people on vacation just thought she was being a quaint local and would quickly gather up as many cursed snow globes, keychains, postcards, and bottles of chipotle barbecue sauce as they could carry and purchase them for all their friends back home.

Some of them might make it to their vehicles before it would happen. Others might make it to the nearest gas station. But no matter how long it took, some kind of misfortune would befall those tourists. A flat tire. A bee sting. Plummeting 500 feet to their fiery deaths at the bottom of a steep gorge. Agatha would read about it in the local newspaper and grunt with a very low level of satisfaction and carry on with her day.

Now, Agatha had a special side business in the back of the souvenir shop, and that side business was selling cursed dismembered animal parts. The reason it was in the back of the souvenir shop and not right out front with the rest of the cursed souvenirs was that she had not filed the proper paperwork to sell said animal parts with the U.S. Department of Cursed Severed Animal Appendages. As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of red tape involved with using parts of animals for amusement, decoration, or doing ill will to others, and Agatha hated red tape right along with everything else.

But as you can imagine, it can be very dangerous to deal in cursed animal appendages. You might, for instance, be stocking the shelves in the back of your souvenir shop, carefully placing the cursed and therefore, ironically, very unlucky rabbits' feet in the bin where they go while wearing a pair of unwieldy lead-lined anti-curse gloves. And because your gloves are so unwieldy, you may accidentally topple a bin filled with cursed monkey's paws with your elbow. And as one of the cursed monkey's paws falls to the floor, it may brush your bare ankle the moment you say to yourself, "I wish I didn't need these stupid gloves!"

Oddly, that is exactly what happened to Agatha in the back room of her evil souvenir shop. The dropped cursed monkey's paw brushed her bare ankle, and instantly, Agatha developed a pair of lead-lined anti-curse hands.

"Arrrrrrgh!" Agatha screamed, and she did this for two reasons. The first reason is that the entire floor was now covered with cursed monkey's paws, and Agatha hated messes. The second reason was that, as anyone with lead-lined hands knows, they are extremely heavy. So, as soon as Agatha's wish was granted, she was cursed with not only lead-lined hands, but terrible posture as well, as her hands quickly fell to the floor. And if you thought Agatha was cranky before, well...

What followed was a terribly disgraceful display involving an angry person with a sore back crawling around on the floor, digging through a lot of monkey's paws and crying a lot as she tried to wish her hands back to normal. It was a very sad display, and I don't want you to have to witness it, even with your brain. Just know that Agatha's hands (and life) were never the same again. The government found out that she was dealing in unlicensed, cursed goods, and her shop was closed down. PETA caught wind of the situation and made a commercial about it starring Pamela Anderson fellating a banana for some reason. A few very depressing years went by, and Agatha moved to India to try to find some peace through spiritual healing and meditation. But one night, as she walked down the street dragging her extremely heavy knuckles on the ground, she was mistaken for a monkey by a shaman with no respect for animals.

So, if you are in a marketplace in India and someone offers to sell you an extremely heavy monkey's paw that he promises will grant your every wish, don't buy it. It's cursed. And also Agatha never washed her hands.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Frightening Friday: The Bermuda Triangle Is For People Who Like Their Geometry with a Side of Death

Many people would argue that Friday is the most frightening day of the week. Personally, it doesn't frighten me, as I once won an award for bravery and it just so happened to be a Friday and I was wearing a grizzly bear suit at the time to ward off anything that might leap out and try to scare me.

But if I were you, reading this right now on a Friday, I would be extremely frightened. Because the subject of this week's story involves one of the scariest things I can think of, and that thing is geometry.

When I think of geometry, it reminds me of two terrifying things: math teachers who make you get up and work out problems at the chalkboard and the Bermuda Triangle. Both will make an appearance in today's terrifying story. So, grab your compasses, your graphing calculators, and a good, sturdy ruler for biting on in case you are overcome by terror. And now the story will begin...

The Bermuda Triangle Is for People Who Like Their Geometry with a Side of Death

Triangles are not, by nature, a terrifying thing. Take, for instance, Doritos. What could be less frightening than a light brown triangle wearing a coating of orange nacho cheese dust? So, when the Bermuda Triangle started swallowing ships, airplanes, and the occasional human being, people began reconsidering the terror factor of triangles. Especially in a town 700 miles from the Bermuda Triangle where this story begins.

It was a town called Certain Doom, and for good reason too, as it sat on the very edge of a cliff overlooking a valley filled with extremely pointy rocks and man-eating lions. The people of Certain Doom were already very paranoid about gusts of wind, earthquakes, pointy rocks, and man-eating lions. So, when it was announced on the news that the Bermuda Triangle may have claimed another victim on a morning in October many, many years ago, the townspeople did not handle the news well.

"AAAAAAAAAAA!" screamed a fifth grade girl in music class at Certain Doom Elementary.

"What is it?" asked her music teacher in alarm.

"A triangle! Over there with the percussion instruments."

"AAAAA!" said the music teacher. "Class dismissed forever!"

The school was evacuated and the S.W.A.T. team was called in. Two days later, the building was leveled, and too terrified to put anything new on the now-empty plot of land, the people of the town built a 75-foot-tall fence around the area. Lest the evil triangle return to have its revenge and/or swallow the town's vehicles and citizens. And that was only the beginning of how the town began cracking down on triangles of all sizes.

The citizens of Certain Doom soon created a special task force whose job it was to eradicate all triangles in town. But because even the word "triangle" was terrifying to the poor people, they refused to even use it in the title of the task force. And so the Three-Sided Pointy Thing Task Force was formed. And their first stop, naturally, was the grocery store.

"Quick, task force!" one of the task force members shouted. "We must get all of these bags of Doritos outside and smash them before the triangles get us!" The task force leapt to action, and soon they were all stomping on hundreds of Doritos and breaking them into non-triangular shapes that were terrible for dipping.

"Oh, no! My shoes are covered with cheese-flavored triangle dust!" one of the task force members shouted, mid-stomp.

"Andrews is tainted!" another task force member shrieked.

"AAAAAAA!" Andrews said and then threw himself into Certain Doom Valley where he was impaled on a pointy rock.

"AAAAAAAAA!" said another member of the task force who had watched him jump. "That reminded me that I'm scared of heights!"

"AAAAAAAAAAA!" said a third task force member. "I just realized that the only kind of tortilla chips we can buy at the grocery store now are Tostitos Scoops."

"AAAAAAAAAAAAA!" said yet another task force member. But he had nothing else to add.

It is very important for me to mention at this point in the story that not everyone in town was afraid of triangles and found themselves rushing out to their closest toast point emporiums and stomping all of the merchandise into dust. Some of the people of Certain Doom were logical and intelligent human beings who had a healthy relationship with all shapes, including three-sided pointy things.

One of these people was a local math teacher. And she thought everyone in town was overreacting.

"You're overreacting," the local math teacher said.

"No! I'm not!" replied the local pizza chef. He had just discovered that if you cut a circle-shaped pizza into equal-sized pieces, they turned into cheese-covered death triangles. "This pizza must be destroyed."

"Fine, I'll take it home and destroy it," the math teacher said. She was extremely hungry and had no patience for nonsense, as she had just spent the day talking the principal out from under his desk after he discovered that when he cut his peanut butter and jelly sandwich into halves, it made two extremely gooey triangles.

"I don't believe you," the pizza chef said.

"Please, just give me my pizza," the math teacher said.

"No! You'll destroy us all," the pizza chef replied, brandishing a pizza cutter.

"If you don't, I'll do something you won't like at all," said the teacher.

"What's that?" asked the very doubtful chef.

In response, the math teacher took a geometry book out of her bag, opened it to the chapter entitled "TRIANGLES," and as the pizza chef fainted in terror, she took her pizza and left. The move was either incredibly brave of the teacher or incredibly foolhardy, depending on your stance on triangles and stealing pizzas.

Now, you're probably wondering what my opinion is on triangles and the stealing of pizzas, as I am the author. Personally, I do not condone the stealing of pizzas. I once worked at Pizza Hut and was the victim of many a dine-and-dash for which I received no tips and an an extra trip to the salad bar of hurt feelings. As for triangles, if you aren't afraid of those, you will be in a second.

Did someone say Pizza Hut?

So, you see? Triangles are extremely dangerous, as the math teacher learned 10 minutes after she arrived home with her stolen pizza and choked to death. Luckily, for the the people of Certain Doom, the sacrifice of the interloper was enough to appease the triangle gods on that day and they were spared. But if you find yourself traveling through the Bermuda Triangle on a dark and spooky night...beware of sharks.


*I did not create the top image, but it is a work of brilliance.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Frightening Friday: The Very Inexperienced Murderer

It's a proven fact that sunglasses are experienced at hiding guilt.

If you ever find yourself standing over a dead body with an ax and an overwhelming feeling of regret, I would advise not burying the body under the floorboards of your own home. This is for several reasons. First of all, dead bodies are messy and get stinky very quickly. Secondly, you may incriminate yourself when someone inevitably finds it. And finally, it will drive your pets crazy because there is nothing pets love more than digging up and eating stinky dead things. Also, if you live on the third floor of a building, like I do, burying a body under the floorboards is just asking for your second floor neighbor to wonder why there is a corpse hanging from his chandelier.

In case that introduction was not enough of a hint, today's Frightening Friday story is about hiding dead bodies. More specifically, it is about hiding dead bodies poorly and stinking up your entire apartment building. So, grab your can of Glade Hawaiian Fresh air sanitizer and a few towels to jam in the cracks around your door and let's jump right in...TO TERROR. 

The Very Inexperienced Murderer

Nathaniel was not an experienced murderer. Oh, sure, he'd thought about it once or twice, like when his landlord told him he would fumigate for rats that time and never did. Or when his cousin showed up to his barbecue empty-handed when Nathaniel had clearly asked him to bring potato salad. But he had never actually followed through with it.

So, when Nathaniel really did murder someone, he was quite unprepared. He had not laid down a single sheet of plastic to protect against brain spatter. He had not found a kill room where he would not be disturbed. And, worst of all, he decided to dispose of the body by burying it under the floorboards in his own home. "It'll be fine," he insisted, ignoring all the incriminating bone fragments that decorated his ceiling. "Nobody will ever know that Mr. Dudley was here." Nathaniel haphazardly mopped up the blood pool, put a rug over it, and sat down for a nice cup of tea not five feet from where he had hidden his victim.

But you probably need some back story now. It is quite unfair of me to dump you into the best part of the story without explaining how this all began.

Not only was Nathaniel an inexperienced murderer, he was also an inexperienced optician. How do you become an optician when you have no experience whatsoever? It's simple, really. Move into an office building and put a sign on your door that says "OPTICIAN." When people who need glasses come in and ask you for your credentials, just show them a brown rectangular piece of paper with some squiggles on it. Then, give them the expected vision tests. After they come pick up their glasses and before they can complain about the headaches, quickly move your offices to a different building. The person cannot see and therefore will never find you. But valuable career advice is unimportant. What's important is how an inexperienced optician was driven to MURDER.

"Excuse me," said Mr. Dudley, who would soon become the victim of a very inexperienced murderer.

"Can I help you?" asked Nathaniel, who would soon become a murderer with slightly more experience than he had before, which was none.

"I bought these glasses from you last week, and they are giving me terrible headaches," replied Mr. Dudley, completely oblivious to his status as a pre-murder victim.

"That's impossible!" Nathaniel scoffed. Not only was he an inexperienced murderer and optician, he was also an inexperienced customer service representative and, like the people at Hotwire, he didn't know how to not be a complete jerk.

"I assure you that it's not," said Mr. Dudley. "I came in last week and looked at your credentials on that very blurry piece of brown paper. Then, you held up two fingers and asked how many I saw. I picked out some new glasses, paid the price of 8 million dollars, which--as an inexperienced buyer of glasses--seemed reasonable, and left. But yesterday, after I wore my new glasses for two hours, I thought my head might explode."

"I understand," Nathaniel said. "But I suspect your problem is that you are an inexperienced sufferer of headaches."

"Whatever could that mean?" asked the so-far-inexperienced victim of murder and glasses buying.

"I mean that, due to a possible lack of experience in having headaches," Nathaniel said, "perhaps you are not suffering from headaches at all. But maybe you are experienced in imagining you have a headache."

"Why would I do that?" Mr. Dudley asked.

"Because imagining things is fun," said Nathaniel. "Maybe you would like to experience it now. Go on. Close your eyes and imagine. I will be right over here packing my optician equipment into these moving boxes."

But if there was one thing Mr. Dudley was experienced in, it was being distrustful of people putting things into moving boxes. One time, his parents--who were inexperienced at not leaving their children behind when they moved--left him behind when they moved.

"How dare you?!" Mr. Dudley, experienced exclaimer of exclamations exclaimed. "I demand a full refund."

And it was then that Nathaniel, who was inexperienced at giving refunds, decided to kill him. Soon, Mr. Dudley became quite experienced at being a dismembered corpse. And, if you'll recall, those dismembered parts ended up under the floorboards of Nathaniel's house.

Perhaps you are experienced in reading the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and are already aware of what will probably happen next. Nathaniel will soon gain some experience in feeling guilty. The guilt will begin to drive him to madness. He may even start hearing noises coming from under the floorboards. And at the climax of the story, he will declare for everyone to hear that he is, in fact, the murderer of Mr. Dudley.

Unfortunately for you, this particular story of body hiding was not written by Edgar Allan Poe. It was written by someone far more experienced at being currently alive and much less experienced at being successful.

What actually happened was that everyone who lived in Nathaniel's building soon began to gain experience in detecting odd odors. Ones that seemed to be coming from the empty apartment directly below Nathaniel's. Because, as you perhaps did not foresee, Nathaniel lived on the third floor of his apartment building, not in a place more experienced at hiding bodies, like a mausoleum or Drew Peterson's house. After a week of stinkiness, even the actually-experienced murderer who lived next-door to Nathaniel and kept dismembered heads as trophies on his mantlepiece called the police. And Nathaniel, inexperienced murderer with experience in being caught, was caught.

However, all of the detectives who were called in to investigate the crime were inexperienced in buying glasses from an experienced optician and missed the valuable evidence linking Nathaniel to the crime. A mistrial was declared and the prosecuting attorney became experienced in crying a lot.


**Credit to whomever Photoshopped the above pic of Poe.
***I keep typing his name as Pie. I just had an idea for Edgar Allan Pie. It's a giant pie you trick one of your enemies into climbing into. And then you bake him alive at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.