Earth-Rim Walkers and Those Who Love Them

I find it gratifying and delightful that our oldest existing story native to English — the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf — is unabashedly a monster story. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s generally dated to the eighth century, which means it has stood the test of time to reach us well over a thousand years later; we study it in our schools; our scholars analyze it anew in each generation; it has inspired novels, music, and films. And it’s a monster story.

It’s told well, of course. It’s a poem. It uses language that conjures pictures in our heads and brings music to our ears. It has characters we can relate to and it takes us fully into their world; in short, it does everything that good literature is supposed to do. And it’s a monster story! It satisfies the college profs, but it also satisfies the little kid in us who yearns for creatures that pad up to the door of the mead-hall and smash it  asunder.

What does that tell us about fundamental, archetypal storytelling? All those of us who love a good creature tale can hold our heads high. Our kinds of stories were there at the beginning; they’re still there behind it all. Things go bump in the night, and all we who huddle around the fires want to hear about them — from a safe distance, if possible.

The title of this post comes, in part, from a phrase used in Beowulf to describe the monster Grendel. (In John Gardner’s 1971 novel Grendel, told from the monster’s viewpoint, Grendel describes himself as “a shadow-shooter, earth-rim-roamer, walker of the world’s weird wall.” Nice, huh?) The original epic Beowulf emerged at a time when Christianity was spreading among the pagan cultures of Europe, and the poem is a fascinating blend of Christian and pagan elements. [I remember reading another poem from the general era in which Christ was portrayed as a warrior-king, conquering death for His people in the same way that Anglo-Saxon kings conquered enemies. In the poem, Christ leaps up onto the cross, grips it in His brawny arms, and hangs on tight until He has strangled the last breath out of death, thus winning salvation for the thanes He protects. That’s a world different from the pale, suffering Christ depicted in later years, but they’re both aspects of the work He accomplished.]

In Beowulf, one manifestation of the Christian element is the poet’s painstaking effort to connect Grendel with the Biblical Old Testament. Grendel is descended from Cain, the first murderer. There is also some association with the fallen angels who warred against God and were cast out of Heaven.

Interestingly, there’s a correlation in our own times. Just as the early tellers of Beowulf felt a need to fit the monster into their Christian world-view, I’ve heard of a similar phenomenon going on today in Christian fiction publishing. (I’m talking about books published under the label of “Christian fiction,” not simply books by Christians such as The Hobbit.) A good friend of mine has spoken at length with editors and agents who work in this genre, and apparently the rule in place among many (most?) of them is that any supernatural element a writer uses has to be supportable with Scripture — in other words, if you use a monster, it has to be one from the Bible.

Where this comes into particular play is in vampire fiction. Believe it or not, my friend tells me that certain Christian publishers are actively seeking vampire fiction. It’s just that they require it to “have its theology right.” Really, it’s always been my theory that the older vampire stories in the western canon are inseparable from a Christian understanding. Vampires (traditionally) can’t endure crosses and crucifixes, right? They avoid churches. Why would this be, unless we’re acknowledging the power of God and God’s opposition to evil? (When people ask me what Dragonfly‘s category is, I say “dark fantasy, or maybe Christian horror.” Heh, heh!)

But, as my friend reports it, you can’t say a vampire is a “vampire” in official Christian fiction and leave it at that, because there are no vampires in the Bible. (Well, actually, there may just be a hint of them, but that’s a whole other posting! We can get into that if anyone’s curious.) So you have to say that vampires are demons masquerading as vampires. My response to that is, why can’t a vampire simply be a kind of demon? That’s the way it’s handled in Buffy: vampires are frequently referred to as “demons.” The soul of the human departs from the body at death, and the body is taken over by an evil, demonic spirit who is wholly other than the departed human, yet with an awareness and command of the residual mind and memories of that human. So it’s that human in a way, but without the most important part — the soul — and with something extra and evil added in — the demon. That, to the best of my observation, is the way it works in the Buffyverse, and that model works fine, theologically, for me! So there you have it: on this point, Buffy has its theology straight. (We won’t get into Willow’s religion. . . .)

But back to the creatures that walk in the night (not just vampires) — stories about them have sprung up all across cultures and throughout history. We humans can’t leave them alone. Theories abound as to why. Perhaps these tales grow out of our fear of the dark and the unknown; we give faces and physical forms to our fears, because any monster, no matter how terrible, is somehow easier to deal with than the truly faceless and unknown. Once we know it’s a dragon, we can work on how to defeat it.

Or maybe the stories are one way of dealing with the forces we know about but can’t control: storms . . . enemies . . . unexpected violence . . . illness . . . loss . . . death. Give it a face, let it pursue you for a while through a harrowing tale, and then overcome it. Escape.

Maybe the monsters somehow represent the mystery, power, and vastness of nature itself. This is a recurrent theme in the stories of Algernon Blackwood, particularly “The Wendigo” and “The Willows.” (Even my mom — my mom, who never went out of her way to read any horror — remembered “The Willows” as “the scariest story [she'd] ever read.”)

Or yet again, maybe our monsters are our way of separating out the bad parts of ourselves. The truth is, there’s darkness, greed, and malice inside us — monsters give us scapegoats. They siphon out this badness from inside us, and we can point our fingers at them and drive stakes through their hearts. That certainly may figure into stories of werewolves, which explore the notion that there can be beasts within us that sometimes emerge, terrible and separate from the part of us that is human. That all may be part of it. . . .

Or maybe we know that we really do live in a world where lonely things howl in the desolate places, and to tell their stories is as natural as telling our tales of journeys and discoveries, of courage and love and triumph.

Isn’t it interesting, though, how many of our monsters have been changing over the years? Vampires were once utterly evil, alien, and repulsive. Remember Nosferatu, with his pointed ears, his bald, bulbous head, his rat-like demeanor, prominent fangs, and the stark, twisted shadows he cast on the wall? Then came Bela Lugosi, who still portrayed an evil vampire, but was also charming and seductive. Ditto with Christopher Lee. Decades went by, and then came the Anne Rice vampire books, beginning with Interview with the Vampire, in which vampires were the main characters — we were inside their heads, sympathizing with them, understanding why they did what they did. We rooted for the good ones and hissed at the bad ones. When Joss Whedon gave us the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we had vampires who — under certain conditions — could be noble and heroic.

And now we have an explosion of vampires in the pop culture, and in many instances the good-aligned vampires aren’t even sorry to be vampires — no one is sorry . . . they altruistically find ways to feed without harming humans, they help people, they’re beautiful and romantic, women and men swoon over them, and they’ve essentially become like Tolkien’s Elves: the species that we’d be if we were a little better — if our limitations and infirmities were taken away.

Mary Shelley undoubtedly helped to bring about this shift in the role of the monster. In her 1818 novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, the monster, though he behaves monstrously, is the victim; his creator is the true monster, the source of the harm and tragedy.  So, too, in the latest retelling of Beowulf — the 2007 film written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary — the monster is both terrifying and greatly to be pitied; he is not so much ravenous as he is tormented. (And whoever thought back in the eighth century that Grendel’s mother would one day look like that — like Angelina Jolie covered in gold, wearing high-heeled feet?! Oh, the roles of monsters are a-changin’ . . . but perhaps not so much. There have always been sphinxes and lamias and succubi, so I guess even with gold, seductive Grendel’s mother, there’s no new thing under the sun. Or under the wan moon.)

Sooooo . . . something wicked this way comes, and if you’d prefer not to talk about it, then don’t. Turn back while you still can! But does anyone care to tell about the earth-rim walkers that particularly chilled and delighted you when you were small?

I’ll start us off with a few. First of all, my nextdoor neighbor Chris and I were convinced that there was a Bigfoot-like monster haunting the creek behind our field. (Or if we weren’t absolutely convinced, we worked hard to convince ourselves.) Since every monster needs a name that sounds both innocuously childlike and yet sinister and creepier the more you think about it, we called him “Funnyface.” We knew that he came up through the cornfield at night — we knew, because now and then we’d find a cornstalk that had been knocked down . . . by something obviously big and heavy. Any oddly-shaped depression in the field’s dirt became a partial footprint . . . any strange sound from the woods became his yowl. We found some scratch-marks high in a tree that we declared had been made by his claws. And the clincher — the final proof of his existence — came when we tied a piece of lettuce (was there some ham, too?) by a string from a tree limb — high enough from the ground, in our reasoning, that no small animal could get at it. And when we came back a day later, the lettuce was gone!

I won’t embarrass Chris with our other demons here, but I’d love to hear his recollections of them if he can be goaded into telling about them. (If not, I’ll understand!)

But also, a group of friends and I had a kind of club that gathered, during recess, under the apple trees at the far edge of the schoolyard. While other boys were playing “Kick That Ball” (that’s what they called it!), we sat under those trees and talked breathlessly in hushed voices about the monsters we had personally seen. And we saw them often! Talk about Sagan’s Demon-Haunted World! In our childhood, monsters were always popping out of hedges and shambling along roadsides, just barely visible in the twilight.

I told about Funnyface, of course. He didn’t just stay in the cornfield, either. Sometimes he lurked in the barn and watched Chris and me playing outside. Every now and then, we’d get an eerie feeling that we shouldn’t go into the barn. Those were the times when he was there, so we kept to the yard and peeked at the barn through weeds or over the edges of roofs.

I also had an Alien that poked his helmeted head above the multiflora rose bushes in the northwest corner of the yard — and always in the last gleam of twilight. He wore dark shades like sunglasses and had a long, hooked nose and protruding chin. I think his skin was blue.

And I had an Old Lady Ghost who is a separate topic unto herself — let’s save her for another time.

G. lived in a house where the yard backed against the railroad tracks. So his childhood was always full of the roars and rattles of passing trains, the mournful whistles in the night. His monster was a humanoid thing with long hair sprouting from its shoulders. G. always saw it only from the back (which we thought was just plain creepy!), and in the gathering dusk, the thing would jump up and down in place, away down the tracks. Up and down, up and down, in some bizarre monster ritual or dance, until it got too dark to see it anymore.

R. had a Deer Man — a furtive, tawny, human-like figure with big antlers on the top of its head. When R. looked out into his moonlit yard just before he went to bed, the Deer Man would climb over the fence, run lightly across the grass, looking around nervously, and then climb over the opposite fence and vanish into the night.

H. told of a giant frog named Old Smiley that inhabited the marshy creek behind his parents’ trailer court. H. would creep down there among the weeds and see Old Smiley sometimes, who was as big as a coffee table. Smiley would look at H. with his enormous round eyes, say “RIVET!” and hop into the water with a tremendous splash. What made this monster truly great was H.’s imitation of him. H. was a gangly kid, all bony elbows and knees, and his mom used to dump so much tonic on his hair that we called him “Syrup Head.” H. would show us how Old Smiley jumped: he’d crouch low against the playground and then uncoil himself, shouting “RIVET!”, and bound into the air. We laughed at how funny it looked. And then we’d look at one another and go “Ooo” in subdued voices, thinking about how it would be no laughing matter down in the weeds and the dark and the mud, with only a few lights from the trailer court off in the distance.

Finally, S. had a disembodied eyeball called Big Red who prowled in the bushes behind S.’s house. S. would part the bush-branches at times, gaze into the depths, and Big Red would be staring back at him.

Ah, Earth-Rim Walkers! Gotta love ‘em!

Tell us your stories! Tell us, tell us!

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19 Responses to “Earth-Rim Walkers and Those Who Love Them”

  1. Catherine Says:

    I really don’t belong here, since my fears of the dark were never exactly personified: but I do remember how after 9-11 I was terrified that Osama bin Lauden was hidden behind our recycling bin in the basement at night. He would unfold himself out from there, I was certain, an evil twin of my favorite uncle (and godfather!), and chase me around the basement before locking me in a huge empty recycling bin that would be bound for Afghanistan. And my mother would be mad at me for letting me get myself caught. (Note: I never seriously feared my mother would be so callus and unmotherly; and she has never given me reason to.)

    I started to smile amongst all the vampirical paragraphs — it’s not funny in and of itself; it’s just that my father, sister and I have a round-robin vampire story going. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but among the characters we have a bunch of Seattleites and a rather out-of-place Catholic Belfastian stuck in a mysterious land where the vampires roam around. They’re all part of the AVC, which stands for Against Vampire something, but I can’t remember what the C stands for. The main character, who was trapped at the age of sixteen and who is now twenty, was bitten but protected by some mysterious shielding. She has all the physical characteristics of a vampire (including the need and longing for blood, which makes for some relationship issues) but her soul is intact, and she fights against it. At this point she is nearly well, I think. My father turned it from just a meandering tale to a meandering piece of Christian fiction . . . but with continuity errors, weird ideas and un-vampirical vampires galore! (For example: the shields that have the vampires wandering around in broad daylight? Or the young, healthy carpenter’s apprentice who is looked upon with awe because she can hand things to her boss when he asks for them?)

    • Chris Says:

      Young enough to fear that OBL was living in the recycling bin? The sheer number of uniquely “modern” concepts involved in that childhood fear is amazing! Thank you for the imagery in that one. It made me smile.

      After 9-11 I remember laying in bed in my home outside Boston wondering if the city of Boston was going to be vaporized in mushroom cloud. Had I known OBL was hiding under little kid’s recycling bins I would have probably had much more fear!

      Kids today have such a different pallette of fearful monsters to choose from. The world never fails to provide ample fuel for our minds. Sometimes not so very imaginary.

      By-the-way. Would Osama be a #1 or #2 plastic? Here in our part of southern Cali our recycler only takes #1 and #2. OBL would be outta luck if he were a #5.

  2. Chris Says:

    Yes. Funnyface. In fact, in the hallmark of syncrhonicity that this blog often represents, just the other day I was explaining the “lettuce experiment” to my wife. How we were so immensely proud of ourselves for spending time to reason what “Funnyface” would eat, and that we would tie said lettuce to a tall stick sticking out from a pile of rocks or bricks (so that other “known” lettuce-eating beasties like rabbits couldn’t get it obviously).

    I remember losing one whole blessed summer of playing in the barn because of this. For that time the barn was scary. Something unheard of before. (Thankfully the fear didn’t last long).

    • Chris Says:

      One last note on “Funnyface”, I don’t know if it was part of the general social meme, Fred, but I remember years later realizing there’s an old movie from 1957 starring Audrey Hepburn called “Funny Face” which I’ve never seen. I can only imagein it was a horror movie where she stalks a group of small young Illinois children through the cornfields.

      Either that or AUDREY HEPBURN NEEDED LETTUCE and knew the only place to get it was near your folks pond. And judginb by her general weight, I think we choose well to put the lettuce up there instead of say, a ham sandwich or some such.

      (This is getting scary again…sorry.)

  3. Julie Says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but the fantastical creatures that I grew up with were my friends, not horrible monsters. There was Mr. Pickle and Mr. Carrot, precursors to today’s VeggieTales.

    Though there was that hand that lived under my bed, who would keep me from getting out of bed in the middle of the night. No body, just a hand that would lie in wait for a foot to even dangle over the edge.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    My childhood fears didn’t run to monsters, but rather to ghosts. In the evenings, I would be “haunted” by the idea of ghosts moving silently behind me, watching from the dark recesses of my mother’s workroom, or standing at the foot of my bed as I slept. Mirrors unsettled me because even if I could not see the ghost, in the glass the ghost might be there, and my protection would have been stripped away. To this day, I do not like to sleep in a room with an uncovered mirror.

    While ghosts were definitely the strongest childhood fear I remember, there was a three month period after watching (and insisting I wanted to watch it) [i]Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan[/i] when I was afraid that worms would crawl up into my ears while I slept. I would go to sleep, or try to, with my pillow pressed up against my ears to protect them from any invaders.

    I think it striking, though, that even as early as [i]Beowulf[/i] the monsters come in the dark — I guess it is not always the case any more, but there is something to be said about the night and our relationship with darkness. As humanity we have always tried to chase it away with light and fire — but we also long to bring it closer, to know its depths and understand its heart.

  5. Susan O'Brien Says:

    Sorry, I have only skimmed through your thoughts on Monsters. I am writing to say that you may find some friends at my list at yahoo.groups.com, Blackwood. Also have some Anglo-Saxon connections via the Battle of Maldon, where I used to work.

  6. Marquee Movies Says:

    OK – not much happens in this story – in fact, it could be argued that there’s not really much of a payoff – but this is still one of my favorite scary stories of all time. Fred has heard this one about a jillion times (he already knows what I’m about to type – nice title, by the way!) – in fact, a group of us had gathered in a nearby apartment, and we turned off every light, and in the pitch black, told scary (or trying-to-be-scary stories). Fred had the most and the best – I told the one I’m about to write here, and I’ll never forget – after I finished, I heard those immortal words, the ones every storyteller wants to hear, “I don’t get it.” Fred was the one kind enough to explain it, after which all the air had gone out of THAT balloon, I can tell you. (The other thing no storyteller wants to hear is, “Did Lard-ass have to pay to get into the contest?”) Anyway, the story. Now, I was very naive as a junior high kid, and ready to believe whatever printed word was in front of me – so, when Jay Anson said that “The Amityville Horror” was a non-fiction book, I – gasp! – believed it. I believed every part of that book, including this story – The father, George Lutz, knows that he was not sleeping. This was far after so many crazy and disturbing things had happened that the entire family was spending every night sleeping in the same king-sized bed. However, George, in the middle of the night, knows that he woke up. He knows this because he was staring through the ceiling above him, and could see his son Chris wandering around upstairs. What was worse, was that there was a large, black, evil shape behind Chris, getting closer and closer to his young son. George began screaming, “It’s got Chris, it’s got Chris!” He screamed this over and over, waking everyone in the bed – including his wife, who began shaking him violently. He looked at her, still yelling, “It’s got Chris!” She said, “No, no, Chris is right here!” George looked over – and there was his son, looking back at him, frightened. George stared for a moment, catching his breath, then said, “Chris, did you get out of bed? Did you leave?” Chris nervously answered, “Well, I had to go to the bathroom.” George asked, “Did you use our bathroom right here?” Chris answered, “No, the door was locked. So I went upstairs to use the one next to our bedroom. But then I got really scared, Daddy.” George asked, “Why?” Chris said, “Because I could look through the floor and see you.”

    The number of sleepless nights, and faceless nightmares, I tell you. Reminds me of the time I met a guy at a friend’s picnic who went to see “The Blair Witch Project” with his fiancee – and she didn’t know it was a fictional film! She thought she was watching an actual documentary of found footage – I cannot imagine what she thought and felt as the film progressed, and especially at that final shot. The guy said his fiancee was very shaken up by this, as I can imagine. Two of the greatest gifts God has given us for appreciating stories is persistence of vision (which allows us to believe that still photographs run together very quickly are actually moving) and the suspension of disbelief. And nothing helps that magical gift of suspension of disbelief like ACTUAL belief!

    • Chris Says:

      That floor scene in Amityville was one that stuck with me as well when I read the book! I too assumed at the time in my youth that if the book said “non-fiction” (as well as the movie!) then it was non-fiction dang-it!

      That is what annoys me today with some filmmakers. They tell me something is based on actual events when it is not.

      But Amityville, for all the fakery that was later revealed, was still one of the best scary movies of the end of the 70′s. At least the soundtrack kicked a##.

      While I no longer believe in ghosts I still really love reading “true ghost stories”. When I lived in New England there was a series of books by Joseph Citro about “true” New England ghost stories. I highly recommend them. It adds so much to a scary story if it has two key elements:

      1. It is supposedly “true”
      2. It doesn’t have some hollywood-ending type denouement

      The first sets the stage and the second makes it seem more “real” because not everything in life is wrapped up with a bow.

      I highly recommend the story of the Phelps mansion poltergeist story from Stratford, CT (still one of the scariest) as well as the exceedingly strange story of some “encounters” the 17th century settlers on Cape Ann Massachusetts had! (my wife and I loved going out to Cape Anne. We were “North Capers” as opposed to those folks who thought Cape Cod was the be-all, end-all of beach destinations!)

  7. Gabe Dybing Says:

    Okay, this doesn’t have much to do with the topic at hand. But I wonder if anyone else has been following the new syfy show _Warehouse 13_. I’ve been kinda digging it (and have a little crush on Myka), and in the episode “Claudia” Myka reads from some “old” book – I have the feeling that it is/is supposed to be something “Romantic.” Anyway, the lines are these:

    When love is lost and loss oe’rtakes me,
    The Rules of love then are hidden,
    And Chaos rules and Order lost
    And hidden then my heart from love.

    Last night I geeked out and went searching online for the writer of these lines (it was curious to me that the author wasn’t specified within the show itself). All I found was this same subject being mildly discussed on the syfy boards. One person is now certain that the lines were made up – original to the show. Others think they might be attributed to Georg Joachim Rheticus (1514-1574), who was also a subject of the episode.

    I submit this to the noble and erudite people who assemble here. Does anyone recognize these lines? Are they a historical reconstruction, original to the show? Are they attributable to Rheticus? Or does anyone recognize them from elsewhere?

    • Chris Says:

      I would like to help, but since I only watch the SciFi network and they disappeared from the airwaves years ago (about the time they decided they could make their own “made-for-TV” movies, but long before they changed their name to sound like a happy-go-lucky cartoon venereal disease).

      So I’m afraid I’ll be of no help.

      But hey, the world is welcome to my opinion, even when I have nothing to say!

      I do have a brief poem by Khalil Gibran I believe it was:

      “Where O’ where is the ancient cable channel?
      That which lit my tiny tv screen?
      The days when MST3K was a staple of
      A long gone era of SciFi Channel.
      A long ago time when USA Networks
      Hosted “Commander USA’s Groovy Moview”
      Complete with extremely bad production
      And even worse choice of old movies.
      When late at night one could find….
      “NightFlight” replete with jarringly discontinuous images
      of strange things.
      Where is cable access in Waltham that showed
      “Toxic Frogpond” over and over and over again?
      I am lost.”

  8. Marquee Movies Says:

    Oh, Mystery Science Theatre 3000! (Deep sigh…) The single greatest TV show of all time.
    In one episode, as everyone is running from a crawling eye, Tom Servo calls out, “What can a single eye do, pick you up and wink you to death?”
    Another: Two men are looking at a piece of equipment. “Nothing. Completely flat.” Joel says, “Must be a talent meter.”
    Another: A bad martian orders his slow-moving and cheesy robot to advance on two earth children and “Kill them – destroy them!” Crow, in the robot’s voice says, “YOU WERE ADOPTED.”
    Greatest. Show. Ever.

    • Chris Says:

      I went through a bit of depression when MST3K went off the air.

      Ironically enough Mike and the folks who did the voices for Tom and Crow opened up a company down the road from me here in San Diego county! They had a job posting a couple years back and I desperately wanted to apply and work for them but I’d just started my new job here (which paid more).

      They make things called “Rifftrax” now in which they, in the same manner as the final episode of MST3K, now do the MST3K thing for various other movies.

      • Chris Says:

        I should clarify that last comment. I have never met any of these folks, but living in the same county as these people makes me feel like I might be someplace special!

  9. Phil Says:

    OK, Fred, this blog entry finallly dragged me in to comment. The hideous “Funny Face” monster comes to mind, although I was never present with you and Chris for the true imaginarium of it all. However, I do remember being scared to death of the Sasquatch in your barn. I can also speak to the following monsters of childhood: the sllither-dee-dee; the snot grackle, the green slugs,the evil troll doll, and the monstrous alligator in your pond (depicted as best we could in Super 8 film). But without a doubt the most eldritch earth-rim walker was the horrible thing that laid its cold and clammy hand on my own in your pitch-black house one summer way back then. The reason to this day I sleep with my hands under the covers, although I tell myself I know better.

  10. Marquee Movies Says:

    Chris, do you know about Cinematic Titanic? It’s yet another group organized by many of the MST3K-ers, and they have put out about 8 DVD’s by now, and they travel all over the country doing live shows! It’s Joel, Trace, TV’s Frank, um…the guy who played Dr. Erhardt in the first season, and about 3 or 4 more. Definitely check them out as well! (And I agree with your desire to work with the Rifftrax guys – every time I watched an episode of MST3K with friends, I would yell out my desire to work with them, at the greatest job ever.) How many episodes do you own, Chris? I know that Fred has only one, the fabulous “Time of the Apes” episode, the Japanese Saturday morning kiddie show version of Planet of the Apes, and I think he enjoyed it quite a bit!

    • Chris Says:

      I had not heard of the Joel-related Cinematic Titanic! I’ll have to check that out.

      My wife and I were at the theater yesterday and we saw an ad for a “Fathom Events” theater showing of a Rifftrax (http://www.ncm.com/Fathom/Comedy/Rifftrax.aspx)

      As for how many of the MST3K’s I “own”, sadly I am not a dvd/vid collector, but for MST3K I made an exception and bought a few of the videos from the SciFi channel years.

      But I still find myself marking many of the years of the 1990′s by the MST3K episodes I watched. One night when my wife had a horrible allergic reaction to cat dander, bad enough we took her to the emergency room, I still remember sitting in the waiting room while she was being treated and there was MST3K on late-late-latenight. So I was able to kinda relax at the hospital!

  11. Julie Says:

    Allright, as long as you brought up MST3K, I feel I must share my ode to a show that consistently made me laugh out loud:

    MST3K from A to Z

    A is for Apes, whose time has come nigh.
    B is for Brain that just wouldn’t die.
    C is for Circus, it’s better on ice.
    D is for “Dickweed”, which isn’t too nice.
    E is for Experiment, I’ll watch ’till I’m old.
    F is for Fusion, most useful when cold.
    G is for Gypsy, the gal for today.
    H is for “Hired!” – a new Broadway play?
    I is for “It stinks!”, just like Daddy-O.
    J is for Joel, the guy we all know.
    K is for Keyboard taken from Michael’s lair.
    L is for Lungs, aching for air.
    M is for Mitchell! not my kind of guy.
    N is for Nuveena, the girl who could fly.
    O is for Ode on Estelle, where Tom Servo weeps.
    P is for Phantom – the Phantom that creeps.
    Q is for Quinn Martin, who brought us “the Explorers”.
    R is for Rebel Set – (horror of horrors).
    S is for Sandy Frank, whose movies bring gloom.
    T is for Twelve, up there on the moon.
    U is for Unearthly – trying for power.
    V is for Vi, who fell from a tower.
    W is for Wild – Wild Rebels are hip!
    X is for X-M, that famed rocketship.
    Y is for Youths on a Teenage Crime Wave.
    Z is for Zima, which is nobody’s fave.

  12. I miss MST3K Says:

    Add me to the list that believes SCI-FI died as a channel when our beloved MST3K went away. I prefer Joel over Mike, but hey, remember, this is just a show …

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