The Boogeyman

The other day, I was talking with my sister Caroline and we ended up on the subject of sprinting up the stairs.  Why would anyone sprint up the stairs?  From sheer terror of course.  Terror of the BOOGEY MAN.  As we laughed at ourselves for the individual quirks on this topic, I realized there a few versions of the Boogey Man that required sharing.


We’ll start at the top with the Fred also known as Dad, Richie, Poop A Doop and other words that are NSFW.  He didn’t share this story with us children until we were adults (which we’re not really) so we find it hilarious – now.


GremlinThe house he grew up in was, I’m going to say a Cape Cod?  The attic had been renovated into living quarters for, I want to say his parents?  To get up there required a steep climb ending at a landing with a window right in front of you.  Now I’ve never heard him say anything about sprinting up stairs from Boogey Man terror but when you hear his tale, you might wonder.


I’m going to flat out make some of this up because, ask anyone, I have a terrible memory.  But climbing those stairs as a small Richard, he would swear to seeing a tiny gremlin – outside the window – looking at him.  I don’t believe the gremlin ever came inside or chased Richie around – just looked at him.  But I’m getting creeped out just thinking about it.  I don’t see a crazed, gooey, monstrous goblin.  More of a small, weird, green thing with an unsettling smirk.  Whoa.


Caroline didn’t give me a specific Boogey Man or gremlin from her memory.  But we both share the deep seated need to race up the basement stairs with complete disregard for life or limb.  I’m not talking about taking 2 at a time or hustling.  This is flat out, terrorized BOLTING.  Heart POUNDING, get the EFF out of my way NOW.  Which ends with looking over your shoulder, verifying no one SAW what just happened.  And then laughing at how completely absurd it is to be over 30 years of age and running around like a maniac with a chainsaw is after you.


Now, in fairness to Caroline and myself, this ludicrous act has subsided some over the years.  And frankly, it’s not as common in our respective homes – today.  The same cannot be said, however, for ye olde homestead in unassuming, happy Fanwood, NJ – site of The Basement.  This is where we grew up.  Where we lived in fear of GOING INTO THE BASEMENT.  It is here that we both learned the art of going up 17 stairs in 0.3 seconds.


You see, this wasn’t any old basement.  THIS basement contained an old closet with a DOOR.  And this closet was in the far, back CORNER.  What little light there was in this terrifying space shone NOT in this corner. When you OPENED the door, there was an old, defunct TOILET.  Ok, ok, I may be overdoing it a HAIR but when you hear what else resided in this old bathroomy closet, you’ll be on my side.  A POSTER OF WALT WHITMAN!


Walt WhitmanNow, I can’t find the exact poster online but it was a profile of the MAD MAN you see here plus a poem running down it.  Just look at this guy!  He’s got Appalachian Cannibal written over his face. Which, based on my extensive research is not too far off the mark.  He is credited with some prose containing the words, and I quote “our very flesh shall be a great poem” – CANNIBAL!  Imagine, being around 6 years of age, opening a creaky old door and discovering this mug looking down at you.  SCARY. AS. SHIT.


Ok, I’ve caught my breath and am no longer writing this from inside a closet.  It’s now clear where this primal urge to bat-out-of-hell it up the steps originated.  Because Walt Whitman.  So what about the real, actual Boogeyman?  My vague memory of this scary fellow involved a guy with some kind of cloak rising out of a vacuum cleaner – which thanks to The Google is not so hard to find.  Because when you search The Boogeyman, one of the options is a movie from the 80’s.  Sounds about right.  Until you click on it and realize it’s some gruesome, supernatural fright fest.  Pretty sure we didn’t watch that at the age of 6.


A little more digging yielded this GEM – Mr. Boogedy.  I found some lengthy clips from this DISNEY film but the one below is far more entertaining.  I didn’t see anyone coming out of a vacuum cleaner but the absurd BOOGEDY! BOOGEDY! that everyone is saying rings a strong bell.  And I think the weirdo with a green force field is my vacuum guy memory.

Moral of the story?  It’s Walt Whitman and a gremlin that are at fault, not The Boogeyman.

photo credit: Inti via photopin cc

How To: Control Thy Road Rage

Road RageAfter 13ish years behind the wheel, I’m very proud of myself and how far I’ve come in dealing with road rage.  Maybe in places like Montana and Mongolia, road rage doesn’t exist but in places like New Jersey it’s real.  I come from a long line of Road Ragers so after achieving my license, I was unknowingly embarking down a road of, well, rage.

Rather than throw my entire raging lineage under the bus I’ll share just one story.  It’s about my sister, Caroline, and it’s really more funny than OMG and it will explain my genetic pre-disposition to freaking out on the road.

Several years ago, Caroline called the Father Unit to chit-chat.  He was unavailable so Caroline left him a voicemail.  It went something like this:

“Hey Dad, it’s Caroline.  Just calling to say hi and see what you’re up to.  I’m going to WHAT THE F*CK!!  YOU STUPID AS*HOLE!! ARE YOU F*CKING BLIND!! I AM GOING TO F*CKING MURDER YOU!! GOD DAMN SH*T!! SONOFABIT*H!!!!!”

The transition from normal, happy Caroline to insane, blood thirsty Caroline was as startling as it was hilarious.  Of course I am exactly the same in this regard but as I mentioned, have come a long way (and so has Caroline).

I decided that having apoplectic explosions every time someone drives like an idiot is not good for my health and well being.  Given the number of idiots behind the wheel, the frequency of my rage was quite high.

So, instead of flying into a vein-popping episode of madness, I’ve resorted to a much more enjoyable response.  When I am treated to some jack ass driving like a moron, I:

  1. Take a deep breath and smile
  2. Let the jack ass finish their maneuver without a whisper of a beep
  3. Pull up beside the offender and gently honk to gain their attention
  4. Throw 2 big thumbs up, flash a wide-mouth court jester grin and yell something to the effect of “Say chap, you’re really GOOD at driving!”

80% of the time, the feeling of being mocked is instantly identified and they fly into a wild rage, incensed that I have just critiqued their driving skills.  The other 20% of the time, I’m met with a blank look which confirms my suspicion of Tiny Brain Syndrome.

To reiterate, I’m really high on myself for this much improved road rage response.   Why freak out when you can smile and enjoy your day? I never understood the phrase “Don’t suffer fools gladly” until I read Plato’s 4th Doctrine.  His interpretation is that when someone is being an asshole, don’t let it get you down.  Instead, gently inform them of their status as an asshole.  Plato was ahead of his time.

Author Disclaimer: I am a perfect driver and never do anything stupid behind the wheel.

photo credit: PDXdj via photopin cc

Watching the News



I just had the immense displeasure of watching the ABC Evening News, about 5 minutes worth.  Here’s what they covered:

  • Horrific school shooting in Nevada
  • Chinese city blanketed in ultra-toxic, cancer causing “super smog”
  • Out of control “mega” wild fires in Australia
  • A pair of ruthless killers escaping prison in Florida
  • Category 3 Hurricane in Mexico ravaging our Southern brethren
  • Incredible ineffectiveness and general stupidity of Obamacare website
  • Clowns murdering siblings – ok, that one was not on the news but it was in the paper yesterday

The only piece of good news was his Jabba-ness, Governor Christie, deciding it was ok for same-sex partners to get married in New Jersey.

Is it any wonder people are convinced we’re going to be eaten by zombies and governed by gold dubloons any moment now? If anyone is interested in starting up a news station that broadcasts only POSITIVE information, sign me up, I’m in.  And I wonder why I don’t watch the news anymore.

photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} via photopin cc

Jersey Shore Summer



As the summer winds to a close, let’s look back on the Jersey Shore, truly the pinnacle of summertime fun.

But more importantly, the smell of hair gel and the Buff, Bronze and Bitchin’ club. Known by reality TV groupies as the ‘guido’.

Since I’m perfect I shall examine and poke fun at this species. But with objective eyeball only.

First off, is the term ‘guido’ derogatory? Well, my brother calls me stupid on a daily basis so its all relative.

Next, how does one identify this type of human? There is not enough free blog space to list the ways but I will do my best.

Look for pointy hair glistening like morning dew, due to excessive application of gel.

White, brand X sneakers with tongue standing up that appear to have been polished with Crisco are another common DNA marker.

As well, keep eyes peeled for arms appearing inflated with air, accompanied by severe acne and toothpick legs protruding from jean shorts. A sure sign of NATURAL muscle growth.

Finally, look for males walking about like peacocks typically puffing their chests and maintaining constant flexion in the upper back.

And of course the orange fake tan. No real guido goes outside without it.

Now, some would argue these meatballs come from NY or Philly to invade our lovely Jersey Shore beaches. But the scary reality is that many are native New Jerseyans!

There you have it, a Wikipedia worthy definition of the guido. I hope you enjoyed the awkward language here. I recently watched a Spartacus marathon and they love talking with awkward and minimal verbiage.

photo credit: Dalboz17 via photopin cc

I Heart P*n*s

Oh wow, just received this email and photo from none other than Fred, Poobah, Richie, Poop, Dad – whatever your particular name is for him.  Along with his hilarious message below, I managed to set the enclosed photo as my desktop background while editing out the license plate.  I then nearly spewed coffee all over my laptop trying not to laugh with this car’s message plastered across my screen.  Enjoy…

Ah yes, the car as your own personal message board.

In case you can’t read it, the announcement is “I Love(heart) Penis”.

Yes, folks this is a slice of America…right here in Morris County, NJ

I bet Mommy and Daddy are so proud.

You know they are.


Tier 2 Driving


Where’s Das Boot?

I like cars and I like to drive.  As such, I spend a lot of time watching what others are doing on the road.  Now, let me preface this article with the fact that I’m not only a perfect driver; I’m also a Certified Ford Motor Company TIER TWO Driver. Google it and be impressed, I’ve got the paperwork.  With that in mind, I will now poke fun at all the imperfect drivers out there.  Since there are so many varieties of bad driving, I’ll break this into a multipart series.  Today, we’ll talk about The Judo Chop Driver.

This may be a phenomenon exclusive to New Jersey so if you experience this in your home state, do tell.  Now, we all know that New York drivers are the worst of the worst and there are quite a few sprinkled through our splendid state of NJ.  So in deference to my fellow Jerseyan, it’s likely The Judo Chop Driver is actually from NY on any given day.

What do I mean by Judo Chop?  Envision the moves used by Austin Powers, not real martial artists like Bruce Lee.  Picture overly absurd chopping motions punctuated by theatrical outbursts of “JUDO CHOP!”  Left, right, left, right… Now, instead of your hands doing the chops, imagine a car cutting left, then right, in and out of the lanes a highway.  Then add in bumper to bumper traffic with tiny openings from one car to the next.  Finally, picture a tinted out shitbox gunning it’s motor while almost simultaneously smashing the brakes as it chops from one lane to the next.  This is The Judo Chop Driver.

This maneuver is also seen in the opening scene of the cult classic, Office Space, albeit at a much slower pace.  Like the movie, in real life, rush hour traffic is made up of a sea of brake lights with nowhere to go.  So, what does the Judo Chopper think he’s gaining with his gusto for driving?  That is not yet clear.  More likely he’s staring at the top of his steering wheel while flinging curses and middle fingers at innocent fellow motorists.  How else can we explain his complete lack of vision down the road?  Based on my extensive scientific research, it turns out this person is an ASSCLOWN.

So the next time you get to spend time in traffic with this meatsack, think about how happy his mechanic must be, replacing brakes on Senor Judo’s bad ass, 93 horsepower brute.  And if you get the chance, be sure to sandbag him as much as possible.  Nothing better than watching Judo come hurtling up the lane next to you; only to double foot his brake pedal when the 7 feet of empty space in front of you becomes 7 inches.