Top Twenty Tuesdays, but on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday-Part 1: “Bildungsroman Cinema”

Top Twenty Tuesdays, but on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday-Part 1:

 

Bildungsroman Cinema”

 

I’m a man of my time. I was a boy of another time. Somewhere in between that space, I aged to imperfection. A coming of age that was imprecise, implausible, and at odds with many realities that truly existed in the world. I spent an unholy amount of time discovering, watching, and re-watching 80’s cinema. Thanks to my parents, the addition of Cable Television in the mid 80’s allowed me to learn a lot about the world, at least superficially. How much the films below informed my growth as a person is debatable. What is certain, is how well I loved and enjoyed all of these movies. They shaped my attitudes, thoughts, and ideas about a world that I would soon enter into after adolescence, for better or worse. Also, I came to learn that Jack was the name to have, next to Indiana and Han Solo.

I’m sure there are other titles that I left off, but I tried my best to keep it to a tight twenty. Normally, Tuesdays are “Top Ten Tuesdays,” but I had to take some liberties…

 

The Jacks:

 Forming an exaggerated image of what a man might be, if left to the devices of a boy’s imagination on steroids

 

1. CLOAK & DAGGER

Jack Flack from “Cloak & Dagger”

Jack Flack, from “Cloak & Dagger” was a clever character, in that it allowed Dabney Coleman the opportunity to play two roles. That of Jack Flack, and that of the Hal Osborne, the main character’s father. In retrospect, I truly appreciate how well they handled the idea of a single dad trying to make ends meet for his son to have a good life. It is through the movie that we learn that Davey Osborne’s father, Hal, is air pilot, and is often away from home. These absences give Davey much of his liberty, and has helped him to develop his intuitiveness, and large imagination. He eventually develops  a fictional alter ego for his absent father, in Jack Flack. Jack Flack is an international spy in one of Davey’s RPG (Role-playing games), and always saves the day. Somehow, Davey gets inadvertently wrapped up in an actual spy ring, by coming into possession of a spy gadget by pure dumb luck. For me, this film still holds up, and really brings the tears, as Davey comes to the realization that his father was his hero all along. Jack Flack is Hal Osborne. Hal Osborne is Jack Flack. This film also included a cameo by William Forsythe as a video game sales clerk. An honorable mention to making the San Antonio River Walk mysterious enough to pull me there later in life. While they’re sharing a hotel room with friends, I jumped up out of bed in the middle of the night believing a prowler to be in the room with us. I came to realize it was just my projection of Jack Flack zipping up his special leather jacket. Hey, I was ready to pounce.

2. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA

Ol’ Jack Burton from  “Big Trouble in Little China”

There are so many things about this movie that speak to me. I love the portrayal of Chinatown. I love the idea of an underworld, and a world under that underworld. I love martial arts, and a quasi-ego-centric anti-hero that is zen enough to get in and out of situations on charm alone. To me, Jack Burton is a pre-cursor to The Dude, El Duderino, Jefferey Lebowski himself. Kurt Russell’s turn as Jack Burton, helped me aspire to rock a tank top with compelling masculinity. It should also be mentioned that this might have been the sweet spot of the mullet, as Kurt Russell’s mullet was understated, yet front and center. I don’t know how he pulled it off, but he did it. Along the way, Jack Burton finds out that there are forces that operate outside of our experience, and that they are navigable with a little help from your friends. In the modern world, Jack Burton is a relic, but it was sure nice hoping that someday you could be a decent citizen, benefit from a Six-demon Bag, and still come away with a girl with green eyes. David Lopan, Egg Shen, and the Three Furies round out the field. If you didn’t want to drive a tractor-trailer, wear a spaghetti strainer hat, or wear fringed boots, after watching this film, I think you should go straight to the hell of the dissatisfied customers. When in doubt, just remember, “it’s all in the reflexes.”

3. ROMANCING THE STONE

Jack T. Colton from  “Romancing the Stone”

At this point in my life, I had no idea about Kathleen Turner, sexuality, or the possibility of Jessica Rabbit. “Body Heat” preceded this movie by three years, and although I was completely enamored of Kathleen Turner’s turn as Joan Wilder in this movie, the slightly gratuitous sex scene at the three-quarter mark of this film was really lost on a ten-year old mind. Perhaps, in international markets the film was called “Romancing the Map right out from underneath the Writing Woman”, I kid, I kid, he put it back. This film is accused of being Indiana Jones lite, but it carved itself out a place in my heart. Michael Douglas does a fantastic job of portraying, Jack T. Colton,  an independent contractor searching the wilds of the Amazon for exotic birds. He happens upon a woman in need of a guide after she is stranded, and we come to realize that Colton is the personification of Joan Wilder’s fictional characters. Jack Colton’s dream is to sail off into the sunset on a sailboat, hence the accumulation of Amazonian birds for resale. Well, it becomes apparent to Jack when a map appears from Joan Wilder, that if they acquire the treasure the map implies, then they can use that to help Joan free her kidnapped sister (the pretense for her being in South America in the first place). I’m a sucker for maps. Anytime there is a map, I’m in. I’m hooked. In fact, I think I’ve just adopted a new narrative rule for my fiction: plot must center around map!!!  When push comes to shove, Jack T. Colton delivers and stays true to his word. This seemed to be an unwritten rule for most of the 80’s male portrayals, staying true to your word at all costs, and defeating any feelings of moral ambiguity in making choices, as long as there is a happily ever after to be procured. Very Disney-princessesque. See, guys got to drink the Kool-aid too. Lastly, the subplot of marijuana drug-running weaved its way into the plot of this movie, and I was delighted by the possibility of throwing bricks of marijuana on a fire while eating cooked snake and drinking whiskey. Oh yeah, I also learned that I wanted to fall down a mudslide and land headfirst in between Joan Wilder’s legs.

Old Schools:

“you mean that college isn’t actually like it is in the movies?” – C. Hickey-circa 1993

 

 

4. ANIMAL HOUSE

Delta Chi Fraternity

I didn’t pledge a fraternity when I enrolled as a freshman. Probably should have. I’ll never know if the Greek Life was for me. I wasn’t too much into groupthink, but I do enjoy fellowship. However, this movie probably more than most, instilled in me a certain “zest” for partying. I was Bluto Blutarski/Frank the Tank, squared. The only thing I was missing was a Delta Chi pledge pin. This movie taught me about the haves and have nots, and the importance of bringing balance to expectations. After twenty years, I finally obtained my Bachelor’s Degree. I drank a lot of beer along the way. I lampooned myself. I never met Pinto or Flounder, but over the years I met Peaches, Titmouse, Lefty, Domingo, Tony Peanut Butter, Flippah, Beehive, Sanctuary, Harpo, Blockhead, Ooklah, Cookie Monstah, Bottle Bill, Birdman, Franimal, Franzarelli, Kiko, Coconuts, Dudeman, Gibbah, Beepo, Ram-Man, Toggy, Pickle, Sausage, Cucka, Daffa, Tortoise, Muff, Cricket, Pigeon, Teentha, Jaybar, Laydog, Booga Bobby, Brother Lead, Dumpster Donna, Skinhead, Cakes, Black Billy, Magoo, Bobo, Smokey, Ibba, Pots, etc…

 

5 . REAL GENIUS

Lazlo, Chris & Mitch discussing the repercussions of being exploited

You mean they let some people go to college early when they are geniuses? Well, that’s not a problem I had. I took the more traditional route of gradually graduating into college enrollment at the tender age of 18. Real Genius was not only a showcase of Val Kilmer’s comedic talent, but another alluring example of the adult Utopia that seemed to exist past high school. The college life seemed alive and well, and robust with shenanigans, pranks, sexual tension, and its eventual release. The subplot of this film dealt with the possible consequences and conflicted morality of using high intelligence for nefarious purposes, even if done unknowingly. Perhaps the best part of the film, was that the characters Chris and Mitch had a mysterious guy living in the closet of their dorm room. Turns out the guy was named Lazlo, and he had been a student at the school in the 70’s. He learned that the work he was doing was being used to harm people and freaked out. He became a recluse and used his abilities to create a subterranean passage in which he existed. Which as you probably guessed was only accessible through the door room closet. This concept, and character of Lazlo was so impactful to my best friend, that he almost named one of his children Lazlo. Much to my chagrin, when I went to college there was no secret entrance to a subterranean passage in my dorm room. And, no Lazlo. Everybody wants to rule the world. Lasers are cool. Be careful that your intelligence isn’t used to cook giant containers of jiffy pop.

6. REVENGE OF THE NERDS

Lambda * Lambda * Lambda

Here’s a confession: I’m a nerd, and I’m pretty proud of it. My people, my tribe, my movie. I’m a Tri-Lamb all the way. I found a little piece of myself in each of the nerd stereotypes represented in this film. More pranks, tomfoolery, and laughs than you could shake a pocket protector at. This movie gave rise to the promise that social status, gratuitous sex, and success was all within reach if you just embraced yourself and beat the powers that be at their own game. My favorite scene in the movie is when the nerds go on a pantie raid and get chased out of the sorority house arm in arm giggling uncontrollably. So juvenile, so inappropriate by today’s standards, but it seemed like so much fun all those years ago. I never participated in a pantie raid, but I did meet a woman who disliked the words panties and pussy. I like to think she works for Hanes, and lives with many domesticated felines that she can only bring herself to call kitties. Robots ARE sexy, and whether many will admit it or not, we are currently living in the decline of our civilization. So feel free to send your thoughts about it to Poindexter.

Fantasy: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?”

 

7. KRULL

Krull?

Alternate worlds, a cyclops, Fire Mares; who’s with me? How often will you find an 80’s film that has both a young Liam Neeson and a young Robbie Coltrane long before they were Schindler and Hagrid respectively? Not many. Decent visual effects, coupled with a mediocre story, helped to drive this movie forward. However, getting down to brass tacks: the coolest part of the movie was that the main character got to use an elegant weapon called a “Glaive”. It came in the form of a star and had retractable blades. The “Glaive” could be thrown like a boomerang and controlled by its master as an optimal projectile weapon. Think of a buzz-saw, without the table. I’m pretty sure this would be my second choice of preferred fictional weapon, behind only a lightsaber. Hell, why not possess both? I would. The only thing I’m uncertain about, is what the Christ is the film’s title referring to? Krull? Is that the world they are on? The name of the antagonist? Or simply the name for Calwyn’s hair or cod piece in this movie? I need to know. I think a good deal of survival in an alternate reality can come of not having to be close to your enemy to inflict damage. Gimmie the “Glaive” all day long.

 

8. THE LAST STARFIGHTER

You just might be the Last Starfighter if…

This movie blew me away. Let’s pretend for a second that there is a reality where aliens from other worlds, place video arcade games in our world as a test to find out if we have the right stuff. “The Last Starfighter” supposed this, and made believers of dreamers. I can’t imagine many kids that came up during this time period that would have balked at the chance to travel to the far reaches of our galaxy to defend our world against the potential destructions by alien invaders. The recurring theme of aliens invading seemed to pervade our subconscious, as well as the movie marquee. The Cold War had a funny way of making us all understand that there was an imminent threat, and it was large, and that we needed to be prepared in order to fight it off. Taking the technological advances in video gaming and coupling that with the hero’s narrative, had many young ones lining up to beat arcade games in hopes that they would be magically whisked away to be an actual hero. Great fantasy, great kitsch, and overall great fun. This movie is worth watching just to find out what the Death Blossom is. Re-ta, re-ta-nah!

 

9. DUNE

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”    

I could watch this movie over and over. My appreciation for David Lynch’s adaptation of a Frank Herbert Sci-Fi novel, was evident from an early age. Now when I go back to rewatch this film, I can add my affinity for David Lynch’s other body of work, and get more of a sense of how he handled Herbert’s classic. An all-star cast, a cool soundtrack featuring Toto, and a reclusive desert dwelling people who over time develop crazy blue eyes as a side-effect of breathing spice through the atmosphere. The glamour of being a Fremen Warrior waned slightly, when I realized that the Fremen stillsuits recycled waste in order to keep its inhabitants hydrated. Sting, Virginia Madsen, and Kyle MacLachlan were all kinds of 80’s sexy, but the diamond in this rough in this film, is Patrick Stewart playing Gurney Halleck. When he charged the Harkonnen Hoards with Duke Leto Atreides pet Pug in his arms, I had my King Henry the V moment, and realized I’d follow Patrick Stewart into battle any day. The originality of sci-fi gadgetry and nomenclature alone is worth the watch. It was nice to see the Bene Gesserits eat a shit sandwich when they realized that Paul Atreides was the Kwisatz Haderach. Let’s fold some space and lick spice mélange off of some Bene Gesserit Witch’s torso.

 

10. FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR

Interstellar robots love the Beach Boys

Imagine waking up one day to find out that the whole world has moved on without you. That time has passed, but you haven’t aged. This happened in “The Flight of the Navigator” A young boy is discovered after having been missing for years, he hasn’t aged a day since he went missing. While under observation at an army medical base, he is called out to by a strange presence, that invites him to come on an adventure. The ship in this movie is cool, the robot alien, somewhat annoying in a Pee-Wee Herman kind of way. However, the movie seems to work. As the narrative unfolds, we learn about the robot alien, and a bit about ourselves. The creatures penchant for the Beach Boys helps to move this movie along at the right points. We eventually see resolution as the creature figures out how to deliver the main character  back to the very moment he disappeared. It was as if nothing happened. I wanted to cruise the landscapes using this technological wonder. Time travel wouldn’t be too bad either.

Stay tuned for the companion piece to this blog post:

Top Twenty Tuesdays, but on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday-Part 2: “Bildungsroman Cinema”

“Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate”

Here is a list of the Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate.

 

10. Asking your kids to find their shoes? – a surefire way to procrastinate is to ask your sock-clad children where their shoes might be? Nevermind trying to corner them with logic, they will never ever remember where they last left them. The look of blankness that comes over their pudgy little faces, if you are naïve enough to ask them about the location of their footwear, is unparalleled. Probably, something akin to the look Michael Cohen had when the FBI raided his office in search of a silver bullet. Be prepared to send out an expedition to find the shoes, sneakers, flip-flops, jellies, etc., because your children that can remember every promise that you’ve made and subsequently broke for a greater good, somehow can’t remember where their stinky little foot coverings are. They could be standing in the center of the room, with their shoes hanging from the ceiling on a fishing line right in front of their faces, and they would be unable to see them. It would be as if the Romulan Empire came back through time and space and put a cloaking device around their kicks, so that no one could ever find them, and there would be no possibility of a Neutral Zone infraction. In summary, looking for your kids shoes is one of the biggest time sucks in the universe.

img_4331

“If The Shoe Fits” © Lissette Alvarado 2018

9. Taking a nap – opinions on this might vary, but a nap is a great way, if not the greatest way to procrastinate. Just imagine you have a laundry list of thing to do, well, wouldn’t they all be more easily accomplished with a good 1-2 hours of rest to put you in the proper state of mind. Naps are the greatest thing since, well, naps. Children generally don’t have the capacity to understand the importance of a nap. Once they pass through pre-school and into kindergarten, the nap is eliminated from their repertoire. They actually bring that behavior home, and expect to stay awake for the entire day, helping to send Mommy and Daddy to the asylum. All parents know that no-nappers are crank-yankers. As Ricardo Cortes so eloquently put it in his book of the same name “Go the Fuck to Sleep”!  When our children reach adult life, only then will they have a true grasp of the value of a nap. Then we can laugh in their faces and tell them to buck up. They must learn for themselves the tragedy that naps can’t be banked, and are totally underrated. I can think of no finer way to put off the inevitable, than by stretching out on a divan and getting unconscious for a spell. Whatever needs to get done, will eventually get done, and hopefully by someone else that is disgusted with your inability to get it done in the first place. I like to dream about these folks while I’m napping.

img_4330

“Sleeping Beaut” © C.P. Hickey 2018

8. Doing the dishes – this is my Go-to subterfuge in the domestic realm. If you don’t believe me, ask my domestic partner. She’ll go on record just to shame me for my aversion to most forms of housework and all of the diversions I create to get out of having to do them. I could wash dishes all day long, most especially if it means that by doing them I can get out of having to do laundry, washing floors, dusting, etc. Just give me some dish soap and a sponge and I’m a happy guy. My domestic partner and I play a game called “Fill Sink/Empty Sink”. Her objective is to cook an omelette, but to use 9 dirty pots and dishes to fill the sink. The play then passes to me, where I empty the sink onto the sideboard. Then in the ultimate of strategic moves, she makes a dessert with another 6 pots and dishes where she fills up the sink again. Stalemating not only happens in chess, but in Democratic National Conventions and in dishwashing. Nothing like dirty stagnant bilge water circling the drain.

“Drained” © C.P. Hickey 2018

7. Looking in the fridge for something to eat – I’ve spent countless hours of my life opening refrigerator doors and staring deep into the void. There is no Alchemy that can brighten and enhance the juxtaposed vessels populating the inner universe of any fridge I’ve encountered. To my mind, a refrigerator is a place where food goes to die, and then subsequently is a place that needs to be freed of spoiling encumbrances. So, the fridge is really a twofer: a good place to stare endlessly with indecision as well as a place to curate organic waste that could do harm.

54568134359__8309c69b-4b7a-4e51-b3d0-2ba4fb27c428

“Re-frigged” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

6. Suggesting to your spouse that it might be a good time to have sex? – a huge time bandit; suggesting to your partner that you should indulge in the pleasures of the flesh. You got married, forget it. You got kids, forget it. The great irony of having kids is in having sex to get them, and then they become instrumental in you being unable to ever have sex again. Trying to convince your poor partner to put a little steam in your stride after they have taken care of a mob of littles for 12 hours, has all the appeal of waterboarding. The amount of time you spend trying to convince someone to allow you to play patty cake is amazingly large. The actual act itself, not so much.

 

5. Facebooking – Unprecedented in wasting frivolous amounts of time, social media is the antithesis of being social, and quite clearly is the biggest and greatest waste of time in our current age.  Moments are precious and few. Getting a daily dose of your conservative friends calling your liberal friends snowflakes and vice versa just melts my patience. Facebook is full of opinions, and people who hold opinions are monstrous assholes. A little humility is what the Dr. Ordered, drink up. A new app is being developed called SavingFacebook. It will help people regain their dignity once Facebook fails, and you also gain an additional swath of time. Facebook = time-suck.

 

4. Working hard to make it look like you are working while at work? – if you put as much work as you did into doing the actual work, rather than working twice as hard to make it look like you are working, then maybe you would get some of that to-do list done. Wasting valuable work-time by giving counterfeit efforts as an end to a ruse just might make you a professional procrastinator. The downside is that you always need to look busy,  the upside is that they pay you for it. Procrastinators of the world unite and takeover.

 

3. Looking for something to watch on cable television? – going through all the channels, all 999+ of them, and there is still nothing on. Trying to find something to watch on Cable Television is akin to finding something edible in your fridge. You have zero to little chance of finding anything to watch but network singing contests and brainless fodder. In addition, there are way too many channels, and too many of those channels are in other languages you can’t understand. For instance, the BBC Network is impossible to watch without subtitles. I really wish they would speak English. You can spend days surfing through channels looking for something to watch, days. I can’t believe I pay for this shit.

img_3721

“Control” © C.P. Hickey 2018

2. Cleaning one room to avoid cleaning another – Popeye’s pal Wimpy would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger he could eat today. I am Wimpy to my wife’s Popeye, only my idea of paying you on Tuesday for a hamburger today is to clean rooms that don’t need to be cleaned, rather than the ones that actually do need to be cleaned. So far the strategy has confused only me, and left my wife in a state of consternation. I suppose I will be sleeping in a different room, rather than the room I should  be sleeping in.

 

 

1. Marathon pooping – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Not quite, more like The Brotherhood of the Dropped Drawers. There are many ways in which men and women are different animals, but I’m not here to enumerate on all of those differences, save one. Potty Time! Men and women log toilet time differently. Women are precision drones that hover over their target for the minimum amount of time required to deploy their payload. Once that is done, they leave the target site under the radar, and it is very likely that no one will ever know that they were ever there in the first place. Quick, clandestine, secretive. On the other hand, Men approach Potty Time like a fortress siege. Provisions are stocked up, the walls are secured, and they settle in and wait for the bombardment to commence. This is simply one of the greatest ways to procrastinate. The bathroom is theoretically the only place where privacy still matters. That is of course unless you have children. Naturally, they can’t find the shoes they are looking for, but if you were huddled in one of the hundreds of bathrooms of the Mirage Hotel in Vegas, trying to read the Fiction piece of the latest New Yorker, it is virtually guaranteed that they will be able to find you before you can get half way through the first sentence of the piece. Children are great siege enders, and along with hating naps, hate the boundary of a bathroom door. All bets are off on procrastination if your kids are home, and you are looking to peruse poetry and prose while marathon pooping.

img_3711-1

“Stalling” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

BONUS ROUND:

0. Reading a self-help book on how to mitigate procrastination -the Mobius Strip of Procrastination: procrastinating a behavioral change by reading a book about the best books that can be read to change your procrastinating behavior. Speaks for itself.

-1. Helping a friend with a task that needed to absolutely get done this very minute – this might be the oldest trick in the book. Whenever something needs to be done at home, and you want to avoid it, you need to find a friend that needs help moving, fixing something unfixable, or just needs company in avoiding whatever they are trying to avoid. This is procrastination in harmony. Why waste time by yourself, team up and let that synergy create waves of wasted time. You know how they say that misery loves company, well so does procrastination.

“Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten MBTA Transit Travelers One Encounters in Boston”

img_2750

“Dirty City” © C.P. Hickey

Here is a list of the Top Ten MBTA Transit Travelers One Encounters In Boston

Mob

“The Mob” © C.P. Hickey

10. The Not Me – most people you encounter on public transit are of “The Not Me” variety. They do not want to have anything to do with you. In fact, someone could be bleeding on the floor below them, and they will continue to stare straight ahead off into the distance. This is aided most times by the application of earbuds drowning out the noise. They know what’s going on, but believe if they don’t look directly at it, then it really isn’t happening. See something, pretend you don’t see it, and say nothing is their motto.

Notme

“Not Me” © C.P. Hickey

9. The Doorstopper – these people are of a special breed. Yes, I get that you are cold and that you don’t like exposure to the elements. Yes, for Chrissakes, the Starks were right about winter coming. But, as for that, most people don’t like these things and are not so self-absorbed in the practice of making a public space their own personal barrier to nature. Where these folks shine is in encumbering the small amount of space just outside of  station entrances or at the top of escalators. Folks, let me be the first to say, “Get out of the damn way!” Seriously, someone could get badly hurt as you hovel inside the spaces that are required for safe escalator egress. Suck it up, stop being a turd, step out into the world.

doorstops

“Doorstoppers” © C.P. Hickey

8. The Glazed Phone Nut– this pertains to almost all weary MBTA Transit Travelers. “The Glazed Phone Nuts” are everywhere.  “The Glazed Phone Nut” differs from “The Not Me,” in that a mobile device has captured their soul, and their indifference is totally passive. The only way these folks would know if there was an emergency on the transit they are riding would be if a push notification came across their screen letting them know something was happening. Even then, they would still be hard pressed to pull their faces away from the black hole gravity they hold in their palms. Aldous Huxley called it Soma, we call it being connected. Addiction has many forms, but this self-abuse is particularly hard to escape.

Glazed Phone Nut

“Glazed Phone Nut” © C.P. Hickey

7. The Space Invader– space, or lack thereof is a harsh reality when riding public transit. Either your all up in someone’s face and hips with a backpack and an umbrella poking into your back, or your space is involuntarily usurped by people that tend to misunderstand the amount of space that is socially acceptable and allowed by quantum mechanics. To these folks, I implore you to please be cognizant that you are among other people that require some modicum of comfort in commuting from home to work. If I have to contort into the Downward Dog when traveling from Oak Grove to Forest Hills for more than a cool two minutes, I believe my spine will stay permanently misaligned, and I’ll be doomed to scurry around Middle Earth looking for Bilbo and Frodo.

img_0811

6. The Thinker – these folks carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and face. I envy them their concentration while amidst throngs of ne’er-do-wells. I like to think that they are thinking of creative ways in which to exact pain and discomfort on all others on this list. A man can dream. The struggle is real people, if you spot a thinker on your commute, just stand out of the way and let them ponder. The heavy lifting needs to be done and these are just the folks to do it.

img_0604-1

“The Thinker” © C.P. Hickey

5. The Stinker – you know these folks. Harry Halitosis, Fiona FoulFeet, Barry Bungsweat. All strategically placed throughout your summer commute, so as to remind you of how for granted we take working air conditioning. These are sophisticated individuals that prefer to practice abstinence of cleanliness over hygiene. They don’t give a fug, and in most cases are proud to spread their essence. As a seasoned rider myself, the best advice I can give is to not breathe through your nose. Eventually, they will leave the train, and three stops after that exit, their cloud will dissipate.

img_1244

“The Stinker” © C.P. Hickey

4. The Meditator – this is the traveler you need to take notes on. “The Meditator” is one Zen cat, and can ride the rails or roads under any circumstances with complete and total consciousness. They simple close their eyes and breathe. Nothing breaks their stride. I am actively trying to learn to lessen the slings and arrows of an outrageous commute, but when I breathe the fumes of “The Stinker” (see #5) I lose all concentration. Here’s to turning more transit time into Transcendental Transit.

img_2698

“The Meditator” © C.P. Hickey

3. The Spreader– perhaps I have an inherent bias, but in all the hoopla about “Manspreading”, I’ve yet to see  in men the general lack of consideration for space that the fairer sex exhibits on public transit. Surely, we can all agree to a more conservative arrangement for hauling all worldly possessions from point A to point B when using public transit. Here’s a tip: if you need a pack mule to lug your belongings from home to work, then you just might be indecisive or living a life of material excess.  You are not allowed to have a briefcase, a backpack, a canvass bag full of shoes and gym wear, a cake tent or muffing tote, a yoga mat, a diorama, a 5″ binder, and a small chest full of costume jewelry. And you most certainly cannot use two seats to spread it all out.

“You stole fizzy lifting drinks! Good day!”

seathog

“Seat Hog” © C.P. Hickey

2. The Sweet Potato Ride – sharing is a nice thing, unless it is the pungent smell of food that no one else can enjoy, and is accompanied by the misfortune of listening to your slurping, lip-smacking, open-mouth chewing, and greasy finger feeding frenzy. If you eat fish, garlic-based dishes, or mystery meats while commuting, you are a Paula Abdul Straight Up Creature.

SKEEVATSAH!

manspreading

“Sweet Potato Spreader” © C.P. Hickey

1. The Yankee Clipper – my least favorite traveler by a large margin, has to be “The Yankee Clipper.” The outright gall. No self-awareness. A total violation of the social contract. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness does not include poorly thought out grooming activity whereby I am subjected to being hit in the face with dirty DNA samples of your funky fingernails. The audible clips and grunts that accompany the action are also clear violations. Friends, fellow citizens, manicure enthusiasts, please refrain from such atrocities.

Yankee Clipper

“Yankee Clipper” © C.P. Hickey

Bonus Material:

0. The Snoozer – the afflicted. Either a hard day’s night, opioid abuse, or straight up nappers. If there ever was a case for letting sleeping dogs lie, these folks embody it. Don’t provoke “The Snoozer,” you’ll regret it to your dying day.

img_1982-1

“The Sleeper” © C.P. Hickey

-1. The Mad Hatter – aggressive, aloof, unhinged, or a combination of all three, this traveler gets a dishonorable mention for making everyone’s trip miserable. It’s complete Russian Roulette when you encounter this character. You either leave enlightened or in need of a tourniquet. You’d do well to become a “Not Me” or “The Snoozer” when encountering this Stranger Danger.

img_2645-1

“The Mad Hatter” © C.P. Hickey

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Foods That Make Me Say “Skeevatsah!!!!”

Here is a list of the Top Ten Foods That Make Me Say, “Skeevatsah!!!!”

Skeevatsah, is a word my mother used when she was grossed out by something.

 

10. Mushrooms-mostly a texture thing with me, but sometimes a smell issue. Hold the mushrooms please, I don’t want sliced brain samples on my pizza.

 

9. Deviled Eggs-what devil bastard came up with this atrocity? “Hey! I have an idea. Let’s boil a dozen eggs, crack em, halve them, take all of the stinky sulfur yolks out, mix them together in mayonnaise, sprinkle them with paprika, and just for shits and giggles, put the mix back into the halved egg whites, and then serve them up on a platter.”

 

8. Artichokes-again a texture and smell issue, but how can one be blamed for not wanting to eat a food that contains the word “choke” hiding within it? In addition, an artichoke looks as if it contains one of those Aliens in it, and all it needs to do is open up and shoot out attaching to your face while it implants eggs in your stomach. NO!

img_3419

 

7. Sushi-no raw dogging for me. I don’t like fish. I like raw fish even less. Sea weed is a salty nasty. Īe, kekkōdesu (no thank you in Japanese)

 

6. Eggs-ok I already said deviled eggs, but deviled eggs are so nasty in my opinion, they deserve their own miserable entry. So no matter how cooked they are, eggs suck. period. Boiled, fried, scrambled, etc. I can only eat them if I don’t see them, as when they are mixed ingredients in other foods like cake or cookies. Keep your runny yellow nasticiousness away from me.

 

5. Beets-should be self-explanatory. Not worth the possibility of staining clothes, hands, etc.

 

4. Bacalhau-a Portuguese dish of dried and salted cod. Lived next to an endearing Portuguese Family for a year in Cambridge, MA. Every Tuesday like clock work, I’d be awoken from my post work nap with the aroma of garlic and dried and salted cod. Just a mere whiff of this dish, causes my head to spin.

 

3. Sausages-down, down, down, with the encased gristle and fat of ground meat and fennel seeds. Not my comfort food. Probably the only thing on the list I can actually eat without gagging. Mostly only as breakfast links, or on a pizza.

 

2. Tomatoes-like George Carlin before me I loathe the “jelly-looking” things. Out of all the things on this list, it’s the one I’ve been able to come around on the most, and eat regularly. But it doesn’t stop the guttural reaction from happening when I cut open a tomato or get those seeds on my fingahs. SKEEVATSAH!

 

1. Mayonnaise-In my estimation, the absolute worst substance known to man. And it is considered edible. Not only does it smell gross to my sense, but it feels, looks, and sounds gross when touched, looked at, or dumped out. The white color is tricky because it allows the dirty mayonnaise to hide in other foods, under the false guise of sour cream. I go absolute bonkers if I order a sandwich without mayonnaise, and the person making it puts it on their anyways. Keep your goddamned slimy egg and oil aiolis out of my food. Adding mayonnaise to a food in order to hydrate it, means that you need to stop making dry foods. All foods that contain mayo, deviled eggs, tuna fish sandos, egg salads, potato salads, any lobster or crabmeat sandos, give it to the next guy. I’m mayonnaise free, and will slap a slice of bread schmeered with mayonnaise out your hand before you get too close. I loved my father, I truly did, but that dude ate tomato and mayonnaise toasted sandos. Forever unclean!

 

 

SKEEVATSAH!

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Things That Make Me Feel Neato

Welcome, to my latest measure of procrastination!

IMG_5550

Tuesdays are now

“Top Ten Tuesdays”

 

And the list…of the top ten things that make me feel neato!

 

10. The Twofer-when you purchase an item from the vending machine, but two items fall into the collection receptacle. Can someone say “Peanut M&M’s!” ?

img_3249

“Hanging Out” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

 

9. The Unplanned Express-when you set out to drive to your destination expecting misery, but you catch every light and there is hardly any traffic or construction delays along the route. Getting to a colonoscopy early is an added bonus.

img_3196

“Highway Man” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

8. The Finding Cheddah-no matter if you find it on the ground while walking, in a freshly laundered pant pocket, or in an envelope from a score of years ago, finding money is always a special. The folks at Dunks appreciate it when I find money.

img_3250

“Crumpled Notes” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

 

7. The After You-when you arrive at a location as the same time as someone else and you say “After You,” and then they say “After You.” And you realize that you could possibly be stuck in a Mobius Strip of After Yous, so you proceed forward before it gets uncomfortable. Not only do you get points for courtesy, but you get to be the first one to get prime picks of the newly discounted Peeps.

 

 

6. The Kid Napped-when all the kids, pets, and anxieties of your life succumb to sleep. Now a good chunk of time to do with as you please, but ultimately you fall asleep trying to figure out what to do with your liberty.

img_3251

“Lucy Begobah” © Lissette Alvarado 2018

 

 

5. The Amazon Prime-when your out in public and nature calls, your expectations of available bathroom possibilities makes your cramps seem like birth contractions. Somehow, by chance you happen upon a clean, well lit, and warm bathroom that hasn’t been fuddled up by some harried hovering hoggithah that usually streaks the seat. Be like the birds ladies, nest! nest! nest!

img_3253

“Safety Zone” © C.P. Hickey 2018

 

4. The Pet Detective-when your watching BBC Detective shows and you figure out the killer before the Chief Inspector does. It makes you question your scholastic choices, and regret not going to Bunker Hill Community College for an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. So sorry, Pet.

 

3. The Rainy Day-sleeping comfortably on an inclement weekend morning. Hovering in cotton warmth somewhere between sleep and consciousness with the pitter patter of lolling raindrops against the slightly cracked window. Then suddenly realizing that it’s actually Thursday, and that you were supposed to be in work two hours ago.

 

 

2. The Stratego-when you arrive at your destination and there is a parking spot right in front, which you can pull into without any difficulty. It starts to sink in that the place is closed, when you attempt to open the front doors and they are locked.

 

  1. The Unexpected Journey-when you go out for a night on the town with old friends, and the circumstances arise where you either meet or exceed all of your bad habits and vices, and somehow between the first pint at the local watering hole in Boston, and the last shot somewhere in the Arizona desert, or is it Mexico, you awaken without pants and dignity, and shake an admonishing fist at the sky, as if God had anything to do with your poor choices and midlife crises. Hangovers get uglier over the course of the day and the amount of water you need to recalibrate can only be gained if the polar ice cap melts and is pumped directly into your veins. Ahhhhhh, good times, great times! Neato!

 

img_1869

“Slainte” © C.P. Hickey 2018