Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Story I Wrote for My Bro

So, okay…a non-Punk Scott Story.

First off, lemme just provide the jury of your peers with 2 pieces of visual evidence of the genesis of such a nickname for you, my only brother, Scott Nathan Stutsman.

Fig. 1. Thanks man, I wanted that mud in my hair.

Fig. 2. I coulda used the rinse when you put the mud in my hair last week.

Here’s an anti-Punk Scott yarn. I want you to know that I thought long and hard on this one. I went to Bed Bath&Beyond to get some blue hydrangea scented candled because that’s how this mutherfucker rolls. I asked the slightly attractive COS student behind the sales counter where I could find some “beyond.” She looked at me as if snow crabs were crawling out of my nostrils.

SO ANYWAYS, I took the blue hydrangea home and I slipped into a deep meditative coma for at least 6 hours before I could conjure up a story when you treated me favorably. The story smelled of Red Vines…

An expository intermission for your children. Back in the day, when a movie finishes its run in theaters, they would often replay popular movies, or blockbusters, after a month or two of its inaugural run. This was in the late 70’s before there was any BETA, VHS, DVD, Blue-Ray, Netflix, Comcast On-Demand, Hulu or You Tube. Actually, BETA was probably around but the only two BETA MAX machines in the U.S. were owned by Michael Jackson and Leif Garrett.

It was during one of these replays at the Tower Theatre in Visalia when I would first see Star Wars, the first movie I would ever see to my limited experience’s best recollection.

I remember that it was just you and I which meant that Mervyn’s was having a sale. We must have stood in the concessions line for a millennium falcon for a box of the highly coveted Red Vines. I noticed that the theater went dark and some guy from Mr. Kotter’s class in a maroon vest closed the door. My young mind thought it was curtains, literally, for I thought that once the door was shut, it would take an act of congress to get in. You, on the other hand, knew the score.

Once you got your mits on the Red Vines (a delicacy I was foreign to until this day), you took my hand and led me into the dark cave where I would face my Darth Vader facsimile and slice his head off with a calculated wisp from the longest Red Vine, only to find my own face behind the iron lung’s dark skeletal helmet after a controlled blast squib blew the facemask off.

SO ANYWAYS, the theater was filled to near capacity with audience members from “That’s Incredible”—thus forcing us to sit in the front row next to some kids from “Eight is Enough” as the screen illuminated with the 20th Century Fox searchlights enlightened the small theater full of CHiP’s extras.

I’d like to say that the crawl at the beginning was a memorable game-changer for modern cinema, but I would be bullshitting you. Instead, I remember eating, nay devouring Red Vines and getting freaked the fugg out by Hammerhead’s henchman Trinto Duaba, a minor cantina Stennes who looked a lot like the Skull Face from Make-Up Monsters, another story for another holiday, mayhaps.

Fig. 3. “I take up permanent residence in your little brother’s brain.”

I also remember you talking to the kids from Electric Company that sat next to you like you were old war buddies, but as it turned out you didn’t even know them. I remember trying to engage in conversation with the weakest link, the kid in glasses, but he shined me on, as many older kids would in my future. Later, I would find out that annoying kids was a talent, nay a gift from God. It is the sole reason I love being a teacher.

I’ve read a few reviews of the new movie “Avatar,” saying that it reminded some of the critics that were born before 1970 of the first time they saw Star Wars. Sounds like bullshit to me. You could never tell me that seeing a bunch of Smurfs on PEDs savagely protecting their energy source like a tribe headed by Daniel Day-Lewis with long, flowing, Fabio-esque hair is any better than “Hope.”

I Can’t Believe it’s Not a Mohican.

SO ANYWAYS, in summation, the moral of the story is that growing up in this period kicked a lot of ass. Do you realize that from when “Hope” was released two days after I was born in 1977 to the release of “Jedi” in the summer of 1982, Hollywood had an explosion of fantasy blockbusters: Tron, The Dark Crystal, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., The Great Muppet Caper, Wrath of Khan, Superman II, Poltergeist and Blade Runner. I can honestly say that my top 5 of all-time on a good day is 1. Empire 2. Blade Runner 3. Hope 4. E.T. 5. The Dark Crystal. On a bad day, I’ll throw out E.T. and Dark Crystal and replace them with Pulp Fiction and Donnie Darko.

It was the first movie I remember seeing on a big screen. It might have been the first movie I ever watched from beginning to end and it was for damned sure the movie that helped shape my imagination, an imagination that haunts me nightly with visions of perfect Pirates of the Caribbean attractions, skull-faced women and the ghosts of odd love.

And the Red Vines were good too…

Fig. 4. see title.

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