Werewolves Don’t Turn Me On

With all the hype and excitement these days about vampyres and zombies, it seems only natural that werewolves want to horn in on all the action.

From Eddie Munster to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to the Twilight Saga to True Blood, it seems like everyone’s got to have their token lycanthrope. And you’d think the furry part of the preternatural triumvirate should get at least a third of the attention. And from some… heck from many… they do. But not from me.

There’s no good reason why werewolves shouldn’t get as much attention from me as vampyres and zombies, really. It’s not like werewolves have said or done anything offensive to me, personally. And it’s not like werewolves want to kill me more or less than a vampyre or zombie… or want to turn me into a werewolf more or less than a vampyre or zombie want to turn me into one of their own kind.

There just isn’t any spark between us, you know? No magic. No chemistry. What I guess I’m saying is, you’re just not my type… or I’m not your type.

I’m not saying this right. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to hurt you or anything. It’s just that I’m not really into you. Maybe not even you, personally, but the whole wolf transmogrification thing generally. It’s not that I like werewolves but just not you. I don’t like ANY werewolves. Seriously, I don’t. I’m not just saying that. Honestly.

It’s also not that I don’t like you. I kinda do. Sort of. In a way. But not in THAT way, if you know what I mean.

And don’t give me those big sad puppy dog eyes. That’s just passive-aggressive manipulation and I am SO put off by that. I mean really. It’s not fair. And it’s not right.

I think for both our sakes we should just try not to have any contact with each other. Under any circumstances. At least for a while. And before you ask, no… I don’t think the ‘just friends’ thing would work in this case. I don’t want to send out any mixed messages to you or build up any false hopes or whatever.

And don’t you even bring up Lon Chaney, Jr. That was ages ago. I was a just a kid, for heaven’s sake.

I guess I should let you know that I de-friended you on Facebook. I’ve deleted your email from my address book and your number from my cell phone. A clean break is best. Please respect my wishes. Don’t text me or try to get a hold of me or anything. Please. OK?

So… um… good luck. And… I hope things work out for you.

No, I will not scratch you behind the ear. Gawd!

Whoremaggedon: Rise of the Floombies!

WHOREMAGGEDON!!

This is one apocalyptic view of the future that few have foreseen!

Bear with me, folks…

Every right-thinking member of society knows that one day… it may not be this week or even this year, but one day… we will be faced with The Upcoming Zombie Apocalypse (TUZA). Zombiephiles and zombologists may quibble about whether the undead will be traditional George Romero (i.e. slow) zombies or the more modern 28 Days Later (i.e. fast) zombies… however the inevitability of TUZA is not really in question.

But… a new chilling aspect of TUZA occurred to me in, of all places, synagogue. Over the last two weekends, we read the sections of the biblical Book of Numbers dealing with the Israelite’s war against the kingdoms of Midian. The Midianites, at the suggestion of the gentile profit Bilaam (spelled Balaam in Christian bibles) tried a new strategy against the Israelites. Rather than send out their soldiers, the Midianites sent out their women! The plan was that the girls would ‘floozy’ their way into getting the Israelite men to hit on them, start sexual relationships with them, intermarry and, over time, the kingdoms of Midian would absorb and thereby defeat the Israelites with their ‘Lust Conquers All’ plan. It was horrifyingly effective and almost worked.

With a sinking feeling of dread, I contemplated the devestating effects if during TUZA some zombies, albeit unconsciously, developed a similar scenario.

Imagine a strain or mutation of female zombies that did not attack and devour men at first but rather showed some semblance of sexual attraction to them. Rather than giving out the usual low chilling lifeless groan of normal ‘decent’ zombies, this promiscuous mutation would produce seductive moans and other sounds of sexual arousal and pleasure.  These new Floozy Zombies… Floombies, if you will… would actually attract human males, enticing the guys to come to them. They would offer themselves as willing sexual partners, the undead sluts!

Really, ladies… give it a moment’s thought. Imagine an attraction at, say, the Arkansas State Fair where there was a huge tent offering such a ‘zombie-love’ experience. Brightly coloured ‘Ride The Floomie!’ signs 10 feet tall all over the fairgrounds! Can you with all honesty say there wouldn’t be a line-up of men a hundred yards long?

Zombieism would spread rapidly much like AIDS in the early eighties. No running, no chasing, no chomping on brains. Just some quick zombie love… and before you know it, Earl and Bubba are turning into the living dead. By the time the world catches on, it’s too late.

Whoremaggedon will be upon us!

Wasp Uses Ladybug as ‘Zombie Bodyguard’

Once again, the folks at ScienceDaily.com have come up with yet another eyeball-grabbing headline.

Wasp Uses Ladybug as ‘Zombie Bodyguard’!

This article is a follow-up to a November 26, 2009, piece entitled Ladybugs Taken Hostage by Wasps.

OK… the deal goes like this. The wasp (Dinocampus coccinellae) plants a seed inside the ladybug, which grows until, like that creepy thing in Alien, it busts out of the ladybug’s abdomen.

But here’s the weird part. The lady bug lives and the larva takes residence between some of the ladybug’s legs, forming a cocoon. The ladybug, in a semi-drugged ‘zombie’ state, is manipulated into ‘protecting’ the cocoon until it is old enough to mature into a wasp. Once the wasp leaves, the ladybug stands a 25% chance of surviving and recovering its normal pre-zombie behaviour.

In other words, the behavioral manipulation only begins once the parasite has left the body.

Apparently, unlike human females, this species of wasp has not yet mastered the skill of reproducing and manipulating both at the same time.

Hang in there, wasps. It took our females a long time to hone that skill to an art. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it soon!

Dead Snow (Død snø): Nazi zombies! What more could you ask?

A lot of movies get me right from the trailer. I watch a minute of clips from the film and I am dying to see it.

Dead Snow had me with two words… Nazi zombies!

How can you NOT watch a movie about Nazi zombies?? It’s like turning your nose up at Surf Nazis Must Die!

The plot is exquisite in its simplicity. Eight medical students on an Easter ski vacation in Norway run up against… Nazi Zombies!

(BTW: Grav Deg Ned I Tide is Norwegian for “Dig Down in Time!”)

OK… a bit more detail. During WW2, a battalion of Nazis occupied a village (Øksfjord) in Norway, raping, pillaging, murdering and generally terrorizing everyone until the villagers rebel and attack the Nazis, killing many of them except for evil Colonel Herzog and the surviving forces who flee to the mountains and freeze to death. And then they return as… Nazi zombies!

So the students get up to the cabin, knowing they will be all alone in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone reception only to discover… oh no… they’re all alone in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone reception!! Golly! (Or is that Gølly?)

I had SO much fun watching this movie!

To say Dead Snow goes in for blood and gore is a bit of an understatement. Severed heads, limbs and guts aplenty is more like it. But it is done in a campy and almost… yes, I will say it… lovable way! Its dismembering and disembowling doesn’t make you queasy like the Saw or Hostel series of horror movies. This is done in a very fun and lighthearted way. A kind of homage to the early George Romero zombie carnage. It is so ‘over the top’… it goes SO far… you can’t help but enjoy it. I found it hilariously funny.

To give just one adorable example, a hapless student, after seeing his friend literally getting his head torn off by Nazi zombies, says to the others, “I told you we should have gone to the beach!”

I could not put it any better than international film journalist Alan Jones of  London FrightFest, “Zombies, Nazis, blood on snow… It doesn’t get any better!”

Two rotting severed thumbs, way up!

How to Tell if Your Guy is a Zombie!

They’re everywhere these days. On television, in the movies, all throughout the bookstores. Zombies! Do the headlines have you spooked? Are they closer to you than you think?

Trust stands as the basic foundation to a solid relationship, and having your guy turn into a zombie can shake the foundation of a relationship to its core. While your ‘significant other’ will likely not admit openly that he is or is becoming a zombie, there are many simple signs to indicate that your guy is one of the living dead.

Here are some of the surprising clues as to whether your guy may be a zombie.

1. He slacks off on grooming.  “Many guys are not as neat and clean as some of us would like,” admits Sara Buchmeyer, research scientist at the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, “But if your guy looks like one of those lepers in an old biblical epic, this may be a warning sign that he’s not the man you met… in more ways than one!”

2. He smells different. “Bad body odour is one thing,” Buchmeyer states, “But if your man smells like the contents of a fridge after a week-long power outage all the time… then you need to find out why, and before you end up as a sidedish!”

3. Nothing fazes him anymore. “If you try to get a ‘normal’ reaction from him but he doesn’t respond no matter what you try,” says Dr. Sarah Pendleton of the Living-Dead Relations Institute, “The ‘silent treatment’, nagging, insults, yelling…forks through the back of the hand. If none of the usual ‘attention seeking tactics’ you normally use have any effect on him, it may not be you… it may be that he has joined the living dead!”

4. He becomes uncommunicative. “Some guys are the strong silent type. But if your guy has gone from monosyllabic to just a series of eerie moans and groans,” Dr Pendleton observes, “he may be telling you he’s gone flat-line!”

5. He’s suddenly more interested in your brains than your looks. “If there is a surefire way to be certain your man is a zombie, it’s this!” concludes former Yale University professor Naomi Glickman, Ph.D. Dr Glickman is also a Fox News TV commentator and author of the controversial study Zombies: A Post Mortem Extention of the American Male Psyche, as well as co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Zombie Skeet: Shooting the Living Dead for Sport and Pleasure and Zombies and the Sad, Pathetic Women Who Say They Love Them. “No matter what a man may tell you, he’s not interested in your mind, your personality, your wit, your charm, your opinions or any of the other things he says to get you into bed. When it comes right down to it, men like the looks, the body, the boobs, the bum. But if all of a sudden, your guy is sniffing your scalp like a Schnauzer after a Snausage… you stand a good chance of being eaten alive. The only alternative is to terminate things… with extreme prejudice!”

Side note: While many local, state/provincial and federal laws in the U.S. and Canada either conflict with each other or are unclear about the legality of destroying a vampyre (e.g. can you be charged with murdering a vampyre since, technically, it’s already dead?), no such lack of clarity exists with zombies. So unless fringe groups pass ‘Zombie Rights’ legislation, you appear to be free to end your relationship in the most permanent way you see fit.

Season of the Witch (We’re Going to Need More Holy Water!)

OK… this is like the second movie I’ve seen this month that centres around witches, monks, knights and the bubonic plague in medieval Europe.

The plot of Season of the Witch is very straightforward… Two crusaders have to transport a girl suspected of being a witch to a remote monastery to stand trial for bringing the plague and death to villagers.

Nicholas Cage is the lead knight and is appropriately jaded and conflicted after battling in the Crusades. He and his comrade, appalled by the senseless killing of women and children, desert and return to Europe.

Unlike the film Black Death, however, which is relentlessly dark and bleak,  Season of the Witch  does have moments of humour. These are often provided by the wonderful Ron Perlman (Hellboy, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army), the other deserting Crusader.

One of  the bits that actually caused me to laugh out loud was the monk Debelzaq’s (Stephen Campbell Moore) classic line, “We’re going to need more holy water!” This, to my mind, ranks right up there with the famous Roy Scheider line in the movie Jaws, “You’re going to need a bigger boat” and the Taco Bell chihuahua’s “Uh oh… I think I need a bigger box!” [1]

While grim and generally dirty, the medieval world portrayed in Season of the Witch is a little more along the lines of the usual Hollywood image of what things were like in the mid-1300’s. And no, it’s not a ‘great movie’ but, like Black Death (and even Sucker Punch), I don’t think it is nearly as dreadful as the critics make it out to be. I liked it. It was an enjoyable swords and witchcraft thriller. Even though parts of it may have been a bit silly and the climactic scenes at the end were a bit far-fetched, it IS a fantasy movie, folks, not a documentary.

I think it is definitely worth a look. The special effects are cool. The action is exciting. The battle scenes are great. Ron Perlman is a howl. And Claire Foy as the ‘Is She? Isn’t She?’ witch keeps you guessing until the end. And you even get Christopher Lee as a plague-ridden cardinal with a rotting face. What more could you ask for?

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[1] The whole “Gonna Need More” schtick is a modern culture phenomenon. For more, check out the listing at TVtropes.org.

Bitch in Heat (I don’t mean to be this way… really!)

It’s summer. It’s sunny and very warm. And I’m miserable.

I’m hot. I’m sweaty. I’m short-tempered. I’m humourless. I have zero patience, zero sympathy, zero empathy. I don’t want to get closer than arm’s distance to anyone for any reason. I’m never ever ever comfortable.

And I’m bitchy.

I whine in mugginess… kvetch in warm weather…  bitch in heat.

I hate bitchiness! One of my mottos is ‘Life is too short for bitchy people!’ And each summer, I turn into the person I hate.

For over ten months of the year, I’m cheerful and upbeat, spreading sweetness and light everywhere I go! But during the summer, I have no sense of humour whatsoever. Even being merely civil is an effort for me. Being pleasant is a chore. As for being nice? An almost Herculean task.

Luckily, in my little corner of The Great White North, there are maybe a dozen or so days in the summer that are ‘hot’ by most standards. Of those, maybe three or four are very hot (ie in the high 90s F and sometimes just over 100F).

The problem with that situation is that most people I know, and I am presuming that ‘most people I know’ reflect a fairly average sampling of the population, really don’t mind when the temperature gets up there. Most people are delighted when the mercury climbs to 80F and beyond.

Only when heat reaches well over 90F do they start to exhibit the symptoms that I display when things get much above room temperature. Only then do these allegedly normal people ask questions like “Golly, I wonder what people did before air conditioning!” (Answer: They Died!!) [1]

I don’t mean to be this way… really, I don’t! While many animals hibernate in the winter, I’d love to nod off after Shavuos (late May – early June) and wake up in time for Rosh HaShana (early September – early October).

I want to estivate! [2]

I try my best to be quiet during the summer. I know that people don’t want to hear me kvetch any more than I want to hear them moan and complain about it being so darned cold every time things drop below room temperature (i.e. the remaining ten months of the year).

I’ll try to be nice.

All I can say is that, in return, each city needs to erect a statue to the man who invented air conditioning!

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[1] A dear entomologist friend of mine told me that bedbugs die at about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. I can still hear his charming nerd-chic voice saying, “Mind you… I suppose most people start pegging out at about 110, too!”

[2] To spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails, insects and small animals.