Before we begin, let us simply recall the iconic opening to every episode of one of the most amazing TV shows of all-time, The Twilight Zone . . .

Yes, there were variations of the same opening, but you get the gist.

I recorded the Twilight Zone Marathon recently, and I just finished watching nearly 70-episodes. There were 156 total, but these were deemed some of the best. I learned a few things while watching, and the most striking of these was that Rod Serling got away with a lot of crazy and outrageous stuff.  More on that later.

I also learned that lots of stars and future stars were on the show. People like Mickey Rooney, William Shatner, Ron Howard, Burt Reynolds, Carol Burnett, Buster Keaton, Robert Redford, Dennis Hopper, Leonard Nimoy, Lee Marvin, and Don Rickles all guest starred. The décor – early 60’s Mad Men style.

Another aspect that stood out was the introductions and closing remarks by Serling. Just incredible writing. Here’s a sample:

Nobody else, and I mean nobody, could pull that off like Serling. Love it. Here’s a sample of one of his closing monologues:

Again, so well done.

It was also amazing how Serling touched on political issues of the day. Some episodes even touched on World War II and the treatment of Jews.  This was just 15-18 years after the war, and the scenes were brutal. They spoke of the experiments done on prisoners and everything. Pretty incredible for such a conservative era.

That said, I’ll now give you my 12 favorite Twilight Zone episodes. Let us commence . . .

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

William Shatner (later to become Captain Kirk in Star Trek) stars in what might be the most famous and revered of all Twilight Zone episodes. He plays a man traveling aboard a commercial flight with his wife. He spots a monster on the wing, trying to damage it. He tries to alert the crew and other passengers to the potential danger lurking just outside his window seat. However, the clever being makes sure to fly out of view every time someone else peers through the glass, leaving Shatner to look foolish and delusional. In typical Twilight Zone fashion, the final shot is the killer. As Shatner is taken away on a stretcher, the camera pans away showing actual damage the monster has done to the wing. Awesome. On a related note, the shot where Shatner has closed the window, only to open it to see the monster’s face pressed against the window scared the bejesus out of me.

Note- Watching it now, the “monster” appears to have been created by a 5th grade art class. Still a classic episode.

Living Doll

This episode is always referred to as “Talking Tina” and it was the single scariest thing I’d ever seen in my life. Trust me, as a 6-year old this was just petrifying and life-altering to witness. I still hate dolls to this day because of this show. In this one Telly Savalas plays a man who isn’t a fan of his stepdaughter’s new “Talky Tina” doll, especially after the doll starts telling him she’s going to kill him. What follows is a twisted domestic drama powered by the actions of an evil toy. There have been dozens of TV shows and movies that have told stories about talking dolls since, but Rod Serling’s take is still the best by far. Believe me, I haven’t looked at a doll the same since.

The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street

Ah, another great one that asks the viewers to decide who the real monsters are, the alien invaders or their very own friends and neighbors?
“Monsters” finds the residents of an unnamed town in a panic when they conclude an alien invasion is afoot, and it began because of a loud noise and a power outage. Rather than team up to combat the terror from beyond the stars, they succumb to paranoia and vigilante-like behavior, leading their invaders to conclude that the best way to destroy mankind is to let us do the deed ourselves. Rod Serling, who wrote the episode, summed it up best in the closing narration, making a social point as he often did:

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, and prejudices — to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill. And suspicion can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own – for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined . . . to the Twilight Zone.”

Wow.

The Invaders

In this one, a poor impoverished woman (Agnes Moorehead, who went on to play the mother on Bewitched) lives alone in a rustic cabin. She is dressed shabbily, and there are no modern conveniences in evidence. After hearing a strange noise above her kitchen roof, she is attacked by small intruders that come from a miniature flying saucer that has landed on her rooftop. Two tiny figures about 6-inches high, which may be robots or beings wearing pressure suits, emerge from the craft. As a kid this was creepy as hell. Anyway, the small figures attack the woman, using small, pistol-like weapons that leave radiation burns on her skin, and, after following her into her cabin, slashing her ankle and hand with her own kitchen knife. The suspense builds as the woman searches for the invaders. She eventually destroys one, wrapping it in a blanket and beating it until it is still, then throwing it into the burning fireplace. She follows the other to the saucer-ship on her roof, which she proceeds to attack with a hatchet. From within the craft, she hears a voice speaking in English. These are the first words we’ve heard the whole episode, and the intruder knows he’s about to die. He then proceeds to frantically warn other potential visitors that the planet is inhabited by giants and they are impossible to defeat. Then comes the kicker. The camera pans slowly away to reveal the markings on the side of the ship, which reads U.S. Air Force Space Probe No. 1. You see, the invaders were human astronauts from Earth, and the woman in the small farmhouse belongs to a race of giant humanoids native to another planet. Another shocking ending.

The Bewitchin’ Pool

In my mind, one of most unforgettable of all the Twilight Zone episodes. A young girl and her little brother live in a beautiful suburban home, complete with a large swimming pool. Their parents are cold, short tempered, and forever fighting in front of their children. One day, a boy pops up from the deep end of their pool and invites them to follow him. Wait. What? The children then follow by diving underwater and surface in a beautiful countryside. It is simple and plain, and unlike their spectacular home. There are no adults except for a kindly woman who bakes desserts and offers kind words. The children go back home through the swimming pool because they’re worried that their parents have missed them. They break through the water to find that their neglectful parents haven’t even noticed that they were gone. The children return again to the idyllic countryside by diving through the pool, and this time, they stay. Their parents search for them in the pool, but never find them. The children remain happily ever after, cared for and loved, in this paradise. It wasn’t until I watched this episode as an adult that I saw that it could be perceived as legitimizing childhood suicide in response to bad parenting, and a child’s simple wish to get the hell away. No way this would be broadcast today.

The Hitch-Hiker

Another terrifying example of the plot twists Twilight Zone was known for. We begin with a young woman traveling alone cross country trip. She blows a tire and when she takes her car in for repairs, we get a hint that something is amiss when the mechanic tells her she should have called a hearse, not a car repair service. She drives on, but keeps seeing a man hitchhiking no matter how far she drives. Shaken, she finally stops and calls her mother, only to be told that her mother had a nervous breakdown when her daughter was killed in a car accident 6-days ago. She is in disbelief, but returns to her car, where the hitchhiker awaits her. She ultimately realizes that the hitchhiker is death, patiently waiting for her. What I see now that I didn’t see then is that you can’t outrun fate. In the unforgettable final scene, Nan returns to the car and looks in the vanity mirror on the visor. Instead of her reflection, she sees the hitchhiker. He looks at her and asks, “I believe you’re going my way?” Jeebus.

After Hours

There is another episode I can directly blame for one of my phobias and that is my fear of mannequins. In a department store, there is a 9th floor for no one else but the store’s mannequins. Once a month, they take turns living as humans in the real world. When their time is up, they return to the 9th floor, except for the day that Mannequin Marcy decides she likes being human too much and is not going back. My older and wiser take on it now? Serling was telling us that, sometimes, a small taste of honey is worse than none at all.

Time Enough at Last

What a great, great episode that is often ranked as the best Twilight Zone ever. Burgess Meredith stars as Henry Bemis — a man who just wants to get away from the everyday world and bury his nose in a good book. Henry gets his wish one day when the rest of humanity is wiped out in a nuclear attack. He soon discovers an untouched library — a place where he can read in peace for the rest of his existence. Thrilled with his discovery, Bemis settles in. As he gets ready to crack open his first book, the worst happens – he breaks his glasses. Virtually blind, Bemis is now stuck in a world with all the time and books he could ever want and no way to enjoy them. Damn you Rod Serling!

To Serve Man

Another classic. In this episode, mankind has seemingly found a kindly alien savior in the form of the Kanamits — a race of towering space travelers who are all too willing to help Earth get rid of the problems of hunger and war. But their personal manifesto, a book entitled To Serve Man, isn’t the guide for peace that everyone thought it to be. As the woman who figured it all out yells at the end of the episode, “It’s a cookbook! IT’S A COOKBOOK!” Ah, to serve man. It all made chilling sense in the end.

It’s a Good Life

Bill Mumy was absolutely terrifying as the 6-year-old Anthony Freemont, a boy with incredible psychic powers who holds everyone around him under his power. Little Anthony could simply think you out of existence for displeasing him. He was some sort of godlike child with the ability to read minds, make people disappear, mutate other living beings, and control the weather. The adults obviously tiptoe around the temperamental kid, but it never really matters, because he’s six, and six-year-olds aren’t particularly rational in the first place, amirite? Here’s Serling closing quote:

No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony, you can be sure of one thing – You have entered The Twilight Zone.”

The Eye of the Beholder

I watched this as a kid and it terrified me for weeks. A young woman undergoes surgery to improve her appearance and look like everyone else. She spends most of the episode swathed in head bandages as shadowy doctors and nurses talk around her. She’s terrified they won’t be able to make her beautiful. When the wraps are removed, the doctors proclaim the procedure a complete failure — but the audience sees the lovely Donna Douglas and wonders what the holy hell they’re talking about. It all becomes clear when the doctors and nurses are revealed. In one of the most memorable Twilight Zone endings of all time, the docs and nurses all look like some sort of mutant pigs. “Eye of the Beholder” indeed.

Long Distance Call

This episode frightened me so much that I promised myself I would never see it again. I lied. After his grandmother dies, a little boy is mysteriously given a phone. On this phone, only calls from his deceased grandmother can come through. Grandma then tries to convince Little Billy to kill himself to join her. And so he tries, several times in several ways. I can say without a doubt that today, this storyline encouraging childhood suicide would never be allowed to be aired. Just normal prime time entertainment for the Twilight Zone, though.

So there ya go, my personal favorite Twilight Zone episodes. What are yours? Let’s hear it!

One of their most beautiful songs.

Remember a couple days ago when I posted a photo of that doofus who stuck his bare feet between the seats in front of him on the plane? Remember when I said he was awful and a terrible person to sit by while traveling? Turns out the woman in front of that guy was lucky. Yep. Coulda been worse. She could have been this lady . . .

Runnerup goes to this dude. Jeebus.

I picture him exactly like this.

So awhile back I posted about a tasty new Doritos offering being banned in the USA and Britain for being too spicy. The blog was entitled “And the Wussification Continues: Spicy Doritos Banned In USA, Now Britain”. I beseech you to click on that link before proceeding.

Anyhoo, I received an interesting response from a British bro, and he wasn’t happy. Oh, I get nasty comments from time-to-time so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I found this one to be particularly humorous. Without further ado, here’s the response, from some dude named JimsEvilTwin:

Absolutely agree with you, the more Americans that choke the better. My dad’s friend owned a 15th century country pub and an American visitor ordered some lunch, including a beef sandwich. He proceeded to put a thick coat of English mustard on it and was warned “careful that is English mustard, you won’t be able to eat it like that”, to which the American replied boastfully “Hey I’m used to American mustard”, he then took a bite from his sandwich and almost choked to death (he received medical attention). It was pretty hilarious. English Mustard is several times stronger than the American crap but Yank egos are too bloated to understand such things. ‘American’ means best, hottest, biggest everything to them, in reality it generally means poor quality, mass produced rubbish!

Wow. Hot take from my British follower there. Hell, he wants us all to choke. That’s just rude. Seriously, man, this dude has to take a deep breath and take a step back. So an American thought he could handle your hot mustard and he couldn’t. Big deal. He is but one American. Why the hatred toward all of us? Still a little touchy because my man George Washington and his boys kicked your ass back in the day? And doth you forget the whole little misunderstanding with Hitler and the Nazis, they from which we saved your asses? Methinks my mate needs to chillax. Perhaps he is simply knackered from eating Fish & Chips all day. At any rate, I am gobsmacked by his response.*

Don’t make us come over there and kick your ass again, Rupert or Clive or whatever the hell your real name is. Have a bloody good evening!

*The British slang terms website is a fun site to visit.

 

So a friend of mine from the Eastern Seaboard told me an amazing story recently about an amusement park in New Jersey that was open from 1978 to 1996. It was called Action Park, and to say this place was dangerous would be an understatement of the highest order. 6-people died at the park in 18-years, and average of 1 every 3 years, and the injuries were in the hundreds if not thousands.

The park is legendary amongst Jersey folk, and people like my friend are proud to say they survived it. In researching the park I came across this quote from a man who attended as a kid:

It was almost like our Vietnam. It was like another step in the quest to manhood. Guys would come back and they’d just have these stories of terror. One kid I knew had a broken ankle — he was on a ride that caught on fire and he had to jump off.”

Good God.

This hellhole was also known as, among other things, “Traction Park” “Accident Park” and “Class Action Park,” and you’ll soon see why. What follows are real stories and tidbits regarding the Death Trap known as Action Park:

In 1979 Action Park opened one of the first wave pools in the country. On its first day open it was estimated over 100 swimmers had to be rescued from the wave pool. Park officials attributed this to a lack of experience in the pool by park goers, because of course they did. A staff of 12 Red Cross certified lifeguards were on duty at all times, and numbers as high as 30 saves per lifeguard per day were recorded. Tragically there were 3 confirmed deaths in the wave pool.

In 1985 the park opened a slide called The Cannonball Loop. Take a look at this monster:

Kid looked like he was going about 80-mph.

 

Remember that this is a slippery slide, not a coaster. Kids went through this without safety gear. Sweet Jesus that looks dangerous. Also fun. And get this – during testing of the Cannonball Loop dummies were sent down and they were decapitated. The attraction was adjusted until the dummies came through with heads intact and then park employees were offered $100 to test it out themselves. Thankfully, no one died on this monstrosity but some people did become stuck. Before it was finally closed for good a trap door was installed into the loop to retrieve riders that became stuck in the top of the loop. The first summer it opened it had 110 reported injuries, including 30-fractures and 45-head injuries. Good times!

At one point they opened up a skate park in Action Park. It was open for only one summer season before they deemed it too dangerous and it was shut down. They were so scared that people would use it after hours that they plowed over it with dirt and set up a picnic area on top of it. Dangerous indeed.

The infamous Cliff Dive was very cold, and also very deep. Legend has it that the bottom of the 40-foot pool had to be repainted white one summer because lifeguards were unable to see drowning swimmers against the black floor. Insanity, man. Check it out:

It’s a fact that 911 calls were so frequent at Action Park (an estimated 5-10 trips per day) that the owner of the park purchased additional ambulances for the township of Vernon, NJ. Hey, that’s a civic-minded man right there.

Shockingly but not really, Action Park had some difficulty in retaining their insurers. Since they could not legally operate without insurance they set up their own fake company in the Cayman Islands. Owner Eugene Mulvihill pleaded guilty to setting up the company, copped a plea, got 3-years probation, and paid $300,000 in fines. He was supposed to sell the resort but, incredibly, he never did.

One of the biggest problems at Action Park was its employees. Legally you needed to be 16-years old to operate a ride in New Jersey, which already seems a tad young. However, Action Park had many employees as young as 14-years old. That’s not the most amazing fact I read though – it seems it was not uncommon for operators of all ages to be on duty with cans of beer in their hands. What could possibly go wrong, man?

Employees would often use park attractions after hours, and believe it or not they didn’t always operate them properly. One thing they would do was shove tennis balls into the speed governors of the cars at their Motorworld Speedway, a section of Action Park. The governors were designed to limit the speed of the vehicle to 20-mph, but after the tampering they could reach speeds as high as 50-mph. Of course, sometimes they’d forget (or not) and leave the tennis balls in, then sit back and watch the hilarity that ensued as an 8-year old kid drove a miniature car 50-mph around a little track. Oh, and by the way, without a helmet.

Helmets schmelmets.

One of the parks biggest and most dangerous attractions was the notorious Alpine Slide. The slide was a sloped and swerving cart ride. The track was built out of fiber glass, and riders would roll down in flimsy carts with no protection, using a defective handbrake as their only means of control. Riders would often get scrapes and burns on the fiberglass. In fact, friction burns were so common that paramedics would be waiting at the bottom of the slide. And burns were not the only danger – despite the crack team of underage and possibly drunk park employees manning the ride, slow riders were often in danger of being rammed from behind by the next set of riders. Unsurprisingly, Action Park’s first recorded death occurred when an after hours park employee flew off of the Alpine Slide and hit his head on a rock, killing him instantly.

Weee! Uh-oh.

One of the reasons Action Park stayed open was because they actually had an on-site infirmary. Unless you had a broken bone you wouldn’t go to the hospital and your injuries wouldn’t be reported. That’s either ingenious or insane, but probably a combination of both.

Here’s a good tidbit. In 1982, owner Mulvihill told a New Jersey newspaper that his park is “gonna be better than Disney World!” That same year a 15-year-old drowned in the Wave Pool and a week later a 27-year-old was electrocuted on a ride called the Kayak Experience. True story.

What can I say, man? We were tougher back then I guess? Seriously, I talk about the Wussification of America more than anyone but Good God this place was wild, insane and all sorts of crazy.

In other words, just the kind of place my friends and I would’ve loved.

When Blackbeard captured the ship that would become Queen Anne’s Revenge, there were 455 African slaves aboard. Many of the Africans chose to become pirates rather than become slaves. At the time of Blackbeard’s death, 1/3 of his crew were former slaves.

 

It’s about to go down, man.

Totes adorbs.

Once again, nobody writes headlines like me. You’re welcome.

Police are hunting for a man who attacked five people with a chainsaw in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen. Franz Wrousis is alleged to have launched his assault at a health insurance office shortly after 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT). The attack sparked a manhunt involving more than 100 officers from both Switzerland and Germany. Police say the 51-year-old, who lives in the woods, is dangerous and believed to be still armed with the chainsaw. His exact motives are still not clear, but police Major Ravi Landolt told a news conference: “This is not an attack against a hypothetical person. This is clearly against people from the insurer.”

Whew. Glad Franz Wrousis was only going after a “hypothetical person” and not, you know, an “actual person.” Sure that meant a lot to the folks getting attacked by a man with a freaking chainsaw. But hey, you’d be a little edgy too if every time you had to fill in the address box on every freaking form you ever signed as “the woods.” Bummer, man. And I wonder how long it took the po-po to figure out they’d better list this guy as “dangerous.” Guess the chainsaw had something to do with that.

Anyhoo, just remember, kids. Chainsaws don’t kill people. People kill people.

PS- Is this his mug shot? Way to keep it simple, Switzerland.

This is the face you have when you sleep in a pile of leaves every night.

Cool.

So every summer I hear the same comments, albeit from different people regarding different vacation spots:

“So good to be back home! This is our spot!”  

Keep in mind people could be talking about the Dominican Republic, Myrtle Beach, Oak Island, Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks, or several locations on the coast of Florida, Georgia, Texas or God-knows-where.

Listen, I understand that people grow fond of a location. After all, they spend a week there doing nothing but relaxing, swimming and going out to eat at seafood restaurants, what’s not to like? It’s perfect. For a week or more they get to sleep in, eat like a pig, and do nothing but live the dream. Hey, you get attached to a place. What’s not to like?

Still, I find it interesting that people like to claim a vacation spot as their own. It’s as if they feel a need to lay claim to a place, and are almost protective of it. And I guess, in a way, I do the same thing.

Here’s an example. Back in 1978, my sister, her husband and I first began going to a little out of the way (then at least) place called Oak Island, NC. Hey, back then I didn’t know anyone else who went there on vacation. Now, not so much. Tons of people I know go there, and some of them have declared it “their” second home. And you know what? That’s fine. I know exactly how they feel, because I’ve felt the same way for years. I feel the exact same way about the Outer Banks, because I spent my summers there from 1992-2011. Does it seem like a second home? It does. It also feels that way to thousands of other people who vacation there, and for good reason.

I’m not 100% sure what I’m trying to say here, other than it’s sort of dumb to try and declare a piece of land as “yours.” It’s not possible. No matter how much you love it, unless you own the whole shebang, it belongs to everybody.

Sorry kids, but it’s the truth.

This sort of reminds me of the way people lay claim to certain rock bands. “That’s my band! I listened to them when nobody had heard of them!” Then, when everyone else discovers them, you feel as if you’ve been cheated on. You wish you could go back to the days when nobody else knew their music, just like that one special beach you thought was all yours.

Sadly, it isn’t. And honestly, in reality it never was.

Listen, Trump gave his speech about Healthcare and I watched, basically because I wanted to make fun of him. However, I swear to God I didn’t hear a word he said. Why? Because the lady behind him had the most outrageous eyebrow game these eyes have seen. I mean, this chick looks just like one of my buddies that passed out at a party in college and somebody pulled the old sharpie prank on him. Sweet Mother of God, does she not own a mirror? How does her family let her leave the house like that? For the love of all that is holy, she knew she was going to on national television, right? I’m legit terrified of this woman. Forget healthcare, man, somebody fix this woman’s eyebrows!

Interesting.

 

 

Months before the United States dropped an Atomic Bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, they knew they had a weapon that was more powerful than the world could possibly comprehend. Having an idea of how destructive the bomb would be, the US military dropped leaflets over the city 5-days prior to the bombing as a warning of sorts.  Here’s what a citizen of Hiroshima would have read if he’d bent over to pick up one of these flyers, or perhaps grabbed it as it fluttered from the sky. It was printed in Japanese:

Civilians! Evacuate at once! These leaflets are being dropped to notify you that your city has been listed for destruction by our powerful air force. The bombing will begin within 72-hours. This advance notice will give your military authorities ample time to take necessary defensive measures to protect you from our inevitable attack. Watch and see how powerless they are to protect you. Systematic destruction of city after city will continue as long as you continue to blindly follow your military leaders whose blunders have placed you on the very brink of oblivion. It is your responsibility to overthrow the military government NOW and save what is left of your beautiful country. In the meanwhile, we encourage all civilians to evacuate at once.

Knowing what we know now, a pretty clear warning. Definitely some subtle hints there. “Systematic destruction” and “brink of oblivion” sort of lays it out there. Still, the Japanese had no real way of knowing what type of hell would soon rain down on them.

In addition, one week prior to these leaflets being dropped, President Harry Truman had issued a simple but chilling warning that if Japan did not surrender immediately, it would face “prompt and utter destruction.”

He wasn’t bluffing.

On August 6th, 1945, that’s exactly what happened. Little Boy exploded above Hiroshima, sending out a white flash of light 10-times brighter than the sun. The surrounding air ignited and the sky erupted into a fireball 300-yards wide. The heat on the ground directly below the explosion (it detonated nearly 2,000-feet above ground) reached 6,000 degrees.

Thousands of men, women and children within a 1/2 mile radius were instantly reduced to lumps of charcoal. Then came a shockwave as the blast rolled outward with the force of 16,000 tons of TNT at a speed of 2-miles per second, followed by a cloud rising 50,000 feet into the air, sucking up with it the vaporized remains of possibly 70,000 people.

Nearly every human and building within a 1-mile radius of the explosion simply vanished. Beyond this, burns maimed and disfigured thousands, many who lived miles away.

Not to mention the radiation that would kill people for months and years to come.

So yeah, bad. Nightmarishly bad. Those who stayed simply didn’t heed the warning, for whatever reason. Nobody, outside of a select few, really knew how powerful this new weapon would be, nor could they have possibly imagined. But they were warned, even if they couldn’t comprehend the warning.

Historians still debate whether the use of the bomb was the correct decision, although most agree that it was. Most presidents since then have supported the act and have agreed that tens of thousands of American servicemen’s lives were saved because of it. The bombing of Hiroshima, and a few days later Nagasaki, prevented an invasion of Japan that would have been long and deadly.

Still, over 70-years later, the effects linger and the results of the weapon are still difficult to comprehend. And remember this – today’s bombs are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Here’s a pretty good re-enactment of the dropping of the bomb:

 

 

Out of 489 known shark species, only 3 are accountable for double digit fatalities.  The last 3 fatalities in the United States occurred in 2015, 2013, and 2013 respectively and all in Hawaii by what were presumed to be Tiger Sharks.

 

So you take your seat on your flight, and to your delight you find that nobody will be sitting in the seats beside you. Glorious! Jackpot! Woot! You may even stretch out sideways and take a nap, amirite? The joyous possibilities are endless. Hells to the yah! After all, there’s nothing worse than being crammed into your seat beside some obnoxious, loud or possibly portly passenger, is there? Well, it turns out that yes, there is . . .

I swear to God, I have some friends with a genuine fear of feet that would recoil in horror at this sight. Me? I’d probably just ask them to put their feet where they belong, and if they didn’t I’d start breaking toes. Anyhoo, that’s nasty.

Dogs, man.

PS- Honestly, I can hear the fear in that guy’s voice. He’s pretty sure Storm is trying to save that deer, but a small part of him thinks Storm might just be hungry for a little venison. Good stuff.

Beautiful.

Too sad.

So here’s some delightful video of a lady kneeling down in front of some art out in L.A., only to succeed in falling backwards and creating an artistic domino effect of sorts. On a related note, only professional bloggers such as I are capable of writing that last sentence. Anyhoo, here’s the assclown in action.

“Bring it on, bacon boy.”

Al.com– Hogs aren’t unusual in rural south Alabama, but Wade Seago said he’d never seen anything like the 820-pound animal he shot and killed in his front yard.

Seago told al.com that he and his daughter spotted the massive hog in their yard in Samson last week after the family’s pet schnauzer Cruiser started barking.

“Cruiser had this huge hog confused with all of the barking and movement,” Wade said.

So the man got his .38-caliber handgun and took aim. It took three shots to drop the hog, Seago said, and he later weighed it on scales at a peanut company.

Seago told NBC4 he didn’t fear for his life during the confrontation.

“I was watching out for the dog. I knew that I wasn’t going to allow a hog that size to hang around,” Seago said. “He didn’t rush me, but I didn’t really give him time.”

Who the hell do you think you’re fooling, Wade Seago? You clearly inserted yourself into a situation where you weren’t needed, son. It’s obvious to me that Cruiser the Schnauzer had this thing under control from the get-go. Shoulda let your loyal best friend handle the situation from the safety of your back porch. Cruiser woulda sent that porker to Louisiana in a heartbeat if you’d have minded your own damn business. Instead, now you’re the big hero and Cruiser is a pint-sized victim, for God’s sake, all so you can have a hog head on your wall. Pathetic, man.

PS- Nothing says rural Alabama like killing an 820-lb hog with a handgun and weighing it at the local peanut company.

That’s pretty high alright.

Takes a minute to see it, but when you do it’s awesome.

There are few things I like to do more than watch a live rock concert. Something about the energy, the whole vibe, just seeing someone performing music you love up close and in person is amazing.

I’ve been to hundreds of concerts in my life, and I’ve witnessed some crazy stuff. It’s always a special treat when things go off the rails a little though, ya know?

Without further ado, here’s some of the weirdest stuff I’ve seen at live shows . . .

Westerberg, man.

About 10-years ago I went to see Paul Westerberg at The Newport in Columbus, and it was a helluva show. The former front man for the legendary Replacements was outstanding, man. so much so that a friend of mine said this after the show:

“That’s the first time I ever felt like I was watching a real rock star.”

Amen, brother. Anyway, Westerberg was all over the stage, even laying on his back at one point as he played guitar, and performed all the good stuff as well as some offbeat covers such as “If I Had a Hammer” and “Daydream Believer”. But on to my point. About halfway through the show Westerberg was having some sort of trouble with his guitar strap and stopped to fix it. A roadie walked onstage to try and help, and Paul became unhinged. He turned and screamed, “Get the FU@K away from me!” The poor dude then sort of shuffled backwards off the stage, the venue got deathly quiet for a few seconds, and the Westerberg went back to the song as if nothing happened. Weird moment.

Dude loves his tambourine.

A couple years ago I was at a Gin Blossoms show in Columbus, and lead singer Robin Wilson handed his tambourine to a woman in the front row. I’d seen these guys a couple times before and knew it was part of the shtick, that the audience member would play it for awhile and hand it back to Wilson. This time, however, the idiot lady took it and vamoosed. As the band watched incredulously, Wilson finished the song and then lit into the tambourine thief, screaming something along the lines of, “You f**cking b**tch! Bring back my f**cking tambourine!” Dude was livid, man. Must have been his special tambourine or something. I mean, I know the Blossoms are 20-years passed their heyday but I figured they could afford more than one tambourine.

Note: I looked it up. They can cost up to $200 and more. Yikes.

Note 2: Who can’t play a tambourine? I mean really? I’d kill on a tambourine. Hell, I may buy a tambourine and join a band.

Back in the late 90s I went to see Dan Fogelberg. Yes, I liked Fogelberg. I’ve seen him a few times. So shoot me. Soft Rock never hurt anyone. Don’t judge, people. Besides, he’s dead now so you’re just being mean. Anyhoo, the opening band had finished and Fogelberg walked out to thunderous applause. He sat down at the piano, played a few notes, then slammed his hands on the keys and scared the bejesus out of everyone. Then got up and stormed off the stage. As we sat there in stunned silence, some poor roadie walked sheepishly out on the stage, played a few notes as he tuned (or retuned) the piano, then got up and walked/crawled/slithered back from whence he came. Then ol’ Dan came back out like nothing had happened and without  word of apology sat down and proceeded to play a blistering version of “Leader of the Band”, except not really because it’s a slow ballad. Anyway, surreal moment.

E.

I’ve seen The Eels several times, and lead singer Mark Oliver Everett is always a laid back guy. He interacts with the audience but he’s always really light-hearted and funny. However, even The Man Called E can be pushed over the edge. Well, sort of. A few years ago some jackass kept yelling at the top of his lungs during an Eels show. I mean this was going on during songs, during E’s talking and during quiet intervals. Finally, E had enough. He looked up to where the guy was in the balcony, took a deep breath, and said calmly, “Hey Screamy. If you don’t shut the hell up I’ve having you thrown the f**ck out of here.” Crowd roars, Screamy shuts up, problem solved.

Back around 1979 I watched Aerosmith in the Fairgrounds Coliseum in Columbus, Ohio. This was the infamous show where I ended up backstage on a couch with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Oh, and photos were taken, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, during that show I distinctly recall Steven and Joe nearly brawling onstage. No idea what caused it, but at one point I was fairly certain Perry was going to beat Tyler over the head with his 1960 Gibson Les Paul geetar. Good times.

At some point a bit before The Who tragedy at Riverfront Coliseum (my dates are a little fuzzy) I saw Led Zeppelin there. The whole festival seating/general admission thing was obviously in place, and it was pretty ugly. We got there real early, around 2:00 PM in order to get in line. The coliseum’s policy at the time was to open just 4 doors at around 6:30 PM (again, hazy) for the 8:00 show. We were right up front, and a little after 5:00 PM things began to get ugly. Remember, 4-doors for 12,000 people. Idiocy. People in the back began pressing forward and those of us in front were getting crushed against the doors. Guys were begging the security inside to open up, but they weren’t listening. A police chopper suddenly appeared and began hovering about 30-feet up, and a guy with a bullhorn was telling people to back up. Nobody was having it, and at one point I remember a beer bottle being thrown at the chopper and shattering off its side. By this time I was seriously in fear of not making it out of there. My arms were pressed against my sides so tightly that I couldn’t raise them. Occasionally my feet would rise off the ground and I’d have to completely go wherever the crowd took me. Scary stuff for sure. The worst part was when the crowd would start to lean and you feared getting crushed. It was hard to breathe and several people passed out but obviously didn’t fall down. Surreal as hell. Finally, an ignorant security guard did a dumb but ultimately good thing – he cracked a door open, ostensibly to tell somebody when the gates would open. At that point the door was ripped open and the crowd poured in. Glass was flying everywhere, and as I was being pushed through a guard reached out and ripped a flask from my neck, nearly slashing my throat. No tickets were taken and chaos ensued. After I got away from the rushing crowd, I sought out a cop and yelled, “If these people don’t start opening more doors somebody’s going to get killed here!” A prophetic statement, unfortunately. When the news came down months later that 11-people were killed at The Who show, I wasn’t surprised. I knew exactly what had taken place. Oh, and by the way, I scored a front row spot. Hey, it was Zep.

Speaking of that Who concert, yes, I had tickets. I know, I know, probably a million people claim they had tickets, but I did. Tom, Andy and I were on our way to Cincinnati, decided at the last minute to go to a party in Columbus, and the rest is history.

I once attended the “Frampton Comes Alive” tour,  a huge outdoor show in Florida. There were several bands before Frampton, and one of them was Kansas, of “Dust in the Wind” fame. They came out and it was clear from the get-go they were tanked. Just smashed, drunk and/or high as hell. Midway through song two they just turned and walked off the stage. The crowd basically rioted until something pretty cool happened. Rick Derringer, who had played a short set earlier, returned to the stage and started playing. Slowly the crowd got into it and eventually he was actually playing requests. That’s a true pro right there, and he saved everyone from a potentially nasty situation. When Frampton finally came out he thanked Derringer profusely and even called him back out for an encore. I’ll always have fond memories of Rick Derringer because of that day.

You see, rock shows, as in life, don’t always unfold as you might expect them to. And that what makes it fun, right?

At first glance, pinstripes. At second glance . . .