Monthly Archives: December 2017
There are some Christmas gifts that are just so personal, clever, and awesome it’s unlikely they’ll ever be forgotten. I came home from a particularly rough one and received just that—and so did my friends Eric and Phil.
Most of you know that I’m a part-time co-host on a horror film podcast called Dark Discussions. The five of us—Phil, Mike, Eric, Abe, and me—tend to be irreverent and do a lot of laughing. A year or so before I joined them, they discussed an unsettling 2015 indie gem called Creep. Much joviality surrounded one of the movie’s more outlandish moments which was a little on the dirty side, if you get my drift.
The Creep franchise focuses on a serial killer; but, much like a narcissist, he likes to toy with and manipulate his victims first in a series of bizarre emotional ploys. He first cons his victim—in both movies, an aspiring filmmaker—with the lure of cash to film him for one day, evoking sympathy with one sob story after another as things get more complicated. What’s key to my anecdote, though, is that at one moment in the original film, he dons a wolf mask he calls “Peachfuzz.” That dirty moment I referenced? He touches himself while murmuring Peachfuzz’ name, later explaining to his victim that he thinks of himself as a wolf—tough on the outside, tender and loving on the inside.
After the victim leaves to go back to his life, our serial killer regresses to mailing strange packages before doing him in. The contents of at least one of the packages always contains a stuffed wolf.
As far as my scary little package, we’re still not sure which co-host did it; nobody’s owned it yet. Or even better if we never know. Because the brilliance of this isn’t only the reference to all the fun we have on the show, it’s got that creep factor: I could, indeed, be this guy’s next victim. Oh, Peachfuzz…
I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.
In the 1970s, no holiday was complete without the Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials. From Thanksgiving on, we’d anticipate seeing the full-page ads in the TV Guide heralding the air dates for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and Frosty the Snowman. These were special nights: our parents let us stay up later than usual, and we were allowed to make Jiffy Pop or pilfer a few of Mom’s freshly-made sugar cookies.
The 1980s saw the beginning of major change. Our household went from having tiny televisions rigged with rabbit ears that only got a few channels—usually three major networks, a public broadcast and a couple of locals—that stopped airing after midnight to having cable that ran 24 hours (I’m not an expert on the changes to the broadcast industry; I’m just going on what I remember). As the years wore on, there were fewer and fewer of these specials that aired. Some of them stopped airing all together. Over time, I forgot about most of them.
Except, of course, Read the rest of this entry
I’m hoping that by sharing this it’ll help someone avoid lots of hassle.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a new policy: charge for the whole day/rental period even if you decide not to take the car. It’s not on any of their paperwork, but this is, apparently, the way they are doing things now. That’s what I was told by the Danbury, CT store on Federal Road.
Here’s the brief version: Nathan and I rented a car. I ended up getting sick, and we cancelled the order. Unfortunately, I had signed the paperwork. We offered to pay a fee. The delivery person said, “no problem, we understand, we’ll cancel it.”
Nope, they didn’t. They charged my credit card for a full day’s rental–$108. When I called to complain, the gentleman explained this is their new policy because “well, for those couple of hours, we couldn’t rent the car to someone else.”
Let me make this clear: I don’t mind paying a fee. I’m not paying for 24 hours when I had the car “tied up” for only two or three.
Because Enterprise wouldn’t reverse the charges, I reported it as fraud to my credit card company. They investigated—and agreed. At which point, Enterprise sent me a bill with a threatening note that it will compound interest and fees.
Just be aware of this new policy they have and rent at your own risk. #enterprisewellripyouoff