Monday, September 24, 2007

Returning from Rotten Jack's

A couple of weeks ago, Amy and I made the trek out to Rotten Jack’s Creep Show in Buffalo, NY. Despite the fact that it took forever for us to get on the road—I worked in the morning, we stopped for food and gas, traffic was ridiculous at lunchtime and wouldn’t let us out of the city, etc.—we arrived safely and wound up having a great time. For a first-time show, it ran exceptionally smoothly and we both feel grateful to Tom for inviting us to participate. Ironically, the woman responsible for turning Tom onto us, Melantha Blackthorne, had to cancel at the last minute due to getting cast in the remake of Death Race 2000 (congrats, M!). We wound up getting to hang out with two of our very good friends, however—April and JimmyO Burril—so the rest was gravy.

A combo horror and rock ‘n roll show, Rotten Jack’s Creep Show was held at a little out of the way place called Club Infinity. Vendors were set up at enormous 8’ tables (we’re all used to the comparatively-cramped 6-footers that are the norm at other shows) that led to and around the stage and pit area where the bands played. Our table was between Jimmy and April and Greg Lambertson, whose new movie, Johnny Gruesome, is getting a considerable amount of attention (and congrats to him as well!). To our left were the awesome Midnight Syndicate folks; to our right, the also awesome Fright Rags (next to filmmakers who just wrapped a cool-looking thing called Banshee). And directly across from us, the show’s primary draw: Steve Gonsalves from Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters.

The only guy who ever had a line, Steve seemed friendly and personable. His line consisted primarily of younger kids and older women, for some reason, all of whom were genuinely excited to meet him. Of course, having been in situations like this before, we knew not to get too worked up by the line stretching in front of our table. We got more than a few cursory glances at our merchandise, but few first-time buyers. They were there for Steve and nobody else. In fact, we encountered quite a few poseurs. More than one teenager slathered in fake blood would glance at our Spicy Sisters or Severe Injuries DVDs and immediately proclaim them to be porn. “Actually,” I told one girl, there pimping a local haunted attraction, “Spicy Sisters is a documentary about women in the horror industry.”

“Yeah, sure—the porn industry, probably.”

“You’re right, I was just being silly. Please get the fuck away from my table.”

Hey, I said ‘please’.

Little nimrods like this abounded, but she was the most outspoken. We did manage to turn a few folks into believers and it’s always fun to meet people who have never heard of us, but are interested to find out more. As Amy pointed out to me, after my less-than-pleasant encounter with the little anti-porn girl, most of the kids there were Halloween people, not horror people. They love the holiday, not the genre. They’re the kids who, crowded into theaters every Friday night, are keeping the remake machine running. They don’t know—or really care—about the horror industry. Halloween is awesome, but, dude, it’s only once a year.

A couple of shots of rum later, I was able to digest this truth a little better.

I have to admit, though, that this show made me feel older than ever before. The bands were too loud for me (although the Midnight Syndicate music did make the ever-playing baseball game on the overhead TV seem much more dramatic and scary!), the line for Gonsalves was oppressive and made me feel claustrophobic. And, dammit, the kids were too damned young! Seeing guys like Chris Seaver—who I’ve known for almost a decade—and my old friend Jim Steinhoff—who I’ve known for over a decade—didn’t help either. Happy to see them; dismayed that I’m old enough to know anyone outside immediate family for “decades”.

I made matters worse, later, by partaking in pizza and barbecued wings at 2AM in Jimmy and April’s room later. We ordered just after midnight, but the joint didn’t see fit to deliver when promised. So I’m chowing down and feeling like a Mogwai—I shouldn’t be fed after midnight either. We’re watching the roast of Flavor Flav—all the time I’m trying to figure out “why” (why were we watching this? Why is anyone paying attention to Flavor Flav? Why isn’t this actually funny?). A couple of hours later, I wake up in intestinal distress as my body fights with the sheer quantity of grease and cholesterol as well as the remnants of the alcohol.

And I realize how old I’ve become. I joke with friends all the time: how did we go from being kids to being old without becoming adults along the way? No answer. But just three short years ago, I could have abused my body with that food that late at night and still slept the sleep of those at peace.

We woke early to grab breakfast and see Jimmy and April before their plane left. My body felt hammered and my right eye was on fire. Oh yay! I’d developed a sty that was changing the upper lid from pink to red and swelling at an alarming rate. By Tuesday, the lid had swollen completely shut—no amount of warm compresses would combat the condition. This seriously crimped my plans to get any work done for the rest of the week—everything I do is visual!

So I can’t eat after midnight. I require at least six hours of sleep or I can’t function for the entirety of the day. An ailment that would have, in the past, cleared up overnight took almost a week to heal. My hair is going Reed Richards at the temples. My metabolism hates me. I wake up with new and exciting and perplexing aches every day. Faboo! I’m falling apart.

Okay, the oncoming discrepancy aside, it was still a really fun time and I’m looking forward to the next Rotten Jack show. And while I’m not so obsessed with all of the above to start searching for the fountain of youth, I wouldn’t mind regaining the ability of having a midnight snack without worrying about agony, obesity or high cholesterol. That’d just be, you know, swell.

1 comment:

Karl said...

Sorry to hear about your pain Mike. We all grow old. Some gracefully and some well... not! Be well and at least now you know never feed a Watt after midnight! ;-)