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The scariest thing I dug up Wiki-surfing today

July 31, 2009
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At the job where I work, we often go for a week or two with very little to do and then WHAM! stuff hits us like a fawn on the freeway. It’s the nature of the job, or, more specifically, the nature of relying on other people to get their articles in, on, or around deadline (even here in Traverse, I can hear the iron heels of Shannon clicking away in Kansas City…).

So during those lulls, we try to keep ourselves busy. For example, Mike The Designer plays Internet poker; Ellen The Other Designer experiments with bizarre vegetarian concoctions; Rowdy Roddy John, one of the ad-sales guys, updates the hell out of his Twitter account; and I write sportsman porn (Hunterotica) under an assumed name and, with the aid of a phony hotmail account, submit it for publication to my superiors.

Well, one time I did that.

Most of the time, I Wiki-surf, that is, I go to Wikipedia, click on something random, and then amble aimlessly from link to link, absorbing as much assumed knowledge as I can. Then, after I’ve learned all I can about the Anglo-Zanzibar War (which lasted only 38 minutes) or amethyst (which literally means “not intoxicated”), I record where I started, and where I ended up (I still have yet to beat the starting point “harbor seal” and ending point “Nazi”).

Today, however, gave that a run for its money—starting point “Onomatopoeia,” ending point this.
And once you’ve seen it, you can imagine why my Wiki-surf ended there (or, to run with the metaphor, “you can imagine why my Wiki-surfboard was Wiki-bitten in half by a Wiki-whale-shark, Wiki-assaulted by Wiki-tsunamis, and Wiki-pooped-on by ferocious Wiki-sea-lions there”).

After the initial repulsion, the image took on an aura of fascination, and my afternoon got booked while I tried to gather as much information about the movie as I could glean from simply studying the poster. Already I could imagine the pitch:

Catcher: Okay, so waddya got for me?

Pitcher: Picture this: The Goonies meets Gremlins.

Catcher: That’s $#@$ing sold!

To avoid a lawsuit from the Gremlins folks, they added a hearty helping of “Baby” from the defunct sitcom Dinosaurs.

From the rest of the characters, you can pretty much tell what the movie’s going to be: Three kids (one of whom, from a distance, looks to the sober eye to be a young Chico Marx) discover a sickly looking reptile/amphibian with inexplicably human dentition en route to the Old, Also Sickly Looking Pirate’s Long Lost Treasure. Or vice versa. Along the way, they’re likely accosted by the three figures at the bottom who were rotoscoped into the poster because the production company didn’t want to shell out more for the painter’s time.

Among the three, I suspect the one trying his best to impersonate Chazz Palmintiri is the primary antagonist simply because his head is positioned above the others. Which makes his subordinate the poor man’s Casey Affleck directly below, smoking what doesn’t appear to be a cigarette. The part of the zany pirate to the bottom right is played by the director’s apoplectic brother-in-law.

In a valiant attempt to avoid outright plagiarism of The Goonies, the action does not appear to take place in a cave, but rather on the outskirts of a forest, which appears to be within the confines of a vacant cemetery. Truly gripping and smart, as I wouldn’t trust little Labou around a corpse.

Oh, and the Token Black Kid with Glasses will doubtless save the life of at least one of his comrades.

Time’s up! Let’s read the summary and see how we did:

Three unlikely friends set out on a journey to find the dreaded Ghost of Captain LeRouge whose treasure laden ship was lost in the Louisiana bayou over two hundred years ago. What they find is an adventure beyond their wildest imagination and the magical swamp creature “Labou” whose whistles are rumored to be the original inspiration for jazz.

With the help of Labou, the kids race to stay one step ahead of two crazy oil tycoons and discover the long lost treasure in time to save the swamps from destruction.

Such is my life.

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3 Responses to “ The scariest thing I dug up Wiki-surfing today ”

  1. Sara on August 1, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I play this game as well, mostly when I’m driving long distances (watch out, kids, big drive from OR to MI coming up soon). My personal best was starting out thinking about the Wickey-Cat and ending up at a nudist colony in Licking County, Ohio.

  2. anncine on August 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    You know, there really is not nearly enough ‘hunterotica’ being published.

  3. Skye on August 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

    speaking of Hunterotica…that reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUDGfeO9-kI

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