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Everything I Ate At The State Fair of Texas, or, “Save My Soul, Deep Fried Jesus”

My State Fair is better than your state fair.

I mean, sure, they might be KIND OF similar: Wonderful/horrible foodstuffs that are worse for you than rubbing raw uranium on your face, crowds of people that represent everything that’s awful about interacting with humans, parking lots, etc. However, MY Sate Fair has something that YOUR State Fair definitely does not:

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Yep. A giant robot cowboy who sometimes bursts into flames. We call him Big Tex, and he is the best. What DOES your State Fair have? JACK and also SQUAT, that’s what. Tex-as, Tex-as, TEX-AS, TEX-AS [adjusts comically over-sized belt-buckle; tosses ten-gallon Stetson into the air; eats a fistful of Bluebonnets while defending the Alamo]!!! SUCK A BUTT, OHIO AND ALSO EVERY OTHER STATE.

Ahem… sorry. See, I just got back from a day at the State Fair of Texas, which is held every year in the city I call home, and… well… this native Texan is a little jacked up on sugar, grease, and Lone Star Pride. DID I MENTION THE SUGAR??? Wow, sorry again… I’m just… everything is all shimmery and I feel like someone just shot me in the back of the head with a t-shirt cannon full of deep-fried meats.

ANYWAY, I’m not here to get all United States of Texas on your asses. What I AM here to do is talk about every single thing that I consumed at the State Fair of Texas, in order of consumption, because the State Fair is DEFINITELY the most important thing that is happening in Dallas right now. Hahahaha ha haha ha [gargles with Purell].

First up, three notes:

-All of the foodstuffs in the following pictures were split between me and my wife. Two reasons: If I had eaten everything that you see in this post by myself, my stomach would have fallen out of my butt, and also, sharing is caring. Also thrifty, as State Fair dining is EXPENSIVE. I remember when a hamburger sandwich cost a quarter! And so forth.

-The pictures you see below were taken quickly, and in crappy, overcast natural light, in an effort to get their images recorded before they cooled off and congealed into horrifying wads of sorrow. I assume you’re not coming to low-traffic internet way-stations such as Zombie Fights Shark for Diane Arbus-level photographic glory, but still… forgive the cruddy quality on some of these. Dammit, the boy is TRYING!

-We also consumed two or three bottles of water during this adventure to prevent us from turning into Biblical-style salt statues, but water is boring, so we won’t be discussing it any further.

ONWARD!!!

Everything I Ate at the State Fair of Texas, or, “Save My Soul, Deep Fried Jesus”

Funnel Cake Beer

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Community Beer Company, who are big, smelly deals here in the Dallas craft beer octagon, made this beer specifically for the State Fair, aiming to create a drinking experience that was both reminiscent of eating a funnel cake, but was also… you know… a beer that doesn’t suck.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The State Fair Brew was pretty goddamn tasty… sweet, pastry-like notes on the front end gave way to a sharp, hoppy finish which was mellowed out by the genius move to rim the glass in powdered fucking sugar. Actually, the cup I got could have used a little MORE powdered sugar… it REALLY sold the whole funnel cake angle…  but that’s neither here nor there.

If you’re going to start your day off, like we did, drinking beers in a room full of 2015’s hottest cars, you could do a whole hell of a lot worse than Community’s State Fair Brew.

Deep Fried Shrimp Boil

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This thing won, essentially, the Best In Show ribbon out of all the eligible foods served at this year’s State Fair. While it wasn’t my number one favorite thing that I ate, it WAS kind of a blow-your-hair-back experience. SO MUCH FLAVOR. Look at the guts of this sumbitch…

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Various sizes of shrimp, potatoes, some corn, a little lemon, and an assload of spices, all coated in… I don’t know… magical Cajun swamp batter or whatever… and deep fried until it becomes the best hushpuppy ever crapped out of a gator-wrassler’s filthy dream. And there’s a spicy/tangy/sexy dipping sauce! Goddamn. Plop a regulation-sized football helmet full of these in front me during a Cowboys game, and I could WITHOUT HYPERBOLE eat them until my stomach exploded like that one guy in Se7en.

Chicken-Fried Meatloaf

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Pretty straightforward, really… it’s two slabs of dense, well-seasoned meatloaf that have been deep-fried in that sort of crumbly, almost corn-flakey batter that is so specifically tied to chicken fried steak. They were tasty… because they’re deep-fried meatloaf, and not, say, deep-fried your-high-school-janitor’s-underwear… but they were also a tad on the dry side, screaming out for the accompanying dipping sauces. One was like a spicy ketchup kind of thing (meant to mimic the glaze one finds on a well-conjured meatloaf), and the other was cream gravy (meant to be poured directly down your throat, because cream gravy is as essential to human life as oxygen, water, and sunlight).

My wife preferred the ketchup. I preferred the cream gravy. We side-eyed each other suspiciously for the remainder of the day. I feel that this disagreement has started us down a path that will one day end with us battling each other for some sort of dipping sauce-based supremacy in an American Gladiators-style arena. Only time will tell.

FOOD BREAK

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Look at all the pleasing rows of canned veggies, fruits, jams, jellies, and butters. They’ve all been tasted and ranked and awarded ribbons. The display seemed to go on for miles, and I could have gazed upon it for a fortnight. If this picture doesn’t satisfy the part of your brain where the OCD Demon lives, then you are a sentient wooden puppet who has somehow gained access to the internet, and I hope you cry yourself to sleep tonight wishing you were a real boy. OR GIRL, whatever. Pinocchio-looking motherfucker.

Kona Iced Coffee

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The wife wanted an iced coffee, so we got an iced coffee. Nothing particularly memorable about this beverage… it wasn’t dunked in hot oil and transformed into some kind of spongy, whipped cream-covered mass that will forever haunt my arteries… but you know, it was a nice example of the iced coffee form. Plus, they put a little cocktail umbrella on it, which is pretty fucking cute. Everything at the State Fair is just better, you guys.

Deep-Fried Potato Guts

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These are supposedly twice-baked potato guts, formed into a shape that TOTALLY ISN’T TURD-ESQUE, then deep-fried in the standard fashion. They weren’t bad at all… good even… but they also weren’t terribly exciting. Basically, they were mashed potatoes with a crust. My wife described them as “deep-fried clouds,” texturally-speaking, and I can’t really do any better than that in the description department.

Any forward-thinking sports bar owner would be delighted to have these taking up valuable real estate on their appetizer menu.

Sausage on a Stick

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It’s a spicy, foot-long smoked sausage on a stick. Simple, elegant, and very much like eating the BBQ version of a command performance by the Joffery Ballet. Or at the very least, Riverdance.

Demerits are given, however, due to a structurally unsound foil wrapping job that lead to barbeque sauce being dripped on my nicest Hawaiian, big-fat-party-guy shirt. Fat guys HATE shirt stains. They’re our “scarlet letters.”

FOOD BREAK

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While at the State Fair, we attended some pig races. Like ya do. Those little pink blurs in the center of the photograph? Pigs. Racing pigs. The prize for winning the race was an Oreo cookie. It was all very adorable, though the experience was brought down a little bit by an unrelenting typhoon of pig puns, all spoken by an MC/fake farm girl who had the worst case of “children’s theater superstar voice” I’ve ever heard. Also, there was a Forrest Gump reference in the script, which I’m sure killed in the late-90’s, but c’mon pig race banter writers! It’s 2014! We need that modern jazz, man.

Deep-Fried Brisket

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I’m going to try to get through this one without crying, but no promises. You guys… this is a hunk of moist, fatty brisket that is deep fried, then covered in a thick BBQ sauce and sprinkled with some spicy dry rub. Look at it! LOOK AT IT, GODDAMNIT:

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This was so fucking good, I thought about shutting down the whole “touring the State Fair” thing and just bellying up to their operation, ordering round after round of deep-fried brisket, until my grunts of pleasure got so pornographic that the State Fair security had to come remove me by force. I WOULD NOT GO PEACEFULLY.

Seriously, the deep-fried brisket was THE number one best thing I ate at the State Fair, and it is also quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten ever. Caviar, foie gras, lobster butts… all of that expensive junk can go straight to hell. Pure, undiluted happiness can be bought for a measly 15 tickets at a booth next to a guy selling airbrushed face tattoos. THIS is luxury. THIS is living. CHRIST, I’m hungry for these again. As will I ever be, forever.

Funnel Cake

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I mean… it’s a funnel cake. It’s going to be good, because it is hot dough and powdered sugar. Oh, and by the way, if you’re one of those people that globs on a bunch of strawberries or blueberries or whatever-the-fuckberries on top of your funnel cake, then you are so unbelievably basic that you’re practically yoga pants. Why dilute greatness with unnecessary toppings? Sometimes, the simplest path is where it’s at. Not everything has to be OMG 3D HD all the time, you dummies. JUST EAT IT LIKE JESUS WOULD HAVE.

Anyway, it was good, but it also came after the deep-fried brisket, so it definitely lacked a little in the impressiveness department. It’s kind of like how Shaq looks like a goofy younger sibling when standing next to Yao Ming. Same thing, but with fried foods.

Fletcher’s Corn Dog

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Sorry that this isn’t a pretty, pre-chomp picture of a beautiful, unbroken corn dog. Actually, NOT SORRY. I want you to see where my gross mouth just was. I want you to be able to see each individual tooth-print. The above crime scene is a CELEBRATION of delicious glory. It is a testament to the corn dog… the FLETCHER’S Corn Dog, mind you… accept no substitutions.

Fletcher’s Corn Dogs… often imitated, never replicated… were invented at the State Fair of Texas, like, several million years ago (Fletcher was a Stegosaurus). THAT’S RIGHT… my State Fair invented a thing that has become a CLASSIC FOOD. What did YOUR State Fair invent? Some kind of weird fish horseshit, Minnesota? GO SIT AT THE KIDS TABLE; THE ADULTS ARE TALKING ABOUT SEX.

Gah… sorry, sorry… I just get so worked up about Fletcher’s Corn Dogs (and corn dogs in general, because who are we kidding, brand loyalty doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re hammered at 4am with a fridge full of knock-off slop cornys chilling in your freezer, wanting only for the gentle kiss of your microwave so that they can take your hangover and crumple it into a ball and point at it, saying, “leave this place”).

Corn dogs are just the best, and Fletcher’s Corn Dogs, in particular, should win every award ever created at least once. Even the Heisman.

FOOD BREAK

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This is a painting of Con Air-era Nicholas Cage that was slapped on the side of some sort of Tilt-A-Whirl contraption on the midway. I do not know what it has to do with carney rides, but I DO know that it looks goddamn majestic when framed by a stormy sky and a flapping Texas flag.

Deep-Fried Snickers

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When you deep-fry a Snickers bar, what you’re left with is a somewhat dense enclosure of quickly-soggifying dough that is holding back a flood of molten-hot Snickers components that have been lava-fied because heat and melting and so on. It is a tricky proposition, eating one of these, because the chances of it burning your skin and muscle and attractively-trimmed, fashionable beard clean off down to the exposed skull that lies beneath are very, very real. However, it is also a whole lot of chocolate, nougat, peanuts and fried dough, and who can resist that? Some things are just worth the years of painful skin grafts and accompanying hospital bills.

Deep-Fried PB&J w/Banana and Bacon

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This was the last thing we ate at the State Fair, and by the time it rolled around, we were both kind of settling into the walking coma phase of our evening. It’s a shame, because this was kind of the secret star of the day. I mean, it’s no deep-fried brisket, but what is? NOTHING, EVER AGAIN, WILL BE DEEP FRIED BRISKET.

But still, this was damn tasty. The fattiness of the peanut butter and the general fried-ness was spectacularly cut by the glorps of grape jelly, and the banana added a nice fruitiness as well. I didn’t really taste the bacon, though. Like… at all. I think we may have actually been given a baconless fried sandwich, which, yes, IS a felony offense in the State of Texas. I’m a benevolent, kind C-dog, however, and am not pressing charges. Frankly, that would require effort, and after eating all of this, it’s all I can do to keep breathing normally sans gasping.

IN CONCLUSION

The State Fair of Texas is wonderful, and you should go there and eat a bunch of stuff. If you’re NOT in the great state of Texas, I guess you could go to your own State Fair, but… you know… keep in mind that you’re living a goddamn lie.

Now, I’m going to go eat small, dry salads for a week, but before I go, I want to leave you with one more picture:

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This is from the State Fair of Texas’ butter sculpture exhibit. The subject this year was galloping stallions, and what you see above is an artist so focused on detail and accuracy that they spent at least a little bit of their day fashioning a horse’s butthole out of butter. That is amazing. The State Fair of Texas is amazing. EVERYTHING IS AMAZING.

Except for your State Fair, which, as previously mentioned, sucks nards.

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America’s Worst Haunted Houses

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Spooky King – Hartford, CT

This is a Burger King that some enterprising franchisee has draped in fake cobwebs and rubber bats on strings. The teenager manning the drive-thru is dressed as a Dracula and all the other employees are dressed as The Crow, save for LaShonda, who doesn’t need this shit from an $8-an-hour job. The Whoppers are usually lukewarm at best, but the fries are hot, salty, and full of the Halloween spirit inasmuch as they are chock full of melting, fun-sized Mr Goodbars.

Darren’s Haunted Trailer of Doom – Lansing, MI

Just a large-ish moving trailer parked out by the dump. It is spray-painted black, inside and out. Darren is usually asleep outside on a lawn chair, though occasionally he’ll get drunk enough to put on a fright wig and dance around. This usually results in him falling over and cutting himself on some scrap metal. You will have to take him to the hospital. There is nothing remotely scary about the trailer itself, however the paint fumes can cause some interesting hallucinations.

Nightmare Horror Factory EXXXTREME – San Jose, CA

After standing in line for three and a half hours, you will be admitted into a room lit only with a black light. On a couple of stacked cinder blocks, there is a glass punch bowl filled with what are clearly de-breaded McNuggets. You are told to put your hand in the bowl. “They’re eyeballs, or whatever,” says a girl in a sexy kitty costume, in between huffs from a paper bag containing… what, exactly? Oven cleaner? Varnish? It is unclear, as you are immediately hustled out of the room and back outside. You will most likely find that your car has been towed.

The Old Cemetery Road Haunted Hay Ride and Apple-Bobbing Extravaganza – Waxahachie, TX

Not a haunted house, nor is it a hayride. Technically speaking, it is more of a trap. Steer clear unless you’re into the idea of being hunted for sport.

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s 3th Grade Scare-a-teria – Tempe, AZ

A fundraising venture mounted with the hopes of raising enough money to take care of the many wasps nests that have infested Elmer C. Burnblatt Elementary, this haunted house offers nothing in the way of thrills and/or chills. It mostly consists of a strobe light, seventeen children in ill-fitting ghost costumes, and a lot of urine (the kids have yet to really master “potty time”). Much scarier is the walk to and from your car, where you will invariably be attacked by great clouds of wasps.

Immediate Reaction: The Hella-peno Burger

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NOTE: Earlier this month, Jack in the Box released a new, limited edition burger called the “Hella-peno.” It contains a taco-flavored cheese sauce, jalapenos, and cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers, as well as the usual meat (“meat”) and bread. In order to get an immediate reaction from the novelty burger enthusiasts in our area, we mic’d up the dining room of our local Jack in the Box on the day of the Hella-peno’s debut. Here are the transcriptions of that recording session’s highlights:

“Mmm… that was pretty good. Whoa, I just started shitting. I don’t think I’m going to be able to stop. God, it feels like a wild bobcat clawing its way out of me…”

“What fucking retard made this burger and didn’t put Ranch on it? Bush league moves like this is why America is basically a Third World Country now. Thanks, Jimmy Carter… this started with YOU.”

“The Hella-peno is the perfect thing to eat before we go hunt for Bigfoot, because it’s making my sweat smell like that of a hairy man-ape that lives in the forest. I’m the bait!!!”

“I feel like my entire face is covered in cheese. Oh, it is? This is very embarrassing. My wife is watching me… why is she taking off her wedding band…?”

“The jalapeno poppers really hammer home the point that I’m a shitty person who doesn’t deserve love, nor shall ever receive it.”

“Give me another! TWO WAS NOT ENOUGH. Oh god… Sharon… why did you leave me…”

“This is the best burger I’ve ever had. But then again, I have recently escaped from a death cult in the South American jungle where we subsisted primarily on bugs, a little bit of wheat, and the salty tears of our glorious leader. This cheese sauce tastes EXACTLY like his tears.”

“Is the Hella-peno supposed to be screaming at me? Because this son of a bitch is screaming at me. Still pretty tasty.”

“This is NOT the same as a steak dinner, Gary. You lied to me… again. When will you stop lying to me? We have CHILDREN, Gary!”

“It’s making me really uncomfortable that all the cashiers have guns in their mouths and are weeping uncontrollably.”

“I love this burger and also I’m a serial killer!”

Rejected American Ninja Warrior Obstacles

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Last week marked the beginning of the new season of American Ninja Warrior, a.k.a. the greatest obstacle course-centric television show ever created that isn’t Double Dare. However, not every obstacle that is created for the show ends up in the actual course. For every “Spider Jump” and “Quintuple Steps,” there are hundreds of obstacles that are rejected by the producers of ANW for being too hard, too easy, too violently destructive of shinbones, too obvious a rip-off of old Price is Right games, and/or too reliant on the contestants knowing the names of all 50 US state capitals. Here now, a sampling of rejected American Ninja Warrior obstacles:

The Dragon’s Den – Flexibility and grip-strength are tested as the contestants scramble over several walls of varying heights in an attempt to elude an angry dragon. This one got all the way through to production, until it was pointed out by an intern that dragons don’t exist, and that our “dragon”  was merely Roy, another intern, wearing green pajamas and smoking a Swisher Sweet. A good laugh was had by all.

The Hellfire Executioner – Just a flight of stairs that are slightly damp. Cut from the obstacle course for wasting everyone’s time.

The Dong Shredder – Self-explanatory.

The Flightpath – The contestants play chicken with an airplane, attempting to stay within its path the longest before bailing. Scrapped due to the pricey jetpack requirement, as well as FAA officials being real butt-munches about everything.

The I’m Going to KILL Steve for Setting Me Up With Her – Contestants must navigate an awkward blind date with Sheila Bronkowski, a recently divorced kindergarten teacher who laughs a little too loudly at their jokes, then cries when they suggest ordering dessert (desserts make Sheila sad, as she once walked in on her father eating cheesecake off the thighs of a neighbor lady while her mother was attending a scrapbooking conference in Tampa). Nixed when Sheila moved back upstate to just, like, clear her head, you know?

The Blended Defense – Contestants must explain why Adam Sandler should still be allowed to make movies, despite the fact that everything he has been involved with for the last decade has been absolute dogshit. Cut due to a complete lack of successful completions.

The Mid-Obstacle Course Chili Chug– An ill-fated attempt at capturing some of the magic surrounding the “extreme eating” fad, the aftermath of this obstacle proved too challenging for the production company’s janitorial budget.

The Lazy Busboy – Apparently, no one wants to watch contestants attempt to clear several meals-worth of dinner plates from our faux-restaurant set while a manager in a polo shirt screams “You got time to lean, you got time to CLEAN” directly into his or her face.

The Flowers in the Attic – Contestants must enter into an incestuous relationship with a sibling, all while cowering in fear from a terrifying grandmother figure.  Unfortunately, some contestants are only-children, and didn’t much care for being paired up with our stand-in creepy sisters and brothers. The whole thing ended up being nothing more than a waste of a good, carefully-worded Craigslist ad.

The Guilt – Using their finely-honed parkour skills, the constants must justify to their parents why training for American Ninja Warrior was more important than settling down and giving them grandchildren. Though fun to watch, it was eventually axed because filming old people getting their hearts broken started to really bum out the cameramen.

Terrible Fan Fiction Loglines

-The men from Duck Dynasty learn a lesson in humility when the ponies from My Little Pony beat them in an epic game of dodgeball.

-Robocop and Johnny 5 from Short Circuit make out for a little bit.

-The cast of Friends is magically transported to Jurassic Park. Chandler gets torn apart by raptors; Phoebe updates her hit song “Smelly Cat” with wacky new verses about dinosaurs.

-What if the cast of L.A. Law was replaced by the Muppet Babies? I’d sure like to see THOSE closing arguments!

-The band Godsmack have quite the eventful brunch. (the restaurant runs out of eggs!)

-As it turns out, all of The Doctors from Dr. Who ALSO survived the plane crash from LOST. Plot Twist: the smoke monster is a Dalek. Or… something…

-All of the Iron Chefs take on all the American Gladiators in an episode of Family Feud co-hosted by Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O’Hurley, and Steve Harvey. Survey says… HILARIOUS!

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Freaks and Geeks

-Will anyone be able to solve the Mystery of the Haunted Clock Tower? If Encyclopedia Brown and noted character actor William Fichtner have anything to say about it… YES!

-The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer just bang the shit out of each other for 90 pages, because that’s what you want, right? RIGHT??? Perverts.

Bulletpoint Experience: The Taco Bell Waffle Taco

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This morning, I ate a Taco Bell Waffle Taco. It was…

-greasy
-like eating wet meat wrapped in a dish sponge
-probably not actually meat; when I said meat in the last bullet point, I should have said “meat”
-again, greasy
-a little like what I imagine suicide jumpers experience right when their feet leave the building’s ledge
-an unfortunate encounter with corn syrup liberally laced with a synthetic maple flavor that tasted like melted scratch-n-sniff stickers
-the catalyst for several very angry poops
-six weeks at the end of my life just shaved clean off… POOF… GONE
-greasy… that cannot be overstated
-what I ate right before going to work out, because I have no idea what I’m doing; my life is the Crazy Train that Ozzy sang about
-something I’ll probably eat again, because HAHAHA I’M AN ADULT AND CAN LEGALLY DO THAT

Terrible Cocktails

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Selections from my forthcoming terrible manual of cocktail recipes, which has been hastily created to capitalize on the unexpected success of my terrible cookbook

The Sweet/Spicy Sweetback

3oz Gin

7oz Sweet Pickle Juice

2oz Red Hots candies

Gently cuddle the gin and the Red Hots inside a comically large coffee mug. Slowly slap on the sweet pickle juice. Stir with a long, wooden spoon (or a short, wooden leg). Pour over ice. Or don’t. Enjoy. Or don’t.

 

The Cookie-splosion

3 Oreos, crushed

1 pint Tequila

3 more Oreos, crushed

7oz blue food coloring

Combine tequila and food coloring until nauseous. Sprinkle in crushed Oreos, gently stirring, dry heaving occasionally. Taste. Need more cookie? Add more cookie. Too much cookie? May God have mercy on your wretched soul. When thoroughly combined, pour onto couch. Suck on couch cushions like some kind of monster. Tasty, no? Sadly… yes.

 

The [Lawsuit Pending]

Two fingers scotch

Three fingers Coors Light

Several fingers cayenne pepper

One VHS copy Freddy Got Fingered

Combine everything but the hilarious Tom Green vehicle in a blender. Turn on blender. You forgot to put the lid on, didn’t you? Scrape what you can from the walls into a glass ashtray. Put on the uproarious comedy Freddy Got Fingered. (NOTE: if VCR unavailable, time travel to mid-90’s) Sip slowly from the ashtray. Enjoy some deep belly laughs. This is living, ain’t it, m’boy?

 

The Mournful Bachelor

1 bottle champagne

7/5ths white rum

A little baking soda

Fruit Roll-Ups to taste

Combine, via conventional wisdom, everything but the Fruit Roll-Ups in a brown paper sack. You know what? Put the Fruit Roll-Ups in there too. Like it matters. Since Janet left, recipe directions seem so MEANINGLESS, y’ know? Stir vigorously, and with great sorrow. Gently tear open bag. What a mess you’ve made. Just like your marriage. Janet was right to leave. Enjoy with regret.

 

The Glorious Tribute

10oz Goldschlager

2oz Lemon juice

9 dashes black pepper

1 small, green salad

Combine the lemon juice and the black pepper in a small box that has the word “FEAR” written on it in a child-like scrawl. Place the box in a cupboard and forget about it for several days. The following Friday, remove the box and combine it with the salad. Do not eat the salad. Bury it. Ragnathor, the Destroyer of Dimensions will be pleased with your offering. Drink the Goldschlager in celebration. Enjoy… until the winter moon rises. Until it’s time for Him to feed again.

 

The End of Randy

14oz Jack Daniels

1 pack of Marlboro Lite 100’s

2 cassette tapes labeled “Randy’s Boning Mix, Vol 1 & Vol 2,” both of which feature far too many tracks by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

1 Target checkout girl named Donna, or possibly Shayla (depending on availability)

Combine all ingredients in a tiny efficiency apartment on a hot summer night. For a special treat, sprinkle with promises of eternal love and commitment. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Double Feature Friday

Every Friday (NOTE: or Saturday, whatever), as a service to your weekend’s entertainment, I will hand-pick two movies that together form a thematic Double Feature. I will also throw in a Wild Card film, should you feel like expanding the event to a Triple Feature. You’re welcome.

Double Feature Theme: “Governor’s Ball”

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Wild Card:

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Info:

Sometimes, people switch jobs. Like, you’ve worked in a coffee shop for six years and you are OVER IT, so you start waiting tables at the local Chili’s. Or you’ve gotten tired of the go-g0, teeth-grinding hustle of Accounts Receivable, so you cross the imaginary line of demarcation that runs between the rows of cubicles, aiming for dip in a the cool, easy-flowing waters of Accounts Payable. OR, sometimes you’re a world famous actor and you decide that working on multimillion dollar Hollywood movies isn’t high stakes enough, so you jump ship for the political arena, where you can do some REAL damage.

The latter is of course what happened with Arnold Schwarzenegger. At one point, he was arguably the biggest, brightest box office star in the world, and he was able to parlay that into a successful bid for the Governorship of California. I don’t follow California politics SUPER closely or anything, but I gather that his time spent as Governor was a decidedly mixed bag. I’m sure one side would argue that he was a modern-day Ronald Regan (when people say that, they usually mean it as a good thing), and I’m sure another side would argue that he was worse for California than the San Andreas fault line.

Really, I don’t care.

What I do care about is that, before he became a Governor, he was in some movies with Jessie Ventura. Jesse Ventura was ALSO a world famous actor person who was in movies, and he ALSO became a United States Governor, because sometimes the world is just fucking hysterical like that. The fact that there are TWO 80’s action flicks that contain TWO future United States Governors is proof that the universe cares about movie trivia nerds and wants them to be happy.

So that brings us to our Double Feature. First things first, you are REQUIRED to drink while experiencing this Double Feature. I’m sorry, but those are the rules. These movies are best enjoyed with copious amounts of alcohol, and maybe also some smoked, roasted meats to really round out the masculine vibe.

Start with Predator, and maybe like a sixer of Coors Light. Rip big hunks off a turkey leg as you watch Schwarzenegger fight an alien in the jungle. Maybe do a shot of straight liquor early on, when Jesse Ventura refers to himself as a “sexual Tyrannosaurus.” And maybe take another shot of straight liquor while you consider that these men were responsible for making ACTUAL LAWS and shit.

It should be noted that, overall, Predator is actually a pretty fun little movie. The creature design is pleasantly terrifying, and the actions scenes are spot-on, which is good, as the movie is MOSTLY action scenes.

Don’t forget to keep drinking, though. You will want to be fairly hammered for The Running Man.

I’m going to be honest with you here. The Running Man is a legitimately terrible movie. It’s bloated and dumb, there’s a lot of pun-based humor because, I guess, the screenwriter got a hold of some bleach-laced cocaine while he was crafting the screenplay, and for at least half the movie, you have to look at Arnold Schwarzenegger in a yellow and blue Lycra onesie. HOWEVER, if you’ve got a bunch of buddies around, and you collectively enjoy cracking wise on bad movies while gooned out of your mind on stout beverages… you could do a lot worse.

Oh, and if you don’t know already, The Running Man is about a futuristic game show where the contestants get killed for the audience’s amusement. So, it’s basically The Hunger Games, minus the teen angst. The people that do the killing… called “Stalkers” in the movie… are really the reason to watch The Running Man, as they are all a testament to how you could just put any kind of character in a film in the 80’s, regardless of whether it made sense or not, and everyone was totally fine with it (As previously mentioned: cocaine). One of the Stalkers is a fat Japanese guy whose whole motif is inexplicably hockey-themed. Another Stalker sings opera and shoots electricity out of his hands. Jesse Ventura plays a character called Captain Freedom… I say again, CAPTAIN FREEDOM… who, when not murdering people on TV, hosts the most homoerotic workout program you’ve ever seen. It is a bizarre, fever-dream of a movie, but way more incompetently made than you’re probably imagining.

One more time… ALCOHOL IS YOUR COPILOT HERE. Drink lots. Your enjoyment depends on it.

As for the Wild Card, I’m suggesting the episode of King of the Hill entitled “Hank and the Great Glass Elevator,” which features former Texas Governor Ann Richards playing herself (she falls in love with Bill; shenanigans ensue). It’s great, and Ann Richards is awesome. Maybe play it between episodes while everyone refreshes their beverages and tries in vain to get the meat-grease off their shirts.

Suggested Props

To liven up your Double Feature experience, I recommend adding some props into the mix. For the “You Taste Delicious” Double Feature, I suggest…

-Booze times a million. Can’t mention that enough. Maybe get some trashcan punch going. Or just pass around a bottle of Everclear. If you die, I am not legally responsible because me suggesting that is “satire.” Or whatever. DON’T DRINK STRAIGHT EVERCLEAR. There. No legal responsibilities! Drink straight Everclear, it’s a party!!!

-Big potted plants… ferns, and whatnot… to create a nice jungle-like atmosphere. Or just hang a bunch of green Slinkys from the ceiling. Same thing.

-Shiny, form-fitting bodysuits, so everyone can see everyone else’s junk outline.

-Barbequed meat for manly men, or maybe just a big sack full of loose Slim Jims and chewing tobacco.

Suggested Extreme Props

-A goddamned sexual Tyrannosaurus (oh, they’re real)

-A maze set up throughout your apartment through which you can chase your guests with a chainsaw.

-A kidnapped Governor (warning: you might get in some trouble for this one)

[Colossal Eyeroll]

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Way to be hip and current, Charles & Charles Winery. Who’s your next spokes-meme, “Mr. T Ate My Balls?”

Do all your wine belong to us? 

I bet the MySpace page for their winery autoplays a really bad ass song when you click on it. Like, something from Aqua or something.