Monday, August 01, 2005

Tales From a Great Indoorsman

In this second installment, J.S. Bankston takes us through a week filled with kidney stones, Wonka, Greta and the French. I know many of you are trying to get a visual of the Great Indoorsman. He offers this: "My appearance seems to stay the same for months in a row, and then it changes overnight. Today I looked in the mirror and saw that my hairstyle had morphed from oily Jack White ringlets to a poufy Nick Drake shag."


A friend e-mailed me this week to tell me he was about to get treated for kidney stones. Apparently the doctors are going to stick a laser up the inside of his penis in order to burn the stones out.

I made the no doubt unwelcome observation that if he paid them a little extra to leave the laser in there he could be a big hit at his company’s next PowerPoint presentation.


I really dug Johnny Depp’s Wonka, comparisons to Michael Jackson and Carol Channing notwithstanding. One critic said the movie was indeed the Michael Jackson story, depicting as it does an eccentric middle-aged white man who invites children to his strange lair with their parents’s consent, then performs criminally actionable abuses upon them.

But hey–Wonka is an eccentric, germaphobic shut-in, is easily annoyed by children, and has parental issues, devoted disciples, a bad haircut, and no interest in learning peoples’s names—I can hang with that.


Lantern-jawed reporter Greta Van Susteren continues beating the dead horse of the Natalee Holloway case.

She’s just announced that "male DNA" has been found on Natalee’s toothbrush, and has brought a forensic scientist onto her show to explain what that could mean.

Come on. I’m not a forensic scientist and I can tell you what that means.


I went to church today and came to the strange realization that I sound like Tom Waits when I sing hymns, possibly because I can’t read music and don’t know what’s going to happen next in the song, and also because no one sings the old hymns I know anymore. So I keep it low and rattling and under the radar. Today I was tempted to hijack one song and rasp out, "Waaaaaaaasted and wounded/It ain’t what the moon
did/I've got what I paid for now … "

Later in the evening I was walking into the neighborhood Barnes & Noble , and an older gentleman held the door open for his wife, then found, as is so often the case, that he had to hold it open for three more people as well, the last of whom being me.

I smiled and brightly said, "Now we need to get you a little pillbox hat and a uniform with brass buttons!"

No expression.

Now I’m not unused to having my jokes bomb, but seldom do they fail with such a resounding thud. But then my explanation soon followed:

"You ... French? ... Speak ... French?"

I shook my head and said, "No, not really."

"Ah, just English? ... I ... French .... Don't understand."

And his wife smiled out of the corner of her mouth and helped out with what can only be called a Gallic shrug.
Once I’d finished with the bookstore, I went to eat at a little teriyaki place James and I had discovered just the day before, then followed that up with some Amy’s Ice Cream.

I don’t know why I did, that, but I always do. I always follow Asian food with ice cream, even though I know every time all it’s gonna do is guarantee me a one-way ticket to Fudge Mountain.

After dinner I came across a teenager sitting in his car, driver’s side door open, periodically leaning over and spilling forth copious amounts of what appeared to be Chinese orange sauce and scrambled eggs, but was in fact vomit. When he paused for a breather I asked him if he was okay, and he looked up with watery eyes and nodded yes.

For weeks I’d been wanting to see "March of the Penguins," and tonight was the night I finally got off my ass and did it. It was playing at the Arbor, just blocks from my house. Unfortunately, the Arbor is part of the Regal Cinema chain, and they have something before all their screenings called "The Twenty," twenty minutes of tiresome, annoying advertisements that seem like they run for ninety. "The Twenty" is a trier of patience, a corruptor of youth, and an offense against Nature and Almighty God.

Twice ... TWICE ... they ran commercials for some reality TV crap-fest called "The Big Loser," where obese people diet, exercise, and, oh yes, perform humiliating stunts for what I assume is a big cash prize. There were numerous clips of trainers comforting these unfortunate people, giving them shoulders to cry on as they confessed the physical and emotional traumas they had been through because of their weight, yet these scenes were interspersed with ones subtly depicting the contestants as pathetic, elephantine buffoons-- something for the mob to laugh at while it pretends to feel sympathy.

The second "Big Loser" spot was then followed by three commercials for candy and soft drinks.

All the preceding garbage notwithstanding, "March of the Penguins" was gorgeous, sweet, touching, moving, spectacular, awe-inspiring, funny, and a true delight. It also re-affirmed my strong belief that Earth would be better off without humans.


At 12:53 AM, Blogger Martin McFriend said...

"Gallic shrug." Good times.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger lilihammer said...

I wonder if all those commercials are why ticket prices are so outrageous; it's certainly not because the movies are getting better.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger tj1972 said...

Thanks for another great read, Bankston. Had never thought about the comparison between Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson until now -- freaky.

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the only key difference between Wacko Jacko and Willy Wonka, is that Jacko "loves" kids and Wonka hates them...

At 6:46 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

If I had a kid, I'd much rather subject him to Wonka's W.C. Fieldsian "Get away from me,kid, ya bother me" shtick than Jacko's long showers and circle jerks with Emmanuel Lewis and Macaulay Culkin.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

does bankston have a blog?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

He does, but it's currently being worked on to make it presentable and user-friendly.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing job on your Blog! I'll definatly be coming back. If interested, my site is on the new PS3.


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