Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Pumpkin Fake

An unusual presence inside Walmart spooked my Halloween-obsessed friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, last month. She saw these “watermelons” in Palm Desert, California, and knew right away that something was fishier than the breath of a witch’s cat. Instead of chunkin’ that rotten sign, though, she snapped a photo and sent it my way, knowing I’d be capable of coming up with a pumpkin patch. Thanks, Lindsay!


That sign may contain watermelon, but it does not hold water. Instead, it has produced mislabeled produce.

You’re out of your gourd, Walmart, if you think those are watermelons. You feel me?


Good. You should.

A watermelon is a large melon, and the term pumpkin comes from the Greek work pepon, meaning “large melon,” but a watermelon is not a pumpkin. Watermelons are oblong fruits with hard green or white rinds. Pumpkins are spherical orange fruits. Both are grow-on-a-vine, seed-producing members of the gourd family, but it’s not like they’re bananas and plantains, peaches and nectarines, Mary Kate and Ashley — everyone should be able to tell them apart.

It’s time to make a change that will bear fruit (that can become jack-o’-lanterns), Walmart. Be certain the first two words on that eerie sign mimic Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage at the stroke of midnight.

My cats, Willow and Dickens, would like to wish everyone
a Happy Halloween. Eat (pumpkin), drink and be scary!

Monday, October 27, 2014

House Doctored

It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark.

Does the house at 1345 Carroll Ave. in Los Angeles look familiar? It may, because in October 1983 it was a setting for what is arguably the most famous music video of all time. In the 13-minute video for his hit “Thriller,” Michael Jackson, wearing blood-red pants and a matching jacket to “dye” for, raised his arms from side to side, hands clawed, as his backup zombie dancers did the same. His frightened girlfriend fled to an abandoned house — this house.


Three years after securing permanent residency in the pop culture world, the house sold for $150,000. The following year, it was built.

You see a sight that almost stops your heart. 
You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it.

According to Zillow, an online real estate database, the Victorian home was built four years after appearing in the video that made it famous, and it sold a year before its fabrication date. (Those last two words can be interpreted in one of two ways.) No realtor is that talented!

You close your eyes, and hope that this is just imagination.

The house is assuredly not the same age as Blake Lively, the Fox network, GIFs, Full House and everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur, Barney. It was built well before “Baby Jessica” fell in a well.

I’ll save you from the terror on the screen.

The house was not erected two years after the failure of “New Coke,” back when Michael Jackson was Bad. This dwelling was built in the 19th century, so why don’t we, ahem, dwell in the past? Travel with me back to the Gilded Age, to a time when only 38 states existed and to a year when Georgia O’Keeffe and Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff, graced Earth’s canvas. It was a world without escalators, zippers, airplanes, traffic lights, aspirin, Australia, the Eiffel Tower or motion pictures, though Coca-Cola had poured into our lives the year before.

No nines should reside in Zillow’s “built” date. It’s time to ring in a new year, with assistance from an old year. Your time is now, 1887.


Thank you to my friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, for notifying me of today’s uninvited houseguest. The error thrilled me ... to death!

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night!

I took this 2008 photo of 1345 Carroll Ave. 21 121 years after the house was built.

Thursday, October 23, 2014