When the Going Gets Tough…

 


 

I walked into a public washroom the other day. A really nice one! It was big and had double digit waste removing receptacles. To get into the restroom, I had to walk through a door, that lead to an antechamber and another door – as antechambers are wont to do. As I stepped through the second door, as if on cue, I heard “Tuf-tuff-tuff Ha-hua-ha-hua.” After a few more seconds of phasey, Mutt Lange produced vocal samples, that cocky bassline from a jackass synthesizer kicked in. “Bwa-buh-buh-bwuh-buh-buuuuh-buh-buuuhh.”

Then Billy Ocean finally cut to the chase and started asking for consent to “touch ya and do the things that lovers do.” He described all the things he would do to “get it through to you.” He would “climb any mountain” and “do anything,” which is a bit sudden. I mean, he says he would climb a mountain, then loses his cool and says “anything.” Like killing a guy with a ski-doo, while wearing nothing but a pair of Justin Ropers’, and listening to Def Leppard’s Hysteria, on a jam box, out loud, isn’t off the table – if that’s what you’re into.

Anyway, I instantly thought that it would be hilarious if I were having some problems going to the bathroom*. You know, if I were having issues getting some forward movement because my diet isn’t high in fiber**. If I weren’t the well-oiled machine of digestion that I am***.

If one only listens to the chorus, the song goes well with any tough situation, where the tough must get rough. And there isn’t much more of a moment for that star to shine it’s brightest, then while leading a sortie on the affliction that is, constipation. Seriously, that is some rough shit and the song is that scenario’s anthem.

Anyway, I have a tendency to make myself laugh and it was hard not to start laughing at this point. As the first snickers echoed off the wall I realized, I wasn’t alone. I don’t know who was in there with me and hopefully, they don’t know me either. I was the crazy guy laughing in the bathroom. Fantastic!

 


Holy shit, Billy Ocean is from Chicago! I got some bad info when I was 8 and never updated it.

 

* I wasn’t!

** It is!

*** I am!

New Viewing Context: The Three Amigos Is The Sequel To The Wild Bunch


 

Over the Family Day long weekend, I watched a lot of westerns and horror movies. It had been awhile since I got to wallow in worlds with tons of death and no indoor plumbing. There’s something fantastically liberating about going into a movie and knowing that at least ninety percent of the cast is not going to make it to the end credits. I won’t list everything that I watched, but The Wild Bunch and Bone Tomahawk were on the list.

Seriously, what’s the deal with Bone Tomahawk? It’s great! I really liked it, but that PG rating lulled me into a false sense of security. “What’s the worst that could happen, little bit of blood, little bit of swearing?” Nope! There have been countless horror movies that I’ve sat through. So many that I’d started to think I’d seen it all. That was until I bolted up right on the couch. I won’t spoil it, but it really made me wonder what the criteria for getting a rating above PG is.

Anyway, The Wild Bunch – which got an R rating like it should and didn’t make me turn on all the lights in the house and start re-watching The Strange Calls after – was also great, better than great. One of those westerns from the 60’s and 70’s. A time when people knew how to make westerns. The films would transcend the genre and convey a deeper meaning through metaphor. Everyone was bad and wrong, none of that John Wayne hero crap. Also, I loved how the first fifteen minutes is an argument against gun carry laws and having guns in school. It’s practically a left wing funded PSA.

After the first half hour, I started to realize a few things. Some similarities between The Wild Bunch and The Three Amigos. At first, I thought it was just coincidence or wishful thinking on my part – then I would be able to write another New Viewing Context. Yet, after awhile the coincidences turned into homages.

The same songs permeate the background sounds of both movies. The locations look very similar, as they should because both movies take place in Mexico. Not only are the settings similar, but both films take place in nearly the same time*, with maybe five years separating them.  This conclusion is based on a Wild Bunch conversation surrounding the car and how there is a flying one. Airplanes are a bit of a mystery to the characters. However, in the Three Amigos, we see a plane and it’s fairly common. Lastly, two suit-wearing Germans show up to strike deals with the main villains of both films.

There was a lot of potential for a blog post just from the homages and similarties. Then came the big one and with it, a little spoiler. Alfonso Arau is a bad guy in both movies. In the Wild Bunch he is Herrara,  some tertiary right hand guy. In The Three Amigos he’s El Guapo, the crazy bandit leader. We never learn El Guapo’s true name and Herrara’s fate is, somewhat open to interpretation. Sure, he’s shot in the shoulder, but seriously how fatal is that in movie logic? Not only that, but many people in The Wild Bunch tend to roll saving throws against succumbing to bullets, no matter where they are hit.

So, here it is.

Herrera’s shoulder was on fire where the god damned gringo had shot him. Yet, it didn’t stop him from standing up and looking at all the death the surrounded him. The compound was in shambles, Generalissimo was dead, and it would take a good week to clear out all the bodies, even more for the blood.

In other words, the society he had been a part of, had crumbled. The easiest thing to do would be to follow the line of survivors out the door and into the desert. That’s what he did, making sure to keep his head down as he passed the remaining gringos.

He walked for days, maybe even weeks. During that time, he was able to figure out where it had all gone wrong. Generalissimo had gotten too big and gone national. If he’d only stayed local and terrorized a few villages everything would have been fine. Everyone would still be alive.

Herrera remained lost in a daze of thought until, he passed a bush that was manically singing songs. He realized that he could not recall what happened to the people around him and that he was alone. Then he came upon the invisible swordsmen. They had a nice chat and Herrera laughed deeply when the swordsman sarcastically said that Herrera was, “Muy Guapo.”  He had needed a good laugh.

The next day he arrived at the village of Santo Poco. Herrera strode into the cantina, introducing himself as El Guapo and recruited all the near do wells to his new army. Then they went back to the fortress and cleaned it up as best they could and began a reign of terror.

 


Go watch a movie!

 

*Both movies take place in 1913.

Snows In Different Area Codes


It’s Snowing

Here on the west coast of Canada, in the lower mainland specifically, we don’t get that much snow. Sure, it snows in the mountains and anywhere more than an hour’s drive away from the downtown core, but it doesn’t really snow in the city all that often. Once a year we get a little something. Before the tail end of 2016, the last significant snowfall was in 2014, during February. Now, almost three years to the day we are having record breaking snow fall. It’s blowing the stuff at Christmas out of the water.

When I left work – on foot luckily – it looked like a scene from a zombie outbreak movie. Cars were stuck in every direction. Only one car was able to move during the light change. I couldn’t see the bus that was supposed to be arriving in five minutes and decided that it probably wasn’t going to be coming for some time. So, I mumbled something under my breath, threw my book in my backpack and started walking. The going was pretty smooth due to the fresh powder that had filled in the well-worn and packed down snow, making it a more grippy and level.

It’s Still Snowing

After about six blocks or three bus stops. I reached one of the causes of the traffic. A car had slid perpendicular to the lane and cars were having difficulty getting around it. Compounding that was that it was on a hill so the other direction was screwed. Then to my right what did I see? My bus! It wasn’t supposed to be there, it was blocks off course. I knew I had chosen right. The traffic had thinned in the direction I was heading and I was about to catch a random bus.

I ran as fast as I could, which was more than adequate. As we got on the driver prompted us not to pay. He jovially said, “Nobody cares! I’m already thirty minutes late. No, there wasn’t a detour I slid passed the stop and just came this way. Look at the weather guys, just get in and let’s get you home.”  He was awesome. All was right with the world. I got a seat at the back of the bus and was contemplating pulling out my book.

It’s Still Snowing, More

Then I saw the brake lights. I rode the bus for exactly one stop before it became mired in the traffic once again. Figuring I might as well walk and I could catch the bus later, I jumped out and started my brisk walk that, at times, bordered on a jog. After a kilometer and walking up most of a very steep hill, I caught the bus. The driver was awesome. No matter how screwed the bus seemed, he got us up that hill. He’s one of those guys who deserves to wear the horseshoe mustache he had.

All in all, it was eventful and pretty fun. It’s not every day I get to out walk a bus for a kilometer. Although, I’m really glad it came when it did. My beard was a snowy mess, my jacket and toque were getting pretty saturated, and my glasses had just recently decided to be in a perpetual state of fogginess. The fun was subsiding. As I got off the bus,  recalled what I had mumbled under my breath an hour prior, as I decided to walk. I hoped was wrong, I still had a few minutes, but was still too late. The bakery had closed. So my statement, “I’m not getting an apple fritter.” sadly came true.

 


Honestly, all I can think about are apple fritters. Not Tim Horton’s apple fritters, real apple fritters.

Break Time And A Glimpse –

 


 

I’ve been working on quite a few posts and projects lately. Somehow, I’ve managed to not have a complete post for this week. I guess it happens to the best of us and I should have planned it a bit better. Instead of getting a “Sorry, I didn’t write anything this week.” I could have done the classier, “I’ll be taking a break so the next post will be in two weeks.”

Typically, I work on several posts at the same time. Some come from out of nowhere and get finished immediately, others may take a few weeks. I just don’t have any that are ready right now. As far as the other projects go, I can’t really talk about them yet. I don’t want to talk something up that doesn’t come to fruition.

Either way, there will be a new post in the coming week.

 


Sorry.