Y’all Ready for This?

Guess what next week is….

That’s right! It’s the beginning of HORROR MOVIE MONTH here at Late to the Theater! And we’ve got a whole big RANGE coming up! I’ve been planning and scribbling ideas and having all kinds of fun figuring out the themes for the weeks!

  • Week 1 – The Suburbs: Hell is Other People – Ride along on your BMX while we deconstruct some of that most 80s of juxtapositions, horror in the suburbs, with well-known films The Burbs, Poltergeist, and the less well-known Lady in White. If you enjoyed Stranger Things, you will find some familiar ground here. I’ve covered The Burbs before, but that was then and this is now and I’ve got lots of new corny jokes.
  • Week 2 – A Walk Among the Fandoms: My Trip to Spooky Empire – In which I recount my experience at Spooky Empire, Orlando’s horror convention. And I’ll talk about my John Clare costume! Excitement!
  • Week 3 – Werewolf Week! – Fur, fangs, talons, subtext about sexuality; the gang’s all here with Dog Soldiers,  The Howling, and one that’s very near and dear to my heart, The Company of Wolves. Get your beast-fix and bring a doggie bag (hurr) for week 3.
  • Week 4 – TBA. I like to end with a bang, so the last week should be something really cool, and I haven’t figured out what that is, yet. So who knows? Maybe it’s all Stephen King movies, maybe it’s all old-school, or maybe it’s all new-school, maybe it’s all cannibals. Time will tell!

So stay tuned! Our first entry will be hitting the intarwebz next Monday morning at 8.

Be there or be square!


“The Things I Do For Love…”

Oh wait, that should be “charity.”

Work is participating in Red Nose Day for the whole month of May, and I am a Fun-Teer. This means that people pay me to perform certain tasks for their amusement, and the money all goes to charity.  Never has demeaning myself for money been more fun!

And since we are all mature, we’ve already had the ‘No, you have to keep it PG’ talk from HR.

Anyway, good times have been had already. Someone paid me two dollars to climb up on my desk and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which I am embarrassed to admit I had to refresh myself on. Other activities include:

  • Someone being paid to go to the store for chocolate
  • Someone being paid to wear sneakers around the office because she hates wearing sneakers and only wears ballet flats or sky-high heels
  • Someone having to shout ‘HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!’ at someone else
  • The someone else from the above bullet having to bark like a dog at the person shouting ‘HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!’
  • Someone walking around the office announcing the hours with the suffix “…and all’s well!” 
  • Someone singing The Lumberjack Song from Monty Python while drawing a happy landscape on the office black board

It’s all been good fun and delightfully disruptive to our otherwise boring work routine. And we’ve raised at least 50 bucks by now doing all these things. Yes, our Red Nose May has been going very well and nobody has hurt themselves or put themselves in danger…

…Until the Great Bean-Boozle Jellybean Challenge. 

Someone discovered there are disgusting-flavored jellybeans: jellybeans drawn from the distillation of the tongue’s nightmares. Here they are, from the BeanBoozled Website and also Hell:

  • Stinky Socks – Tutti-Fruitti
  • Lawn Clippings – Lime
  • Rotten Egg – Buttered Popcorn
  • Toothpaste – Berry Blue
  • Barf – Peach
  • Canned Dog Food – Chocolate Pudding
  • Booger – Juicy Pear
  • Moldy Cheese – Caramel Corn
  • Baby Wipes – Coconut
  • Skunk Spray – Licorice

It’s an either/or situation – maybe that brown bean is chocolate pudding, maaaaybe it’s canned dog food. You don’t know until you’re chewing!

Basically, five of us sat down around a table. A jar was set down on the table, containing a mix of several hundred jellybeans in the above flavors.  Feeling like we were part of a strange suicide club, we’d pick  a bean, hold it until everyone had one in their hands, and then throw them in our mouths at once. We had to chew six times, and swallow. Spitting one out was an instant disqualification.

We went on a terrible flavor journey together. Faces were made. Words were said. Tears welled up and threatened to spill down our cheeks. The rest of the company gathered to watch and laugh.

Then, the game master upped the stakes – we started eating them in twos. That was pretty bad, especially if you got a pair of nasties like vomit and moldy cheese together. I still shudder.

But still, we spat nothing out.

Then we did threes, and things got poetic. As I ate I tried to summarize what was happening in my mouth for the audience. Observations included:

  • This is like throwing up bad nachos
  • This is like dying behind a bowling alley
  • This tastes like a Tom Waits song

From three jellybeans came four, and each handful turned the inside of my mouth to the hotel room from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Our eyes filled with tears. Our stomachs filled with Xanthum gum, sugar, and chemical additives.

Imagine the Smell!

Then came Sudden Death.

We divided up the remaining beans into cups. Each cup had sixteen beans, sixteen possibilities for pleasant or foul flavors, sixteen gambles. Hell, sixteen is a lot of jellybeans  to chew up when it’s a flavor you like.

We each took hold of the cups. We wished each other well, like the aforementioned suicide victims, and knocked them back. Sixteen jellybeans rolled into my mouth. Their hard candy shells hit my tongue, hiding their flavor until I began to chew.

Chew, chew – Skunk, pear, popcorn

Someone mentioned ‘they should do it like baby birds in each other’s mouths’ and I almost lost it.

Chew, chew – Skunk, pear, popcorn, coconut, baby wipes, canned dog food

Someone behind me suggested ‘chewing them, then spitting them into the cup and then eating that’ and I retched and came very close to barfing.

Chew, chew – Skunk, pear, popcorn, coconut, baby wipes, canned dog food, lawn clippings, lime, rotten egg, moldy cheese

The guy to my right spat his mouthful out. The others in the group were struggling. Video shows us all with our heads down, jaws grinding away like we’re devouring sins in order to save the mortal soul of a child.

Chew, chew – Skunk, pear, popcorn, coconut, baby wipes, canned dog food, lawn clippings, lime, rotten egg, moldy cheese, toothpaste, BARF, OH MY GOD THE BARF BEAN—


Once I swallowed, the other people either swallowed or spat their mouthfuls out. I opened my mouth to show everyone its vacant interior, and claimed my prize – 25 dollars for Red Nose Day.

I kept burping weird flavor mixes. Worst of all, the spoiled-dairy haze of moldy cheese lingered in the back of my mouth, even hours later. My friend suggested I try drinking milk and I nearly erupted like a broken garbage disposal.

Let me say there’s a school science fair experiment waiting to be done about how the flavored/scented jellybean chemicals don’t disintegrate in one’s stomach, but lurk in the kidneys until the following morning. And then the body releases a torrent that smells like a dumpster fire in hell. I thought I was dying. I have researched and confirmed that the others experienced the same terrible moment.

But I did it! I ate about fifty jelly beans of varying flavors and held my gorge.

And I did it for the children.


WE HAVE VIDEO!  – I’m on the far left with black glasses, waving my arms wildly.


Are you or your office participating in Red Nose Day?