End of the World Prophecies End, The World Survives; A Possible Solution to the Age-old Conundrum

Perhaps you’ve heard the most recent Doomsday report that claims the world will end Saturday. If you haven’t, the end of the world has been predicted for Saturday, September 23, 2017. Get ready.

Or don’t bother. We all know that it won’t happen (not all of us, I guess. Most of us). The Mayans were wrong. Perhaps more fairly put, the people who “interpreted” an ancient calendar with no surviving users were wrong. Nostradamus was wrong, (I’m no expert on Nostradamus but surely he’s prophesied on this) web bots were wrong. Biblical scholars, Jewish scholars and crack-pot prognosticators have all been wrong. It isn’t because they are stupid or uneducated. Perhaps it is simply because the world has already ended and we are already in some sort of after-life.

It’s very simple to throw out theories like this. Rest assured, I have substantial evidence to back my claim.

Let’s consider technology. High-end tech labs continue to churn out products at a pace that is nearly as unbelievable as the products themselves. I heard on the radio the other day about a phone security app that gives access to you only after scanning your face to be sure you are an authorized user. Apparently this even adjusts itself over time so that it continues to recognize you even as your face droops with age. Amazing! Slightly scary. Fraught with bugs? We should know the answer to that in about ten or twenty years. I also heard about a pair of pants that will vibrate one leg or the other to notify you that you need make a turn as you progress toward your destination. That’ll be off the market as soon as someone allows their pants to lead them into the path on an oncoming train. Maybe the pants are smart enough to detect trains. At the very least you could call someone smarty pants and literally be correct. It’s about time. Thank you, techno geeks. But I digress.

The unbelievable nature of these products and the speedy  jumps of technological history could be attributed to the fact that the world has already ended. This would go a long way to explaining why these unrealities are realities. They could simply be mass hallucinations inspired by something in the atmosphere we believe we are breathing in.

If we were already in an after-life setting this would also explain Bigfoot, UFOS, ghosts, ESP and every other new-age idea and supernatural experience. People don’t die, they just leave behind their “body” and become invisible.( Or maybe there’s some after- life after the after-life. I hadn’t considered that until just now.) Some people have really seen Bigfoot. Some people have actually been abducted by aliens. People can really read minds and make the Statue of Liberty disappear and keep their teeth white and do any other unbelievable thing because the science we profess to understand doesn’t apply here like it did before the world ended.

Anyway, just food for thought.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…think about it.

A don’t…overthink it.

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Halloween Book Reviews: It’s Not Too Early to be Halloweeny

It has been a tradition of mine for the past few years to find some new horror novel, preferably from an author I’ve never read before, and start reading about mid September. Ideally, I like to finish it on Halloween although this doesn’t always happen.

I read two a couple of years ago. The first was so engrossing I finished it before October, the second so chilling and wonderful that I read it twice before Halloween arrived. Following are reviews of these two books.

“Harvest Home” by Thomas Tryon was a book I purchased and hadn’t really planned to read. I bought it at an antique store my wife and I went to on our first date. It looked old. That was what first drew me to it. The dust cover was tattered and the art work wrought upon it was simple. A quaint town set amidst rolling hills in colors that, though less than garish, stand out well against the pen and ink, or perhaps charcoal, tree of faces and scythes hashed in on the side. The hashing continues around the spine and becomes fairly dramatic on the back cover. I bought it for that. I put it on a bookshelf and forgot it. Somehow it happened to catch my eye around the right time of year and as soon as I picked it up I was loathe to put it back down, even after finishing it.

It is a horror novel, but it is more than that. It isn’t guts and gore and beings from other realms stalking people or causing nightmares. It’s much more subtle than that and somehow more ferocious for its subtlety. It is a mix of small town traditions and innocent seeming yet ultimately deadly folklore. I don’t want to go into too much detail, in case you decide you’d like to read it for yourself, but the way the author weaves in the nightmarish bits without giving away their true role in the storyline is masterful. He evokes a charm and small-town homey feeling while at the same time tickling the imagination with details that could be perceived as innocent but are tinged with a certain insidiousness. Certainly a wonderful read and one that fits the feelings of the fall/harvest season as well as Halloween. I highly recommend it.

Second is “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury. This one is about creatures from another realm stalking people and causing nightmares. It has an extremely Halloween tone to it and is just pure fun if you enjoy the scary season. It is dark and disturbing without being overly vulgar. It is deeper than a book of nightmarish things though. Mr. Bradbury is a master at channeling the child within. He has a way with descriptive words and his works are unlike those of any other author I’ve read. If you’ve never read any of his books or short stories, treat yourself to this one. It is likely you’ll become obsessed and strive to devour every word he’s written. That’s what happened to me anyway. In fact, remembering this book has inspired me to write about another of his. Yay. Bonus paragraph.

“The Halloween Tree” is just as good and Halloweeny as “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. It has a similar dark tone and is also romantically reminiscent of childhood. It was made into an animated T.V. special and this is just as good as the book itself. It follows a group of kids on Halloween as they pursue the spirit of their coolest friend through the historic origins and evolutions of Halloween traditions. As I’ve found to be the case with all of Ray Bradbury’s works, it is masterfully written and uniquely descriptive. The book and animated special both put me in a delightfully somber yet somehow still light-hearted spooking mood. Another must if you love Halloween or reading in general.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…read as many books as you can get your hands on. There are unexpected treasures everywhere.

A don’t…pass up the three I’ve mentioned here. If you’re a Halloween junkie like me they’ll certainly get you into the spirit of the season.

 

 

An Innovation in Personal Workplace Insurance

It occurred to me yesterday that there’s an untapped niche within the insurance world. Despite my best efforts and valiant (pushy) sales techniques I was unsuccessful in selling even a single policy. Perhaps this was because the idea is brand new and a little scary in its novelty. Or perhaps it is simply a horrible idea presented by someone who isn’t licensed to sell insurance in any form. I’ll let you be the judge. Whatever the cause of my failure, I’ll continue to push my idea and one step in that process is to make it known outside of my own little circle. To that end I present to you “Workplace Serenity Insurance” soon to be “Workplace Serenity Insurance Inc.” If I ever sell any policies, that is.

Here’s how it works: Simply print several copies of a resignation letter. Leave the effective date blank.  Upon selling a policy, (I offered my policy at $50, you are free, as a freelance agent, to set your own price) affix your signature to the page and hand it to the proud new policy holder. Advise them that, should you ever irritate, anger or offend them they now have the capability to terminate your employment on good terms with your employer by filling in the effective date and submitting the form to HR. This eliminates the need for pesky HR complaints and the humiliation that comes from being fired for being some sort of inappropriate jerk. You should also print some claims forms. This could simply be a slip of paper stating that they turned in the notice. It should include a blank for the date of your last day to be filled in.

The system is quite simple yet riddled with stupidity. Despite this, it opens the door for another form of insurance that could be sold to agents selling “Workplace Serenity”. I call it “Workplace Serenity Aftermath”. This policy would insure the policy holder’s income after having a claim filed against one of their “Workplace Serenity” policies. I haven’t begun selling this yet, so if you decide the sell “Workplace Serenity” you do so at your own risk.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…not sell “Workplace Serenity”. It’s a joke. I hereby disclaim that it is NOT a real thing. I don’t own an insurance company.

A don’t…sell “Workplace Serenity”. I reiterate DO NOT SELL IT. There is no “Workplace Serenity Aftermath” It isn’t real. Seriously, don’t.

I’d like to thank the War of the Worlds radio broadcast for the knowledge that adamantly assuring people of the fictitious nature of bad ideas is of the utmost importance.

If you enjoy my blog, feel free to visit my facebook page @williamennisauthor. There you can find my philosophy on writing. Likes, follows and book purchases are greatly appreciated. A portion of all royalties I receive will go to foundations that promote the strengthening and enrichment of families.

A Few Short Video Ideas; Cameras, Actors and Post Production Needed: Part 2

I posted a while ago about some ideas I had for some videos that I cannot produce due to my lack of interested friends, cameras, post production wizards, software…the list goes on. Here are a few that I forgot.

The scene opens on a street packed with limos and lamborghinis (I don’t have any of these either). The camera pans as exquisitely dressed people are helped out of the cars by…whoever helps rich people out of their cars. There are several cuts to showcase the class of individuals arriving, highlighting the fact that the women are dripping diamonds and the men are so well shaven that they look as if a whisker has never dared grow upon their distinguished faces. The camera follows the people into a beautiful opera house or theater (whatever I can afford to rent, so probably nothing more than a cardboard room painted real nice). They are ushered to plush chairs surrounding tables that are extravagantly dressed where they are served foods so fancy I can’t even pronounce the names of the dishes. There is much snobbish chatter. A decadent dessert is served and, as the people begin to eat it, the lights dim and a hush falls over the room. A conductor in tails and bow tie steps to the center of the stage and bows. He turns his back to the crowd and the lights on the stage rise with the curtain to reveal an impeccably dressed orchestra with Strad violins and the other instruments’ Strad equivalents. The conductor raises his baton and as he drops his arm the silence is filled with the worst music anyone has ever heard. A few shots of rich folk dropping their champagne glasses and other such whatnot and fade to black.

The next is similar. The scene is some sort of talent show. I ascend the stage, lean in to the microphone and say something like “I’d like to play you a song I wrote. It’s very special to me and I hope you like it.” I close my eyes and play some beautiful guitar riff. Let’s pause for a second. I need to explain something. I make a noise that has been compared to the noise people think a pterodactyl would make. It once reduced a high strung manager of mine to a near seizure. Back to the video. As I lean in to the microphone to start singing, I simply open my throat and screech right into the mike. Cut to the audience as they wince and seize and run away.

Next, a non-offensive-noise based video. I saw a video once of an old lady skydiving and her dentures fly out of her mouth. I acquire the rights to use that video. Then I add it to a video of my own making. We open with the first few seconds of the skydiver. We cut to a toothless person in front of the mirror. A tear rolls down the cheek of the toothless person. He or she (to be determined) runs to their front yard. Cut back to the skydiver’s dentures flying out of her mouth. Cut back to the toothless person who falls to their knees and raise their hands and face to the heavens screaming “Dear God, when will I ever have teeth again?”  As the sentence is completed, the skydiver’s dentures fall perfectly into the mouth of the supplicant and he or she chomps a couple times and falls prostrate. This one has an alternate ending. Instead of falling perfectly into the mouth the dentures embed themselves into the cheek of the supplicant before the screen fades to black.

Finally, a religious play on Star Wars. Or a Star Wars play on religion. We open on a scene depicting Jesus and Judas Iscariot at the last supper. Jesus waves his hand at Judas and says “You will not betray me.” Judas says “What do you think you are, some kind of Messiah, waving your hand around like that? I’m an Iscariot! Miracles do not work on me. Only Silver.” Fade to black.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to contact me if you’d like to help me produce these.

A don’t…feel offended if you are a Christian or a Star Wars fan. I don’t mean to demean either Christianity or those obsessed with Star Wars. I find both to be wonderful ways to live, and merely think the Star Wars and religion crossover is funny.

If you like my blog feel free to visit my facebook page @williamennisauthor. My philosophy on writing is available there. Likes, follows and, of course, book purchases are always greatly appreciated. A portion of all royalties I receive will go to programs that strengthen and enrich families.

A Few Film Ideas; Actors and Film Equipment Needed…A Cry For Help

I have a few ideas for parody videos. I had planned to produce them and post them to youtube but I suffer from a lack of cameras, camera operators, actors, props and the ability to do any post-production fine tuning. So I’ll live vicariously through verbal explanations.

My first is a parody of The Terminator. In my version Terminator comes back, in nude style as always, feeling bad for all the damage and death he has contributed to. He has a one track mind and, without even stopping to steal any clothes, approaches the first house he finds and knocks on the door. A man answers and shows surprise at being visited by a naked muscle man.

“What do you want?” He asks, quizzically and a bit alarmed.

The Terminator, hoping to avoid any confusion, states “I am the Ex-Terminator.”

“I didn’t call any exterminator.” The homeowner says, annoyed.

“Not the exterminator the Ex-Terminator.” Ex-Terminator says, again trying to convey that he means no harm.

“But I don’t need an exterminator. I don’t have any bugs!” the homeowner asserts.

“Neither do I, my programming is perfect.” The Terminator says in a proud dead-pan.

Fade to black.

Imagine a foreign visitor passing a nice suburban home with a small fence around the front yard. As he passes he waves at one of the home’s occupants who is sitting on the porch. The person on the porch utters some slur against foreigners. The foreigner, just familiar enough with our language and customs, realizes he’s been insulted. He screams “I take of fence!” And then pulls out some wire cutters, snips off a small section of fence and runs away with it. On his face is a look suggesting he feels he’s followed proper protocols. Cut to the person on the porch, zoom in on their confused expression, fade to black.

A fireworks stand stands in a parking lot. Above the stand is a sign that says used fireworks. We take a tour through the stand from a customer’s viewpoint. This provides opportunities for sign gags such as a sign stating “only used once” on a box of already exploded firecrackers or “nearly new” on the sticks that bottle rockets come on. We’ll see boxes of parachute men and already spun spinners and whistled whistlers, charred at the ends and sad looking. By the register is a box of charred nubs that used to be punks. All through the video we will hear the proprietor making poor sales pitches in the background. I haven’t written those jokes yet. The customer exits and we fade to black.

It’s quite likely I’ll never be able to produce these. If you’d like I give you permission to make them as long as I get writing credit and the opportunity to place an ad for my books in the video. As long as we’re on the subject of my book you’ll forgive me for saying that you might as well buy one for your children, future children, grand children, friend’s children (any children, really) or yourself. “How Sir Donkey Legs Became a Knight” is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or xlibris.com. Remember that a portion of all royalties I receive will go to programs that enrich and strengthen families.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to contact me if you’d like to produce youtube videos with me.

A don’t…forget to imagine whenever possible.

 

The Aliens’ Conundrum

Bruz Pequine (a very rough approximation of his true name) squirmed into his skin-tight flight suit and zipped it from crotch to clavicle. The zipper faded into the metallic fabric and Bruz made his way to Bay {%} (a very rough approximation of the bay’s true number). Foot traffic in the hallways was light, Bruz’s mission being the only one scheduled this particular cycle. The only other being he encountered on the way to his ship was Braz (rough approximation) his co-pilot. They thought a few general pleasantries in one another’s directions as their paths crossed and continued on to the bay in the comfortable silence familiar to consistent comrades.
Upon reaching the ship (the name of which I dare not even attempt to approximate) they found that they were not first to arrive. Brez (approximately) was waiting at the foot of the ramp and although his slit mouth was incapable of smiling, Bruz and Braz understood Brez to be quite excited. He tilted his bulbous head in their direction and indicated a barely-contained desire to dash up the ramp and into the ship to begin his first mission. Bruz, being the boss, projected thoughts we might roughly equate with rolling one’s eyes at Braz. To Brez he indicated, quite professionally, that entering the ship before the rest of the crew arrived would be most impossible due to the security constrictions on the evening’s endeavor that required the presence one Captain, one Co-pilot, one Scientist/Psychologist and one Trainee before the door at the top of the ramp would open to admit anyone.
So they stood in a silence that was now a little uncomfortable as they awaited the arrival of Briz (the true name of the mission’s Scientist/Psychologist). When the final crew member finally deigned to arrive the four crewmen (sort of) made their way to their duty stations and prepared the ship for departure. Brez stood on the bridge between Bruz and Braz, watching intently until the bay doors opened and the ship swept out into space. Brez’s attention turned to the vast panorama of dark nothing dotted by stars. His mind was overcome with awe, not only at the view but also at the fact that he had lived his whole life in the midst of this without ever having been out to view it. He transmitted these ideas to his crew-mates who responded with polite if slightly cynical generalities to Brez and, privately to one another, more of the thoughts we equate to eye rolling. Brez was quite content staring off into space and he did so until the glow on the horizon began to curve upward before the view port.
He looked at his captain who sent him an affirmative thought and when Brez turned his eyes again to the view port the convex haze had become a blue sphere splotted with green-brown patches topped with intermittent gauzy, white swirls. There were some mild rumblings and a bit of a shimmy as the ship passed into the atmosphere and when these had died down Brez indicated that he’d like to know where on Earth their mission was going to take place. Bruz and Braz conferred privately, excluding Briz who wouldn’t care either way as long as a being soon lay on his exam table, and when they had reached an agreement they sent to Brez images of Las Vegas.

I have taken the liberty of transcribing the following conversations, which were originally transmitted mentally from being to being as visual ideas, into the rough plain English approximations. The conversations are presented as if they had been verbally spoken. This has been done to avoid confusion and so that I can quit typing things like “they sent to one another thoughts equivalent to derision.” Typing such things makes me feel like an idiot.

Brez: “Las Vegas? Why Vegas?”

Bruz: “Trust us! If you’ve never seen the commotion that ensues when we let people see our ships, you’re in for a real treat!”
Brez: “I trust you, of course, but isn’t Vegas rather close to their Area 51?”
Braz: “Yeah, so?”
Brez: “Well, aren’t they used to seeing weird things in the sky?”
Bruz: “The natives would be immune to wondering, perhaps, but previous missions have shown that there are very few natives of Las Vegas. This place is overrun with drunks from out of town. Vegas sightings are the best sightings.”
Brez: “Drunks?”
Bruz: “Does Broz (you get the idea) not teach this anymore? They feed fruit and sugar to certain enzymes and ingest the resulting flatulence. This causes them to become extremely excitable and unpredictable. Drunk, as they call it. It’s what they call a sport. And Vegas is one of their favorite fields for practicing this sport. So we buzz in fairly low and run the radiation shield. When they notice the glow they film it with their poor quality recording devices. They make exclamations of disbelief. They call out to others and soon large crowds amass in the streets causing uproarious disruption to their transit systems. Some fall prostrate. Some cry. The true beauty of our technique becomes apparent the following morning. They usually fail to monitor their intake of the enzyme’s excrements. This causes them to awaken nauseated with aching heads. Their memories are affected. In this state they fail to remember that our vessel did not actually zig and zag and so when they view their recordings the instability of their cameras due to their drunken inability to hold them still is generally regarded as our craft maneuvering in a way that is beyond the capabilities of their aircraft. It contributes to their belief and in turn causes greater hysteria the next time we do our thing.”
Brez: “I suppose it also helps that most of them are from elsewhere. In addition, a metropolis known for the “drinking” must have multiple ways of disposing of those who aren’t careful. Does this draw suspicions away from us when one goes missing?”
Braz: “It certainly does. Perhaps you, Brez, have the necessary mindset to work in this field. Now, let us focus on the mission. As we go in to hover, notice the large congregations on the roadsides.”
Brez: “Um, Gentlemen, surely we have miscalculated our coordinates.”
Bruz: “No, we are in the right place. No other place on Earth has so many such buildings in such proximity. But I see your confusion. There are no beings.”
Briz (arriving on the bridge from the onboard medical facilities where he prefers to spend his time): “No beings? Preposterous! There are currently over six billion of the beings we are most interested in inhabiting the planet.”
Bruz: “He’s right, Briz. I don’t perceive a single one.”
Braz: “Nor do I, now that it’s brought to my attention.”
Brez: “I see one. There, it just darted across that street. It’s in the shadows there by that large receptacle. I don’t perceive it only visually.”
Bruz: “Got it. There’s some interference. Braz, come in a little lower and run the radiation shield. Let’s see how it responds.”
Braz: “It’s approaching! I hardly dared anticipate this. The most frequent response when we approach this close is fear, Brez. Especially when the subject is isolated from other beings. Quickly, let’s get it onboard.”

After much use of technology that I don’t personally understand, the being is brought aboard the ship with Bruz and Braz and Brez and Briz, all of whom were taught by Broz. He is restrained to a gurney sort of table. The following conversation takes place between the being “Bob” and his captors.

Bob: “All that’s left are freaks! All that’s left are freaks! All thats left are freaks!”
Briz: “I beg pardon, but I’ve no idea what you mean.”
Bob: “You’re a freak. They’re freaks. What happened to you guys? Am I the only normal person left?”
Briz: “Again, I don’t understand. It seems you think we are beings such as yourself in a mutated or mutilated state. Is this what you believe?”
Bob: “…yes…”
Bob: “You’re right. That’s silly. I’m sorry. Its just that I haven’t seen anyone for months. How long have you guys been looking for others? How do you keep this chopper fueled? And for crying out loud what happened to your faces?”
Brez: “…um…”
Briz: “Quiet your emissions, novice. Bob, you say you haven’t seen anyone for months?”
Bob: “Yeah.”
Briz: “Why?”
Bob: “Well, I’m starting to think I’m the last person left on the planet.”
Briz: “Preposterous! We would’ve known if something catastrophic enough to wipe out nearly an entire species occured! Return him to his…whatever he was doing. We need to report back immediately!”
Bob: “Return me! No! No! Aww, come on guys! I’m so lonely. Come with me. We’ll scrounge the buffets or crack open the slot machines, it’ll be fun I promise just please don’t leave me alo…”
“…ne!” Bob finished his sentence as the ship whose name none on Earth can pronounce vanished spectacularly into the clouds. “Never seen a chopper do that.” He muttered distractedly as he kicked a ravenous rat from his ankle. He sneezed twice and meandered in the general direction of the nearest buffet, to busy dreaming the daydreams of the lonely and stranded to notice that his watch was curiously out of synch with the watch he’d just stepped on.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…pray (if you’re a praying person) for Bob.

A don’t…forget to check back for more misadventures with Bob and the aliens who’ve managed to abduct the last living human being.

 

When goonies Watch The Goonies

I may have been a little goonie myself the last time I watched The Goonies. It’s been so long ago that I really didn’t remember much more than the fun adventurous feeling it evoked while watching. I certainly didn’t remember the few parts that are a little inappropriate for my children.  And I didn’t remember that first few scenes that take place in the soon-to-be-foreclosed-upon house contained such ruckus and commotion.

My goonies are loud and rambunctious and it takes them quite a while to settle in to a movie. They all want to be next to either me or my wife or, somehow, both of us. They can never get comfortable and therefore neither can I. Every few seconds there’s a knee in the groin or an elbow in the sternum as they claw around for the best angle from which to see the T.V. or to get away from the bit of brother’s blanket that is almost touching the corner of theirs.

Of course, then there are the questions. Who is that? Why are they doing that. Where are they going? What’s this movie about? It’s a kid cacophony that won’t quit. When it finally did die down, my brain couldn’t tell the difference between the onscreen shenanigans and the lack of goings-on on my own couch. The kids on the movie all talk at the same time. It’s so much different from the obviously controlled chaos of every other movie I’ve ever seen. It sounded like a house full of kids and I shushed my own several times before realizing it wasn’t them. It’s like the director gave them all 20 Cokes and then let them loose on the set with only the vaguest of ideas of what was meant to happen in the scene. In  a way it’s genius. In another way, a guy who has noisy kids way, it’s still a great movie but it is much too stressful for a relaxing movie night. It triggers my parent PTSD.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…watch it again. Or initially. It is a good movie.

A don’t…choose it for a relaxing evening if you’re a parent to young children.