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Kissing myself

With the gauze gone from where those two teeth were pulled, this morning I cupped my hands over my mouth and nose and exhaled, and it smelled like breath, not death. The horrid stench I’ve been exhaling for so long is gone. I smell so kissably sweet I want to kiss myself. Thank you, Doc Dentist!

I'm a quiet guy, but my awful breath has kept me even quieter, and I usually don’t want to sicken whoever I’m talking to, so I’ve developed the habit of talking through the side of my mouth. No more sideways talking, though it might be hard to break the habit.

Halitosis isn’t what’s made me a loner, of course. I’ve consciously chosen a life of 99% solitude, because most people are brainless robotic cliché-mongers without an original thought anywhere in their heads. That’s what’s available for a social life, so I'd rather be alone.

Losing most of my bad breath won’t make me a club-hopping socialite, but I’ve been inhibited about getting to know those very rare souls who might be interesting. Maybe now, I won’t unintentionally repulse people I want to say hi to.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Some selected shorts played at the Red Vic tonight. It seemed like a worthwhile gamble, and it was. With two very good mini-films, an excellent one, a stinker, a double-stinker, and one that was so-so, it was a fine night's entertainment, all for the price of just one hole punched in my Red Vic season ticket — about four bucks.

First was Spring Break (1994), a low-brow comedy that delivered laughs. When a New Jersey scumbag’s girlfriend tells him she slept some some guy during spring vacation in Florida, he gets his best friend and his mom's gun, and drives to Florida to kill the guy. Does that sound hilarious? Well, it’s funnier than it sounds. The final punchline was a letdown, but the build-up was good enough that I’d like to see more from the writer/director, except I don’t know who it was. I wasn’t taking notes, and the theater had no program or photocopied fliers or anything.

Faeriefilm (1993) is a concept I hadn’t seen before, and it was quite well-executed. It’s a documentary, with gay gents telling how they deal with their sexual selves. It would’ve worked fine as a typical documentary, but instead of typical — talking heads, yak yak yak — we heard the interviews’ voices but saw original cartoons inspired by what they said. It was beautiful.

Doper (1994) is one of the funniest, most rewarding shorts I’ve ever seen. It’s ostensibly about a young man who’s a productive member of society and recently won “Employee of the Month” at work, but he’s not quite the candidate for the Rotary Club that he appears to be. Always, no matter what he’s doing — driving the forklift at work, seeing his girlfriend, or just relaxing at home — he’s stoned. Hilariously bursts the bubble of the war on drugs.

Queen Mercy (1994) was one of the stinkers. It’s an intriguing idea, about a woman working in a sex club, who hates men and kills them as a hobby. With that concept, there's plenty of potential to make a strong statement, but if it had anything to say it must’ve been whispered, and I didn’t catch it at all.

Detritus (1993), however, makes Queen Mercy look like the winner of eleven Oscars and six Golden Globes. With plotless and pointless images, it’s the kind of avant-garde experimental pretentious horseplop that keeps me away from San Francisco’s Cinematheque. For all the art critics and poseurs who claim they appreciate and admire this stuff, five simple words: The emperor has no clothes.

Pleasant Hill U.S.A. (1994) examines the aftermath of a bank hold-up and double-murder in a tiny American town. I’d heard good things about this one, and it’s what brought me to tonight’s sextuple feature, but it’s not what I’d hoped for. It seems to be compromising itself as it goes along — it starts with strong cynicism, but evolves by the end into maybe an audition reel for Inside Edition.

♦ ♦ ♦

I’ve got a simple question. Is it true, is it fiction, or is it as I suspect a little bit of both? —John Hudleston

John, I really am fat. I really am a slob. This really is the diary of a fat slob. If I was making stuff up, I’d write myself fighting crime, or shoplifting, or winning at sidewalk chess, or at least going on dates and getting lucky twice in a while.

I’m not a reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, though, so I might add a wisecrack once in a while. Often I fudge the dates — if a whole lot happens on Wednesday and nothing happens on Thursday, half of Wednesday might be moved to Thursday. The extra boring parts get snipped away, leaving only the boring parts, and the names have been changed, of course. Other than that, yeah, this is my life. It’s 98.5% true.

From Pathetic Life #6
Thursday, November 3, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


Addendum, 2021:
I was curious, so I researched three of those six short subjects (the ones I liked).

Spring Break was made by Frank Sebastiano, but it's so obscure it's not on his IMDB curriculum vitae. Sebastiano went on to a long career writing and producing for television, on shows including Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, and Everybody Hates Chris.

Faeriefilm was made by Eugene Salandra. He's had a successful run in animation ever since, but the only other thing he's worked on that I've seen is Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996). 

Doper is where my Googling surprised me most. I still remember the film, remember laughing and laughing and loving' it. Three people were principally involved in making Doper, and based on IMDB's pages, none of them ever did much of anything else that seems of interest, at least not to me.

Pathetic Life 

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13 comments:

  1. Havent't watched it yet, but is this Doper?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmumqFH8HDE

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    1. Jeez, man, there ain't much that's not on the internet. Yup, that's it. Did you like it?

      I'm watching it now, and it's not as funny as it was that night, but it's still funny. Now I'm wondering if there were blue clouds in the theater.

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    2. Ehhhh.

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    3. You're entitled to your ehhh, and it has lost a lot of whatever it had for me that night in 1994.

      Maybe I loved it cuz I'd never before seen anything showing a stoner even slightly successful in life.

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  2. > the only other thing he's worked on that I've seen is Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996).

    I believe we saw that together in the theater. I fucking hated Beavis and Butthead on MTV, probably because of "Frog Baseball," but that was a dang funny film.

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    1. Yes, in a crappy basement multiplex at a mall south of the city. I think that was the show where we did some stupid "market research" survey after eating hamburgers and before watching the movie.

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    2. Wow, the rare occasion where you remember something I don't. I have ZERO recollection of that.

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    3. Really? You don't remember the survey? Some pretty woman approached us in the mall concourse, and said "We're doing a survey and it pays five dollars each." Pretty woman. Five dollars. We followed her. I think it was some bullshit about banks.

      Also, we'd gone to that out-of-the-way mall because they were playing Beavis and Butt-Head on a double bill with a Star Trek movie. Can't remember which Star Trek movie, though.

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  3. I do not at all remember the survey. We saw Star Trek : First Contact together, I'm guessing it was that.

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    1. Yeah, they were released within a month of each other, must've been that double feature. Not bad.

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    2. Nice sleuthing. That was at the Tanforan 4 in San Bruno. We were in auditorium three, about halfway back, on the right. We'd taken a slow-moving SamTrans bus to get there, which took like an hour. We ate hamburgers at the food court prior, and with my extra five bucks for doing the survey, I bought popcorn.

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  4. Only on your sayso, I just watched Fairiefilm https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3wr46n and thank you!

    I am not gay, not 'questioning', and ignorant of the 'radical faeries' and drag and the whole history of the gay movement. Honestly I thought faerie was an insult. When the man said "This is the way things should be" just, fuck, it's a beautiful little movie and inspiring.

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    1. Oh, THANK YOU for the link. I hadn't seen or heard of this movie since that night in '94, and it is sweet and powerful. Loved seeing it again.

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