JusWondering… Size Matters Was Buried Beyond Pet Sematary

I just finished watching the latest episode of “South Park” entitled “Pandemic” (watch the full episode here).

To quickly sum up: Peruvian Flute Bands have become a pandemic, and in the traditional “South Park” fashion, things get overblown and out of control, and a new evil is unleashed on the world.  It’s in the ending of the episode that I lost it.

A few days ago, I posted this about the insufficiently examined concept of size of the “evil one” in horror films affecting the level of fear it produces.  Without giving the episode’s ending away, I referred to something similar to the reveal in the final act.

Seeing that reminded me I didn’t delve into the other end of the spectrum: too big is not scary.  Sure Godzilla can crush our house beneath his feet, and King Kong can pick his teeth with our ribs, but we see them as ominous by default.  There’s a sense of hopelessness, not panic – a main ingrediant in fear.

Take Peter Jackson’s “King Kong”: the ape himself was not terrifying (in fact, he was the prima(te)ry love interest).  Nor were the T-rex’s outrightly so.  But those giant insects… and the face-hugger things in the pit… although they were CGI-done-right, they wer able to get the skin crawling.

Now imagine King Kong as 48 inches tall.  He waits in the corner of your basement.  You flick on the lights, and see his scarred face.  He launches at you, roaring.  You scramble up the staircase with him only a stair or two behind you.  His long arms missing you by inches.  He’s big enough to be a manageable threat (as opposed to a two-foot tall King Kong you can keep away with a chair… or a Swiffer or something), and that’s what causes that special kind of anxiety.

Now why not six-foot tall… or eight or ten, you ask?  I believe it’s because my brain considers the possibility that it’s a man in costume.  That’s why four-foot tall works, because at best, that giant Gremlin or tiny Godzilla is an adolescent or preteen in costume.  I can see an adult going loco, but a middle-schooler?

In closing: babies and little kids aren’t scary (depending on who you ask I guess) because of their size, adults are lame, and awkward ten, eleven, and twelve year olds are the root source of our nightmares.  (Perchance we remember too well…)

(EXCLUSION TO THE SIZE MATTERS: the homicidal kid in “Pet Sematary” is kinda creepy, but nowhere near as revolting as the adult sister in bed.)

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InASense, Lost… Dental Dam

After being on this Earth for one-third of a century, or the equivalent of two pie pieces in the game of Trivial Pursuit, I’m still amazed there are things that can warp my vanilla mind (maybe it’s more cookies-n-creme).

On the scale of mental shockwaves, what a dental dam is might not rate that high on the perverted list.  (See my last “InASense, Lost” post for worse.)

What’s surprising is that it was referenced in last night’s episode of “Pushing Daisies.”  It was sly, and of course, i didn’t get it.  But it pops up in an exchange between Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) and his mom.

After a woman of questionable means leaves his detective office, he states “I’ll be dental damned” in reference to a dentist that hired him for the same case.  His mother responds, “With a girl like that, you certainly should.”

I guess in a show kinda about necrophilia, I shouldn’t be surprised.

“Pushing Daisies” home page at ABC.com.

In My Brain While Sleeping… “The Baby That Ate Whole Food!”

My girlfriend is a professional night time parking lot cleaner.  What this job entails exactly, I’m not sure (other than the obvious).

I’m unemployed, so I take care of her infant son (or is it ours?) who is about, oh, twelve-inches-tall-with-his-legs-curled-up old.  He wears a one piece pajama suit the color of mint chocolate chip ice cream, minus the chocolate chips.  He barely knows how to use any of his limbs, so it shocks me the day he asks me telepathically:

“Can I have I bite of that burger?”

At first, I look around.  There’s no way the baby said something.  Besides, do you know what it took for me to get this burger from Applebee’s Carside to Go without a car?

“Yeah, it’s me.  I can speak with my mind.”

I looked the baby in the eyes, and he raised his eyebrows to prove it.

“Okay, so even though you may be able to speak in thoughts,” I told him, “you don’t have any teeth.  Plus, I don’t think you do a good job digesting what you get as it is.”

“Try eating what I do, and see what happens to you,” he warned.  “My gums are the toughest gums you’ll ever meet.  Go on and stick out your finger.  I’ll bite it clean off.”

I believed him, so I cut off a piece of the burger and fed it to him.  He chewed with such delight that his smile made his eyes almost disappear behind chubby cheeks.

“Now let’s go get some chili cheese curly fries,” he suggested.

I chastised him.  “Don’t think with your mouth full.”  Then I got up and grabbed my coat and his blankets and carriage.

INGREDIENTS: Game 1 of the World Series… and two hours of Lego Batman: The Videogame

(CAVEAT LECTOR: For the sake of keeping the dream retelling from going completely off the deep end, I omitted the part where the baby just turned into a floating head.)