BQB’S Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Journal – Intro – Part 5

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Part 1

My little green friend was stretched out on a table in the employee’s break room of Price Town.  His hat and glasses had fallen off in the chaos, leaving his face on full display.

“He gave his life for us,”  VGRF said.

I sniffed and teared up.

“I…I can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I can’t believe your kid was so ugly,”  Bernie said.  “No offense dude but you might be better off.”

Esteemed Brainy One

Esteemed Brainy One

“He wasn’t my kid,”  I said.  “He was Alien Jones.”

“What?”  Bernie asked.  “You’re saying that alien who writes on your blog is real?!  I thought that was just you pretending!  I thought you pretended to be all the characters.”

“No comment,” I said.

Alien Jones shot his head up into the air and let out a loud gasp.  It scared the crap out of all of us.

“Sweet Zanacostia’s Upper Filter!!!”

Alien Jones was always saying phrases that sounded like they might have been outer space forms of swearing.

“AJ!” I said as I hugged my intergalactic friend.  “You’re alive!”

“But I checked your neck,”  VGRF said.  “You didn’t have a pulse.”

“You don’t even want to know where I keep my pulse.”

Together, we walked out into the store.  It was fully stocked.  From hardware to groceries, it had everything we needed to survive.

Everyone was gone.  I assumed all the employees and customers hightailed it when they heard everyone becoming zombie lunch.

“Guess we picked a good spot to ride out the zombie apocalypse,”  Bernie said.

“Ignorant human,”  Alien Jones said as he pointed at the zombies pounding on the security gate.  “The structural integrity of our barrier will not last forever.”

“So you can just do that bubble thing again,”  Bernie said.

“It saps me of all my energy,”  Alien Jones said.  “Alas, I will not have the power to make another one for a full twenty four hours, and only then, it will last for about five minutes.”

“We’re screwed,”  Bernie said.

VGRF tended to look on the bright side.

“At least we have each other.”

“AJ,”  I said.  “Can’t you just call the Mighty Potentate and ask him to send some shock troops to cook these fools?”

“No,”  Alien Jones replied.  “For the time being, the Mighty Potentate is following Intergalactic Space Law, which mandates that no advanced world get involved in the affairs of primitives such as yourselves.”

“Right,”  VGRF said.  “The Prime Dir…”

“Intergalactic Space Law!”  I interrupted.  “Come on, VGRF, the last thing I need is to have Shatner shove a lawsuit up my ass.”

“The MP is bending the law enough already just by having me aid BQB in his insipid bloggery,”  Alien Jones said.  “He gets away with it because BQB only has 3.5 readers and none of them believe I am real.  He won’t take the chance of landing battle units.”

Alien Jones pulled out his phone.  It was orange, had a screen that displayed holographic images, and looked incredibly expensive.

“What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Consulting news reports.  Alas, it seems that the zombie infestation has spread all throughout East Randomtown in a matter of moments.

“Is West Randomtown safe?”  VGRF asked.

I knew she was worried about her family.

“It appears the surrounding communities were evacuated in time.  Military units are descending on the area to cut East Randomtown off from the rest of the world.”

“Alien Jones,”  I said.  “Can I borrow that for a minute?”

“Be careful,”  AJ said.  “It’s official Mighty Potentate property.”

I loved technology so I relished the chance to look over a phone constructed by aliens.

“What is this?”  I asked.

“A Kondoferian Class Sub 9NM1 Intergalactic Communications Unit.”

“Whoa,”  I said.  “A space phone!”

“No,  it’s a Kondoferian Class Sub…”

“We’re calling it a space phone,”  I said.  “It can call anyone anywhere in the world?”

“Anyone anywhere in the universe,”  Alien Jones replied.

“Is it fully charged?”  I asked.

“It is operated by a plutonium pebble with a half-life of a thousand years.  There is no need to recharge it until the year 3015.”

“I know exactly what to do with this,”  I said.

“Call the Army and ask them to rescue us,”  VGRF said.  “Thank God!”

“Take some dope ass selfies in front of the zombies and post them all over the Internet,”  Bernie said.  “Shit, with publicity like that the Funky Hunks will be back in no time.  High five!”

I left him hanging.

“No,”  I said.  “I’m going to call…ZOMBIE AUTHORS!  As the owner of a magic bookshelf, I am beloved and revered throughout the literary world!  With AJ’s space phone, I can call the world’s foremost zombie experts, individuals with vast knowledge of the undead that they’ll be able to advise us on how to extricate ourselves from any zombie related situation!”

“I’m pretty sure we should call the Army,”  VGRF said.

“Perhaps you should call your charges back at Bookshelf Battle HQ,”  Alien Jones suggested.

He was right.  As caretaker of a magic bookshelf, it was my duty to make sure that the various characters who called my shelf home were ok.

I dialed my number.

“Woof?”

“Bookshelf Q. Battledog!  My noble Security Chief!  Is everyone ok?”

“Woof.  Woof woof.”

Bookshelf Q. Battledog

Bookshelf Q. Battledog

“Really?”

“Woof.”

“And the Yeti?”

“Woof.”

“Very well,”  I said.  “Keep the entire facility on lockdown.  No one is to enter or exit.  Be safe, noble hound.”

“Woof.”

I hanged up the phone.

“Well?”  VGRF asked.

“Battledog says the zombies have already made it to our neighborhood, but they’re no match for BQB HQ’s high fortress like walls.  The bookshelf characters are safe and ready to fight if necessary.  My nemesis, the Yeti, remains imprisoned in the basement.”

I was able to get a lot out of those “woofs.”

“We won’t be able to stay here indefinitely,”  Alien Jones said.  “Gather supplies and prepare bug-out bags should we need to leave in a hurry.”

“Yes,”  I said.  “And I know just who to call about that.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Journal – Intro – Part 4

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Part 1

“Now then, mein reality television stars, you’ve all become famous despite a lack of qualifications, credentials, and talent, is that correct?”

“Hold on Doc, Todd and I are both master plumbers…”

“I’ll take that as a no,”  Dr. Hugo said as he passed the mic to Vinny.

“Yo, does this mall have a spray on tan kiosk or what?  We’re gettin pasty ovah hea’!”shutterstock_173570732

“Strike two,”  Dr. Hugo said.

Jenna smacked a piece of gum in her mouth.

“I like to shop.”

“Undt strike three,”  Dr. Hugo said.  “Yes, the world loves its reality tv stars, so much so that people spend all of their time paying attention to these bores while men of science such as meinself are constantly ignored.  Be pretty and smile for the camera and you get rich undt famous but discover new and creative uses for teflon and the best you can get is a column on a blog with 3.5 readers.  No offense, BQB.”

“None taken.”

I was starting to think Dr. Hugo might be bitter.

“With one blast of mein new invention, these imbeciles will actually become productive members of society.”

“Just don’t blast me in the face,”  Jenna said.  “I never take a blast in the face.”

Vinny was all over that one.

“That’s not what guy on your sex tape said!  Ohhh!”

Rimshot.

“Yo doc,”  Vinny added.  “I was told we was gettin’ paid to show up here and play with your toy ray gun?”

“Something like that,”  Dr. Hugo replied.  “BEHOLD…THE AWESOME POWER OF THE REALITY TV STAR TRANSMOGRIFIER!”

The stars lined up and one by one, Dr. Hugo used his contraption to bathe them in a soft green light.

“How do you feel Ms. Simone?”

Still using her Barbie doll voice, Jenna said.  “Materialism.  ‘Tis a wanton mistress that bids you come hither and yet never fully satisfies you.  Thank you, good doctor, for showing me the folly of my ways, for I will now commit myself to the pursuit of knowledge.  From now on, my only interests will include books, PBS, NPR, Charlie Rose and….buh..”

Jenna didn’t look so good.  None of the stars did.

Flesh started dripping off the right side of Jenna’s once perfect face.

“Excuse me,”  she said.  “Yes, all I’m interested in now is knowledge and…

Her eyes turned a deep shade of yellow.

“BRAINS!!!!!”

The Streibcheks, the Stereotypical Italian New Jerseyians, everyone who’d been zapped with Dr. Hugo’s invention turned into hideous undead creatures.

“Lookout!”  VGRF said.  “Scumsucking bottomfeeders!”

“That’s kind of low isn’t it?”  I asked.  “I mean sure, they’re a bunch of do-nothing hacks but they’re just out for a buck like the rest of us.”

“No!  Zombies!”

“Holy Crap!”

Mayor Bramble was the slowest human on stage and alas, he was instantly ripped to shreds by the zombified reality stars.

“Dr. Hugo!”  I shouted.  “What have you done?”

“Woopsie!”  my mentor said.  “Looks like I accidentally turned the hydroflescent phalange a bit too far to the left.  Mein bad!”

“So what do we do now?”

Dr. Hugo reached into his lab coat, whipped out a metal stick, and unfolded it.  It was the two-jump pogo stick, the invention he used to revitalize global transportation by guaranteeing the user could get wherever he wanted to go in the world with two jumps.”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting zie fahrvergnügen out of here!  Good luck!”

The mad scientist jumped once and  his pogo stick took him straight up into the air and out through an open skylight.

The audience dispersed, running this way and that with their arms flailing in fear.

The zombies surrounded us.

Alien Jones stretched out his hands and projected a bubble-shaped force field all around us.

“RUN!”  commanded the Esteemed Brainy One.

VGRF, Bernie and I jumped off the stage and let our feet fly.

“Keep up!”  Alien Jones said.  “One touch of the bubble’s surface and you’ll be…”

A zombified Lil’ Schnookums hurled herself at the bubble and was instantly turned into a fine mist. Donnies A and B tried and were vaporized as well.  The others got wise and began grabbing and biting every human they could find.

“We must get you to shelter, BQB,”  Alien Jones said.  “Your writing career is all that prevents the landing of the Mighty Potentate’s shock troops on Earthly soil.”

“I know!  I know!  Do you have to remind me every five seconds?”

Soon, the feeding frenzy doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the zombie horde.

“BQB,”  Bernie said.  “Did you have a kid?  And is he like, magic and shit?”

I ignored my buddy.  We ran past one abandoned store after another watching helplessly as East Randomtonians were eviscerated.

Zombies kept hurling themselves at the bubble only to get misted.

“We must hurry,”  Alien Jones.

The bubble flickered.

“I only have the strength to retain this field a few minutes longer!”

“There!”  I shouted, pointing at the Price Town at the end of the hallway.  It was one of the last three stores still operational.

We ran and ran, vicious beasts hot on our heels.

As we closed in on the store, Alien Jones punched a button on his phone and the security gate began to close.

The gate drew further and further downward.  The force field flickered again, but this time it was gone.

We all slid under the gate just moments before it snapped to ground.  The hungry zombies threw themselves at the metal, trying to bust in and devour us.

“This is some low down crunk ass shit,”  Bernie said.

Alien Jones grabbed his head and passed out, his little green body hitting the floor with a thud.

“AJ?”  I asked.

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Journal – Intro – Part 3

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Part 1

“And now, the man of the hour, ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to Dr. Hugo Von Science!!!”

Everyone flipped out when Dr. Hugo stepped out on stage.  I know I was happy to see him.

Dr. Hugo Von Science

Dr. Hugo Von Science

As a distinguished Professor of Science at the Advanced Science Institute of Science University, Dr. Hugo was on the cutting edge of everything scientific.  Everyday, he was coming out with a new invention.

I once had the pleasure of being his student when I attended the Advance Science Institute.  The day my mentor handed me my Advanced Science Degree was one of the happiest days of my life.

Oh, yeah, besides when I met Video Game Rack Fighter, and I’m not just writing that because she’s one of this blog’s 3.5 readers.

I have to admit, I was honored when Dr. Hugo reached out to me earlier this year to ask if he could write a column on my blog entitled, “You Can’t Argue with Science.”

You really can’t, can you?

Dr. Hugo never went anywhere without his white lab coat and black-out goggles.  He spoke with a thick German accent.

The Mayor turned over the microphone.

“Guten Tag, mein leipshin!”

Applause.

“Mayhaps you remember me from mein wunderbar invention, teflon underpants!  Buy one and you’ll never need to wash another pair of undies again!”

He wasn’t lying.  Teflon underpants was a major breakthrough for the undergarment industry.

“And what about the Spolier Stratifier?”

Yes, Dr. Hugo also invented a special device you can wear that picks up on whenever someone is trying to ruin the plot of a TV show you haven’t watched yet and make it sound like they are just yodeling.  Countless marriages have been saved.

“Don’t forget the Beyonce-fier!”

The good doctor saved even more marriages through a special pair of glasses that caused all men to look at their wives as if they were Beyonce.  For the ladies, he issued a pair called “The Tatum-izer.”

“Don’t even get me started on the Super Collider Walnut Cracker!”

Dr. Hugo was the first man to harness the power of the super collider to hurl molecules at an unfathomable speed for the sole purpose of cracking walnuts.  It was a great achievement, though not a commercial success, since it was impossible to sell everyone a super collider.

“Undt now, Herrs undt Frauleins, I bring you my greatest invention yet, the Reality TV star transmogrifier!”

I overheard Alien Jones talking to his boss on the phone.

“Yes, Your Potentosity.  I am attending the demonstration now.”

“Mein leipshin, are you tired of your television being overrun with people who are famous for doing absolutely nothing?”

I know I was.  Alien Jones’ boss is so much so that he plans to take over the Earth if my writing career doesn’t motivate the masses to abandon reality tv altogether.

I’m doing my best, but you guys might want to get used to the idea of an alien overlord.

Dr. Hugo opened up a box and retrieved what appeared to be a laser blaster.  It was shiny, bright red and had all kinds of bells and whistles.

“Can we get the reality tv star test subjects up on stage?”

While we were waiting, Dr. Hugo walked up to me.

“BQB mein leipshin!  So nice to see you.”

“You too doctor.  How are things going at Science University?”

“Oh fine, just fine.  Well, there have been rumors that mein invention budget will be slashed in the next fiscal year but who am I to complain?”

“I’m sorry to hear that, Dr. Hugo.”

Despite his mad scientist appearance, Dr. Hugo always presented himself with a kind, courteous demeanor, but occasionally, a dark side poked through.

“As am I,”  Dr. Hugo replied.  “For now I will have to make them pay.  Nein, the whole world will now have to pay for disregarding mein genius for far too long!”

“Huh?”

“Oh nothing, nothing.”

The reality stars took to the stage.  There was Jenna Simone, the super foxy blonde whose main claim to fame was that she once slept with an NFL player.  A tape was leaked and based off that one encounter, she built a multi-million dollar empire that included a fashion line, a perfume, and her TV show, Just Jenna.

She wore all pink, carried Guillermo, a yippy purse dog that was even smaller than Bookshelf Q. Battledog, and raised up her oversized sunglasses just long enough to make a facial expression that indicated to everyone she was overwhelmingly bored being there.

“Mommy should fire her agent,” Jenna said to Guillermo.  “Yes she should.”

Next up were Bob and Todd Streibchek, a pair of grisly brothers/plumbers from the Bronx who rose to fame with their show, “Toilet Catastrophes.”

They were a crowd favorite too.

“People please,”  Bob said.  “Sure, you’re happy now, but what none of you realize is that inside each and every one of your homes is a porcelain death trap waiting to kill you if not calibrated properly.”

Toilet explosions.  People getting sucked into their toilets.  Alligators popping out of toilets and biting unsuspecting butts.  Bob and Todd had seen it all.

Last but not least, there was the cast of Stereotypical Italian New Jerseyians.  Donnie A.  Donnie B.  Vinny Stugotz.  Maria Dub Step and last but not least, Lil’ Schnookums.

Vinny grabbed the mic.

“What, a mad scientist wants to shoot me over hea’?  Fahgeddaboudit!”

“What’s that?”  Alien Jones asked into his phone.  “Vaporize them if the demonstration doesn’t work?  Oh Potent One, I don’t believe that would comply with Earth law.  What?  Yes, I know.  Yes.  You are the Mighty Potenate.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Journal – Intro – Part 2

PREVIOUSLY ON BQB’S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE SURVIVOR JOURNAL…

Part 1

“Oranges!  Get your oranges here!”

Oh great.  Bernie was taking advantage of the spectacle to sell his fruit.

Bernie

Bernie “MC Plotz” Plotznick, one half of the defunct rap duo, “The Funky Hunks.”

It’s not easy getting a brief taste of fame at a young age only to spend the rest of your life in the entertainment industry’s shadow.

I managed to move on from my Funky Hunk days by becoming the owner/proprietor of a book blog with 3.5 readers.  Bernie, on the other hand, was still living in the past, refusing to do anything with his life because he was certain a Funky Hunk resurgence was just around the corner.

In the meantime, he eeked out a meager existence by buying oranges from the supermarket and reselling them to people who felt sorry for him.

“Full of citrusy goodness and your daily requirement of vitamin c, folks!”

“Don’t make eye contact,”  I said to VGRF.

“What?”

Too late.

“BQB!”

Bernie gave me a big hug.

“What up dawg?”

“Hey Bernie.”

“How you been, man?  I hear you’re taking the Internet by storm now?”

“Well, I don’t want to brag, but I do run a WordPress blog with 3.5 readers.  How are you?”

“Me?”  Bernie asked.  “I’m hella tight, son.  Hella tight.  Been kickin’ some sick rhymes.”

“Good for you.”

“Yo, you gotta check this one out.”

“No,”  I said.  “It’s ok.  Maybe later.”

Bernie launched straight into a non-threatening Funky Hunks style rap.

Yo.  Yo yo.  2015.  Funky Hunks back on the scene.

Check it.

Homework!  It’s what you gotta do!

To gain lots of knowledge.

Make your parents happy too.

Everyone started staring at Bernie and not in a good way.

After you’re done,

Practice those ABC’s.

It’s all about killin’ the SAT’s!

“That’s great, Bern,”  I said.  “Really great.”

He kept going.

Algebra!  It seems really tough!

But it totally isn’t when you practice that stuff!”

“BERN!  I got it.”

“That’s the shit, right?  Is that the shit or is that the shit?”

“Oh, it’s shit alright.”

BQB, back in his Funky Hunk days, when he went by the moniker,

BQB, back in his Funky Hunk days, when he went by the moniker, “Read N. Plenty.”

There was a sore spot between Bernie and I.  Back in the day, our manager thought we should rap about sex, drugs and violence like all the other rappers were doing.  I was willing to do it for the money but Bernie refused to rap about anything non-wholesome.

Sometimes I’m mad at him for costing me a ton of cash.  Other times I’m glad he saved my soul because sex, drugs and money isn’t what I’m all about.  Well, the drugs and violence parts anyway.  The sex part?  As a big time nerd, life decided that’s not what I’m about for me.

“We need to get together and lay that down on a track,”  Bernie said.

“I’ll get back to you on that.  I’ve been busy.”

Bernie spied VGRF.

“Yeah, I see you’ve been gettin’ busy.  BQB I heard you was knockin’ boots with a fine ass she-nerd honey but DAYUM!”

VGRF looked at me as if to say, “What do I do?”

“He’s attempting to compliment you,”  I said.

“Oh.  Thank you?”

“No doubt,”  Bernie said.  “Say BQB, I ‘aint tryin’ seperate you from your duckets or nothin.'”

Video Game Rack Fighter

Video Game Rack Fighter

Here it comes.

“I worry about you man.  You need your strength.  You want an orange?”

“How much?”

“Five Washingtons.”

“Are you serious?”

“MC Plotz don’t play, sucka.”

I handed over a fiver and received an orange.  God, I felt sorry for that guy.

Some boring elevator music played over the speakers and an old man wearing a tweed jacket and a bowtie trudged up onto the stage and rested on his cane.

It was Mayor Philbert T. Bramble.  He’d been the leader of East Randomtown for as long as I could remember, not due to his political prowess, but because no one else wanted the job.  He’d been running unopposed forever.

“Good afternoon, East Randomtown!”  the Mayor said.  “What a lovely audience and…”

Mayor Bramble looked directly at me.

“Is that Bookshelf Q. Battler?”

I tried to hide behind VGRF and Bernie.  Alien Jones was busy checking messages on his phone.  It was a suped up, hyper charged alien phone, much more awesome than ours.

“Friends,”  Mayor Bramble said.  “In 1985, East Randomtown resident Doug Hauser got himself a thirty-second spot as a dope pusher on Miami Vice. As I watched that young man get the tar beaten out of him by Don Johnson, I thought to myself, ‘Never again will East Randomtown experience such greatness!'”

Sigh.  It was true.  I was a virtual unknown to the rest of the world, but in my hometown, I was known as “The Man Who Ousted the Miami Vice Extra.

It was a dubious honor.

The crowd started cheering.  “BQB!  BQB!  BQB!”

The Mayor continued.

“But then BQB came along and brought glory to our little burg by starting a blog with not one…not two…not even three…but THREE POINT FIVE READERS!”

Throughout the crowd there were utterances of “Wow” and “Oh my God!” and so on.

“Come on up here, BQB!”

“Uh,”  I mumbled from the crowd.  “I’d really rather not.  It’s Dr. Hugo’s big day and all..”

VGRF nudged me.  “Go ahead.”

“Yes.  You’ve earned it.”

What a supportive girlfriend.  Most women would demand a guy quit their bloggery by now but VGRF had always been there for me.

I headed for the stage.

“Bring your family with you!”

VGRF and Alien Jones, still icognito, tagged along.  Bernie invited himself.

As soon as I was on stage, the crowd went nuts.  A forty-something lady threw her blue denim stretch pants at me.  They landed right on my hand.  It was awkward.

“3.5 readers,”  Mayor Bramble said.  “How do you do it, son?  What’s your secret?”

The Mayor pointed the microphone at me.

“I’m just lucky I guess.”

He put his arm around me.

“Don’t be so modest.  These stories you tell about a magic bookshelf, a space alien, and a private detective and so on, you have quite an imagination to dream all that up.”

“Oh yeah,”  I said.  “None of that is real.”

Or is it?

“BQB, I’m so glad you came because this gives me the chance to announce a piece of important news.  Just yesterday, I signed papers ordering the East Randomtown Maintenance Department to knock down the statue of Doug Hauser in East Randomtown Park and replace it with a sculpture of your likeness!”

The crowd clapped.  One guy yelled “Doug Hauser sucks!”

“Oh no,”  I said.  “Please don’t do that, sir.  I don’t want to step on someone’s accomplishment.”

“Stop being so modest, my boy,” the Mayor said.  “Hauser is an old has-been.  You are this town’s future.”

Yeesh.  I felt sorry for the town then.

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Movie Review – No Escape (2015)

Hey 3.5.

Action.  Explosions.  Suspense and guess what?

Not a single dude in tights with a cape to be seen!

Hollywood surprises us with a winner with No Escape.

Be warned: there’s “no escaping” these spoilers.

Ha.  See what I did there?  That guy gets it.  Yes.  You sir.  Right there.  Thanks for reading.

The setup?  After his company goes belly up, Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) moves his wife, Annie (Lake Bell) and two young daughters to an unnamed Southeastern Asia country.  It borders Vietnam and I could probably figure it out if I felt like looking for a map but I really don’t.  Since it wasn’t named, I assume the movie producers weren’t looking to criticize any particular country anyway.

Before I go on, am I the only one who thought Annie was played by Idina Menzel of “Let it Go, Let it Go” fame?

The whole summer I’ve been seeing previews for this film and I’ve been like, “Huh.  Elsa’s flexing her acting chops.  Good for her.”

And throughout the whole movie, I was like, “Wow.  That ‘Let it Go’ chick is really letting an ass whooping go on these bad guys.”

But it wasn’t Idina Menzel.  It was Lake Bell.  But I swear they look alike, so much so that Idina Menzel will probably get an award for being in this movie that she wasn’t even in.

Plus, I have to be honest, I’ve never heard of Lake Bell before, so now I’m wondering how many times I’ve seen her in other stuff and assumed it was Idina Menzel.

Mind=blown.

Anyway, the Dwyers aren’t settled into their new digs for more than a few hours when rebels storm the city, overrun the police and military, and start rounding up and shooting Americans/Brits/Aussies, various others they’ve identified as foreign devils.

It’s up to Jack to save his family as the Dwyers manage to stay just a few steps away from being slaughtered throughout the entire film.

People who are used to Owen Wilson being that happy go lucky, laid back mellow dude will be surprised to see him in this role. He still is that “dude” but this movie asks us to consider all the terrible things we might do to save our families, from taking a drastic chance that they’ll survive being thrown across a large gap between rooftops  (note in real life they won’t) to beating a man to death who refuses to keep quiet.

It’s like Dupree but with killing.

You, Me and Dupree.  God that movie sucked.  Don’t even get me started on Drillbit Taylor.  All is forgiven though, Owen, you’ve really redeemed yourself with this one.

Pierce Brosnan rounds out the cast as Hammond, a British badass adventurer type who comes to the Dwyer’s aid.  He’s a bit mysterious but we’re alerted to his badassery early on when he informs Jack’s kids that he extracted the tiger tooth he’s wearing on a necklace from an actual tiger.

Reviewers have referred to this movie as “stressful” and it is.  The stakes are high.  We’ve seen a lot of super hero movies this summer with cartoonish violence.  I’m not knocking them.  I love them.  But when a movie focuses around whether a family with two little kids is going to make it or not, it becomes a lot more real than, say, whether or not Iron Man’s suit gets a dent in it.

Love the comic book movies, but it’s good to see that Hollywood hasn’t completely forgotten that action can happen to the non-caped as well.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Zombie and Zombie Authors Respond to #31ZombieAuthors

Happy Friday, 3.5.

Have you checked out the info for #31ZombieAuthors yet?

First, heres what the zombies had to say:

“Grrrr.  Arrrrgh!!!”

– Zombie randomly dressed like one of the Village people, making you wonder if his other three friends are ok.

“Ugh…..brains….BRAINS!”

– A zombie who apparently was delivering a pizza when he was bitten because he just carries a large pepperoni with extra cheese everywhere he goes now.

“Bahhhh….ack…reading your dumb blog turned me into a zombie…”

– Formerly one of the 3.5 readers

Everyone’s a critic.

What about the zombie authors?

I must say, the online indie/self-publishing community is awesome.

Here’s what I naturally assumed was going to happen:

BQB:  Hi!  I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, owner of a magic bookshelf and best friend of an alien.  Would you like to talk to me about zombies in October?

AUTHORS:  Security!!!!

And here’s what’s happened (and literally mostly in just the past day):

BQB: Hi! I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, owner of a magic bookshelf and best friend of an alien. Would you like to talk to me about zombies in October?

AUTHORS: Sure, what do you need?

Amazing.

And let me tell you, if all goes well, what a diverse group we’ve got lined up, 3.5 readers.

Authors just starting.  Authors who are old pros.  Romantic zombie authors.  Zombie survival authors.  Funny zombie authors.  It’s a veritable zombie-smorgasbord.

I’m not sure if any of them want me to put them out there just yet, but I’ll get a lineup out there eventually.

Dr. Hugo Von Science, Harbinger of the Zombie Apocalypse

Dr. Hugo Von Science, Harbinger of the Zombie Apocalypse

Also, I’m not at 31 yet and ideally, I’d like to get well above 31 because, you know, things happen.  Maybe an author changes his/her mind.  Maybe they become zombies themselves.  Maybe they have to tend to their own survivor groups.  Who knows?

So if you know a zombie author, please let them know.

Clarification

One question that comes up – does the author have to be available on a certain day in October?

Answer – No.  I’m hoping to get every author’s post finished by the end of September so everything’s ready to run in October.

It’s like you’re in a TV show!  You taped it earlier, but it doesn’t run until later!

A TV show with only 3.5 people watching.

Any Special Guests?

They’re all special.

Who Gets the Coveted Halloween End of Interview Series Post?

As I said above, they’re all special.  I was surprised any of them responded, because, I repeat, I’m a guy who claims to talk to aliens.

That being said, I received a yes from two personal heroes who have really inspired this nerd to clack away at the computer keys, so All Hallow’s Eve is all theirs.

I’ll hold off on the details until there’s an official Zombie Author Roster.

Isn’t this awesome?

It really is.  3.5, we’re going to be talking the some of the greatest minds in the zombie-sphere.  So many brains in one place.  Keep the zombies away.

So what’s next?

Here’s where it gets tricky.

To those just tuning in, I’m on a one post a day challenge.  One post on this blog every day for a year.

I’m thinking this zombie challenge really ups the game a bit.  I will have to redouble my efforts because at the end of the day, I want these 31 zombie authors and their fans (zombie and human alike) to be happy.

So, roll up my sleeves I will.  I have to make a spreadsheet just to keep track of all the authors and who I’ve asked what.

And zombie authors tuning in, the tough part will be coordinating my zombie apocalypse story with your interview.

I foresee each day will bring a new entry in BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal.

Day 1 will be longer because it’s the set up of how BQB, VGRF and Alien Jones get trapped in the East Randomtown Mall in the midst of a zombie horde and have to make their way home.

Each day, BQB will update the 3.5 readers with the latest action in the apocalypse and then pause for a Q and A with a zombie author.

Some of those q’s will be advice on zombie apocalypse survival.  That’s probably going to be depend on the individual authors.  Hopefully, some will play along.  Others I fear may just tell me that’s dumb, though hey, no one’s told me no yet so who knows.

What BQB asks will vary amongst the authors, so I’m going to have to do a lot of planning.

There will be questions about writing craft, self publishing, etc. which, ok, yes that’s silly.  BQB, evil undead creatures are trying to eat you, why are you talking about writing?

That’ll be one of those “please suspend your disbelief” moments, 3.5.

What are your questions?

Readers, something like this rarely happens, so don’t waste it.  What questions do you have for our zombie experts?

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#31ZombieAuthors – Revised FAQ

Hello 3.5 readers (and prospective zombie author participants).shutterstock_173570732

Wow, summer went by fast, didn’t it?

You might remember I proposed this idea in July and now September is rapidly approaching.

I’ve had some time to think about it, so if you’re a zombie author interested in helping Bookshelf Q. Battler and friends survive the zombie apocalypse this October, here are the revised details:

Q.  What’s this now?

A.  #31ZombieAuthors – (see hashtag on Twitter).  I’m recruiting thirty one zombie authors to participate.  There are thirty one days in October, so I’d like to interview one per day.  Ideally, I’d like to recruit MORE than thirty one in case someone isn’t able to participate as planned (life happens and all) and if that leads to more than thirty one interviews, that’s great.

Q.  And what is going to happen?

For thirty one days, Bookshelf Q. Battler (that’s me, I like to talk about myself in the third person) will write daily entries in his “Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal.”

The setup:

Bookshelf Q. Battler, his girlfriend Video Game Rack Fighter, and their alien buddy, Alien Jones aka the Esteemed Brainy One attend a scientific demonstration at the East Randomtown Mall (the shopping headquarters of our hero’s home town).

Alas, the demonstration is run by the mad scientist known as Dr. Hugo Von Science.  Some say he’s incompetent.  Others say he produces failed inventions for the purposes of spreading chaos.  On this blog, we just know him as our humble science correspondent.

Long story short, Dr. Hugo’s experiment goes awry, the crowd of gawkers are turned into zombies, and BQB, VGRF and AJ go on the run in a desperate month long quest for survival.

Here’s the first part of the story.

Q.  What do you want from me?

It’s going to vary from author to author, but I propose anywhere from three-five questions.  Maybe more or less but at any rate I’m not looking to be a burden on anyone’s time.

Some of the questions might be about zombie survival techniques.  For example, BQB might ask you, as a noted zombie expert (after all, you wrote a zombie book) a particular question about how to defeat the zombies or how to survive, etc.

Also, this is a blog where writing and self publishing is discussed, so BQB might discuss your craft as well.

This is all meant to be lighthearted and fun, non-intrusive, and I really want everyone to walk away feeling as though their time was well spent.

When your day in October comes up, it will be something like:

“BQB’S Survivor Journal, Day 10, Today I was so concerned about the zombie epidemic that I spoke to Fred Smith, Author of Zombie Book.”

Q.  I don’t know about this.

I don’t blame you.  I’m a grown man who claims to be the owner of a magic bookshelf as well as the best buddy of an alien.  Who wouldn’t kick the tires a bit on that scenario?

I get it.  You’re running your own self-published author business.  Your reputation is everything and you don’t want it being brought down.

Allow me to offer the following:

  • I’ll email you questions.  You write back with your responses.
  • If you don’t like the finished post, and we can’t figure out a way to fix it that’ll make you happy, it’ll just come down.  No problem.

Q.  This isn’t like a typical blog interview I’ve done.  Why all the interactivity?

I’m a big fan of Jimmy Fallon, who has successfully reinvented the stodgy, decades old late night talk show formula.

Remember Johnny Carson?  What would happen?  Some celebrity comes on, drones on and on about himself, Johnny pretends to be interested, Ed shouts out the occasional, “Ho, ho, ho, you are correct, sir!”

Jimmy plays games with his guests.  Scar Jo comes on, guesses what’s in the box Jimmy’s holding, they have fun, I enjoy watching it and I’m reminded Scar Jo has a new movie coming out.

That’s the gist of what I try to do here.

With Alien Jones’ “Ask the Alien” column, twenty-one authors have asked the alien a question, and received plugs for their books and blogs in his answer.

Here’s the list of authors who’ve participated in that so far.

Note that AJ has also given the “don’t like it, the post comes down” pledge and thus far, not one author has complained.  Typically, they even tweet out, reblog and otherwise promote their alien interaction.

Q.  I’m lost.  What’s your blog about?

Here it is in a nutshell:

  • I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler.  I own a magic bookshelf.  When I put a book on it, the book characters come to life.
  • My friend is Alien Jones, an intergalactic emissary sent by the despotic space dictator, “The Mighty Potentate,” to answer questions in a column on my blog to raise humanity’s intelligence levels and prevent the spread of reality tv throughout the universe.
  • My girlfriend is Video Game Rack Fighter.  We met while on a spiritual quest to consult the Great Guru about the meaning of life.
  • There are other ancillary characters who occasionally stop by, namely, The Yeti, Dr. Hugo, the ghost of my exceptionally grumpy uncle, just to name a few.
  • This blog is my chance to entertain my 3.5 readers.

Q.  3.5 readers?

It’s an ongoing joke.  I can’t lie and tell you this blog is conquering the world, but it has been growing steadily since its inception in 2014.  The gist of the joke is that as long as 3.5 people are reading, I’ll be motivated to keep writing.

Q.  Can you tell me your name?  I’d feel better about being interviewed.

A.  Sure.  My/BQB’s real name is Eduardo Ricardo Papageorgio Von Finkelstein.

Q.  No.  Your real name.

Oh!  You’re talking about nasty rumors that Bookshelf Q. Battler, Alien Jones, all of these characters aren’t real and that some random guy behind the scenes is pretending to be everyone.

Ridiculous!  Preposterous, I say!

In theory though, if that were true, a guy like that would probably prefer to keep himself on the down low, at least until his writing starts paying the bills, so as to not find himself being hauled into an HR meeting to explain why he claims to be best friends with an alien.

You’d be surprised how few people outside of BQB’s 3.5 readers have a sense of humor.

Q.  Thanks, but I’d rather not be involved.

I understand, kemo sabe.  I don’t want to harsh your mellow.  We’re all just fellow travelers on this spaceship called Earth so you be you and I’ll be me, man.  Far out.  Groovy.  You dig it?

Q.  This sounds awesome.  I’m in!

Huzzah!  I’ll be in touch with your questions!  Ideally, I’d like to get all 31 posts in the can by September 20 so it can all go off without a hitch once October rolls around.

And I’m still recruiting, so if you know any zombie authors, spread the word,

Q.  But I’m not a zombie.

Humans who write about zombies are acceptable, but if there is a zombie out there who has managed to write a book despite decaying hands and lack of a thought process, he’s welcome as long as he promises not to bite me.

I’m not sexist.  She-zombies also welcome.

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Happy National Dog Day

In honor of National Dog Day, I present this tribute to Bookshelf Q. Battledog:

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BQB’s ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE SURVIVOR’S JOURNAL – INTRO

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:

Hey everyone!  You might remember in July I put out a call to recruit authors of zombie books to participate in a fun month long event in October – “31 Zombie Authors.”  Each day, Bookshelf Q. Battler will present a new page in his Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal, featuring an interview with an author of a zombie book.

I haven’t forgotten you, zombie authors, and will be getting in touch with questions soon.  In the meantime, here is how I foresee the story beginning.

FYI if you’re a zombie author and you want in, please let me know.

WELCOME TO THE EAST RANDOMTOWN MALL

Thank you for choosing to do your shopping here, instead of that damn Internet, which we’re sure is totally just a fad that will die out any minute now.

Three stores are still open and we asked the manager of the pretzel stand to stop spitting into the batter.

Also, the police caught that weirdo who was stabbing people at random.

Enjoy your visit and please tell your friends we’re still open.

No, seriously.  Please tell them.  PLEASE!

It was a chilly fall Saturday afternoon.

I’d been stressed out lately.  Almost a year into a one post a day challenge on my website, “The Bookshelf Battle Blog,” and I was only at a mere 3.5 readers.

The bad news was that Aunt Gertie had given up on it, labeling it “too pedestrian.”  Everyone’s a critic.

The son I never had.

The son I never had.

The good news was that I gained a new reader to replace her, so it was a wash.

On top of reader recruitment woes, my attorney, Delilah K. Donnelly, had warned me that she was pretty sure that Jake Hatcher, my site’s Pop Culture Detective, wanted to pound my face flat for withholding the secret of his 60 year nap from him.

I needed a day off.

My girlfriend/video game correspondent, Video Game Rack Fighter, held my hand as we strolled past a whole row of empty stores, the steel gates yanked shut to prevent bums from turning them into makeshift condos.

“This place used to be jammed packed on Saturdays,”  I said.  “Bernie and I would grab a table at the food court and practice our beats all day long.”

Bernie Plotznick, my old East Randomtown High School buddy.  In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Bernie and I were a two-man rap duo known as, “The Funky Hunks.”  If you like good rap, you’ve never heard of us.  If you were a soccer mom around that time, you probably threw your blue denim stretch pants on our stage, as our non-threatening, goody two shoes style made us a hit with the over forty ladies’ circuit.

But I digress.

“I miss the arcade,”  VGRF said.  “My mom used to drive me and my sister here all the way from West Randomtown just to play.”

Randomtown began as a settlement in pre-USA colonial days.  Alas, a split came when Zebediah Weston accused Jericho Eastward of oggling his sister’s ankles.  War was declared, a bloodbath ensued, and the town was divided down the middle.

VGRF and I were from opposite sides of the tracks, but somehow we made it work.

“Pitiful humans,” came a low, baritone voice from my right side.  “Outsource your economy to the machines and eventually they take control.  This is exactly what happened to those dimwitted Moloklaxons, the…”

“We know, AJ,”  VGRF interrupted.  “The a-holes of the universe.”

“Exactly.”

Oh, if you’re just tuning in, I should inform you that the Mighty Potentate, the maniacal despotic overlord of a planet the name of which I’ve been repeatedly told is none of my business, has decreed that I am the chosen one.

Specifically, said all powerful being:

  • Is a big fan of fiction and scripted television
  • Was aghast when he discovered just how many reality television programs Earth has produced.
  • Fears that a day will come when Earthlings will learn how to broadcast this trash throughout the cosmos, thus turning other alien races stupid and replacing his beloved scripted programming with shows about models shopping for clothes.
  • Has dispatched his emissary, Alien Jones, aka “The Esteemed Brainy One,” a three foot tall green alien with almond shaped eyes and a bulbous head atop a skinny body, to help get my writing career off the ground by promoting my blog through an “Ask the Alien” column.

It’s a lot of pressure knowing that an extra-terrestrial dictator believes my fiction may one day prevent the dumbening of the entire universe.  I try not to think about it.

Alien Jones usually beamed his columns to my blog from his ship and only visited my home, the Bookshelf Battle Compound, on Thursdays for Scandal night.  It’s become a regular tradition.  He brings the dip.

Other than that, this was the first time we’d gone out in public together.

The little guy was in disguise. Earlier, he dug into a box of old clothing Aunt Gertie had saved from when I was a kid and put on my “East Randomtown Mascots” baseball cap, a striped shirt, a pair of corduroy pants, sneakers and a little beige zip up barracuda jacket. A scarf covered most of his face.

He also borrowed VGRF’s sunglasses to cover his out of this world peepers.  They were purple and girly, but Alien Jones doesn’t have any junk, so I don’t think he cared.

“AJ, are you sure it’s safe for you to be out here?”  I asked.  “I don’t want the government catching you and slicing you up or anything.”

“Fear not,”  AJ replied.  “If anyone asks, I am a typical Earth boy.  My interests include super heroes, sports teams, and amphibians with martial arts training.”

The Esteemed Brainy One barged his way between VGRF and myself and reached his three fingered hands up to grab ours.

“We are an average Earth family on a visit to the commerce emporium,”  Alien Jones said.  “Anyone who implies otherwise will be vaporized.”

The key to the Mighty Potentate’s rule was his vaporization technology, which he used to turn anyone who disappointed him in the slightest way into a fine mist.  As one of the MP’s trusted advisors, AJ was allowed to carry a vaporization pistol, though in any given week, the Mightiest of Potentates threatened to make AJ use it on himself unless his various missions were carried out.

My writing career was one of many MP mandated tasks AJ was juggling.  I felt for the guy.  He was swamped.

“AJ!”  I said.  “You didn’t bring your vaporizer with you did you?”

An old lady who’d been walking near us overheard me and ducked down in front of my alien.

“Vaporizer?  Oh no, what’s the matter?  Does this poor little guy have a cold?”

She reached under the scarf to pinch AJ’s cheek.  VGRF and I looked at each other, unsure what to do.

“He does feel a little clammy.”

The thing you have to understand is that Alien Jones’ normal speaking voice sounds more or less like that smooth ass soul singer Barry White.

That’s pretty cool…unless you’re supposed to be a kid.

“Unhand me hideous creature.”

The old woman stood up, shocked and in a panic, practically ready to have a heart attack.

VGRF swooped in with a save.

“He’s got a sore throat,”  she said.  “And possibly ADD.  We’re getting him tested.”

Befuddled, the lady walked away.  We carried on.

“You know if you’re supposed to be a kid you probably don’t want to sound like you’re going to break out in a love ballad,”  I said.

“Right,”  the alien replied, and then after shifting his voice lower to mimic that of a little kid’s, added, “How’s this, daddy?”

Here, I should point out there’s little Alien Jones can’t do.  Mind reading.  Voice changing.  You name it.

“Incredibly creepy,”  I said.  “And don’t call me daddy ever again.”

“AJ,”  VGRF said, “What could possibly be happening at this mall that was so important to drag us out here anyway?”

As we closed in on the food court, the Esteemed Brainy One relinquished my hand, and pointed toward a stage.

On it, a video monitor had been set up.

Displayed on it were the words:

Today only at one p.m.

Infamous Inventor Dr. Hugo Von Science Presents His Latest Achievement:

The Reality TV Star Transmogrifier!

My diminutive friend returned to his bass voice.

“The Mighty Potentate demands I purchase every one in stock.”

Copyright (c) BQB 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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Pop Culture Mini-Mysteries with Informant Zero – What is Mr. T’s Real Name?

Salutations 3.5 Readers,

Informant Zero

Informant Zero

Informant Zero here, reporting from my nondescript lair deep beneath the Anything Goes Club.

Through Attorney Donnelly, Bookshelf Q. Battler and I have reached an agreement.

Every Wednesday, I’ll post a Mini-Mystery, a short question about entertainment.

Doing so will allow Detective Hatcher to ramble off course from the questions BQB asks him but still get your inquiries about Hollywood answered.

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION

In the 1980’s, Mr. T was a big brawny fan favorite.  As BA Baracus, he was the A-Team’s muscle.  Sporting layers upon layers of gold jewelry, he became a cult icon and even had his own Saturday morning cartoon show.

As Clubber Lang, he delivered an upsetting defeat to Rocky Balboa in Rocky III.  Rocky learned the hard way that complacency is a surefire path toward defeat.

The mystery at hand?

What is Mr. T’s real name?

Tweet your answers to @bookshelfbattle or leave them in the comments below.  I will return next Wednesday to provide the answer and a new mystery.

So long, 3.5 readers and remember:

The truth is not as hidden as you might think.

Do you have a question about entertainment?  Whether it’s about Hollywood, celebrity gossip, TV, movies, books, music etc. drop a dime to @bookshelfbattle  

BQB might assign it to Jake or Informant Zero, depending on who’s available.

If you’ve got a book or blog, it will be plugged, subject to Attorney Donnelly’s approval.

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