Tag Archives: actors

Daily Discussion with BQB – Who Was the Best Batman?

A) Adam West

B) Michael Keaton

C) Val Kilmer

D) George Clooney

E) Christian Bale

F) Ben Affleck

Rank them in the comments as to who you think is best to worst.

BQB’s ranking:

Best Humorous Batman = Adam West

Best Overall Batman = Michael Keaton

Best Serious Batman = Christian Bale

Acceptable Batman = Val Kilmer

Worst Batman Ever and the Studio Should Have Never Let It Happen – George Clooney

Blah, I’m Indifferent to This Batman = Ben Affleck

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 40

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From his veranda, Al enjoyed a smoke as he took in the show going on below.

Mortimer twirled the end of his mustache with his fingers as he regaled the crowd.

“And so, our hero made his way to the villain’s lair…”

A contingent of actors pretending to be unruly henchmen surrounded Bill.

“Wild Bill Hickok!” they shouted in unison. “That is very unfair!”

Shots were exchanged. All blank rounds. Each actor took a turn dying on stage as Hickok emerged victorious.

Mortimer continued his narration. “Hickok made quick work of Burly Bob’s gang, a gaggle of miscreants who were so sleazy.”

Bill addressed the audience directly. “It didn’t take much. It was really quite easy.”

The audience hooted and hollered.

An actor wearing a plaid shirt stepped out from behind the curtain. A cheap, poorly made beard had been glued to his face. He hammed it up for the crowd, taunting them and shouting out insults.

The crowd booed, prompting the actor to grab his crotch and reply, “Ahh, I got your boo right here!”

“Now ladies and gents,” Mortimer said as he held up a rotten tomato. “At this degenerate, your trash you may lob, for this man is none other than the vile criminal, Burly Bob!”

Mortimer hucked his tomato at Bob’s face, causing an explosion of disgustingly sour juice. The crowd followed suit, hurling all manner of expired fruits and vegetables and even, much to the poor actor’s chagrin, a few road apples.

“Hey seriously,” the actor said as he threw up his hands. “No shit and no rocks. I’m not making enough money to have shit and rocks thrown at me!”

The narrator leaned in and whispered into the actor’s ear. “You’re breaking character, imbecile.”

“I don’t care, Morty,” the actor said. “I should not have to get hit with a…”

Wap! It wasn’t the biggest rock, but it was big enough to stop the actor mid-sentence. He clutched his forehead and winced in pain as he continued to be pelted with produce and poop.

Seeing that the actor had taken enough abuse, Bill got the audience’s attention by firing a blank round into the air.

“Burly Bob!” shouted Bill. “Your reign of terror is through!”

The actor rubbed his forehead. “Damn it. That’s going to leave a mark.”

Mortimer leaned in to the actor’s ear again. “You’re on, dummy.”

“Huh?” the actor asked.

“Ahem,” Bill said. “I said, ‘Burly Bob, your reign of terror is through!’”

The actor looked around then adopted a deeper voice. “Oh yeah, Wild Bill? Well, I’ll show you!”

“Burly Bob” drew, only to drop his pistol and clutch his chest as Bill fired a blank in his direction.

The crowd gasped.

“Oh!” the actor cried as he staggered about the stage. “Oh Wild Bill, why did I not see? You are a better marksman than I and now you have…”

The actor plopped down on the stage and reached a hand up in the air. “…bested me.”

Claps. Cheers.

But the actor wasn’t done. “Oh sweat death! I feel your cold hand on my shoulder, escorting me to the afterlife…”

“What are you doing?!” Mortimer whispered.

The actor’s soliloquy continued. “And as you drag me down to the fiery depths of hell, I cannot help but dwell on the vast collection of poor decisions I made that delivered me to this lowly state. Oh if only I could turn back the hands of time and be a better man, that I could embrace a clean life and set an example for others to follow…”

“Die already!” Mortimer whispered.

“Eat a dick, Morty,” the actor whispered back. “I’ve played second fiddle in this troupe for five years now and I’m going to get my fame one way or the other.”

The actor raised his voice. “But change can never occur for a damned man such as I, for my fate is sealed and my torment will be eternal…”

“Fred,” Morty whispered. “You either die right now or I’ll pick one of a dozen actors who will be willing to take direction for half of what I pay you, you pathetic hack.”

“Fine,” Fred whispered. And then louder, “Oh! Oh! Bill Hickok’s bullet has pierced my guts and I am now dead!”

Fred crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue.

“Yes,” Mortimer said. “Now little didst our hero know…”

Fred interrupted the narrator. “Ack! Stone cold dead am I…”

Mortimer lost it. “That’s enough!” he shouted as he kicked Fred in the ribs.

The narrator straightened his tie and pressed on. “Now little didst our hero know that a damsel in distress was waiting to be rescued…”

The curtains parted and what appeared to be a shapely maiden walked out. She wore a blonde wig and a veil covered her face.

“Fear not, ma’am,” Bill said. “Burly Bob has been subdued!”

Fred lifted his head up. “I’m so dead!”

“I don’t even give a shit now,” Mortimer said, breaking character. “You’re fired Fred.”

Bertha bounced up on stage. “Morty! Who is that? Is she someone new?”

Morty did a double take. “What?! Why my dear, I thought she was you!”

The veiled woman moseyed on over to Bill.

“Wild Bill,” Mortimer said. “Will you accept a kiss as a reward from this comely lass?”

Bill lifted up the veil to reveal the face of a man with an actual beard. It wasn’t just glued on. He batted his eyelashes and puckered up.

The gunslinger dropped the veil. “Ugh. No thanks. I think I will pass.”

Mortimer strolled to the center of the stage. “And…scene!”

The cast emerged on stage and joined hands as they bowed. Naturally, the most applause was reserved for Bill as he bowed.

When the cheers died down, Mortimer removed his hat. “Good people of Deadwood,” Mortimer said. “My hat I shall now pass around. Whether a shilling or a bill, with your generosity, you will astound. As you are aware, it is not simple to provide such merriment and mirth, so I pray you will fork over the cost of what you think this show is worth.”

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 39

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Glowing paper lanterns hanged from wires that had been strung between rooftops, lighting up the street below as townsfolk gathered around a rickety stage.

A juggler warmed up the crowd, tossing oranges into the air, catching each them before they hit the stage and sending them just as quickly back into the air.

Kapow! The crowd “oooed” and “ahhhed” as a single golden firework launched into the air and exploded, lighting up the night sky.

First came the drumbeat. Then the trombone. The clarinet. The flute. Processional music as a band led a colorful cast of characters through the crowd and up onto the stage.

A man in a top hat held his face as close as he could to a torch he was carrying without melting himself. His visage was smeared with white makeup, his lips coated with red lipstick, his eyes had been outlined ever so darkly.

“Hush!” the performer said. The crowd instantly obeyed, ceasing all gossip and revelry. Their eyes were transfixed on the show.

“Wandering thespians are we,” the performer said with a flourish. “The Vagabond Players, to be precise. For the entertainment of the gentry, our time upon the stage shall surely suffice.”

The performer paced about the stage, never taking his eyes off the audience. “Mortimer Snodgrass ’tis my name and tomfoolery is my trade. But the star of our show puts me to shame and leaves me feeling quite dismayed.”

Wild Bill stood calmly behind a curtain, waiting for his cue.

A buxom blonde with a beauty mark on her cheek strutted up to Mortimer. “Tell us who it is, dear Morty, before another second ticks off the clock…”

“My sweetest Bertha, it is none other than…”

The crowd went insane as Bill stepped out and fired his guns into the air.

“…Wild Bill Hickok!”

Bill took a bow and smiled. Moments later, the applause died down.

“William!” Mortimer cried. “‘What tale shall we recreate first?’ is the question I now…ask ya’”

The juggler returned and got his oranges in the air again. Hickok put bullets through all three pieces of fruit, spraying the players with citrus. The audience cheered.

Bill holstered his pistols, rested his hands on his belt, and then surveyed the crowd. “Howsabout the time I shot the worst fiend in Nebraska?”

Deep within the crowd, a drunk off her ass Jane was having quite a time.

“Bravo!”

Jane whistled and slapped her hands together. As she did so, she swilled whiskey out of the bottle she was holding all over everyone around her, but she didn’t care.

“Bravo, Bill!” Jane shouted. “Goddamn it you’re the best fucking actor I’ve ever seen!”

Jane took a pull and nudged a very sullen looking Charlie in the ribs.

“Isn’t Bill acting the shit out of this, Charlie?”

Charlie kept to himself. That only made Jane nudge harder.

“Well,” Jane asked. “What do you think?”

Finally, the businessman gave in. “I think there’s nothing sadder than seeing the greatest gunslinger who ever lived yucking it up like a clown for pocket change.”

Jane tossed Charlie a look that was indescribably vile.

“Goddamn, Charlie,” Jane said. “Anyone ever tell you that you’re the turd in the moonshine?”

“All the time,” Charlie replied.

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Charlize Theron Complains Pretty People Turned Down For Roles

Oh geez.  Charlize I love you but…I…I can’t even.

Don’t be too hard on her.  I think I kind of know what she was trying to say but…it’s not something someone who looks like her should say.

Yes, yes we live in a country where there is freedom of speech but…come on.

I believe she’s making the argument that people shouldn’t be assumed to be dumb just because they’re pretty and ergo should be considered for roles for smart people but…I literally can’t count the number of times I’ve seen movies where geniuses, scientists, doctors, lawyers etc. were played by people who look like they spent more time in the gym than at school.

Is it fair that smart pretty people (i.e. those who were lucky enough to have beauty AND brains) are believed to be dumb?

No.  But it’s about as fair as it is that I, as an ugly man, could invent a cure for cancer and people would still look at me like I belong living under a bridge.

Between being pretty and assumed dumb or being ugly and assumed a bridge troll, I’ll pick the former every time.

Being assumed to be a dumb pretty person is a problem I would love to have.  Sure, I will be briefly sad for 3.5 seconds that everyone thinks I’m dumb and then I will cheer myself up by hanging out with one of the ten zillion people who won’t stop calling me with requests to hang out because I’m so dang pretty.

Sigh.  And Charlize…I never thought you were dumb…until now.  Now I’m concerned.

Lots of articles popping up on social media.  Here’s one from wetpaint.com

EDIT: Oh God I made the mistake of reading more:

CHARLIZE: “How many roles are out there for the gorgeous, f—king gown-wearing, eight-foot model?”

Every role, Charlize.  Like practically every movie every made has a hot blonde chick in it.   Don’t worry.  I’m pretty sure you’ll be ok.

CHARLIZE: “When meaty roles come through, I’ve been in the room, and pretty people get turned away first.”

Slaps my forehead.  You won an Oscar for playing an ugly woman.  They had to ugly you up with make-up and prosthetics and shit.  Pretty people play pretty people and holy shit, pretty people even play ugly people because Hollywood is winking to the audience, “Don’t worry audience, this ugly character is really being played by a pretty person with ugly makeup on!”

OK.  I just have to stop or I’ll complain all day.

#OscarsSoPretty

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#OscarsSoPretty

Just a reminder that I will not be watching the Oscars this year as once again the Academy has made it clear that the hideous are not welcome in Hollywood.

Notable snubs:

  • Steve Buscemi
  • Ron Perlman
  • John C. Reilly
  • Sandra Bernhard
  • Seth Rogen
  • Luis Guzman
  • Gary Busey

And the list goes on.

Ugly actors and actresses are tired of being typecast as hobgoblins, villains, trolls living under bridges, and the quirky friend that the leads in rom coms stand next to so they can look hotter.

We’re here.  We’re hideous.  Get used to it.  No longer will we shield our faces with the oppressive paper bags of society.  We will let our ugliness fly.

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BQB’s Oscar 2016 Predictions

BEST ACTOR

NOMINEES:

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Matt Damon – The Martian

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

WHO WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

WHO SHOULD WIN: Leonard DiCaprio.  He’s young and still has plenty of time to win an Oscar ahead of him, but he also started his career young and has been working on Oscar worthy pictures for what seems like forever now.

Bryan Cranston is great and his Breaking Bad shot to super stardom late in life is a great Little Engine That Could story.  We all feel time’s hand on our shoulders, reminding us that we’re not here forever and if there’s something we want to do, we’d better do it.  Thus, we love Cranston because he reminds us its still always possible.  BUT – no one saw Trumbo.

Matt Damon was great but he’s already got an Oscar.  Even if its for screenwriting and he’d like one for acting, precedence should go to the guy who doesn’t have one yet, i.e. Leo.

Michael Fassbender – He’s great.  I didn’t see Steve Jobs but…how many Steve Jobs movies   have there been now?  He’ll have his chance.

Eddie Redmayne – I didn’t see the Danish Girl but…he won last year.

BEST ACTRESS 

I’m going to skip this one because I didn’t see any of the movies they were nominated for. I’ll just go with fan favorite Jennifer Lawrence for Joy until I get around to seeing the others’ movies.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Mark Rylance – The Bridge of Spies

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

WHO WILL WIN AND WHO SHOULD WIN – Sylvester Stallone for Creed. He’s 70 years old. His Rocky movies have been fan favorites since the 1970’s, entertaining one generation after the next.  They’re all pretty much have the same message – life’s attempts to knock you down are unavoidable.  It’s not about whether or not you’ll get knocked down because you will.  It’s about whether you get up and keep going or lie down for the count that matters.

The original Rocky won best picture and Stallone’s been big in the movie business for years, though mostly as an action hero and we all know what the Academy thinks about action.  Its now or never and the Academy will reward him here.

Plus, I’ve seen Creed and given Rocky’s still the same old Rocky as always, its still not a bad movie.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Totally not intentional, but I don’t know much about the movies and/or performances by the supporting actresses either.

I’m going to root for Jennifer Jason Leigh for Hateful Eight as we haven’t seen her in anything for awhile, but she was great back in the day.  I want to see Hateful Eight but haven’t gotten around to it.  She looks great in the previews though.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

I’ll go with Inside Out because I didn’t see the others and it was good.  Did anyone see Peanuts?  Was it any good? I’m surprised that one didn’t get a nomination.

BEST DIRECTOR

I’m going to go with George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road.  His original Mad Max films are sci-fi classics and he pretty much invented the post-apocalyptic genre.  All these movies and TV shows about people wandering around in drab, post-society wastelands are thanks to him.  (Or, maybe thanks for giving us depression about the future, as the case may be.)

Plus, it couldn’t have been easy directing all those people in leather speedos jumping around willy nilly.

Which brings me to…

BEST PICTURE

NOMINEES

The Big Short – Haven’t seen it.

Bridge of Spies – Saw it.

Brooklyn – Haven’t seen it.

Mad Max: Fury Road – Saw it.

The Martian – Saw it.

The Revenant – Saw it.

Room – Haven’t seen it.

Spotlight – Haven’t seen it.

WHICH MOVIE WILL WIN – The smart money seems to be on Spotlight, a film about the Boston Globe investigative journalism team that uncovered child abuse allegations in the Boston area Catholic Church, which had major ramifications worldwide.  Critics seem to like it and it casts light on how journalists are the last resort to protect the public when government and social institutions fail.

If the Revenant won, I would not be surprised.  I liked it and it did have the feel of an Oscar winner.

WHICH MOVIE SHOULD WIN – Mad Max, Mad Max, and Mad Max.  I went into it thinking, “Oh boy, Hollywood’s cashing in on a remake of an old movie yet again.”  But it was so much more than that.  Messages about the future, how people interact with one another, mans’ primal instincts, women standing up for themselves (it’s called Mad Max but he’s pretty much Furiosa’s sidekick in this movie).

Great writing in that the story is told in many parts where no words are even spoken.  Amazing action, stunningly awesome special effects – a really great visually pleasing movie that overcomes a drab desert landscape.

But it won’t win.  It won’t win because the Oscars have always been to boost movies that Hollywood makes to get a message across or discuss a difficult subject.  Spotlight might be great but more people lined up on Saturday nights in December to watch lightsabers get swung around in Star Wars.  Not as many people lined up to watch actors pretend to be journalists in the middle of discussions as to how expose priests for wrongdoing.  (Not that that wasn’t important, but if we’re talking about what entertains people on a Saturday night…)

In other words, big blockbuster movies already got their reward in the form of a payday.  Lesser known but important message movies need the nominations and awards to get publicity so more people will see them and the studios make their money back so they can keep making less popular important message films.

That, and its action.  And sci-fi.  Action movies and sci-fi movies don’t get Oscars.  At least not for best picture.  They’ll never let something so comic book-ish win.  They’ll worry it will open the floodgates for every damn Avengers movie to sweep the Oscars in the future.  They can’t have that.

I could see some of these other movies and change my mind but IMO, of the ones I saw, Mad Max was the best, and not just on action but in story as well.

The Martian was also great.  If that won, I wouldn’t mind but hey, it was nominated.

Let that be an inspiration for you, 3.5 self publishing readers.

 

 

 

 

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Movie Review: Spectre (2015)

The name’s Battler.  Bookshelf Q. Battler.

And I’d like this review to be shaken, not stirred.

Aww who cares, only 3.5 people are going to read it anyway.

BQB here with a review of the latest James Bond movie, Spectre.

At the outset, let me just say this:

  1.  It wasn’t as good as Skyfall, but that’s only because Skyfall set the bar so high.
  2. But that being said, it was still pretty damn good.  A lot better than that Quantum of Solace nonsense.

I love James Bond.  Bond is the man every man wants to be.  I’d love to be able to charm the pants off of any woman I meet, beat the crap out of all my enemies and still make it to cocktail hour on time in a nice suit.

Sadly, that only happens in the movies.  Bond is so suave he can even charm top secret info out of hot enemy babes.  Meanwhile, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one day I’ll get a woman to make a sandwich for me.  Damn it Bond, you probably get all the sandwiches you want, don’t you, you bastard?

Anyhoo – OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING.

It hasn’t been easy for Bond in the post-9/11 world.  Since that fateful day, as well as after various tragedies since, people have been a lot more aware of the fact that illicit intercontinental activities can bring about grave repercussions.

Suddenly, the white cat stroking caricature Bond used to face just doesn’t cut it anymore, not when we’re fully aware there are real monsters in the world.

Casino Royale got the message.  It was lost in Quantum of Solace, which involved a plot to steal water.  Sorry Bond, but we’re done with outlandish, cartoonish plots.

Skyfall gave the series a reboot, giving Bond a team of compatriots to work with – a new Q, a new Moneypenny, a new M, new colleagues all around.  And this is the first film where we get to see them all shine.

The plot?  Bond must infiltrate the evil underground organization known as Spectre and take it down.  Its operated by a sinister ne’er-do-well aptly played by Christoph Waltz.  Waltz provides a great performance – never too emotional, speaking matter of faculty about significantly evil doings.

Wrestler David Bautista STEALS the show.  It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a good Bond henchman.  I’m not talking about the main villain but a lackey, a number two, a guy who does the villain’s dirty work.  Oddjob is the last one I remember.

Bautista hunts Bond and even though your inner voice reminds you that it is Bond’s movie so of course he can’t die, this guy leaves you thinking Bond might just end up drinking that shaken martini in the sky.

He doesn’t.  Don’t worry.  I don’t think that’s a spoiler.  You all know Bond lives at the end of these things, right?  That’s why they’ve made so many of these movies.

Ralph Fiennes, having replaced Judi Dench as Bond’s boss, M, is at the helm in this movie.  You end up feeling for the guy.  He’s plagued by red tape and bureaucracy.  He has to chew Bond out for ignoring protocol and generating bad press, even though its obvious he understands that Bond’s unorthodox methods have saved the world from ruin time and time again.

It sucks to be management.

One criticism is that there is a whole scene where the villain spills the beans to Bond as to how his whole sinister operation works.  I kind of thought these movies were pushing to get past those tropes but oh well, you have to have some, right?

Oh and I should point out, the villain does have a white cat, but he doesn’t stroke it.  Progress.

STATUS:  Shelf worthy.  Worth seeing in the theater due to great stunts, fights, car chases, special effects.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Informant Zero (Part 2)

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES…

Part 1

AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…

The Anything Goes Club.  Armand wasn’t kidding.

I’d never seen such a disgusting display in all my life.

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“How is it possible that I’ve been scraping the fungus off of LA’s seedy underbelly for years and this is the first I’ve heard of this place?”

“We hide ourselves well, sir,”  Armand said.  “We cater to all manner of, interests, and our more famous clients appreciate our…discretion.”

Indeed, there were a number of celebrities in our midst.  Lucky for them, I was new to this time period and while I recognized many of them from seeing them in passing on Ms. Tsang’s television, I didn’t know any of them by name.

I was fairly certain one of the gals slathering herself up in the jello fighting pit was the same skirt who pointed to prizes and smiled on Ms. Tsang’s favorite game show.

And that guy who was tripping out and dancing on the pool table? He looked a lot like the actor who plays the father on that sitcom Ms. Tsang always watches.

You know.  The one where the wife and kids do everything right and never make a mistake and they all have to suffer through the constant incompetence of the family’s idiotic paternal figure?

Yeah.  I know.  That describes every sitcom so it’s hard to narrow it down.

Ms. Donnelly was a bit more hip than I was.

“Is that NAME REDACTED playing the banjo in his underwear?”

“Sure is,”  the bartender said.  “That son of a bitch sure can wail.”.

“Ms. Donnelly, I wonder if we might move this along?”

“Of course,”  she said as she turned to Armand.  “I was told it would be possible to meet with Informant Zero?”

Armand’s beady eyes lit up.

“Informant Zero?”  the butler asked.

“Yes, Informant Zero,”  Delilah repeated.

Armand looked at the bar keep.

“Informant Zero.”

The barkeep nodded and rang a loud dinner bell.

He then shouted, “INFORMANT ZERO!”

Across the room, there was a DJ wearing a furry gorilla costume, though he didn’t wear the mask.

Abruptly, he shut his turntables down, cutting off the music entirely.

“INFORMANT ZERO!” the DJ announced through his microphone.

All of a sudden, in a room full of sickos, Delilah and I were the ones being stared at.

A man with a ripped six-pac road over on one of those two wheeled Segways.  He wore a cowboy hat and a pair of leather pants.

Segway.  What an interesting machine.  I wanted one myself.

“Who seeks Informant Zero?”  the cowboy asked.

“These two seek Informant Zero,”  Armand answered.

I recognized the cowboy from somewhere else, but couldn’t put a finger on it.  In a room full of twisted behavior, a man who was just pretending to be a Southerner didn’t seem so bad.

The cowboy chewed on a toothpick for a bit, giving us the once over.  Then he had a question.

“What is the slope of the rope?”

It was a test.  I was stumped, but when Ms. Donnelly reached for her cheat sheet, I realized her contact must have prepared her for this.

She raised a finger in the air and read from the paper ever so triumphantly:

“It is equally proportionate to the angle of the dangle!”

I love it when Delilah gets tricked into talking dirty.

The cowboy looked at Armand.  Our butler nodded.  The cowboy wheeled away toward the back of the room.

“This way.”

We followed but he was going fast on that thing.  It was hard to keep up.

Suddenly, I noticed the cowboy was weirder than I had originally surmised.  From behind, I noticed he wasn’t wearing leather pants at all.

He was wearing assless chaps.

“What have I seen you in, buster?”  I asked.

“Nothing,”  the cowpoke said, keeping his face forward, refusing to look at me.

“You in show biz?”

“That’s none of your biz.”

“I do believe he’s NAME REDACTED,”  Ms. Donnelly whispered to me.

“THE GUY THAT PLAYS ROLE IN SUPERHERO MOVIE REDACTED?!”

Oops.  I was less than discrete.

The cowpoke wheeled around and leered at us.

“You know,” he said.  “You non-famous people have no idea what kind of pressure I’m under.”

“I’m sorry pal,”  I said.  “Forget it.”

“No,” the cowboy said as he scooted his scooter so he could get in my face.  He leaned over the handlebars and I found myself leaning backward just to give him some room.

“Sure.  You all look at me on the big screen in my costume and think, ‘Now there’s a guy with a great life.  But you don’t know what’s involved to keep my career going.”

He leaned back and got out of my personal space.

“Everyday I wake up at 5 am.  I run for miles, do sit ups, crunches, squats, pecs, lats, delts.  I work out until dusk and ALL I ever get to eat is a bag of baby spinach and three almonds.”

Delilah hanged back, realizing we were in for it for awhile.  I’d unleashed a monster and was now doubling as his impromptu therapist.

“That’s actually in my contract!  My lawyer and the studio banged out a deal that specifically states I can only eat three almonds a day or risk losing everything.”

Delilah couldn’t resist.

“You should have hired me, Mr. REDACTED.  I’d of gotten you five.”

“Whatever,” the cowboy replied.  “All I’m saying is when I work as hard as I do and provide as much joy to the world as I do, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for me to be allowed to hang out in a private club during my free time and dress up like a cowboy while a pair Czechoslovakian dwarves slather me with cottage cheese and read me the collective works of Ayn Rand.”

I repeated the phrase that I found myself saying a lot in response to this new world.

“What the?!”

“Oh,”  the cowboy said as his face turned red.  “What are you, one of those uptight right wing jerk-holes who thinks that everyone who suffers from Curdoslovakiandwarvishrandism should be swept under the rug and denied their basic civil rights?!”

I had no idea how to respond to that.

“Well guess what, pal?!  I’m here!  I love it when small people from Eastern Europe smear me with spoiled dairy products while they read me tales of an alternative dystopian future, SO GET USED TO IT!”

“OK buster, take it easy.”

“You have no idea how I’ve suffered because of an affliction I can’t control!  It’s not my fault, you know!”

Delilah’s intervention was welcome.

“Pardon us,”  Delilah said to NAME REDACTED.  

She pulled me away and confronted me.

“Mr. Hatcher, you’ve committed a very serious social faux pas.”

“I have?”

“Yes.  You mocked his condition.”

“Condition?”  I asked.  “That’s a real thing?”

“Every thing is considered a real thing now,”  Delilah said.  “No matter what bizarre fetish a person has, society expects you to listen politely and nod as the individual explains to you why this nontraditional interest is the cause of all problems in his or her life.”

“So I can’t just tell him to man up and knock that shit off?”

“Certainly not,”  Delilah said.  “Especially not if you don’t want Mr. Battler to have an anti-Bookshelf Battle campaign launched against him on Twitter demanding that he fire you.”

“This is going to be hard for me,”  I said.  “My generation was too busy fighting a global onslaught of evil to worry about being slathered up with, by, Jesus, I lost track of what this guy has.”

We returned to our guide.

“Sorry fella,”  I said.  “I didn’t know you had it so bad.”

The cowboy nodded and extended his hand.

“That’s big of you to admit you were wrong.”

I looked at his hand, then at Ms. Donnelly.  Her look convinced me I had no choice but to shake it.

The cowboy did a 180 degree turn and led on.  I wiped my hand on my trench coat.  Was that rude?  Sorry.  I didn’t know where his hand had been.

Probably on a Czechoslovakian dwarf.

For legal purposes, Delilah tells me I have to say there’s nothing wrong with that.

Copyright (c) 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries!!!

A brand new episode of Pop Culture Mysteries starts tomorrow…

“Hmm…my powers of deduction lead me to believe this dame croaked from boredom. Probably didn’t read enough of the Bookshelf Battle Blog, see?”

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Blog Private Eye, has agreed to solve 100 pop culture mysteries and submit his findings right here on bookshelfbattle.com

Need to refresh your memory?  Better check out the previous episodes, see?

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Enter the Blond

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Case File #001 – Here’s a Story (Question Answered – What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses aka Mike’s first wife and Carol’s first husband?)

Who better to solve a mystery than Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled film noir style detective who fell asleep in his office above an LA Chinese restaurant in 1955, woke up in 2014, and spent a year trying to figure out what happened before Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Attorney, the delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly, offered him the chance to make 500 smackers?  (That’s a lot of dough in 1955, see?)

Do you have a question about popular culture?  Is there a plot hole in your favorite TV show or movie you’d like explained?  Is there a celebrity meltdown you’d like to know more about?  An entertainment myth you want debunked?

Put Hatcher on the case!

SUBMIT YOUR POP CULTURE MYSTERY QUESTIONS TO:

TWITTER –  @bookshelfbattle    #popculturemysteries

BQB’s Google Plus Page

Or just drop it in the comments here.

Hell, if you can get past her constant complaining, Liddie Laurent will even explain how you can read Pop Culture Mysteries on Wattpad.

Together, we can help Hatcher solve 100 mysteries and go back to his own time with a big bag of five dollar bills, which he will use to live like a king.

Tomorrow’s Pop Culture Mystery:  Han or Greedo – who shot first?

Man investigating murder victim image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Special Guest Book Reviewer Frank Underwood

Bookshelf Battlers, I’m pleased to announce that Frank Underwood, Fictional President of the United States in the House of Cards world, has agreed to be a guest book reviewer today.  I interviewed him earlier this week to get his thoughts on the timeless children’s classic, Green Eggs and Ham, by the incomparable Dr. Seus.  Here is the transcript of that interview:

FRANK UNDERWOOD (LOOKS DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA):  As they say in my hometown of Gaffney,

Planning to read and review the House of Cards novel by Michael Dobbs soon.  Until then, enjoy Frank's review of Green Eggs and Ham.

Planning to read and review the House of Cards novel by Michael Dobbs soon. Until then, enjoy Frank’s review of Green Eggs and Ham.

South Carolina, if you’re going to do something, do it big.  So why on earth would I ever allow myself to be featured on a book blog that only has 3.5 people reading it?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Mr.  President, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  (TO ME)  No problem, sir.  Why frankly, book blogs such as yours contribute to this great nation’s literacy and educational efforts.  (TO CAMERA)  They have another saying in Gaffney. Time is money and my time?  It’s very valuable.  For allowing my precious moments to circle round and round the drain of eternity only to be swallowed by the sewer of oblivion, I’ll have this wannabe writer dispatched posthaste.  It will look like an accident and the world will be none the wiser.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Mr. President, who are you talking to?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  What?  Oh, no one in particular. I just like to break the fourth wall from time to time.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  So  – Green Eggs and Ham.  What did you think?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  To try new things or to stay with the same old same old is the raisone d’etre of this childish farce from a man who, between you and me, had very questionable doctor’s credentials.  I don’t believe I ever saw him perform a single surgery.   However, his credentials as a bona fide scribe are without question.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Did you learn any lessons you’d like to share with my 3.5 readers?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  Why, I’m glad you asked.  People should open their minds.  To remain steadfast to old, worn out traditions  is to become irrelevant. I’m all about trying new things. My wife Claire and I try new things all the time…  (TO CAMERA) – …usually with Meechum.

(UNDERWOOD’S PHONE RINGS.  BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER was able to obtain a transcript of the following exchange between the President and the First Lady.  A sawbuck to Doug Stamper may or may not have been involved)

CLAIRE:  Frank, how is the interview going?  Are you informing bookshelfbattle.com’s 3.5 readers about why they need to read The Lorax?

FRANK:  I’m sorry, dear.  I changed it to Green Eggs and Ham at the last minute.

CLAIRE:  But we talked about this!  We agreed that a review of The Lorax would be more conducive to my non-profit environmental efforts!

FRANK:  The Lorax is an unwashed hippie, Claire.  Running around, talking gibberish, trying to shut down corporations that keep the working man employed.  I’m sorry Claire, but association with the Lorax is a no go.  Joey the Dog’s reluctant yet eventually compliant spirit of can do enthusiasm is exactly what my presidency needs.

CLAIRE:  Reluctant yet eventually compliant…

FRANK:  I know.  Sounds like the night we spent with Meechum.

(FRANK hangs up the phone)

FRANK:  Where were we?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Discussing Green Eggs and Ham.

FRANK:  Ahh yes.  Now sir, philosophers may disagree about the socioeconomic strategies vis a vis green food products but I for one…

(My phone rings)

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  I’m sorry, Mr. President.  Hold that thought.  Hello?

CLAIRE:  Bookshelf Q. Battler, this is the first lady.  You need to tank Frank’s review of Green Eggs and Ham, but never let it be known I had anything to do with it.  You need to put up a review of The Lorax in its place.

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  Um.  OK then.

(I hang up my phone).

FRANK:  (TO THE CAMERA)  Kept waiting by a wordpress wonder.  The indignity.  (TO ME) Now then, if we could discuss Sam I Am’s place in the literary world, I think we’ll find that…

(My phone rings again)

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  Mr. President, I’m so sorry.  One moment.  Hello?

REMY DANTON:  Mr. Battler.  Remy Danton, big time Washington lobbyist here.  We need to talk.  Listen, cancel Underwood’s review of Green Eggs and Ham.  What the American people really want is a review of The Cat in the Hat.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  You think so?

REMY DANTON:  I know so.  A magical cat whisks a pair of children into a fantasy filled with wonder and make-believe.  Your 3.5 regular readers will find that much more enjoyable.  For Christ Sake’s, you might even get yourself on Reddit.  That’s the big time for book bloggers.

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  I’ll think about it.

(I hang up.  My phone rings again)

FRANK:  Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just looking through some files while I wait.  (TO CAMERA) And also plotting as to which dumpster your bloated corpse will find itself in.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Hello?

RAYMOND TUSK:  Hello, Mr. Battler.  This is Raymond Tusk, a highly influential rich man who bears a striking resemblance to Major Dad.  Listen, Frank Underwood is trying to shove Green Eggs and Ham down your throat and Remy Danton is trying to stick the Cat in the Hat up your you know what.  Ignore both those losers and offer your readers a review of Horton Hears a Who.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Why?

RAYMOND TUSK:  Son, trying new things is overrated.  Do you know why eggs turn green?  Mold.  Eggs turn green when they are moldy.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever eaten a moldy egg?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  No.

RAYMOND TUSK:  Of course not.  And do you know why?

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  No.

RAYMOND TUSK:  Because you don’t need to shove a pile of mold in your mouth in order to realize it would taste awful.  Some things that are new to you should never be experienced because you already have a built-in sense that certain things are better left untried.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Makes sense.

(I hang up)

FRANK:  (TO CAMERA)  As they say in Gaffney, sometimes you need to stick your hand up a book blogger’s posterior and work him like a puppet.  (TO ME)  Level with me son.  You’ve got my wife demanding that you review The Lorax. I know you’d never do that because you’re smart enough to realize that no one cares what that walrus mustached clown has to say.

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  OK.

FRANK:  That two-bit hack Remy Danton wants you to review The Cat in the Hat.  Imagine.  A six foot tall anthropomorphic feline waltzes right into a home uninvited and proceeds to encourage the unattended children to engage in all sorts of tomfoolery.  Why, the fish is the only voice of reason in the entire publication.  Where on earth were the children’s parents amidst all of this foolishness?  I’ve a good mind to call social services.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  I have always sided with the fish.  Except for one book I wrote and tried to turn into a movie.

FRANK:  And Horton Hears a Who?  An elephant who believes he talks to tiny people.  That book is absolute madness and has no business offending your 3.5 readers’ eyes.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Agreed.  Green Eggs and Ham it is.

FRANK:  Delightful.  Now, how are you getting home?  Do you need a car?  Scratch that.  You should just take the train…

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Ummm….I’m fine.  I think I’ll just walk.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Joey the Dog is the actual name of the guy that Sam I Am tries to feed green eggs and ham to.  I had to look it up.

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