Twas the Night Before the Dawn of the Dead

Twas the Night Before the Dawn of the Dead

What is it about the living dead?

When George Romero created Night of the Living Dead (and accidentally forgot to copyright the film, thus making the original print in the public domain), he was making a subversive statement about our society in the late 60s.

At least that’s what historians write.

I think it was just the beginnings of a terrifying genre of horror film.

Personally, as I’ve written before, I used to have terrible nightmares based on the Dawn of the Dead film by George Romero. Suffice to say that all the nightmares revolve around me being safe somewhere until some idiot lets in a horde of zombies that outnumber me and…well…they try to eat me.

I’ve figured out the cause of the nightmares; too many things going on in my life. Upon waking, I generally set about ‘eliminating’ tasks and soon..POOF!…no more nightmares.

I write all this to tell you that I’ve been having fun with zombies lately.

Zombie Bride by Abi PostI have purchased from the talented artist and graphic designer, Abi Post, a painting of a Zombie Bride (it was between that and the Zombie Nude (see below), but couldn’t figure out where I would hang a painting like that…dangit. Love the toe tag and wrist band!). Plus, I helped build the site for her. MUCH fun!

Then today, I discover my girlfriend’s oldest son has been having zombie movie marathons at a friend’s house. Well… Resident Evil movie marathon’s, anyway. Not really zombie movies, but fun. Who DOESN’T like seeing Milla Jovavich kick some mutant dead? Hmm?

I told him I was a big fan and he asked me which ones he should watch.

Which brings me to the point of this blog…finally.

ERIC’S TOP 10 ZOMBIE MOVIES (plus some)

A quick run down and brief description of the movies in order I would suggest watching. You know? To get the full FEEL of the genre. And like a good film, break it up with a bit of humor and different tone from time to time.

At the end, I will mention a few other things for my zombie lovin’ friends and fellow graphic designers! (Hmmm….they’re ALL graphic designers now that I think about it. Weird.)

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

As described above, the granddaddy of them all. New audiences may find it a bit lame compared to the effects and gore of today’s films, but you just have to remember about what people had been exposed to at the time.

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

10 years past before the sequel was made. Tom Savini makes his zombie makin’ debut with this film. You might recognize him in many other movies as well. Additionally, this movie takes place in a shopping mall. And we all know, if it’s the end of the world, there would be NO better place than the free run of an entire shopping mall!

3. Day of the Dead (1985)

The last of the ‘Dead’ trilogy (at the time). This one is more bleak, taking place in an underground army bunker. However, the coolest character in the movie is Bub. Bub is dead. Well, undead. And a really ‘smart’ scientist is trying to teach him to be domesticated. Sprinkle in a handful of mindless army goons and you’ve got all the ingredients for your hidey hole to soon be an open buffet.

4. Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Written by the recently deceased author, Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Total Recall, and two Heavy Metal segments), this will give marathon viewers a breather with some much needed humor. Bonus: the origin of why the common belief is held that zombies crave ‘brainzzzzzzz.’

5. Night of the Living Dead (1990)

While I like the original version better, we get a little better effects, but generally the exact same plot and dialogue. Things seem a little out of time, but going through the remakes of Romero’s films will keep the zombie enthusiast ever evolving with the genre. You MAY decide to skip this film, but be SURE to catch number 6 on the list. BONUS: Tony Todd (The Candyman) in one of his early films.

6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

By far an excellent entry, AND quiet frankly a disturbing change in zombie behavior: running. While running zombies was sort of alluded to in another movie of this time (see #9 below), the fact that you couldn’t simply run from zombies anymore really freaked me out. Anyone else out there? Regardless, this film by Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) is a MUST see in the zombie genre. Don’t plan on sleeping tonight. And watch all the credits to remind yourself, “There ARE no happy endings when zombies are involved.”

7. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

A comedic masterpiece. One I proudly have in my collection and have watched a dozen times. The dozens of subtle jokes can only be caught with repeated viewings. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright co-wrote the movie. Pegg (Scotty on the new Star Trek) is Shaun, an average guy with an obnoxious best friend, girl trouble, and a propensity for hanging out at a local pub called the Winchester. A whole day goes by before Shaun and his friends even know something is amiss and the dead walk the streets of London. BONUS: Bill Nighy as Shaun’s step-dad.

8. 28 Days Later

While not actually a zombie movie, it injects the genre with a new twist: rage. Directed by the amazing Danny Boyle, we find poor Jim (played by Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Dark Night, Red Eye)) waking up in a hospital completely alone in the city of London. When he finally finds someone in a pile of bodies in a church, he realizes something terrible has occurred. Here, again, are the fast moving ‘dead’ who are really people filled with a super virus that brings out rage in people and chimps, apparently. Again, while not a zombie movie, it set the tone for Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, in my humble opinion.

9. Fido (2006)

Time again for a short comedic break with this independent film starring the incredibly talented Carrie Ann Moss (Trinity from the Matrix), Billy Connelly, and Dylan Baker. It’s a world where the clothing and family life from the 50s and 60s thrive and the zombies have been domesticated with shock collars to keep them from feeding on people. Instead, they handle shopping carts, simple chores and even act as pets. They also make great company and beat out any ole collie a boy might own. A MUST see.

10. Zombieland (2009)

Why DOES Romero take zombies so seriously? While not available for home viewing yet, this film set a new standard for the ‘buddy movie’ meets ‘zombie’ genres. Did I mention Woody Harrelson is one of the stars? I can see this film having a sequel or more. Zombieland is like a video game where you figure out ways to get rid of the walking dead. If you missed it in theaters, be sure to get the dvd or blu-ray. Oh…and don’t forget to have some Purell handy.

PLUS SOME MORE

There are a few more to mention in the genre OR they are part of the heritage that has been created. I make a note of what MUST be seen, and what you can pass on if you just don’t have the time.

Day of the Dead (2008)

Okay. Really. You could skip this one. While it’s based on Romero’s Day of the Dead, I didn’t even know it existed. In fact, I think I caught part of it on a Sci-Fi Saturday night movie once and didn’t even realize what it was. Actually, it may have been direct to video. It’s a Steve Miner (House, Lake Placid) film starring Mena Suvari and, strangely Ving Rhymes who was in number 6 above in a completely different role. 4 out of 10 stars on IMDB. Just checked, and you can watch it on ‘Instant Play’ on Netflix.

Land of the Dead (2005)

Not a bad movie. However, it introduces some new ideas about zombie that I just don’t believe belong in the genre. Romero did pull off getting Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo in the film. And don’t forget Asia Argento! Rowr! Um. Oh yeah…Walled City. Rich people vs. Poor. And the new idea? That zombies just want a home to go to. Like…they migrate. BONUSES: Water doesn’t really stop a zombie AND Simon Pegg and Edger Wright cameo as the “Photobooth zombies.” Not in my top 10, but definitely worth a viewing.

Diary of the Dead (2008)

Zombies meet Cloverfield. Nuff said. Okay. I’ll say more. Shot on a video camera throughout most of the film, it does have some humorous twists. While ‘filming’ a zombie film, a group of film students discover zombies are really out to get them. Some of the same ends are met in ‘real’ life as would have happened if they had made their film. Romero wrote and directed this film. IMDB gives it 6 out of 10. Rumor mill has it that a prequel is in development for Night of the Living Dead: Origins in 3D (esplatter.com).

28 Weeks Later (2007)

This was a cool follow up to Danny Boyle’s original film. A great cast too. Six months after the virus hit, the United States is helping secure England bit by bit. Unfortunately, things go awry. SURPRISE. Again, not a zombie movie, in my opinion, but if you watched the first movie, you owe it to yourself to see this one.

Re-Animator (1985)

We go a little retro here, but this is a cult classic. Based on the creepy H.P. Lovecraft story, a college student is obsessed with re-animating dead tissue. Humor and gore abound. Jeffrey Combs, a sci-fi favorite, heads the cast and shows up in the sequels (still being made!)

Planet Terror (2007)

Part of the Grindhouse films if Robert Rodriquiz’ Planet Terror. The film was designed to look like a “B” movie with choppy cuts, mis-spliced film and over the top effects. Things go from bad to worse as gas is released and people die only to come back to life with a craving for flesh. But the humans in Planet Terror won’t go down without a fight. Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriquez, Josh Brolin, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Bruce Willis and Naveen Andrews all star.

ERIC HASN’T SEEN, BUT I’VE HEARD THESE ARE ALSO GREAT…

Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992)

One of Peter Jackson’s (King Kong, Lord of the Rings) early films. From IMDB: A young man’s mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Zombie by Lucio Fulci (1979)

Apparently this movie has quite a following. There are MANY clips online for viewing and a gross movie poster. From IMDB: Strangers looking for a woman’s father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Versus (2002)

This Japanese film popped up on SEVERAL other ‘Top 10’ lists I came across. I can’t tell you much about it, but on IMDB, one of the characters is listed as “Yakuza zombie in alligator-skin coat.” HOW COOL IS THAT? A MUST see, I’m thinkin.’

LAST BONUS FILM

Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D (1991)

Remember me mentioning that George Romero didn’t copyright the first prints of Night of the Living Dead? Well, James Riffel, decided to wipe the soundtrack clean and add his own dialog over the film. Plus a few well placed intermissions. What results seems really stupid, but after awhile you can’t help but laugh. Especially when Barbara is exploring the old farm house and Riffel adds in an unexpected sound of a duck quacking. Barbara wheels around and the new voice over says, “uh…uh…was that a …d…d…duck?” Hmmm. Have a few drinks before you start watching, or start the movie very very very late.

___

That’s all I’ve got for now. Please chime in on your favorites, or if I missed something glaring. And, no, as much as I’d liked to add it in, Army of Darkness doesn’t count. Even if they are and army of the undead. Where’s my boomstick?

Okay….you can watch it.  =)

Cool Zombie Santa by Phillip Blackman. If you’re late sending out Christmas Cards, he’s got the perfect “LATE” card to send out! Buy them now!

 

Zombie Nude (morgue escapee) by Abi Post

The Single Guy: Man Eater

The Single Guy: Man Eater

- 7 min read -

singleguylogoSo there I was… dangling upside-down strapped in the front seat of a Jeep on my first safari, which, obviously, had gone very wrong. My suspicions were correct about the guide being drunk when he picked me up. Luckily I had not been and made sure to put my seatbelt on.

Oh, it was lovely riding along the plains seeing antelope and wildebeest galloping away as we approached. But when a herd of zebras bolted right towards us from a tree-line, the guide had mumbled something about, “You’re in for a rare treat. There is a predator nearby that has spooked them.”

Unfortunately, when he swerved to miss a zebra, he flipped and rolled the jeep.

Minutes later, and quite stunned, I could see the lioness approaching. She was circling the jeep. Even though I wasn’t hurt badly, I still had a cut on my forehead that was bleeding badly and dripping onto the ground. I was unable to unlatch the seatbelt and don’t know what I would have done if I had.

I remained perfectly still as the lioness came right up to me, growled, licked the blood on my face and said….

“Mmmm…I could just eat you up.”

—–

Okay, really, I was at my office with several co-workers and “Aggressive Girl” had shown up without notice. Considering she made this comment in my place of work I might have named her “Inappropriate Girl,” but the first name stuck.

“I tried to call you for lunch, where were you? Not two-timing me were you?” she purred.

“Oh no. I just went to the gym. Remember, I’m going three days a week now.”

She walked up closer, grabbed my ever-shrinking gut, and said, “Mmmmm….don’t work out too much. I like to have something to hang onto.” (See? “Inappropriate Girl!”)

My co-workers scattered, holding their laughter.

Now, ladies, don’t get me wrong. We guys LOVE aggressive women. We even love being ‘claimed’ in public. But something about blatant sexuality can freak people out. Personally, I just don’t like making others uncomfortable.

Living in the Bible belt, that sort of thing isn’t discussed, except on message boards and in chat rooms. DEFINITELY NOT OUT LOUD! We all know we do it, we just don’t talk about it.

And sometimes, it really helps for the woman to be aggressive since the 80s and 90s really reversed rolls with men and women. The 70s showed men always taking advantage of women and what women really wanted was sensitive men who they could talk to all night. So, today, you find men taking a lot of time to express sensitivity and love to get sex, and women exuding sex and power to get love. It’s a weird cycle, in my opinion. It’s sure to turn again.

Back to “Aggressive Girl” and a short story of our last date.

All this talk in public was really okay, except for the fact that we had never done anything. There were always mixed signals. Greens and reds flashed constantly. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a relationship, but there were hints that at least the night was going to be fun.

smileyI arrived at her apartment, following the latest fashion trends in men’s magazines. I gave myself a little confidence boost with black silk boxers with smiley faces on them. If there’s a chance at sex,  it’s always best to have a woman point at your undies and laugh than just point and laugh.

She was stunning when I opened the door, wearing a low-cut gold shimmering blouse, short tight black leather skirt, stiletto gold heels, dark hair piled up high, and an intoxicating scent.

She pulled me in, pushed me against the door and we voraciously devoured each other. She tore my shirt open, whipped off my belt, clawed me like a lioness as she worked her way up to my neck. I pulled her close and she purred in my ear, “I can’t wait to have your babies.”

My mind reeled. The world tilted. My blood pressure (and stuff) dropped. ‘What did she just say??? She didn’t just say ‘have my babies,’ did she?’

But she had.

I grabbed this goddess by the shoulders and moved her away from me. I pulled the old, “It’s not you, it’s me,” card and shortly ended the date.

There’s a saying, “Men want a lady in public and a freak in the bedroom.” And there IS the women’s version, “…a gentleman about town and a savage in bed.”

Personally, how great to have fun, great conversation, and experiencing new things with someone, and go back for a night of pure hedonism. I think that strikes a balance in life.

Yes or yes?

 

singleguy_maneater

 


© 2009-2019 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Veil

Placing a parent in a retirement home is one of the hardest things a child has to do in life. But, it’s much harder for Rebecca – and stranger.

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Doorknobs

Some doors you can’t even find. This short story that opens the way for other times and dimensions – or at least to a field in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

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Fifty-Three

Today is January 20, 2019.Yesterday, I turned fifty-three years of age.Level 53.  It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post. I’ve worked on some stories, however, over the past year and hope to start sharing again soon. I’ve also worked on my business, spent...

read more

Sponsor Creativity

If you’ve enjoyed anything on my site, please feel free to donate what you can. In turn, I’ll continue to add content and encourage others to live a creative life! Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time. If you feel like reaching out, please do so. I'm easy to find.

The Single Guy: The Garbage Man

The Single Guy: The Garbage Man

- 7 min read -

singleguylogoSo there I was… huddled down behind a barrel as a gunman stalked the streets shooting anyone that moved. While he was busy shooting, I leapt from my hiding place, raced into a building, and slammed the door behind me, hoping for protection from the madman.

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! The gunman fired at the door.

“I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE!”

I dove behind some furniture, peeked out through the window, and saw him approaching the door with the butt of his gun raised high.

BAM! BAM! BAM! He beat the gun against the door.

“What the hell are you doing in there? You got some kind of commercial business to generate all this trash!”

Okay…really I was hiding behind some furniture, but not from a gunman. I was hiding from my deranged angry rural garbage man.

You see, he had some sort of issue when I put out more than two cans of garbage. As soon as he pulled up with his truck, he’d jump out, and start cursing. This was the second time he had come to the door and I stayed hidden.

What he didn’t understand was my mother had passed away a few years earlier, and I had all her stuff stored in my garage. This included the unsorted accumulation of history from great-grandparents to that of me and my siblings.

That night, I was a little braver.

I was sitting at dinner with the stunningly beautiful and sexy “Cosmo Girl” and had hit it off well in person after weeks of online and phone conversation. She was even laughing at my worst jokes.

The conversation was smooth and flowing like the drinks. Have you ever noticed there is a tipping point in drinking? Besides the drinking and getting sick part, I mean the part where you become either; very funny, very horny, or very sad.

For the record, I was funny.

But “Cosmo Girl” got very sad. Her conversation had drifted off into all these stories about wrong decisions, missed opportunities, and failed relationships.

On the drive home, she dropped a bombshell on me.

“I really like you and enjoyed the night, but I don’t think it will work out. Nothing has for me lately and I’d rather stay friends and keep you in my life than screw it up and lose you,” she said, weeping.

I walked her to the door, gave her a hug, and watched her go inside. As I turned to go back to my car, I realized we all have garbage to deal with. Not just physical, but emotional. And sometimes, we just don’t have room in our ‘truck’ to deal with someone else’s garbage.

So how do you deal with your garbage and help people with theirs?

You have to go through it all, of course. Box by box. Experience by experience. Day by day. Soon, you’ll have a space cleared out in your garage and in your heart.

It might take a long time, or maybe it will only take a few months. It depends on how long you’ve been piling things up.

When it comes to getting rid of the garbage of an old relationship, a good rule is one year for every five you were with someone. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a great relationship right away, but you’ll still have a lot of garbage to clear out.

You don’t have to do it alone, either. Find people who have already cleared the clutter.

The next week, I had a HUGE pile of garbage.

This time, when the garbage man hopped out of his truck, fumes coming out of his ears, and stomping his way to my door, I simply stepped outside, handed him a cold bottle of soda, and said, “MAN! You look hot. Here’s a soda,” he looked at me confused.

“I’m SO sorry I’ve been generating so much trash. I’m trying to clear out all this stuff my mom left me when she passed away. Is there anything I can do to make this easier? Hire someone to make a big run?”

He looked at me for a moment, cracked the soda open, took a swig and said as his whole demeanor changed, “Oh don’t worry about it. Maybe if you can spread it out over a couple of weeks, if you don’t mind. Sometimes I’ve got to make more trips ‘cause of all the other people on the route,” he turned away looking at the pile of trash, “Sorry to hear about your mom.”

“Garbage Guy” always waved “Hi” after that and I never had to hide behind the couch again. I counted my blessings that I only had garbage from my past and not an entire route of other people’s garbage.

garbageman_lead


© 2009-2019 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Veil

Placing a parent in a retirement home is one of the hardest things a child has to do in life. But, it’s much harder for Rebecca – and stranger.

read more

Doorknobs

Some doors you can’t even find. This short story that opens the way for other times and dimensions – or at least to a field in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

read more

Fifty-Three

Today is January 20, 2019.Yesterday, I turned fifty-three years of age.Level 53.  It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post. I’ve worked on some stories, however, over the past year and hope to start sharing again soon. I’ve also worked on my business, spent...

read more

Sponsor Creativity

If you’ve enjoyed anything on my site, please feel free to donate what you can. In turn, I’ll continue to add content and encourage others to live a creative life! Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time. If you feel like reaching out, please do so. I'm easy to find.

The Single Guy: The Pet Cemetery

The Single Guy: The Pet Cemetery

- 8 min read -

singleguylogoSo there I was… out in the middle of a field in the dead of night holding a shovel with a corpse laying next to me. The full moon hung low in the sky, nearly blotted out by the thick fog that also obscured the nearest trees.

There was just enough light to see the ground as well as the branches of the trees that were creaking and moaning against each other from the very slight breeze that had just picked up. I took a deep breathe as I shrugged off the feeling of dread and lifted up my shovel, planting it hard into the ground.

Instantly, the howl of a hound within a few dozen feet of me made me leap away, crouch down and take up a defensive position next to the corpse. The deep growling sound of something big, ready to attack, slowly growing closer. It’s paws padding ever nearer in the grass and dirt. It’s breath quick and steady.

No. Really.

But let me tell you how I got into this position.

Upon entering the “Single Life,” I rented a house with “The Roomie” and adopted a dog named Nomad. It was a nice sized place. It was out in the sticks a bit where I could comfortably blast music and walk around au’ natural in the back yard as long as “The Roomie” wasn’t around.

Not that I did. But I could have!

One night, after getting in REALLY late after having fun with friends and crashing hard asleep, I got a phone call. I barely knew what world I was in, or even who I was. I’d been asleep for less than an hour. Delirious. Somehow, unable to focus enough to even see who was calling me, I mumbled, “Hel-urghmf?”

“Dude,” The Roomie said. “Nomad got hit. He’s laying in the road next to the trash cans. I would have pulled him out of the way, but I was running late for the early shift at work. Better pick him off the road before it gets messy.”

I sat up slowly. Nomad dead?

I was not only delirious, I was in a nightmare. I loved that freakin’ dog. He was always happy when I pulled up, would race me to the edge of the property in the mornings, and spin in crazy circles when getting a treat. He was a mutt, but favored a small golden retriever. And, man, could he climb! I’d often look in the fields around my house and see him up on top of a stack of hay bales. I let out a big sigh and threw on some clothes and headed out to the street.

It was nearly 4:00 in the morning.

Like I said before, the moon was setting, a fog filled the fields, but I wasn’t scared, just….sad.

As I shuffled to the street, I saw Nomad laying on his side near the trash cans.

‘Why had he gotten in the trash cans?’ He had been hit hard enough to knock his collar off too. Luckily, there wasn’t much blood. I dragged him off the road, and knelt down to pet him the way he used to like. His fur seemed more coarse in death, somehow. Maybe it was the stiffness of his body. I wasn’t sure.

I decided I would bury him in the backyard, so I headed to the garage to find the shovel. I was a bad owner. I hadn’t even played with him all week. Just a quick pat on the head and off I went to work or play.

Why is it that we so often forget to take every moment we have and enjoy it and the people around us?

Why don’t we stop what we are doing, quit focusing on ourselves and see what is right in front of us? Of course, dogs tend to be happy to see you no matter if you left their sight eight hours previously, or simply a minute earlier.

I swore right there that I wouldn’t continue making the same mistake. That when I thought of friends, I would call or write just to let them know I was thinking of them.

Who knows what the next moment will bring?

So there I was…

out in the middle of a field in the dead of night. The deep growling sound of a hound ready to attack slowly growing closer.

My heart was beating like a sledgehammer. The whole surreal scene was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

The footsteps grew closer as I tightened my grip on the shovel, holding it like a spear ready to thrust at whatever was about to attack. The moon began to sink as the first rays of light began to illuminate what lay before me. The quick breathing turned to the sound of sniffing.

Out of the fog strutted….Nomad.

Nomad, who was so happy to see me, walked up and started licking my completely, and utterly stunned face. I dropped the shovel and started petting him like crazy. He looked at me with a questioning sideways head tilt, then looked over to the corpse and back at me with the expression, ‘Who the hell is that, dad?’

“I have NO idea, Nomad,” I stood up and glanced down at the poor traffic victim and realized, with a clearer head and a little more light, that this dog was bigger and darker than Nomad. With much coarser fur.

Later, I sat on my back patio (with clothes on, thank you), stared across the back yard to the newly dug grave, petted Nomad who lay next to me sleeping, and watched the sun rise over the fields. I enjoyed every moment.

singleguycemetery_lead


© 2009 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Veil

Placing a parent in a retirement home is one of the hardest things a child has to do in life. But, it’s much harder for Rebecca – and stranger.

read more

Doorknobs

Some doors you can’t even find. This short story that opens the way for other times and dimensions – or at least to a field in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

read more

Fifty-Three

Today is January 20, 2019.Yesterday, I turned fifty-three years of age.Level 53.  It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post. I’ve worked on some stories, however, over the past year and hope to start sharing again soon. I’ve also worked on my business, spent...

read more

Sponsor Creativity

If you’ve enjoyed anything on my site, please feel free to donate what you can. In turn, I’ll continue to add content and encourage others to live a creative life! Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time. If you feel like reaching out, please do so. I'm easy to find.

The Single Guy: The Wolf

The Single Guy: The Wolf

- 9 min read -

singleguylogoSo there I was…my ankle broken and trapped in metal jaws designed to catch a bear. I had stumbled into it while trying to take a leak in the middle of the night while camping alone in the Ozark mountains. After screaming my lungs out for help, struggling to open the trap, I started hearing something crashing through the woods that let out a loud roar.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I shouted, “A BEAR!?”

I realized there was only one way to escape in order to get back to my tent to get the gun to protect me from the bear. I pulled off my shirt, tied it tight around my lower leg and pulled out my bowie knife from it’s sheath.

The bear was getting closer now. I could hear it crashing through the bushes, just past the line of trees where my tent was set up.

I aimed carefully and raised the blade high and gathered all my strength to make a single blow that cut through skin and bone and free me from the trap before the bear appeared.

But I was too late. Suddenly, the bear broke through the underbrush, rushed across to my prone position, raised up on it’s back legs and let out a horrible roar.

“I said, I’m going to use the restroom and be right back. I’ve got a perforated bladder and can’t go long without peeing,” the woman standing in front of me announced a bit too loudly.

Okay, really, I was on a date at a coffee shop with “Gloom Girl.” But I now knew what it felt like for a wolf to gnaw it’s own paw off to escape when trapped.

There are rare times in people’s lives when everything is so bad that you can’t find one happy spot in it. Just that ‘one thing’ to be grateful for.

My coffee date with “Gloom Girl” was one of those events where I could physically feel the energy being drained from my soul. No matter what subject was brought up, it was followed by negativity, anger and sadness.

I pride myself on helping others help themselves. I love cheering people up when they are down. I thrill at giving optimism where there is only fear.

But as the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Sometimes people need to wallow for a bit. I do. But I usually sequester myself and don’t inflict my Eeyore attitude on others.

No, this coffee date had already heard nearly 40 minutes of how bad her job was (and she worked for her dad from her own home), how much trouble her kids were, how bad the traffic in town was, how bad television shows were, how bad the COFFEE WAS, fer cryin’ out loud.

I tried to broach other topics. Movies? “Don’t ever get out to see them and don’t have time to watch them at home.” Okay.

I treaded gingerly on the next topic. Religion?

This began a long tirade of how the church she went to weekly was so bad. How hypocritical members were. How she and her family were not treated well. How ALL religious people should suffer. The strange thing was, that I found myself defending a few churches and religions I wasn’t even a fan of!

I could not find ONE SINGLE happy topic. Not flowers. Not weather. Not food. Not life! I had tried to ask about gratitude for any area and that had started a whole new line of complaining.

As soon as she entered the bathroom, I whipped out my cell phone, and texted one of my best female friends, “Diamond Girl,” a single word: hellfire. She would laugh and know things weren’t going well.

While “Gloom Girl” took care of her bladder problem, I refueled my coffee and glanced at the clock. I had made the mistake of saying I had the entire afternoon free before we had met and was regretting that I hadn’t said I had a time limit.

Who knew it would be this bad?

Sitting back down at the table and staring out the window, I thought to myself even though I was single at the moment, I was damn lucky to have my friends, family and health. I mean…REALLY lucky. That when I drove down the road, the traffic didn’t bother me. That I COULD stop and smell the roses even when my wallet was thin and a can of coke was a luxury I couldn’t afford for the day.

How do people get to the point where they can’t see one good thing in life? And the only thing I could think of was ‘fear.’ That by hating everything you never want for anything. And never wanting and trying for something, you never fail at achieving your dreams.

How often had I failed? And how many times had I succeeded? More often than failing, I can assure you.

Maybe I had something to change the topic to after all.

“Gloom Girl” returned and before she could begin telling me about whatever tragedy may have befallen her in the ladies room, I asked her a question.

“So, what’s something you’ve always wanted to do and haven’t tried yet?”

A quizzical look came across her face as if she didn’t understand the question. Her eyes started to dart around as if sifting through her memory for some lost dream. She began fidgeting in her seat. A gleam came to her eyes as you see in a small child hears the words “Santa Claus.”

But just as fast as it had appeared, it was gone. And with it, the simple comment of, “I’ve pretty much done everything I wanted to do. Most of it disappointing.”

I slumped back in my chair defeated.

“Have you seen the price of gas lately? I swear….” her voice droned on as the café door opened and a woman carrying a small child walked in and made a bee-line towards our table. She stopped next to my coffee date who was suddenly, blissfully silent. “Gloom Girl” looked up at the woman standing there. I shifted in my seat.

The woman finally spoke in a low threatening voice, “What the hell are you doing here with my husband?” The woman looked at me with fire in her eyes and said simply in heated hushed tones, “You need to come home NOW.”

“Gloom Girl” shot a look of panic at me as I grabbed my things and simply mouthed, “Sorry.”

Once outside, I breathed a sigh of relief, turned to “Diamond Girl” and her son and said,  “Thank God for friends!”

“And the hellfire maneuver,” she replied grinning from ear to ear.

Maybe you think I was cruel. But maybe I gave her one thing to be thankful for. She didn’t get involved with a married man or get her butt whooped.

Right?

singleguy_wolf


© 2009 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Veil

Placing a parent in a retirement home is one of the hardest things a child has to do in life. But, it’s much harder for Rebecca – and stranger.

read more

Doorknobs

Some doors you can’t even find. This short story that opens the way for other times and dimensions – or at least to a field in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

read more

Fifty-Three

Today is January 20, 2019.Yesterday, I turned fifty-three years of age.Level 53.  It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post. I’ve worked on some stories, however, over the past year and hope to start sharing again soon. I’ve also worked on my business, spent...

read more

Sponsor Creativity

If you’ve enjoyed anything on my site, please feel free to donate what you can. In turn, I’ll continue to add content and encourage others to live a creative life! Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time. If you feel like reaching out, please do so. I'm easy to find.

The Single Guy: The Beginning

The Single Guy: The Beginning

- 8 min read -

singleguylogoSo there I was…sitting at a café in Paris, sipping my espresso, marveling at the surrounding ancient architecture, and basking in the rays of the setting sun against the picturesque landscape surrounding me.
“Comment êtes-vous aujourd’hui, monsieur?
” the svelt dark haired beauty standing next to my table asked.

“Pardon moi?” I asked her, surprised.

“I said, what else can I get for you today, sir?” the pregnant waitress asked me.

Okay, really, it was Paris, Arkansas, population 3,622, and I was sitting at the 50+ year old local Dairy Bar and Grill drinking a milkshake while sitting at a rotting picnic table wondering, “How the hell did I end up divorced and alone?”

So why WAS I sitting at the Dairy Bar and Grill trying to have a reason to buy bigger pants?

Why, to meet people and dive back into dating again, of course! It had already been, what? 2 months? Time was a’wastin’!

I mean, I had been pretty lucky with the ladies back in my high school and college days. It shouldn’t be much of a problem to meet someone wonderful, sexy, smart and adventurous and to whisk her off her feet in no time.

Strangely, I was making eye contact with people and they weren’t staying with me for long. Granted, the Dairy Bar and Grill probably wasn’t the best place to meet women. Then again, the only other establishments were a couple of buffet restaurants and a diner. They already knew me there. Luckily they weren’t giving me that pity look yet. But like the rest of the small town, the women there were all married, underage, my ex was related to them, or all three!

But it wasn’t time to really start looking. Was it? I was too newly divorced.

First I had to take inventory of myself and see what areas needed restocking or all new merchandise. After 12 years of being married and living in a small town for five of those, it had never been a driving goal to be desirable to anyone other than my significant other.

I figured the best place to go for research in this little town would be the social hub of activity and traffic. It was time to head to the local Walmart!

Once there, it was obvious that I was not ready for the dating world. I had no clothing with rebel flags on them, nor did I have the appropriate number of weathered ball caps with beer company logos on them, not to mention the lack of anything to do with the states’ football team; the Razorbacks©™® (Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR).

I wandered over to the magazine rack and picked up a few manly magazines; Maxim, Men’s Health, GQ, Stuff, and Esquire. All this to see what was happening in the world of desirable men. I was particularly interested in the Men’s Health magazine that boasted the headline “10 Things A Woman Looks at To Size Up a Man,” with a sub-headline “Find out what woman are really looking at when they give you the once over.” It was JUST the kind of information I was looking for!

As I took my bag of magazines and a frozen TV dinner and headed to my car, a woman and her daughter got out of their car next to mine. The mother told the girl to wait while she got her purse out. The little girl watched me carefully as I approached. As I got my keys out to open my door, the little girl’s eyes got really wide, she looked at my car and said with the joy only an innocent little kid can, “Hey Mister! I like your pink van!”

Her mother turned to her daughter, to my “pink van,” then to me, gave me a weak smile, then took her daughter by the hand and whisked her away.

I stopped for a moment looking at my Iris colored Ford Escort station wagon and thought… ”OH…. MY…. GAWD! I DO have a pink van!!!!”

In my defense, it was an emergency purchase after a previous car blew it’s head-gaskets and it was between the “pink van” and a tiny pick-up truck. Thinking I might be starting a family soon AND that I had lots of nieces and nephews, the truck just didn’t seem like a good idea. Okay…and…the color Iris? Yeah. It was bright fuschia. Don’t know what fuschia is? You probably shouldn’t. Not if you’re a ‘real man.’

So the little girl had been brave enough to speak her mind about my ‘trouble’ areas. Maybe the magazines would have even more helpful information for me.

A bit disgusted at my predicament, I opened up the Men’s Health magazine and turned to the article I had seen highlighted. At first glance, my eyes fell on item number 3: “Must have nice shoes: If he doesn’t have nice polished in-fashion shoes, he obviously doesn’t blah blah blah…”

My blood pressure dropped.

My breathing increased to the point of hyperventilating.

I shut my eyes and slowly closed the magazine.

A feeling of dread and foreboding washed across my being as I slowly dropped my head and opened my eyes. There, adorning my feet, were a pair of 4 year old, worn out, thread bare, no-skid-on-the-sole, ratty tan loafers.

I let out a scream of fear and frustration as the realization hit me full force that I was now in a lot of trouble and, without a doubt, a single guy.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

ford_escort_wagon


© 2009 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Veil

Placing a parent in a retirement home is one of the hardest things a child has to do in life. But, it’s much harder for Rebecca – and stranger.

read more

Doorknobs

Some doors you can’t even find. This short story that opens the way for other times and dimensions – or at least to a field in Pettigrew, Arkansas.

read more

Fifty-Three

Today is January 20, 2019.Yesterday, I turned fifty-three years of age.Level 53.  It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post. I’ve worked on some stories, however, over the past year and hope to start sharing again soon. I’ve also worked on my business, spent...

read more

Sponsor Creativity

If you’ve enjoyed anything on my site, please feel free to donate what you can. In turn, I’ll continue to add content and encourage others to live a creative life! Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time. If you feel like reaching out, please do so. I'm easy to find.