Friday, October 10, 2014

Night of Terror #9: "Scariest Picture Ever"

Today we have our first 31 Nights of Terror guest spot, this one from standup comedian/Stewart's connosieur Big Jim LeChase. I'm kind of mad at Jim because this is funnier and better than anything I've managed to grind out this month, and also because I wish I'd come up with this idea myself. Now if you'll please join me in welcoming to the stage, the absurdly funny and ridiculously lovely Jimmy LeChase:

When Joe laid down the new law that said we weren’t allowed to review movies for 31 Nights of Terror I thought to myself “Joe can go straight to hell. Who does he think he is?” But, after a I drank some strong tea and let my mind wander a bit I realized that, like a true savant and kindly soul, Joe was actually doing us all a favor. Joe, in his infinite wisdom and beauty, was challenging us to go above and beyond our normal limitations to find something bigger and brighter than we ever thought we were possible of creating.

I found my mind alight with more ideas and opinions than I ever knew I had. “What if I review an episode of American Horror Story; which is a show I’ve never seen?” was one of my first thoughts, but it proved to be fleeting as I couldn’t muster up the gumption to sit in front of my TV for an hour while I watched some people over-act while they lived inside a spooky asylum. Not for me.

As the days dripped by I found myself back in Rochester, NY for a weekend of shows at The Comedy Club; which is where I got my start as a stand-up comedian and professional clown. I brought up my concerns to a stranger I struck up a conversation with at the bar. I was enjoying a diet soda and he was a few rounds into what smelled like Jack Daniels mixed with tonic water. A delicacy I am all too familiar with from my days as a drunkard.

“Fella,” I said to the stranger, “I’m all mixed up about what I can review for my friend’s web log. I can’t do a movie like I normally would. I won’t do a TV show, because I haven’t the mind for it. I’m stuck, y’see.”

Through the fog of his inebriation the stranger wagged a single finger in the air and slurred out the following sentence “if you can’t do moving pictures, why not try one that ain’t moving?” Clearly, this man was the kind of genius that is only suitable for bar talk and chess matches against Russian computers, so I thanked him by purchasing his next round and headed back to my place thinking “yes, yes! I will find the scariest picture ever and that’s what I’ll write about!”

Once I was back home in front of my trusty Gateway Laptop I typed “Google” in to Bing and was brought to the homepage of the world’s most usable search engine. “If any place is going to have a lead on the scariest picture ever, it’s going to be Google,” I told myself while sucking down another diet soda (a habit I’m not proud of).

There, in the search bar, I typed the words that would change my life forever: “scariest picture ever.”

The results, as the above image shows, were varied. One of them appears to be a young Jay-Z happily about to take a trip to the land of Nod and another seems to show a young lady having a terrible time with her morning BM. There are even multiple collections to choose from! You can look at “Ghost” or “Taken” or “Internet” if you want to see the scariest picture ever in either of those areas, but I don’t have time to whittle it down to something that specific. Maybe next year.

The image that appeared first, thus making it the scariest picture ever, can be seen below:


Whoa! Wow! What a scary picture of a man that’s been beaten down by society for so long that he has no choice but to make his living dressing up as a clown to entertain people at parties that nobody really wants to go to but they have to go because Dave is throwing it and he’s the boss and if you skip out on his big party you’re not going to get a good quarterly review!

The first thing that leaps out to me when I see the “scariest picture ever” is the clown’s crumpled right shoe. What happened there? Is this another instance of blatant disrespect that sent our poor hero over the edge into the oblivion of madness? Or, is it something more sinister than that? Did our clown use that shoe to maim a victim? We’ll never know, because the 1,000 words this picture is telling us seem to be speaking a language with which I am unfamiliar.

I’d like to take a moment to point out the medal this clown is wearing. It looks to have the number 36 written on it; which, to anybody with half a brain and the ability to count, means that it’s Dave’s 36th birthday party. Not only is this poor man being hired to entertain adults, he’s been hired by a narcissistic mad man that celebrates things like his 36th birthday. The horror of this picture is becoming obvious if not ominous.

The lady standing to our clown’s left (picture right) is oblivious to his presence; which the clown is more than used to. He’s walked into crowded malls and toy stores without anybody noticing him so often that he expects not to be seen; which is why, when the photographer spied him and snapped this shot, he was unprepared and only managed to muster a grin mixed with a leer.  Why, the fellow didn’t even have time to straighten his knees out and stand at attention; which is just another slap in the face during a life that seems to be nothing but slaps in the face.

There are also some pies cooling on top of the oven; which our clown seems to be aware of only peripherally. Clowns, as we all know, are not allowed to eat anything with taste. They are forced to subsist on a diet of sand and popped balloons thanks to President Reagan’s “No Clowns” initiative of 1984. “Oh, how I wish I knew what it was to eat food with flavor,” our clown is almost definitely thinking to himself, but that would be against the law, and our clown has 2 prior felonies already.

The kitchen where this was taken looks to be tiny but manageable and easy to clean. “Who needs all that space?” You can hear the realtor telling Dave. (Dave sunk too much money into a mortgage he really can’t afford to buy a new house he only wants so he can show it off during his 36th birthday party, but he’s only told our clown this as he knows it is against clown-code to tell another person’s secrets) It’s a perfect size for our clown, though, and he appears to be making himself right at home.

“If I could just have a moment to fix my wig,” he asks Dave later on in the night, “I don’t like to perform with a mussed wig.” Dave, feeling cavalier and full of ego, allows the clown a moment to better his appearance. “My friends deserve the best show you can give them clown,” he says with a sneer, “go fix your wig and return with a hurry. The show must start in 3 minutes or my guests will grow weary!”

The clown flees into the kitchen once more. He spies what looks to be a sharpened knife laying between the freshly cooked pies. “It would be so easy,” he thinks to himself. “It would be so simple,” he says. The clown begins to giggle. Slowly. It turns into a cackle so loud the guests at Dave’s party can hear it over the chorus of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.” A worried patron scurries over to the boombox and lowers the volume to a level that allows them to figure out where the laughter is coming from.

One by one they follow the sound into the kitchen. Each of them going googly-eyed when they see the clown before them covered in what appears to be red paint. Lots and lots of red paint. Too much red paint. It’s not even making sense how much red paint this clown has on him. “Did somebody lose some red paint?” a guy asks the assembled crowd. “Hey, where’s Dave?” somebody else chimes in.

The clown bursts into more laughter. He can’t stop it. It’s coming out of him like a bull rushing into an arena to take on a matador. It’s then that somebody notices the knife in the clown’s hands. It’s then that somebody asks where Dave is again. It’s then that the clown fixes his wig and says “I know where Dave is” and the laughter surges out of him so forcefully that he flops to the ground and begins convulsing.

Soon, a white foam appears at the clown’s lips and the apparent seizure comes to a stop. The clown’s eyes bolt open momentarily as he utters his final words “where’s your camera now? Where’s your camera now!”

7 out of 10 stars

Jimmy LeChase's official website can be found here.

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