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Live The Horror
by Dan Greene
So why do you watch horror movies? Why do you like them? Why are they even popular?
And do you even want to talk about this? I don't think I do. I mean, we could go on and on about the sociological ins and outs of the placement of horror movies in North American culture in the twentieth and twenty first centuries – and by all, means, let me know if you ever want me to go that way – but for now let’s just talk about it on a personal level. Some people say that they like being scared and that it’s like riding a roller coaster. Adrenaline rush. Other people like stories that explore the darker side of human nature. Some people appreciate the special effects. Some people, a lot of people like the blood…. Some people are affected by things they’ve seen.
We all have a few stories. Some stories are too serious and morbid for right now though; I’m not about to talk about dead friends or anything. Just those stories that highlight the stupidity of us all, the ones you tell over a beer. Here are a few of mine, pulled from different times and places.
When I was six years old, I really had a thing for carrots. Raw carrots. One day I took a paring knife and tried to peel one myself. Unsuccessfully. I sliced through my left thumb, right to the thumbnail. The thumbnail was the only thing holding the top of my thumb onto my hand, for that matter. It bled a lot. All over the knife, my clothes, Mom’s clothes, the floor and sink. Even a little spray on the walls as I initially twisted in shock and surprise, more than pain. It didn’t really hurt but I was six years old and watching the top of my thumb flop around like the top of Guy Smiley’s Canadian looking head. We raced to the hospital, got it all fixed up and life was good.
Until I was eleven and tried to peel a potato. Unsuccessfully. Same thumb, further down this time. Halfway between the tip and the first knuckle, just below where the bone starts. I saw that bone; first time I ever saw bone like that. I cut right into the thumb, and when I pulled back I inadvertently peeled back the top of my thumb and exposed about a quarter inch of bone. I’d sliced and ripped. Holy fuck did that ever bleed. I almost passed out by the time we got to the hospital. I didn’t peel a fucking vegetable for a long time after that. That thumb still feels fucked up when it gets cold.
When I was about five years old, my oldest brother was about eight or nine. He was fucking around in the backyard, playing with a football or something. He wasn’t looking where he was going and ran into a tree. One of the twigs from a branch went directly into his eye socket. Not his eyeball, mind you, his eye socket. He didn’t lose vision or anything, but he did have to wear an eye patch all summer. When he pulled back from the tree, he had a steady line of blood streaming down his eye and a piece of a fucking tree sticking out of his head. Off he went to the hospital, and I thought for sure that he was coming back with a cane and a dog.
When I was seventeen I saw a guy, drunk as fuck, stumbling around in a pond. Just at the shoreline, not too deep. Just deep enough to get his pants wet up to his knees, and stir up a lot of mud from the bottom. Down he went, right onto an old beer bottle left behind by someone as smart as himself. He put a nine inch gash into his arm… the dirty brown water went kind of purple when it mixed with the ample amount of alcohol-diluted blood, and the guy almost stood up completely before he passed out face first into the water. He wasn’t breathing when he was pulled up. Mouth to mouth resuscitation from his drunk girlfriend, and he finally comes to. Pukes up dirty water, beer and lunch all over himself and his still bleeding arm. He puked in his wound. Holy shit. He got vomit in his blood. He ended up in the hospital for five days with his injuries.
When I was about thirteen I was at some outdoor festival being held at a waterfront park. It was nighttime and they were getting ready with the fireworks display. The place was pretty crowded with families and couples…. Kids were running around with sparklers and shit. One kid, about nine or ten I guess, was zipping around with one of those big sparklers, like two feet long. Sparks flying everywhere, he’s swinging that fucker around and not looking where he’s going. Neither was the other kid. Kid one ran into kid two with the sparkler. Drove the hot end of the sparkler right into the top his arm. Stabbed him with fire. Kid one also managed to gash his own hand and arm with the other end of the sparkler, pretty seriously. He looks at his hand and immediately passes out, while the other kid is screaming for his Mom (hell, I would too), running in circles and leaving the smell of burnt kid all over the playground. Kinda put me off my pretzel.
So some on, what do you have? We’ve all got a few good disturbing stories. Who remembers the kid who ripped his nutsack on the chain link fence? Who’s seen and heard fingers broken in a car door? Who’s played lawn darts for real?