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Horrible Things

October 20, 2010

Well, they say confession is good for the soul, so while we’re on this particular kick, guess what, I haven’t read a Stephen King book, either. Except his book on  writing, which I loved. But there are a few Horrible Things I’ve read, and so (as usual) I’m going to take us on a little journey, and some of you will think I’ve gone bonkers.

Trust Me

Here are some real horror stories: advertising slicks for the upcoming elections (Oh yes, David, we’re having elections, did you hear?) My mailbox was overchoking full on Saturday. I read more horrible stories about seemingly nice-looking people who do the nastiest things. You would think they had murdered someone or should go to jail. Some of these flyers have pictures of opposing candidates that make them look like axe murderers! George, talk about clowns! I mean, who can you trust? In keeping with the season, this is what I think of ALL political ads, written, flown across the sky, emails, voicemail broadcasts, posters and junk mail:

Just pick up one of your local newspapers (sorry Greg). Mr. Punchy Palches, my high school newspaper advisor would be horrified to learn you can’t hold up a news column, clip off the bottom third and still have a cohesive story, like he used to demonstrate, with especially MY stories.

Snip, snip, my breaking news articles were amputated, and left bleeding on the floor of the Oracle newsroom. My 9″ column became a truncated version of it’s former self at just 3″. It was so bad that I developed a complex for scissors. Punchy knew what he was talking about. One of us actually became famous for writing and rose all the way to edit the Costco Newspaper. Wow, did we miss the boat.

Okay, here’s another horror story: my tax return. No. I won’t print it here. And I won’t tell you about the money I’m NOT, let me say that again, NOT making. I went online to one of those credit counseling sites to look for some cool budgeting forms. It had a computerized voice blurting out at me: “Do you have income?”

I was shocked, and didn’t know how to respond. She–that mythical creature from deep inside the bowels of my computer–asked me again. “Do you have income?”

For the he** of it I punched the no button.

The next question was a real spine tingler: “How do you plan to pay for your debts?”

I typed in the box, “Can you give me some money?”

Do you think there’s a computer geek somewhere in Iowa who reads these at 3 AM? Come to think of it, that might make a good thriller. A guy who, in the wee hours of the morning, counsels people on paying their bills and gets a distress message: “Help, I’m a beautiful princess trapped in this balance sheet.” The pencil pusher transforms into a prince.

Seriously, I did read all of Anne Rice’s books before she had her conversion, which I respect, by the way. I just like her earlier books and erotica better. But as I’ve said before, I love the new vamps, with real hot-blooded desires. I like it when they get carried away, and I always found that to be a missed opportunity by lady Anne. But she made compelling reads because of her characters, and without the cheat sheets we get to use in romance, keeping the reader hooked. Find me someone who can write good zombies, and maybe I’ll read one. Just the mention of the name and I’m seeing Bella Lugosi’s eyes with the little penlight flashlights on them. No, they have to be warm blooded, even if they’re after mine in the process.


I guess I lean this way because life can be pretty darned scary all on its own. Too much everyday horror, not enough love. Did anybody but me have a little reaction when the miners in Chile were given sunglasses and iPods? The guy who thought that one up must be running someone’s political campaign here in California. I think we’re gonna get Reverend Moonbeam here again. Those of us old enough to remember when we had him the first time don’t, due to the drugs. But that’s an issue for another time, my friends.

About as horrific as I get is this book, which I highly recommend, by Jenny Gardiner. I can relate because I have a vengeful rooster named Blanche who has tried to kill me for years, and attacks anything that comes into the yard. This book is just funny, and that’s how I deal with everyday life.

What about you? Do you have those dark and creepy books you
can’t bear to put down? Or are you like me, charmed with the
horrors of the world we live in?

May we never forget to laugh, and explore all the whacky and wonderful places inside us all.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 8:54 am

    LOL, now that you mention it, my mortgage payment could give Stephen King a run for his (considerable) money — give me a cheer, y’all, I now have an upside-down mortgage because property values have dropped and I owe more on the house than it’s worth. And thank you, Sharon, because a picture of a tantilizing Alexander Skaarsgard is a welcome sight at 7:30 a.m. 🙂

    • October 20, 2010 10:53 am

      Oh yeah, I feel your pain. Mine too. Wish I could say that’s the only one, though. I didn’t cause the 60% drop in value, but you would never know it, based on the calls I get. Like I was driving down the freeway throwing thousand dollar bills out the sunroof of my last car. When it was at the end of its lease term, we celebrated the day we turned it in. Some days I feel like getting a costume like my granddaughter picked out, going into the bank and paying the mortgage with pennies.

      Evil. Just pure evil. The Bible says this too shall pass. Unlike the Feds, there’s a limit to what I can pass through for the good of all. I hope All enjoy my money as much as I miss it.

      Thanks, Suzanne. Yours was the first email I read this morning at 7:30 am.

  2. Arletta Dawdy permalink
    October 20, 2010 1:19 pm

    I don’t read fictional horror, watch or listen. Unfortunately, non-fictional horor is pushed into our faces with combat in the streets, in foreign lands and in homes. Who needs more of the downside of human behavior? Not me. But, for those who can’t get enough in reality, read on and enjoy(suffer?)

    • October 20, 2010 1:25 pm

      And how great we have the freedom to choose. Thank goodness we all don’t have to agree or like the same things. Thanks for showing up, Arletta. Good to have you.

      But even in romance, there should be an element of suspense. And again, that’s a relative thing. George’s clowns might be Lizzie’s (my granddaughter) delight, and I see both sides.

  3. Lee permalink
    October 20, 2010 1:34 pm

    As a retiree, I feel the pain of the economy, especially hard. Our beautiful neighborhood, (which is still beautiful), is full of empty houses. A neighbor bought their house way to high, 699, and when the market crashed, they found out it was worth 299, they walked away. They just stopped making their payments, and it let it go into foreclosure. There are a ton houses here just like that. So I know for a few of my neighbors their life has been nothing short of horrific. I don’t I need to read something so negative, like you, I just have to open my mail box, or see the adds on television. I’ll be so happy when this election season is over…

    • October 20, 2010 1:40 pm

      We’ll laugh and cry together. A little whisky would help too. Maybe I’ll dress up for Halloween as the ghost of a rich person. LOL.

  4. October 20, 2010 3:18 pm

    I certainly wouldn’t kick the delicious Mr. Northman out of my bed for eating crackers… er… um, assuming I was still single. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Too funny about the rooster! And I love Ms. Gardiner’s title, what a hoot. I made the parrot in my book swoop down on Vivian every time she came into the pool room. I still giggling when I think of it (manically, of course).

    Love the idea of paying the mortgage in pennies. But, damn, I bet I’d throw my back out from the weight!

    • October 20, 2010 6:04 pm

      You and me, babe. But we do have those nice hunky guys already, so it’s only fair. But a girl can dream.

      • October 20, 2010 9:59 pm

        Did “nice hunky guys” refer to Greg, George, David and myself, or did you mean your significant others at home?
        Just askin’?

      • October 24, 2010 10:07 am

        You guys are eye candy, we mean the ones we’re married to. 😉

  5. October 20, 2010 3:22 pm

    I have 5 upside down houses. (There’s a visual. LOL) One I own and 4 I inherited. I love horror stories. Stephen King, John Saul, Dean Koontz and Bentley Little. For a little while you can feel others horror and not your own.

    • October 20, 2010 5:23 pm

      Well I happen to know a good Realtor…
      They say he with the most toys wins. Not sure that’s true anymore. Yup, Jill, you got me beat by one. I wonder, is California too big to fail like some of those brokerage houses in NYC? Hmmmm…I understand the IOUs some people get in their paychecks are being cashed just like the real thing. Does anyone else worry about the fact that now California is big enough to print their own checks in the form of vouchers?
      I’m guessing Reverend Moonbeam can’t wait to get his picture on them!
      Good point. Great books are still great books, and look what they do for us. How wonderful.

  6. October 20, 2010 3:41 pm

    Hi Sharon, I love the non-Horror, Horror angle! (As one non-King reader to another) Though I had kinda planned on using the same approach myself! Oh well, back to the keyboard… only three hours to go and no ideas! I love the challenge… 🙂

    • October 20, 2010 5:27 pm

      I’m flattered beyond belief. But as usual, I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. Being across the little pond gives you a whole new set of eyes, and I know I’ll enjoy it! Sending horrific thoughts your way. 😳

    • October 20, 2010 5:57 pm

      I’m beginning to think you’re cursed, David. It seems we all keep coming up with blogs that steal read your thoughts before you can type.

  7. October 20, 2010 7:44 pm

    LOL Loved your post and thanks for making my book horribly good!

    • October 20, 2010 11:35 pm

      You are horribly welcome! Thanks for being such a horrible writer! Thanks for stopping by. It means a lot to me.

  8. October 20, 2010 10:12 pm

    “I’m sorry,”
    *Sets down mammoth edition of The Stand by Stephen King*
    “What is this conversation about?”
    *Takes swig of beer and nearly spills it while setting it down beside Dolores Claiborne and Gerald’s Game, both by Stephen King*
    “Who is this author that no one seems to be reading?
    *faithful cat nearly squashed by stack of books falling off of table when cute jogger moves past dining room window and Jimmy suddenly loses his train of thought. Misery, Bag of Bones, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Salem’s Lot miss cat by mere inches. Thankfully they are all paperback*
    “Did I hear right that no one has read Uncle Stevie?”
    *Incredulous look appears on Jimmy’s face until he glances down and realizes the table is being propped level by Christine and Lisey’s Story, both by Stephen King*
    “Oh,” he says. “I guess that’s cool…”

    • October 20, 2010 11:28 pm

      James, of course you four are the hunky guys! Why would you think otherwise? Tee hee.
      Seriously, you four are the best of the best and I’m so glad to be associated with all of you. Thanks for stopping by, and not being mad Steve isn’t one of my faves. But you certainly are!

  9. george allwynn permalink*
    October 20, 2010 10:56 pm

    I have to agree with you on lots of points here—

    LUVed Anne Rice books before the conversion. Her son, Christopher Rice, (a masterful writer of his own merit) writes some pretty nice suspense novels now. A boon to the GLBTQ community because he is out and isn’t afraid to use gay characters in his books.

    The elections – oh GOD yes! Some scary crap coming out of the mouths of those who want to be voted in to run our country. No wonder our nation is in the state it’s in – look at the horror’s that have been revealed (and the ones that remain hidden) in our Congress. Makes you want to throw them all in a cess pool somewhere and start over!

    Birds from hell = you know, you and I share are a lot alike! (that should scare you, because I KNOW what’s inside my closet – and it’s not really fabulous clothes and assessories! ) I grew up on a farm with the meanest, SOB Bannie roster named ‘Charlie’. With large, curving spurs he loved to use, that d@mn bird would chase me around the yard, hang out at the end of the drive way and wait for me to get off the school bus. Gawd! I hated, despised and feared that bird!

    And kudos for that lovely photo of the pumpkin spewing up candy!

    • October 20, 2010 11:33 pm

      George, yes, we are birds of a feather. I can just see Charlie waiting for you to step off the yellow school bus. Now you know why they modeled the Jurassic Park dinosaurs after birds. Sometimes, when I look into Blanche’s eyes, I can see: he knows I know from whence he came!

  10. October 21, 2010 9:26 pm

    Hilarious, Sharon,

    Still laughing.

    And btw, I have never (ever) read a NR book. I think that’s worse than never reading Stephen.

    Loved the blog insights. Keep ’em coming,

    Hugs, Keta

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