Sunday, April 6, 2014

On Writer's Block And The Blob: An Urge To Ramble

I think I've discovered the secret to overcoming writer's block.

That isn't something to be taken lightly. Since the initial sense of self awareness among our species, someone has always had the urge to record or to express any given portion of the human experience. Through the millennia, any number of historians, poets, and guys named Jerry have sought to share with readers, present and future, accounts of epic battles, elections, economic trends, or simply to share the mood which plays among the romantic who suffer from insomnia during full moons in the springtime. Among the latter, in fact, such deeply moving words as "the beauty of maidens' flaxen hair/Is lovelier than Tupperware" have led to untold numbers of eye rolls among sixth grade boys called upon to read aloud in English class while their friends were scolded by exasperated by teachers for making flatulence sounds by hands tucked in armpits.

Occasionally, however, even the best writers in history have experienced writer's block.

It's usually at this point that I resort to the Blob.

I saw this movie on YouTube several weeks ago. Filmed in 1958 when milk was real and kids named Biff drank it under the watchful eye of their mothers, this movie has special effects which are so laughable, by today's standards, that one wonders why it hasn't been reassigned to the humor genre.

Imagine being in a movie theatre late on a Friday night. There's a monster movie marathon, ironically enough. The aforementioned Biffs and their dates are having a keen time, golly-gee'ing their way though "Attack of The Thirty-Seven Foot Tall Garden Gnome II" when an odd concoction from outer space first devours the projectionist and then seeps its way down the projection room wall and into the audience. Willing suspension of disbelief, which is the goal of any movie whose budget exceeds a hundred bucks, comes into play until Smucker's finest grape jelly begins glomming onto those unfortunate enough to be lunch. "It was awful!", says Steve McQueen's character about the experience. We hold back a snicker because we can hardly expect something as lame as a chief component of a PB&J to induce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the end, they discover that the Blob cannot withstand cold even though it traveled untold millions of miles though a temperature of absolute zero, which promotes outright guffaws and a knee slap or two.

For my money, it doesn't get any better than this movie. I first watched it in 1968 after school on the Early Show. While I get a solid laugh about it now, when I was seven this same movie induced a bit of PTSD in me. This was observed by my mom, who came into my room to wake me up for school and scolded me for having covered the floor vent with a small area rug, most of my favorite toys, and all of my textbooks in a vain attempt to forestall the amorphous mass from dissolving me during my sleep. (I had a field trip the next day, and didn't want to miss it.)

I have peace of mind now. For the past several days I've come up empty regarding a topic. Still, I'm hardly the first person ever to experience writer's block. It's nice to know that there's always something to write about, even if it's a fifty-six year old, low budget thriller. That the film allows me to ramble as freely as the Blob flows is a pretty sweet thing. Even though that last sentence sounded hideous, it fits. My words are flowing again.

And the Blob is...


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