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....Original Northstate Comedy Since 1978....
Vote Frankenstein
by Liz Merry
Damn. It's late October already. World Series Fever has gripped the nation and people have reluctantly forgiven Texas for you-know-who as the Rangers made the New York Yankees look like the New York Mets. As a Mets fan myself, anybody who beats up on the Yanks or Phils is my other favorite team. Which would also be the San Francisco Giants this year. Click here for more of our postseason baseball coverage.

Halloween preparations are in full swing everywhere I look. I save up spider and cob webs all year long so I don't have to shell out $1 for fake ones. In these tough economic times it's just one more thing I do to stretch our family budget a little further. Plus I'm lazy. (Can someone please tell me what cobs are and how they spin their webs and for what purpose?)

I collect Frankensteins like other people collect art or wine or, god forbid, Mickey Mice. I look forward to getting them all out of the attic every year and setting them up in little family groups around the house. Unfortunately, I only have one Bride of Frankenstein so she gets passed around like a slobbery joint at a Spark 'n' Cinder gig. What a trooper!

As a child, I had a recurring nightmare that Frankenstein came to my classroom at P.S. 56 and we would all run away. Of course he would follow me home to my building instead of taking the much easier route down the Hull Avenue hill to get those little bastards that lived down there. (I guess when you have rigor mortis in your arms and legs you don't pick up much speed on the downhills.) I would enter from the Perry Avenue side of The Oval Arms and run down a couple long hallways to the elevator, where there would be a bunch of mothers with baby carriages getting on. They would all just barely fit and there would be no room for me. No wonder I dislike babies. As the door closed I would see the shadow of Frankie-boy coming around the corner, which always woke me up, terrified.

As I got older I lost my fear of Frankenstein (thank you, Herman Munster) and became fascinated with his tragic story. Not the original Mary Shelley version, which I loved until DeNiro ruined it for everyone, but the Boris Karloff Universal Studios classic. Some deranged lunatic finally finds peace in death (think Ronald Reagan) and suffers the indignity of having his brain sit in a jar with "Abnormal" on the label, only to be awakened by extreme shock therapy in another body with parts sewn on from who knows where, a square head, a really bad suit and platform shoes. No wonder he was grouchy. Throw an obnoxious little girl in a lake? Why not? Oh, she can't swim? Whose fault is that? I blame the parents.

Poor Frankenstein! He didn't even have his own name. Frankenstein was the doctor who "gave him life" (more like robbed him of death.) He was just "The Monster". Nobody understood him. He was a victim. Like Gary Busey or Son of Sam David Berkowitz. It was the neighbor's black Labrador retriever who told Berkowitz to kill all those people. And everyone thinks they're such a great breed - gentle and good with kids. Hah!

So now our house is all decorated, the black lights are plugged in, the pumpkins are being carved, and the candy corn is squished down between the couch cushions, just as I'm sure it is at your house. The big question remains, however. Are you done with your Christmas/Hannukah/Qwaanza shopping yet? No? Then you are already behind. Side query - is Qwaanza still a holiday? Never seemed to really catch on, did it? Not in Manton, anyway.

Halloween is the true start of the Holiday Season, but more about that next month, when I will be sharing my tips for a relaxing Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. (Hint: it involves a timely contraction of the flu or pneumonia. You might even lose a few pounds over November and December. Win-win! Genius, huh?)

For now, I still have to figure out the ballot measures for California sometime during the next week or so. I am excited by the fact that we may have legal marijuana here in my lifetime. It would be nice if the state was closing down prisons instead of schools for a change. I am amazed that some mom and pop growers will vote against it because it will supposedly cause their price to plummet and it will be highly taxed, putting them out of business. Waaaaah! You people sound like the loggers! Oh. You are the loggers. Look on the bright side. Maybe there will be farming subsidies for you. I'll bet Willie Nelson is already planning Pharm Aid for medicinal growers. For more of our take on Prop. 19, click here.

The rest of the ballot initiatives seem to be the normal jumble of poorly worded gobbledeegook that will have you voting against something you are in favor of. And the candidates! Really? This is the best we can come up with? Gov. Moonbeam vs. Ms. Moneybags. MeCarly whose biggest criticism of her opponent is her hair vs. Babs Boxer whom I am sick of looking at. Maybe it's the hair.

There is one race here in Northern CA that is generating some excitement. You Outlanders might think this neck of the woods is pretty liberal, but it's a conservative stronghold. Congressman Wally Herger (R-Bumfuck), who was elected to his first term in 1986, is the twelve-term incumbent. He is running against Democrat Jim Reed, seemingly a nice guy who's not afraid to fight dirty.  He may actually have a chance of unseating ol' Wally with the help of a bottom-feeding internet muckraking site that isn't us. 

Normally, this would  be a slam dunk for Herger, but Reed commented during a podcast and on the campaign trail that Wally is showing signs of the early stages of Alzheimer's. Apparently just saying it makes it true, because Wally's numbers started to dip immediately and conservative internet threads exploded. Not with condemnations of Reed, which you would expect, but with hand-wringing that it's true. Example: "I've always thought his eyes were a little off..." (Read more here.) Now Wally refuses to debate with Reed, leading even sane people to believe it's not only possible, but also not the early stages. Requests for Wally to attend forums go unanswered, as do all queries for his position on any issue, except his opinion of Jim Reed, which is not very high anymore.

While I love a good roll in the mud as much as the next girl, it seems to me Reed could be making hay out of something even more obvious than the alleged mental illness of our Representative. Wally signed the Newt Gingrich Manifesto Contract With America in 1994, which limited Congressional terms to twelve years. Wally has served for 24. He has forgotten his own vow to vacate the seat after 6 terms. Along with his address, family members and anything that happened after 1962. Allegedly. You can quote me on that, Jim.

Posted 10/25/10


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