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Friday, April 29, 2011

Getting That Eerie Feeling Again

This evening, I'm heading down to Niagara Falls, New York to attend EerieCon - a convention celebrating science fiction, fantasty and horror. I've quite enjoyed this smaller convention that allows for great interaction, fun conversation and interesting discussions.



This year's guests of honour are Larry Niven and Derwin Mak.  Other guests include:

Anne Bishop, David Clink, Jennifer Crow, David DeGraff, Lynna Eldritch, Carl Frederick, James Alan Gardner, Mark Garland, Lois Gresh, Marvin Kaye, Greg Lamberson, Mark Leslie, Alex Pantaleev, John Allen Price, David Sakmyster, Darrell Schweitzer, Josepha Sherman, Edo van Belkom.


I'll be participating in the following panels/events.

Friday

10pm LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW (Ballroom A)
Jim Gardner, abetted by useless sidekick Ed McClink, pries interesting tidbits from guests.
Bishop, Schweitzer, Mak, Gresh, Leslie, Price, Kaye. Top 10 by John-Allen Price.

Saturday

10am READING: Mark Leslie (Salon)

11am IS THE SHORT STORY DEAD? (Rainbow B)
Has the novel taken over completely? Are on-line short stories the answer?
Leslie, Gresh, Sakmyster, Frederick, Mod: Schweitzer.

12pm A To Z BOOK COLLECTING (Rainbow A)
What authors, from Brian Aldiss to Roger Zelazny, should be in your collection? Do you just buy authors you enjoy or buy as an investment?
Niven, Kaye, Leslie, Mod: Schweitzer.

1pm I ROBOT YOU NOTHING (Rainbow B)
Jobs are being lost to robot arms and computer technology faster than new ones are being created. Can machines take all our jobs? What will we do for a living?
Stephenson, Leslie, Pantaleev, Mod: DeGraff.


3pm WHEN GENRES COLLIDE (Rainbow A)
Combining two genres in one book is a lot of work and may make some fans unhappy. Why do it? Are there tricks to make it easier or better?
Gresh, Sakmyster, Garland, Mod: Leslie

5pm WHAT LINES' MINE? (Ballroom A)
See guests embarrass themselves by not recognizing lines they wrote, taken out of context. Hosted by Amy Kauderer and able crew. 
Bishop, Leslie, Gardner, Gresh, Price, van Belkom, Schweitzer, Crow, Niven


11pm PIZZA & WINGS FOR GoHs (Con Suite)
Have some pizza & Buffalo Wings with the guests. The Chapbook raffle will be held.
ALL ARE WELCOME!
(I just HAD to include this, since I rather enjoy participating in pizza, wings and beer)

Sunday

10am I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT! (Rainbow A)
How do you handle all the social networking; Facebook, Twitter, Blogs? What if someone gives you a bad review?
Gresh, Pearl, Harlacher, Mod: Leslie

12pm WORLD BUILDING (Rainbow A)
How do you go about it? Where do you start? Do you have a formula? What works and what doesn’t?
Bishop, Gresh, Pantaleev, Niven, Mod: Leslie

1pm WHY CAN'T I WRITE LIKE HIM OR HER? (Rainbow A)
Do you try to write like someone you admire? Is it possible to do so successfully?
Niven, Martineck, Garland, Leslie, Mod: Frederick.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HNT - Spud Wars: Darth's Revenge (Part 1)

This blog post is a serialized story continued from HNT- Spud Wars: When Darth Comes Knocking


When we last left off, Darth and his gang of clones had approached Mark's house, marching two by two hurrah, hurrah. The clones went marching two by two hurrah, hurrah. The clones went marching two by two, the little one stopped to change his shoes and they all went marching down . . . . [whoops, sorry, the writer got caught in a phrase that was too similar to a repetetive song that is now stuck in his head . . . silly ear-worm!]

Once the clone army of spuds had arrived, the group of clones hid while Darth knocked on the door and tricked an unsuspecting Mark into opening it.

Expecting to see the Avon lady, Mark (who had apparently grown a Van Dyke patch of hair on his face in the time it took for the clone spuds to be grown), was surprised to see his old nemesis Darth Tater standing in the doorway.



"I lied," Darth said.

"Pardon me?" Mark responded, still reeling from the shock but not forgetting his wife's continual prodding that the polite response when you don't initially hear or understand someone is to say "Pardon me?" rather than "What?" or "Huh?" or "Eh?"

"When we played the 'knock, knock' game just a moment ago, I lied. When you said 'Who's there?' I said I was the Avon lady. That was just to get you to open the door. Now that the door is opened, I'd like to change my response because I thought of a better line. So, can you ask who's there again?"

"What's the point?" Mark asked. "I already know who is there."

"It's for comedic effect, you idiot."

"Oh, alright then." Mark said. "Geez, the things I do just to get a cheap laugh around here. Okay, are you ready?"

"Yep."

"Who's there?"

"Vera.'"

"Vera?" Mark asked. "Vera who?"

"Vera gonna kill you!" Darth wailed, and, as he let out a battle cry, the hidden clones all jumped out of hiding, launching a quick and ruthless attack on their enemy.


To be continued . . . in Darth's Revenge (Part II)

Startled? Confused? Frightened? Let's just hope that you're not wearing as goofy a look as Mark is in that first picture accompanying the story. As was promised last week, the "special effects" in this story, which feature really cheap "Photoshopping" techniques have just begun. (But it should be noted that the Van Dyke on Mark's face IS real and not a special effect) Don't those special effects add a nice element that helps you get over the crappy story and lame jokes? 

If this tale hasn't yet put you to sleep or turned you off reading this blog, check back next Thursday for details of the viscious Darth attack in the continuing story of . . .

* The font used for the SPUD WARS logo above came from Boba Fonts on Fontspace - check out all their cool designs.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Blog Post Could Have Just Been A Tweet

It's raining, it's pouring.

At least it's not snowing.

Silly to write a post so short, but feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HNT - Spud Wars: When Darth Comes Knocking

This blog post is a serialized story continued from HNT- Spud Wars: Return of the Spud-Eye

Finally fully cloned (thanks to advice from Mister Bunny and some genetic material) and ready to stage his revenge attack against Mark, Darth Tater and his new army marched for days and days.

During the march, one of the clones started singing "The Spuds Went Marching One By One" but he was immediately dealt with as a trouble-maker, and sold off to the first chip truck they passed. Darth lectured his clones as well, explaining that he didn't want any BS from them.

"I've had enough of these BSoholic antics," Darth said.

"What?" One of the clones said. "What's a BSoholic?"

"I'm not sure," Darth said. "It's a name that just occured to me. Perhaps it refers to one who can't get enough BS or loves to deal in BS."

"What's BS?"

"Well for one, this whole goofy storyline," Darth said. "But that's beside the point.  Can we just move on through this unnecessary 'bridge' episode of this story. Simply, I don't want any wise guys in my clone army, and I really just want to get through this episode, because it isn't until NEXT episode that I get my revenge."



When Darth and his army finally arrived at Mark's door he made all the clones hide out of sight and he approached the door.

"Knock, Knock!" he said, because his little spud arms couldn't really reach the door.



Mark came to the door, peeked out, and not being able to see who was knocking said: "Who's there?"

"Al!" Darth replied.



"Al, who?"

"Al be getting my revenge as soon as you open the door!" Darth chortled.

"W-what did you j-just say?" Mark said, a little nervous.



"Er," Darth realized his mistake immediately. He couldn't get revenge until the door was opened. "I mean: 'Avon calling'"

"Ooooh, Avon! It's has been ages since seen an Avon lady at my door. And I just love the Avon skin moisturizer. It makes my skin so very soft and supple."

And Mark proceeded to open the door . . .

To be continued . . . in Darth's Revenge (Part 1)

Now that this un-necessary "bridge" episode has ended, will Darth finally get the revenge he has wanted? What's with the boring pictures that accompany this story anyway? Did Mark just run out of steam or something? That's pretty lame, particularly since this is just a re-run of a post from several years back - all he had to do was copy and paste most of it. Are the simple pictures a way of just "cheaping out" on the special effects (ie, actually seeing the clone army)? Will there be any "special effects" in the next episode, or will the storyline cheat us of that fun too? And what's with Mark's obsession with Avon? Get the answers to very few of these questions in next week's continuing story of . . .
* The font used for the SPUD WARS logo above came from Boba Fonts on Fontspace - check out all their cool designs.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Toying With The Fourth Wall

I've always enjoyed theatre or other media that experiments with the fourth wall (ie, plays in postmodernism and meta-humour). In particular, I've quite enjoyed the various ways in which the television show Castle continually crosses over and toys with the fourth wall in various yet subtle manners.

Because we missed the first half of the first season of the show, Francine and I recently bought the DVD of Season One, which we very quickly devoured.

Going back to the series beginning, we're seeing that it has been a good show with some crafty and charming writing, right from the beginning. So good, in fact, that I'm surprised it continues to be renewed. (Yes, Francine and I regularly have the luck of finding shows we really enjoy don't get renewed, so this is one of those fine exceptions)


The writing of the show is top notch crime thriller stuff. The mystery is always intriguing and contains a good number of complex twists. The humour is also really well done. The obvious and expected love interest between the two main characters, Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), the NYC detective Castle shadows is carried out quite effectively, and the growing friendship between the two is wonderfully developed - something I attribute to a combination of great writing and acting.

There is a playful interaction between all of the cast members from the 12th precinct during each investigation, as is the relationship between Castle and his daughter, as well as his mother. Another example of fine writing and acting combined beautifully. Each scene contains subtle yet important nuances that reveal both characters as well as the relationships between them that make the show much richer.



In a nutshell, the actors, casting, writers and directors of this show deserve a lot of credit for pulling off an otherwise unreleastic scenario (a mystery writer being allowed to shadow a police detective that closely and work that intimately on various cases). The writers even have fun with the fourth wall, such as Castle playing poker with real-life mystery writers and the scene from the first season where Castle is sitting in Beckett's car (stuck there because he isn't allowed to go into a building with Beckett and her team during a bust) and like a big kid pretends to be driving the parked car and chasing bad guys -- all the while humming a haunting familiar tune: The theme music to the show.

And the producers have also done something phenomenal in the real world release of books under the name Richard Castle. As Castle is writing a new series of novels featuring a fictional NYC detective named Nikki Heat which is based on and inspired by Beckett (much to Beckett's chagrin), Hyperion books has been releasing novels with the same titles and based on the fictional setting. The "Castle" character in the novels is a journalist called Jameson Rook, a cute "Castle" reference in and of itself. On top of that wonderfully executed fourth wall element, actor Nathan Fillion even toured real life bookstores playing the role of Castle.

I picked up Heat Wave, the first of the books, because after seeing so many mentions of it, and loving the writing of the show, I just couldn't resist.  I was delighted that the novel was as well written as one of the episodes of the show, and it even explored the back story of the characters (such as the murder of Beckett's mother) quite wonderfully, the way only novels can. I'm not sure if it was written by a single ghost writer or a combination of writers from the television series. But at just over 200 pages, it was a good thriller and played nicely upon all the same relationship dynamics (not just Beckett and Castle, but all the other characters) that appear in the television episodes. I definitely plan on picking up and reading the second book, Naked Heat, and see that a third book, Heat Rises is slated to be released in September 2011.

As mentioned earlier, one of the fascinating crossovers that happens are the occasional scenes in the show when Rick Castle plays poker with a bunch of writer buddies. Those scenes feature real life mystery/thriller writers. Last week's episode, which included a poker game scene featured Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane and included a beautiful nod to the late Stephen J. Cannell where a newbie to the game is told he can't sit in Stephen's seat, which is left vacant for a year after a member's death.

Again, this isn't just a show that wonderfully toys with the fourth wall, but a brilliant example of transmedia storytelling. I'll not only be picking up the next novel in the series, but also buying Season Two, Three and Four. Not a bad run for a show that began as a mid-series replacement.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HNT - Spud Wars: Return Of The Spud-Eye

This blog post is a serialized story continued from HNT- Spud Wars: The Carb-Eater Strikes Back

While Mark was off training how to use his newly acquired culinary weapons, Darth was having trouble sleeping.

Every time he finally closed his dozens of eyes and fell asleep, he kept being woken by the terrible dreams of the memory of Mark unmasking him.



Finally he resolved that he wouldn’t be able to rest until he sought his revenge against Mark. And so he headed off to the kitchen to seek the advice of the wise old Mister Bunny.


Mister Bunny, you see, doesn’t choose sides. He’s a neutral player in the battle between . . . goofy and stupid (there is no “good and evil” here, just goofy and stupid), and thus offers advice to all those who seek his counsel.



“What can I do to beat him?” Darth asked Mister Bunny.

“Bigger than you and stronger than you, he is,” Mister Bunny said. “But as a Wilde man once said, nothing exceeds like excess."

"INXS? I haven't listened to their music in years - although, I'm rather fond of Devil Inside."

"No, not the rock band from Australia. Although my favourite one of their songs, by the way, is Need You Tonight. I'm talking about excess. As in too many, or multiple; a lot."

"Huh?"

Mister Bunny realized he was again slipping into normal talk, and for some reason was hardly ever understood when he did that. So he reverted to Yoda-speak.  "Clone yourself, you must. And take him down your sheer number will.”

“But how?” Darth asked.



"Oh, for Pete's sake," Mister Bunny said, pausing to grimace at the camera.  "Do I have to spell it out for you?  Potatoes are self-replicating. Slice off a small chunk of yourself with an eye on it, bury that piece, and voila, you'll be able to grow a new genetically identical you. Do this with multiple pieces, and you'll have a clone army."

"Cool, great idea, Mister. Thanks for the idea. Let's celebrate with a toast."

"No thanks, I never eat the stuff. But in that spirit, here's mud in your eye." With that, Mister Bunny walked away, leaving Darth to dwell on his evil plans.


To be continued . . . next week

Will Darth learn the proper art of potato farming quickly enough to assemble an army and defeat Mark? Will Mister Bunny go back to his cage and put on an old INXS album? Where was Mark, anyway? Isn't this his blog? And wouldn't it have been fun to see him training with the culinary weapons? A fun montage of training clips put to inspirational music, perhaps? And what's more annoying - the goofy storyline or these inane questions at the end? Get the answers to perhaps some of these questions in next week's continuing story of . . .

* The font used for the SPUD WARS logo above came from Boba Fonts on Fontspace - check out all their cool designs.


 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Delightful Review Of An Old Friend

I was delighted to see a review yesterday of a story I'm rather fond of; a tale which had originally been published back in 1997 - "That Old Silk Hat They Found"

The review was of the story (which was reprinted in my book One Hand Screaming) as well as the audio version which is in Episode 5 of my Prelude To A Scream podcast.

Photo from Guy-Sports.com
Here are a few quotes from the review from Issue 3 of the "Support The Little Guy" E-Zine written by Brandon Layng.

Mark Leslie’s “That Old Silk Hat They Found”, is a cute and tormented tale that pokes a twiggy finger at each and every hole in the Frosty fable . . . It’s a “Frosty the Snowman” for horror lovers, you won’t want to miss on a cold Winter’s day. - Brandon Layng STLG #3
 I'm always delighted when I see an old friend like my dark humour tale about Frosty, given so much love.

Two of my snowman stories ("That Old Silk Hat They Found" and "Ides of March") are also available as an eBook on Amazon and Kobo, among other places where you can get ebooks.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

HNT - Spud Wars: The Carb-Eater Strikes Back

This blog post is a serialized story continued from HNT- Spud Wars: Darth Tater Unmasked

When we last left off, Darth Tater had jumped to attack an unconscious Mark as revenge for his father's needless death in a messy incident involving ketchup and gravy. Just as Darth was about to take Mark out with a finishing blow, he realized that he was half-nekkid, that his picture was going to be posted on a blog that would be seen by dozens of people.  So he stopped and bent down to retrive his mask.



As Darth was retrieving his mask, Mark awoke from his girlyman faint.


"Now's my chance!" Mark said.

"Your chance for what?" Darth said, placing his mask back on.

"Whoops, was that out loud?"

"Yes, it was." Darth said. "But you  never answered my question. Your chance for what?"

"My chance to escape!"

Mark immediately fled the scene, leaving an angry Darth Tater behind.

"Come back here you carb-eating chicken!" Darth shouted at him. But Darth's little feet and short stubby legs were no match for a person who stands 6 foot 3 and is filled with desperate fear.


Mark kept running until he made it far, far away.  (Okay, it was only to the kitchen. But to someone like Darth Tater with stubby legs, the kitchen was a whole galaxy away).

There in the kitchen (also known as the Dego system), Mark met up with the wise old sage, Mister Bunny.

"Tell me, wise old bunny, how can I defend myself against Darth Tater?"

"I'm only 10," Mister Bunny said.

"What?"

"I'm only 10. I'm not old."


"Oh. I see." Mark said, not wanting to bring up the fact that, in dwarf rabbit years, 10 is considered geriatric. "Well, I couldn't just call you bunny."

"You could have called me Mister. Or you could have bothered to ask me my name."

"Sorry," Mark said. "What is your name?"


"Mister."

"That's an odd name." Mark said. "Couldn't I call you Dennis?"

"Only if you want people to get the obscure reference to a scene from Monty Python's The Holy Grail that you're ripping off."

"Fair enough, I'll call you Mister.  Tell me, Mister Bunny, how could a weak scardy cat like myself ever hope to defeat Darth Tater?"


"Defeat him, you will not, " Mister Bunny said, remembering momentarily that wise old sage characters are supposed to talk with a certain flair. "Unless the right utensil you have."

"Huh?"

"Oh, for Pete's sake!" Mister Bunny said, giving up on being elusive with his advice. "Use the FORKS, Mark! Use the forks."


"The forks?" Mark asked as he opened the drawer and pulled one out.

"Yes, the forks. Or, at least one fork. And then use the peeler and the potato smasher."


Mister Bunny explained that Mark should first use the fork in a stabbing motion to hold Darth Tater in place. Then he should use the peeler to remove his protective armour skin.


And then, finally, the potato masher, to finish him off.

So with weapons, and a half-baked plan in hand, Mark steeled himself up for the death battle with Darth Tater.


To be continued . . . next week

Will Mark be able to successfully use the forks (or at least the one fork)? Will this storyline continue to loosely draw on the original George Lucas tale for really bad puns? Will this story continue to spoof and rip off other classic stories whenever Mark tries reaching for humour? And seriously, is anybody out there actually on the edge of their seat while reading a "remastered" re-run tale of a serial blog story originally told in 2006? Some of these questions might be answered in next week's continuing story of . . .
* The font used for the SPUD WARS logo above came from Boba Fonts on Fontspace - check out all their cool designs.









Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Turn Off Your Monitor For An Authentic Experience

When I first started writing, many many years ago my first draft was often scrawled out in longhand. It usually wasn't until the 2nd or 3rd draft that I would type it up.

Yes, I said "type."

I still fondly remember my Mom's Underwood typewriter. That beautiful heavy and glorious machine that, when you struck the right keys, small pieces of metal with a thick black inky residue on them flew towards a sheet of paper and left a permanent mark there.

In my early teen years I used to spend hours at that keyboard doing nothing more than stringing words together or composing the next draft of a story. I remember that time as being somewhat magical.

I also still remember my first experience using an electronic typewriter, one in which you could compose an entire line on a tiny screen before hitting "ENTER" and having that text transposed onto the page.  From there, I had tried out a friend's word processor. Same sort of deal, but you could compose whole pages on a screen before committing them to paper. And all this "computer" did was word processing. Around the same time I used such word processing programs on my Commodore 64 and Amiga computers as Pocket Writer to do the same thing.

Then WordPerfect was the go-to place for word processing, and more recently Word.

But sometimes, particularly on days when I'm so damn distracted by the online connections, pop-up emails, the luring tweet from twitter, the buzz of a Facebook chat, my writing output can really suffer.

And yes, there are multiple applications out there allowing a writer to systematically disconnect from all the internet distractions for either a set time period or until a particular word count is reached.



But this USB Typewriter, which I discovered on Melvillehouse Publishing's Mobylives blog, is the perfect thing that might allow me to remember the "glory days" of what it was like to actually be "alone" in a room with my muse, the clack clacking of my typewriter as audible evidence that I was producing new material.

Yes, it's a USB Typerwriter that allows you to type on an old fashioned typewriter and have the text display on a computer screen or iPad. And I love the part where the demo video states "Turn off your monitor for an authentic experience."



Seeing this makes me wonder if there is a part of my muse that sits patiently at such a devise and awaits me. Just hearing the clackety clack from this video brings back some amazing audio memories of hours spend pounding hard on that old Underwood's keys, at the frustration, when I was consumed with desperately trying to type so fast that the keys themselves collided and jammed together; at making a type at the very end of a page (before owning the correction tape that allowed you to type over that mistake), at being so absorbed in the writing itself that you were not paying attention to the fact that you were at the end of the page and needed to load a fresh sheet into the typewriter.

Yes, there were frustrations involved in typing manuscripts that way, but they were a different sort than the distractions that abound in being connected while composing.

I love the concept of being able to type to a sheet, stirring up physical and audio memories of my earliest writing sessions, but then also having those words captured in a word processing document. The best of both words. 

I've GOT to get me one of these . . .

Monday, April 04, 2011

Reach High, Think Big, Work Hard, Have Fun!

Yesterday Francine, Alexander and I saw Imagination Movers on the Hamilton stop of their In A Big Warehouse Tour.

In a single word - WOW!


Photo of Hamilton show by Caitlin Gervais

In a few more words: I've been to a lot of kids shows over the years (not just from my recent parent years, but from touring kids shows that came through the Ottawa theatre I worked at when I was at Carleton University), but this has to be the most energetic and fun for the whole family that I've ever seen.

Yes, there's a lot of fun and excitement geared for the kids - but the musical styling of the group is adult-inclusive. In the same way that the old Bugs Bunny cartoons had built-in humour that only an adult could appreciate, the Movers employ a similar technique.

Many of their musical pieces include references to or samplings from songs that parents will recognize from the 80's and 90's. For example, in their stage show they made reference to Van Halen's album 1984 not just with a "Jump" reference, but also "Panama." Later in the show, they did a kids version of the Kiss song "I Want To Rock and Roll All Nite."

Also, during the show, they would make self-referencial ad lib comments. For example, during a moment where Nina got frightened and ran offstage, the sounds effect (which was the standard cartoonish sound of a character running in place for a second before zipping away) was delayed by a few seconds. She waited for the sound effect to catch up with her actions, and I believe it was Rich who quickly commented on how fast Nina was, that she was faster even, than her sound effects.

The show contained many moments like that, with the characters reacting to the audience and other elements of the show - evidence, in my mind, that they were following their motto quite wonderfully - they were reaching high, thinking big, working hard, but also having fun.

But, beyond their talent and the pure unadulterated fun, their constant interaction with the audience was amazing. I've seen kids performers go into the audience, perhaps even up and down an aisle, but I've never seen characters wade so deeply into the audience so often during a show.

And they didn't just wander down an aisle, but they even slipped between theatre seats, climbed over chairs and people to move from row to row, stood on chairs in the middle of the audience while performing guitar solos, continually giving high fives and hugs to countless delighted kids (and parents) without ever missing a beat.

There was even a moment, towards the end of the show, where Rich came up onto the 1st balcony of Hamilton Place and not only walked up and down a couple of aisles, but also waded through the crowd. It's amazing how far he had to go to get up to the balcony and then back to the stage to complete the act he was a part of, but that certainly made the day of a good number of kids who might have originally been disappointed not to be seated in the lower audience area of the theatre.

At the end, the movers brought out the folks from the opening/warm-up act, Genevieve and DC from Choo Choo Soul (another fun kids show with catchy and fun music) for the final number, making it a big fun celebratory party.

In any case, this 41 year old is certainly in awe of the Imagination Movers and if I was already a fan of them just from their half hour TV program, I'm an even bigger fan now. I'm delighted to see this group of four friends who got together with some fun ideas for a kids program started off in their own community and quickly moved on to larger venues, eventually being discovered by the folks at Playhouse Disney.

I can't resist posting this video of one of their popular recurring songs, Mover Music.  (Careful, you might find yourself jumping up and bopping to the music)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Put Your Hands Together For This

Last night on CHCH news, there was a bit about the Brant Community Healthcare System posting a video featuring Doctor, Doctor playing "I Want To Wash My Hands" (sung to the tune of The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand") and featuring staff from the local hospital.  It was cute. I immediately went to check out the whole video on YouTube.



Of course, in the wonderful way that YouTube displays similar videos in the right nav, I noticed another one done by Jefferson University Hospital.

This one is called "Wash 'Em" and is done to the tune of Michael Jackson's "Beat it!" (complete with parallel spoof actions lifted in a hilarious fashion right from the original)



Apparently, there are a lot of similar videos like that out there.

Got to love when people use Weird Al type parody to promote a good cause (that takes minimal effort but has tremendously positive results) like hand-washing.

Speaking of Weird Al . . . after seeing a parody of "Beat it!" I just HAD to go watch his classic "Eat it!" version . . .



Notice how this blog post is a reflection of the way YouTube can really suck a person in and you can almost forget the reason you originally were there . . .

. . . and I almost did, but I'm back on topic.


Washing your hands is important.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the practice, you really should try it. I'm getting tired of being polite about the whole thing and can't help but think of adults who should know better but don't wash their hands as being simply selfish stupid idiots. [No, Mark, don't hold back, tell us what you really think!]



I'd like to put together a list of funny things that people can say to someone when they notice them NOT washing their hands. If we can't appeal to people's intelligence or reason, perhaps we can SHAME them into the practice . . .