Yes, Hoodies Existed in the 1990s

The Lost Decade Minus Four: Comics 1989-1995, October 1995 (revised November 1, 2018)


Etymology for Dummies

After posting my story “Spooktacular,” which takes place in 1975, I worried I’d used the titular (and textual) word anachronistically.  Then I discovered these two articles.  I always go the extra kilometer for writerly accuracy.

“A Brief History of Spooktacular”

“Halloween 1969 Memories”

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #49: Spooktacular

October 1975:

Mr. and Mrs. Dow liked doing two things: namedropping their distant cousin, Tony Dow, who’d played Wally on Leave It to Beaver; and hosting parties, including their upcoming Hallowe’en (as Mrs. Dow preferred to call it) spooktacular, their first since 1972, right before Nixon got reelected.  (They’d cheered when the bastard had announced his resignation on TV two years later.)

As usual, the Dows mailed Cousin Tony an invitation; he’d never attended any of their previous parties or even replied, but this time, his career had hit a hiatus, and he might like a little costumed fan support.


Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Standard Procedure

October 1975, Conference Number Two:

Principal: “Mrs. Kazakis?”

Milo’s Mother: “That’s Ms. Henningsen.”

Milo: “My mom and dad got divorced.”

Principal: “All right, Milo.  Please have a seat, both of you.”  [Both of them sit down.]  “So, I’ve spoken with Tommy regarding the incident.  He says you did something to him, Milo.”

Milo’s Mother: “Did something?  What did he allegedly do?”

Principal: “Maybe Milo could tell us.  Did you do something to him, Milo?”

Milo: [No response.]

Milo’s Mother: “Cut the crap, Mrs. Goggins.  What did Milo allegedly do to deserve getting beat up?”

Principal: “Well, Tommy says Milo grabbed him.”

Milo’s Mother: “Grabbed him?”

Principal: “Grabbed his—butt.”

Milo’s Mother: “Oh for Christ’s sake.”

Principal: “Did you grab his butt, Milo?”

Milo: “No.  Why would I do that?  He has a fat butt.”

[Tense pause.]

Milo’s Mother: “Milo!”

Principal: “And if he didn’t have a fat butt, would you grab it?”

Milo: [No response.]

Milo’s Mother: “I hope you don’t go around grabbing boys’ butts, Milo.”

Milo: “No!”

Milo’s Mother: “Or girls’ butts, for that matter.”

Milo: “I don’t grab any butts!  I was just kidding!”

Principal: “You shouldn’t kid around about certain topics, Milo.”

Milo: “I didn’t grab his butt.”

Milo’s Mother: “All right, calm down.”

Principal: “I didn’t think he grabbed it.  I talked with the eyewitnesses, his classmates, and they all said they hadn’t seen Milo do anything like that.”

Milo’s Mother: “They why the hell’d you call me here?  I had to quit work early, and I need the money.”

Principal: “Standard procedure, Mrs.—I mean Ms. Henningsen.”

Milo: “My mom and dad got divorced.”

Principal: “You’ve said that already, Milo.”

Milo’s Mother: “He could say it a million times.  I couldn’t stand being married to his father.”

Principal: “Well, I’m sure your dad has some good qualities, Milo.”

Milo: “Yes.  He watches Spider-Man with me.”

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Socialism and Digital Puddles

For the past several weeks, a small, full-color, slightly-dark photocopy of the above poster for the 2018 romantic comedy Overboard has hung in the DVD section of the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Aliquippa.  I haven’t seen this movie or the original, 1987 version starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, though I have read Susan Faludi’s takedown of the original in her 1991 book Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women.

Anyway, you might have noticed that Anna Faris shows more skin (and more Photoshopping) than her male costar does; as every intelligent person living under our belovèd capitalist patriarchy knows, unsexy (as in non-media-sexy) women make advertising—particularly for entertainment-style products—repulsive and thus ineffective, weakening the economy.

Speaking of economic matters: in this movie, Faris plays (according to Professor Wikipedia) “a struggling, working-class single mother”.  So maybe you left-wing, Faludi-reading, fair-trade-coffee-enema-receiving losers should quit complaining, because America’s lower economic stratum teems with smokin’-hawt hawties.  (All right, I should give this Trump-era movie credit for keeping Faris’s character’s love interest, as seen on the poster, Mexican, instead of, say, Caucasianizing him via CGI, or hiring Christopher Plummer for last-minute reshoots.)  (Yes, almost everyone will understand the Plummer reference decades from now, assuming the Earth—I mean the Internet—still exists.)

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews