A clip from the old 1987 Billy Crystal/Danny Devito movie “Throw Momma from the Train”.
Unfortunately, we can’t bring her back 30 years later and would have to cast someone else. But the idea remains—say, if you were some unfortunate soul “mostly shut-in” under her hectoring influence as a character bridging the world between Lydia’s side and the eventual return of Beetlejuice.
Say, an avid follower of Lydia’s local cable-access t.v. show but otherwise pathetic and lonely.
If you’ve ever seen all those daytime t.v. ads, or lived the bitter, receive life like “the young, crippled, and under-30-years-old”. In those days, it would have been headin’ down to the old video store at 10 PM at night and coming home with six video-tapes. Sooner or later, you’ll fall into the dirty orbit of some slick Beetlejuice type who flatters you with his company and pulls you down into trouble.
Leaving out the doors with an armful of cheesy video-tapes and coming into the light, hang-dog “tall-tale” of another bum. Sure, “you’re inside much, the same strata” but he’s “a different breed of cat”. Funny thing about weekends when you’re unemployed—they don’t mean quite, so much.
And maybe “you’re not as discriminating” when you have no place to go, no schedule keeping you on THE STRAIGHT & NARROW. As if “waiting for life to happen to you” as you go fishing for experience.
Unfortunately, your fishing-pole is only more likely “to dredge-up an old boot” as the law of the world generally goes.
But sure—the world of criminality and idleness and pathetic, broken-down dysfunction at home with momma. It would only be so long before the departed spirit of this dear woman would be levitated in pure black space, like “falling with no place to go” as a lost soul out in the vacant lot of the Beetlejuice side of things. A vagrant thought, a restless thought, a homeless thought. . . . . . drifting throughout all the empty eternities.
Our shut-in lives in a world of hoarded junk, of bygone trinkets that gives him a real dated character. Maybe running around with a vintage Nintendo ZAPPER, or that light-gun you use to play that old game “DUCK HUNT”. Except, through some modified home “Radio-Shack” tinkering, can end up zapping ghosts “only the strange & unusual can see”.
As Lydia once said, “people ignore the strange & unusual”.
This young man is only “another side of it” in a world of junk and social disadvantage.
Through a chance encounter with the show—“Lydia’s Trunk of the Strange & Unusual” he goes looking for quirky used items and ends up witnesses “a drug deal gone bad” with bikers and a pair of burgalars and now finds himself adrift—inexorably bound to the world of Beetlejuice in a run-down old apartment complex. Brandy Station, “thy name is CHAOS” off there in Jerry Springer land.
A wretched, hilarious commentary on the poorer half of Donald Trump’s America.
“Get rich, or die trying” as people fiend for drugs and otherwise are up to stupid things like bank robberies in a kind of “white trash circus” and poor man’s FREAK-SHOW. Grease and uncleanliness suffuses every pore of this marginal lot. . . . . . and it’s a place to vist, for observational humor though you certainly wouldn’t want to live there.
Get a job, go to jail, or join the army. . . . . it doesn’t matter which.
Or stay home and write screenplays with this long, gestating project. You’ll never find a better-quipped screenwriter. . . . . I’ve got a million of ‘em!
Yankee Doodle Beetle went to town, riding on some mischief. . . . .
Knocked back some Malt Liquor and Thunderbird, took lydia’s Hand and kissed it.
St. Louis is a Patriotic Place, you’ll never call it “A Lemon”. . . . .
HomeBound & Down, You’ll Scream for More and Impress all the pretty Women.
Patriotic Glory Day, you’ll Love this Groovin’ Country. . . . .
Home-Cooked Blogger’s Doggrel, we’ll leave you with the Sequel “munchies”.
Amateur’s Gung-Ho Stake, you’ll never get sick & Tired. . . . .
I work on this free and will never quit or get fired.
“The Price is Right”. . . . . thanks for sticking around! Like a dog on a ham-bone, “Development Hell” continues as we “winter” at Valley Forge.
If it’s anything St. Louis has no shortage of—it’s the various small-dive punk clubs. Some open, some close—R.I.P. as rents go up with the gentrifying neighborhoods. Your best bet is something in the shuttered industrial-district on the grimy edge of city limits, a rose-carving in a wrought iron-gate for the dank atmosphere of auto-exhaust and the sewers.
Cheap shows– $10 for a night of mayhem, if the bands on the bill aren’t terribly well-known.
You have a thrasher, maybe a left-wing skinhead from the old Eastern bloc countries who weaves through the audience in a green bomber jacket, his boots laced-up with red anti-fa shoelaces. Punk is maybe an open-minded series of observations, individually subjective for all the strange flavors of variety. He looks like “that guy from Anthrax”, as you could only be referring to Scott Ian, like earnest gung-ho driftwood and goofy-foot guitar hopping like cargo shorts and raked guitar strings.
You also have “wise-guys” with the sly, perceptive art of observation. Maybe he’d be a cartoonist or just a clerk at 7-Eleven. View-askew, a cap turned sideways and a clever t-shirt of some scribbled vintage. His state is constant bemusement through a pair of pop-eyed glasses.
Don’t forget the crew of goth chicks, skin as pale as cottage-cheese in the artsy, performance-based world of witchcraft and “large, in-charge” antics. She definitely knows what she wants, the raven-haired streak of appetite and life-force like a fish tank of gleaming glass beads and murkier smells of paint and incense. Pick one or the other, like sisters differentiated slightly by personality but still wonderfully mysterious.
You have the blonde, dreadlocked stoner and “outside-the-box” thinker with a tragic overbite and clenched, silent intent hanging his arms out of his Rastafarian shirt colors for a hop and kick of the hackey-sack. . . . . a game of ultimate-frisbee. Attention Deficit Disorder as the mild, silent-type who fits the bill of all stoner-lore and comic-relief.
And there’s a sour, chirpy lark who’s small but as overflowing with punch as an atomic warhead for chewing gum and eyes lighting up with mischief. Contrarian and street-wise like a pill of cyanide, swallowing a straw of pixie-stix and flailing around until she collapses from a blown-out sugar-high and gets back on the stage to do it again, diving back in the pit.
These would be Lydia’s friends. . .. . . a gang of indie-media slackers living off their parents’ largess and in the artistic lifestyle of alt-rudderless experience. Where Lydia goes, they go—fleshing out this Beetlejuice 2 movie as the plot coalesces in a strange world and becomes a film.
You will here more about them. . . . . the St. Louis experience. Stay tuned!
Wal-mart. . . . . box-store of enchantment. And number 1 employer of what you and I know as “THE RED-STATE EXPERIENCE”. Never has someone had to show such gung-ho, merry customer service for serfdom as you otherwise have employees in blue-vests singing “Zippity Do-Dah” out of their assholes, “Mousketeer” style– with a kazoo.
Maybe “working for someone else” is merely getting yourself forced along “by someone’s obsession”, be that customer service or the retail mission statement like giddy “Jim Jones” cults for customer savings. Indeed, irony has little place here and even Beetlejuice has to “get with the program”.
Cribbing a bit from the fellow Warner Bros. property, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” you had “Wally-World” standing in for Disneyland with a cartoon moose as company spokesman. The happiest place on earth– open 365 days a year. Only in the movie, the family straggled in to find the park closed for a couple of weeks for maintenance and repair. . . . .
But make no mistake, Wal-Mart is open 365 days a year.
Why not call it “Small-Mart”? Yeah right, the largest box-store of its kind that stretches several football fields in length. You’d better keep Beetlejuice supervised amid all that “moral hazard” and easy thievery.
Smile, you’re on surveillance camera! Believe me, if someone thought of it– store security has set-up countermeasures to stop “shrinkage”. Think of a poster in the break-room of a troll-toothed bulldog brandishing a hockey stick and batting away “free scores” to keep the larger “goal” of staying competitive. Rolllff!
Of course, that doesn’t stop some mischievous cretin to hacking into the intercom system and playing the sound-FX from pornographic-movies while the manager scurries-around, trying to shut-down the public address system.
All sorts of stunts back there in the stock-room. Nailing a wallet to the floor and tricking some sucker into bending-over and straining his back.
Or kicking-around empty boxes like a deranged soccer match as the electronic board side-sweeps “Work is Fun!” across the sign. Tape up a piece of cardboard with work is (F)ucked squiggled in with a marker to give it an entirely-different meaning.
They don’t even have the easy jobs anymore where a retiree sits in a wheelchair and greets customers at the wide front-doors. Instead you have receipt-checkers halting customers to prevent “more shrinkage”. Such, such are the ways of the corporate retail world.
Lower prices, happier savings. . . . . ALWAYS.
Buy American. We send prices down to hell
Hobgoblins of telecommunication have knocked-out my internet here in St. Louis– as seen on the national news where flooding is a story. You’ll see lots of rolling, bumpy green hills from the sky-chopper, incidentally “a notion of where Beetlejuice 2” might be filmed.
And what’s this business of creepy clowns? You hear these stories about perverts in the woods messing with kids’ minds as this sounds more like “tall tales” and mass panic.
Though in Eureka we do have our share of weird happenings.
Just think of this place as a township a few miles outside of the city, beyond the county, and deeper in-state. If Lodi, New Jersey produced Glenn Danzig and Aberdeen, Washington calls Kurt Cobain a home-town son, this place would draw a comparison.
Through the haunted woods– you might here stories about hidden meth-labs. . . . . or was it just a hotdog cook-out? Or twisted imbeciles left abandoned in the woods “by their handlers” to pull on car door-handles and garble unintelligibly. . . . .
It is a world of camp-fire lawn chairs and beer coolers where you see the rugged nature of the outback mixed with zany artistic-impulse, like rusty nails dipped in buckets of diet cherry 7-Up and a whole lot of mind-altering drugs for skaters and BBS internet-pirates “back in the day”. Drifters, drift-wood, and homebrew wailing guitar. 1920’s hunting lodges and whorish Bettie Page spanking-gear with bee-stung lips and 1950 Atomic X-mas as told by serial killers like Ed Gein– and rockabilly mutton-chops.
The coldest touch. . . . . like crib death or a toddler with a Frankenstein haircut as it’s “The Munsters” or “Garfield’s Halloween Special” or even “Return to Oz” for green, foaming dark fantasy death with claw-footed bathtubs and the gray, leaden sky out the window.
Beetlejuice would be under the bridge, fishing. His friend, a black, scruffy poodle with giant, swinging, tumorous balls and blind to the world.
Someone call the health department– or maybe the dog-catcher. We don’t know, for who.
As the story goes, “living in a van– down by the river”.
The cops will hose him off in the drunk tank “because of the unbearable smell” and tell him to raft away to the next town. He’s the Missourian vagrant. . . . . or maybe it was Florida.
Moving south for the winter as an itinerant carnival worker if not a kids’ show host on television. Don’t dress up as Chuck’ee-Cheeze and keep a clean police record. . . . .