Saturday, July 10, 2004

Why I should not read Stephen King

I have a bit of an overactive imagination. I know, those of you who know me are me are nodding your heads furiously because you have all been recipients of what my mind can come up with.

Anyway, I live on the 26th floor of an apartment building in downtown Saint Paul. This morning, when I woke up at 3:30 for the second day in a row, I was a little puzzled as to why Saint Paul had dissappeared. Then I realized that the reason why I couldn't see any other buildings was because of the very thick fog that had rolled off the river. The only thing I could see was tiny little pinpricks of light about a block or two away (street lights).

It's a weird feeling looking over the city at 3:30 in the morning on a normal day, there aren't many cars on the street and you feel like you're one of the few people in the world. But when the fog is out, well, then I start remembering "The Mist" by Stephen King. It is extremely distracting to play Alchemy when you keep expecting mutant bird creatures to splat against the window.

Last weekend, as I was moaning about being sick still, Beth made the comment "Well, it's a good thing you're not reading 'The Stand.'" This is because every single time I read "The Stand," I get sick. You know, it's only a matter of time before some idiot spills one of the jars of chemical warfare. This book could happen. At least that's what I keep saying to myself when I'm comparing my symptoms to everyone in the book.

Then there was the time I was working at a gas station and the pump bell started ringing. When that happened, you were supposed to look outside, write down the license plate number if you could see it and give the general idea that you were paying attention. This was supposed to keep people from driving off without paying for their gas. Of course, they didn't tell us how we were supposed to do this and wait on a line of people at the same time.

Anyway, I glance over, figuring I may not be able to write the plate number down but at least I'll give the potential thief the impression that I'm paying attention to them. And what should be standing outside, pumping gas, causing me to gasp outloud? It was a clown. Okay, so you're thinking not such a big deal, right? It was to me.

My voice tremoring, I turn to the long line of people waiting for me to ring their purchases up. "Does anyone else see a clown out there?"

Yes, you can imagine the glances I got. Most of my regulars were wondering if my mind had slipped yet another notch down the crazy stick. They all chorused "Yes."

"Oh, thank God," I said. "I just finished reading Stephen King's 'It.' and I was a little worried." I am not kidding. Every single one of them turned, looked outside again and then all said "Ohhhh." They understood.

Stephen King is dangerous to those us with the overactive imagination. There's a reason why I don't watch Stephen King movies. If I'm reading the book, I can formulate my own picture of the monster and it's usually fairly benign. If you watch the movie, though, you have to see the face that Hollywood has placed on the monster and that's the image that gets stuck in my head.

Case in point, saw "Pet Sematary." You know the scene where the wife is confronted with the vision of her sister, the one who died of spinal menangitis, coming after her. I swear to you that shortly after I saw this movie, my mom sent me into the basement to get the laundry and I heard someone call my name. I turned and there was this crinkly, scary woman from the movie standing there. I ran screaming upstairs and told Mom I would never go into the basement again. I kept that promise for a good five years too.

Yes, I know there wasn't really anyone there. It doesn't matter. Stephen King freaks me out. Hmm, maybe it's time to read "The Stand" again.

Why I should not read Stephen king

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous said...
Your nuts, Donovan.

At 11:24 PM, CarpeDM said...
Please, Donovan, like you couldn't figure that one out.

At 12:15 AM, The Lioness said...
If I saw a clown pumping gas I wouldn't be half as calm, I can assure you. Clowns have NO rigth to exist, they are the scariest things ever devised. BH!