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While on vacation in Tinsel-Town, I had the pleasure of viewing the 1974 Sci-Fi epic, Zardoz. This film, John Boorman’s follow up to his masterpiece, Deliverance, ranks amongst the most confused and misguided pieces of cinema I have ever witnessed. Suffice to say I loved every minute of it.

Like Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer SpaceZardoz is a complete train wreck that fails at so many levels it has to be seen to be believed. If you don’t want me to spoil the fun for you, stop reading and go rent it now (it’s coming out on DVD later this month), otherwise what follows is my synopsis of this debacle.

Zardoz is undoubtedly a product of the early seventies, when hippies were still stinking up the land and all the hipsters were out to “expand their minds.” The film, I suppose, owes much to Stanley Kubrick’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This chart maps the comparison:

2001: A Space OdysseyZardoz
Set in the near future (2001)Set in the distant future (2293)
Trippy planetariumesque light showSlide projections on Sean Connery’s tangled nest of a chest
Deals with man’s evolution to the next level, floating space fetusesA cast of immortals, the supposed pinnacle of human evolution, who go topless at the drop of a hat
A perplexing ending in which the main character rapdidly ages through the stages life.A perplexing ending in which the main character rapidly ages through the stages of life.

All this worked in Kubrick’s movie, what was Zardoz missing that could have taken it to the next level? My guess is that it’s Zardoz’s general lack of monkeys. This was Kubrick’s genius. The man knew how to push the monkey to boring plot ratio. Boorman came close to achieving this sublime balance by casting Sean Connery in the role of Zed’s hairy chest, but falls just short of the mark.

Most of the film does consist of Sean Connery running around in a reddish Speedo™ and knee-high boots, with nothing but a bandoleer covering his chest. My reaction during the first third of the movie wavered between being in awe of this ridiculous outfit and wondering why Connery even accepted this stupid role.

For all its failings, there are some seemingly grandiose ideas lurking behind the cheese. The movie actually opens with the floating head of Arthur Frayn proclaiming that the story we are about to witness is of great importance, “rich in irony and most satirical.” You would think that somehow a guy with a painted on moustache and an English accent couldn’t possibly mislead you. However, by the end you realize his monologue bears the same message delivered in Criswell’s intro to Plan 9: “Future events such as these will effect you… in the future!”

The whole thing seemed to be about something. What is truth behind our existence? Who controls the floating god-head of Zardoz? Are guns really better than a penis? Wouldn’t it be great if we all died? The only real message I got from the film was that drugs are bad, they make you do embarrassing things, they make horrible film ideas come to fruition.

Much of the film’s plot centers on the giant floating stone head of Zardoz. The question that perplexes the residents of the Vortex and the one that the film makers want the audience to be perplexed about is, “How did Zed get inside the stone head?” This doesn’t provide much of a driving plot line. Many times throughout the movie, the question most of us as viewers want answered are more along the lines of, “What just happened?” The movie is filled with little goofy touches: one of the character’s voice cutting in and out for his friends’ amusement, green bread, mud wrestling, zombie-like characters who drink sweat for power, group-meditation, and gratuitous toplessness.

Fortunately, later this month Zardoz will be released on DVD. The DVD will include John Boorman’s commentary. I am hopeful that his commentary will amount to more than an apology to his fans, and that they truly let some light on the meaning behind this cinematic debacle.

Quote me if I’m Wrong: The English Language vs. My Dad

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My father, like our recent commander in chief, has an uncanny knack for flubbing phrases and for saying things that are just plain bizarre. His co-workers quickly picked up on this and for more than twenty years they have been keeping track of all the crazy things he’s muttered.

My Dad - Gomerisms

My father, like our recent commander in chief, has an uncanny knack for flubbing phrases and for saying things that are just plain bizarre. His co-workers quickly picked up on this and for more than twenty years they have been keeping track of all the crazy things he’s muttered.

At his retirement party they gave him a bound and hand lettered volume containing all of his “Gomerisms.” For your enjoyment, I present you with the complete listing. A word of warning, a number of these are either inside jokes or relate to medical stuff that the average Joe won’t get. But don’t fret, the majority defy any explanation anyway.

A special thank you to Dr. Ralph Bransky whose idea it was to have these recorded and Dennis Flack for recording them for prosperity!

Dr. Robert C. Gomez’s “Gomerisms” from 1979 to 2001

  • The fire is in our basket.
  • This guy is going to fly like a rose.
  • Little things come in little packages.
  • You can’t put the cart between the horse.
  • I guess I’ll have to swallow that in my mouth.
  • He’s biting his chin.
  • Two by night.
  • Intentions are never planned as they want to be.
  • How to make a pig’s ear out of a sow.
  • I knew I had ESPN.
  • Forty days has September.
  • He wants all the A’s and B’s dotted.
  • He knows how to butter, butter.
  • You can even walk in these shoes.
  • Last guys come in last.
  • Don’t you recognize your keys when you hear them?
  • Walk on your knees like a cat.
  • That’s the trouble when you yell fox to many times.
  • You have to go to the movie to see the music.
  • It’s kinda like whose got the salami.
  • Look at the two groom’s and one groom’s maid.
  • I usually can’t tell till the eleventh or twelfth month. (refering to a pregnancy)
  • She’s not bad for the way she looks.
  • Six of one two thirds of another.
  • Quote me if I’m wrong.
  • The cards are on the wall.
  • Back in the black ages.
  • If you don’t buy from me you’ll buy to much.
  • When you hear the horses look for the zebra.
  • He who laughs last dies last.
  • Engrained in the future.
  • All meat and no potatoes.
  • That’s like biting off your nose to kill your face.
  • That was melted in concrete.
  • The barn has been doored.
  • Tis far better to look dumb than to never have looked at all.
  • The patient had slurred vision.
  • What kind of Chinaman are you when you can’t even speak Japanese?
  • The worm is in the bag.
  • It’s like running faster but going slower you never catch up.
  • All good things are hard.
  • Who’s the guy that walks around in a wheelchair?
  • We’ll just have to buy the beans.
  • Down on your flow (you know B L)
  • We’ll have to get this done while the hot iron is flashing.
  • Well that’s the way the corkscrews.
  • Say what is on your head?
  • I think we’ve got them pinched off at the pass.
  • If I were me.
  • It’s as easy as shooting dead ducks.
  • Women will be women.
  • Hip scop and a jump.
  • I’ll be a chicken’s uncle.
  • That’s one of those little know facts that people wish they never knew.
  • Stranger than fiction but better than fact.
  • Do you have any kids on fire now?
  • He’s growing like a chief.
  • Well it’s about time she wets her wings.
  • You can’t get hurt if you lose.
  • Tits would look better on a boar.
  • Adding coal to the fire.
  • You’ve got a memory like a horse.
  • Sometimes you can’t see the trees when your in the forest.
  • Be kind to those who don’t know anything, for they shall create the earth.
  • Shifting of the guard.
  • Typhoon Rosemary.
  • She knows which side her dish is placed on.
  • It’s a nail bender.
  • Take those blood gases, put some salt on them, and shove them where it doesn’t rain.
  • Patience is of essence.
  • You’ve got to eat some pie to know how the crow feels.
  • Do you mean we have to do 49 more of these to get one survivor?
  • Hindsight is better than no sight.
  • You can’t get turnips from a rock.
  • I want my patients prepped alive.
  • Hand jibe it.
  • He’s still walking in the woods.
  • Slide together like butter and cream.
  • She’s really dragging her ankles.
  • Give this patient the bluegrass treatment.
  • I’ll believe it when I trust it.
  • You’ve got to get your ducks on the table.
  • It’s already out on the pom-poms.
  • We could sure use that finger person now.
  • Ok, but if you stab me you won’t have a head to walk on.
  • I’ve got a bunch of dead wood coming out of the closet.
  • It’s a blessing in sheep’s clothing.
  • Kids are yours.
  • Follow the yellow brick dots.
  • That’s damn near a six-pack.
  • Haven’t cracked any bridges yet.
  • Sitting there talking Whalish. (refering to a family from Wales)
  • I can’t tell candy from soda pop.
  • It’s about time we sever the spinal cord.
  • Frank Buffone.
  • The must take it on the chin in the feet.
  • That’s the icing on the cream.
  • Down like a light.
  • I’m on the Muscular Sclerosis drive.
  • He’s talking out of his other cheek.
  • Dave, are you rotating?
  • Excuse me, I’m talking out loud.
  • The kidneys aren’t beating.
  • That’s cardiac surgery “1985”.
  • By the teeth of his chin.
  • Look, I’ve got bisexual gloves.
  • He’s going to turn up the fires.
  • It was fresh on my tongue.
  • Live in Osborne Australia.
  • Muddle the waters.
  • We’re going to get those guys to eat their chains.
  • What’s the joltage?
  • He’s dying to get a new heart.
  • Balls of fun.
  • Speak and you shall find.
  • The flight of hand.
  • Off the top of my hands.
  • Driving through the blaring snow.
  • He’s been standing on his feet all of his life.
  • From an eyeballs point of view.
  • Get a muzzle in the air.
  • And I mean every minute of it.
  • A pigment of you imagination.
  • The Tom Donahue show.
  • Better to bite than to swallow.
  • I’m going to give him a nine full-court.
  • In the blistering snow.
  • Don’t say that, malignancies start to happen.
  • You’ve got to get some bones on your meat.
  • The early worm gets the screw.
  • Let’s give two in the bucket (FFP).
  • Are these disposable, or for one time use.
  • Laughing and laughing until you turn blue in the horse.
  • Is the Pope Polish, does the sunrise in the west?
  • How many calories does that have anyway? (The Hope diamond)
  • Bite your mouth.
  • Get B.O. (B.S.)
  • You get what you see.
  • Sauce in the ointment.
  • Don’t bite the dog that feeds you.
  • It’s beginning to sound like a dead record.
  • It’s time to circle the horses around the Indians.
  • It’ll all fan out.
  • Don’t put all your horses in one basket.
  • After years of traveling you lose your wonder lust.
  • This case will be a piece of pie.
  • An elephant can’t forget better than you.
  • A fly in the night ointment.
  • I’ve got a lot more apathy for my patients now.
  • It doesn’t amount to a hill of bananas.
  • Dinner at Art Carnegies.
  • Every year is just another year.
  • This sucker sucks.
  • The early bird rises first.
  • That’s putting the nail on the head.
  • I don’t know what happened, but what happened, happened, when it happened.
  • Go get a Texas Instrument and pit it in him. (Catheter)
  • This is like the free stooges, Larry, Harry and Curly.
  • Well I think everything that has been said, has been said.

Note: We have since found out that this type jumbling of sayings may actually be a speech impairment along the lines of stuttering. My Dad is a very smart and well-read man, but he did stutter somewhat when he was younger.

Cyber-Fight 2000!

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If you use the ICQ messaging service than you are probably familiar with the junk messages that pop up every once and a while. They are usually of the “Come see naked people” variety, but this one was particularly good. I didn’t reply, not out of fear for my life, but rather, out of fear of my email in-box being overstuffed with unwanted crap.



86342699, you’re my hero.