Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Post 3157 - Tonight's Toastmasters Meeting

Well, I'm home from the first TM meeting for 2016. Good meeting. A guest seemed to enjoy himself. We are all hoping he comes back. The fact that I foolishly left my water bottle behind is the only downside.

There was that downside. Now, I want to discuss "the darkside".

Let me explain.

Table topics tonight was provided by Tyrone. He came up with some pretty provocative, dark, frightening opening lines to non-existent books, and we had to continue the story line for up to 2 minutes. Mine was along the lines of "The old man was dead. But he got up, looked around and said..."

I completed the sentence.

"I don't want to go yet!"

I asked how many members had heard of the writer Robert Bloch. No hands went up. "His most famous novel was probably 'Psycho', which became an Alfred Hitchcock movie?" Still no hands. I should have mentioned that A&E's "Bates' Motel" is a prequel to "Psycho", but didn't.

I was undaunted, and continued.

"Anyway, this guy Robert Bloch once wrote a short story about a man who died in his home. The next morning, they're all sitting around the breakfast table mourning the old man, when who should come downstairs, BUT the old man. He was just too ornery, too stubborn, to concede that he was dead, so he was just going to keep on, keeping on. That is why the story is called, 'A Case of the Stubborns'"

I went on to explain that the old man's condition continued to deteriorate, day by day. He was decomposing in front of their eyes. Eventually, they summoned the local preacher. He came to visit. It didn't help much. That scene is on youtube. Here it is:

The preacher is played by a very young Brent Spiner, who a few years later would go on to play Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation. And the boy is played by a childlike Christian Slater, and you have seen him and his work for many years. This is likely one of his very first roles. The old man is played by veteran actor Eddie Bracken, whose work goes back to the 1940's. He lived until 2002, almost another 20 years after he did this show.

At long last, the young boy went to visit an old woman, who gave him something that he took to his grandfather. I don't want to ruin the story for you. It is actually quite funny and I think you should check it out.

The "darkside" part of the table topics I alluded to above was that the Bloch story was filmed for a syndicated tv show from the 1980's called "Tales from the Darkside". Here is the opening of the show. How many of you remember it?

I finished my topic and sat down. I did not win the vote for best table topics speaker. But I was the Quiz Master tonight and was able to ask questions like who wrote the story, what was it called, and what was the name of the show the story appeared in. Nobody got those questions right.

I guess it was my inner geek talking again. I thought it was down and out, but every once in a while, it comes back with a vengeance. Funny how one throw away line would lead me down this path

Which reminds me of the time when I...

See you tomorrow.


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