Apparently not wanting Pasco County and/or New Port Richey to forget her, Mother Nature decided that Hurricane Irma, back in September, wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass for this area, as well as the rest of Florida, but that maybe we should have a good ol’ Midwestern vintage tornado strike, and on Thanksgiving Day to boot, to remind us that she’s still here and still has the same ill-tempered attitude we’ve come to know and love (yeah, right) as Floridians.

You don’t like the weather here in Florida? No problem; wait ten minutes and it will change. (That’s an old Illinois joke, but very applicable here in the, dare I say it, Sunshine State.)

A tornado. We had a fucking tornado on Thanksgiving in NPR, about two miles north of where I live, as a matter of fact. Shit, it isn’t even tornado season in the Midwest, the home of the circular storm…it was like living in Missouri and having an earthquake. (Actually, Missouri DOES have earthquakes, and as far as I’m concerned, they richly deserve them.)

A tornado. In Florida. In late November. I’m going to get my affairs in order, get my will updated and will not be starting any long-term projects, ‘cause if that isn’t a sign of the impending apocalypse, my name isn’t Amelia Earhart.

I was catching up with a friend yesterday on the phone, and he was asking me about my experiences during Irmageddon, and as we were talking I realized that, in my lifetime, I have lived through a) a hurricane, b) a fair number of tornadoes, c) several earthquakes (including one that was about a 6.0 on the Richter, which scared the shit outta’ me), d) the annual Southern California brush fires, one of which, back in 2013, made it to about 5 miles from where I lived in Sherman Oaks, e) a really bad hailstorm back in the ‘80s, which was so fierce that is actually damaged my car, f) the four worst winters in the history of the Chicago area and g) being a Dodgers fan. (So far.)

Sorry, Ms. Nature, but you can take your shitty weather and jam it. (Reminds me of those old Parkay margarine commercials, where the actress playing MN says, after being faked out by Parkay, making her think it was real butter, that it isn’t nice to fool Mother Nature…every time she got fooled, she’d toss a lightning bolt down on some unsuspecting deer or brown bear, scorching the living shit outta’ the poor thing; these days she’s using Florida as a punching bag.)

FYI, this is the sign you see on all the roads entering FL, right behind the “Welcome to the Sunshine State” billboards.

Speaking of really excellent science fiction movies (yeah, I know, we weren’t, but I didn’t have a good segue here, so I said, screw it, damn the tornadoes and full speed ahead), TCM showed “Forbidden Planet” the other night, and even though I’ve seen this movie roughly seven gazillion times, I watched it and, as with every time I’ve seen it, loved it. 

“Planet” (which was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, a play about storms that WS wrote after living in Florida for several years) was the first “big budget” sci-fi flick, coming in at just under $2 million, which was serious money back in 1956, when the movie was released. It was groundbreaking for its time, and influenced such artists as Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry (the creator of “Star Trek”), George Lucas and many others.

For me, the most memorable sequence in the movie is the discovery of what is behind the mysterious evil force that killed all the original settlors on Altair-4, the planet on which the movie takes place, and is now, with the arrival of a search/rescue ship from Earth, menacing the crew-members of the ship, killing several and generally scaring the crap out of everyone else. Without rehashing the entire plot, the entities that are stalking the ship are a creation of the mind of Dr. Morbius, the lone survivor of the original settlors ship and the reluctant host of the Earth-based rescuers… called (I love this) “monsters from the id”. (According to WikiPedia, the id is “the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends” existing in each person’s mind…thank you, Sigmund.) Basically, Dr. Morbius was creating, from his “id”, the monsters that were attacking the new arrivals. (Long story how this happened, but take my word for it, okay? And here’s how the Id Monster looked in the movie.)

And Anne Francis, who played Morbius’ daughter, Altaira, was way, totally hot in this movie…as Wayne and Garth once commented, if she were a President, she would have been Baberaham Lincoln. Racy shit for 1956. (Here’s Robby the Robot, Morbius’ servant (right) trying to look up Alta’s dress, the perv.) 

TCM is showing “The Dirty Dozen” tonight…another great flick, with no monsters of any type that I can recall (Robert Ryan plays an asshole, but I wouldn’t say he was a monster).

I’m going to watch it, assuming we don’t have a flood, a plague of locusts or a complete reversal of all matter in the universe, moving outward at the speed of smell from a point 2456.395 parsnips WNW from Altair-4, which is located in the lower left oblique quadrant of the Snickers solar system. (Three Musketeers? Payday? I know it’s a candy bar.)

Of course, if another channel was showing “Twister”, I’d probably watch that…Helen Hunt is just as hot as Anne Francis, as far as I’m concerned.

Love and barometers,

Cap’n John


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