Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cousin Bucket’s Guide to Surviving Apocalypse Sandy

This was a piece Brian prepped for Man Cave Daily. Didn’t get to make edits and run it in time with other content queued ahead. Given the extent of its damage, running it now might be a little inappropriate. Sure, prior to all that guaranteed destruction, we could make jokes there, but once that threat became real, running it from a CBS site just seems a little mocking. Anyway, here on Bankshot the humor’s a little darker and the setting’s more intimate, so here it is, just you and us, ain’t meaning no harm.¬†

As almost everyone knows, the eastern seaboard is getting hammered by Hurricane Sandy right now. If this is the first you’ve heard of this, please, please call your family right now, and go visit the news website of your choice. There’s some serious shenanigans going down and this is one of the few times your attention shouldn’t be on those lovely ladies¬†to the right.

As a public service, Man Cave Daily wanted to remind everyone of a few helpful ways to stay safe and prepared for the storm. All you need to do is follow these handy rules, have a nice cup of tea, and wait for this whole thing to blow over. (more…)

Leaving CT as the hurricane approaches

The tide is already insanely high here. I’m on a train lancing through the autumnal splendor under a thick grey sky, and it feels like slipping through the dragon’s jaws.

I wouldn’t have felt right if I’d missed the overbearing grey contrasting with the burning vitality of trees sinking into winter. Even a day or two makes its mark in the hungry Yankee heart. NYC just doesn’t get it the same. The parks by my apartment flare brilliantly for a few days but mostly turn yellow and brown. It’s like the trees know they’re a small colony of survivors cut off from the main of nature.

And now, headfirst into the dragon.

In Praise of Scary Stories

At long, long, way too long last: a new Cracked column! Five Reasons the Scariest Thing Ever Written Is a Kids’ Book. Because we all read and loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Or we were taken away in the night and replaced with a changeling that does not feel.

And then the wendigo came for him.

Sorry for all the delay. I’ve been working on a massive print project in addition to the day gig, and now it’s all wrapped up! So I can throw all my time back with my one true love: dark comedy.

When I was a kid I exhausted all the paranormal books in the library. But before that ever happened, someone in nursery school read us Taily Po, the story of a man who lived in a remote corner of the swamp with his dogs and shot…something. Whatever it was, he only winged it. He took the tail he’d shot off home and made a meal of it.

And that night, something prowled the roof. And a voice, more like a cat’s than a man’s, buzzed beneath the raging wind, “Whooooooo? Whoooooo toooook myyyyy Taily-Po?”

The man’s hounds were no defense. Killed or scared off, they left him alone with the thing, far beyond any help. And when it came down the window, looking like a raccoon-cat with lemur eyes, it wanted its Taily-Po back. But the tail was in the man’s stomach, and he couldn’t give it back.

I was a not-right kid for a week or more after that. But when I recuperated, I had a sick thrill for the unknown terrors from beyond. Nuclear war didn’t scare me; ghosts I knew couldn’t exist did. The horror was specifically that the thing could not be and yet IT WALKED AND TALKED AMONG US.

I think “Taily-Po” made it into Scary Stories, though I was exposed to it in a standalone book.

One more, about twenty years ago. It’s November, a few days after thanksgiving. We’re driving one town over to Waterford to get a Christmas tree. Even the pumpkins are in now. The sky is an iron-grey, the leaves have burned out to a sparse brown, and I’m sitting in the back of my parents’ blue Chevy woody wagon, reading Scary Stories. The pine tree farm is rocky, like most new England soil–in southeastern Connecticut a lot of the rock is a single piece that extends from the Race Point in Long Island Sound out to the old farmland along the shore. In short, it’s a perfectly creepy New England day: penned in top to bottom and sustenance exhausted all around. I think i realized something about where I grew up that day, as well as about what made Evil Warning Woman such a terrifying figure, and about myself and my odd thrill at the scarce terrain and impending danger always just behind your shoulder as you trudge deeper into the cold Connecticut forest.

Nice memories. Thanks, Alvin Schwartz.

I interviewed Alexander Rhodes


Intensity is his background.

Better known as Jack Reacher‘s Alexander Rhodes or Reddit Superstar Alexander Rhodes.

It was nice to do a bit of writing after so much editing/design/promotion/pagan sacrifice lately at the Man Cave, and Mr. Rhodes gave as great a batch of answers as you could hope. We decided I’d blindly interview “The Star of Jack Reacher” and only later find out he wasn’t Tom Cruise, but I tried to tailor all the questions to either one of them — e.g. vegetarianism, the silent treatment from Katie Holmes. It all went off swimmingly, and I thank him for his time.