Classic Uncle Bardie: Be Careful What You Ask For

Another Halloween repeat performance from 2013. Enjoy. It’s Halloween.

The light from the windows of her hundred-year-old house streamed out onto the lawn late that night in February. The light reflected the shadow of her silhouette behind the curtains of her second story bedroom. She was watching me, I knew, as I stood next to the fence across the street and waited. I had been here every night for one hundred days, in rain, in fog that came up off the nearby sea, and on clear nights. It was the key to the door of her heart.

I wondered if she would ever recognize my love for her. At first, I had sent her notes, then candy, then flowers, first one, then a half dozen, then a dozen. But she ignored them. When we had last spoke at our high school, she had urged, “Please don’t.”

But I loved her too much to give up and I knew she would come to love me. It was fated to be and only a matter of time.

Each night I watched her father arrive from some late night appointment and go into the house. He was always going and coming at night. But why? Why did he do this? After all, he was a successful lawyer who had an office downtown, open for appointments all day long. Why did he need to be out this late every night?

One night her father walked out of the house and headed for his car. I looked at my watch. Eleven o’clock. I decided to follow. I hurried around the corner and jumped into my old beat-up green Buick. I started it, then sat there. Her father backed out of the driveway and headed east.

I pulled in behind him, about twenty car lengths, and tailed him. We drove for thirty minutes or so until we came to an old rundown warehouse. He parked in its parking lot, next to the three or four other cars there. I pulled to a stop a block or so away and watched him enter a side door into the building.

I got out of the car and walked over to the partially lit parking lot. I went around to the side and listened in through a half-broken window. All I could hear was the sound of barking dogs in the distance. I pushed my ear closer to the window. Then I felt it. The cold metal in my back. It was a gun.

“Come with me,” the man behind me demanded and grabbed me by the neck and shoved me forward. Before I could turn around to see who it was, I was forced through the side door and into the warehouse. Before me stood several men.

“I caught this outside,” the voice behind me said.

“Welcome, Mr. Benedaro,” her father greeted me with a smile.

I was pushed toward the group of men and forced to drop onto my knees. I was in the center of a circle of these men.

From behind me, I heard her voice. “Now, Father?” she said.

“Yes, Daughter,” her father said.

I turned to see a large wolf, charging me with its teeth bared.

“What the he…,” I screamed as she bit into my neck.

Hamlet: Entrapment

Whence is that knocking?
How is’t with me, when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here? Hah! They pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2.

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 3 Scene 2 (continued). Remember that camel through the eye of a needle thing Jesus talked about. Hamlet had a plan. He set a trap for Claudius. But there was only problem with it. That problem wasn’t small like the eye of a needle. It was as big as the Arc de Triumph. Hamlet should have seen it but he didn’t. Hamlet was so into his plan it would be like cutting the nose off to spite the face for him to recognize the easily recognizable.

Basically the plan went like this. He asked the acting troupe to re-enact the crime as the Ghost related it to him. There was a king poisoned by his nephew the way Claudius poisoned Hamlet’s daddy. Then the villain woos the queen. If Claudius is guilty, he will protest such a plot. If Claudius is not guilty, he won’t have a problem with the play. At least, that was how Hamlet saw it.

Claudius saw the scene and he was out of there. Which didn’t prove he did it or he didn’t do it. It only proved that he was upset. He had been set up. If the FBI set such a trap, it would be called entrapment.

Wouldn’t you have left? Say Claudius was innocent of the accusation. He sat, watching a play that accused him of a crime he didn’t commit. Not only was he accused but Hamlet rubbed it in his face. It was out there for all of Castle Elsinore to see, including his wife, the Queen.

What does Claudius do? He storms out. He is angry at Hamlet. Hamlet has forced Claudius to show his hand. But Claudius isn’t showing any hand. ‘Cause a man guilty or innocent would have done the same as Claudius.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: One Haunted House

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “The Haunting” (1963):

It’s that time. The time the scary stuff comes out. We dress up the pumpkins. We put on someone else’s face. Usually a scary someone like Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster or a Werewolf or a Kardashian. It’s a time when we really don’t want to go down in the basement. It gets so scary some years we may find ourselves calling for the Ghostbusters. (“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters.”)

It’s time for a spine-chilling movie. What better spine-chilling movie than a haunted house film? But I gotta tell you. For me, there have been very few haunted-house movies that can measure up to a Big Scare.

“The Haunting” measures up. It was directed by Robert Wise. You mean, the Sound-of-Music, The-Day-the-Earth-Stood-Still Robert Wise. Yes, that Robert Wise. A Robert Wise who came out of the Studio System when directors got to work in a lot of different genres.

“The Haunting” is adapted from Shirley Jackson’s novel, “The Haunting of Hill House”. Nelson Gidding’s screenplay does not deviate much from the novel. It is filmed in black and white, creating an aura that accentuates darkness the house gives off. (Please don’t ruin your experience by seeing the 1999 remake. It’s not good.)

The movie opens with the house silhouetted against the night sky, not an inviting scene. The house whispers to the viewer, “Stay away if you know what’s good for you.” With the appearance of the house, there is the discordant music of a harp and a piano. Then the narration begins. “An evil old house…Whatever walked there, walked alone” Suddenly I realize that it might not be good to watch this one alone.

Then there is the cast. Not your usual horror movie cast. Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn (from “West Side Story” fame) and Lois Maxwell (the original Miss Moneypenny). No Vincent Price. No Boris Karloff. No Christopher Lee. No blood and gore either. Just fear.

“The dead are not quiet in Hill House,” Mrs. Sanderson, the current owner, warns the scientist. He has approached her, asking her to allow him to research the psychic phenomena in the house.

Soon we learn just how not-quiet the dead are. Which makes this one a perfect Halloween movie.

Do you have a favorite Halloween movie?

We’re working things out

A pickin’ and grinnin’ lyric.

Off to Philadelphia, P A
They drove for twenty-four hours a day.
They hoped hard times had stayed their stay
But the hard times followed them anyway.
I’m still with Tommy, she says to me
We’re working things out.
Sure, he can’t hold a job, she says to me.
We’re still working things out.

He had seven jobs in seven days
And he has an eighth on the way.
He needs to get his act ready for play.
Just give him some time. It’ll be any day.
I’m still with Tommy, she says to me
We’re working things out.
Sure, he can’t hold a job, she says to me.
We’re still working things out.

It’s not that he’s lazy or that he drinks.
He’s in need of a little leeway.
It’s taking some time to work out the kinks.
He keeps hoping things will work out okay.
I’m still with Tommy, she says to me
We’re working things out.
Sure, he can’t hold a job, she says to me.
We’re still working things out.

2 A.M.

If you love poetry as much as I do, then you have to read S. S. Hicks’ blog. With each poem she posts, she just gets better and better. Much of her poetry reminds me of some of my favorites, such as Gary Snyder and Elizabeth Bishop. This poem especially spoke to me. I really love how she brought the poem to closure. So enjoy…