Episode 424 Rant

Aarron: The Hands of Strife

I had a good feeling about today. This was going to be a good day . . . I could really feel it. Never mind the fact that I was on my way up to the Professor's office and therefore the possibility of severe pain. I knew it was going to be good because Comedy Central was airing one of the few episodes that I don't have on tape. So to be blunt, it really didn't matter what Aarron did, nothing could ruin my day.

Then Nagasaki came scrambling out of the Professors office and started running towards me at a trot yelling, "Co2! Water! Halon!" Looking towards the doorway he had ran out of, I noticed a faint green glow and smelled burnt hair.


Vince came out of another room with a 500 milliliter Florence flask full of liquid. His hair was exceptionally messed up and the lab coat he was wearing had burn marks on it.

Nagasaki grabbed the flask. "Great! This was exactly what I was looking for!"

As the Asian scientist was running back into the office, Vince had a panicky look in his eyes and was trying to get Nagasaki's attention. "Wait Chen, that's not water, that's . . ."


". . . Everclear."

I tried to get out of the building but the explosion had caused the elevators to go off line, and nothing scares me enough to make me hump it down thirteen flights of stairs.

After Aarron finished blending my margarita, I headed for the chair. Next to the TV and VCR, the chair was one of the few things in the office that hadn't been burnt. This was good, because without the chair, I would never be able to deal with the boys today. You know the chair I'm talking about. The La-Z-Boy Atomolounger. The very chair that was reported, because of its unmatched relaxing design, to have been the true explanation for President Reagan's lapses of memory regarding Iran-Contra. Oh yeah.

"So Mister Benson, what is on today?"

"Manos . . . The Hands of Fate."

Vince immediately opened the refrigerator and started counting the cans of beer. "Five times six is what . . . oh yeah, 30 something . . . we should have enough alcohol to numb this episode" Vince then looked at me. "That is if Mister Benson can keep from dropping half full cans on the carpet."

"Hey, the chair put the left side of my body asleep."

Aarron wasn't quite catching on. "Why the need for all of the alcohol?"

"It's Manos."

"The Hands of Fate," added Vince.


"And it is probably the most vile experiment that Doctor Forrester has ever sent the boys on the SOL."

"What about Red Zone Cuba," asked Vince?"

"Are you Cherokee Jack?"

Vince and I laughed.

But Aarron was still out of the loop, "Come on, all of the movies they rip are bad. What makes this one so different?"

I felt sorry for Aarron . . . well not actually. It was kind of nice not having him belittle us because we didn't understand what he was talking about. "You've been through Rock Climbing and Deep Hurting, but this one . . . it's really painful."

So the experiment started and as my the VCR hummed away, filling in the gaps to my collection, I watched Aarron for the telltale signs of Manos insanity. It starts with the exceptionally long driving sequence, then progresses to a terrible attempt to make a social statement about men listening to their wives advise about asking for directions. But he didn't blink.

Then, when Torgo first appears, I looked for the standard "this guy is supposed to be scary" look followed by the "Man, Torgo is creepy in the same sort of way a pedifile is" cringe . . . but there was not a change in Aarron's demeanor . . . he just kept sipping his drink and smoking cigarettes. I started to believe he was in some sort of a coma (which, when you think about it, isn't always a bad thing).

And throughout the rest of the destruction that this movie inflicts on the psyche, Aarron remained the same. Taking in the movie, but never reacting . . . only laughing when the boys said something that amused him.

When it was over, Vince and I were shaking off the effects. Sure we had seen the episode several times in the past, but you never get over Manos . . . hell, it's hard enough getting over the short. Aarron, however, got right up and started blending another batch of liquor.

"So boys, wasn't that movie a lot like a bad road trip?"


"I mean, what's the worse than going on a road trip and ending up at the summer home of all that is evil?"

"Being a vegetarian and your car has a dead battery and the only place to get a jump is at the slaughterhouse because they have cattle prods."

"Flying on any third world airline . . . or Delta."


Nagasaki looked up from his research papers. "Searching for a bite to each at a dinner party hosted by Kate Moss."

"Not bad Chen. How about taking a first date to see a good film but once you're seated in the theater, it turns out to be back to back showings of those crappy Ace Ventura movies . . . and the exits mysteriously get stuck."

"What about being a couple of Hillbillies on their way to Nashville to get their big break but have to spend the night in a haunted house."

"Vince, I've warned you about bringing up that damn film!"

"And worse yet, it's not really haunted but rather the headquarters for a exceptionally inept spy ring."

"Vince, shut the hell up!"

"And there's this really stupid monster, a gorilla, but you know it's a guy in a suit, yet you feel a strange sense of terror when he kidnaps the girl with the really bad blonde die job."

"Hozehead, if you don't shut up right now, I swear, I'm going to stick your hand in the blender and press frappe."

"And there's this guy, a really dumb guy, who watches a TV show that has Merle Haggard when he was really young singing some song, and he is the only guy who sees the spooky things."

Aarron started pacing around the room, wringing his hands and mumbling to himself. "Vince won't shut up about that movie . . . and what is the deal, swollen knees aren't scary . . . and why didn't the family just get out of the place the first time things seemed scary . . . and did that woman feel attracted to Torgo, I mean she did agree not to tell her husband awful quickly."

"It's working! He's cracked!"

"You are the master of Evil."

"Thank you Frank . . . Push the button."

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