The Silence of the Lambs is a solid story. I consider myself a creative person, but I could never come up with a story quite like that. I've been thinking lately, that they might have missed the mark on Buffalo Bill though. I mean, they obviously did a good enough job that his character has been copied time and time again in various films and TV shows. But I can't fight this feeling that maybe Bill would have led a slightly different life than we see in the movie or book. This all started yesterday when I was at the gym.
As I walked into the basement of the gym yesterday, which has a very nice spa lined with rock walls, like you're stepping into the rain forest, I started to think, If this wasn't an incredibly nice health club that might feel a bit different. If the entrance into that basement spa was in an old gym in downtown Philly or the suburbs of Gary Indiana, it would have a totally different feel. Just like how if the guy from 50 Shades of Grey worked at a junkyard it too who be a different story.
That's when it dawned on me that that's the type of place Buffalo Bill (Jame Gumb) would really lure someone into. I mean, let's look at the facts. Buffalo Bill loved skin, he was obsessed with the health of people's skin, and he was pretty handy (he was a trained tailor after all). All these things would make for a pretty good masseuse. Besides, why dig a basement pit when people will gladly walk into it?
I know what you're thinking, "Wouldn't he have been a dermatologist instead?". Let's be honest here though, Bill ain't doctor material, and his people skills were complete shit so he couldn't be a Mary Kay lady either. What better way to scope out your next skin suit than to see and massage it closely beforehand. Besides, everyone knows if you want a job done to your specifications you do it yourself. Plus, he still gets to put the lotion in baskets...Buffalo Bill's Brand Precious Skin Lotion to be exact.
I know this might be a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it's the small details that make a story good. LIke how Dexter is a serial killer, and how most arsonists are firefighters. If they remake The Silence of the Lambs it will probably start with Buffalo Bill throwing a temper tantrum at a Game Stop after a long day of massaging great big fat people.
Back in March, the crew made the trek to Bend, Oregon for a little corporate retreat. Now, there's a lot to see and do in Bend, but there was one treasure in particular that I had my sights set on. A truly endangered species, Bend is home to the very last Blockbuster in existence. I'd been in a Blockbuster probably a few hundred times during my youth, so surely this was nothing special, right? Wrong.
First off, the memories that walking into a Blockbuster brought back were the same as watching old home movies. The smell, the sights, the feeling of urgency to get that movie or game before they were sold out on a Friday night. These were all staples in the lives of the middle-class family in the '90s. I suddenly had the urge to hide popular VHS tapes behind the less popular ones until my Mom finished grocery shopping next door. You think the fact Blockbusters were always next to grocery stores was a coincidence? Nope, just a strategy as perfect as selling Girl Scout Cookies outside of dispensaries.
During our short visit, the phone never stopped ringing. People were calling from all over the world to buy DVDs and merchandise from the last Blockbuster. The shelves were filled with movies I'd never even heard of. Did you know there's a new Nic Cage movie out? Costumes and movies props were on display from movies you forgot you already owned on DVD but watched that one time, only to get pushed to the back of the shelf.
Actually, to be fair, it was exactly like I remembered Blockbuster. The plastic cases, the smell (still not sure what that smell was), the lack of an "adult section" and lastly the candy by the checkout that mom never let you have, even though you did all your homework and went to church last Sunday without complaining. But most importantly, the visit spawned the idea for our new "Cockblocker" Morale Patch.
I get it, Valentine's day is the most made up holiday of them all. I've always hated celebrating it. Even in relationships it always seemed forced. The real trick is to just celebrate the day after. Everything is on sale, the restaurants are empty, you can save some serious cash. That is assuming that your significant other is ok with your frugal spending habits. As I got older I realized how great being single on Valentines Day is. I save money, I avoid people, and there's nobody to let down because you got them the wrong flowers (also the Tinder game is strong leading up to and after). So, for this blog post, I celebrate the joys of being single on Valentines Day and the true MVPs of the single person on February 14th.
I've spent a handful of deployments in the sandbox on Valentines Day, sending expensive flowers to some girl who, to be honest, was "Deer Huntering" me. Instead of dinner and wine with some dependa, it was Rip Its and MREs with my Deployment Hub. For those of you that don't know, external hard drives are a crucial morale booster on deployments. Show up with an empty one and you'll leave with more music and movies than you know what to do with. My hard drive after my 2009 deployment looked like the rainbow coalition of pornography. I didn't even know there were that many genres out there. That trusty hard drive has gotten me through many deployments, and been more reliable than any of my ex-wives.
For those not deployed, February 14th is a great night for pizza and P-Hub. Maybe explore beyond that first page, go deep into the bowels of the "recommended for you" category. Finally press next on that oh so familiar tab on the bottom of the page. Really explore that "me time" you're always talking about. We don't judge.
With Valentines Day landing in winter every year, dry skin can be a real bitch. If you do land a date, don't show up with your skin looking like the paw pads of a 14-year-old chocolate lab. Nobody knows the struggle of dry skin better than Buffalo Bill, which is exactly why you should entrust the "Buffalo Bill's Brand Skin Lotion". If you do stay home alone I'm sure you can find other uses for it...
So, if you're bummed about being alone again this Valentines Day, just remember it could be worse. You could be stuck in a loveless marriage with that girl you met at the bar outside the gate at your first duty station.