Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"They're coming to get you, Barbara!"-Johnny, Night of the Living Dead

So, this wasn't taken today. You can tell that, since we never SAW THE FRIKKIN' SUN today!

Today was the Winter Solstice. I was going to type, “the Winter Solstice in Fairbanks,” but it was the Winter Solstice pretty much everywhere on Earth. So, happy Winter Solstice!

Is it dark all of the time? No. Today the Sun rose at 10:58AM. It went down at 2:40PM. For those math wizards out there, yes, that was a total of three hours and forty-two minutes of daylight And, that daylight wasn’t “high noon in Tucson, Arizona melting in a puddle of sweaty flesh daylight,” no, that was “if there weren’t crappy little shrubs about a quarter mile from here, I might see the Sun daylight.”

So, on the solstice we didn’t see the Sun.

Now, as I understand it, the Druids used to sacrifice a young birch (yes, I spelled that right, I think they were into trees) on the solstice. Maybe it was the Egyptians. Heck, maybe it was the Rotary Club. Someone, somewhere used to sacrifice something (and, no, I didn’t give up beer) on the Solstice so the sun wouldn’t go away forever. I thank them for that. I’m glad that some tree (or goat, or whatever) was killed back in 2357 B.C. so that I could have nice sunny days. Six months from now.

Which brings me to my biggest fear about these long nights and short days. You might say, “John Wilder, does it worry you that the long dark might be depressive and you end up cracking up a bit and making a 1/350th scale model of Edinburgh using toothpicks and bat guano?”

No. I don’t think we have bats. What worries me is the vampires.

How did this post about night in Fairbanks get so weird? Well, Blockbuster. You see, DVD rentals go way up in wintertime. Because, well, it’s damn dark and cold. So, people, rather than giving themselves tattoos with rusty butter knives, now rent DVD’s.

The Mrs. and I rented a DVD the other night. “Land of the Dead.”

Let me explain a bit. For every sock there is a hand. Or is that for every glove there is a foot? Well, regardless of the appendage you pick, The Mrs. and I are well matched.

When I was five years old my Grandma McWilder let me watch movies late on Saturday night. That was good. Most of the flicks on “Creepy Creature Feature” were 1950’s B-movies that wouldn’t scare a five year old. There was an exception.

One night they showed, Night of the Living Dead.

The uncut, original, George A. Romero, flesh-eating dead naked people version of Night of the Living Dead.

That scared the holy living bejezus out of me. I went to bed in Grandma’s room (there were two beds) and laid there in bed, rigid as OJ when people ask him if he’s still looking for the “real killer.”

There were problems. I knew, at least conceptually, that people died. Old people especially.

  • Grandma was old.
  • If she died, she might eat me.
  • She had dentures and moved pretty slow and shaky-like.
  • Maybe I could outrun her if I was still awake.

I’d better stay awake.

The Mrs. had a similar experience at the same age. She saw a stage version of “Dracula,” and, I’m sure, was wondering if a No. 2 pencil would do the trick if Mom or Dad became a creature of the night.

As a result, both of us tend to like scary movies. So, I rented Land of the Dead.

Alaska is the best place if you’re a forty thirty-something guy with a marginally Kirstie Alley-sized fear of zombies (like Kirstie, it gets bigger and smaller with the years).

Alaska has huge advantages if reanimated zombies rule the earth, for instance:

  • In winter, they’d be frozen as solid as furniture not purchased at Wal-Mart.
  • The cellular disruption from the extreme cold at –40F would turn the flesh to mush, making them entirely ineffective as zombies, since they would be zombies without muscle. Limpies?

The Mrs., however, is in bigger trouble. We only had three hours and forty-two minutes of sunlight today. She’s so hosed. That leaves twenty hours and eighteen minutes for vampires to rule Alaska. Maybe longer if they have some of that kick-ass SPF50 sunblock. I'd rather be afraid of zombies, though, than vampires. Vampires have pointy teeth.

So, in the summer with the warm temperatures and the twenty-four hour daylight, I get a little antsy. In the winter, well, I’ll remind The Mrs. that vampires could be out all the time, you know, so it’s an even deal. Regardless, I’ve already killed enough trees for the Druids to be happy. And for us to be warm.

Happy Solstice!


Blogger GreyGuy said...


6:01 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Ha! I love that George Romero Night of the Living Dead. The original one, not the atrocious pretenders that came later. Even bought the Special Collector's Edition so we can watch it around Halloween (and for us, again at Thanksgiving and Christmas).

7:46 AM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

Wow! It was very sunny today in Oklahoma. My boyfriend even pointed out at lunch that it was 65 degrees today! (That however isn't normal weather!)

Have a very Merry Christmas. If you get a chance I put a blog up today about oil changes and beer. You will have to let the Mrs. read it. It reminded me of one of your projects. She will like it!

3:18 PM  
Blogger John said...

unnnnnnnnnngggh. unnnnnnggh. See, I speak zombie!

Ditto! We watched at Halloween. Then last week. Just silly fun.

lady luck,
hanging about zero here today. Nice weather for us!

10:46 AM  

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