Thursday, July 24, 2008

Casting Change in "Twilight" Drives Stake Through Hearts of Women Everywhere

Females across the nation are in mourning in the wake of today's announcement of a casting change for the role of "Edward" in the upcoming movie Twilight. The movie, based on the eponymous book by author Stephanie Meyer, features the heartthrob Edward as perhaps the only vampire whom most women wouldn't fight if he asked to drink their blood. Hunky Edward was set to be played by the little-known yet devastatingly handsome Robert Pattinson. . .at least until today. According to producers, that role has now been given to Christopher Mintz-Plasse, best known for his work as "McLovin" in Superbad.

When asked why they made such a drastic decision so late in the process -- much of the shooting had already been completed -- director Christopher Wren says, "If we want to market our movie to people besides women age 16-45, we need something in there besides a dreamy vampire. We need a dreamy vampire who wears glasses, farts a lot, and is socially awkward. We need McLovin."

"I'm at a total loss," comments crazed Twilight fan Brenda Gowdry of Sioux City, Iowa. "I read all of Ms. Meyer's books fantasizing about the day Edward would take me away to his lair and give me passionate, toothy kisses. Edward makes me swoon. McLovin makes me barf."

Other fans remain convinced that the casting change was done out of spite. "I just know my boyfriend is behind this," claims 17-year-old Jane Theyer. "He complains that ever since Edward came into my life, I've made unreasonable demands of him. Whatever. I even offered to pay for those incisor implants and for the set of 30 satin capes, and he still balked."

Yet not everyone sees the switch as a negative. Mintz-Plasse, for example, describes himself as "stoked to the max" to don the cape and fangs. "I plan on bringing my own natural charm to the role," he says, yet also admits he knows little about the character. "As long as Edward's one of those vampires that acts like an idiot and gets drunk in public a lot, I've got it made."

The movie is due out December 12.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Bus Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I finished my work at the hospital earlier than anticipated this morning, leaving me in a quandary over how to get back home. Malerie was at church with the car and had her cell phone off. What to do? Walk? That would take like 5 hours and I'd most likely keel over on the way. Ask my attending for a ride home? Probably frowned-upon, especially since he lives in the opposite direction. Then a thought occurred to me--with my phat monthly income of $0, I could probably spring for a taxi.

So I checked into cab fares, and I fully intend to report my findings to the Better Business Bureau. Have you seen the racket these cabbies have going? $35 for a 12-mile ride?? For that kind of coin I ought to be going by helicopter, or at least one of those crappy stretch-Geo "limos."

My last option was none other than The Working Man's Champion, The People's Choice--the city bus. Always an adventure in sounds and smells, the bus offers many people the one thing they desperately need. And what might that be? Conveyance? No. Shelter? Wrong again. What many bus riders are really looking for is a captive audience. Go ride one sometime if you don't believe me. You'll feel like an actual captive.

Upstairs in the hospital, I planned out my route online, hoping I wouldn't get to hear about a co-passenger's intestinal complaint again (this actually happened). And then I remembered February 2003.


In February 2003, I was a missionary living in Costa Rica. Another missionary and I had been travelling down near the Panamanian border and were due to return to San José, a healthy seven hours away. As the bus approached, my companion informed me that he had forgotten to buy tickets, which meant we would be riding standby. Rapture. We would be able to sit as long as no other passenger boarded with a ticket for our seat. The first three hours, mercifully, we were able to sit down.

That changed all too soon, as I suddenly found myself standing, packed into the back of the bus like a sardine. Despite my efforts to be a good soldier, I soon started noticing how uncomfortably hot the bus was becoming, what with the wall-to-wall people. Costa Ricans are under the impression that exposure to any sort of cool air causes serious illness, so opening the windows on that inferno bus was out of the question. I even tried to sneakily crack one open an inch or two and steal some air, but the other passengers balked.

After standing in the heat for two hours, I started feeling nauseous. What could I do? There certainly weren't any sickness bags to be found. Thanks to my shenanigans with the window, the other passengers had edged me to the center of the aisle, so I had no easy way to open the window if the worst should happen. Like any good missionary, I cast my eyes to the heavens...

...and saw the emergency exit. Perhaps I could somehow pop open that hatch and release my burden? But nauseous or not, I didn't want my head getting lopped off by a low hanging branch. I thought about just exploding all over the place--that would serve these people right for not giving me window privileges. But then I would have to stand in my own vomit for two more hours.

It soon became apparent that I would need to act, and fast. Desperately, I lunged toward the nearest window, landing, arms extended, on the laps of a seated man and his young daughter. Still laying across their knees, I forced open the window and tossed a surprise into the night. Relief was instant, but also temporary. 30 seconds later, I did it again.

Missionaries are there to answer questions, but I'm almost positive those two poor souls didn't board that bus wondering, "I wonder what it feels like to have someone wretch while in physical contact with me?" But maybe they were.


Perhaps now you can understand my aversion to buses. Fortunately for me and the other passengers, today's trip home was much less eventful. It cost a total of $2.25, so I can buy more motion sickness bags. Plus, the driver looked just like this guy:

Maybe next time, I'll get Mini-Me or even Mr. Bigglesworth.