Thursday, March 23, 2006

It puts the lotion... 

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An old patron I had in Alabama looked and and acted so much like fictional serial killer Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs that it had to be intentional. He had the same wispy blonde mullet and booming, resonating voice, which he used to great effect when he needed help, which he would signify by shooting his hand up and yelling, “TEACHER!” It certainly got my attention. Instead of having LOVE and HATE tattooed on his fingers like Jame Gumb, though, he had the skeletal structure of his hand tattooed in black, in prison quality workmanship. It was like looking at a reverse X-ray of a hand, and it was very disconcerting.

The first time I saw the LOVE and HATE tattoo, it was on the back of Robert Mitchum’s hands in Night of the Hunter, an eerie, beautiful nightmare of a movie. (Night of the Hunter also features an unexpectedly alluring Shelly Winters. Forget her later, bloated, Poseidon Adventure years, she is seriously hot in the movie.) In the movie, Robert Mitchum portrays one of the most spellbinding villains of all time, and in one memorable scene he has his hands wrestle each other to demonstrate the eternal battle for good (LOVE) and evil (HATE) over man’s soul. I've noticed that LOVE and HATE tattoos are a common, recurring motif in cinema. Aside from Robert Mitchum’s character, the LOVE and HATE tattoos appear on the knuckles of:

One time in our journals and newspapers database class my colleague asked if any of the students had a particular magazine he or she would like to find.

His hand shot up, “EASYRIDERS MAGAZINE!”

My colleague searched, and of course it was not in any of the databases. "I'm sorry. We don't have a lot of the good ones like that. Mostly they just carry publications like Consumer Reports, Time Magazine and Harper's."

"That’s OK.”

A little later she had them search the New York Times Historical using the phrase “haunted house.” My colleague said, “I apologize. It seems like every search I do has to do with the occult.

His hand shot up. “You would be very surprised who was in the church of Satan." He cocked his eyebrow. "Verrrry surprised. One day my friend walked into Anthon Levay's place and there was a picture of him shaking Sammy Davis, Jr.'s hand. As I said, you would be very surprised."

When I commented on the similarities in appearance between Jame Gumb and the patron, my colleague sighed. "Well, as long as he doesn't tuck his thingie between his legs and start cavorting about the computer lab I guess we’ll be OK."

I hope your scary-sounding patrons doesn't read your blog or know how to use Technorati. He might recognize himself in your description and not appreciate it.
Did you show him how to find sewing machine info in Consumer Reports?

I still have a hard time separating Gumb from Stottlemeyer on Monk. It just doesn't seem right that he plays a cop now.
Do you know a Robert Mitchum movie in which he played an older man returning to his English home town and finding the girl he once loved who was a lbrarian?
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