Suggested Audio Cookie:
Today’s Rivers of Grue is brought to you by the number ten. It turns out my monster is a Sesame Street monster; found out while trying to feed it a cookie. There were crumbs everywhere I tell you. Lack of a throat doesn’t handicap my monster, it actually lightens his load, as digestion becomes an unecessary suggestion. Without that overbearing weight upon its shoulders (which I’m fairly positive my monster doesn’t possess); we get to see it in its natural habitat. I let my monster decide what kind of literature I scribe next and awoke from slumber today with a nagging audio narrative playing out inside my head. Ten…Ten…..TEN! My monster seemed to be making a point to its Keeper so I attempted to decipher its incessant code.
My first consideration was that it wanted me to scribe a piece about repetition and, like the cat with the rat, I felt pretty smug for working it out. Neon disco squares instantly lit up around me with the customary ominously discarded banana skin craftily camouflaged on the yellow segment. Did I stand on that perilous perisher? Negative. I simply slid it on like a freshly polished brogue and rode that slippery nasty like Seabiscuit. However, the nagging reconvened soon after. “Ten…..TEN!!!” It was then that the penny dropped and I accepted my monster’s assignment. What’s so precious about the number ten? I’m stumped said the amputee to the surgeon. Well, actually, there is one thing significant about this otherwise bland twig ‘n’ hoop.
Perfection is something which divides folk into two distinct categories: the optimist and the cynic. The optimist sees perfection in every direction, in the woods by the lake, at the state intersection. The cynic sees suffering, negativity buffering, this heathen won’t be held accounted for mothering. Nothing’s good enough and said cynic spends his life awaiting that one pivotal piece of sublime majesty which never arrives which I find that a somewhat sombre reality. I can’t allow such floccinaucinihilipilification (fuck it, if we’re doing Sesame Street, look it up Grueheads) to dampen my spirits. Fuck you inner cynic; I’m Action Jackson and all you are is One Tough Bastard. If you asked me to list, from the peak of my cranium, every film I would garnish with a perfect ten, then I would possibly malfunction and go on a crazy murderous rampage. I’d simply be overloaded like a poncho stuffed with fast rising pastry. I would imagine that well over a hundred movies earn this particular mark of distinction. Let’s just say that Keeper falls snugly into the optimist category.
The Optimist vs The Cynic
How delightful to meet you, come this way, I shall seat you
all my friends are inside and they’re dying to meet you
I’ll hang up your coat, take the weight off your feet
and I’ll go and prepare something tasty to eat
Optimist 1 Cynic 0
Oh it’s you again loser, had a feeling we’d meet
here take this week’s refuse, dump it out on the street
I’d invite you inside and don’t think me lewd
but by the size of those storm clouds, I would say you were screwed
Optimist 1 Cynic 1
Don’t fuss on that spillage, the butler will get it
you’re our guest of honor, and don’t you forget it
there’s a spa for your toes, dip them in, let them rest
you’ve put on ten pounds? Well I’d never have guessed
Optimist 2 Cynic 1
Go lick up that feces, I expect it wiped clean
you’re the saddest excuse for a human I’ve seen
don’t lean on my wall as you’re making it dirty
you’ve put on ten pounds? Would have said more like thirty
Optimist 2 Cynic 2
That abrasion will heal, should you just give it time
fret not my dear friend as you’ll soon be just fine
it’s a new day tomorrow so don’t you be tearful
I can think of ten reasons you should remain cheerful
Optimist 3 Cynic 2
That cut looks real deep and unlikely to heal
Life sucks to be you, I suggest you just deal
your recovery odds offer solemn statistics
I can think of nine reasons to remain pessimistic
Optimist 3 Cynic 3
I love bunny rabbits, I love forest springs
I adore summer sun and the joy that it brings
please stay a tad longer, the whole night if you please
you can live here forever, I’ll waiver the fees
Optimist 4 Cynic 3
I fucking hate rabbits and I fucking hate you
your misplaced affection makes me just want to spew
I must go to the restroom but I will return soon
and when I come back I’ll be sealing your doom
Optimist 4 Cynic 4
Did you hear of the cynic? This tickled me pink
he misplaced his footing, cracked his skull on the sink
no worthwhile retort as he fell to his death
with no one around as he coughed his last breath
FINAL TALLY: Optimist 5 Cynic 4
Who wants to be a grubby old cynic anyhoots? Sure, in the correct company, cynicism rides shotgun alongside sarcasm to offer a pleasant diversion from all the idealism, but I wouldn’t want to wake up every day with the same ill-fitting wilted face, berating the pointlessness of garden gnomes with not a solitary soul to share my aversion with. That shit’s just sad. Perfection, my loved ones, is all around us. It’s the air that we breathe (not the smog suggested by those cynics), the delectable tang on our lips (not halitosis as accused), and each fluttered beat of our hearts (no sign of a cardiac arrest). It’s everywhere. The glass is well over half full as it’s far better working back from perfection as opposed to hauling yourself forth from the algae. Fuck cynicism in its shitty little ass trench; if I was Goddess Durga I’d furiously wave all eight arms at it.
I have been known to appraise films from time to time and generosity is indeed a charity to which I gladly subscribe. Once you award a film that perfect ten then I don’t believe it can lessen with time, so it becomes a risky pursuit curtailing the desire to dish out tens willy nilly. It just so happens I loves me a little risqué and once a movie sucks my lollipop it becomes therefore cast in stone. Regardless of any contributing factors, each film has an opportunity in which to connect, share, care, teach, hurt, break every last one of us. If, by completion, there ain’t a damn thing you would wish altered, then you have your perfect ten. Voila! See, the optimists way is far less interesting. Besides, restraint makes my dick and balls itch and there’s little amusing about prickly genitals. It’s all too easy searching for fault but far more satisfying looking for the positives.
My case in point is Fede Alvarez’ magnanimous 2013 Evil Dead reboot. After watching this for the first time, bids started at eight out of ten, and I felt justified in my decision as I laid to rest that night. By the morning his film had left a scroll on my pillow, bearing a crimson seal. I dozily unraveled it to reveal just three elegantly scribed words…I love you. What a romantic gesture, it made my morning and I bounded down the stairs, chirping with melodic merriment. Somehow, seemingly whilst I was out cold, this glorious little remake snuck inside me, likely via rectum, and milked my prostrate with its gyrating gums. It marinated through bed rest and, when I came to, Evil Dead had more than justified that additional chalk mark on the wall. Moreover, subsequent viewings may still see it rise to a perfect ten. Never say never; that’s my motto.
Here’s another hit for your domes; I like cheddar right? I mean I really like cheddar and would gleefully don a cheese blazer if it wasn’t for the fact that dairy has a tendency to sweat if left in the open for too long. In many respects; films are very much like hunks of cheddar. They mature you see; like cologne in a perfume concession they ripen with age. You may spray your wrist to learn of their fragrance but you can’t realistically expect to truly get to know one another from one fleeting rendezvous and often make it home before realizing you should have made that purchase. Should a movie tick every box then it becomes a no-brainer. What’s the point in ever aspiring to perfection when such is unachievable?
While we’re giving examples; here’s another for your mind to masticate. Humanoids have a tendency to score the opposite sex out of ten. A suitor may be flawless from the head down but a couple of disproportioned toes or some swollen ankles end up lessening our rating. There is so much emphasis on the body beautiful but, once again, not nearly enough on brain capacity. Should I stand before a woman with no unsightly defects whatsoever, but she lacks the customary kindness of spirit, then her tally is instantly more than halved. We live in a superficial world whereby we are all provided with weight divisions then informed that we shouldn’t punch above them. It’s all ultimately bullshit as the most vital thing is that we forge a connection. Without the relevent tools to do so; the most optically arousing woman on the planet swiftly becomes a mangy mutt with club foot, pedicure or no pedicure.
I never lose sight of that perfect ten but I always wait until presented with all the facts before awarding such. It’s better than any of the other number because there’s two of it. Ten represents the very top of the tree, has a film named after it which Bo Derek gets naked in, and looks mighty purty atop the mantle piece. Indeed, there are a plethora of reasons for its supremacy. Ten was the age when I first slid Xtro in our family VHS toploader and anybody that knows how much I adore that movie will also be aware why the writing was on the wall soon thereafter. I’m thankful to Sesame Street for the genial reminder as there is much to be said of this double-barreled numeral. I shall continue flying its flag proudly as it deserves every last bit of representation in the mind of this optimist. I don’t know about you but I’ve rather enjoyed our time with ten. One could even say that it has been simply perfect.