Thursday, July 31, 2014

Haunted Hotel Rooms in Wisconsin

Over the years I have found it to be fairly common to have hotel rooms haunted with various entities, hostile and mischievous.  Stephen King's 1409 was based on a real hotel room in Chicago and The Shinning comes to mind as well.  I've been to that hotel in Colorado and it's quite nice. 

But I've been hearing rumors and stories about a motel room in Janesville, Wisconsin that have really gotten my interest.  First, because it's close to where I live and second, I actually know some folks who have been in there. 

I'm told the Holiday Inn Express in Janesville might have a problem.  Room 228, to be specific. 

I first heard of this a few months back when a friend of mine had family stay in town for a wedding.  Her aunt was so terrified she had to check out. 

"My Aunt Jo was in town for our wedding in March and they stayed in that room for two nights.  On the first night, she said she went into this weird trance and drew a horrible picture of a demon's head.  It was awful!  But my aunt blamed it on watching a scary movie at my mom's house with her nephews.  Those two little bastards do that sort of shit sometimes.  But she said after she drew the picture she took a snap of it with her phone and sent it to my uncle, who couldn't come because he was on-call at the fire department.  

When she sent the picture, the note she typed was a bunch of gibberish.  

The day after was my wedding.  During the reception she was really wild.  Wilder than normal.  She kicked off her shoes, did shots with the guys, and slow-danced a bunch with one of my husband's family.  

She never told us what happened that night but she was visibly shaken and said she had to check out of that room.  She even went home early and still won't talk about it."  

The next story I've been told comes from a co-worker who used that room for one of her hook-ups with a traveling tack salesman.  She didn't want to get into details because she thought I was prying into her incredibly active sex life, but after a while, she told me about her experiences in that room. 

"Well, first, we were a little drunk when we got there.  And we were just talking when I got a call from my mom about something stupid.  While I was talking to her, he doodled on a pad of paper.  When I got off my call, he had drawn the face of a hideous demon, and had a weird look on his own face."  

She got quiet and so I knew she didn't want to go into the sordid details of what happened next.  And frankly, I didn't want to hear it. 

"So you guys did whatever...and then what happened?" 

"Well," she said.  "It was weird.  Different.  And then he laughed." 

"He laughed?" 

"Yeah, like he was just happy to having fun but not so much with me." 

"What happened next?" 

"Well, I left.  And a week later he asked me if I felt anything strange that night.  I didn't know what he was talking about but because that night was so weird, I hadn't texted him or anything.  He said he didn't remember much after I got the phone call from my mother but he was in trouble with his wife because he apparently took a picture with his phone of the demon he drew and sent it to her with some crazy text message.  And now he says there's a ghost or something in his house that's knocking stuff off shelves and making noises at night."  

I asked for more details but she didn't want to talk about it.  I think she just wanted to forget that guy. 

Two weeks ago, I heard another story.  A traveling salesman for a car audio company came through.  He stayed there and once again, drew a picture of a demon and sent it to somebody with a message that was gibberish.  He said he didn't hook up with anybody, but he said the room was super cold at night and he couldn't sleep because the bed kept shaking. 

The worst part of it all is how I think it came home with me.  Stuff keeps getting moved, tools disappear, food spoils instantly, and I just can't seem to sleep very well.  My wife is going nuts.  She's screaming at me about all kinds of stuff I didn't do, like move her make-up or wake her up at night.  It's crazy!  I might have to get a priest in here to get it out.  

I have no idea what's going on in room 228 in that Janesville hotel, but I know I'm damned curious.  If anybody else has experiences, let me know! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sacred Cows

I've just finished watching the BBC 4 movie made about the controversy stirred up by the release of Monty Python's film Life of Brian. Frankly, the move was hilarious, and I found it almost as funny as Life of Brian.

In the 2011 BBC 4 film Holy Flying Circus, John Cleese goes on a rant about how it's okay to be offensive.  It's rather brilliant.

It's because of this film I feel the need to be offensive.

And before I begin, I have to say, it's not easy to be offensive for the sake of offending people.  Really.  You should try it sometime.  Just say to yourself, "Today I am going to offend people."  Simply trying to offend doesn't even touch the surface.

I like offending people.  I really do.  And if I do this properly today, you'll be offended.  I want to offend you, dear reader.  While I sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your busy surfing of the web for recipes and midget porn to come read my drivel and gibberish, I am going to offend you nonetheless because, after all that's what you come here for.  Right?  I called this blog Ted's Creepy Van.  What the fuck else do you expect out of me? 

Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a blog about creepy things and not self-incriminate?  I can't plead the Fifth Amendment and still write about grabbing random assholes off the street and cutting their bits and pieces off while they scream for mercy.  When a body or piece shows up, and they always do, the police will use everything in this blog as evidence against me.

What is worse, I have to write about nondescript assholes.  I can't talk about the piece of shit down the street who looks at me funny, or the woman who is such a bitch to me I dream about pulling her finger nails out, or the person I worked with who lied to get me fired.  Nope!

In fact, I have to be careful about discussing women and violence together because it puts me on a series of lists.  I work with women who are already terrified of me as it is and discussing violence against women seems to set folks off.  Not that I mind, but the FBI tends to be narrow-minded and devoid of humor.  If the feds came to my workplace to arrest me, or even question me, most of the women in the building would just nod their heads. 

"Uh-huh, dat fat guy be crazy!" 

Frankly, the entire topic of violence against women as a comedic trope is a vast virgin territory waiting to be explored but I'm not going to do it because I love not being in jail.  I love not being in jail so much, I often go outside and breath while saying to myself, "free air is the best air!"  Once you start blogging about how hilarious it is to carve up people and have puppet shows with their bits all kinds of law enforcement agencies take notice.

And it takes serious balls to be offensive.  Or the complete disregard of how others feel to a psychotic extreme.  I've made rape jokes and thoroughly pissed off friends who were rape survivors.  Even if you joked about raping a clown or a mime, somebody will point out that clowns are just people wearing make-up and how it's not funny.  I'm pretty sure mimes are people, too. Despite those faces they make as they are ravaged, you can't really joke about raping clowns and mimes, because eventually the make-up is washed off by the tears. 

But no, offensive content is an art unto itself.  And these days I could blog about how much I hate this god or deity and nobody could care.  It's mundane and boring.  Sure, I could really go overboard and piss off the Muslim community just so they could issue a death sentence or whatever they call it, but there's no money in that.  They decide to kill me, then they realize I live in Butt-Fuck Egypt, and after realizing Egypt doesn't have a town called Butt-Fuck and I'm really in rural Wisconsin they will give up.  Some will.  The crazy ones will come after me and kill me at some point because I mocked a prophet or a god or whatever.

Upon my death at the hands of extremist Muslims for offending them I will leave behind nothing but debt and a few poorly written blog posts that will never make a dime.  Rather pointless, really.

Being offensive and making money at it isn't so easily done.  Howard Stern offends but he gets paid.  John Cleese offended people and he got paid, too.  The good offenders of sensibilities get paid.  But they were all pioneers of their area of offense.

Perhaps I could be a pioneer of cannibal humor?  Eating people.  Yum!

But human livers are so full of Vitamin A that a few bites would be lethal.  And honestly, I wouldn't want to eat anything that's been alive for 18 years or more, so that leaves eating children.  Tender, soft and succulent children.  Jonathan Swift got away with it as satire.  I doubt I could write about eating children these days without having serious problems.  Cops, my friends at the FBI, parents.  I know several people who just had babies and if I start writing and posting recipes for Human Veal they'd never talk to me again.  A few of the fathers might want to kick my ass.

So, dear reader, I must conclude this post with the sincere wish that you were at least moderately offended by something today.  Being offended is really a wonderful experience.  It lets us know we have some morals left and the over-stimulation by the media hasn't left us hollow.  Plus, being offended makes us think, and question just what we believe in on a personal level.

Next week, I'll blog about how easy it is to swindle the Amish.   

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Conversations with My Car

"I need you to run," I said.  "I can't keep bumming rides from people." 

My car yawned and continued to ignore me.  It hadn't said much in a while. 

"Look," I said.  "Just stop pissing power steering fluid all over the place, alright?"  Two weeks of this shit.  I thought it was the pump so I changed it.  Of course, not having the tools didn't help, so with the aid of some co-workers we were able to make it happen.  That should have fixed the problem. 


Turned it on and power steering fluid was everywhere again.  The serpentine belt got soaked and slipped off the tension pulley.  Again. 

So today, I tried a new tactic.  One person got on the ground while I turned the wheels to see if fluid was squirting from the bottom.  This, I thought, seemed like the logical solution.  This way I could find out if it was the pressure hose or the rack.  I even had some budget solutions for the hose-option. 


The belt came off and for the life of my friend and I, we couldn't put it back on.  It was as if the car simply didn't want us to put the belt back on.  My 95 Ford Taurus was being a problem child and throwing a fit. 

"Come on," I implored.  "Just let me get this belt back on you and we'll get you all fixed up.  Ok?" 

Still silence.  And then I had an idea. 

"Well," I sighed.  "That's fine.  I need to get some writing done anyways.  I'm working on a story about a car." 

"Oh?"  Deep down I smiled. 

"Yeah," I said.  "It's the story about a car that has a heroic heart and bonds with a little boy who with cancer.  The boy's parents are flying him to a special hospital when they crash.  Only the boy survives and the car is trying to get him to his treatments before he gets too sick for them to work." 

"What kind of car?" 

"I was going to go with a Taurus just because of the relationship you and I have." 

"That makes sense." 

"Not really," I said.  "Nobody really likes Tauruses.  I mean, we all drive one, but that's just because it's what we can afford.  Tauruses aren't flashy and you're not the SHO model." 


And then, softly, "I've been reliable."

"Yes," I said.  "You have.  And aged well.  Almost 20 years old and still on the road."

"So why not make the car a Taurus?"

"So why won't you let me put this fucking belt on you?"

Silence again.  After a few minutes I went back inside my apartment to write.

Three hours later my horn toots.  I went back outside to see what it wanted.

"What's up?"

"You never take me anywhere."

I nodded my head in understanding.  I want to go places, too.  "Gas ain't free, my friend."

"Take me someplace other than work."

"Once I get paid, I'll certainly do that.  Maybe you, Dougie and I will go on a road trip together."

"You're lying to me.  I can tell."

"Yes," I said.  "I'm broke and can't afford to take you anywhere.  Plus, if you don't start working soon, I'm going to have to get rid of you."

More silence.

"Look," I said.  "While I love these little conversations of ours, I'm getting eaten alive by mosquitoes out here, so I'm going back inside."

"Why don't you ever have women in your car?"

"Well," sputtered.  "That's a good question--"

"---And when are you going to replace me with a van?"


"Look," I said while slapping at the dozens of mosquitoes that buzzed around me.  "I don't plan on replacing you with a van and one day I'm sure a woman will ride in your passenger seat."

"You can't afford to replace me, can you?"

It had me.  It totally had me.  There was nothing I could do.

"Would you please just run?"




"What do you want?"

"I told you."

And with that, silence for the rest of the night.

I can't say I have an end to this.  My car refuses to work.  There really isn't much more to say.  It's not that old but showing what age it does have.  I'm sure after a while I can figure out the problem and get it all put back together.  But until then, I'm bumming rides, and this issue is taking up way too much time. 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Published this Month!

I have a short story that came out tonight in the July 2014 issue of Infernal Ink Magazine.  I'm totally stoked!  I hope everybody picks up a copy because we need to support these magazines and especially ones in print. 



PDF  PDF copies are only on sale in the first month after release.