Saturday, January 20, 2007

By now, you've read several anecdotal accounts of people within the Black Hole of Des Moines, and seen recovered documents from those who claim to "appreciate" this most unusual phenomenon. You may have even noticed unusual photographs, and the even more unusual reactions to those photos. But to this point, precious little has been written about the Black Hole Itself. What is it, and why Des Moines? Why does it have these curious effects on otherwise perfectly ordinary people?
The fact is, there are few concrete answers with regards to the Black Hole of Des Moines. It cannot even be said to have a specific location. East-bound travelers have reported experiencing the Black Hole while on the east side of the Iowa city of Des Moines, and have claimed effects lasting as far as Iowa City, and even beyond. West-bound pilgrims, on the other hand, claim that the Black Hole begins at Des Moines, but extends westward, in some cases even as far west as Omaha, Nebraska.
Effects of the Hole are likewise difficult to pinpoint. Reliable observers have noted profound effects on both space and time. In addition to the anecdotal evidence already recounted on this blog, this writer has observed that over an hour of travel in the Black Hole produces a net distance traveled of minus thirty miles. In other words, while seeming to move forward, the vehicle actually moved backwards.
A far less frequent phenomenon, but one just as disturbing, is what has been called the "Fast Forward Effect." Experts, some on the same section of highway where previous records indicate the above negative travel, have experienced this fast forward, wherein distances traveled are far greater than the time would seem to indicate.
While the Hole itself is difficult to pin down, there is one entity within the Hole that is all too readily encountered. Though nameless, and thus far unexplained by any human science, HE WHO WALKS BETWEEN THE ARCHES has terrified countless wanderers within the hole. Those who have encountered this Lovecraftian horror speak about it in hushed tones, if indeed they speak of it at all. Taking the physical appearance of Ronald McDonald, HE WHO WALKS BETWEEN THE ARCHES seems to stand guard over a McDonald's restaurant roughly a mile south of Interstate 80 in Iowa City, Iowa. His visage is menacing, promising eternal damnation to those unable to escape the Black Hole Of Des Moines. Many have turned to offering sacrifice to the towering tree that seems to contain the essence of HE WHO WALKS BETWEEN THE ARCHES, though the effectiveness of such sacrifices--like so much else relating to the Black Hole of Des Moines--has yet to be proven.
One intrepid explorer was able to capture a handful of images of HE WHO WALKS BETWEEN THE ARCHES. Parents and those with weak constitutions should use discretion.

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Shortly after sending these photos by email, the photographer disappeared, and, along with the unfortunate soul pictured, has not been heard from again.
Nevertheless, study of the Black Hole of Des Moines will continue, and results reported herein.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

B-Fest Update No. 6

Who is this vile creature who has an unsatiable love for the dead? B-Fest Update No. 6!

Whew. When I agreed to 8 of these things, I knew I was overreaching, as I tend to do because I suck. But there continues to be news, which doesn’t suck, even though I continue to suck. So in a way, it doesn’t suck at all. Why am I flashing back to my Freshman year of college? Anyway...

-I am in position of our 2004 Buick LaSabre as of today, eight whole days before we need it. If you remember from last year it’s roomy, but the Serius Radio is gone and the car has an odd squeak when it first starts up. I’m told not to worry about it as a mechanic has looked at it and said ‘don’t worry.’
“If you break down somewhere in Illinois, let me know because I’m going to go kick some ass,” my father said on the subject. That’s good enough for me.

-The transparencies are in and they are glorious. I ordered four, as that was the lowest number I could order and have CopyCat do the job, so we each get one as a keepsake. Seriously, they’re great, and a keepsake you probably won’t find in stores.

-I’ve e-mailed Brittney Wiley, our contact at the Shedd. She usually takes about a week to respond so we’ll hear soon enough, though my wife has e-mailed her and is fairly confident the 5 tickets are set. They have Dolphins and Sharks according to I like Dolphins.

-I have a new scheme this year, tell me what you think. After each movie or short ends, I’m going to make a comment in my voice recorder. Hopefully by the end, we’ll be able to overcome that whole “what shorts were there again?” problem and get a good laugh before I careen us off the road on the way home. BTW, Chad, did you ever finish your B-Fest 06 wrap up on 3B Theater? I went there and I think it’s missing the last page, or the last page never materialized. I’ve been reading the old ones, remembering B-Fests gone by and smiling a whole lot.

Odds and Ends
-If I can be personal, how much money are y’all bringing? If it’s significantly higher than my amount I might be able to talk Sarah into selling my child’s savings bonds for college or something.
-Is it still just the three of us for the Shedd on Friday?
-I noticed on the BMMB the moderator wanted a head count. Why?
-Why does Snoop Dog need an umbrella? Fo’ Drizzle.
-Again with the schedule: We leave GI around 4:30, in Omaha by 7 or so, Iowa City for lunch, Black Hole willing, and onto Evanston by late afternoon. Nerd Funk Ho!!

8 Days, not counting today and Thursday, and counting. Oh boy are we counting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

B-Fest Update No. 5

They’ve black. They’re bold. They’ve got a plan against The Man. They’re reading B-Fest Update No. 5!

Gents, the good news keeps on rolling, and this week it’s of a humorous variety. First, our weekly update from Wyatt:


Sounds good on the transparency.

Yes, you will have two sponsor tickets, and 1 general admission on reserve.

Also, your first sponsorship check finally turned up in my mailbox today.
I'll be sure to shred it.

Maybe the Black Hole got it.


Can you beat that with a stick? That Wyatt, what a cut up.

So, during the sold out fest, our tickets are secure. The transparency, I’ll inquire about later this week, as I think CopyCat Printing here in town could get that done, and I know a couple of people down there. Update pending.

Good news item number 2. A week from Thursday (Jan. 18) my father will be dropping off the car, so Chad and Mike can drive straight through to Omaha. I’m thinking I’ll be at Chad’s front door between 4:30 and 5 a.m., closer to 4:30 I’d guess. That puts us in Omaha around 7, through Des Moines at 9:30 or so, and then all bets are off. With any luck we can hit the McDonalds in Iowa City by lunch time, wolf down our food lest we are tied to the Ronald statue and sacrificed, and be in Chicago late afternoon-ish.

At that point we’ll hook up with the BMMB (those who could make it) and we’ll be set. I’m bringing a bunch of movies (the DVD case I got for Christmas holds 24), charging up the battery and working, again, on a “special” piece of entertainment I hope comes in. Fingers crossed. Hint: It’s not “Ultimate Sluts.”

A couple of other modern items
-I’m a moron. On Chad’s fantastic graphic, the address to TBHODMAS isn’t listed. No reason to change what we’re doing. Sorry I brought it up.
-I e-mailed my contact at the Shedd and she was interested in knowing when we’d be coming through. I told her late morning, like 11:30 or noon, though that’s not set in stone.
- Notice the chainsaw and the book that looks a little familiar in the background. BTW, after I saw this commercial I went out and spent $4.36 on Old Spice Body Wash. When Sarah asked me why, I said “Because Bruce Campbell told me to!” Seriously, what else do you need?
-Any word on who’s coming with us to Shedd? Do we need anyone else?
-Last thing. My kid has a postponed Christmas program at 4 p.m. The Sunday we get back. I know that’s a tall order to get back by 4 (last year it was about 7 I think), so I won’t ask it of you. I will, however, not be bringing the video camera. It sounds like audio, again.

‘Till next week. 15 days left. Time...ticking...closer......

Thursday, January 04, 2007

B-Fest Update No. 4

They were filthy. They were mean. They lived for kicks. They were reading B-FEST UPDATE NO. 4!

Let’s start with the official good news that has been perceived good news for the last couple of weeks. Take it Wyatt!


I received your contract today for B-Fest. You are now officially
confirmed as a sponsor for Hot Rods to Hell.

The last step, then, is to get me the transparency you'd like displayed
before the film. That can be either sent to me or handed in person on the
day of the Fest. Just let me know what you'd like to do.

Thanks for your sponsorship!


Personally, this was kind of thrilling. We’ll get in line, tickets in hand, buy a T-shirt, get a cup, pick up the program and there will be Ronald, staring back at us. Oh yeah.

The issue, now, is the transparency. I e-mailed Wyatt back and told him we would give him a transparency the day of the fest, which should be fine. Chad, are you handling that or do you need me to work my reporter magic and see who around town is capable of turning an e-mail into a transparency?

Point number 2, while I enjoy using the blog as a planning blog, do we need to start generating content for it? I’m just thinking people will log on and look at it, so it might be nice if they were met with something other than these stupid little e-mails. Just a thought, but officially, the blog will be on the B-Fest program.

So we have a car, we have a hotel, we have plans before the fest, we have tickets to the fest, we have the time off and the money saved, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

I don’t know, but here are some things to think about.

-We’re officially three weeks away. 21 Days.
-Is the BMMB planning a Kala Kahiki run again this year? Matt has expressed interest in not going, as he has some shopping to do and we won’t have time to do it if we go to the Shedd Aquarium. On a side note, the have a statue outside the Shedd that rivals He Who Walks Between The Arches.
-We’re stopping in Iowa City for lunch, right? Cool.
-I’m starting to think planning skits is a bad idea, and I’d rather go with the flow. The only exception is if something really brilliant hits me, like Skip’s “I’m A Blonde” bit from last year. God that was funny.
-I may be bringing my video camera. Be warned.
-I would like to encourage bringing odd things because you never know when they’ll come in handy. I’m bringing a cardboard cut out of a police officer. Matt, if you still have the Podracer of punishment, that might be fun. In other words, I’m going to prepare by bringing completely random shit and see if I can somehow work it into the fest.

‘Till next week. Three weeks left, four updates left. The time is neigh.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tales From The Black Hole, 1/2/07

The way THE BLACK HOLE OF DES MOINES effects people can be varied and vast. Take the story of Mark Adler, a young man on a road trip, with a fresh loaf of his mother's Banana Bread on the passenger side's seat.

While Adler was on a trip from his home of Colorado Springs to visit his uncle in Chicago, he hit the road early one morning, vowing to save his favorite food for a mid-afternoon snack. Around the time he hit THE BLACK HOLE OF DES MOINES he could hold his desire no longer and tore off the celophane. It took only three miles for the whole loaf to be consumed.

The rest of the trip went without incident, until 22 years later when, on a family trip with his wife and teen-aged children, he drove through THE BLACK HOLE OF DES MOINES while drinking a diet cola.

As many do after consuming a diet cola, he began to belch, but soon found something odd - his belches tasted like BANANA BREAD! The BLACK HOLE OF DES MOINES strikes again.