Jason Porath

has a website, i guess

Date: December 6, 2005

Childhood Trauma part 1

You guys get two blog entries tonight. Exciting, eh?

I was recently comparing notes with some of my friends about the cartoons we watched when we were kids, and I found an anomaly or two that are definitely worth talking about. The one that concerns us this go-around is Unico. What is Unico, you ask?


This is the eponymous Unico, star of three movies and some unknown quantity of manga. The first two of these movies were dubbed and shown on the Disney channel in the early days of the network. The first one, which I’ll only touch upon briefly, involved little orphan Unico meeting up with Beezle (the demonic child of the Devil of Solitude, who stole Unico’s horn to put upon himself), Katy the Kitty Witch (a drunken cat whom Unico transformed into a human) and the Baron DeGhost (a suspicious nobleman who turns out to be Satan). At the end of the movie, I think the Baron transforms into a giant terrifying black demon, cracks the ground open, scorching the entire land with lava, and flies around trying to kill Unico. Right.

But what I really want to talk about is the second movie. The movie starts out with us meeting young Toby:

Toby dresses like a blue meanie and rides tree trunks like land speeders:

He also has a cat and is an adept flute-player.

The problem is that his flute playing turns people into blocks.

And makes them march into the ocean and get on a ship.

He does this because he has sold his soul to the devil.

The devil in question is Lord Kuruku, whose existence is the basis of most of my childhood nightmares.

Kuruku did not walk, you see. Nor did he run. He instead either rolled about, like a ball, or flew around at high speeds, shrieking in laughter, in this shrill, high pitched voice. Usually he was looking for Toby, so he would start screeching, “TOOOOOOBBYYYYYYYYY…..!” Like this:

Oh, and did I mention that he was using these new lego people to build a castle for himself? Well, he was.

His deal was that he was an old puppet that wasn’t ever loved by his master, so he gained magical powers and decided to play with everyone else instead. Except he was horrifically, terrifyingly insane. Watching him play with people as toys was a truly harrowing experience. Hell, even when he was turned back into a doll at the end, he wasn’t any less frightening.

So yes. While some people had their David the Gnomes and their My Little Ponies, I had Toy Story from Hell. I watched that tape into the ground, and will carry that thing’s voice to the grave. I almost want to get a copy, just so I can better remember how uniquely macabre it was.

Vegas!

It was garish. There were lots of clowns. About what I expected it to be, for the most part.

We stayed at the Luxor, which is a large, jet black pyramid that shines an immensely bright column of light into the sky, so that their alien pharaohs can find people to abduct. Also, it makes it easy to find your way back to it if you are lost. Despite an impressive outside, the inside was pretty blah, although the door to our room was curiously tailored for either paranoid midgets, or people who like to stare at other peoples’ crotches. They had several stage acts going on there, one of which was Carrot Top. Evidently the casino was aware that nobody actually likes Carrot Top, and instead based their advertising campaign on frightening people into seeing the show. Seriously, he looked like the Joker. There were also some statues that reminded us all of Stargate.

Some of the architecture in the city was fairly pretty. I liked the ceiling of the Bellagio, which was decked out with flowers. It was very romantic.

The high point of the trip, seeing as how we all disliked gambling (I think the four of us spent a grand total of $.75 at the slots), was definitely the Star Trek Experience. They had lots of props and costumes on display. One of their attractions brought us onto an replica of the ST: TNG set, which was somewhat humbling. Their gift store was equally as impressive, with a variety of strange and amusing merchandise, the best of which was a series of shirts in the Hello Kitty style. I could only find ones in womens’ sizes, so I asked one of the store clerks — a high schooler whose facial expression indicated that he spent most of his day screaming “NERDS!” to himself — whether they had any for men. He stared at me and said, “No. Those are for girls.”

The best part was their cafe, which was an exact replica of Quark’s Bar. It was there that we took upon ourselves to imbibe the Holy Grail of nerdy alcoholic beverages (a short, but distinguished list) by purchasing a $25 Warp Core Breach. In case you couldn’t tell, yes, it is as big as my head. And due to the dry ice contained therein, it actually steams when they give it to you. You had to stand up to be able to drink it. It took three of us working in shifts to make a dent in it, but at the end, with Kirby sick, me buzzed, and Sara blitzed, we were only able to maim it.

All in all, a good time was had, but it really seemed to me like Vegas was a lonely, transitory place. One of those jokes that I am not in on. Certainly not high on my return list. Sara and Kirby did make some vague noises about maybe returning one day for something or another, but I do not think they were very serious about it.

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