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Bed of Roses

 

?and as the number of clues mounted, to that same degree were the posse flummoxed as to their meaning and it was decided to enlist the help of the great detective Herlock Sholmes to unravel the mystery. It just so happened that Sholmes was on board having suffered a substance overdose and was outward bound like all the rest and who was mightily bored as Watson was not around to amuse him with this idiocies. He was summoned to the aviary and within minutes he knew the whereabouts of Jimmy. The posse waited breathlessly for...

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*FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT*

 

That was when all would be revealed...no one cared much about the fact that they were on the sea, and the measurement was knots, not miles, nor did they mind having to wait 'til midnight. In the meantime, they played Piccocle and amused themselves by telling anecdotes from their past. As the time word on, Sholmes excused himself on a regular basis, to "clear his head" amd returned in far better spirits. At the stroke of midnight, the lights flickered and then went out. The group had all gathered in the main saloon for the big reveal, but there was nothing but darkness. After a while it seemed to most of them that the dark was indeed the clue. They fumbled around trying to find the light switch, and suddenly the door swung open and in walked the famed French investigator Hercule Clueless. Would this be the end of the affair? Jimmy knew, but where was he?....

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A Midsummer Night?s Dream

 

?it seemed so to be, reality and fantasy blurring, the presence of Herlock Sholmes and Hercule Clueless on the same case an indication. You could almost hear their thoughts, this crime scene is not big enough for the two of us, especially when Sholmes was about to declare the whereabouts of Jimmy and Clueless interrupting mais non, main non, Monsieur and all the while someone laughing in the background really enjoying the farce, could it be?? Just then the lights came on and there was Jimmy standing there. ?Ta-dah!? he said and then proceeded to vanish from thin air with a pop, just like in a cartoon. Pandemonium broke out, nobody has seen anything like it. Clueless and Sholmes stared at each other, aghast. Finally...

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*IT ALL CAME TRUE*

 

It was nothing more than an old magician's trick...a bit of string, some flash powder and reliance on the old hand-is-quicker-than-the-eye saw. They were taken aback by the turn of events. They knew they had been duped, but how and from which moment of the mystery. How far back in the list of clues did they have to navigate? They started naming clues willy-nilly, and that got them nowhere. Then they decided to elect a leader and that worked out much better. They arrived at the conclusion that the dead girl in the saloon was indeed the correct clue, and not a Maguffin, so they repaired to the meat locker where thay had deposited her. As they moved among the lamb shanks, they reaolized that she along with Jimmy were gone without a clue...or were they...?

 

 

It's taken three attempts to post this...very agrivating...FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Along came Jones

 

?who was just goofy enough to lend a little comic relief but the levity turned to curiosity when Jones mentioned haphazardly that a magician was pulling rabbits out of a hat topside near the pool and at once the assembly repaired to the scene and upon arriving were disabused of any notion that?

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The Greatest Show on Earth

 

...yes, even that, that is when he is in the proper element, but at the moment he was pulling rabbits out of the hat, metaphorically speaking, as the two celebrated detectives continued to grapple with each others presence and the added mystery of Jimmy the Magician and/or whatever other hat he might be wearing, bedazzling as he was, all the outward bounders who were beginning to think that they may have met their final destinies, being jerked around by an idiot. On deck the fog was thick and visibility nil but that didn't stop the constabularies from apprehending the elusive Mr Jimmy as he grabbed a hapless rabbit (a live metaphor) from seeming nowhere. Soon...

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*RABBIT RUN*

 

and so did Jimmy. Hither and yon, above decks, below decks and even to places where no one was allowed. Jimmy flew a blue streak. When were these unfortunates going to catch on? he wondered. He was the one chosen to direct these unfortunates to their ultimate repose, and they never saw that they were far better at determining that end ,than Jimmy, the"chosen one".

After a while the assemby grew tired of all the running and jumped into the pool to relax, They noticed a decided lowering of temperature and then caught sight of a huge icecube at the deep end of the pool. They drew closer fo get a better look, and saw that it was encasing Esther Williams...she had been cryogenized! The collective heat from their bodies caused the cube to begin to melt, and some of the ladies felt faint at the thought of what could happen. They remained in the pool too long, and the cube continued to decompose. Transfixed they stared as it....

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Enchanted April

 

?and Bill and Suzy perhaps but most were gripped by the fear of the thawing cube and having to watch Esther Williams? movies for all eternity and that if there were another hell they appealed to the ?chosen one? that they would go there and most willingly too. They built a shrine and established prayers and rituals for the worship of The Chosen and even hired an old priest (played by Edgar Buchanan) to give the sermons. O Jimmy, deliver us from Esther, it went and it appeared it might be working until?

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*ESTHER WATERS*

 

proved mightier than anything Jimmy could conjour. As Esther emerged from her icy coocoon, clad in one of her lovliest swimsuits and tiara, she announced,"I am queen of the deep...hell, I'm king, too...and what I say goes" They cowered in the shallow end, immagining the rest of eternity watching an endless loop of her films...each one melding with the next, creating a case of the bends to rival the worst on record. Jimmy was outsmarted by a water-logged vixen. What to do, what to do? Just then the dead girl emerged (shed never been given a name)> "Just call me madame...and by the way...why not drain the pool?" Madame proved to be smarter than the rest of them...so they chose Jimmy to dive down to the cork. It was rough going, against the power of the water, but he managed to dislodge it and the pool began to swirl toward its untimate evacuation. Esther was circling the drain when....

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The Dead Girl

 

?in the saloon, aka Madame, began to shed the negative status of a mere macguffin and began to fashion herself as a legitimate element of the plot declaring that it?s about time macguffins the world over initiate the March of the Million MacGuffins, Alfred Hitchcock be damned, and thereby take a quantum leap in importance to the story. Speaking of whom, the drain swallowed Esther Williams just as it did the blood of Marion Crane, an event that advanced Madame Femme Morte to the status of a leading player of the drama as she now focused her attentions on getting rid of Jimmy as the essential protoganist opening the door for Leading Lady hood, a macguffin-to-star story that would certainly make a movie in its own right. But Jimmy, sensing a threat to his starhood, devised a plan that?

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*POSSESSED*

 

more power than any maguffin-woman could stir. He huffed and he puffed and he nearly passed out from oxygen depletion to the brain, but he caught himself just in time and gathered such a menacing demeanor that even the fragile-willed maguffin wilted. Jimmy was clearly king of the world, as his avatar would acknowledge. So what if they were sailing on the doomed ship Titanic, so what if the plot was hackneyed, so what if...and on and one they went...Jimmy, the avatar and Madame what's-her-name...so much so thay the group got bored and resumed playing cards. The dinner bell rand and they arose enmasse to dress. Wandering down assorted corridors each one noticed a slight list to the ship and then a loud noise. What was up. they asked no one in particular. They were about to...

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Gaslight

 

?the crew into thinking that the ship was sinking when actually a large man looking suspiciously like Alfred Hitchcock had slipped on a banana peel and crashed the to the deck causing an equilibrium shift to the ship. Everyone went back to Animal Snap, a child?s card game which required animal sounds and soon it sounded like a menagerie. It wasn?t realized at the moment that this outward bound voyage was nearing end and the final reckoning would be required though it wasn?t exactly certain just how this would take place, until?

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*IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA*

 

with a thunder more forceful than anyone had ever witnessed. "I am your last hope" it seemed to be saying. Our last hope for what, they wondered. They were all dead, sailing endlessly on a boring rusty scupper...what last hope could they hope for?...a shortening of the voyage? a change of course? better food?...Just then they heard another thunderous sound coming from just above. They ran to the top deck to get a better view and saw what was making all the racket...a huge whale, with two men attached to it with shoddy harpoons. They let go just as the sife-saver hit the water and in no time were safe on the boat. Where they came from, what brought them to be swept away by the whale, Was it a psychological catalyst....these were among the many questions they had for the new passengers, as they sat down to dinner. When the first course was served, the two men arose and without a word....

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The Death Kiss

 

?so to speak, was evident to all. These two were the interrogators and would hear the reckonings and pleas of the company to decide eternal resting (or not so resting) places. The one was a representative from up there and the other a representative from down there and would vie for souls to populate their respective domains. Jimmy, who was still hiding, didn?t like the looks of these two and sought to devise a plan to divert the ship back to the temporal mode. To do this he enlisted the help of?

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*GIDGET*

 

Who better to mediate this mess? She put on her thinking cap and was ready for work when she suddenly decided that the cap was all wrong with her outfit, so she rummaged through her hat boxes and came up with a smart tan straw with lovely red poppies all 'round the brim. By the time this was accomplished, they'd lost essential time, so that could get the upper hand. Already the two were issuing orders for the ultimate depositing of these souls, several were already on their way up or down the staircase and a few more were arguing with the hall monitors. But the right hat put Gidget in the right mood to take over the proceedings. "Everyone stop, return to the main seating area and we'll start again." They did and soon they all seemed to be in better spirits. She was stalling for time,bacause she knew what no one else did. Very soon there would be a major event that would change everthing....

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Of Mice and Men

 

?as well as the souls of the outward bounders. Gidget exuded a air of mystery and soon all were eying her with foreboding. Their spirits began to waver when the ship began to list once again. Was this ship simply outward bound or was it the ship of Hell? Was it going down to the nether land? The uneasiness grew and a man who bore a resemblance to Jack Weston rose and pointed to Jimmy, ?It?s all your fault, you are the evil one,? and soon the company became a mob. ?Wait!,? said Gidget, ??

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"Superman!!"

 

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, until his trapeze snapped in half! Oh no! The crowd rushed from the stands and gathered around him. The doctor blocked all view of the trapeze artist until suddenly, the crowd gasped. They could now see that the trapeze artist was......

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The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

 

...who had been the superman of the Establishment until the trampoline accident. Now he was dead and outward bound like all the rest. He put his death under protest because he had a date with his secretary that afternoon and everyone got a big kick out of that one. Suddenly everything went dark on the ship and they all thought, this was it, the time had come for...

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*THE STAR SPANGLED GIRL*

 

to come on. "Oh, goody" they all moaned..."another lounge act..." and they sat down for some more pennance. The girl did some dull songs and dances and then ended her performance with an unusually bad version of THE MAN IN THE MOON IS A WOMAN. She exited the stage and the lights came up. A fimilliar voice rang out, pleading with the audience to help him shed the awful responsibility he'd been carring with him for years..."Tell the world that I am not the wizard...never was! It was an evil scheme cooked up by LB Mayer to put Dorothy in her place...nothing more. I'm old and tired" he pleaded, "and I just want to live out my life in peace and comfort in La Canada" They all agreed the request was within reason, so they drew up a document outlining all the demands. But what to do with it, they wondered. Just then the answer came in the form of....

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Adieu Napoleon

 

...who apologized right off for the weirdness of his first name and even for his last name as as he realized that he was nothing like the real Napoleon though he has suffered from delusions about that but who was now authorized to sanction the document for Wiz if he would use his wizardry to free all the outward bounders and let them all go to Heaven, something that Wiz said was beyond his power without the help of LB Mayer (who was, alas, dead) but that he would think about it if someone would just make a him a cup of hot cocoa. He never got it because the person who prepared it for him thought it looked so good she drank it her self. This put the Wiz in such a hissy fit he expired and all looked at Adieu for satisfaction but who just looked at them and...

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Ballad of Gregory Cortez

 

?which he had been singing incessantly driving the multitudes into such a state of torpor that smelling salts were needed to revive them. This is pretty amazing when considering that they were already dead. Or were they? There was a sudden gaiety among the passengers when from above decks it was observed that...

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*THE DECKS RAN RED*

 

What was this latest phenomenon to descend upon this cursed ship of fools? It was paint, dripping down from an overturned can. They looked farther up and observed two slackers putting the finishing touches on a huge billboard over Times Square. The board read: Now Playing at the Roxy, SHIP AHOY and HIT THE DECK. It was the first time the venerated movie house had run a bouble bill. Times were changing and broadway was not what it once was. They were all excited to know that they needn't worry about being sent to Hell by some underpaid, overblown magistrate...but they also realized that they were not really people atall; just characters on a poster that would be old news tomorrow. They began to fade into the mist, when a voice was heard...

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All Through the Night

 

...offering celestial condolence from above that although they be but mere faces on paper they were nevertheless children of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars and that they had a right to be there and whether or not they knew it or not the universe was unfolding as it should. This did not make them feel any better because they were so damn hungry and someone wondered out loud if Papa John was delivering pizza in their area and that they might have some before their images decomposed along with the paper on which they dwelled. But before anything could happen on that front it began to rain and...

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