In the dark, sticky recesses of our only such repertory.
In the flicker of the screen and the screams
Of some girls who sat not silent beyond
I, in utter fascination, watched the Universal uglies,
The makeup formed fantasies on the faces
Of Bela, Boris and Lon.
But in the lonely, looming dimness
Of my bedroom in the midnight minutes,
I cringed in fear and loathing reliving
Mummy, monster, bat and beast.
Would a vampire wing in through my window?
Would the Mummy unravel my restraints?
Would, oh horror of it all,
Frankenstein’s creature crash my hall,
Smash through my confines
and drown me in the sink
Like the flower and the child?
I had a few defenses against these imagining of mind.
What did they have in common
That could provide me escapes?
Slowness of step and ungainly gaits.
Why the Mummy moved like molasses
And the Monster stumbled in outsized shoes.
I could outrun both as if they walked in glue.
Oh yes, the Wolfman was quick,
But restrained by the moon.
And you get enough garlic and the ghastly Dracula
Will fall into a swoon.
Besides, I reasoned, in my bed and my room,
I dwelt safely in the center of the streets
Of our tiny, tidy town.
By the time these hobbling horrors hop from the gloom,
They would have satiated appetites and want no more of eats.
So safe in bed I’m found.
The Blob “glides across the floor,
Right through the door
And all around the wall…”
Not only would nothing stop it,
As it slid in through some crack,
It was never satisfied,
Eating its never-ending snack,
As it creeps,
As it leaps,
To a tune by Bacharach.
NOTE: “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen came out in 1958. It was made by Valley Forge Films, which normally made religious films. I saw The Blob on its first run at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, a somewhat bizarre situation watching a monster in a film eat the theater you are watching the film in. Those who fled the theater and then ran into the diner must have been quite athletic. The theater is in Phoenixville and the Diner is in Downingtown, around 16 miles apart. I have also eaten in that diner.
It the scene from the film that I have inserted at the end of this poem also has meaning for me. The fireman dressed in white is Tom Ogden. More correctly, Reverend Thomas Ogden, who was my minister when I attended the Downingtown Methodist Church as a boy. He played the fire chief in the film.