Friday, July 3, 2020

I'm the Butcher of Seville!

Since the pandemic started, my wife's had to forego getting her hair cut. For her, that's a problem, as she likes to keep it extremely short and spiky. (I think she'd had enough of dealing with Big Hair back in the '80's.)

So, it came down to me (using my beard trimmer) to give her a haircut. Gulp! At first I was tentative, afraid I might screw it up. But soon I was into it, just hacking away as gobs of hair gathered in the bathtub. By the time the second haircut rolled around, I was an ol' pro, going to town with maniacal glee.

Then...Black Thursday happened.

I'm in the dog house. Big time.

Things began well enough. I did the usual shaping and trimming, then took the guard off to get her neck. When my wife looked at the results in the mirror, she decided she wanted more taken off. 

"Okay," I said with a zeal that shouldn't have been there.

I raised the razor and started in on the back.  I gasped, recoiled in horror at what I'd done. I had forgotten to put the blade guard back on.

She said, "What'd you do? Did you give me a bald spot?"

"Um, it's not too bad. It--"

"Oh, my God, you better not have!" She bounded out of the bathtub and hurtled upstairs to retrieve her hand-held mirror. 

Then, throughout the house and loud enough for the neighbors to hear, "OH! MY! GOD!"

She exploded back down the stairwell, each footstep pounding with my rising heartbeat. I knew I was in trouble.

It probably didn't help that I couldn't fight the grin that kept creeping onto my face. "Honey, it's not that bad. Um, maybe you could wear a hat or--"

"I have to go into work tomorrow, too!"

"Oh. Yeah. Sorry, honey, really, a million sorries, so many sorries that..."

I groveled and pleaded for a while. That was yesterday. I'm still paying for it today.

She said, "I'm going to find a new barber."

Sure is crowded in this doghouse.

Speaking of things going to the dogs, things get even worse when they go to the wolves. Werewolves, that is. Check out my darkly comical horror satire, Corporate Wolf, to see exactly what I mean. 

Friday, June 26, 2020


Alright, I'm beat, you guys.

What was meant as a satirical statement on the sad state of the world these days has offended a friend of mine, and more importantly, my wife. She kicked my ass just hearing the title of the post.

Okay, ahem, I apologize to anyone I offended. It was meant to be satirical and funny and angry (because I'm pissed at what's going on), and it's the best way I have to rant and rail.

I apparently have overstepped.

Be careful out there you guys, and again, I'm sorry. (Hanging head...)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Into the Horrifying White Void with Author Edward Newton

SRW: This week I’ll be chatting up author Edward Newton, whose first horror novel, Horrorfrost, is a genuine sleeper. Physical, psychological horror, and relentless dread, it’s the best of all dark fiction worlds and a stunning debut.
Edward, welcome and tell everyone what your book’s about.

EN: Hell on earth, but it turns out Hell’s a lot colder than we thought.  A blizzard strikes a Montana ski resort and a dangerous predator arrives with the whiteout.  A monster as big as a water tower begins to systematically dismantle building by building, sending survivors out into the snowstorm.  What will get them first—the frigid temperatures or the massive beast that hunts them from behind the veil of white?

SRW: I couldn’t find much information on you. Am I correct in assuming this is your horror debut and your first novel?

EN: It’s my first published novel.  I’ve had several short stories printed over the last few years.  I received the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the Best First Mystery Short Story for a tale published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which was presented to me in New York City by none other than Jeffery Deaver himself.  Quite an honor.

SRW: I did manage to suss out ("stalk") you live in Florida, about as far from the terrors you write about in Horrorfrost as one could possibly get. You know an awful lot about rough winters, so…did you experience some in your past? Hence Florida now?

EN: I grew up in North Dakota and spent decades battling the cold (no monsters out there in the white, although my sisters would sometimes employ a sneak-attack snowball fight).  Last year, I finally waved the “white” flag and escaped to central Florida, where I now meet folks who have never experienced snow in their whole lives (which still boggles my mind).

SRW: Okay, the title, gotta ask you about the title. First of all (and even though we’re used to pretty bad winters in the Midwest), I’ve never heard the term “hoarfrost” until your book. Actually, I kinda thought it sounded like a special for prostitutes at the hair salon. Was the title originally Horrorfrost (which is a great and fitting title) or did it start out as something else?

EN: Ha! The title came on pretty early.  I like the terms that are uniquely familiar to folks that really know what cold is, like wind chill, block heater, ice fishing...there was a kid down here in Florida just fascinated when my father-in-law described the experience of fishing on a frozen lake!

SRW: Your writing is extremely adept, assured, and very good. Having said that, I gotta admit I don’t like the trendy present tense writing that all of the cool kids are doing these days. To me, it reads like stage directions (“He walks down the stairs, looks in a mirror, and combs his hair.”). But in your book, it works. It adds urgency to the proceedings. Do you always write in present tense or do you mix it up for every project?

EN: I rarely write in present tense.  It made sense for this story as I tried to frame the veil of white as a symbol of the unknowability of the future.  Many of my characters are stuck in the present and afraid of the future, fearful of what is coming next in their lives.  They can’t imagine what their tomorrow is going to be.  So the present tense was meant to evoke more the mood of being stuck in the now instead of stuck in the snow.

SRW: The prose is quite cinematic, yet there are more psychological inner monologues than dialogue (which I would imagine would be hell on a movie adaptation). Are books or cinema a larger influence?

EN: I usually prefer my horror in book form.  King novels are the best; King movies are hit and miss.  Visual horror is very different for me than physiological horror.   In Horrorfrost, I meant to make it as much about the fear of what was coming next in the lives in these characters before the novel even began as the fear of whatever monster suddenly arrived to hunt them in the snow.  That kind of fear seems suited for the page.  Not that a big, bad monster in a crazy blizzard wouldn’t be pretty great to see on the big screen!
SRW: The beginning of the book reminded me of all of those cheesy ‘70’s Irwin Allen disaster movies (hey, in a good way!), where you’re setting up all of the characters with soap opera problems and clichés (there’s a selfish lothario cheating on his fiancé, an overweight bullied kid, a woman afraid of facing her impending aging, etc.), than unleashing them into Hell to see who will survive. But what was refreshing is you’ve lent a modern relevant eye to the proceedings and have switched the stock characters up to all kinds of different races, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Was this intentional? Or did the characters just sorta fit the plot?

EN: I wanted a broad representation in the cast.  I’m tired of seeing the same blonde bimbo chased by the same psychotic white hillbilly.  I thought it was interesting to see a more representative slice of America cast in a classic kind of horror-movie setup.

SRW: Frankly, you surprised me quite a bit in who and who didn’t survive, avoiding yet more clichés. Bonus! Did you have a clear idea who would make it out alive or did the characters survive independently, surprising you as well? (I love when that happens in my books.)

EN: I intentionally set out at the beginning with the idea that I had no clue as to who would make it to the end.  I almost made a target with the names of the cast and just threw darts at the board as to who might live or die.  I wanted the randomness of a crazy situation to play out in the cast.  In the end, I wrote the story and the ones who lived and died became a mix of karma and fate and chance—just like life itself.  I was surprised myself by some of those that survived... and a couple that didn’t. 

SRW: Roman’s a very interesting character. A successful corporate raider, he walked out on his job twenty years ago to go wrestle, kill, and skin bears, because he’s sick and tired of people and progress. Is he your mouthpiece? Are you a grumpy hermit (a lot of writers are, including me). Do you agree with his assessment that modern “civilization” is awful, addicted to their phones, slandering via social media instead of communicating face-to-face, and worshipping sub-par celebrity behavior?

EN: Maybe Roman has the right idea!  He refuses to embrace the future and he can’t go back to the past.  He is stuck in the present.  That’s what I struggle you stay in one place or do you move forward, into the unknown, pressing through the white even if it is dangerous and crazy and doesn’t make any damn sense?  I identify with Roman (and a lot of the other characters) in that I’m also leery of tomorrow.  I’m afraid of what’s in store for us.  Do I agree?  Maybe the ending of the novel is a bit of the answer.

SRW: Would you rather read/write about visual horrors, utilizing vivid imagination, or leave said horrors unseen up to the readers’ imagination? I’m curious as to your answers as both a reader and a writer.

EN: Interesting question, because my first draft was intentionally vague about the nature of the monster and the origins of the storm.  The publishers wanted it more defined.  In the end, I was pleased by the explanation as it tied the theme of “fear of the future” to the unseen threat inside the blizzard a little more overtly.  I think a visual versus unseen threat depends on the nature of the horror and the purpose of the story.  Here, I was more descriptive about setting and character reaction than the actual action and the look of the creature.  I think it’s more mysterious here to have the monster veiled by the blizzard than wholly described.

SRW: The book details a long, intense run for survival. It’s very suspenseful and there’s a wonderfully claustrophobic sense of dread building and propelling the characters to their fate. As an experiment (and based on a dream) I tried writing a book that’s basically one long chase scene. I know how hard it is to write constant compelling suspense. Do you find that aspect of writing tough? If not, what’s the rockiest road in writing for you?

EN: It wasn’t easy when the storyline was constantly trying to freeze up all my main characters!  I think the format here helped me be able to sustain forward momentum.  The characters might have had misgivings about the future, but the storyline gave them no choice but to move, move, move.  They couldn’t stay in one spot or they’d end up icicles.  The setting didn’t let for much pause, either, as the only way to stay warm is to keep moving.  The blizzard necessitated a brisk pace.

SRW: Edward, I started counting how many times you wrote the word “white” and gave up after about a billion. Did you ever consider using synonyms? Although, honestly, I can’t imagine such sentences as “He floundered through the alabaster storm.”

EN: White was my synonym - it substituted for “darkness”, “shadows”, “the unknown”, “tomorrow”, all the things in front of us that we can’t see or refuse to acknowledge.  I love a thesaurus now and again, but the simplicity of the word “white” was most effective.  I tried the flowery route in an earlier draft and it just distracted from the flow.  In the end, I really like that the repeat of white was just like the effect on the characters - endless, everywhere, an onslaught.

SRW: What’s next on your laptop?

EN: Oh, where to start!  I’ve got a murder mystery and a couple of Young Adult novels I’d love to see in print.  I just finished an edited draft of a political thriller that examines our divided discourse in America.  Speaking of politics, check out my alternate account of the 2016 election called American Herstory, a fast-paced thriller available on Amazon.  And the itch for another horror novel is starting to pester.  The voices in my head always have something new to say... 

SRW: Alright, there you go! Thanks for being a good sport, Edward, and everyone go snag a copy of Horrorfrost, put out by the fine folks at Grinning Skull Press. It’s a good one, guaranteed! Perfect remedy for these quarantined days.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Nature is Revolting!

No, wait... I'm not talking about the kinda "revolting" that best describes a lot of America's behavior these days, or the Kardashians' newest show, or the wacky antics of our Dorito of a president.

Nope, I'm talking about how Nature is actually rebelling against us, a coup d'etat if you will. Turns out Alfred Hitchcock was quite prescient with his film, The Birds.
Need more proof? Here are the facts (none of that "fake news" stuff goin' on here, nosiree-bob-cattail!):

FACT: The birds in my 'hood are getting bolder and braver. Robins aren't afraid of me anymore. This weekend, I was pushing my mower (and sweating and cursing and crying in misery; it wasn't pretty) through the yard. A robin sat in my path. And he watched me. Finally, one foot away, he took flight just to come right back. They've been inching closer, staring at me with their lil' birdy, beady eyes... Planning...

FACT: Lately, when I've ventured outside to sit on our deck swing, a hugely obese, three-legged, golden cat is sitting in the swing. Several times. He glowers at me like a James Bond villain's cat, and growls before sauntering off. 
FACT: We have daytime owls who can't tell the difference between night and day. I'm talking big ol' horned owls, the kind usually found in cartoons wearing glasses and a scholarly cap, dispensing wisdom to the fledglings. But these owls don't dispense wisdom. Instead, they dole out TERROR! They swoop and screech and hoot and attack. Quite the showmen.
FACT: The other night I awoke to such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. (Sorry...) There were loud thumping noises coming from the first floor at 2 or so in the morning. Now, I'm not overly fond of getting shot by burglars so I didn't go downstairs, but rather stomped around for a while. Then I opened the door at the top of the stairs and listened. Nothing. The next morning I carefully crept around the house. The covering over the fireplace had been pushed open, the wine rack in front of it had moved. Something had fallen down the chimney and made its way into the house. I'm still waiting for a rabid badger to jump out at me from his hiding place in a pantry or something.
FACT: When my wife goes outside, angry squirrels pellet her with nuts. Then they glare at her.
FACT: Ants are marching through our kitchen, and nothing--I mean, NOTHING--kills them! We've tried a lot of remedies. My wife even started sprinkling around this awful looking yellow powder. I asked her what it was. She said, "Basically, it acts like broken glass and tears their insides apart." I thought, how horrible...and now our kitchen's gonna be littered with thousands of bleeding ant corpses. Well that hasn't happened. Yet. But DOUBLE FACT: the ants have invaded my nightmares!

FACT: Mother Nature's none too happy with us right now based on the way we've treated her since the beginning. Hence, Global Warming. Yes, I know roughly half of America doesn't believe in it, but c'mon, who can argue with the crazy weather patterns that are just getting crazier?

I could go on with more FACTS, but I've illustrated my point. Now, why is this happening, you ask? I have the answer for you. 

Nature's sick of the crappy way humans have been behaving lately. They'd like the world to be pleasant again.

I mean we have riots based on injustices (hell, I wanna protest because I'm sick of the Corona-weight I've put on recently!), outta control cops wailing on people and reporters (when they're not shooting them), name-calling, hair-pulling, a regular wrestling venue (only real), stupid people running the country, smart people bounced because they disagree, racism, sexism, people still finding ways to destroy the environment on big and little scales, reality television, and all of it led by our very angry POTUS. 
You don't see animals behaving this...well, barbaric.

I tell ya, the world's going to the birds (as they gather for their annual fly-by over my car to make it look like a massive paint-ball victim).

Speaking of bad things happening to people because of the way nature's been mistreated, check out Ghosts of Gannaway, a true (kinda) ghost story based (looser than an elephant's skin) on the heart-breaking (pure ballyhoo!) saga of Picher, Oklahoma.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Brownies: The Gateway Food To Destruction

Everyone knows that one puff of a marijuana reefer leads directly to heroin addiction. (I think Trump said that, so, of course, I believe it.)
But what about that confectionery catastrophe, that most dangerous of desserts, the sultan of sugar, the brownie? The truth about this devious dessert, sadly, is swept under the rugs like a deep dark family secret everyone is too afraid to shine a light on.

Until now. In my ongoing quest for journalistic judiciousness, I'm knocking down the doors, and exposing the hidden dangers of...the brownie.

First things first, let's ponder the name: the brownie. Hmmm. Wikipedia sheds some very interesting facts about the brownie. It's widely known to be a supernatural entity, a nocturnal spirit creature who pretends to do good things at night, such as clean your house, only to pull ghastly pranks when least expected. I know I'm not alone in receiving a mysterious "Wet Willie" in the middle of the night. This smacks of satanism.
Furthermore, these hideous, foul creatures have insinuated themselves into an insidious cult that goes by the name, "Brownies." On the outside, the members look like clean-cut, wholesome, sweet and innocent young girl scouts (grades 2-3), but don't be fooled by their appearance.

Because something smells fishy. What is the "Brownies'" primary function? Why to spread sugar and diabetes and disease throughout the lands, the goal being the fattening of America, making us ripe for the forthcoming, inevitable Satanic slaughter.
Think I'm kidding?  I have first-hand knowledge of the dangers of The Brownie.

During the (un)Great Quarantine of 2020, the brownie took hold of our lives here in Kansas. I'd like to blame my wife, I'll settle for a mutual blaming, but honestly? It's the Brownie's fault and the powers that lie in it's kitchen of killing grounds.

Early on in our quarantine, my wife said all she felt like doing is baking. I pondered that while she went upstairs to work. I pondered some more until I was salivating. Slowly--as if in a trance--I made my way downstairs to the food pantry, where I knew a brownie mix awaited. My fingers inched closer to the door. I hesitated, then pulled it open with a creak. As if being pushed toward me, the brownie mix box plopped to the floor. With trembling hands, I picked it up. Then raised it over my head just as Simba had done in The Lion King. And somewhere--far away, yet everywhere at once--I heard a deep, Barry-White-deep, voice laughing.

Now, I've never made brownies. Never had a desire to. Didn't even think they were that good. But I baked. I baked until sweat broke across my brow. I went upstairs to share the news with my wife.

She said, "I don't know whether to be pissed off at you or to kiss you."

The vile nature of the brownie.

Sure, the pecans I found and put in the batch were rancid, but it didn't stop us. On the contrary. Brownies became nearly an every day occurrence in our household.

It took its toll. My clothes started shrinking (the work of supernatural brownie pranksters, no doubt). My gut grew to kangaroo-pouch proportions (birthing Eeeevilllll). And we didn't stop. We couldn't stop.

Until, one night when I awoke from a nightmare. I had started eating entire fried chickens, bricks of pre-fab cheese, and watermelons. And that was just a snack!

Things had to change.

Now, we're on a diet. It's hard. The temptation's there. But...I've already lost 15 pounds, so it's working. But I still think of those sweet, sweet bricks of sugary goodness and melty deliciousness...and...and... NO! Satan, get behind me with those brownies!

This is a cautionary tale, folks. Please heed it. And remember, the next time you go to a grocery store and see "Brownies" pandering their demonic delights, whip out your crucifixes and lay some goodness smack on them. People will applaud you. Trust me.

Speaking of Satan, why not give my book, Demon with a Comb-Over a shot? It, too, is a manifesto of goodness versus evil. Who wins? I'm not telling, you'll have to read the book. It's a delightful romp about a crappy stand-up comedian who accidentally pisses off a demon in the audience. Clean-cut fun for the entire family!

Friday, May 29, 2020

My Adventures with Whizzo the Clown

Growing up in Kansas City, I watched "Whizzo the Clown" at every opportunity. The Midwest's answer to Bozo the Clown (he of the frightening four-foot wide perf), Whizzo amused my childish sensibilities with his outlandish antics and silly slapstick. Viewing him through an adult's eyes, it's a more terrifying experience, somewhat akin to watching a manic man suffering an on-air mental breakdown, complete with floppy feet-shoes, a pizza-large hat, a bag of tricks, and non-stop gibberish.

First things first, I've never really liked clowns. Not that I'm scared of them (even though they are creepy). No, I just never found them funny. In fact, more often than not, I felt sorry for them. My first visit to the circus, a clown lost his pants. I was mortified for him. My fellow classmates were busting a gut, while I, sensitive soul that I am, felt extreme empathy for his pantsless humiliation. (Been there, done that...story for another time).

So... It wasn't until my family took me to the same circus, when the clown AGAIN lost his pants, that I forced out guffaws. I finally understood. Clowns were supposed to be funny. Even though they're not.

That's when I embraced Whizzo. I didn't consider him overly hilarious, but wanted to be his best friend. Take him out for a soda and pizza. Maybe tell him to tone it down a little bit, because he was always shouting, stuttering, flabbergasted, and running around at a Three Stooges-on-speed pace.

I begged my mom to take me to  Whizzo's show. Instead I got stuck with being on "Torey Time," an insipid show about an adult in a pork-pie hat and his hand puppet pal, "Ol' Gus." Only thing good about it was "Gus" and he didn't even show up for the show. They told us he'd be put in later. RIP-OFF!
Anyway, after that traumatic event, I had to settle for being a member of the cheap-jack "Whizzo's Birthday Club." Basically, this amounted to a paper membership card supposedly signed by Whizzo himself. No cake, no gifts, nothing. RIP-OFF NUMBER TWO!
At this time in my childhood, I'd pretty much decided to leave my relationship with Whizzo behind. Besides I started noticing girls ("Gosh, she sure has a nice smile."). And so it went for many, many years, until suddenly, through fate's sense of whimsy and irony...Whizzo entered my life again.

One of my first post-college jobs was at a small public relations firms (RIP-OFF TO ALL OF OUR CLIENTS!). My boss told me that tomorrow I'd be driving around a celebrity to several publicity interviews.

"Who's the celebrity?" I asked.

"Whizzo the Clown," she said.


"Whizzo can't drive because of his huge feet," my boss explained further, like this was not uncommon.
So, absolutely not knowing what to expect, I fired up my Celica, and picked up Whizzo. A small car, we had a hard time leveraging Whizzo into the passenger seat. Damn floppy feet almost didn't make it, let alone that pizza hat, frilly collar, and baggy pants. And his big bag of props. (Then again, I suspected all clowns were contortionists, having been trained properly with clown cars).

Good Gawd, I thought, is he gonna be honking his horn and whacking me with his "Hissy the Goose" prop the entire day?

But instead of belting out his voice-hoarsening non-stoop shtick, he was a relatively reserved and lovely man. He introduced himself, we shook hands (no joy buzzer), and he maintained an indoors voice. 

Real name Frank Wiziarde, he'd grown up performing different acts in his family's small traveling circus, until he developed the Whizzo character in the '50's. I had no idea he still had an active television show. 

We talked a bit more, then Whizzo cracked the window and reached into his suitcase of tricks. Instead of a rubber chicked, he pulled out a package of cigarettes.

"Mind if I smoke, Stuart?" he asked.

Actually, I did, but that's not what I told him. "No, go right ahead."

He did, man, did he ever. A chimney, he'd stop only to hack and hawk loogies out the window. Once, while idling at a stoplight in downtown, a couple of teenagers crossed in front of us. They pulled a clown-worthy double-take at Whizzo riding shot-gun in my dirt and rust-covered Celica. Quickly, Whizzo lowered his cigarette, jabbed it into the ashtray. Then he smiled and waved frantically at the lookie-loos who waved back, their smiles nearly as big.

When the light turned green, he fired up another cigarette. He turned to me and said, "Can't have fans seeing Whizzo smoke." He grinned, chuckled, and coughed.

At the first radio station, I escorted Whizzo inside where quiet (TOO quiet) introductions were made. Once the lights struck and the "quiet" sign lit, Whizzo was on! His voice amped up several decibels, he shouted and spat his way through nonstop nonsense that was exhausting to listen to. Yet as I watched him, I grinned just like everyone else in the studio.

I forgot what he was promoting (some charity, I believe), but Whizzo was a true showman in every sense and restored my lost childhood faith in him. Sadly, he died several years later, but I'm sure he's madly racing around that big three-ring circus in the sky.

Meeting him--finally--was definitely NOT A RIP-OFF!

Speaking of clown make-up, check out the frightening make-up on the cover of the just rereleased final book in my Secret Society trilogy, Killer King. Maybe this will tip those straddling the line of Coulrophobia over into an unhealthy fear of clowns!

Friday, May 22, 2020

The S&M Comedy Agony of Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball was a sadist. Maybe a masochist, I'm not sure.

Wait, wait, wait, hear me out before you start lobbing tomatoes at me. Sure, I know she's a national treasure and all, but I've done some extensive research into the matter and am a professional expert on the topic, possibly one of the foremost experts in the country with outstanding credentials to show for it.

For you see...*sniff*...I watch a lot of TV.

Best to start at the beginning. I grew up watching a lotta Lucy on TV. In fact, Lucy raised me as I suckled from the glass teat of an old black and white television. Reruns of I Love Lucy always drew me in and once started, I couldn't look away. It was like watching a train wreck.

Instead of laughing at Lucy's wacky antics, I cringed. I felt pity for her weekly plights of mishaps, her traumatic escapades. Who can forget the horrific conveyor belt tragedy at the chocolate factory, the episode where Lucy was hired to make chocolates and everything accelerated beyond her control. By the end of the show, when she released her trademark "WAHHHHHHH," I felt like crying with her. I just never enjoyed laughing at others' mishaps and embarrassments.
Honestly, I'd thought I was alone in this feeling, but when I met my wife, we shared similar reactions. Sometimes, comedy is unbearable. We call it the "Lucille Ball Factor."

Yet, most comedy is based on sadism, the pleasure of watching someone's wacky downfall. (Ho, those nutty, nutty {pun entirely unintentional} injury to the groin scenes, just can't get enough of 'em!) From the early days of Charlie Chaplin being tortured by modern machinery to the cringe-inducing embarrassment of watching the characters on, say, The Office, make asses of themselves, it's really hard to witness some times.

I suppose there's something to be said about "schadenfreude," the pleasure of watching someone else fail. I'm not beyond or above that sensation. For years, I enjoyed watching several monsters fall from grace during my horrible tour of duty on the front-lines of the corporate cog. But when the characters are empathetic, like poor, long-time suffering Lucille Ball, I draw the line in the sand. No more.

Someone told me the only way to get through President Trump's daily idiotics is to just regard them as comedy. Wise man. And if that's the case, I'm really looking forward to a huge heapin' helping of schadenfreude where he's concerned.
So, to sum up my long-winded treatise, yes, Lucy was a sadist. Why else subject the world to the film version of Mame? Probably more likely a masochist, though. Otherwise, why put up with Desi Arnaz's philandering ways?

Speaking of the dark side of comedy and all things corporate, my blackly comic horror opus, Corporate Wolf, features quite a bit of everything covered above. To the extreme. Don't take my word for it. It can be had HERE. Attendance is mandatory and you will be tested later.