Friday, September 18, 2020

Meeting the Pandemic Part-Way...

Well, we all want this damn pandemic over with, that's something everyone can agree upon. Everyday I hope scientists discover a vaccine so the suffering of victims and their loved ones can end. And I would hope the day-to-day fear everyone has just by going out and getting groceries comes to a conclusion.

Months ago, I thought the situation was just untenable, near hopeless. I couldn't envision a world where we had to wear masks and even those weren't fool-proof protection. But we've managed so far. Even though there are other factors (*ahem*, I'm looking at you NOTUS {the Numbskull of the United States}) going on in our world trying to thwart the best efforts to stop the spread of covid 19.
Not too long ago, I woke up for the first time in a mellow sort of acceptance state. It is what it is. Time to pull up my big boy britches and carry on, hampered by masks or whatever, let's show 'em that gung-ho, never-say-never, can-do spirit! How did this happen?

It wasn't a sudden epiphany or revelation or premonition or visitation from Joseph Smith or an anal probe by aliens or anything. No, the night before I'd had a dream, business as usual, except everyone was in masks. And the masks weren't the point of the dream, nothing out of the ordinary. The pandemic was the new normal.

People are resilient. I think everyone's tackling this pandemic on their own terms, generally going through variations of the six stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, day-drinking, and finally, acceptance. I know I did.

I'm not happy about it, but let's buck up and carry on. Particularly with masks.

And I applaud the creativity that's coming out in certain areas, making the most of what it is. I've seen a lotta great masks. My daughter, for instance, has taken up the doggy mask. 
My daughter's fave mask.
I've seen people accessorizing their masks to match their outfits. Creativity is soaring!


But about those masks... People, don't make me repeat myself: WEAR YOUR DAMN MASKS OVER YOUR NOSES! It doesn't do you--or us--any good if you don't. The nose allows things in and out too, you know. I don't know how many times I've seen ruddy-faced guys with masks nestled below their noses, their nostrils pluming like a charging rhinoceros with asthma. Geeze, I can't believe I even have to say this. Pretty soon, I'm gonna start hitting people up and telling them to yank it up (of course, then I'll have to yank myself up off the ground; have you SEEN the size of these guys?).

And stop listening to our wondrous president. These days Trump's preaching that people should not wear masks. Recently, NOTUS attempted to bully a reporter into taking his mask off. Trump's rage rallies are full of maskless buffoons (thanks for the thousands of new cases, commander-in-chump!), as he preens onstage like an orange peacock, calling people names and bragging about what a genius he is because he could name a lion on a cognitive test. It wasn't too long ago Trump said wearing a mask was patriotic. But whaddaya expect from a guy who changes his mind by the minute.

My preferred mask (even though my wife is afraid for me to wear it in public. I say, "Bring it, fascist cretins!" (Of course, that's before I get beat up in a grocery store.)
 

Anyway, hang in there folks. This week, I took real enlightenment from something my neighbor said--"You know, living through the pandemic may well make today's kids smarter, more adaptable, and more empathetic."." Talk about finding a silver lining. I'll take it.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Confessions of an ex-video junkie

Hi, I'm Stuart.

(Readers:) Hi, Stuart!

And I'm...sob...I'm a...videotape junkie!


I suppose I can root the origins of my terrible affliction back to my childhood. As a lonely, shy kid, I threw myself into a world of Spiderman, Batman, and most importantly, the late (in reality, not so great) magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland. In Forest Ackerman's nerdy periodical devoted slavishly to horror movies, I'd pore over the pages, nearly salivating at all of the thrilling, goony monster flicks I'd never get to see.

It's history time, Millenials, so drop a squat and listen up... Back in the day, we only had three--count 'em--three TV channels to choose from. My brothers and I battled it out for dominance over the little B&W TV box with lousy reception. I was always in the minority, my brothers uninterested in Star Trek or anything cool . Sigh. Saturday evenings at 6:00 was the absolute worst. I deemed it, "The Desperate Hour," for the choice came down to news, Lawrence Welk, or Hee-Haw, for God's sake. My point is we didn't get to choose entertainment like you lucky kids do now with the touch of a button. Rather, it chose us. How else do you explain the popularity of such shows as C.H.I.P.s or Three's Company. Dire. I just knew I'd never get to see the movies I could only dream about.

Then a fourth channel came out (sometimes; the reception sucked if it rained, snowed, or a bird skittered across the roof), an unheard of UHF station. On Sunday afternoons they showed something called "Slapstick Cinema" which was great, but at 10:30 Saturday nights, they started showing all of the old Universal monster movies. I'd stay up until 4:00 A.M. sometimes watching a triple feature. Nirvana! But it still wasn't enough.

Soon, my hobby took a backseat to the looming problems of high school (bullying) and college (women and beer!). After college, when I got my first job, I started raking in more money than I knew what to do with. When you're young (unless you're Michael J. Fox or whoever), life savings was something never considered. Then I discovered the miracle of videotapes. I threw myself into the medium, investing in a second VCR and dubbing three movies per tape for my own collection. I'd travel all over the greater KC metro area in search of rarities even though 99% of the selection was limited to current Tom Hanks films.

But...I discovered this whole new market, something mysteriously called "The Grey Market," the equivalent today probably being "The Dark Web (what's with all the color?)" On the Market, "dealers" were selling their own copies of rare horror films! Dayum, I'd found what to invest my money in. So, I ordered all the costly catalogs (mainly photocopies done at the dealers' day jobs) and started slowly. The mail wait was agonizing. Then it still wasn't enough.

It never is.

I started getting more movies than I could possibly ever watch. I cast my net wider and collected films from all over the world even if they were in a foreign language. I even bought a French dictionary (although THAT didn't last long). After awhile, I had amassed quite a collection, so I thought, why not hit these dealers up to see if they'd like to trade? 

It worked. After a while, I had a network of traders throughout the world, including someone in Japan and Italy! When I'd come home from my day job, tons of packages would await me on the doorstep (later, I found out the neighbors thought I was a drug dealer). I became well known in the trading circles, a world class videotape trader. I mastered the phone like a over-caffeinated stockbroker wheeling and dealing in pork bellies, although my stock in choice were movie oddities.
"Hmm, no I already have a widescreen, uncut print of Dario Argento's "Four Flies on Grey Velvet." You got it in English? Get it in English and I'll send you Sergio Corbucci's "Companeros, then we'll talk..."

On and on it went. I couldn't stop. I no longer had enough bookshelves or storage room. The fun just kind of petered out.

When I first met my wife, I told her I had 5,000 or so movies on tape. Not to brag, mind you, I just didn't want her thinking Serial Killer. She told her roommate of my claim and the roommate said I was lying. Once my wife saw my collection, she said, "You weren't lying! You have 10,000 movies!"

All good things must end. Soon, a new up-n-comer called DVD made my tapes obsolete. Like an unloved, redheaded stepchild, I abandoned my tapes to about 35 bookshelves in the basement. BIG mistake. Our basement is very old, very creepy, and very humid. To my dismay, I soon discovered every last one of my tapes had gotten moldy within the cartridges!

ARGGGGHHHHH!

My wife and I rented a dumpster and watched as we took box after box of my life's savings to feed a landfill.

Let this be a cautionary tale, kiddies. (Think I'll get into collecting Blu-Rays next, though).

On the topic of collecting, how about starting a collection of my way cool books? There's mystery, horror, humor, suspense, thrills, chills, and ax spills! Fun for the whole family. Check out my way-cool, ginchy Amazon book page.

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Nostalgic, Wonderful, Deadly Toys of Youth

Ahhh. Memories. As a kid, when I could get them, I had the coolest, baddest-assed toys. Toys that could easily put an eye out, cause a fire, and give you really braggable second-degree burns. My toy chest caused two out of three of those outcomes and I'm not ashamed about it at all. Rather proud, actually.
Kids today are cushy wimps. Their idea of fun is wiggling around a joy stick, pressing buttons, and asking Mom for another latte. I know they don't want to hear it, but us older folks? Man, trial by play and error. Fun! And DANGER! The true meaning of toys, back when Santa wasn't so damn P.C.

"Please, Santa," I wrote one year, "bring me a Shrinky-Dink set."
The big red one answered my wishes (I'm sure against Mrs. Claus' concerns).

What were Shrinky-Dinks? Yes, I realize it sounds like an emasculated, embarrassed male, but it was one of the most totally awesome toy sets in the world! You got your own incredibly unstable plug-in electric mini-oven, toxic plastics, and cheezy designs that you'd toss in the oven and they'd enlarge! 

Now, I'm a little torn about Shrinky-Dinks. On the one hand, I shake my head about the top toy executive who thought this was a good idea to unleash on serial killer kids in the making, and on the other, I wanna give him an enthusiastic '80's high five!

I just found out there's still a bland, tamed down version of Shrinky-Dinks available these days. Forget it. No oven, no dice. I think I'd accumulated about four of those toy ovens through my youth, from various sets (one creating your own molded, electronic--although mine never worked--Frankenstein). Wish I still had them.

The '60's and '70's were a great time to be a kid. We had ovens galore, lawn darts (which had a tendency to end up in the neighbors' cat), Slinkies (kids LOVE playing with a sharp, curled wire), chemistry sets (my parents banned me from them after the second time I set off a sulfur bomb in the house--FUN!), Clackers (two glass balls tied to strings that you'd swing around like nunchuks until they exploded glass shards everywhere), Creepy Crawlers (yet another blast with highly erratic mini-ovens where you'd pour goop into blistering hot molds to make jiggly bugs), Slip 'N Slides (more appropriately called "Slip 'N Concussions"), Stretch Armstrong action figures (not "dolls," dammit!), a figure filled with unspeakable liquid that no kid could resist to puncture after the first day to see what Stretch was really made of, and so much more. And of course, the awesome Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, where you could put a dab of goo (giving off really toxic fumes!) to blow bubbles. This was fun.
Seriously, you millenials don't know what you missed out on.

Oh, sure, in my daughter's reign of terror through the '90's there were a few questionable toys I got for her such as Sky Dancers (they wanted to dance right into your eye like a bottle rocket), but the fun, mystique, and most importantly--DANGER--just seemed to have slipped out of toys.

On the fourth grade playground, girls really liked to see bad toy wounds, a lesson I quickly learned, and used to my advantage.

These weren't just toys. They were a rite of passage. A rite of passage into juvenile delinquency.

Ahhh, memories. 

Hey, on the topic of toys, there's not a single damn toy in my book, Corporate Wolf, but I thought I'd plug it anyway. It's a horror, darkly comedic, murder mystery, satire, whatsit with a kitchen sink in there somewhere. It's complicated.




Friday, August 28, 2020

Matthew Hopkins - The Witchfinder General by Catherine Cavendish


Extraordinary horror author and pal, Catherine Cavendish, has a fantastic new novella out, The Malan Witch. The only thing creepier than that tale is, well, Cat's guest post this week on the horrific true exploits of witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins.
My new novella– The Malan Witch – features a particularly nasty piece of supernatural manifestation, certainly not an entity you would want to bump into on a dark and stormy night (or day, for that matter). But, as she is merely a figment of my warped imagination, you have nothing to fear from her. No, really, I promise…

But go back four hundred years and, if you were a woman (or, less commonly, a man) who knew how to fix a hearty and healing soup, or a potion to draw poison from wounds,; if you understood the various properties of the myriad of herbs to be found around and about your hovel and, especially if you were old, lived alone, possessed a few warts and had a cat named Spillykins or Grimalkin, you would need to take great care. Woe betide you if you upset a neighbour and his prize cow dropped dead. If such misfortune were to befall you, it might only be a matter of time before you heard the dreaded knock at the door from the likes of a witchfinder.

And the most notorious of those was one Matthew Hopkins – self-styled ‘Witchfinder General’.

Hopkins was born in 1620 and little is known about his early life. His most famous career lasted just a couple of years – between 1644 until his retirement in 1647, but in fourteen months of that time, he managed to be responsible for the deaths of some 300 women, mainly in the eastern counties of England. All were convicted of witchcraft on his authority. The total number of executions for witchcraft between the 15th and 18th centuries amounts to less than 500. Matthew Hopkins and his colleague, John Stearne, certainly contributed more than their fair share.
 Since the Lancashire witch trials of 1612 that convicted the Pendle witches, the law had been changed. It was now necessary to provide material proof that accused person had practiced witchcraft. It was the role of Hopkins and Stearne to provide evidence that the accused had entered into a pact with the devil. A confession was vital – from the human, as the devil would hardly confess.

Hopkins traveled freely throughout eastern England, although Essex was his centre of operations. His career as witchfinder began when he heard a group of women talking about meeting the devil in Manningtree in March 1644. Twenty-three women were tried at Chelmsford in 1645. Four died in prison and nineteen were convicted and hanged. Hopkins was well paid for his work and this may well have spurred him on to be even more zealous. He and Stearne traveled with a team and wherever they turned up, the local community found themselves handing over significant amounts of money. In Ipswich, this was so great, that a special local tax had to be created to fund it!
Hopkins’s methods were dubious to say the least. He would employ torture, including sleep deprivation. He would ‘cut’ the arm of a witch with a blunt knife and if, as was likely, she did not bleed, she was pronounced a witch. He was also a great fan of the ‘swimming’ test, or ducking. As witches were believed to have renounced their baptism, water would reject them. So, they were tied to a chair and thrown in the river. Those who floated were guilty. Those who drowned were innocent. You simply couldn’t win.

Hopkins also favoured the practice of ‘pricking’. This involved searching the accused’s body for any unusual blemishes or moles. A knife or needle was used to test the mark. If it bled, on being pricked, the woman was innocent. If it failed to bleed, she was guilty. It has long been alleged that many of these ‘prickers’ had a retractable point, so that the hapless prisoner would be confirmed as a witch when the mark failed to bleed. What better way for a ‘witchfinder’ to enhance his reputation than by identifying so many ‘witches’?
Hopkins and his merry band spread fear all over the countryside, but their reign was short-lived. John Gaule, vicar of Great Staughton in Cambridgeshire, preached a number of sermons denouncing him. His opposition began when he visited a woman who was being held in gaol on charges of witchcraft, until such time as Hopkins could attend to investigate her guilt or innocence. Gaule heard of a letter Hopkins had sent, where he had enquired as to whether he would be given a ‘good welcome’ in that area. A good, financially rewarding welcome no doubt. At around the same time, justices of the assizes in Norfolk questioned Hopkins and Stearne about their methods of torture (which was outlawed in England) and the extortionate fees.

The writing was clearly all over the wall. Their reign of terror was over. By the time the next court session sat, both Hopkins and Stearne had conveniently retired and the infamous Witchfinder General had put away his witch ‘pricker’ for the last time. But that was, sadly, not the end of his story.
Hopkins published a book, called The Discovery of Witches, in 1647, where he outlined his witch-hunting methods. This ensured his legacy lived on – and expanded far beyond the shores of his native England. Witch-hunting in New England began and was conducted in accordance with his methods. In 1692, some of Hopkins’s methods were once again employed. In Salem, Massachusetts.
Naught remained of their bodies to be buried, for the crows took back what was theirs.’

An idyllic coastal cottage near a sleepy village. What could be more perfect? For Robyn Crowe, borrowing her sister’s recently renovated holiday home for the summer seems just what she needs to deal with the grief of losing her beloved husband.

But behind those pretty walls lie many secrets, and legends of a malevolent sisterhood - two witches burned for their evil centuries earlier. Once, both their vile spirits were trapped there. Now, one has been released. One who is determined to find her sister. Only Robyn stands in her way.

And the crow has returned.

You can order The Malan Witch here:

About the Author
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

In addition to The Malan Witch, her novellas include: The Darkest Veil, Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife

Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies including Silver Shamrock’s Midnight in the Graveyard, and her story - The Oubliette of √Člie Loyd - will appear in their forthcoming Midnight in the Pentagram, to be published later this year.

She lives by the sea in Southport, England with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat called Serafina who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue.

You can connect with Cat here:

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Legend of the Orange Krampus


We've all read the folklore tales of Europe's anti-Santa Claus, Krampus, right? Okay, okay, we've all seen the movie. Krampus is the legendary, terrifying demon-looking guy who used to collect naughty children and throw them into his sack around the holidays.

Well, for your reading pleasure (or nightmares), I've uncovered a true Krampus residing in the United States! And not only does he operate year round, he tortures predominantly good children, kissing them into dreadful nightmares! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Trumpus.

Just look at him. Brrrrrr. I'm so glad my daughter's fully grown and won't be subject to the terrifying grab and mangle, shock 'n awe tactics it reserves for small children. I mean, Trumpus would never think of grabbing, mauling or assaulting grown women, right?

Here, let's gander at some of the photographic evidence I've found:
Trumpus scared this poor child so much, her hair stood on end.
Here he can be seen slobbering all over another frightened victim. I don't blame her. Witness Trumpus' bizarre kissing method. It's like two cartoon fish or those stupid Precious Moments children figurines where they're bent at the waste, lips extended. Which is all the more strange as I've read that Trumpus is a germaphobe. And there's something called a pandemic going on right now. Maybe you've heard. Regardless, I pity the child as who knows where Trumpus' lips have been (something about a porn star...)
But Trumpus is NOT a sexist! Here he's shown ready to throw a little boy into his sack. For you see, Trumpus is a one hundred percent heterosexual demon, damn skippy! No kisses for that late, little guy, no sir!
Trumpus had a particularly bad time with twins, not his idea of a walk in the park. While he tried to eat one, the other fought back. He's more used to mauling one-on-one.
Another victim being led to the frying pan. Is there no end to Trumpus' foul reign of terror? Is there a way we can put a stop to this vile creature of orange? Yes, says I! I've read he's particularly vulnerable this upcoming November.

Speaking of demons with comb-overs, on a completely unrelated topic, have you read my book, um, entitled...Demon with a Comb-Over? No. Plenty of reading time until November. 
 
 


Friday, August 14, 2020

Six Degrees of Bob Berdella, Kansas City serial killer

Kansas City's had its share of notorious serial killers. Terry Blair killed at least seven women in the KC metro area. There's good ol' Robert J. Gross, who'd been happily stalking and killing massage parlor workers for decades, before finally being caught. How about Lorenzo Gilyard, a trash company supervisor, who was suspected of killing 13 women, colorfully known as The Kansas City Strangler? I guess working trash must've been stressful. Casting the net further, of course, Kansas gave birth to the BTK Strangler. You're welcome! Oh, and the Westboro Baptist Church.

But perhaps the killer with the most notoriety was Bob Berdella, aka The Kansas City Butcher, aka The Collector. Or at least he scared me the most. For I had several near encounters with him, my version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I suppose.

For those who don't know, the short story is Bob was actually a relatively well-known Kansas City fixture, hiding in plain sight. Many knew him as a civic-minded citizen, who helped to form the Hyde Park Neighborhood Crime and Watch Program. Long out of the closet, he took in young male hustlers and attempted to get them off of drugs. Soon he started capturing, torturing (for up to six weeks!), and killing young gay men, disposing of them in handy-sized chunks in trash bags at the landfill. All of this took place at his home at 4315 Charlotte Street.
Now, at the same time, one of my closest friends lived directly one block over at 4315 Harrison Street. It was ideal for our group of pals, as A) he was the only one with a house at the time and we could all crash there (it had, like, four floors and endless rooms!); and B) it was within walking distance of our favorite nightlife area, Westport.

Many wee hours were spent stumbling home from the bars to the house on Harrison while Bob was busy directly behind us pouring Drano down a poor hapless victim's throat. Even scarier was another friend, who was particularly directionally-challenged after drinking, spent the night mistakenly on Bob's front porch! Lucky for him, Bob must've slept through his intrusion, otherwise he would've seen it as a Christmas miracle, no doubt.
But you know, in our stupid and immature youthful naivety and false feelings of invulnerability, we never worried about the crime-ridden neighborhood, let alone ending up as shish-ka-Bob-Berdellaed!

Speaking of Westport, Bob ran a booth down there called "Bob's Bizarre Bazaar." The little shop specialized in selling odd items from around the world. Now, the booth was inside another building called "The Westport Flea Market," a very unusual joint comprised of dozens of booths lining three walls and a hamburger restaurant (that had crab races on Sunday nights!) in the center. I spent many an afternoon and night in that joint while Bob undoubtedly watched me gnawing on a burger. (The place still prides itself as "the best burger in KC," but the Berdella fallout wasn't the greatest publicity for meat-eaters, as you can imagine.)
I never went into his booth, but was familiar with it. I'm pretty sure I even saw him sitting on a stool there a couple times. Another friend of mine did visit there once with a date (talk about a memorable date!), where Bob displayed a human skull for sale. At the time my pal thought it was fake, now, not so much. One thing about Bob, he had clever ways of getting rid of his victims.

When the story broke, we all watched it from the perceived safety of the house on Harrison Street. Suddenly, it didn't feel so safe any longer.

On the topic of serial killers, check out my darkly-humorous trilogy of thrillers about beleaguered serial killers under fire. And they're the good guys! (Wait until you meet the bad guys...) That's Secret Society, Strike, and Killer King. Ask for them by name!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the (Fake) News...

There was a time when I thought Trump was funny. It seems like so long ago...

So, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been leading Trump's Coronavirus Task Force since January of this year, thus making him one of the longest-surviving members of Trump's staff. But not if Trump has anything to say about it! He blasts Fauci at every opportunity, attempts to discredit him, basically calling his findings out as the hated "fake news," you name it. I dunno. Call me nutty, but you'd think Trump would want his own task force to succeed, but you know, people roll in different ways, I suppose.

Let's look at some of Dr. Fauci's credentials; he's been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases since 1984. For 50 years, he's served on the National Institute of Health and has been an advisor to every president since Ronald Reagan. Without a doubt, he's one of the world's leading experts on infectious diseases.

Yet Trump thinks he's full of poo, because Fauci makes him look bad. Recently, via a very presidential tweet, Trump declared Fauci to be WRONG regarding the fact that we never shut down the country completely and reopened too soon. Trump's explanation is we have more corona virus cases because we test more. Simple! If we tested less, we'd have fewer cases. 

Things that make me go "Hmmmm." I think Trump is taking a child's eye view here. "If we don't report the cases, they don't exist, now can I go out and play, Mommy?"

What a maroon (in both color and other ways).

Here's where things get good. Who does Trump turn to instead for medical advice? Why, the amazing Semen Demon  Dr. Stella Immanuel, that's who, the doc who puts the you in voodoo! She's a quack who Trump picked a tweet up from who touts the amazing miracle cure for corona virus as hydroxychloroquine. Of course Trump is doubling down on the med even though the good Dr. Fauci says it's unproven.


The less than stellar Dr. Stella's credentials read like a text book on crazy. First, she describes herself as a prophet of God. Now, that's pretty impressive. Not even Dr. Fauci can boast that. She alleges doctors use alien DNA in experiments. Well...maybe all those movies I've watched were documentaries? Nahhhh. Here's my favorite Dr. Immanuel theory: demons are responsible for infertility and sexual diseases. Of course they are! The great prophet on the '70's, Flip Wilson, was right! "The Devil made me do it," he had once preached.

Furthermore, Dr. Immanuel was sued for malpractice over a patient's death and several other...ahem...indiscretions can also be laid at her feet. To add insult to injury, she's called Dr. Fauci a "liar" who's "playing Russian Roulette with Americans' lives," and she's telling people they don't have to wear masks.

Of course Trump proudly proclaimed her as "magnificent." Truly the doctor of Trump's dreams. Well, Trump can have her. We'll see how magnificent he thinks she is when he's having a heart attack from too much hydroxychloroquine.


While on the topic of all things hellish and orange, that ol' debbil himself pops up a few times in my supernatural collection of short stories, Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley. (Um, I mean ol' Beezlebub, not our president. Although come to think of it, I'm not sure there's much a difference these days. That orange comb-over is hiding the mark of "666," I just know it!).