The One About Sleestaks
May 27, 2005

hi kids,

so i was talking to laura the other day (SHOCKING) and she said something about something getting acclimated to something. maybe she was talking about one of the cats? then she says, “acclimated is my word of the week.” and i replied with, “really? that’s a good one. my word of the week has been sleestaks.”
and she said, “yours are always better than mine.”
and i said, “yes, but yours are always smarter than mine.”

now. what we mean by “word of the week” is that’s the word that seems to be used or said over and over. it just keeps popping up somehow. sometimes, the “word of the week” has even been known to be a complete phrase.

one day i should totally make a list of phrases/quotes that we all say over and over. the one that is stuck in my head today is “i don’t know; he just keeps hanging up.” it’s from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. laura and i say that one a lot. and if you’ve heard us say it and you have no idea why we way it, well, we don’t either (i think it’s ‘cos the tone of voice is so funny), but at least now you know where it’s from.

anyway, you don’t care about that. what you want to know is… sleestaks? but…how?

well, at the last art class (it’s not really an art class. the word class implies that i teach something. i mainly just assign things and if my two pupils have a question i try to answer. i just supply them with paint and food.) sara was the only one to show up. so while she worked on her project we watched tv.

we usually don’t watch tv while we work. but this time we did, ‘cos i was already watching vh1 when she got there, and you know how that is. anyway vh1 was showing some kind of I Love the…show. it was probably one from the ’70s. anyhoo. they start talking about The Land of the Lost and i had a ‘nam flashback. it was terrifying. because, sleestaks.

sara had never seen the show as she is 10 years (okay fine, 11 years) younger than me, and when i watched the show on saturday mornings they were already reruns. so she had no idea why i was freaking out and yelling, “oh my god! sleestaks! noooooooOOOOOOooooooo!”

and she was all, “why are they scary?”

okay. so.
do you know how hard it is to describe why sleestaks scared the bejesus out of you when you were a kid? i started out like this, “oh man! they were so SO scary ‘cos they were like these alien things with big eyes! but they were lizards too. and they made this awful hissing sound. i hated those things. that show was so stressful.”

“did they have sharp teeth and claws?”

“oh man! they TOTALLY…had no teeth. and their hands were like…these really scary…limp…flippers? oh.”

“…”

“…”

“well, did they kill people?”

“um. well. actually, i can’t remember them actually getting caught by a sleestak. the sleestaks kind of shuffled around awkwardly. they were kinda… slow.”

“yeah, sounds terrifying.”

“NO! BUT! but they HISSED! it was all about the HISSING!”

“uh huh.”

“REALLY! i mean, i would get a stomach ache watching that show ‘cos it was so nerve-racking. and they had to get to these caves where there were these jewel-like buttons and…i don’t really know why. i guess they were trying to get back to the Earth or the future or whatever. i don’t know. all i do know is that the sleestaks were just terrible!”

“…”

“i would watch that show all nervous and twitchy and yelling, “holly! no! lookout! i’m talking ulcers here.”

“…”

hissing!”

later that night i saw flippy chinchilla and i said, “hey flippy, do you remember The Land of the Lost?” and she said, “oh yeah! oh! remember the uh…sleestaks! oh man! i hated those!”

and we went back and forth about how scary they were and blah blah. i was just glad that she also thought they were terrifying.

so anyway, those of you between the ages of 25 and 50, admit it, the sleestaks scared you. it was the hissing.

i think that the sleestaks are in the same category as Medusa from Clash of the Titans. there is not a single one of you who don’t get the chills when you hear Medusa’s snake rattle. i mean, to this very day.
don’t lie about it. there’s no shame.


You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes
you wear L’Air du Temps, but not today.

the Predator sound and Darth Vader’s (my secret boyfriend) breathing are right up there, but not so much with the terrifying as just with the This Sound Symbolizes Danger.

although, i guess that Medusa was actually dangerous and the sleestaks were actually, not. but at the time they seemed more horrible than just about anything. i mean, i’m talking about, “dear God, please bless mommy and daddy and justin and please don’t let the sleestaks get me. amen.”
yeah.

now? now i guess the whole thing seems pretty silly.

next epitomb: my haunted house

jaimie “holly! no! look out!” pickle

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