“Something’s wrong with Jack”

Back in the fall of 1993, I took a date to see the premiere of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Although I was still trying to get the taste of Tim Burton’s Batman out of my mouth, I was willing to give Nightmare a fair chance. The film is justified for its reputation for turning millions of embryonic goths over to the dark(er) side, but since I was goth back when the term referred to Germanic tribes invading the Roman Empire, it simply cemented my attitude that a little bit of Halloween in my Christmas was a very good thing. (Trust me: Rowan Atkinson isn’t the only one who adds Daleks and dinosaurs to his nativity set.)

Anyway, I didn’t quite go willingly, as my very old friend Joey Shea kept pushing me in the back, telling me “Don’t worry about the candiru! The water’s fine!” After I discovered that maybe I shouldn’t walk to his house in Connecticut and talk him to death, we compared notes on the movie. The one absolute full-stop plot hole? Not one kid, NOT ONE, who received Jack Skellington’s presents didn’t prefer it to Santa’s intended replacements. Considering that I belonged to a generation that lusted after some of the darkest and most horrific toys ever to haunt Toys “R” Us ordering managers (from Creepy Crawlers to Prehistoric Scenes model kits to the Alien 18-inch action figure), I could picture the outtakes from Nightmare featuring one kid weeping “Puh-LEEEEEEEEEZE, Santa! Don’t take away my cuddly Cthulhu!”

I think that’s what bugs me the most about the idea behind the new HGTV reality series My Yard Goes Disney. Might it be time to start a gardening show that commissions Hans Rudi Giger, Jhonen Vasquez, and Steve Bissette to offer a few alternatives?

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