Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why Gene Simmons Scares the Bejesus Out of Me

When I was a wee lass of, oh about 4, I would occasionally hang out (uninvited of course) at the neighbor’s house down the street, hoping they would offer me sugar cubes (as a non-coffee drinker I had no idea sugar came in cube form!). They had a little girl about two years older than me and two teenaged sons. The little girl tolerated me, sometimes, but what really fascinated me about her, and particularly her house, was the posters on the walls of her brothers’ room.

Now, we were living in Sweden at this time and had been for almost 3 years. I came into awareness in Sweden, and didn’t know much about America other than that’s supposedly where we were from and where we were going back to someday. I had no concept of American culture.

The neighbor’s brothers were older than anyone I knew well (15-ish and 17-ish) and were far beyond the trends and fads that came into my home. They listened to American rock and roll, and saw American movies.

Sweden is a very conservative when it comes to movies. Sex is a different issue, but Star Wars, for example, was rated “barn verbuden” which means “children forbidden” because it was considered too violent. They just had zero tolerance for it. So by the time I was 4, I had never really seen any violence in movies or on TV. Which explains my absolute fascination with the following:

Exhibit A:
Jaws movie poster
A huge shark…coming up beneath an unsuspecting swimmer…at night…terrifying…plus I think the girl was nekkid.

There was nothing more frightening than that.

Well, except for this:

Exhibit B:
Kiss 1
Kiss 2
Who were these guys? Why did they wear such funny clothes? Why are their shoes so high? What’s with all the fire? Is that man hurt? Where is that blood coming from? What is sticking out of that man’s mouth? Is that blood on his tongue? Their holding guitars, do they play music? Why do they look so wild and angry?

I asked my neighbor-girl friend endless questions about these posters and her brothers. Who would want such things on their walls…in their bedrooms…where they had to turn the lights off and sleep? Where they would be watched…night and day…by a man with blood on his tongue?

I did not return after awhile. As fascinated as I was, my innocent mind could not handle it. Besides, one day I entered the house uninvited and was caught by one on the brothers in his room, this tiny little American girl, staring at the posters.

It wasn’t long after that when I was walking down the street and these two brothers started shooting their cap cannon at me. I thought it was a real cannon and hid behind a rock for a couple of hours until they ran out of caps and got bored. I guess that was appropriate payback considering they were KISS fans. Pyrotechnics are how I handle all my personal disputes.


Carly said...

I feel your pain. When I was little I was mesmerized and terrified by the cover of Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon" album. I would sneak into the living room, pull the record out, and stare at it till I started to cry. Somehow I couldn't look away. Then Kacy told me about him biting the head off a bat. Combine that with his somewhat more recent "No More Tears" video, and you get a major Ozzy phobia. The only thing that has helped me get over it is watching his reality show. Favorite coherent line from Ozzy: "It could be worse,you know. I could be Sting." Perhaps if Gene Simmons were to have his own reality show, you'd be rid of your fear. Sorry for how long this is. I should get my own blog.

Lisa M. said...

We always had a house full of people living with us. The year I was in kindergarten, my cousin lived with us. He was a senior in HS, and he dressed up like one of the KISS people for Halloween. Watching him literally PAINT his tongue and THEN the face make up.

I have NEVER been the same!

Might I add, he was listening to "Like Unto Us" the whole time.

(Some seminary record, he had)

Suzie Petunia said...

I was thinking "Richard Simmons" and wondering when he came into your story... talk about having the bejesus scared out of you! Have you seen him recently prancing about with his spritely little shorn legs and sparkly too-short shorts? He hasn't been "normal" since Deal-a-Meal.

And Gene Simmons is scarey, too.

Svenska & Sheaux said...

i was thinking the SAME EXACT thing as suzie p. !!! that is way funny, shows how exposed our family was to such things.

Amy Lynn said...

Do you remember the show the neighborhood boys put on in their garage on Country Mill Court? They all dressed up like KISS and lip synched with brooms to a record. I remember sitting on the hard cement completely fascinated and totally disgusted and pretty confused about what the noise was and what the boys were doing. I guess we were more sheltered than I thought.

Kacy said...

Well of course you knew that KISS stands for Knights In Satan's Service, right? That's what really set me on edge. And, as legend has it, the fact that they stepped on their audience members' hands with their spiked heels. Who would do that to their own audience? Ozzy was even scarier in nothing but those purplish tights, though. Yikes.

JP said...

suzie petunia you KILLED me with the RICHARD Simmons comment. Was he ever normal??

Also...the fact that Gene Simmons is a big man for K-Mart is a wee bit scary, I might add. I've often thought about a commercial with Penny Marshal and Bloody-Tongue-Man. Wouldn't that be something...

Hoo said...

Growing up, being the oldest child, my parents' music was my music...until I went to PUBLIC SCHOOL! But when I was about 5 we had neighbors that had 2 daughters in high school. They had extremely feathered hair and drove trans ams with bumperstickers that said "damn" in them and listened to KISS. I wanted to be them so badly. My dad dismissed them as being fadish and went on listening to his Fleetwood Mac.

mo said...

If I had only known some of the stuff my children were being exposed to at other people's houses I would have packed the whole family up and moved to outer Mongolia where the closest neighbors were days away. If I were raising children today, I would never let them out of my do you guys stand it? The thing that scared me the most as a child was the song "Pink Elephants on Parade" from the Dumbo soundtrack. KISS...Dumbo? What had happened to this world?

Yolanda said...

Maybe I can help with your phobia...Kyson LOVES maybe if he could lip-synch "Rock 'n Roll all Night" for you, you would have a more innocent look into the life of a rockstar...albeit an akward and hilarious but TOTALLY cute one!