It’s time for another new blog series I’m starting up called story-time with Double D. Let’s face it, my best years are mostly behind me, but also my shittiest years as well. Right now I’m in my mostly inconsequential years. So I figured I’d take a look back at some of my past triumphs and failures to mine them for lessons for all the good girls and boys. This first story is going to be a more personal one and one that has been referred too many times on our podcasts throughout the years. This is the story of my rather tumultuous relationship with Thot’s melting face from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
When I was around nine or ten I was obsessed with Star Wars and excited to see anything else George Lucas was involved with. Soon I found out about Indiana Jones, an adventurer who sought the world’s most dangerous artifacts and fought Nazis. I had to see this movie and luckily for me, Fox 29 was playing the movie one day after church. I came home and we realized that the VCR that was supposed to tape the movie (Remeber that?) had been set to the wrong channel. I figured all was not yet lost and sat down to watch what remained of the film. It was the part where Indy was boarding the ship and saying goodbye to Sallah. He got on, the Nazis looked for him, he rode the submarine, got to the island and the Nazis opened the ark. I hadn’t seen the rest of the movie where they warn you a hundred times that the ark has evil killing powers, so I thought nothing of it until suddenly ghosts came out and started flying all around. OK, whatever. Then fire and lightning came out of the ark and zapped all the Nazis. OK, that’s pretty cool, I guess. Then a dude’s face got all shrivelled. What the hell? Then suddenly there was a full-on shot of a man’s face melting off, his white eyes retracting into his skull as the blood poured down his face. It was easily the most horrifying thing I’d ever seen in my life.
I closed my eyes and ears and assumed the same fate befell the rest of the Nazis standing around. In my head the scene was about 10 minutes of non-stop faces melting. I was traumatized. I had nightmares about melting faces for years and had a hard time sleeping at night. Suddenly every movie became my enemy. What if one of the sled dog’s faces melts in Iron Will? Spielberg directed this movie too? What if Captain Hook’s face melts off as punishment for fighting Peter Pan? No film was safe. If Raiders had a melting face in it, anything could have a melting face in it. Suddenly my childish dreamworld turned into a scary nightmare zone where melting faces lurked around every corner.
Later on my parents bought me the Indiana Jones trilogy on VHS. I formed a strange relationship with the films where I loved them for their fun adventurous aspects, but ran out of the room and hid for the scary parts that were contained in every movie. I even dressed as Indiana Jones for Halloween one year. Later the nightmares progressed to the point where I turned my back on the series entirely. I figured if I could just forget it existed, it would make everything OK. It worked until Grade 9 when my drama teacher mentioned Raiders as a perfect example of story-telling. I was convinced he’d show the film to the class and could barely eat that night. When my parents asked me what was wrong I told them and we decided it was best if I rewatched the scene to help me get over it. Bad idea.
I rewatched the scene all right. I thought I was OK. It wasn’t that bad really. Only one guy’s face melted off and then a dude’s head exploded. No big deal. That was, until I went to bed that night. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, melting face guy was there waiting for me. This persisted for weeks. Every time I closed my eyes in the shower or tried to fall asleep, melting face guy was there. Having a photographic memory sounds nice, but it actually sucks balls. My trauma even reached a point where I almost threw up and then fell to the bathroom floor shaking uncontrollably, begging God to erase the image from my mind. There was a part of my brain devoted to being afraid of melting faces and I basically never stopped thinking about it. It affected me socially and made me scared of the world in an unhealthy way.
In the summer of 2009 came my second attempt to get over it. I was living in Hamilton and Mike had a copy on DVD that I smuggled into my room one day and watched in private. It took a lot of will power to muster myself into watching it again, but I did. I sat my ass down and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark in its entirety from beginning to end without leaving the room for the first time in my life. I did a Google search for “melting face” and constantly stared at it whilst watching the movie so the shock wouldn’t be so bad. Soon it was over and I had gotten over it, temporarily.
Eventually I let myself slip back into fear and not wanting to view the scene and it started building up in my head again as something bigger than it was. I started to believe that everyone had one fear that would never let them go their entire lives and that I’d carry this with me all my days.
That’s total bullshit. A few months ago my friend Andrew posted the video on his Facebook as a joke. I watched it, got over it and now watch it sometimes just to remind myself that it’s not that bad. It’s just a movie.
The moral of the story: You truly have nothing to fear.
Stay tuned for more (shorter) stories in days to come.