Goblins ‘N Graduates. Not a Ghost of a Chance.

Monday, February 15th, 2021 12:50 am.

If any of you super old school Moosekateers out yonder have managed to mosey on over to this new site, you may dimly recall that my college experience used to be more deserving of the title Nerverending story than the actual Neverdending story, because the actual  Neverending Story ENDED!

And for the longest time, my college career was taking the longest time.

I did finally graduate, though, admittedly, I probably should have gotten around to doing so before I started being in my thirties, but I was busy being awesome!

For example, even though I spent most of the hundred years I was in college  in class (Or, at the local dive bar, having no class.) there was this one eight month period where I was unable to attend any of my classes because I was busy beating Ghosts N Goblins, the hardest video game in the history of anything!

Most of you young whipper snappers probably only know Ghosts N’ Goblins from the 90,000 YouTube personalities who have channels dedicated to ancient NES games, but those folks aren’t the only ones to have been punished by this painful platformer!

And  THAT my friends, almost brings me to something resembling a point! And that potential point would be that Playing Ghosts ‘N  Goblin’s, and my nearly never-ending education, were actually quite similar in many ways. So similar, in fact, that it’s inspired me to develop my own college based video game! An homage of sorts, that will be entitled GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES! Allow me to elucidate by drawing some comparisons:

GHOST’S ‘N GOBLINS begins with you enjoying some sexy, adult-style fun with your adorable purple haired girlfriend ( In a cemetery no less! SUPER KINKY!) when suddenly, she is kidnapped by a winged Satan-monster! Now you must rescue the not so-chaste, (but very fair!) maiden!

GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES begins the exact same way, except instead of getting kidnapped, your adorable purple haired girlfriend tells you that you have to graduate from college and get a job before she will commence having anymore sexy-adult-style fun with you. (FUCK!)

GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: Takes place in an evil Hell-realm populated by incredibly terrifying creatures like ghastly Ogres, evil spirits and shrieking demons!

GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES takes place in a slightly more evil Hell-realm populated by incredibly annoying creatures, like bitter professors,  frat guys and stoners who blare an endless stream of jam band music out of patchouli stinking dorm windows! ( Admittedly, the shrieking demons are much more fun to listen to.)

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS:  You start out your quest as a gallant knight in shining armor but when you take damage, it falls off and you end up fighting monsters in your underwear!

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES: You start off the game happily in your underwear, holding a beer, but when you take damage, the beer disappears and you have to put your clothes back on and go to class.

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: You die countless times and have to restart whatever level you were on when you died.

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES: You have to keep re-appealing to the student loan committee every single year so your funding doesn’t get taken away, because of some incident that happened back in 2008.

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: You are plagued incessantly by a murderous demons hell-bent on your destruction.

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES: There is a math requirement you have to complete.

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: You can’t beat the game unless you have the cross weapon.

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES: You can’t beat the game unless you have taken some obscure astronomy lab you never even knew existed.

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: After you think you have beaten the game, you are informed that the battle was a “trap devised by Satan” and you have to play the whole entire game again from the beginning before you get the real ending.

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES: After you think you have beaten the game, you are informed that your major was a “trap devised by Satan” and you have to play the whole entire game again from the beginning with a different major.

And finally,

IN GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS: When you have finally completed the game for real, you are reunited with your adorable purple haired girlfriend and presented with a confusing congratulatory message that more or less tells you should go back to the starting point and “challenge again”.

IN GOBLINS ‘N GRADUATES : When you have finally completed the game, for real, you find that your adorable purple haired girlfriend has already been married to someone else for three years and you are presented with a confusing congratulatory message that more or less says, you should go to Grad School and “challenge again”.

I know, I KNOW, Ghosts ‘N Goblins is a lot more FUN sounding, but with Goblins ‘N Graduates, I’m going for that more gritty, realistic feel you kids are into these days!  If any of you guys can afford to buy it after you graduate, I know you will get a giggle out of it!

Don’t Monkey Around with my Heart

Sunday, February 14th, 2021 11:33 pm.

I was just watching Casablanca on TCM, and it occurred to me, that is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for me, because it’s about a guy who drinks too much, and doesn’t end up with the girl, in the end, which is pretty much the story of my life.

But, there is another classic movie about love that I can relate to, about a guy who doesn’t get the girl, that they show a lot on TCM, and that movie is King Kong.

Rick, from Casablanca, may have never got the girl, but, I think, Kong had a rawer deal. Because Rick never had to fight a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Pterodactyl and stuff, and then get shot a whole bunch of times, and fall off the Empire State Building and die. (At least Rick got to be friends with that French guy at the end of Casablanca.)

I’ve never personally had to fight a Tyrannosaurus or a Pterodactyl for a girl (or maybe I did when I was super drunk, and I just don’t remember it.) but it sure feels like I have. And it DEFINITELTY feels like I’ve been shot through the heart a bunch of times, and fallen off the Empire State Building.

Let me tell ya, over the course of my life, there have been many beauties who have killed this beast.

As you observant Moosekateers may have noticed, I like girls a LOT, and I am a hopeless romantic, like Rick and Kong.

But in this Valentine’s column, I’d like to discuss another love of mine, my passion for Primates.

And, before you ask, let me preemptively answer your question. I don’t mean I’m SEXUALLY attracted to monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, and the like. I just think they’re super cool.

As a kid, I loved seeing the gorillas at the Cleveland  Zoo. My favorite was Timmy, and he was at that zoo for a long ass time, but they couldn’t get him to find a mate to produce an offspring. (I guess he just didn’t think any of their girl gorillas were hot enough.) So, they sent him to a California zoo, or something, and I hope he found love there, and started a happy, healthy, gorilla family.

I miss Timmy, but I still love seeing  gorillas whenever I go to the zoo. (I even own a Harambe memorial shot glass! No joke!) and I would like to adopt one, so he could live with me, in my house, along with my pet manatee. (If you look at my previous columns, you will see I’ve long desired to adopt a manatee. Still working on figuring out how to do that.) And, as I said many times, manatees are called “the cows of the sea,” and Sea-Monkeys are called monkeys of the sea.  I own Sea-Monkeys, and I hate to break it to you, but Sea-Monkeys are not monkeys. So, I wasted my money buying the Sea-Monkey aquarium, off of an add in a comic book, because, in actuality, Sea- Monkeys are just brine shrimp, and not tiny simians in SCUBA gear like I assumed they would be.

Fun Fact: Howey Mandell went insane back in the 90’s  and made a seriously disturbing Saturday morning children’s show with people dressed like Sea Monkeys that he thought would become as popular as the Ninja Turtles. It didn’t. (Do not google it. If you watch even one clip of it on YouTube you will have nightmares about it for the rest of your life.)

The whole Sea-Monkeys not being monkeys is a harsh life lesson every child eventually needs to learn. Also, they need to learn that, unlike Curious George, monkeys generally have tails.

Even now, I’m still infuriated that Curious George doesn’t have a tail. What happened? Did the man with the yellow hat cut it off when he got pissed off at him for something? If so, the Man in the Yellow Hat is  a jerk!

And, speaking of people who are jerks to primates, PETA is protesting against American Greetings Corp. for selling Valentine’s cards with chimpanzees in whimsical costumes.

Now, I’m not saying the American Greetings organization is composed of jerks (although, they are jerks, because they’ve never hired me)  PETA is though, because some of these chimps need work! It’s a gig economy, and it’s hard out there for a chimp!

I know what it’s like, getting a job, being a silly-looking simian, because I used to have to parade around in a crappy gorilla costume, at both the costume shop I worked at, and then, at the Dairy Queen where I worked!

I happened to have a gorilla suit, at the time (Don’t ask me how I obtained it, because it’s a long story.) but I learned, from personal experience, that everyone loves a goofy-looking primate!

A TV show from the 60’s, called Lancelot Link Secret Chimp, paved the way for chimpanzees being funny, and brought the concept  into the mainstream.

I wasn’t alive in the 60’s, but I saw it in reruns, on Nick at Nite, back when Nick at Nite didn’t suck.

Now, here’s a little history lesson for you mini-Moosekateers, about the 1960’s. Back then, three of the most popular things were spies (like James Bond), psychedelic pop music, and drugs.

The producers of Lancelot Link must have taken a whole bunch of drugs, because they decided to make a show starring a talking chimpanzee, who was a spy, and played in a band, with a bunch of other chimpanzees, who all talked.

If PETA thinks greeting cards make chimpanzees look clownish, they would have a heart attack after watching one single episode of Lancelot Link.

But these chimps were getting work, whereas, other animals, like ocelots, were not. So, more power to them!

And some of their songs were actually pretty good!

Nowadays, little chimps have other role models to look up to, like Detective Chimp from DC comics, but Lancelot was probably the chimp with the most exposure, at the time.

And his namesake, Sir Lancelot, was in love with the Lady Guinevere, and the only reason I’m mentioning that is because it’s Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to circle back around to the whole love thing.

(I can’t believe I started out this this article writing about Casablanca,  and am ending it by writing about Lancelot Link Secret Chimp. I’m awesome.)

So, make sure you show some love to chimps that need work in these troubled times. Don’t let PETA ruin their careers! Go out and buy as many greeting cards, with funny chimpanzees on them, as humanly possible, and send one to everyone you’ve ever met! And have a Happy Valentines Day!

I love you, my dear Moosekateers!

Here’s a picture of Sir Lancelot Link. ( And now that I think about it, he does kinda look like Humphrey  Bogart.)



Dustin The Wind

Saturday, February 13th, 2021 5:08 pm.

Dustin Diamond just died the other day and I’m feeling emotions about this.

The lead singer of  GWAR once said, “The 70’s had a lot of bands who named themselves after geographical locations ( like Boston, America and Kansas) and he said that they all sucked.

(I disagree with that, but I do prefer the 70’s bands which had “The” in their name, like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Dead Boys, The Clash, etc.)

Now, I’m starting out this column, which is about a 90’s TV sitcom, by writing about 70’s music, but this is not just  another example of me getting way off topic like I always do.

Allow me to elucidate.

The band, Kansas, had a song called “Dust in the Wind,” which was about how life sucks, and it’s hopeless and all it amounts to is that you are just “Dust in the Wind.”

So, I did the clever play on words title for this column, because Dustin Diamond probably felt like that. He spent his whole life being known as Screech, the geek  from the show Saved By The Bell, and then went on to do novelty  porn, which, hopefully, nobody ever watched. (But, let’s face it, I’m sure most of us have had our dark phases, where we’ve bottomed out, and had to do porn so we could afford to buy Slim Jims and beer, right? Or is that just me and him?)

I don’t know, for a fact, if anyone ever watched the Dustin Diamond porno, but everyone in my age group DEFINITELY watched Saved By the Bell.

I’m writing this column on a Saturday morning, and Saved By the Bell used be on NBC on Saturday mornings, after they decided to stop showing cartoons. Nobody I have ever known watched Saved by the Bell on Saturday mornings when it originally aired, because we were all watching the other channels which DID have cartoons. But lots of other people must have watched it, because it became massively popular.

I only started watching it when it went into syndication and  was aired every single afternoon on TBS, because Ted Turner got the rights to it, just like he did with everything else that existed.

Which reminds me, that recently it was Groundhog Day and, similar to the movie, wherein Phil Connors had to live the same day over and over again, back in the 90’s (Remember to play the Nick Moose drinking game where you read all my columns, and every time I say “Back in the 90’s,” you take a drink.  You will get wasted. I promise. )  we kids had to watch Saved By the Bell over and over again, because it was the only thing on right when we were, literally, “saved by the the bell” and finally got to go home from the hell that was school.

It was on TBS, back to back with reruns of Family Matters, and both shows prominently featured iconic geeks. Family Matters had Steve Urkel, and Saved By the Bell had Screech, who was portrayed by Dustin Diamond.

For you mini Moosekateers who have never watched it, and only know of it because Jimmy Fallon had a reunion of the cast on his show (which Dustin Diamond did not attend), I shall explain the premise.

It’s pretty much like a live action Archie comic book, with a bunch of teenage kids who date each other, and play in a band. It’s actually a far more accurate version of an Archie comic than Riverdale is, because it’s fun, people don’t get serial killed in every episode, and it doesn’t have plotlines based on incest.  Riverdale is way more like Twin Peaks than Archie comics. Twin Peaks was very popular back in the 90’s. (Take a drink.)

It originally started out as a show called Good Morning, Miss Bliss on the Disney Channel, but the cast was slightly different, and featured Haley Mills, the star of the original The Parent Trap, as Miss Bliss, the teacher.  As we all know, there was a remake of The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan, and, as you old school Moosekateers may recall,  I used to date Lindsay Lohan before she went insane. (Good times.)

When they sold the show to NBC they retooled it a bit. It was more like Goodbye, Miss Bliss, because Haley Mills was gone.

But they did keep a few characters and actors from the original version.

They kept the main character, Zack Morris (portrayed by Mark Paul Gosselaar), who was the good-looking guy who could stop time, and break the fourth wall, to talk to the audience, like Deadpool, and owned a cell phone that was roughly the size of Texas.

Now that I think of it, though, back in the 90’s, (drink ) the five people in existence who actually owned a cell phone had one that was roughly the size of Texas. Everyone else just had pagers. (You will probably have to Google what a Pager is, if you’re under the age of 35)  They also kept the principal character, Mr. Belding, played by Dennis Haskins.

They changed the setting of the show, from Indianapolis to California.  California was considered super rad to the max back in the 90’s (drink) because it was not constantly on fire like it is now. And, in fact, the Max was the name of the restaurant the kids all hung out at on the show.

One of the characters who carried over to the new version was Samuel “Screech” Powers, the geeky guy who wore Hawaiian shirts and, inexplicably, hung out with the popular kids, who, for some reason, tolerated him, even though he was insanely annoying.

Full disclosure, I wore Hawaiian shirts back in the 90’s (drink) mainly because the singer of Reel Big Fish did. Let me tell you, that does not get popular kids to like you, in real life. Not even back in the 90’s. (drink)

Also, Lisa Turtle, played by Lark Voorhies, carried over to the NBC version, and, I’m pretty sure, she was the only Black person ever to appear on the show. Lisa Turtle may have seemed like a weird name choice but, hey, my name is Nick Moose. So, no judgment here!

They added characters like A.C Slater, who was the jock of the group, played by Mario Lopez, and Kelly Kapowski, played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who was the cute girl everyone wanted to have sex with.  (Not just the characters on the show, but everyone who watched it.)

They also added Jessie Spano, played by Elizabeth Berkley, who was the studious girl who starred in the most infamous episode of the show, wherein she overdoses on caffeine pills, and sings “I’m so Excited,” which was intended to be serious, but ended being unintentionally hilarious.

She was also the star of one of the most infamous bad movies of the 90’s, Showgirls, which isn’t quite as embarrassing as Screech doing porn. (But it comes close)  In later years, Leah Remini joined the cast. As most of you might know, she went on to become a Scientologist, and also the costar on King of Queens.  (Which, in my opinion, were both way worse life choices than doing porn, or being in Showgirls.)

They had a bunch of different iterations of Saved by By the Bell, and Screech and Mr. Belding were in most of them.

It must have been tough for Dustin Diamond to be known only as geeky Screech, for his entire life, and then die of cancer.

My uncle was recently diagnosed with cancer, and I donated to Breast Friends, which is an awesome charity organization that helps out folks who don’t only just have breast cancer, but any kind of cancer. And, when you do so, you can get the name of whoever you are donating it for emblazoned on a beer can.

I love breasts, and I love beer, so, of course, I donated, and I hope some people donated for Dustin.

I know you might not have had a wonderful life, Dustin, but you entertained a lot of people. And, so, your life was not wasted. You are not “Dust in the Wind, ” you are a legend.

And, as Clarence said, in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings, an angel get’s his wings,” so, you must have given out a lot of wings over the years.