This week’s blog is going to be a short and sweet offering.  But, I think that’s quite alright, because you can also catch me over at Ken Savage’s place this week where he, Mike’s Crossey and I conducted a little online round table discussion on a sorely underappreciated Schwarzenegger gem called Commando.  

Go ahead and check it out.  I’ll wait…

Wow.  Took you long enough.

I really don’t have much to write about this week.  I just got back from my second anime convention in as many weekends.  Funny thing is, upon my return from this last one, I seem to have acquired a bonus accoutrement on my dome that was not present when I left:

Did it crawl upon my head while I was sleeping?  Was it imparted to me by a wise old sage who insisted it had magical properties?  Did I get it from a box of cereal?

Nope.  I bought it.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.  And to be fair, I have been getting a wide array of compliments on it.  I apparently look pretty sharp with it on, according to random passers-by, friends, and Scott Baio.  But what possessed me to fork over the stolen hard-earned cash for it?

I blame Red Dead Redemption.  Let me explain.

I purchased RDR back when it first came out.  You may remember reading somewhere else when I wrote about it.  Finding it to be a surprisingly more enjoyable game than Grand Theft Auto, I played the hell out of it until I finished it (well, 99% of it anyway – still need to collect one more bounty).  After I completed the main storyline, I went on to whatever else had come out that was new and shiny.

Then October happened.  And with Hallowe’en approaching, Rockstar decided to reward me with Undead Nightmare, the zombie DLC pack for Red Dead.  I immediately put down whatever game I was playing at the time and found myself fully committed to the wild west once more.

I’ve been playing it constantly since October 26th, and just finally completed the DLC this evening.  Now here’s where we get back to my theory as to why a video game set in a nightmare version of the west would prompt me to buy a bowler hat from a vender at an anime convention.


Stay with me, now.  One of the challenges you can complete in the game is the opportunity to break and ride the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.  Once that is done, and a couple of other challenges are complete, you have the opportunity to break and ride one more mythical creature – the unicorn.

Last week, before heading out to Anime USA, I finally managed to accomplish this task.  First I had to complete the task of killing wolves and cougers and bears (you know what goes here – sorry) with a torch.  Done.  Then, I had to find the elusive and not-as-difficult-as-the-brochure-made-it-out-to-be Chupacabra.  Taken out.  With that last item on the checklist checked off (Chekov?  Nuclear wessels?), all I had to do was wait for the single-horned stallion that tickled Tim Curry’s fancy.

Well, that didn’t take long.

With the unicorn in my sights, I roped it, broke it, and made it my personal steed.  And in doing so I also unlocked the Undead Hunter outfit, which is inspired by Ash’s torn up get-up from Army of Darkness.  Always quick to try out new unlockables, I immediately changed outfits, got back on my equine acquire and rode off.

Wait.  What the hell game did this just become?

What seemed like a down-and-dirty western with zombie guest stars now suddenly appeared to be some strange story book fairy tale for middle-aged women who never found a man.  Here’s our hero – John Marston – sporting a ripped up shirt that exposes his manly, dirty chest, riding a unicorn that shits out rainbows and creates clouds of multi-coloured butterflies as it rides along the prairie.  When did I walk into a Fabio romance novel by way of Louis L’Amour?

And to add more credence to this theory, all this happened the night before I left for the convention.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Somehow, all this fancy somehow got transmitted from the game, through the signal to my controller, and into my very being.  Nefarious!  Well played, Rockstar.  Well played…  You managed to use what seemed like a harmless video game to spread your evil whims.  And to think – I once had nobler aspirations before they were cut down by your sinister ways.

I originally was looking to purchase a top hat.