Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Country for Scardy Cats

Sunday night my sister came over to watch No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers’ Oscar winner about a man who walks around killing people with some sort of freaky air canister thingy.

In the movie, Josh Brolin’s character, a rugged country cowboy type, happens upon a grisly death scene and a briefcase stuffed with bills. Which he of course takes and for the rest of the film is pursued by Anton Chigurh (the canister killer) who is in some way (that I never really figured out cuz I’m not that smart) connected with the money.

The movie was pretty suspenseful and scary. Without realizing it, I’d gone from splayed out on the couch to curled into a protective shell. By the end, I was nearly watching it through my fingers.

The air canister thingy can put a hole in a head or blow out a door lock with equal ease. Javier Bardem (Anton)had a freaky fucking mug, which was not helped by his freaky fucking pageboy hairdo. Danny pointed out that Anton always drove with his hands exactly in the ten and two position. I found it impressive that he was a conscientious driver. Granted, he shot a bird out the window while his vehicle was hurtling down the highway, but aside from that, he had a firm grip on the steering wheel at all times.

When it was over, my sister, who still had to drive home, park in a campus parking garage and walk to her dorm, was scared. I assured her it was fine (even as I told her to call me when she was safely home and offered her my pepper spray). I told her to apply my rules of horror movie watching (see Steph vs. The Scary Movie for full details). She was safe. She had not stolen anyone’s drug money or discovered anyone’s pile of dead bodies. She wasn’t even in Texas (where an unusual amount of horror movies take place I’m noticing.)

Thanks to my handy horror movie rationalizations, I slept soundly that night and didn’t give a second thought to Anton Chigurh and his creepy air canister thingy.

That is, until yesterday. Yesterday, I was sitting in Starbucks when this guy walked in. He wore a dark green jumpsuit and boots. A silver canister dangled from his fingers. The tube from the top of it looped across his body and ended in a silver gun-like attachment gripped in his left hand. He was grizzly and unshaven. He looked decidedly unhappy.

He was standing at the front counter, his eyes boring a hole right through to the back of the store where the employees buzzed about, making espresso and baking “glorious morning” muffins.

I realized I was holding my breath, desperately trying to pull my gaze away. Was he a spurned former employee? Back to seek revenge on his caffeinated cohorts? Maybe he was the love-lorn ex-boyfriend of one of the several cute blondes who worked here? Or maybe he was just a complete fucking PSYCHO.

I’ll just slouch here. He won’t notice me. I’ll blend right into this maroon velour wall couch. Why? Why me? Why couldn't I have gone to the library to work today? I just had to have a fucking venti Earl Grey (with two Splendas). And now I'm going to die. Great. Just fucking great.

A girl came out from the back. I tightened up as she walked brazenly to the counter to meet her fate. “Hey Jack!” she beamed.

“Hey Carly! How’s it going?” He face broke into a broad grin. “I just wanted to let y’all know I’m here. I’m gonna go ‘round back and start spraying.”

“Great thanks. We don’t want any buggies!”

“All right then, I’ll see you next month.”

The killer tipped his cap and turned to leave. I took a sip of my Earl Grey, thankful to be alive. My first thought was that I, like Carly, did not want any “buggies.”

1 comment:

James Ford said...

Natalie and I watched this Sunday night and repeatedly she'd exclaim, "TOO INTENSE! TOO MUCH TENSION!"

For clarification (SPOILERS AHEAD), Stephen Root's businessman is a drug dealer who hired Anton to find who took his money in a deal gone south. He also hires several others to find the money also (the Mexicans in the motel). Anton kills Root knowing his hiring of other competitors to find the money puts him in danger so he's got to get shot.

www.jamesford.wordpress.com