Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweehhh...

Happy Halloweehhh...

Examining the Spooky Truth

Poor Lewis. But he can take consolation that at least he gave Mojo a scare equally, if not more, horrifying than his own.

The First Level Of Fear

There are several levels of being scared. When you're merely surprise-scared, you feel the slightest constriction in your stomach, and the muscles in your face may flicker a little. Perhaps you even let out a "h-wuh" or a "woo". To the casual observer, it probably just looks like you got an invisible prostate exam.

The Second Level of Fear

At the next level would be good, old-fashioned "spooked". That's when your stomach definitely drops, your body makes a couple unnatural convulsions in recoil, and you let out numerous, high-pitched, staccato screams... "BWA! GWA BWAAAA!"

Once I was sitting in a room with the Stan/Rob/Sutter contingent when a house centipede dropped from the ceiling fan, onto the coffee table. Pretty much everyone let out a Level 2. Though once we saw how large it was, we progressed to Level 3.

The Third Level of Fear

The third highest level of fear is unique, in that it defines your character. This is the level where you can take three different courses of action:

You become so absolutely terrified that you freeze up entirely. Your bowels may release a little. You know... just so your body is doing something.
You're horrorstruck to such a degree that you exit the room fast enough to age backwards a little (ironically making perpetual fear the true secret to beautiful skin and hair).
Mind-bending terror forces you into action, and you attempt to remove the object of terror in an epic, this-was-prophesied-at-my-birth sort of way.

I won't go into detail on what specific incarnations of Level 3 fear we all exhibited with the appearance of the house centipede. No. That's not important.

Instead, I think it's important that anyone out there who has experienced the Third Level of Fear share it with the rest of us. Especially if they exhibited level 3.2. You know... to console... others who may have exhibited such levels before.


Happy Halloween!

Comments on this Article

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Lewis looks like a 3.2 to me, especially in that second panel there.

I myself am a 3.1: the most useless, yet most hilarious to onlookers. Often times combined with some tears and a little poo; most likely an embarrassed and distraught look when the whole thing is done.


Yeah... Lew is too pragmatic to really be a 3.3. Which sounds disparaging, but let's face it... 3.2's have the highest survival rate, and go on to propagate the species. We need them!

Jason Santa Maria

Unfortunately, it wasn't a centipede, because centipedes don't get that big. I think it was wearing clothes too. It was massive. Those who didn't see it fall, *heard* it fall.

I resorted to "Mind-bending terror" and exterminated the fucker. But that might be because everyone was already occupying all available hiding spaces.


You had me at "invisible prostate exam." What a great way to start the day.


Reading the words "invisible prostate exam" is a great way to start the day. Not actually getting an invisible prostate exam.

I mean, I've learned that lesson.

You know what I mean. I hope. Oh, bananas.

Happy Halloween!


Stan - Wait - that was you? I thought that was Bruce Willis! My Hero!

Testmonkey - To be fair, an invisible prostate exam is still probably better than a normal one. I hate seeing my doctor scrunch up his face in disgust like that.

Stevie K

Invisible or not, you guys in America seem to get a lot more prostate exams than we Brits do. Maybe something to do with our stiff upper lip but I wouldn't want to speculate.

The Colonel

Wouldn't it be there ARE several levels of fear in the first sentence of your second paragraph?

In other, fear-related news, I'm constantly thriving on Level 3.3 Fear. The mind-bending terror you mentioned, followed by epic action.

Sure, I may scare young children with a mere glance or horrifying sneeze, but with the state of the world today, a man NEEDS that sort of intensity... always.

Dominik Lenk

Well, I wasn't there when that 'fucker' (centipede) was descending from the ceiling, but I am pretty sure that you are all exaggerating a little bit. It probably didn't even fit in the room;-)

Now the question is how did it get in there in the first place?
(What came first? Th ceiling or the centipede?)


Stevie K. - Well, they offer a free Big Gulp, and SUV tune-up after every prostate exam. Sometimes you even win a fourth or fifth TV for your house as well.

Colonel - Ooh! Good catch! What was your latest heroic escapade?

Dominik - I think it came through a portal from hell. That's the most likely explanation.

mountain gnome

Crikey! I think I'd be at level 3.3 if I saw Mojo wielding an axe above my bandaged body!
I love the way the pumpkin landed on Lewis' head after his stairwell fall! Happy Halloween everyone!


Maybe due to my overinflated sense of self I am a 3.3. (And yes, I live in constant fear of it popping!)

If it wasn't so horrific I could tell you a tale of a 9 year old boy, a drawer full of maggots, an insane rage, and a murderous shoe. (True story too!)

blipple bloop blop

Happy Halloween! If by house centipede, you mean "thousand-legger", I am right there with you at lvl 3. Scream and run, man--scream & run!

The Colonel

Excellent question, Kev!

I'm rather torn between putting random interns into danger for the sake of national security, and experimenting on random interns for the sake of science.

Oh, that reminds me... we're seeking fresh interns if you know anyone who's interested.


This is a "House Centipede". I've added the link to the article as well. Just glancing at this thing again gives me the creepily-jeepily-oogie-boogies.

Colonel - I know a couple of 3.3's that might be interested. Or do you need 3.1's?


yeah. that's it alright. scary bastards. I swear it was as big as a fist. I think the only reason it fell from the ceiling is that it couldn't support it's massive weight any more.


Biggest centipede I ever saw was one of THESE. "It is carnivorous, feeding on lizards, frogs, birds, mice, and even bats..." Our little venimous freak was *only* 6 inches long and ambling on the porch of the caribbean cottage we were renting (that had glass-less, screen-less windows ????) . Definite 3.3 action with a shovel. Absolutely zero sleeping after that. Of couse, guests in the main house found one in the bathroom while using the baņo. Zero sleep + zero baņo = amazing vacation.


Thanks a lot. Still haunting me. I can't stop. I'm not exagerating on this one. INSANE. I am never going to the tropics again after seeing the first 5 seconds of the "Centepede Eats Mouse" video linked in the wiki. A 3.2 would have been advised since I was wearing flip flops at the time. Any insect with the name "gigantea" in the name requires a 3.2 response.


Whoa... THAT looks like the thing that crawls out of Kate Capshaw's hair in Temple of Doom... you know... that part with the bugs...

I hate that part.


Firstly I think what this story illustrates rather well is how woefully inadequate horror films are in desensitizing people. If someone who's watched as much horror as Stan can be flung into level 3 simply because a massive insect fell to the earth with a thump, then the horror genre needs to step it up a gear. Lastly, I once by-passed level 3, 4 AND 5 when I came face to (for lack of a better word) face with Faye Dunaway who had absolutely no make-up on. It was all forehead and cheekbones and it didn't look happy.

flightless bird

Once when I was eight, my mom called me up from the basement (where the Nintendo was) for lunch. My mom had fixed me a sandwich while doing laundry at the same time.

I get to the kitchen, and as soon as she turns to face me, the iron shorts out. Not like a little short, or just some smoke, no, this was a Book of Exodus-level electrical issue. That fucker shot PURPLE SPARKS a good foot in the air.

That was like a mixture of 3.1 and 3.2--I moved backward so quickly I left my clenched bowels hanging in a different timeframe.

Since then I've managed to cultivate a Zen, 3.3 state, often responding with enormously swift violence to any and all potentially scary provocation.

The last time I was ever that scared, though, I wound up in a serious fight with a guy wielded a soldering iron. I haven't found the religion that prophesied that battle, but when I do I'm kicking someone's ass.

Julesy Wulesy

I live in South Africa and we have some mutant beasties out here. When I was living in Johannesburg I had gone away for the weekend and upon returning didn't check my bed for said beasties. It was late, I was tired and, unbeknown to me, about to break a world record for most poo in one a single pair of undies. Imagine climbing into bed with a rain spider the size of a fully grown man's hand (open)... Jeepers creepers! There was also the time I dived into my pool to find a 3 foot Puff Adder having a bath, the scorpion in my shoe and numerous black centipedes with red legs falling from every corner. Yes, I'll admit, I was living out in the sticks but that doesn't make you impervious to true, unadulterated, poo-in-my-pants fear!

B.F. O'rourke

See, there are places in the world that I'm never going. I'm going to stay put in the colder northeast, safe from these exotic horror shows. I can almost tolerate the house centipede in all of its awfulness because that large animal eating centipede and horrific looking rain spider are so much worse. I'm really going to have nightmares tonight, so I will be sleeping in shoes, with a hammer.

B.F. O'rourke

On second thought, I think I'll move to the north pole. I'd rather wrestle a polar bear for fish, then worry about finding any of the creatures in my snow suit.


BigA - Sheesh. Stan's all talk. He's afraid of ROLLER COASTERS. Not even I'm afraid of Roller Coasters, and I'm afraid of heights, flying, the ocean, small-enclosed spaces, basements, conference calls, meeting strangers, cars, motorcycles, really big trucks and skiing.

Flightless Bird - Whoa.... a soldering iron is a formidable weapon. I certainly hope you had a blowtorch or better to defend yourself.

Julesy - Oh my god. Well, suffice it to say, I won't be visiting South Africa anytime soon. At least not until I get one of those injury-proof Pope suits.

B.F. O'rourke - You know, I often think to myself that I'm lucky to have found one of the few spots in North America where there's no poisonous and/or humongous insects. With the exception of the Brown Recluse spider. But, now that I have Ernie to eat spiders, I'm not worried at all!


I'm afraid of people who are afraid of the same things I am and you so sir just sent me to level 3.

flightless bird

Hey BF--fun facts about polar bears. The first is that they don't roar. Generally you realize they're behind you when they drop down onto you and your rib cage collapses.

Second fun fact! When hunting on the ice, polar bears hold a paw over their noses. At a distance, with all that dazzling white, a single large black spot (their noses) is pretty noticeable. So they cover it up.

That has never stopped freaking me out.

Julesy Wulesy

I once wrestled a polar bear to the ground and had him whimpering in submission... Then I woke up :(
I also dreamed of eating giant marshmallows and when I rose the following morning my pillows were gone! Funny thing that...


I HAVE to know...

Were any pumkins harmed in the making of this cartoon?

BF O'rourke

Hey Flightless - What I find most impressive is that they know their noses stand out never having looked in a mirror. I'd like to be clever enough in that horrifying moment to say, oh, bless you and snicker to myself right before I was bit on or about the head.

Bearskinrug - Maybe Ernie was attempting to pay himself for keeping you safe from spiders and now you've wrongly accused him of thievery. Lets hope that he doesn't "let one slip" to make a point...


3c is the automatic course of action should a centipede from hell landed on a person's head or God forbid, their coffee. Its as if its ordained by some higher being... unless you know a person who utters "Oh look, a centipede landed on my coffee, its rather large, wouldn't you say?"


@Ericzoo: that would be me. I live for those moments.

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