Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J - Jabberwocky

Three factors contributed to most of my childhood nightmares.  The first was ‘The Price is Right.’ (I still can’t watch game shows.  The blinking lights, fake smiles, and over enthusiastic contestants creep me out.)

The second was the song ‘Tom’s Diner’ by Suzanne Vega. (It used to play on the radio as I was falling asleep every night and gives me the willies to this day)

And the third was the 1985 movie version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  (haven’t watched it in forever, but I have a feeling it’s even more messed up than my memory will allow me to recall) - Sure, the made up words, confusing worlds, and actors who purposely bugged their eyes out (without digital enhancement) was enough to make my kiddie stomach do flip flobs.  But then came:

The Jabberwocky. 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

-Lewis Caroll 1872

In a world where nothing is as it seems and you can’t be sure of anything, adding a creepy monster to the mix (who, according to experts, can also be interpreted as anything worth running from) is enough to send a seven year old over the edge.

What random things freaked you out as a kid?

40 comments:

Lindsay said...

I know it's weird, but David Bowie as the Goblin king in Labyrinth really freaked me out as a kid. I still can't watch it now. LOL.

Tessa Conte said...

OMG I used to LOVE that poem!

VIsions of fraying rope and flying dinosaurs. Those gave me the creeps when I was little... oh, and that clown doll that sat at the top of the dresser. Freaky.

Not a fan of clowns.

Tessa Conte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen Daiker said...

I could see that coming off as WAY creepy when as a child. Now I have to say that we watched some twisted things when we were little so Pet Semetary and IT made the list because my sisters and I couldn't sleep through the night for day. Oh that and Jurassic Park. They said that it was a family flick so my parents took us to the theater, every child was crying, covering their ears or planting their faces in there dad's chest.

Great J :)

Áine Tierney said...

there was a show in Ireland called Wanderly Wagon and my brother was terrified of sneaky sanke. I still can barely watch an over 12s film - i'm just scared of everything.
Love the Jabberwocky poem though.

Jennifer said...

I remember that movie and it was so creepy. Clowns scared the hell out of me and they still do....so creepy!

D U Okonkwo said...

Yep I'm with you on out of here. I never liked Alice in Wonderland and the Price of Right Game show is just wrong!

Vicki Rocho said...

Okay, I don't wanna mock or anything, but the Price is Right? I LOVED that show.

I was scared of Big Foot. He was totally going to get me. Oh, and aliens too.

Gina said...

Oh my God! My cousins and I were just watching clips of the Jabberwocky scene from Through the Looking Glass this weekend! So freaky!
When I was younger, I was terrified of Michael Jackson's Thriller video. That one's understandable, but I was also scared of Duran Duran's Hungry Like the Wolf video. Something about the slinking through the woods in body paint made me cringe. And why was I watching so much MTV anyway?

Name: Luana Krause said...

In junior high we had to memorize Jabberwocky. It was fun to disect the poem line by line.

What scared me as a kid were haunted houses. (Creaking doors, rattling door knobs, eerie sounds, things moving by themselves...YIKES!)

Also dead, wet girls showing up unexpectedly as you looked in the mmirror.

Elena Solodow said...

Tom's diner *is* a really creepy song! but then again, you're "creepy query girl", so maybe it's appropriate : )

Josh Hoyt said...

I have a friend who took the poem and and made a story out of it. It is a great story. Not sure what freaked me out as a kid I must have blocked them all from memory.

lbdiamond said...

LOL, Alice in Wonderland freaked me out too!

Great poem, tho. ;)

Grendelwulf said...

Yeah, Alice creeped me out to. Small young girl with blonde locks. Stalking rabbits. Invading holes that didn't belong to her. Offending mice and other animals by talking about her cat (read the books, its in there!). Crashing tea parties. Hanging around strange caterpillars. Growing at such a rapid pace and taking up all the air!

Just who does she think she is anyway?

Hart Johnson said...

I love the Jabberwocky. I love what you can do with sound and cadence to set a mood, because it IS frightening, even though it is nonsense. I'm also cracking up that you were scared of price is right... Very perceptive of you. I don't think I was scared of it until well into adulthood. Then again, when I was a kid, Bob Barker was only 105. He was at least 120 by the time you were watching.

M J Francis said...

Someone mentioned David Bowie in Labyrinth. It wasn't his character that creeped me out, it was the masquerade scene in that movie. Couldn't watch it at all. Always had to leave the room and hide for a while.

Damyanti said...

I was freaked by cockroaches. Still am. No fiction ever gave me nightmares... :)

Siv Maria said...

Clown, I know there is a name for that. Clowns freak me out still. I also hated the wicked witch of the west....Soooo creepy. Love your post today.

Laura Marcella said...

Haha, I remember studying Jabberwocky in school. I can see why that would freak out a little kid!

When I was four, I got all the Wizard of Oz dolls for Christmas. I loved playing with them all day in my room, but I could not, would not let the Wicked Witch stay in my room over night. At bedtime my mom & dad would have to take her and put her in their closet. The next morning I'd happily go retrieve her and continue playing. I know, weird. I think I thought she'd come alive at night and turn me into a monkey or something.

Dafeenah said...

Normally things don't creep me out, but It totally freaked me out. To this day, I am still a little uncertain about clowns.

Dafeenah

Laura Pauling said...

I can see why those freaked you out. Honestly, I can't remember things on television freaking me out - but doberman pincers and bees did - and still do.

Matthew MacNish said...

This is one of my all time favorite poems. Seemingly nonsense, but in reality, genius.

Marjorie said...

I was in the play Alice in Wonderland when I was 11 years old. Makes it less scary when you act the whole thing out.

Mark Young said...

Huck Fin and Becky trapped in a cave with a killer. Just read it to my daughter, and she had the same reaction.

Theresa Milstein said...

I was terrified of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Anytime the song that called aliens came into my head, I was sure they'd visit.

And I was freaked out by ET and Poltergeist.

I'm not very tough.

Old Kitty said...

I've not thought of Tom's Diner that way! LOL!!

The oompah loompahs used to scare me!

Take care
x

Tamara Narayan said...

There was a thirty-minute TV show on weird/occult topics that I loved until they did a show on witches. My sister hid in my closet that evening and, after the lights were out, jumped out screaming. Bad, bad sister.

The original Nightmare on Elm Street and The Exorcist also freaked me out as a teenager.

Julie said...

Mine is completely insane and I'll take all ridicule.
I once had a nightmare about the kid in Hans Christian Anderson(the musical).
It took me YEARS to be able to watch it again because for reasons I am unable to recall, he completely freaked me out. Lol.
Now it's one of my favorite movies.
Weird that he's still the first thing to pop into my mind...

Kate said...

Definately one of my favourite poems!

Donna Hole said...

I've always loved that poem :) Thanks for reposting it.

......dhole

Cheree said...

I've seen heaps of adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, but I can't remember if it was the 1985 version.

Tim Brannan said...

Awesome! I came here from the A to Z blog and saw you did Jabberwocky. I did the Jabberwock as well!

Very Awesome! Came here from the whole A to Z and was pleased to see you did the Jabberwock as well!

J is for Jabberwock

I'll put a link up on my post to yours as well.

Tim

Charmaine Clancy said...

Flashback! I remember performing this poem with my 1st grade class. Wow - didn't know that dusty part of my brain memory was still there. Thanks!
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

The Writing Goddess said...

I missed that movie (luckily, as I'm easily freaked out.)

Spiders do it for me. I saw an old repeat of The Incredible Shrinking Man when I was a very young child, that scene where he's so tiny, the big hairy ugly spider is trying to bite him, and then he stabs it with the safety pin, spider goo everywhere.... eeeeyuck! (still shuddering.)

I still can't handle even tiny spiders, but I'm fine with Jabberwockies and clowns. Thanks for a fun post. Writing in Flow

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss katie! i like that poem lots. i like monster stuff and scary stuff. when i was little i was soooo scared of going down in the cellar cause the boogy man lived down there. yikes! for sure he was gonna get me. ha ha.
...hugs from lenny

Caitlin said...

Just about anything. Haha. I was an easily frightened child.

klahanie said...

Hey Katie,
Hi there. Ah yes, today's blog is brought to you by the letter 'J' in the great 'alphabet challenge' :)
Sorry, I keep getting flashbacks of 'Sesame Street', 'Big Bird' and the 'Cookie Monster'...'cookie!'
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, 'Jabberwocky', very strange and very 'Lewis Carroll'.
Well I recall, quite randomly, that I got freaked out by 'Humpty Dumpty', when I was just a lil' ol' kid. Humpty Dumpty, the greatest 'off-the-wall' comedian, ever! :)
Right then, knowing the alphabet, I realise the next letter in this fascinating challenge is 'K', which, wow, is the beginning letter of my shy and humble blog.
Take care and have fun :)

Melissa Gill said...

Great J word!

For me it was Fantasia. Those crazy brooms and that bucket. I barely remember the movie, and can't watch it to this day, but everytime I see it advertised it freaks me out.

Laura Maylene said...

OMG, I LOVE Tom's Diner. I have many happy memories associated with it. And I always like the Price of Right, too. And Press Your Luck. But I love your game show phobia...that is fantastic.

I was an odd kid who liked creepy/dark stuff. The movie The Mosquito Coast was my favorite when I was 6-7 years old. I watched it over and over. My mother let me but she later told me she always wondered why the heck I liked it so much. I don't know, but I still remember the kid's voice overs in the beginning and end -- I like to think my literary inclinations were perking up at the words, which I assume came from Theroux's book (which I still haven't read).

Chris Phillips said...

Jabberwokcy wasn't scary, the kid won. Callooh! Callay!

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