David James Keaton

C&C: What do you have in your pockets?

 You picked a very good pocket day! Actually sort of sad pocket day. I have the broken strap of my favorite watch. Apparently my sweat is like acid because this thing was made for deep-sea divers and the rubber cracked in half after a year. I loved this watch. It was larger than most watches. This is the watch where someone the other day said, “What a big watch. Are you overcompensating?” Which led to me quizzing this person about why he thought a watch was for wearing on a penis. Seriously though. My watch was so big, you could switch one word and all the classic ‘big dick’ jokes would still make sense. My watch is so big I use it for an umbrella, etc. Some even make MORE sense. Examples. My watch is so big it arrives five minutes before I do. See what I’m saying? Much better as a watch joke. My watch is so big it won’t return Spielberg’s phone calls. Right?! There are watch phone combos now. It’s the future! My watch is so big it has its own dick. I mean, watch. Get it? All the extra watch features are like little watches in the watch? No? Okay, I’m reaching a little bit on that one. Here we go. My watch is so big movie popcorn is labeled “Large,” “Extra Large,” and “My Dick Watch!” I don’t know what I’m saying at this point. Also in my pocket, about 75 cents. I like barbecue baked chips. They’re like gold at work.

C&C: What was your favorite/most fun/most ambitious Halloween costume?  

I’m much more ambitious with pumpkin carving than with costumes. Throughout high school I would usually just tuck a Hawaiian shirt into my jeans, carry around a squirt gun and be like, “I’m Magnum P.I. Leave me alone.” It was pathetic. I had a fairly decent attempt at Donnie Darko costume though, back when the movie was new. Mostly because it was easy. I just made a skeleton hoodie, wrote the date for the end of the world on my arm, and carried around a stuffed one-eyed bunny. Actually that was a disaster. No one knew who the fuck I was.

(Batman 3D Pumpkin glasses)

C&C: Tell me three favorite movie quotes.

For some reason, I often think of the line in the terrible Deep Rising where they’re on the elevator between action scenes and the one guy says, “What is that?” “Peanut.” Then he drops it in the water and is sad. To this day this cracks me UP.

 I mutter “Time…to die” a lot from Blade Runner, usually after something fun has just ended. It’s like mild Tourette’s. Doesn’t add to the conversation, but I can’t help repeating it.

 It might be more of a movie concept than a movie quote, but every time there is a pairing of like-minded people or two similar objects next to each other, I’ll announce that it is “The Quickening!” This might have been funny once, but that was in 1987 when Highlander hit video. That may never stop either.

C&C: Do children frighten you? Because they’re tiny weird little people?

The only children that have ever frightened me when I wasn’t a child myself were the ones described in the book ‘Salem’s Lot (the ones on the bus and the one he dragged out into the sun). And the ones in the movie The Brood. What’s weird unusual is The Brood is successful at scaring you with creepy children NOT because they’re weird beaked monster children that are physical manifestations of their mother’s rage (we’re in David Cronenbergland here of course). They’re scary because they’re often filmed standing casually in their bright orange and yellow snowmobile suits in broad daylight milling around with other kids on the playground and you know what’s under the hoods but the other kids don’t. Freaky. And they don’t sing or dance about or ask us to “play with them forever” (yes, that was effective in the Shining, but oh such a cliché now).

 
C&C: How old were you the first time you had stitches, and what were the circumstances? I love injury stories…

 Oh, man. You hit the jackpot on this one. You know the injury contest in Jaws? I do that all the time, even though mine are mostly like Hooper’s gag story, “Ellen Moffit. She broke my heart!” I think the first time I got stitches was sports related (which I was terrible at but kept playing because my older brother was quite good).

One of the only times they let me on the field in football, I broke a finger by punching a guy in the helmet during the last seconds of the fourth quarter, a part of the game I referred to as the“kickoff” since it was the only time I was allowed anywhere near the game. That wasn’t very smart, but that kid had stepped on my hand when I was crawling on the ground desperately trying to get involved in a tackle after the fact that was nowhere near me. The things you do with your dad in the bleachers! I’d taken my helmet off and demanded that he do the same. He laughed and said, “No way!” so I punched him anyway and cracked the top knuckle on my ring finger on his metal chin-strap snap. Now I’ve got a bulbous, peanut-looking digit and had two stitches I think? Maybe three. Actually, earlier than that, I wrapped my car around a telephone pole and put my left hand a right foot into the dashboard, right through the plastic grille covering the vent. I milked that injury for all it was worth. It happened on the way to school, in my little red, two-seater Fiaro, called a “poor-man’s Corvette” by a snarky classmate and which, on impact, reveals that it’s probably fashioned out of Legos. All the buses, even the short ones, filed by my stupid car on their way in since it was a very small town and the site of my wreck was the last major road to our high school. Later I heard that after homeroom, I was officially “dead.” It was amazing. My girlfriend at the time had to leave her science class crying when she heard the news. Can you imagine the attention I got from her after that?! I’ve never been so happy about someone else’s misery in my life. I acted like I just got back from storming the beach at Normandy, walking around with my bandages, pointing at things for no reason. I enjoyed the attention…until these two other kids got hit by a goddamn train three days later. One of them broke his leg when the train dragged their car about a hundred yards down the tracks, and when he came back to school on his crutches (he was only out for one day!) with a fucking piece of his car still stuck in his elbow, so no one gave a shit about my hand anymore.
Wait! Here’s a good one. I was sitting on the edge of one of those aboveground pools once when I was 6 or 7, and I fell backwards and my palm slapped this row of exposed screws where it wasn’t quite finished being put together, and they punched three big holes in my hand right down to the bones. They had trouble with the stitches on that one because they were puncture wounds and not cuts. I remember staring at the holes waiting for them to bleed.

Oh, here’s a real good one where I look like a genius! I had this golf ball, and I was standing on our porch with a neighbor girl and whipping it at the ground over and over to see how many times I could get it to rebound off the roof and floor of the porch (you can see where this is going) and I threw it as hard as I could and Smack! Smack! Twice right in the fucking mouth. Slow-motion replay shows the golf ball hit the roof, hit my mouth, hit the ground, hit me in the mouth again, putting my top two teeth through my bottom lip, then me dropping to the ground very confused. And it took forever for my mouth to heal. I was proudly displaying this huge, greasy sausage lip with two oozing white holes in it and a big stitch criss-crossed in it. It looked like I got bit trying to kiss a snake. That was last Thursday. Just kidding. I think I was 9. Shit, I can think of about fifty more, but the absolute earliest earliest might be the one time when I was real little I was running with a big stick over these big, broken slabs of highway, and I tripped and jammed the stick through the center of my hand. Luckily it popped into that fan of skinny bones and didn’t pop out the top, but it left another round puncture wound that took forever to close up. I tried to save those stitches when they took them out, and did for awhile, but then I ran to show them to somebody and the paper towel I was holding them in flipped up in the breeze and they were lost in the carpet forever.

C&C: Did you make any progress with the wedding ring search? You do know that if you break your finger while wearing a titanium carbide ring, they have to cut off your finger, get the ring off, then sew your finger back on, right?

Nasty! I don’t know why, but that makes me want to wear rings on all my fingers and toes at all times. Actually I watched about a dozen videos of various people hammering rings into oblivion to finally come to the conclusion that I will probably not face a situation where someone sledgehammers my ring finger. Unless I get caught cheating at poker. Which I would totally do. In fact, when I was playing Little League baseball, I would get bored at the end of the bench and think up all sorts of schemes to cheat the other team. My dad was the coach, so he knew better than to put me in the game. So instead I would write down the other teams’ signals, diagram ways to hide the ball to tag people out Bad News Bears style. He would usually glance at whatever Rube Goldberg nonsense I’d jotted down and then make a paper airplane out of it. Then he’d ask if I could put all the equipment in the van. He said if I did this enough I would finally get a cap that matched the rest of the team (they ran out).
 
 
C&C: I think your watch story is bullshit, it breaking all on its own like that. Did you test the watch for durability?
If someone isn’t around me on a daily basis and hasn’t experienced the bizarre sight of watches constantly exploding off my arms, I can understand your skepticism. So I have included a photo of my broken watch where you can clearly see my sweat devoured the band like molecular acid. Actually this watch lasted longer than my last watch. That’s a long time for a watch, right? Aren’t they supposed to have the same lifespan as your shoes? Way less than a titanium carbide finger-munching Ring of Doom?
 
 
 
 
C&C: Do you sing or dance in front of people?
 
I think white people look silly dancing unless they’re dance-punching out their frustrations alone in a factory. I have been known to sing Prince songs after a couple Coca-Colas. “Seven,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Purple Rain” bring down the house. I like singing Meat Loaf songs, too. I plan on signing “Bat Out Of Hell” in its entirety, sans teleprompter, at a reception in the near future.
 
 
C&C: Have you seen Dead and Breakfast? What did you think?
I did. It was okay for a grubby little zombie import. No Shaun of the Dead or anything. I totally scooped them though and thought of the “zombie bed & breakfast” idea first, back when I was trying to do it for real. And obviously in their story, there isn’t an attempt to stage a zombie assault for fun. But I was still feeling defensive when the e-book got picked up for print, so I decided to set the record straight and actually referenced that movie in the expanded version of Zee Bee & Bee, as well as calling out a certain song by a local artist that I’m totally convinced ripped me off. The guy who wrote this song dated an ex who was around when I was trying to finance my actual Zombie Bed & Breakfast, so there’s no way that’s a coincidence. Here’s the passage (the talk of the “banker” is a thinly-veiled reference to our publication date being ahead of the plagiarist’s song):

“I helped hand-pick a crew, and by the next fall, we had everything up and running, but oddly enough, two full years after we’d started making enough money to think about our first 4:00 a.m. commercial spot, a low-budget flick popped up in the video stores called Dead and Breakfast that sounded a little too close to home. Everyone panicked a little. But, luckily, it bore no resemblance to our original idea of staging an attack for fun and profit. This movie was just another siege on a house, and it took the situation more seriously, even for a supposed comedy. Their storyline treated everything as if it was actually happening, something even the occasional survivalist couple rarely considered for long. Clever title though, we all had to admit. But if that wasn’t suspicious enough, a jazz/calypso fusion song about zombies ‘partying it up at a bed and breakfast’ was released the same summer we flicked on our ‘vacancy’ sign. The song was called “The Zombie and B,” but, thank Christ, it had two inherent problems that quickly relegated it to our pay-no-mind list. One, it hit the radio a full 48 hours after the story of this story was first transcribed by a banker where we secured our loan. And two, unless you say that title out loud, stressing the second syllable of ‘zombie,’ you don’t get the gag at all. You’d just think it was another stupid love song.”

 
 
C&C: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen a domesticated animal do?
Are turtles domesticated? Because that turtle-having-sex video on YouTube has haunted me ever since. The sounds it was making were utterly human. At first I didn’t believe it. I had to bang a turtle to verify. Turns out that’s how you domesticate ’em.
 
 
 
 
C&C Disclaimer: Do not click the link below if you have a shred of innocence left within:
 
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3 responses to “David James Keaton

  1. Love the Blade Runner comment. I tend to quote Pee Wee Herman, or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But “Time…to die,” that’s a keeper.

  2. nice. we are all children of Pee Wee and Blade Runner. those two would be good parents actually – one would certainly be more of a disciplinarian.

    • you mean Pee Wee, don’t you? 🙂 anybody that quotes BR is alright in my book, DJK, but i already knew you were aces, brother.

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