Chris Leavens: October 2006 Archives

By the time you read this, there will be less than 24 hours remaining in the greatest October 2006 to ever grace any of the multitude of possible realities. Time and fate have converged to deliver the awesome power of Unloosen Awareness Month, but alas, these two forces will also serve as its terminus.

In order to help you cope with Awareness-free months ahead, we're designating this day, October 31, a day of mourning and remembrance. Grab a few boxes of tissue, the DVD-R with all of the telephone company commercials you TIVO'd, and your favorite "blankie" and cry the day away. Sit in front of your computer and read Unloosen. Wring from its pages the last drops of Awareness October has to offer. Ask the universe, "Why, oh why must you make October and Unloosen Awareness Month end? Why do you rob me of spectacular surprises and events, like the return of both Joe Blevins and Stuart Gimble? How can you, deep, wise universe, be so cruel as to crush dreams of Awareness being delivered to every man, woman, and child alive? Curse you, vast everything!"

Or you could just go to some Halloween party, because apparently THAT'S happening today, too.

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For the remorseful among you who failed to celebrate the seventh through the tenth of Unloosen Awareness Month, relief has arrived. October 30th is here and along with it comes the fifth "Dress Like Millard Fillmore Day" of the Awareness Month calendar. On this special day, we focus on the early days of Mr. Fillmore and we invite you to join us by sporting the attire of his youth. For inspiration, we include this anecdote:

Unloosen's Presidential soul brother Millard Fillmore has lived a long, intriguing life filled to the brim with excitement. In his early years, Mr. Fillmore enjoyed frolicking in the bucolic countryside amongst the cornfields, rolling hills, and Cracker Barrel restaurants. Chiefest among his youthful passions was mini-coach riding. In the photo below, young Millard and his 18th century girlfriend, Shasta, are guided on a mini-coach adventure by former Fillmore houseboy and fellow immortal, Dick Clark.


Shasta would later comment that the music Dick Clark played during their quaint expedition "had a good beat" and that she could "dance to it." She was, in fact, so inspired by the sounds Clark provided that she later pursued a career as a professional dancer, a career that lead her to a lifetime of extra work in acclaimed films like Xanadu, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, and most recently, You Got Served. Clark also chose a life in the entertainment industry. He went on to become a big-time TV producer, rolling out thought-provoking, insightful programming like, All-American Ultra Quiz, Puttin' on the Hits, and When Stars Were Kids.

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October's final days are marching in, signaling the end of the parade of Unloosen Awareness Month events. Where would Unloosen be without the seven people who read it semi-weekly? We're not really sure either, but we dedicate two special days to these kind folks, the Unloosen connoisseurs. Today, Friday the 27th and tomorrow, Saturday the 28th are for you, friends of Unloosen.


Henry, a connoisseur of bushy facial hair, investigates the Wilford Brimley-esque mustache of a small yet defiant Henry.

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One of the most popular Pork Pony stories ever produced was a group effort spoofing performance art. It's been away far too long. Unloosen Awareness Month revives our mock requiem for a long-gone boom box. Youth be warned: there's a bit of explicit language. Photos by Alex Kinnan and Jack Anderer.

Recently, the performance art duo of Ernest Tremor and abeISS experienced a horrible loss: their boom box and long-time compadre Lenoxx Sound ceased to function. What you are about to experience is a transcription (with photos) of the enlightening and, well, interesting eulogy they delivered at their "funeral" for the aforementioned sound system.

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It's hard to celebrate Unloosen Awareness Month without recognizing Pork Pony, the website that started it all. Be warned, this one's long.


Pork Pony was the precursor to Unloosen, a raucous collection of absurd, comedic, and surreal stories, bizarre images, advice, reviews, and commentary. It died a surprising and untimely death in January 2004. This is its story.

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Some people who visit Unloosen and participate in Unloosen Awareness Month insist on asking lengthy, probing questions about the "other" guys who've written stuff for this incredible website. What happened to Ed Darrin, Mike Wargo, David Kendall, Frog, Jason Kornblatt, Rick DeMott, and A.S. Albright?

Honestly, not everyone is cut out for the fame and glamour Unloosen drenches its contributors in. But this won't stop us from celebrating the greatness they've brought to Unloosen, so in honor of all of those "other," silent members of our team, we say, "Thank you for giving us stuff. Here, have a day."

Let these hibernating men know you care about what they've given us by delving into their work, patting them on the back, and buying them a job-well-done beverage of their choice. Who knows? It may rouse them from their deep, creation-free slumber.

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Here's one specifically for an old friend of mine, Jeff AKA Dr. Hot Lunch. This is not too far from his childhood home in east-central PA. Notice the care these cultured folks have put into the presentation of this "Metal Mementos" installation, meticulously constructed on their front yard. They deserve an NEA grant if nothing else. Keep making PA beautiful, lawn artists.

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Today, Unloosen Awareness Month honors Chris Leavens, editor and creator of Unloosen, with his own day.

On February 24, 1976, Chris Leavens was born. 200 years previous to his birth, a gang of rebels wearing powdered wigs created a country called the United States of America with Mr. Leavens in mind. As Benjamin Franklin, the best President in the history of our nation, said so eloquently, "This 'U.S. of A.' will provide Christopher Leavens, our future's greatest hope for entertainment and the cook behind some of the most kick-ass hot wings known to man, both a safe and joyous homeland and legions of fans who will stream into their local shopping malls to buy T-shirts emblazoned with his likeness. Jefferson, was that a run-on?"

As we now know, our country has failed one half of its intended mission. Hot Topics throughout the nation feel an emptiness and they don't know why. Where are the Chris Leavens bobble-heads? The Chris Leavens signature milk tumblers? What about the Chris Leavens color-changing puffy stickers?

Does Chris Leavens sit around and mope and cry about these things? No sir/madam! He soldiers on daily, and, head held high he dreams up more bizarre and useless information with which to pummel the masses. Sometimes he even showers.

Help Chris Leavens help the U.S.A. achieve the greatness our Founding Fathers foresaw 230 years ago by celebrating Unloosen Awareness Month's Chris Leavens Day. Read some of Chris's stories or look at some of the pictures he's taken with his camera. Let him live in your heart and then maybe one day in the future, he'll live on your shirt, only in screen-printed or iron-on form.

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Ah, yes Friday. For those of us who aren't leather fetishists, it's the beginning of 2.33 days of bondage-free existence, a 56 hour long sigh. This evening, businessmen, computer programmers, part-time secretaries, and longshoremen will clock out at 5:00 p.m. and a special smile will wiggle its way onto their faces. This isn't just your ordinary Friday. No sir. This is one of Unloosen Awareness Month's chiefest Fridays: Craig J. Clark Day, or to the initiated and lazy, TGICJCD.

The nurses and Amway salesmen of the world will, as usual, converge on their local Chilis to suck down a variety of fruit-flavored margaritas, but instead of griping about the frustrations of the work place and gossiping about Todd's "butt pants," these corporate soldiers will engage in sparkling, witty discourse about Craig J. Clark's stunning body of work both here on Unloosen and on his own website, Dada. Then they'll get down!

Let the ultimate Friday infect you by spending your spare moments today (even your bathroom moments) reading the words that spilled from Craig's own hands. You'll be doing both Craig and yourself a "solid."

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For the rest of this week, Unloosen Awareness Month focuses on those few humans brave enough to create in the name of Unloosen. One such person is called Tom Weaver. Weaver writes with a sort of regularity that wards off the need for verbal Metamucil, but for some reason, he's actually been a little quiet lately. Is he losing his spark? Has he shacked up with some awesome babe who makes him cookies while he watches Burt Reynolds and Chuck Norris movies? Or is Weaver dead? I mean, that's a picture of Weaver. He kind of looks dead.

No. None of these. In that photo, Weaver's just resting his eyes and in real, every-day life, he's actually working on a big giant book filled with the things that spray from his head (not including snot, spit, vomit, or tears). For your enjoyment, he offers a selection from this book on this day to tease you and make you wish you were him or, at the very least, allowed in the same state as him, you crazy Weaver stalker.

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At age sixteen, most ordinary American youth have dreams of cars and driving cars. Our very own Chris Woodward is no ordinary American youth. Upon turning sixteen in 2001, Woodward was asked by his parents, "What brand of automobile would you like to sport about town in? Bentley? Maybach? Or does our favorite son want Grandpa's prized Duesenberg?"

Woodward pretended to contemplate his parents' question for a moment, but he already knew his answer. "Mum, Poppa, I want to relieve myself of this aristocratic life, give up my future Earldom, and write short comedic stories for a website that exists on some rarely-traveled back alley of the new-fangled Internet."

His parents gasped, but young Woodward continued:

"I care not of the childish concerns and materialistic desires attached to automobiles. I don't want my license to drive; nay, I want my license to write!" With this statement, Woodward thrust his hand toward the heavens and a bolt of lightning met it, leaving no scars or permanent brain damage, just a small ID card that read, "Christopher Alabaster Woodward IX, Breaker of the Woodward Lineage and Rebel for Life has been granted this License to Write."

After that day, his parents forcibly adopted one of the kids from the TV show Home Improvement and made him their favorite son. Woodward was relegated forever to second place.

In celebration of Woodward's choice and the many great works he's provided us over the last five years, take a little time out of your day today and become Aware of his work.

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Unloosen Awareness Month is about more than just simply making every single living human aware that Unloosen exists; it's also about sharing special knowledge with loved ones and not-so-loved ones. To help celebrate the "What Would Henry Do?" portion of Awareness Month, we've drilled a hole into the deepest core of our fact reserve and mined this nugget of Henry-related wisdom:

Believe it or not, the movie Field of Dreams was originally about a gang of Henries mysteriously appearing in an Iowa cornfield to form the single largest parade of Uncle Sam stilt walkers ever known to man. The production still below, taken before the original script was heaved onto the scrap pile, shows a scene in which one of the stilt-walking Henries is "pantsed" by a pair of mischievous young Henries. Those devilish little scamps! Henry's going to give them what for!


The original script also featured Kevin Costner road-tripping with Darth Vader in a pair of Shriner cars, not a VW van. In the frame of film below, Costner and the recently unmasked Vader are cheered on by adoring Americans as they make their way to the magically surreal Henry gathering in Iowa.


Predictably, the studio figured the concept of a record-breaking parade of human-faced fruit dressed as tall Uncle Sams too "strange," "disturbing," and "non-basebally" to work, so they rewrote the whole thing to be about a sport and the ghost sports guys who liked to play it.

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I'll keep this short and sweet. The long-absent Mr. Joe Blevins sent an email message our way, so in celebration of Unloosen Awareness Month's Joe Blevins Day -- October 13 -- here is that message in its entirety:


I have found out through the usual channels that October 13 is a day devoted to my whereabouts. Rest assured, I am alive and relatively well. My creative pursuits have not ceased, contrary to rumors. In fact, I have devoted all my spare time these last four years to completing my literary masterwork, my magnum opus, if you will. After countless hours sweating over revised drafts, I feel I am now ready to unveil this work in honor of my special day. Here is the story in its entirety, tastefully left untitled:

The famous monsters of filmdom were gathered together for a reunion in Transylvania one evening not long ago. Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Creature of the Black Lagoon were all in attendance. In a secluded corner of the room, the Frankenstein Monster and the Invisible Man stood chatting.

“So,” said the Invisible Man, his transparent head and limbs wrapped in gauze, his torso outlined by a velvet smoking jacket, “how is the Bride of Frankenstein these days?”

“She’s fine, thanks” replied the Monster. “ How’s the Invisible Woman?”

“Oh, I stopped seeing her.”

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Just who is this Millard Fillmore character and what exactly does he have to do with October, the most awesome month and Unloosen Awareness Month?

Millard Fillmore held the political office called President of the United States of America. He was the only President to be known as "The Thirteenth President of the United States of America." He did a really good job.

Brought to Earth aboard a space-proof hovercraft in 54 B.C., Fillmore was born on the steamy planet called Venus. Although his parents attempted to steer him toward a career in investment banking, little Millard fancied himself an inventor. In the year 437 A.D., his rebellious nature took him to the state of Michigan where he invented something he called the "car." After numerous patent applications and the subsequent inventions of the license plate, auto insurance, and the pine tree air freshener, Fillmore's incredible "car" finally debuted in 492 A.D., but no one knew how to invent gasoline so it sat on blocks outside a mobile home in northern Alabama for nearly fourteen centuries before being used.*

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More than likely, you've already read the Unloosen Awareness Month calendar of events at least 73 times, but just in case you've been too "busy" or "illiterate" to take it all in, this message shall serve as a reminder. Only one day -- Friday, October 6 -- remains in the golden-yellow phase of the month.

During these days you were/are obligated to write to a senator or representative and plead to have Unloosen Awareness Month officially recognized by the government of our great and free nation. May we suggest you write a letter or electronic-mail message to Senator Sam Brownback? He's a warm, caring man and a good listener. While you're at it, slap him a written high-five for his strong anti-stem-cell research stance. I mean, come on. We all know stem-cell research is useless, right?

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Help those less fortunate than you. Add a little Unloosen Awareness to someone's life by pointing them in our direction. Confused as to how to practice Awareness? Here are some suggestions.

Also, the calendar of events is partially completed and available for viewing and sharing. Click it for the big version.


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One Henry uses common kitchen utensils to scare another Henry into Unloosen Awareness.

October is Unloosen Awareness Month and this means you should already be scheduling your month around the soon-to-be-available calendar of events which -- swear to God -- will be published later this week. Until then, you should follow these simple instructions for the first two days of the Unloose schedule.

October 1 & 2: October 1 is over. Hopefully you instinctually delved into the Unloosen archives and read aloud from them to a friend or group of friends, because that's what you were supposed to do on October 1 and 2. If not, administer some sort of self punishment and spend the entirety of October 2 reciting your favorite Unloosen tale in a bad Eastern-European accent.

Also, e-mail your friends and let them know that Unloosen Awareness Month has rolled in like a mighty thunder. Help them be Aware.

More Awareness information is on the way.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Chris Leavens in October 2006.

Chris Leavens: September 2006 is the previous archive.

Chris Leavens: November 2006 is the next archive.

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