Post written by J.L. Bryan
For today’s blog tour stop at Dollar Bin Horror, I just wanted to repost this Elm Street Journal article about the often-neglected plight of an underserved community in our country.
Monster Unemployment Reaches Record Highs
Monsters are struggling harder than ever to find jobs, according to a new report from monster employment agency Nightmare Staffing.
“We’ve never had this much trouble placing clients,” said Gwzyxlel Brymlock, a senior relationship manager with the agency’s goblin/demon division. “It’s across the board—the giant leeches, the green aliens with the antennae, the octopus men—nobody is getting work.”
The new report shows that monster employment has been in slow decline since its peak in the late sixties and the early seventies, when filmmakers such as Roger Corman kept monsters of all stripes gainfully employed.
“It was really sliding downhill by the 1980s,” said Schlobular the Swamp Beast, from his room at the Beverly Hills Monster Retirement Home and Water Treatment Facility. “Why, back in my day, we cut two movies a month. Beware the Swamp Beast. The Swamp Beast Cometh. Swamp Beast Free Candy—that one really brought the kids into the theaters!
“But by the eighties, people had moved on from your radioactive-hybrid-fish-beasts and other respectable, classical monsters,” Schlobular recalled. “They wanted guys in hockey masks, guys in clown masks. All of a sudden, nobody thought a giant moth with fire-blaster eyes was scary anymore. But those are the kinds of stories that made America great.”
Even the rising economic tide of the 1990s failed to lift the boats for America’s monster population, instead leaving them adrift at sea.
“Look, I’m on disability at this point,” said Zungcrok, a mutant lizard who lives in a tank at the same retirement and wastewater facility. “I’m extremely sensitive to radiation. If I’m in a convenience store, and some guy fires up the microwave, I’m suddenly a thousand feet tall, breathing fire and suffering anger issues. I haven’t had steady acting work in almost thirty years, and those Mystery Science Theater residual checks aren’t rolling in anymore, either. If I can’t make movies, what am I going to do?”
Monsters even struggle to find part-time jobs. The dark god Cthulhu, who must work outdoors due to his mountains of dark and writhing tentacles, found employment as an elementary school crossing guard, a position where he did not last long.
“The Hollywood studios summoned me from the darkest depths of sunken R'lyeh to eat actresses in their films!” Great Cthulhu bellowed to the cosmos. “You would think I’d get some sort of pension.”
“Cthulhu really makes a good point,” said Torpus the Fanged Bug-Man. “They brought me here from a little island in the South Pacific in the 1950s. I had a good thing going there, with a small tribal cult of natives who worshipped and feared me, brought me fruit and meat. Next thing you know, along come the movie producers. They promise me the world on a rotten-carcass platter, and they swoop me up and ship me to Hollywood. Now, all these years later, I’m displaced. Those island natives don’t want me back, either. They’ve stocked up on Raid in case I return.”
Some monsters are finding work in the video game world.
“I don’t know what everybody in L.A.’s complaining about,” said Fungopos the Alien Slime Mold, from his mansion overlooking Seattle. “Next year, they’re putting out Alien Mold 15: The De-Fleshening. Every major gaming platform. You can pre-order it today. Speaking of movies, we’re actually in talks with somebody in Hollywood about an Alien Mold movie, but I’m not supposed to say who.” Fungopos then whispered, “Michael Bay.”
Unfortunately, Fungopos is the exception rather than the rule. Monster unemployment has reached a record 85%, and no clear solution to the problem lies ahead.
“If only there were some way to use fear and overwhelming physical force to get money out of people,” Schlobular the Swamp Beast lamented. “Until we figure out how to do that, I’ll just keep my fins crossed for that cashier job at Staples.”
Thanks for taking the time to read about this important issue today. Now it’s time for a:
For my Dollar Bin Horror giveaway semi-bonanza, I’ll give an ebook copy of my .99-cent short story collection Dark Tomorrows to everyone who comments on this post within the next 7 days. Just provide an email address where I can send the free gift copy. (I can send it through your Blogger profile if your email is available there.)
Commenting on this post within seven days also gives you one entry toward The Haunted E-book Tour Grand Prizes, including The Haunted Library and a Kindle (or two…).
Thanks so much to Rhonny Reaper for hosting the blog tour today!
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He is the author of five novels and one short-story collection. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. His new novel is The Haunted E-book. The sequel to his novel Jenny Pox will be available by summer 2011.