Horror! Devastation! Pee!

the-war-of-the-worlds-1953-movie-posterI was 5 when I saw Dracula, my first horror movie. Alone. In a tiny room lit only by the glow of a black and white TV, behind which were sliding glass doors revealing the evil darkness beyond. I knew he would get me if I left the couch. So I had no choice but to pee in my jammies while my parents played pee nuckle (pinochle) with their friends in the next room. Revenge is sweet.

And then, on a smoggy September night in Los Angeles two years later I saw my first science-fiction movie, War of the Worlds. It terrified me. I was in love! With being scared, that is. It was a re-release of one of the best sci-fi movies of the 50s, famous for its special effects–especially the Martian spaceships with their creepy, snakelike grabber thingies that reached down into buildings, nabbing unsuspecting humans! Horror! Devastation!


Mom loved to talk about Jimmy, a skinny, high-strung guy who’d previously worked with her at the crumbling old Litchenberger building in L.A. One morning after seeing the original release of War of the Worlds, Jimmy was ranting about those creepy grabber thingies! “I almost peed my pants!” he admitted. And then, as he raved (this actually happened), a plumber’s snake, controlled by a workman two floors above, suddenly broke through an ancient drain pipe and burst out of the wall in front of Jimmy, its menacing rooter-claws still awhirl!

Jimmy screamed in a key hitherto unknown to man and clocked the nine floors to the street below, setting a new land speed record, peeing all the way. Mom said she felt guilty about laughing. Uncontrollably. For half an hour. But she couldn’t help herself.

Sure, War of the Worlds scared me. But I didn’t pee. As the movie neared it’s dramatic conclusion in sticky Los Angeles, the alien spaceships began dying, crashing one by one to the ground. “What happened?” I wondered aloud. And just as the star Gene Barry was about to explain, some guy in the third row shouted, “The smog got ’em!” The audience roared.

And I peed.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Horror! Devastation! Pee!

  1. Maybe they should hand out Depends at the box office along with the tickets.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have read Dracula and War of the World’s and they amazing books. I can’t say I was that scared but the music and visuals in movies takes it to a whole new level.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. LOL! The one that always got me was The Night of the Hunter. Different kind of scary, but gave me lots of nightmares. It was my Mom’s favorite and she insisted we all watch it. My daughter will tell you she’s still traumatized today.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. pkadams says:

    Tom Cruise version? That one scared me and I loved it. That noise ! And the crazy guy in the basement. :O

    Liked by 2 people

  5. With a title like “Horror! Devastation! Pee!” I couldn’t resist reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CJ Hartwell says:

    Ha! I was going to say, laughing hysterically is more likely to make me pee than being scared. Though I haven’t seen War of the Worlds so…. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s so funny. I saw the new War of the Worlds, and I liked it! My little brother got so freaked out by Signs, though, because we have cornfields across the street. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such great memories. My friend Joe Righetti and I would spend hours in the dirt, with toy cars and homemade War-of-the-worlds spaceships creating miniature scenes from the movie. I recently rewatched it and was amazed how good the special effects held up, even in this day of CGI. 🙂 But I thought the new version was overly-balanced toward the really horrifying incidents. It was almost too dark. (What do you call PTSD caused by watching a movie?) 😉 The special effects and CGI were so good though: I’d re-watch it again. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Chocoviv says:

    Must’ve been scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Mitch! Even though I was able to… uh… contain myself at all times… even today, 40 years later, I still feel creeped out whenever I watch the Alien franchise’s first flick… i.e., the scene where the Nostromo crew’s uninvited dinner guest “arrives”.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tooooo funny!🤣 The scary movie that did me in (because I was too young, but my older sister let me watch it anyway) was “Wait Until Dark” with Audrey Hepburn. Had nightmares over that one! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nancyehead says:

    Humorous irony. I love it. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Cute? Don’t Let the Picture Fool You! | Mitch Teemley

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