You Know You're A Horror Fan When....
It's close to Christmas. The year is 1990. As a nine year-old boy obsessed with all things horror, anything remotely-related to the genre is cause for excitement. Each trip to the video store always brought forth the promise of some new horror experience, each new issue of Fangoria provided a fix until the next one came along.
It was Christmas break. I got up and, after breakfast, was looking through the local newspaper's television guide (remember those relics?) for something to watch, when my eyes caught something interesting...and unusual.
At 11:30PM on WJCL (our ABC affiliate), a 30-minute horror-themed Christmas special was airing. The mere name of it made me begin to think of a gory yet wholly satisfying thirty minutes of horror film-themed bliss. Oh, how my young mind raced with the immense number of possibilities that this special could and would hold! How could it not? And for WJCL to air it? That was like a nice little subversive present for those of us who love this genre so.
Time seemed to slow down to a crawl. The airing of this special seemed ever so far away. I whiled away the day, doing other things - playing outside with my sister, watching some television - but that special kept infiltrating my thoughts, no matter what I did. It took them over; it seemed as if that airing would never come.
Dinner came and went, as did a game of NES here, a Mystery Science Theater 3000
episode taped-on-VHS there, but the wait was growing unbearable. What joy, what nirvana surely awaited me when I turned that channel on and basked in the glory of it all!
And then, lo and behold, 11:30PM arrived. Turning on WJCL, I sat in rapt attention, ready to enjoy this unique and one-of-a-kind genre treat. This would be one for the record books. I'd already prepped my VCR and was busily conducting what I'd tell the other kids at school about this once-in-a-lifetime special. I hit record on my VCR remote, sat back, and began to watch.
But what greeted me wasn't the visage of one Mr. Robert Englund.
It was Jimmy Stewart.
And the special, as it turns out, wasn't so special after all.