Thursday, December 16, 2010


I saw a horror skit this week called “Shining II: Bloody Citrus.” When the students stood up to start their performance, they said it was a skit about citrus. And I don’t know if they had just learned the word citrus that morning or what but it was goddamn everywhere.

Scene 1 (“A citrus plantation in Florida”), goes for exactly four sentences without using the word “citrus”, at which point we get:

R: The citruses look good, but you should never taste them. They’re atrocious, with enmity that I can’t atone.
T: Oh. Are there any stories about them?
R: You wanna year? Those bloody citrus?
T: I…I’d kind of love to.

Things then take a confusing turn. Scene 2 (“The 50-year-ago citrus plantation”) begins:

A: Excuse me, sir. I’m Andrew Jackson. Nice to meet you. Are you the keeper of these citrus plantation?

Andrew Jackson asks the citrus owner to give him some citrus, and then he offers some to his daughter:

P: Don’t you try some? They’re extremely tasty.
R: No, dad. I don’t like citruses. They’re sour.
P: They’re not sour at all. Have a try.

Halloween costume idea: Andrew Jackson, carrying an orange, telling everyone he meets, “Hello I’m Andrew Jackson, have a try of my citrus.” I will most likely use this next Halloween, and I will most likely do it all in a “World of Hair” voice. If you don’t get that reference, I really wouldn’t worry about it. Really, really not that important.

The people who eat the citruses end up dying, and when the keeper of the citrus field announces the reason for the curse, guess what? It’s:

V: The 1830 Indian Removal Act! We Indians fought for our land in the brutal Seminole Wars for long years. This plantation was where my father, my grandfather died during the war. The citruses were nurtured by their blood of emnity, by their spirit of revenge. Haha.

Non funny interlude:

You know what’s crazy about this? As I mentioned, the skit was named after The Shining, which was one of the movies we had discussed the week before in class. It has a few references to a Danny-like shining ability in the script, but it’s really quite a different story.

So how in the world did my students stumble upon the central claim of one of the most famous critical essays ever written about The Shining? I present Bill Blakemore’s “The Family of Man”, the thesis of which is:

But The Shining is not really about the murders at the Overlook Hotel. It is about the murder of a race — the race of Native Americans — and the consequences of that murder.

So either my students are incredibly lucky, or they happen to be conversant in critical responses to film from the late 80s. This from a crowd which regularly tries to convince me that Titanic is a great film, full of feeling. I honestly have no idea how this happened.

Anyway the script ends with a chilling return to the present day:

T: Mrs. Jackson, you must be kidding. Those stories aren’t real, are they?
R: Then, would you like to try this citrus?