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September 26, 2004:
I wasn't sure what to make of "Marcus the Carcass" when I ran into him and his fifteen dollar price tag. He definitely looked interesting, but it's easy to place your hopes too high when faced with opening up an illuminated ground-level rotting demon corpse. I expected the world, and nothing less would suffice. I'm happy to report that Marcus didn't disappoint: he's not the creepiest decoration out there, nor will he make your front lawn the talk of the neighborhood, but for a measly fifteen bucks and ten minutes of annoying peg-fitting and trap-snapping, you'll have something worth giving thanks for when you're eating the giant alien chicken in November.
Marcus beat out several dozen other "zombie in the ground" decorations in part because I love blue skin, but mostly because it's a Hell of a lot cheaper than the competition. We've finally been blessed with an affordable lawn corpse. Considering how much I've paid for some of the other crap we've seen on the Countdown, I really wouldn't have cared much if Marcus the Carcass absolutely sucked. So long as his inner Christmas lights worked and his pelt of fake hair remained in place, I'd have reason to call every single woman in the rolodex and try to hook them up with my new pal Marcus. Made by Sienna and arriving in a package designed by someone who just begun a Jasc Paint Shop beginner's course at night school, Marcus the Carcass yearns to be this season's top making-children-cry-thing. If not, he's still a great nitelite for people who like to read the newspaper out on the grass at 2 AM. But by then everything in the paper's old news. Marcus probably hates me for pointing this out.
Well, there he is. Marcus, a carcass of formerly disconnected body parts strung together by a strand of Christmas lights, still bears the look of shock on his face that clearly identifies how surprised he was to have his limbs yanked off by whomever it was who murdered him. His hands and feet are the only remnants a once powerful physique boasting biceps larger than Mercury, one of the smallest planets in our solar system but still a giant motherfucker. What really does it for me is Marcus' hair, reminiscent of a steamrollered tribble, or worse, the guy who urged me to "try anuddah one" in Mad Dog McCree. The thick of faux hair cost next to nothing for Sienna to include, but without it, Marcus would be completely unappealing. It's like we're all born with the immediate knowledge that light-up corpses are always cooler when they still have their hair. We're willing to pay ten bucks more than normal for it.
I wouldn't say Marcus is incredibly easy to construct; first you've gotta untangle him, then you've gotta wedge these too-small plastic bases in the holes of his body parts, then you've gotta use dull plastic stakes to pin everything in the ground, then you've gotta undo and repeat the whole process because you forgot to check the lights first and of course, they don't work. You're supposed to cover all the unsightly white wires with grass and leaves -- I only covered part of 'em, needing to uphold a decades old neighborhood farce that I am in fact the Rebellious Decorating Bandit who made the papers last year for putting Santa in the Christmas manger. My slogan: "Good Taste, Big Waste." My special power: may summon the abilities of any child actor from the Jurassic Park franchise, making me capable of advanced gymnastics, survival, outfoxment, and the knowledge of which animal urines will dissuade evil dinosaurs. My game: Go Fish.
Was all of the trouble worth it? DOES A BEAR--
Come on, admit it...that's cool stuff. Marcus doesn't shine permanently, but rather fades in and out of illumination like a firefly. His skin, a greenish blue in daylight, is now ghoulish yellow with dark trim. If I would've just covered the wires, he'd look pretty close to genuinely scary. Now that is a testimonial. Marcus The Carcass decorations look a lot better from far away, so if you're only trying to impress nosy cars and people out walking their dogs, they're perfect. If you're going more for the "I'm gonna make Marcus hold a punchbowl and serve drinks out of him at my big expensive Halloween party" thing, you may want to spend the extra ten bucks for something that doesn't look like a radioactive Wishkin Grandpa.
Since the wires run long lengths, you could easily make Marcus appeal taller than I did for the pictures. If you want the illuminated rotting demon corpse on your front lawn to be eight feet tall, you go for yours yo. I'm giving Marcus The Carcass a solid "A." He's done a fine job of making the 4x3' rectangle of grass we call our property look damn freaky. Marcus should form and front a dance club called Club Freaky. I hope he prints out this article and hangs it in the waiting room right next to the local paper's rave review of their after-hours drink deals.
2-FOR-1 MONDAY, 2-FOR-1 TUESDAY. 2-FOR-1 WEDNESDAY, 2-FOR-1 THURSDAY. DANCE YOUR HEART AWAY WITH LOVE, LUST AND HALF-PRICED DRINKS AT CLUB FREAKY, E. 26TH MEADOW STREET, GRINGARIOUS NEW MEXICO, 45211. IF YOU'VE GOT ID...WE'VE GOT PAR-TEE.
And to think, Marcus was just another plastic corpse in a box no more than a few hours ago. I'm inspired.
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