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Joel Arnold

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Member Since: May, 2010

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Blogs by Joel Arnold

Jack the Blob Killer
12/19/2011 8:43:08 AM
“Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”

I remember these lines from the story Jack & the Beanstalk, even though I haven’t heard them for decades, because my mom used to read this story to me a lot as a child. It was one of my favorites. It was a frightening story, yet held the allure of riches. I wanted to climb a beanstalk (even though I couldn’t climb a regular friggin’ tree) and I wanted to be a tiny person in a cloud world of giants, hiding in crevices and behind the legs of enormous tables, while trying to find a bag of gold coins or the goose that laid golden eggs. The harp I could do without, because as I remember the story, she tried to get Jack caught by yelling for the giant when Jack snatched her. At the time, this seemed traitorous. However I now realize that if I were a magical harp and some stranger tried stealing me, I’d put up a fuss as well.

I often attribute my love of horror to things like seeing the Steve McQueen version of The Blob at such a young age – watching it by peaking out from behind a big easy chair – but perhaps it was this story that first inserted its little barbed hooks of horror into my psyche.

“Fee fi fo fum...” – the rhyme that the giant in the story repeated whenever Jack reappeared to steal something was my favorite part, because I knew it by heart and would say it along with my mom, both of us lowering our voices to a growl to be more menacing as we said it. But the imagery it evokes is quite violent. “I smell the blood...” – the giant can actually smell blood? Has he got a taste for it? If he catches you will he rip your head off and drink from your neck? “I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” Again, not only will he drink your blood, he’ll tear out all your bones, as well. And not just remove them, but grind them. What does the giant do with your skin? Use it as toilet paper after he shits you out?

So Mr. Blob – you may have to relinquish your crown to the giant of Jack & the Beanstalk for the genesis of my love of all things that go bump in the night. But I still love you, anyway.


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More Blogs by Joel Arnold
• The Sucking Suckathon of Suckiness - Monday, May 21, 2012
• Mississippi Pearls and a Car Biding Its Time on the Ice 'til Spring - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• One Decade, One Story - or how One Thing Leads to Another - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• Racing Minnesota-style! - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• This Here Minnesota Horror Author was a Big Old Scaredy-Cat - Thursday, December 22, 2011
•  Jack the Blob Killer - Monday, December 19, 2011  
• Death Rhythm - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
• More Writing What You Know - Monday, September 19, 2011
• How I Interpret 'Write What You Know' - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Blessings - or - What I write after having one too many... - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• 120 Miles in a Canoe - Monday, June 27, 2011
• On Stephen King - Thursday, June 23, 2011
• Why Horror? - Wednesday, June 22, 2011
• Zen & the Art of Swearing - Friday, June 10, 2011
• If Coffee Shops were Run by Airlines - Thursday, May 12, 2011
• Trying to Figure Out What Scares Me - Monday, March 21, 2011
• My Confession - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
• Going Indie with my novel Northwoods Deep - Friday, March 04, 2011
• How I Envision Conflict When Writing - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Wall Drug - why it's one of my favorite places - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Jonesing for a Road Trip - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Snowmapocalyptopalooza - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• How Do You Remember? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• When your parents are librarians... - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• The genesis of a novel - the first 6 days - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
• Searching for Truth - Characterization - Thursday, December 16, 2010
• Control - and a little more about Northwoods Deep - Monday, December 13, 2010
• Bukowski - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
• Flies, Flies, Spam, and Flies - Friday, December 03, 2010
• Naivete and the Young Writer - Thursday, December 02, 2010
• For Writers looking for some Adventure - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
• My usual rider for family/friend appearances - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
• Writing and Me - a dramatization - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day (now with vitamin C!) - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• The Power of Music - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• To All the Bookstores I've Loved Before - Monday, November 15, 2010
• The Care and Feeding of Writers - Sunday, November 14, 2010
• Rudiments - Thursday, November 11, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
• Tragedy - now with 50% more pathos! - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
• Perspective - Monday, November 08, 2010
• The Daunting Dauntiness of Tweeting on Twitter - Saturday, November 06, 2010


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