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Hi! Welcome to Vertigo's Fun House. Here, you'll find write-ups on unsolved mysteries, riffs of creepypastas/fanfiction, and more. Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Riff-Review 6: 1999 (Part One)


Oh boy. I've wanted to talk about this story for over two years now. Let's not waste any time. Let's dive into 1999.




“The year is nineteen-ninety-nine.”

No, it's 2019. Gosh, get it right!

That sentence brings me back to my senior kindergarten class when I was five years old, where we used to read out the date on the blackboard every single day.

But as we all know, the Earth was really only 1999 years old at that time.

The year 1999 exists as a stain in my mind however,

Buy some Oxyclean.

as a memory that will not go away no matter how I try to forget it.

“No matter how many times I hit my head, I can't get amnesia!”

1999 marked the year I lost my first tooth, my first time on a plane, and unfortunately the early loss of my childhood innocence.

Remember to always knock on your parents bedroom door when it's closed. 

That one memory that refuses to be wiped, it all started with that new (or old) TV.

Our author/narrator had the misfortune of watching Fox news.

At that time Pokémon was the latest fad to hit the school.

“I doubt it'll ever catch in though.”

Pokémon cards, games, stickers, and the most popular, the TV show.

Ah yes, the Pokémon anime. With the never aging protagonist: Ash “Heinz” Ketchup.

So of course every time I came home from school, I would stay glued to the TV until Pokémon came on at five.

“My parents didn't approve of me wasting their Elmer's Glue, but I didn't care. It was a lifestyle!”

The only problem was that my dad watched the news at 5:30, and Pokémon episodes were back-to-back, which meant I had to miss an episode everyday, something I whined on and on about.

“But daaaaad, just buy the newspaper!”

“Never! Words are for squares and your dad ain't no square!”

My dad got tired of hearing me complain everyday, that must be why he went and bought another TV.

Moral of the story: whine hard enough and you'll eventually get your way. Trust me, it works. That's why my dad always gave into my every demand and totally didn't use the belt on me.

My dad put the TV he bought in my room, unfortunately it was just an old, small boob tube, with rabbit ears even.

When the author awoke the next day, the TV had birthed 5 mini-TVs.

It also only had 20 channels available; not including the channel Pokémon was on. I recall I didn’t care though, I was just thrilled I had my own TV in my room.

“Finally, I can watch ABC News!”

After surfing through the channels, I came to the conclusion that only channel 2 (TVO kids) was worth watching so I watched that for a while.

Don't worry, in about 5 years, TV will be irrelevant.

It wasn’t for another few months until I discovered channel 21.

BLACKJACK!

One day in April, I was flipping through the channels, trying to see if Pokémon was on.

“Unfortunately, I just saw news reports about how Japanese kids had seizures. Guess Truman came back from the dead.”

I pressed channel 21 into the remote, hoping there were more channels, and to my delight there was.

Incredible: one extra channel twenty years ago and it's the best thing ever. Thousands of channels nowadays and I watch maybe 3. How pitiful.

My dad was surprised too, but he let me watch it because it seemed to have kids programs on.

Hugh Hefner's Happy House seemed kid friendly enough.

The channel was called Caledon Local 21 and later I found out it was indeed broadcasted from the town of Caledon, Ontario, a town very close to my city.

The gym leader there used Grass type Pokémon.

The shows I saw on Caledon Local 21 looked poorly made, and I never understood what was going on in them half the time.

“Every show was made by some guy named Stanley Kubrick! His shows sucked, man!”

However as I grew up, every time I thought of that channel, I realized more and more how messed up the shows were and I had to ask myself “What the fuck was I watching?”

I can relate. Kids programming is messed up!

The following is a list of shows and episodes I remember seeing on Caledon Local 21, how I remember such detail even disturbs me, but I guess things like this stand out in your mind for a while.

Not disturbing enough you never stopped watching it! Pleb.

There were only three shows I could find on the channel, probably because the channel was only operational between 4:00pm and 9:00pm

Oddly specific time frame. Also: is it really that hard to keep a television station operational?

April 1999
Booby – Episode 6, “Together”:

What a name.

I recall Booby was a show where the characters were simply live action hands, no puppets or anything, just hands.

Oh, they jokes I could make...

The show featured a hand named Booby who found himself in a new situation every episode.

As opposed to being like me and getting into old situations every other day.

The show was only 5 minutes long, and looked like it was shot in front of a damp, decaying wall, with the hands always on a table with a red table cloth(Very low budget obviously).

Okay, good imagery there, but was then parenthetical part necessary? What you describe is already indicative of the shows quality. Why spell this part out now? Oh no… is it going down hill now?

This was the first episode I watched.

If that's the case: how'd you know it was episode six? Was there a way to check?

The episode began with Booby trying to get ketchup out of a bottle.

“Booby later punched the bottle open. It was rather anticlimactic. Still, 3 out of 5.”

It actually showed him beating himself against the bottom of the bottle for a good 3 minutes.

Sounds like Family Guy nowadays; spending unnecessary amounts of time on pointless drivel.

Finally another hand came by and looked at Booby.

Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing? Nonsense!

“Together” The other hand said, and it began beating the bottle as well, until some ketchup finally squirted out all over the table (I chuckled slightly at this part).

I'd make some snarky comment here, but I must confess that I'd likely laugh too. Fight me.

Booby then stared at the ketchup mess for a few seconds, before turning towards the camera as it slowly zoomed in on him.

“He then said, ‘Only you can prevent kitchen accident.’ And then the room burst into flames.”

Mr.Bear’s Cellar – Episode 12:

Somewhere, Chris Hansen's preparing to offer someone a seat.

Very sketchy name if you were to look at it now a days.

It'd be a sketchy name no matter the time period. Who the hell names their show. “Mr. Bear's Cellar”!?

The show featured a guy wearing a bear mascot costume who would get a new visitor into his cellar everyday. (It was always a kid) 



The show was filmed with a camcorder, and not a very good one either.

As opposed to what, 1080p? You already established with Booby it was low quality. Why would this be any better?

The police asked me a lot of questions about this show.

The jokes make themselves, I swear!

This episode started with Mr. Bear sitting at a table playing checkers by himself (I didn’t recognize it at first, but the table was the same one from Booby).

1. I have to admit, that's a rather sad image, in spite of what happens as the story goes on. Whether intentional or not, I can't say for sure.
2. I'd be more shocked if it wasn't the same table.

He sat there playing for a bit until there was a knock on the door.

“He also somehow managed to lose, which was really weird!”

The camera was then looking up the stairs at the door, where there was another knock.

“FBI, OPEN UP!”

Mr. Bear climbed the stairs, and opened the door to reveal two young children. One was a boy about my age, and the other was a girl who looked about eight.

I'd make a joke, but I can already hear the sirens.

Mr. Bear danced in delight, and then started talking to the kids; I couldn’t hear any of them that well, I remember.

I'll admit: this part is genuinely unsettling. Kudos to the author.

Mr. Bear then lead the kids into the cellar, which was quite dark, only lit by a small oil lamp on the table.

I must admit: I was perplexed as to why this is only mentioned now as I was under the impression that Booby took place in the cellar. So laugh at me for my stupidity, but I now wonder where exactly this guy lives. Must be a real beautiful place.

I can’t really remember that much more, except him singing a song which I couldn’t hear too well either (Probably because of that large bear mask).

Someone call Simon Cowell to judge Mr. Bear's singing talent.

The episode ended with them playing hide-and-seek, with the kids hiding in a closet, and Mr. Bear counting.

Another pretty solid sentence. To be honest: this entire scene is pretty good. I hope this keeps up. I've never read this story; I've only heard a scant few moments, so I'm going in largely blind. I'm pessimistic though, there have been plenty of creepypastas that have fallen apart after seeming to be well done.

May 1999
Soup and Spoon: I don’t think this was even a show, I think it was more of a special movie thing.

“a special movie thing”? Is that like a 90 minute long special thing?

All I know is I stopped watching Caledon Local 21 for a while because I thought this show was too stupid, especially since Pokémon now came on at 4:30 and 5:00.

Now call me crazy, but I doubt that it wouldn’t have mattered if it was on par with Pokémon in the way of quality kids at your age are something of a hivemind and like whatever’s popular at the time. That’s just me though, not like I have an experience with hiveminds.

I don’t remember much of this, but it showed a can of soup and a spoon both attached to strings, swinging back and forth, as if someone was holding them and dangling them in front of the camera.

Sounds riveting. Maybe John Lasseter can direct it and make it into another Cars movie.

Interestingly enough, the show was shot in a basement, which looked just like the one used in Mr. Bear’s Cellar.

If you recognized the table that was used in Booby when watching Mr. Bear’s Cellar, why wouldn’t you just assume that Soup and Spoon was made by the same person? Oh right, because our narrator here is too afraid to just play the definitive game and wants to pretend they can leave an air of mystery for the reader to guess. Newsflash: you’re failing at it like Leif Garrett fails at staying sober.

Like I said, I can’t remember much, the only thing I can remember clearly was the end.

“I can say for absolute certain that the special movie thing did, in fact, have a special ending thing!"

The entire thing was only half an hour, and just include stuff I found stupid,

Oh, come on! You were doing so well grammatically!

such as the spoon chasing the soup around trying to “Eat him”.

“Somewhere in the background, someone was calling for a person named ‘Seymour’ and whining that they were ‘still hungry’. It was really creepy!”

The ending showed a table (the one from Booby once again) and about seven kids sitting around it, each with a bowl of soup in front of them.

By that logic, you should know that it was the basement from Mr. Bear’s Cellar. Why the heck do you keep beating around the bush when it comes to details? It’s spineless and as we’ll soon see, this story is anything but spineless when it comes to the topics and details that it tackles

They were sitting and looking at the camera, but with confused, almost frightened faces.

Of course, you’ll have to take my word for it not being spineless...

The camera man then held the can of soup in front of the kids and said “Spooooons ready?” And then it just stopped.

The director forgot to put in a new roll of film.

July 1999
It was summer, and I hadn’t watched channel 21 for a while.

Channel 22 had just come out and it was so much cooler.

Until one day when I slept over at my friend’s house I decided to check it out again.

Because like any kid, curiosity is the ultimate drug.

My friend had gotten a TV in his room for his sixth birthday, so we stayed up very late (For us, 9:30 was very late) and watched TV.

And your idea for watching television is a channel with production qualities that would make The Asylum blush? Nice.

That’s when I remembered channel 21 and brought it up to my friend.

“Hey, dude, you just have to check out this great show! It has a weird guy in a bear costume with kids!

We decided to see if it was on, and to our surprise it was (They must have changed the broadcasting time).

I’m amazed you bothered to check if it was 9:30 and up until now, it stopped broadcasting at 9:00. Either you’re the luckiest kid so your friend doesn’t call you a liar—and kept calling you that because kids are evil—or you just wanted to change the time frame that this channel broadcasts.

Mr. Bear’s Cellar – Episode 23: This episode was entertaining for my friend and I, mainly because it had swearing.

What, do your parents just casually swear when around you? What else do they do while you’re around?

However, now when I think of this episode, I realize something was definitely wrong when it was filmed.

Because everything else up until now has been TOTALLY normal, right? Yeah, I get that a lot of kids shows during the 90s were far from normal, especially when it came to their content (just look at Courage the Cowardly Dog), but even that is normal compared to the nature of Booby and Mr. Bear’s Cellar. Especially when you consider the shows were apparently filmed on the lowest of low quality cameras.

The episode started with the camera on its side, while it was facing Mr. Bear, who was walking up stairs to the cellar door.

That’s not abnormal, they’re just taking inspiration from Sam Raimi!

The camera then blacked out for about a second, before fading in, back upright, and facing Mr. Bear. There was also another kid talking to him, but this kid looked about eleven or twelve.

I’m amazed that the guy who made these TV shows was capable of using a fade to black. I’m not sure if that’s indicative of this story’s quality or not.

He was talking to Mr. Bear for a while, but I couldn’t hear well (Again with the crappy camcorder) until the kid started raising his voice.

The kid was a Broadway opera singer in the making!

The kid was saying how it was late and his sister had to go home, you could also hear more voices in the background.

“Damn it, Henry, get back here! You know you’re not supposed to talk to Old Man Harris!”

I remember Mr. Bear clearly saying “Get the fuck out, you’re not invited.” with a deep voice muffled by the bear mask.

Hahahahahahahaha—holy crap, that’s hysterical. I can’t fathom this being anything other than intentionally funny. The mental image of a grown man in a bear costume making low grade kids TV shows from his rundown dump of a house is too damn funny. If this is not meant to be funny, this story’s credibility just went down the drain and fell onto Pennywise.

I remember my friend and I looking at each other and laughing at the mention of the forbidden F word, but the episode got weirder

Well, at least the character’s laughing. But they’re 5, so maybe I have the mentality of a 5 year old.


The kid began climbing the stairs before turning around and saying how he was going to call the police.

Yeah, casually say that to the man who presumably has your sister and is dressed as a bear. That surely won’t piss them off.

Mr. Bear began breaking into a run towards the kid, who started screaming and running as well.

Told you so.

The camera then cut out, and that was the end of the episode. The channel then turned to static shortly after.

Great episode. A lot of character development and intense dialogue. HBO better watch out, Game of Thrones has competition for the best show on TV right now!

Booby – Episode 42, “Playing with Scissors”:

I’m still questioning how this guy knows what episode it was. Also, we’re already at episode 42? How fast is this guy editing together the nonsense that he films on his $12.99 camcorder he likely bought at a thrift store!?

One rainy afternoon I was bored, so I decided to watch channel 21.

This sentence was necessary and adds a lot to the story.

When I started watching, some show about a guy sitting in an armchair was just finishing, I forget what it was about though.

I’m going to assume that it was the guy who plays Mr. Bear and he was discussing Quantum Computing.

When I first saw this episode, I thought it was for teenagers because it had blood in it, and it was very gross.

Because the swearing episode didn’t strike you for potentially being as teenagers? Maybe it’s because I’ve been raised with the internet, but it strikes me as really stupid to assume that this was for kids when there’s readily available videos of people being shot, beaten, and people playing games and swearing up a storm in the process. Yet this you guess was for teens. How backwards.

When the police told me everything, I now know who the blood belonged to.

Mind telling us? No? Screw you too, buddy.

The episode showed Booby and another hand with a ribbon around the pinkie finger (Booby’s girlfriend).

Yup, to all of you out there who are single: just know that Booby the Hand has a gf and you don’t.

Booby was holding scissors and hopping around back and forth, while his girlfriend slowly swung around aimlessly.

How the hell does a hand hop around back and forth? Is it like a rave, but with a disembodied hand?

Another hand shot onto the scene, this hand was smaller though and was jerking around violently, as if someone under the table was forcing the hand (And I later found out this was the case)

There’s no period here and that bothers me a lot. I just want you to know that. Yes, it bothers me more than the little hand that’s jerking around. It triggers me.

“Scissors are very dangerous kids, so hold them safely” Booby said to the camera.

“Always hold the sharp end towards your body. Also run with them, never-ever walk with them!”

I noticed I could also hear muffled screams, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from because of the bad sound quality.

Put two and two together. A small hand jerking around. Muffled screams. Or is that too complex for you, mister author man?

Booby’s girlfriend grabbed the smaller hand, which was thrashing about, and Booby went at it with the scissors.

Can we get a specification on whether or not the hands look like they belong to two separate people? I’m honestly bothered because I’m imagining that Booby is directly at the camera and Booby’s girlfriend is on the other side of the shot, a fair distance away. As a result, I have this mental image that Booby the Hand may be a psychotic Reed Richards.

He started with the thumb, He opened the scissors wide and clasped them onto the thumb, blood began oozing out and the muffled screams were now very loud.

Oh, never mind, clearly Booby the Hand belongs to God. Also, if the “muffled screams” were “loud”, then just refer to them as screams then you brainlet.

My five year old self was very grossed out and that’s when I decided maybe Booby was a show meant for teenagers or grown ups.

The prose in this story has some serious variance in it. At times, it feels mature and competent in the way it's presented and then it degrades into feeling like it's being written by a child. Allow me to redo this to hopefully convey what I mean.

“My five year old self was disgusted by what I saw. It was after this scene that I concluded that perhaps I was wrong about Booby being a show for kids, and that it was intended for adults.”

I’m not saying that I’m God’s gift to man when it comes to writing, but “very grossed out” and “grown ups” doesn’t strike me as the type of wording someone who I can only guess is around the age of 19 would use.

Then the scissors got to the bone, a horrible crunching noise was heard, and that’s when I turned the TV off.

Why? It’s just getting good!

I never discussed it with my dad because I feared he would limit my TV time.

I’d normally get pissed at a character for not telling their parents or guardians about what they saw, but this is honestly a genuinely good reason. While I think it’s stupid nonetheless, it makes sense and I’m glad the author included it.

August 1999
I didn’t want to watch channel 21 after that Booby episode.

Then don’t.

In August I grew more curious to see Mr. Bear’s cellar for some reason though.

Kids are stupid.

The last episode I saw of Mr. Bear was weird, and had swearing, which also made me think the show was meant for teenagers

Thanks for reminding us, it’s not like that you just told us this a few scenes before. Hell, I would’ve gotten that impression if you hadn’t included that scene. I would’ve guessed the entire channel was intended for adults.

Nonetheless, I flipped onto channel 21 when my dad was busy.

Plot twist: the dad’s the one running Channel 21!

Mr. Bear’s Cellar – Episode 28: Apparently this episode had been playing the entire month of August.



Who the hell has the money, time, and resources to do that and edit together such a monumentally long ass episode!? Was it a live stream for TV? THIS TAKES PLACE IN 1999, RIGHT!?

It was studied a lot by the police

I can imagine!

The entire episode was just Mr. Bear sitting in a chair talking to the audience. “Hello kids! Do you want to visit my cellar? If you do, please write me a letter at this address!”

“1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.”

The screen then switched to a white screen with multi-colored letters reading the address, and that was what remained for the rest of the episode.

For an entire month? What a waste of time and money.

And guess what I actually did?

Turned off the television and asked your dad for a PlayStation 1?

I sent “Mr. Bear”, or that sick bastard who portrayed him a letter.

“Dear Mr. Bear, can I have your costume? I want to dress up as you for Halloween. By the way, can I have a PlayStation?”

I did it out of curiosity mostly; my dad was OK with it because he thought it was a legit kid show, but then again he never saw any of what was on channel 21.

Your dad’s an idiot. What parent wouldn’t be like, “I’ve never heard of this show. Let me watch it first.” Especially when I’m almost certain your father, who uses the TV presumably a lot more often than you and surfs channels, would have likely seen the channel in passing or have never seen it since its broadcast hours are bendable to whenever the author wants it to be on. Or am I overthinking things?

So I wrote a letter using my best writing possible, I think I just said how I wanted to meet Mr. Bear, and if Booby also lived in the cellar.

There we go again with the indecisive wording. This is starting to bother me so much.

So my dad sent the letter to the address Mr. Bear said on the show (it stayed on all day anyway for some reason).

You said it remained on all month you dolt. Or was it just that one episode that aired on repeat all month? If so: your wording is garbage and you should feel bad.

It took about a week to get a response, which I was surprised I did. I still have the letter I received August 15, 1999. The letter read:

“Thanks for your return address, I’m going to kidnap you now!”

“Dear Elliot,

Wait, our author has a name? And it’s only now mentioned!? He’s still going to be called “author”, but this seriously should’ve been stated at the start. Not 4,263 words into the story (yes, I checked and that’s counting the comments I’ve made).

Thank you ever so-much for your letter, I would love to have you in my cellar!

This is equal parts creepy and silly. Mostly because of how transparently evil it is. Even a 5 year old should be able to tell that this guy is bad news.

We play games, watch movies, and go fire camping in the middle of the woods!

Fire camping…? You mean camping?

“And yes, Booby does live in my cellar; he is a good friend of mine!

“I keep him chained up down there and give him scissors whenever he’s a good boy!”

“Come to my house at (The police cut out this address), ‘Caledon’, ‘Ontario’, ‘CA’.

Oh, Canada. You and your creepypasta bear-costume wearing child killers!

“I look very forward to having fun with you!


Love, Mr. Bear”

Interesting that in spite of the author’s ability to know not to use closing quotes when it came to a new paragraph for a speaker (for a bit anyways, they botched it up at the start of this part), they didn’t use beginning quotes here. Nice job. Real great grammar you got there, author.

I can not believe my dad never found this sketchy, because he actually took me to the house.

Your dad’s a dumb dumb.

And then that’s when the police became involved, those endless questions, those pictures of terrified kids, the woods…

Ah yes, the woods. When you need a creepy place for your creepy story, use the woods!

That brings me to why I’m writing this blog, that psycho and his friends did some fucked up shit back then, and now it seems he’s trying to get into contact with me again, the entire police thing is coming back.

So it was multiple people? And here I was warming up to the idea of a psychotic Reed Richards...

That has brought 1999 back to me, over a decade later it is happening again.

Uh-oh! It’s happening again? What whacky, zany things will Mr. Bear pull this time? Find out next time! Same blog, not the same time most likely.

Indeed, 1999 is a fairly long story. So I’m gonna divide it into two or three parts. This part seems like a solid enough ending off point. So until then, I hope you enjoyed this. If not, I’m sorry, but I want to reinforce though that there’s a fair bit left and we’ll be getting into the meat of the story! And if we’re lucky, the story won’t fall apart completely.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, dear lord. I can tell this is going to be both painful, and a absolute riot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tyler "Bio" RodriguezFebruary 7, 2019 at 7:49 PM

    Not the worst thing I've ever written. Although it's already stretching my suspension a bit that a channel like this could last this long, local broadcast or not.

    ReplyDelete