Adam Reger | Freelance Writer

Pittsburgh-based fiction writer

Month: August, 2012

Bukowski Hoggle, A Few Years Late (Including Reason #7 to Love Pittsburgh)

I just saw Labyrinth at the wonderful Hollywood Theater in Dormont. It occurred to me during the screening that the character Hoggle, Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly’s) self-professedly cowardly muppet guide through the labyrinth, has the same elaborately craggy face as late poet/novelist/barfly Charles Bukowski. I just did all the work (“work”) of finding images of both and was preparing to blow the internet’s mind with this comparison when I thought I might as well quickly google “Bukowski Hoggle.”

I did, and found this and this. Oh well. Now I know it’s an apt comparison.

By the way, if you are in the Pittsburgh area, the Hollywood is well worth the short trip through the Liberty Tubes. (So is Dormont in general.) They’re the only game in town if you’d like to see a live showing of cult classic The Room, and have screened stuff I wouldn’t have been able to see elsewhere in town (Tim and Eric’s Billion-Dollar Movie, Beyond the Black Rainbow). I’m pumped because in a week or so they’re showing one of my favorite films of all time, Pee-Wee’s Big AdventureThey’ve re-opened the theater—a big, old-timey movie house with a giant balcony—a couple times and this time it seems to be sticking, as they’ve done it as a civic organization rather than a for-profit endeavor. So, consider this “Reason to Love Pittsburgh #7,” the latest in that sadly neglected series. (Seriously, there are thousands of reasons to love Pittsburgh. I’ve only got around to writing about seven of them.)

[Sigh] Time for Another Beloit College Mindset List

Here is the Associated Press’s story about it. Here is the list itself. My previous doleful sigh here.

I expended most of my chagrin and regret in that earlier post. Regarding this year’s list I’ll just say that doing the list bought Old Beloit its first mention in the fourth paragraph of the article, and in the eighth paragraph the school sees itself described as “the private school in southeastern Wisconsin.” Is it worth it, Beloit? Is it worth it? This is the 15th year for the Mindset List, so evidently yes, it is.

The article at least registers some dissent, as an incoming student bristles at the suggestion that he and his peers think The Twilight Zone is about vampires. (I hate this list.) Some entries, I will admit, are clever and, indeed, dramatize what a different world this year’s first-years have grown up in: “43. They were too young to enjoy the 1994 World Series, but then no one else got to enjoy it either”; “73. Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.” But lots more are overstuffed and trying too hard: “5. If they miss The Daily Show, they can always get their news on YouTube” (I believe this qualifies as an enthymeme, as the middle term (“These students get their news from The Daily Show“) of the syllogism is left unstated. Nice touch, Professor McBride!); “69. Pulp Fiction’s meal of a ‘Royale with Cheese’ and an ‘Amos and Andy milkshake’ has little or no resonance with them.”

At this point, I am just tilting at windmills. This thing obviously does its job as far as getting the college on the map, so good for them. But man does it continue to be pretty dumb.

Goatman Sweats Me Ceaselessly

I’ve been meaning to post these photos for some time. Beginning with some travels last summer, I’ve been encountering these messages concerning someone called “Goatman.” A surname? A half-man, half-goat creature? I don’t know.

First came this one, in a hotel in Leesburg, Virginia (where I was stranded after missing my flight from Washington, DC to Munich.)Image

I thought I must have shaken him after making the next evening’s flight, but alas, nein. Below is his defiant message to me in a hotel room in Landshut, Germany. (The message reads “Goatman war hier.” Clever, Goatman, very clever. But if you were truly fluent in German you would have spelled it “Goatmann.”)


I evaded Goatman on the next leg of my trip—Rome—but upon my return to the states, there he was, presenting me with this chilling reminder of his presence in a hotel room in Las Vegas.

ImageAfter getting back to my normal routine, and following many months of silence from the mysterious Goatman, there appeared one day in the freshly laid cement of my driveway a familiar, chilling message. Its subtext? This. Ain’t. Over.


I’ve got a creeping suspicion I haven’t yet heard the last of Goatman, friends.