The Hook: Diplomat Extraordinaire.

FYI:  This post contains language anyone with half a brain will find offensive. I certainly did.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve shared a juicy tale from the hospitality trenches so I figure you’re due.

You poor, poor bastards.

At any rate, the summer of 2015 has arrived with all the subtly of  Kanye West at an awards show – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After being sidelined for seven weeks last year, I spent the entirety of Jack Frost’s reign over Niagara Falls envisioning the hazy, far-from-lazy days of summer. And now that they’ve finally arrived? I’m as happy as Donald Trump while standing in front of a reflective surface.

And that’s pretty happy.

Let’s begin with a profile of a guest I had the extreme “pleasure” of serving this morning.

GUEST BIO:  Sonny D. Redneck (The “D” stands for “Dang, son!”) Some of Sonny’s characteristics include:

  • More teeth than his cousin, Jasper.
  • A home with many zip codes. (It all depends where it’s parked that week.)
  • Hair as red as his neck.
  • A collection of NASCAR t-shirts that would make the Honey Boo Boo clan jealous.
  • A less-than-evolved worldview.

 Sonny was a helluva conversationalist (I ain’t never stayed in a hotel that I couldn’t drive my RV up to before!”), and the last of the big tippers. Luckily, I’m more than accustomed to dealing with the Sonnys of the world, and so I took his colorful comments with a grain of salt…

 “Lookit all the Nine Irons! It’s like a Jackie Chan movie up in here!”

“I can’t trust a woman in a veil. Bet she’s hidin’ somethin’…”

“How do you work here, boy? There are too  many niggers and sand-niggers around.”‘

… and I moved on. My movement brought me into alignment with a sizable family from the Middle East. They were traveling with enough food to feed Bangladesh, but they were jovial, realistic (“Sorry we brought so much, sir! We refuse to pack light!”), and overall, a joy to serve. As soon as I had dropped them and their two carts of belongings off in a family suite I found my path had taken a bigoted turn.

I ran smack into Sonny as he departed a guest elevator. (Unfortunately, I didn’t literally run into him, but you can’t have everything.)

SONNY:  Hey! It’s my Canadian buddy! I saw you downstairs with those sand niggers! Those people are ignorant aren’t they? Bet you’re glad to be away from them, right?

Needless to say, I felt enough was enough. It’s one thing to adhere to a professional code of conduct, but sometimes one must answer to a personal code.

ME:  Actually, sir… those “sand niggers” tipped me twenty dollars. You gave me a buck. Ignorance is subjective, wouldn’t you say?

Sonny just stood there, paralyzed with shock at my bold, Canadian attitude. My point, having been made – and then some – I hopped into Sonny’s elevator just as it closed and pushed the “close” button as fast as I could. 

I talk a good game, but in a physical confrontation I’m next to useless.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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More “Funny Book” Shenanigans From The Hook and Pulp Nation.

Are you sensing a theme yet?

Don’t worry, my faithful readers, I haven’t abandoned my campaign to revolutionize terrorize the hospitality industry entirely. I’ve merely decided to diversify my creative output by writing for Pulp Nation on occasion.

I figure I can do more damage that way.

And it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write for a comic book site. Well, as long as the web’s been around anyway. I’ll say this though: the Pulp Nation boys are on the right track; it takes time to build a successful site but they’re in this for the long haul.

Granted, they’re the only guys I’ve ever met who have been banned from Tijuana, but I believe them when they say that donkey was already dead…

But enough about international incidents. Let’s talk comics. Specifically, being a cool comic book dad. Here’s my latest offering. Enjoy, and as usual, don’t blame me if you’re scarred for life.


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The Hook’s Back – On Pulp Nation.

I have a confession to make.

When it comes to movie reviews, I’m the Captain Ultra (for the non-nerds among you: the captain is a washout of a Marvel Comics superhero), of the internet. And so when I decided to write my first movie review of Terminator Genisys for Pulp Nation, I knew my approach was going to have to original, brief and above all, effective.

I’ll leave it up to you – and history – to decide how I fared. On a side note, Terminator Genisys was my sixteen-year-old’s daughter initiation to the Terminator franchise. And…

She  loved it! She really loved it! As anyone with a teen can attest, this was the best possible outcome; I would have been lambasted if she had hated the film or worse, found it sexist. Fortunately, she was already familiar with Arnold Schwarzenegger due to his recent off-the-beaten-track zombie film, Maggie. This film was a return-to-form for Arnold after years of civilian life and less-than-stellar small-scale films like the aforementioned Maggie.

Hopefully, this film will perform well enough to justify the two planned sequels. I rather enjoy watching nerdy fare with my daughter; she hasn’t grown bored with her old man yet.



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Ned Hickson: Grower of ‘staches, Blogger… Actor?

Listen, and understand! The Nedinator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. (Except with bacon.) It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. (But if it stubs it’s toe in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom, it will be incapacitated.) And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead… uh, I mean, entertained.

My friend/mentor/lender-of-fifty-dollar-bills Ned Hickson, is one talented cat.

But you didn’t hear that from me.

Not only does he know how to rock a ‘stache with more vigor than Clark Gable, Burt Reynolds and Kim Kardashian combined, he’s a jurnalist, a writer, a hero (volunteer firemen), a husband, a dad… AND now?

Now he’s a talented filmmaker.

Yep. I didn’t believe it either. I’ll give you a moment to let it sink in.


You all good? Then we’ll continue.

Here now, for your viewing… I’ll guess we’ll go with “pleasure” (?), is “Terminator: Nedisys”.

Enjoy it. Bask in its “originality”. Let it become a part of your very existence.

Just don’t blame me.

One last word about Ned: I often needle him (newsflash: I can be a bit of a dick sometimes), but the truth is, as a volunteer fireman Ned Hickson is the guy running to the danger rather than from it. For that reason alone, he’ll always be my hero.

Plus, he’s always lending me cash to support my comic/Dr. Pepper addiction.

See in the multiplex, kids…



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The Hook’s Love of Comics: The Secret Origin.

Here, for your reading “pleasure”, is another Pulp Nation/Hook crossover.

Not sure exactly what to say about this one; it’s deeply personal, but that’s only because the list of things I’m truly passionate about is very short.

  1. The wife.
  2. The family in general.
  3. My writing.
  4. Comic books.
  5. Bacon.
  6. Anything wrapped in bacon.
  7. Ned Hickson’s mustache.
  8. Murdoch Mysteries.

To be clear, I’ve never been passionate with Ned’s ‘stache.

That would just be weird.

At any rate, here’s the link. The rest is up to you , friends.

Thank you.



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Was I Hooked On Jurassic World?

So I bit the bullet (much like a T-Rex biting into a hapless lab tech) and decided to see Chris Pratt flex his Star-Lord muscles in Jurassic World last night.

If you haven’t seen the TV commercials or movie trailers, the Dairy Queen tie-in commercials or any of the gazillion other marketing tools being employed to hype this thing, then you’ve obviously been in the womb and you can’t read anyway, so why am I addressing you?

But just in case…

Here’s the premise: Scientists who specialize in genetic engineering – but clearly not history – decide to set up shop on an island filled with dinosaurs left over from three previous movies. They even cross-breed dinos to create a new species intended to be the main attraction in a theme park.

The new dinosaur promptly escapes, thus endangering twenty-thousand guests and giving Chris Pratt an excuse to ride a motorcycle really fast through the jungle while flirting with the hauntingly-beautiful park administrator (who has a dinosaur bone up her gorgeous butt), Bryce Dallas Howard.

Clear as dino droppings, right? Then we’ll continue.

I headed into this movie with no expectations. After putting up a kidney as collateral so I could score a wheelbarrow of popcorn and a bladder-buster keg of Coke, that is. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t my kidney; I’m a bellman, I know a guy.) So now the big (Idominus Rex big) question is… was it worth it?


On Earth-One, I ignored the ridiculousness of the movie logic that guided Bryce Dallas Howard and Co. as they ignored the events of the three previous films and rebuilt a dinosaur-inhabited theme park on Isla Nublar. Right beside the old theme park, rather than over it. I loved all the dino-on-dino action (the battles, perverts), and I even laughed out loud at the fate of a two-dimensional, super-hot British corporate assistant who was bounced from pterosaur to pteosaur like a chew toy, before being gobbled up by the biggest sea-dino in movie land. All in all, Earth-One Me was pleased with the rehash of Jurassic Park (the wonder of the dinosaurs as presented through two teens’ eyes, the inevitable breakdown of park safety protocols and the narrow escapes), and he felt satisfied with the overall package.

And Earth-Prime Me? Well…

I didn’t mind the fact Chris Pratt’s character was just Star-Lord on Earth. I was cool with Bryce Dallas Howard’s lack of character development. The kids were fine and a great throwback to the first film. The dino battles were cool  – and ridiculously brutal. And I was overjoyed to see one of my favorite actors of all time, the impossibly-cute/sexy Judy Greer pop up in the bewildered mom role. (Though she was horribly under-utilized.)


Seriously? You’re not using me? The Hook certainly would!

On a personal note: the guy/pig in me couldn’t suppress his joy at seeing two of the hottest females alive, Judy Greer and Bryce Dallas Howard, embracing near the end of the film. Even though their characters were sisters.

Told you I was a pig. I’ve learned to accept my inner horndog. Wish my wife would…

But I wasn’t on the edge of my seat like I was way back when. The franchise may have run its course. Jurassic World has made a ton of scratch, but its no Age of Ultron.

Still, if you love action flicks, Pratt and Howard, and dino battles, you’ll be in Seventh Heaven.

On any planet in the Multiverse.


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Don’t do as I drink (and other lessons my father unintentionally taught me)

The Hook:

Read this and be resist the urge to tear up. I dare you.
Well done, Ned. Well done.

Originally posted on Ned's Blog:

My father at age 48, the same age as I am. My father at age 48, the same age as I am now. My father and I were never very close. I resented him and his influence in my life for many years; he was abusive and an alcoholic who died 20 years ago today. It wasn’t until I became a father that I began to see him differently and, over time, forgave him enough to recognize the things he’d taught me through his own bad example. Even if only unintentionally, he is partially the reason I’m who I am today — as person, a man and a father.

It’s also because of him that I understand and appreciate the difference between the three.

What follows is something I wrote a couple of years ago for the now defunct blog “Black Box Warnings.” Given that the 20th anniversary of my father’s death falls on Father’s Day this year, I felt the…

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