Not fifteen minutes after finishing The Purge on DVD, I was skulking through a darkened house with a wooden sword in hand.
I should explain. It might be Horror Block's fault.
Having gotten a Purge shirt in my Horror Block, I snagged both movies out of the library to decide if I wanted to advertise them in public. My wife and I had just finished the first part and were kibitzing about the details when I get a call from a friend.
"Hey. I, uh, don't have time to explain, but you you help me check if my parents house was robbed?"
Shortly after, I climb into his car, worried that he'll make a crack about the combination of my "Survive the Night" T-shirt and wooden practice katana.
"Good idea," he says approvingly."
"Thanks. Being a child of the 80's, I brought you nunchucks and a flashlight."
Over the later drive, I am regaled with the tale of a desperate relative for whom a cripplig Yu-Gi-Oh card addiction lead to more nefarious things I should've known the damn things were a gateway drug to actual drugs; I sold them once, after all. Ever try to explain to a parent how a kid could spend sixty bucks of birthday money on three pieces of paper?
"How old is he? Twelve?"
He had made noises about stopping by the house of vacationing relatives, and it was now our job to make sure he was about and stealing things. This was stupid, on the face of it. Grown adults should not decide to play live-action ninja turtles for keeps. Maybe I went along because it just fit into the theme of the night.
As we crossed a street to approach the house, a car passed by me and undoubtedly saw a crazy with a samurai sword walking down the darkened street. It's a wonder the cops didn't come and add to the hilarity.
Ninja weapons in hand, we enter the moderately lit house, which is basically two houses connected with a fenced-in pool. Thus, we begin a tense search, weapons in hand, scanning every shadow for a possible Trap Card.
Not gonna lie; we found jack. I had a fudgesicle. I figured I was owed that, at least.
As we headed out, I had to wonder how much the DVD and shirt affected my behavior. If I had instead popped in one of my other library DVDs, like It Follows or Housebound, would I have been in the mindset to do something downright stupid? I have no idea. How much did pop culture make my brain turn off? I don't know. Some studies suggest a link between pop culture and aggression, but I'm a grown-up, not a kid binging Ninja Turtles. I admit, I haymakered my brother once because I saw Batman do it in a comic, but I also set a toaster on fire and blew up a light bulb with milk. Kids just do stupid things. At the end of the night, I can't link my bizarre and irresponsible behavior to a somewhat goofy movie too much.
But at least I got ice cream.