For those unfamiliar with the origins of The Tomb, it was originally an off-shoot of a bad movie appreciation group known as H.O.P.E.L.E.S.S., made up of myself and a handful of amigos from high school. There were a few part-timers that were more special guest cameos than full fledged die hards, but one of the founding fathers (it’s not that we were sexist, we just didn’t know any girls who were cinemasochists at the time!) of the group, George, dropped me a message yesterday with the sad news that one of our fellow fiends has recently succumbed to his demons. Peter, a.k.a. Pete Bunyon, a.k.a. “PETE!” (as shouted, sometimes in a fashion of anger and other times in a way to aggravate him) has hopped the turnstile and sneaked his way into the big grindhouse theater at the center of the Earth.
Another in the rising number of toe tags being issued by the nation’s spreading heroin plague, I’m not gonna ruin this post by dragging it into an argument about science, politics, and all the other divisive shit associated with the topic. I didn’t stay in touch with the guy and it’s literally been half my life since last I saw him, so I’m not going to pretend he was like a brother to me. But as George put it, in high school, he was one of us. Back before life crushed us as it does all adults (some more than others), those teen years were survivable because we had each other. Pete was a weird dude among a cadre of weird dudes. He was our Cornholio. As much as he could wear on your nerves (especially Mike’s, another brick in the foundation of the H.O.P.E.L.E.S.S.), he was a good guy in spite of the shit life would throw at him.
Thanks to Pete and Mike, I was introduced to MST3K via the taped episodes they would loan me. Pete also introduced me to The Misfits courtesy of his cassette tapes of <b>Static Age</b> and <b>Collection II</b>, which I have long since turned Evil Dead Bride Krix onto during the early years of our relationship.
In Pete’s honor (and as the only H.O.P.E.L.E.S.S. member still actively taking the piss out of bad movies in a social manner), I’ve decided to finally give our abandoned acronym an official meaning. We never sussed a proper set of words for it, and part of its charm was that it forever went undefined, but here it is:
I never knew Pete’s siblings, and both his parents went to their rewards prior, so reaching out to his family with my sympathies feels disingenuous. Instead, I’ll pour out a bottle of Top Pop Blue Pop to ya… metaphorically, of course, as I haven’t been able to track down that shit in almost 20 years. Your ass and balls will always remain immortalized in the pictorial evidence of H.O.P.E.L.E.S.S. parties long passed. This one’s for you. Go where eagles dare, amigo.