Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Let's start off with a story from Great Britain. British police thought they saw a baby in a locked car, and heroically smashed the windows to save it from suffocation. They thought they might be too late, because the baby was unresponsive. It was unresponsive because it was one of those creepy-ass dolls that looks like a real baby. The car was in a hospital parking lot, and someone alerted police when they saw it alone in the seat. The doll belongs to 10-year-old Janaih Rattray, who left it in her older sister Delesia's car while visiting their mother in the hospital. They returned to their car to find the windows broken with a note from the police. The police will pay for the broken window, and the chief released a statement pointing out that it is of course better to break windows first and ask questions later when babies might be involved. "Two of my officers did the right thing when faced with what they genuinely believed was a baby, alone and critically ill in a locked car on the hospital's [parking lot]." As for Delesia, she is grateful that the damages will be compensated, and completely understands why it was necessary to take action. She does however note that one should be able to discern that the doll is not real. "The doll does look a bit real, like a baby a few months old, but if you look at the hands, which weren't inside the blanket, and feet you can tell it isn't." The hands! Of course, you always have to look at the hands. Check hands first, then break windows, then ask questions later. Got it.
The Obama administration is keeping their heads down amid swirling reports of election hacking and grave uncertainty about the preparedness of President-elect Trump's incoming team of executives. Anything to take their minds off the approaching abyss and swift destruction of Barack's legacy, right? In this case, that meant strategically moving several snowman decorations around the White House so that they appeared to be closing in on the outgoing commander-in-chief. Photographer Pete Souza explained that this shot had been a group effort, but slyly declined to say exactly who had helped out. Naturally, people were quick to warn the president of his stalker. But by the time Obama realized what was happening, it was too late.
Oh well... his term was pretty much up anyway. We'll miss you, Mr. President.
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has announced that he and his Playboy model fiancée Kayla Rae Reid are expecting their first child. 2017 is already shaping up to be a better year than 2016 was for the shamed Olympian who suffered through a large part of this year with a terrible grey dye-job. Lochte posted this picture of him kissing his headless baby mama on his Instagram with the caption "My Christmas gift came early this year, can't wait for next year! Best news I've ever received #CLOUD9 #excited#family #love #2017" Check out those hashtags. Dude is pumped!
Mom-to-be Kayla Rae Reid also posted her own underwater picture of Ryan kissing her tiny bump. This kid is already destined to be a swimmer. Watch out, Boomer Phelps. Locthe and Reid got engaged in October following the Rio Summer Olympics, where Lochte "over-exaggerated" (a.k.a. lied about) claims that he was robbed at gunpoint. If this baby isn't born via water birth, I'll eat my hat.
Russia just keeps giving and giving. Coming in 2017 from the country that won our election is "Game 2: Winter": the terrifying, life-threatening reality show nobody asked for, and everyone will probably watch. The show, which will allegedly be streaming online 24/7, will place 30 contestants in the -40F Siberian wilderness for nine months, "The Guardian" reports. They lost me at -40F, but there's more: they will live amongst bears, wolves and, most dangerously, other reality show contestants competing for $1.6 million dollars. The losers, technically, could be raped, maimed or killed. “Each contestant gives consent that they could be maimed, even killed,” reads an advertisement for the show (yes, they are using this information to SELL the show). “2000 cameras, 900 hectares and 30 lives. Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.” But let's not go crazy, there will be some limits. While murder is "allowed" under the terms of the show, it is not actually allowed in Russia (I was surprised, too). And according to the rules, “You must understand that the police will come and take you away [if you commit a crime]. We are on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation.” An investigation by Snopes.com, a site that looks into online rumors, says that news reports seem to be vastly overstating the extent to which crimes will be "allowed" on the show. So, there's that. The show will be filmed by 2,000 cameras placed around the area, as well as personal cameras given to each contestant. Willing participants must be 18 years of age and “mentally sane” to compete, which seems like it would rule out anyone who applies. But, okay. Also: no guns will be allowed. But contestants can carry knives. And we all thought the scariest Russia-backed reality show was America's current democracy! Well, it still is.
So, I mentioned the snowman prank on Obama that is the last good thing that'll happen in the White House for a while. Well, I looked at one of the snowman close up and was surprised how he looked...
Hahaha. That's actually scary. Did you see Putin's influence over Trump is still growing? I think this would be the proof...
Ugh. Hey, did you see Rogue One? There was one cameo appearance in it that was kinda surprising. I hope I don't spoil anything here...
They're already filming the sequel to Rogue One and I happen to get my hands on a behind the scenes pic. This is so exciting!
I can't wait for that scene. It's Christmas time and there's some really cool Christmas ads out there.
The Fart. This super plush, ultra soft, Santa Bootie is your new, favorite pillow! You can snuggle up to him by the fireplace, or leave him on display for your annual holiday bash. When you press the button on his foot, hear loud, gassy sounds followed by a Santa wisecrack. You'll love when he shouts, "Smells like Christmas!," and, "Oh Rudolph, what did you eat?!" You know there's some ugly Christmas sweaters that sum up the ugliness that was 2016. Like this dead horse-beating Hillary's emails sweater...
Dear lord this is just mean now. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...
Top Phive Things Overheard At Trump's Meeting With Kanye Last Week
5. Sure, we're acting all friendly now, but just wait 'til the 2020 primaries!
4. I need an A-list music star to play at my inauguration. Can you put me in touch with
3. I gotta admit... "Secretary of the Interior Yeezy" has a nice ring to it!
2. I've always wanted to meet someone who's shittier than my mother-in-law!
And the number one thing overheard at Trump's meeting with Kanye last week was...
1. I'm here to get a picture, boost my ego and discuss international tariff regulations!
Hahahaha! I love it! If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Good luck on this one. Alright, so, telling jokes is not always the easiest thing to do. There's this guy who was on the Phile a few weeks ago who tried to tell jokes but didn't quite get the concept. He wanted to come back on and try again, and I thought, what the hell, why not? So, once again, welcome to the Phile...
Me: Hey, Ollie. welcome back to the Phile. You didn't really succeed last time, but I am hoping this time you can tell some really good jokes. Go ahead and give it a try.
Ollie: Thanks, Jason! Okay, here we go... Roses are red, Violets are blue. I have a gun. Get in the van.
Me: What? Ollie, that's not even a joke, or a start of a joke! That's a poem.
Ollie: Oh. Sorry.
Me: It's okay, man. Try again.
Ollie: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
Me: To who?
Ollie: To whom.
Me: What? That makes no bloody sense! Ollie, I am gonna give you one more shot. Make it a good one.
Ollie: Okay. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
Me: Hahaha. That's pretty good. It's like the agnostic man who is also dyslexic... he doesn't believe in Dog. Oh, man, I am almost as bad as you. Ollie Tabboger, the guy who doesn't know how to tell a joke, everybody! Thanks, Ollie. Merry Christmas!
Zsa Zsa Gabor
February 6th, 1917 — December 18th, 2016
Zsa Zsa G'bye.
Today's pheatured guest is one of the author's of "Dark of Night - Flesh and Fire (Journalstone's Doubledown)," the 54th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club, which is available on Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Rachael Lavin.
Me: Rachael! Welcome to the Phile, how are you?
Rachael: I'm doing pretty well. Excited and honored to be here!
Me: Okay, so, full disclosure... we used to work together at Epcot... I was your Coordinator. That seems like such a long time ago. Do you have good memories of working there?
Rachael: Time sure has flown. It's been 6 years already! Working at Disney was one of the best experiences I've had, and I miss working there often! Being able to make magic come to life for guests was an amazing opportunity.
Me: I interviewed a shit load of authors here and a good chunk of them I worked with at Innoventions... that's kinda crazy, don't you think?
Rachael: Obviously we were the best attractions team!
Me: So, before I met you I never knew what cosplay was. I knew people dressed up at conventions and shit, but never knew it was such a big thing and had a name. You told me you dressed up as Rose and Amy from "Doctor Who," am I right? So, do you still cosplay?
Rachael: Never cosplayed Rose, only Amy, but that was one of my big costumes I used to do often. I do cosplay still, though I took the year off from conventions to focus on some other hobbies.
Me: I saw pictures of you dressed up as someone from S.H.I.E.L.D. and Maggie from "The Walking Dead" which I have just started watching this year. Is Maggie your favorite "The Walking Dead" character? What made you chose to cosplay her?
Rachael: Maggie is definitely my favorite "Walking Dead" character. I love her strength... she doesn't take shit from people, but she's still a human character. She has a heart, strengths and weaknesses, she loves and loses. She is fiercely protective, and I can relate to her a lot.
Me: I have to show this pic of you as her... you look just like her.
Me: You said you don't go to a lot of conventions, Rachael?
Rachael: Not as many as I used to, just because this year it's been tough to travel. I did 14 of them last year though!
Me: Wow. I did two I think. I have been going to conventions on and off since 1983 and still like going, but not as much anymore. After all, I am old. Haha. Is there a favorite convention experience you have?
Rachael: Dragoncon in general is my favorite convention. It was the first con I'd ever gone to, back in 2008, and it was always the con I couldn't miss every year.
Me: Alright, let's talk about your book "Dark of Night - Flesh and Fire" which you wrote with Jonathan Maberry. How did you first meet Jonathan and get to work with him?
Rachael: Back when I was in high school I decided to write a novel for my graduation project. We were required to take an outside course of our choosing related to the topic of our project, so I found a local teen writing class, which happened to be taught by Jonathan before he published his first novel. Through that class we became friends, and stayed in touch for the last 10 years. He's been incredibly supportive of my writing, and I'm honored to have been able to work with him on this project.
Me: Have you been writing stories for a long time?
Rachael: I started writing my first stories when I was 10. I found my notebooks with those stories the other day and nearly died of embarrassment! They were so bad.
Me: I used to write stories too when I was a kid. Is this book your first published work, Rachael?
Rachael: This is.
Me: So, how much of this book did you write and how much did he write?
Rachael: We wrote half each, though the exact word counts are unclear because we collaborated on a few chapters.
Me: Did you both communicate a lot during the writing of the book?
Rachael: We did. We talked several times a week, and constantly emailed back and forth.
Me: This book is Book VIII is a series... I take it you read the other seven books. You did, right?
Rachael: So the physical book is part of a series of unrelated novellas by JournalStone, which I haven't read. The actual content of the story is a crossover of several of Jonathan's book universes (his Joe Ledger series, "Fall of Night/Dead of Night," and "Rot and Ruin" series), all which I've read multiple times and adore.
Me: So, how long did the book take to write?
Rachael: From start to finish we did the project in a few months.
Me: So, what do your parents think of your writing?
Rachael: They have been incredibly supportive of all of my writing and have cheered me on through the entire process.
Me: Okay, so, tell the readers what the book is about.
Rachael: The novella takes place about 6 months after the start of the apocalypse and follows Joe Ledger, Dez Fox, and Rachael Elle, three characters from Jonathan's various series, as they struggle to find a safe place to survive, while caught between the ravenous undead and the even more deadly and dangerous humans who prey on the survivors.
Me: You're big into the zombie genre I take it, am I right?
Rachael: I am. I've been a fan for quite a while.
Me: So, will you be working on your own book next?
Rachael: I have 2 of my own books finished, and I'm working on a few other series as well.
Me: The character Rachael Elle... is she based on you?
Rachael: Rachael Elle is a creation of Jonathan's that appears in his "Rot and Ruin" series, which I had no part of, but Jonathan has told me that she is heavily inspired by me. I aspire to be as brave and badass as her though!
Me: There's an audible version of the book... who does the reading, Rachael?
Rachael: Ray Porter, who has done many of Jonathan's audiobooks.
Me: Rachael, where are you originally from and where do you live now?
Rachael: Originally from Los Angeles and now living outside of Philly.
Me: I thought so. Thanks so much for being here on the Phile. I wish you the best of luck and I hope this was fun. Please come back on the Phile when your next book comes out. Take care, Rachael.
Rachael: Thank you so much!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Rachael Lavin for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with A Peverett Phile Christmas 8. It should be good. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker