Jul 07 2009

iPhone Cinema

Do I just sit around making goofy little movies with my iPhone these days? Yup.

Behold Attack of the Bathroom Accoutrements, director’s cut.


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  1. She-cago

    LOL nice ^_^ It certainly warmed *my* heart. (almost put an elipsis there, but then I thought of you. The emoticon is already probably too much)

  2. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Pardon me for being indelicate, but between the nerve-shredding soundtrack and the giant centipede, I have to go home and wash my pants.

  3. birkwearingblamer

    Love your bathroom,especially the matching dispensers. The creepy arthropod not so much! The French titles are classy!

  4. Shelly

    Your newest cinematic blockbuster (surely?) is both heartwarming and disgusting. I recommend this product and/or service.

  5. Pinko Punko

    That thing was big enough to wear the trap and almost walk around with it. I think in the prequel we find out that Legs actually was hula hooping the bug trap throughout the house and only after molesting your toothbrush did it give up the ghost.

  6. bzzzzgrrrl

    I deeply, deeply hope that you will continue to make goofy little movies with your iPhone. Mind you, I read every precious word of patriarchy-blaming, and am glad to get it, but these films are spectacular. Especially this one.

  7. Betsy

    Things are bigger in Texas.

  8. Notorious Ph.D.

    I actually yelled “Gah!” at the thrilling finale. My skin is still crawling (possibly on millions of itty-bitty legs).

  9. Marilyn

    It’s too bad they cast Franchot Tone as the arthropod – he’s just such an inert actor and not nearly mean enough to pull off such a hissworthy role. Too bad Donald Crisp was unavailalbe.

  10. Laura F

    I love how the opening credits take up 42 seconds of a 1:31 minute film. Hilarious!

    How exactly does an arthropod of those dimensions make its way into the bathroom? Sewer? Open windows? Dog door?

  11. schatze

    You got a license to hunt that?

  12. Antares

    Brava! I laughed, I cried.

    Where on earth did you get those lovely green and white Spanish Fly and Marijuana dispensers?!

  13. Jill

    But Pinko, it was walking around with the trap!

    OK, you know how I got this brown recluse spider infestation, and I had to put out a bunch of glue traps to catch’em, and one of the places I keep a trap is my bathroom sink because I’m always seeing them damn spiders in there? Well, you can’t imagine how high I jumped when I went in to brush my teeth this morning and saw this trap actually crawling along the fucking countertop, propelled by the 6-inch specimen featured in the film. As you can see, only half the centipede was stuck (it was stuck on top of a scorpion, of all the gnarly things). The other half was still completely, hideously ambulatory.

    Centipedes of such magnitude are definitely not allowed in the bunkhouse. I have no idea how the fuck it got in here. But the discovery has rather shed some light on a series of mysterious disappearances from the spider traps of many documented scorpion corpses. I’d been wondering what sort of giant predator roamed the halls at night, munching on the smorgasbord I thoughtfully provide, too burly to get caught itself. I’d been thinking wolverine, or alligator.

    Re: the Spanish Fly and Marijuana pharmacy jars, there is a third labeled “Opium.” I found them in a junk shop on South Congress about a hundred years ago. I don’t have any Spanish fly or opium, though.

  14. slythwolf

    If I had an iPhone, surely I would also spend all my time making movies on it. Tragically, I am iPhoneless, and so instead I sit here cross-stitching “EAT COLD STEEL PIGDOG” onto a piece of linen and pondering the many benefits of living in Michigan and not Texas, chief among them the size (or lack thereof) of the bugs.

  15. Comrade PhysioProf

    (1) What the fuck is up with that harsh mural on the wall?

    (2) That’s a fucking horrifying centipede.

    I don’t have any Spanish fly or opium, though.

    (3) Can I come over? I’ll bring the peanut M&Ms.

  16. Laughingrat

    Another fine social-commentary film from the 24-Hour Emergency Art-O-Mat! The bleak banality of the bathroom accoutrements adds depth and nuance to the horror represented by the centipede. “This isn’t just one person’s bathroom,” the ensemble tells us, “it’s about the alienation and inevitable pointlessness of suburban life.” I’d give this two thumbs up, but rats don’t have thumbs, so I give this two adorable pink rodent proto-thumbs up!

  17. Samantha B

    Did my eyes deceive me, or was that jar on the counter labeled “Spanish Fly”?

  18. Samantha B

    Never mind. I see my question has been addressed.

  19. Pinko Punko

    Well this blog can just rock me the F to sleep tonight. My attempt was at hyperbole not realism, although a tiny portion of me seems satisfied at my brain’s partial refusal to believe that such a trap could rope a beast of that magnitude. Have you also had any pizzas delivered to the bunkhouse outside of your memory of ordering them?

    Jill: Bert? Did you order a pizza again? With scorpions? Oh, Bert.

    Bert looks sad, attempts to communicate innocence, or perhaps appears indifferent, chases skunk

    Gigantic centipede lurks, Pinko can’t sleep at night



    COMING SOON: iPhone video of OVERLADY shitting herself!!!

    JESUS H CHRIST, I didn’t even think that centipede was REAL! But, apparently, it IS!

    I am well aware of the fact that, when you build on virgin Texas land, for many years you get critters: scorpions mostly, but also tarantulas and black widows and brown recluses, and fire ants. For many years we had to shake out our shoes every morning to get the scorpions out, because we dwelt in a fairly new Austin subdivision. (It was called, “Northwest Hills”. No seriously. It was 1970. Spicewood Springs was a dirt road, and it went to Spicewood Springs, but you couldn’t go there because the Boatwrights would shoot you. THey were cedarchoppers)

    Anyway, none of this was news to ME. BUT! the SIZE of that CENTIPEDE! Holy Moly!

  21. Brigid Night

    Oh my lard. Gross!

  22. Orange

    Where is the truth in advertising? Nowhere did it warn me that this was going to be gen-u-wine nightmare fodder. I suspected the titular arthropod would be a spider or a scorpion, something with a respectable number of legs, and not one o’ these abominations of nature, these hundred-legged fuckers. Sweet jaysus. I never would’ve watched the video if I’d known the horror that awaited.

    I am grateful only that we were spared footage of the centipede on the (alarming) move, traveling with its own portable Scorpio-Snack Catcher.

  23. PG

    Aaaaaahhhggahhahhgahhaghh!!! Centipeeeeeeeeedde!

    I can handle beetles, snakes, spiders, scorpions and most other assorted creepy critters. But centipedes? Especially of that magnitude?


    Great soundtrack, though.

  24. Erzebeth

    Oh, dear gawd! There goes dinner. So very, very happy we have no such creepy crawlies around here – eek!

  25. Larkspur

    Pko: Jill: Bert? Did you order a pizza again? With scorpions? Oh, Bert.


    Surely there’s a temperature at which these monsters grow lethargic and/or comatose. Set those wildly extravagant a/c boxes to “tundra”, stat.

    I thought Australia was supposed to be the scariest critter-infested place in the universe. I am afraid of Texas for all new reasons.

  26. Honora

    Honestly, does that toothpaste and mouthwash do anything for you?? I got some because I had dry mouth (TMI) and it did nothing. Changed back to Claritin (generic) from the other allergy medicine (generic- unnamed) and problem went away.

  27. Nepenthe

    Okay. After seeing that and inserting a shriek inappropriately loud for apartment living, I’m moving my blaming headquarters somewhere with a permafrost.


  28. ElizaN

    Holy crap on a swizzle stick! Those things are my only phobia! Now I’m not quite so sad about missing next month’s conference in Texas.

  29. rootlesscosmo

    The casting is inspired.

    “Some Hollywood flack, in a burst of inspiration, dubbed him The Man You Love to Hate… For sheer menace, he made even topnotch vipers like Lew Cody, Ivan Lebedeff, and Rockliffe Fellowes seem rank stumblebums by comparison. He was the ace of cads, a man without a single redeeming feature, the embodiment of Prussian Junkerism, and the greatest heavy of the silent film, and his name, of course, was Erich von Stroheim.”

    S. J. Perelman, “Vintage Swine”

  30. Betsy

    I know I am not the only one here simultaneously creeped out and also feeling sorry for the whatever-it-is, walking and dragging the trap along with it. I mean, that is pretty damned heroic and ignominious at the same time. Which is piteous, somehow — even though the sight of that leggy thing, walking around unimpeded, would make me shudder for days.

  31. kristinc


  32. SoJo

    Woah. That thing is terrifying.

  33. Squiggy

    You sure do take good care of your teeth. Stellar faucet stuff, too.
    The least likely venue for a monster. Texas-style. Cine-superb.

  34. Starfoxy

    Just last Saturday I was out with my two year old and saw the five inch version of this crawl in between my kid’s feet. Those things are fast.
    Awesome video.

  35. sonia

    I will never go to Texas.

    not even for tacos.

  36. Ron Sullivan


  37. Pinko Punko

    I’d like to thank Ron for the restraint of a single exclamation point.

  38. Sophie

    When Janis Joplin said she was never going back to Texas I thought it was because of her childhood; and when Thelma (or is it Louise?) refused to drive through Texas I thought it was because she’d been raped there. But now I know the true reason.

  39. Smeleanor

    Mein gott. Imagine all the stuff that crawls over you in bed. So glad the UK has pathetic creepy crawlies.

  40. speedbudget

    Holy crap. I’m amazed at your fortitude in creating this video. Had I woken up and found my Acme Scorpion and Brown Recluse Spider Trap (Guaranteed to WORK!) skittering along my bathroom sink of all godforsaken places I would have had to grab my trusty Acme Mauler of Death, i.e. sledgehammer, and rain down some hellfire on that demonic creation there.

  41. meerkat

    Lol, awesome! Reminds me of the one that leaped out at me from my giant bag o’ rice in 2007.

  42. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Should you have the temerity to whack one a those things, the gol-dang legs fly off. It’s enough to put you off your popcorn.

  43. arfeuse

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeshk. And to think I get annoyed at our local ants. Loving your work Jill. Thank you for everything.

  44. slade

    Why are there so many bugs in Texas? They like hot weather, I guess. I’m with sonia….don’t want to go to Texas. Maybe in the winter. Do all these bugs come out in the winter as well? Is it safe to go to Austin in February?

    I didn’t even know there were traps for such big bugs. I wish I hadn’t seen it. Silly, huh? Why a big woman like me is creeped out by a large bug? I had a brown frog in my ‘garden’ and thought it was cute. I guess it just takes getting used to ones ‘neighbors.’

    Continually blaming.

  45. julybirthday

    Hey Slade, you might enjoy Texas in February — that’s when all the outdoor bugs come inside to warm up!

  46. cypress

    You live there? On purpose?

    I am now completely certain that none of the remaining years of my life will be spent living in Texas. Banana slugs can be revolting, but they aren’t frightening. SW Canada, in the rain forest, that’s for me.

    It is also a certainty that you, Jill PSmith, are, along with other fabulous traits, the funniest living human.

  47. Tanya

    I am so jealous of your creepy-crawly creatures. Here in Saskatchewan all we get are little brown spiders, daddy-longlegs and a few dragonflies. So boring compared to that magnificent centipede. How I would love to put it in an ice cream pail and carry it around town and scare people with it! The kids and I had a marvelous time with a crop of potato bugs in the back yard. The potato plant became covered with these fat, squishy creatures and so I got them to pick them off the plants and put them in a pail. Their father turned three shades of green when he took a look at what we were playing with.

  48. Gayle

    Sweet Jesus!

    I’m staying the hell out of Texas.

  49. ivyleaves

    Pretty much anyplace with hot weather has giant bugs, and a greater variety of them to boot. I’m from Phoenix and even in the city tarantulas, scorpions, brown recluse, and black widows are commonplace household discoveries. Not to mention massive earwig and cockroach infestations. Good times. My brother collected and “raised” black widows in jars in his room – my dad called it “spiderland” after he moved away.

  50. Lauren O

    I just moved to Austin from California a week ago, and all I have found in my apartment so far are ants that were only about half the size of California ants, and one mini-earwig. I have been warned.

  51. Apostate

    Jill, I fucking adore you. That was hilarious and very nicely done. Perfect timing on the music.

  52. MarianK

    Is this one of a trilogy?

    If so, I await the sequel and the prequel, by which time the studio will have pressured you into including a love interest.

  53. No fun

    If I woke up in Texas to see that in my sink, I’d be in the Arctic circle before the sun set.

    Just saying.

  54. thisisendless

    The critters that end up in the Twisty compound are consistently terrifying. These bugs that are the size of sanitation trucks? Auugh! I could not handle it.

  55. Larkspur

    Tanya, it sounds like you have some Huckleberry Finn types brachiatin’ in your family tree. Very cool. I wonder if some of these critters are at all receptive to operant conditioning, because having your own army of scary would be neat.

    Lauren O, did you drive to Texas from Cali? Because I have heard that one ought to get rid of those Cali license plates, and fast. I think that they are not popular anywhere that is not California.

    I have visited Austin and found it charming as hell. Even though I got teased for being thrilled by the bats, the teasing was friendly, and was followed by a margarita. But O god, the hot, the hot. It was very hot. You will die without some elitist damn a/c.

    Lots of limestone, too. Lovely limestone.

    I’d been hoping for a minor thunderstorm, just for the sound and light show, but it didn’t rain one single drop.

  56. Solniger

    Found such a thing in my bed last year as I was getting in at 2am after a long night of studying. Raised fucking hell. Slept at ex-Nigel’s for the rest of the semester.

  57. tinfoil hattie

    Nigel just watched that and is now sitting with his feet up on his chair, while I laugh myself sick.

    “Guh-fucking-narly,” he says.

  58. Pinko Punko

    I have to say that I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think I am surrounded by a crowd of tiny gnats and I jump out of bed before I realize what’s going on. This is an infinitely preferable occurrence to losing a toe or a leg to a giant insect with ridiculous amounts of segmental duplication. “Let’s just reiterate this portion of a body plan 100 times over!”

  59. Tata

    I’d rather face down toothless deputies pointing guns at me than watch the giant bug movie. I’m skeert!

  60. Joanne

    Centipedes shouldn’t be allowed to be that big.

  61. Ron Sullivan

    I have to say that I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think I am surrounded by a crowd of tiny gnats and I jump out of bed before I realize what’s going on.

    At the risk of emitting an excess of exclamation marks, PP, I gotta ask: What’s going on really?

  62. Jill

    I am sorry to report that my campaign against the brown recluses has had some unintended collateral damage in the form of harmless spiders and other bugs, not to mention this insane centipede. I was told that in order to release a creature from a glue trap all you have to do is put oil on their feet and off they go, but in this case, at least, the cure was ineffective. I elected to put the centipede out of its misery by squashing it, but found I didn’t have the cojones to step on an entity of this magnitude with my boot. The crunch, you know. So I ran over it with the car. I had to run over it four times to kill it. Them thangs are tough. Texas tough.

  63. Larkspur

    …”all you have to do is put oil on their feet and off they go…

    O dear. I cannot see this happening, much less working. I suspect we will have to keep the car option available, at least until fossil fuel is exhausted.

    Putting oil on their feet. That reminds me of the question, “Have you ever smelled moth balls?” and of course you have to answer “Uh, no – it’s so hard to get their little legs apart”.

    I do not think this is a bad joke. Moth balls. Smelling them, really, is not a mission that anyone is likely to assign, attempt, or accomplish. So the moths are not in any immediate danger in regard to their little legs.

    Anyway: the crunch. Yes, sometimes the crunch is just too damn much. Gimme the keys, mkthx.

  64. ma'am

    I enjoy the irony of feminist denizens of a feminist website being grossed out over bugs. Having stated that, my other comment is “Eeeewww, gross!” I am not sure I could sleep in the Twisty bunker after seeing that.

  65. TwissB

    Despite the near-universal chorus of eeews, I think that an ever so slightly longer take on the final frame would have been good – unless the sight was causing the iPhone to curdle.

  66. Pinko Punko


    Luckily, not too much is going on- I think it relates to one night when I got home late and went into the bathroom and didn’t turn on the big light (tiny night light) and started to brush my teeth and felt like there were tiny things moving or something, then I turned on the big light and there were 300 or 400 little ants every where. Somehow that has stuck in my memory. So maybe three times since that several years ago, I’ve jumped up in bed thinking I’m surrounded by bugs. Or maybe it’s the DTs.

    I can’t believe the Society of Centipede Friends Nature Reserve Centipede Showcase hasn’t descended upon this thread in addition to the AC scolds. CENTIPEDES NOW CENTIPEDES 4EVA!

  67. minervaK

    I knew it was coming and it still scared the bejesus out of me. Nice work.

  68. minervaK

    Why are there so many bugs in Texas? They like hot weather, I guess. I’m with sonia….don’t want to go to Texas. Maybe in the winter. Do all these bugs come out in the winter as well? Is it safe to go to Austin in February?

    It’s worse in February. That’s when the Legislature is in session.


  69. pyramus

    Clearly I am a giant wussypants, because if I ever saw one of those things I would hie me the fuck out of any bunkhouse, city, state, and probably country in which I happened to see it. Makes me proud to be a Canadian, where the insects have the good sense to be tiny. Not necessarily any more polite, but at least tiny.

    Still, while the entomology gives me the willies, the cinematography is faultless.

  70. Leigh

    It’s a species of Scolopendra. The buggers aren’t dangerous, unless you have an allergic reaction to their venom, but they can give a pretty nasty bite at that size. Still, they’re fascinating little predators. Did you kill the poor little thing or did it manage to get free?

  71. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Ran it over with the car, huh? My sister did that to a smoke detector that wouldn’t quit emitting electronic distress calls.

  72. No fun

    ma’am, I think the whole idea that it’s a silly female thing to get grossed out by giant bugs is one of the more thinly veiled of the bogus stereotypes out there.

    I have a friend who ended up performing military service in a tropical country. He has stories of his exclusively male unit using an appreciable chunk of ammo on giant bugs that it was otherwise reluctant to approach during live-fire training.

  73. Larkspur

    Yeah, one time when I used to work in an independent bookstore, in a drafty old building, we were all in the stock room, men and women alike, and we saw a wee mouse darting across the floor and into the shelving, and we all screamed real high and started jumping around, terrified the little creature would climb up our pants-legs. It was an equal opportunity freak-out.

    Before long, we had collected ourselves, and set about luring the little mousekin out and into a box, and two people (a male-type person and a female-type person) walked the box way off into a field and set it free.

    Pko, I have also learned that it is never a good idea to walk into the bathroom at night without turning on the overhead light. One doesn’t like to, since it shatters the nocturnal serenity, but one doesn’t want to step on a scorpion or brush one’s teeth with ants.

  74. Orange

    Jeezapalooza, Jill, you hadda run it over with the car? *shudder* My last centipede was in the kitchen sink, under 2″ long, and amenable to mashing with a spare shoe. The body was gunked onto the shoe, but the legs that were stuck to the sink kept moving. That always freaks me out.

    Pinko Punko, if the gnats thing happens when you’re just drifting off to sleep, it may be a hypnagogic hallucination. I get ’em, but with spiders. I wake up flailing and shouting “Spiders! Turn on the light!”, shaking out the blankets, and then realize that oh, there are no spiders. Then I go back to sleep while my Nigel tosses and turns, having been rudely awakened by all the shouting and flailing.

  75. Mirisin

    Mmmm, semi tropical weather and giant freaking bugs with the added bonus of poison critters. I lived most of my life in Georgia in the woods, but we never saw centipedes that big. My cat liked to drop off big roaches and giant “huntsman” or “wolf” spiders on my bed to play in the middle of the night when my husband and I lived in Savannah, GA, though. All the time.

    I’d just feel her bat, bat, batting and jumping over the covers and have to bolt up and catch the damn things with the covers while the Nigel went to go get the paper towels to dispose of the creature. Oh how the cat thought it was great fun, but I think I have PTSD and wake up freaked out now every time she bats anything on the bed. Still.

    We live in OC California now, and the situation is marginally better. I’m content for the crawlies to stay on the floor or in shoes thank you very much, not in my bed. Horrifying.

  76. Frumious B.

    You don’t leave your toothbrush out in the open anymore, right?

  77. Diane

    Nice film, Jill. I love your films and the pictures around the ranch.

    I’m a long time lurker, first time commenter.

    Thank you to all the blamers who live in places where the insects cannot be saddled and ridden. Your comments have me laughing so hard I cried. I’ve lived all my life in either Oklahoma, Florida or Texas, and big bugs just come with the territory. I often laugh at the irony here at IBTP, but this is just pure hilarious.

    And by the way, I have seen many men (especially the young ones, lately) freak out, big time, over smaller bugs than this.

  78. Michigan

    Here in Michigan, affectionately known to geography buffs as the Mitten, where the State Bird has just been changed from the Robin to the “Canary in the Mine”, and the State Motto changed from, “if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”, to “Dances with Wolves” we fully understand your deep, dark, capitalist approach. You’ve given new meaning to “the next leg of the journey”.

    Do states have State Insects? Can these guys use the carpool lane?

  79. Michigan

    Jill, this is the most hilarious blog. You and your blamers are tuned like a fine violin. But, I need a disclaimer somewhere that reads: Protective Underwear Recommended. It’d save a lot of cleanup after the fact. God, you’re great.

  80. Dicey Venison

    You are a total fucking genius.
    Please continue to make movies.
    I laughed.
    I shuddered.
    I pissed myself.

  81. SoozM

    I’m in awe. I didn’t know I could awe at so many things in one instant. Awe.

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