I want to talk a little bit
about this movie. Nay-
What is it?
Why, what else?
Iconic, terrible, B-horror delight
Welcome to 1958, small-town,
anywhere, USA, a place
where phones are in booths,
police officers are vets of The War-
(not a war, The War),
movie tickets are 80 cents,
and I think maybe I saw one
black person, in the background.
Some plucky teenagers,
who all look suspiciously
find themselves in the middle of
There's this strange thing that
came out of a meteorite
that begins to consume people,
make them disappear.
No one calls it the Blob in the movie,
or really even describes it at all,
but I'll take my cue from the title and call it such.
The Blob is small at first, and clear,
until it grabs onto a man's hand
and as it absorbs his flesh, his blood,
it grows. Turns a vibrant red.
As it grows, so too does the rate of its growth.
It does not stop after the first man.
After he is gone, assimilated and
unrecognizable within the Blob,
that goo eats a nurse, then a doctor.
The part I want to talk about
The protagonist is a guy named Steve.
A little mischievous, but overall decent.
He's going to visit the doctor
when, in the window,
he catches a glimpse of said doctor
being overwhelmed by the Blob.
It's a horrendous sight, obviously,
for him, for this town,
both a terror and a gift.
You see, Steve is the first person
to see the Blob and come out of it
The threat isn't obvious at first to anyone but him.
The sighting was fast-
he barely knows what he saw.
Only that he saw something.
He tries to explain it to his girlfriend, Jane.
She loves him, and she believes him,
but she wasn't there.
As he talks, he begins to doubt
He asks Jane, basically,
"What if I'm wrong?
What if this is an ordinary night?
What if all this is my own invention
and we can go on like normal?"
"Do you think you're wrong?"
He doesn't think he is.
So they go out and try to vanquish
Almost no one believes Steve at first.
To them, it's an ordinary night
as much as he tries to convince them
They're wrong, of course.
Steve's vindication will come,
though it doesn't taste good-
almost never taste good?
What if this is an ordinary night?
What if it isn't?
These are questions I am always
I've been reading like I breathe
almost my whole life
and so my mind operates on the
pattern of real life
and it also operates on the
pattern of a story
and in real life it's always
an ordinary night
and in a story it's never
an ordinary night
and these things are always
dancing in my head,
spinning around each other,
never coming to victory or loss.
I suppose I am the opposite of
He questions the strangeness.
I question the normalcy.
There are cons to creativity
because it's not an act.
It's a state
you can't turn off.
It's a constant frantic motion
taking every input
and shredding it and twisting it
and sometimes it twists them
into a creeping dread
made of the most innocuous things
in the world.
The Blob could only grow so large,
so threatening, because of the
innocent civilians it broke down.
It used their matter to facilitate
At one point, the movie cuts to
the inside of a movie theater.
The crowd is enthralled by a
Bela Lugosi horror movie
when the projector
stutters and stops.
They begin to grumble.
Little do they know, this is only
a momentary gap in their horror
as it shifts from fiction
to reality. As slime begins to
extrude from the vents,
trying to ambush them.
They flee the theater, shrieking.
This is how it works.
The flimsy turns vivid,
the greyscale is overtaken by
This is how it works
when your thoughts chain together
and gang up on you.
You can flee. You can go somewhere
different, that the Blob is not
but that will slow your fate,
not stop it.
The Blob ever expands.
Your haven now will be flooded
in the future.
Your town and/or your mind
is now property of the Blob.
This is how The Blob ends.
The heroes are trapped in a diner
basement, surrounded by the Blob.
The police have just tried to kill it
by electrocuting it, which not
only didn't work, but ever so slightly
set the diner on fire.
Nice going, police!
Guess you can't even trust these guys to kill the Blob, jeez.
The owner of the diner sprays the
fire with a fire extinguisher,
and Steve notices that this makes
the Blob recoil.
You see, you have to understand
your enemy in order to deal with it.
Why did anyone think they could
shoot guns at slime to kill it?
You have to freeze it.
You can't shoot the Blob.
You can't punch a thought.
You freeze away the Blob.
You rationalize away a thought.
They shrink down the Blob enough
to transport it to the Arctic.
They can't kill it.
The Blob is an unavoidable reality.
I can't kill a frightening thought.
I think there are some problems
that force your hand;
either you live with them
or you don't live at all.
Just because you can't kill something, that doesn't mean
it's not worth fighting.
That doesn't mean
you can't win
enough to be happy.
Jane smoothed down her
Steve gazed far away with
piercing Kodachrome blue eyes.
Together, they drove away
in that candy-colored car.
They were both still alive, and
in love. Their sweet, rowdy friends
all made it out, too.
Is this an ordinary night?
This is a question both Steve and I
will find ourselves asking
Though it may always remain,
its force can be diminished
until it's nothing but an idle habit.
So quiet that it's an easy decision
to go and take the gamble anyway.
I pull my lavender blankets,
soft and warm, close to me.
I stare hazel into the ordinary darkness.
The Blob is far away, small, powerless.
Safe from its extrusions, I close my eyes and sleep in peace.
Sophie-Lorraine Smith is an 18-year-old writer living in western Washington, USA. They are forever enamored with astronomy, language, cartoons, glitter, and cats.
"The Americana Diner" by Tony Fischer Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0.