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YMMV / Skeleton Crew

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  • Funny Moments: In the "Notes" section at the end of the book, King relates a priceless story related to "The Raft"—a story of late-night drunk driving, some traffic cones, a trip to jail, and a real-life, honest-to-God Deus ex Machina. King had submitted an early version of the tale, called "The Float," to Adam, a girlie magazine, which paid only upon publication. While driving drunk, a traffic cone dislodged his muffler, and in a righteous drunken fury he started driving through the town of Orono, collecting them. A cop caught him, and asked, "Son, are those traffic cones yours?" King represented himself in court a month later and lost, having to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars within thirty days. Lo and behold, he received a check from Adam for exactly that amount. He paid his fine and vowed to go straight and never mess with traffic cones again. As he puts it, "Straight I have not exactly gone, but believe me when I say I'm quits with the cones." At the end of his anecdote, he adds that he never even saw "The Float" in any Adam magazine, although he checked regularly, and asks his readers if anyone has a copy they could Xerox and send to him, just to "make sure it was published somewhere other than the Twilight Zone."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the early days of the Jaunt, it was understood that one could send a letter to someone else in another part of the world and receive it immediately. Years later, email came into the picture, effectively serving that purpose without teleportation.
    • Beachworld's protagonist is a 5'5 man named B. Shapiro. Even funnier, because the story is about him being stranded in the driest place in the galaxy.
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  • Squick: The details of Richard Pine's Autocannibalism.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Monkey, especially as it's seen on multiple covers of Skeleton Crew.
  • What an Idiot!: In "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet":
    • The editor lampshades this; he says that Jane herself admitted that she ought to have realized that Jimmy was sneaking into her husband's study after finding orange peels there since Reg claimed he was allergic to oranges. That would have been the time to check and see where the spare key had gone.
    • Jimmy himself was Too Dumb to Live; he's established as being unruly but not stupid, given how sneaky he is. Somehow he thought it was a good idea to break into the one forbidden room where his mom is working, to eat and leave evidence there, as well as play there with a loud toy gun. When his mother and her employer come running into the room, they scream at him to get out of there. Soon after, Reg appears with a gun in his hand and with obvious murderous intent.
      You'd Expect: Jimmy would realize that if his mother is being hard on him, he needs to listen. She needs this job. Also, it's kind of obvious that Reg is holding a gun. Move and get out of there before Reg starts firing.
      Instead: He sticks out his tongue at Jane and Gertrude, and keeps firing at what he sees in the typewriter, ignoring a murderous Reg.
      The Result: This could have easily gotten his mother fired, and it's established that she is struggling as it is with him having been held back a year from first grade. As it is, the worst-case scenario happens; Reg tackles him and prepares to shoot Jimmy, since it seems Jimmy killed his muse Fornit named Rackne. All Jimmy can do is freeze in understandable mortal terror, and he screams when Jane gets shot in the head. He and his mother get shot while Gertrude goes Mama Bear and picks him up, with the bullet, fortunately, being nonfatal for either of them. Safe to say that afterward, Gertrude definitely loses her job because Jane is hospitalized for a serious head injury and Reg commits suicide, meaning that Jimmy costs his mother some valuable income. The editor says that even when Jimmy was old enough to testify, he couldn't explain why he thought it was a good idea. Jane theorizes that maybe the Them that Reg feared were real, but she also thinks it was possible that Reg's schizophrenia got the better of him.
  • Write What You Know:
    • "Gramma" is made scarier knowing that King's own grandmother was blind and senile, similar to the Gramma in the story.
    • The storm on Long Lake in Bridgton, Maine and the morning trip into town to stock up on supplies went pretty much as King writes it in the opening events of "The Mist" ("Although," he writes, "I was spared the company of such an odious creature as Brent Norton").
    • King can relate to the plight of the unnamed narrator in "Nona"; in at least one autobiographical essay, King has related tales of verbal and physical abuse heaped on him by beefy workingmen in bars, when he was a long-haired college student in The '60s.


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