Dead Man Talking


By David Perloff
Photos by Brevin Blach

(Published in the October 2010 issue)

If you’ve listened to San Diego morning radio in the past 25 years (or read this magazine in the past four), you probably know that Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, who co-starred on KGB-FM’s Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw Show (aka The DSC), recently lost his job.

Despite his more than two decades of big ratings on the FM dial, Chainsaw and company found themselves off-the-air about six months ago, when contract negotiations with Clear Channel fell through. Long story short, Chainsaw’s illustrious broadcast career was, for a time, kaput. Everyone knew he’d reemerge somewhere, but no one knew where or when.

It was the end of the road, radio silence...dead air.

Then, on August 2, Chainsaw was reborn. The new DSC (minus Shelly, who remains in radio purgatory for the moment) is now rockin’ the airwaves weekday mornings on 100.7 JACK-FM (KFMB-FM). In celebration of his new, undead status (and the fact that he’s been writing for us for peanuts forever), PacificSD was happy to pay for Chainsaw’s recent makeover-into a zombie.

Sure, he’s a bloody mess...but then he got the makeover.

She Kills Me

Sitting in this woman’s chair is a death sentence

By Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph

Some people go to La Jolla plastic surgeons for their extreme makeovers. I went to Hollywood-trained makeup artist Dana Issa-so she could make me undead.

Having researched on Wikipedia for nearly a full minute before meeting my maker, I tried to imagine the undead lifestyle during the two hours Dana spent creating wounds so horrific and ghastly, they actually turned out more hideous than my “before” photo.

According to my exhaustive research, many undead revisit the living to resolve something unrealized or regretted during life-like, in my case, forgetting to turn off the chainsaw before scratching an eyebrow itch.

As Dana applied a mixture of liquid latex and, I kid you not, oatmeal to my skin, I wondered how the undead, being in such a hideous condition, could blend into society well enough to resolve anything. I mean, imagine meeting an estranged loved-one at Starbucks for a heart-to-heart: “Hey, listen, forgive me if some of my ooze splashes into your latte, but could we talk about our relationship?”

People are generally repulsed by the maimed. This is why undeads are more suited for fear-mongering trades like grave-robbing or politics, which are sometimes the same thing-like when the Chicago mob got those headstones to vote for JFK (that reminds me, when I die, I want to remain a registered independent).

When it comes down to it, the only legitimate job market available for the undead is seasonal work at haunted houses. But even there, when you show up for work every day, already in full make-up and never really hang out after hours, you’re always going to be an outsider...unliving under a cloud of suspicion with your co-workers.

And what to do for the 11 months outside of October? Be an outcast like Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face. Or, for that matter, Mel Gibson now?

Being undead isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially in this economy. Oh, sure, it’s fun staggering around and scaring people for a few hours, but after awhile, you’re just like everybody else: trying to make it through the day without dripping on people.

Dead-End Relationship

A dream while dying

By Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph

At one point during the makeup process, I nodded off for a little while and dreamt I was having a PacificSD-style Blind Date with Elvira , Mistress of the Dark. We met at a Warlock’s Coffee, where we each had a grande hemoglobin and got to know each other.

PacificSD: Elvira, what was your first impression of Chainsaw?

Elvira: I thought he was nice, but I prefer my undead a little more dismembered.

Chainsaw, where do you feel like kissing Elvira right now?

Chainsaw: Where do you think?

We moved on to a graveyard for the “activity” portion of the date, where we were each given a shovel. Elvira dug up a Civil War veteran, while I focused on an early 20th Century suffragette.

PacificSD: Elvira, how did you enjoy the grave-digging?

Elvira: Loved it! San Diego’s graveyards are so much more sandy than, say, Transylvania, where it’s much harder clay and the bodies are waaay uglier.

Chainsaw, you barely broke ground. What’s up with that?

Chainsaw: Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve lost a lot of blood, so my stamina isn’t what it could be. Besides, watching Elvira bend over digging is a lot more entertaining than unearthing a Susan B. Anthony wanna-be who probably didn’t even like guys.

That’s offensive.

Chainsaw: Oh, and your grave-digging dreams aren’t?

Our final destination on the date was the chic Del Mar Plasma restaurant, Epaziotome, where we enjoyed several Bloody Marys-not cocktails, actual Marys that were bloody.

PacificSD: So, Elvira, you think the sparks will fly with Chainsaw?

Elvira: Oh, absolutely. I have an electric chair at home I want him to try out later.

How about you, Chainsaw? Are you attracted to Elvira?

Chainsaw: Are you kidding? Then again, I might just have to whiz. I can never tell with dreams. Whoops, I have to wake up now. See ya’!