It has absolutely nothing to do with hardware stores, bankrupt MCs from the ’90s, or stupid people (as in “dumber than a bag of hammers”). Today is a Hammer day because of the atmospheric and meteorological conditions that exist outside my window as I sit here babbling into cyberspace like a game show host doing bong hits.
The term was coined by a friend with the moniker the Drunken Frenchman (I assure you that nickname is well-earned) who has a great affection for all things cinematic involving Messrs. Cushing and Lee – more to the point, the classic horror films produced by British studio Hammer during the late ’50s through the early ’70s.
Hammer days occur when the sky is dark or, to give a nod to Uncle Monty, “bruised.” Healthy gusts of wind are also a necessity to the point that there is the occasional banshee-like howl. Rain isn’t a must but, if there is rain, it’s preferable that it is a dreary, misty drizzle as opposed to the jungle rain that we actually have right now. Shards of lightening help complete the setting as well as the low rumble of thunder.
The Drunken Frenchman likes nothing more than to spend such days prostrate on his well-worn couch, the door open to enjoy the conditions, with a bottle of his favorite Scotch and one of the Hammer films flickering on his television screen. Few things – aside from young girls, British rock from the ’60s, or more Scotch – will more quickly bring an orthodontically-challenged smile to his craggy, unshaven mug.
Personally, Hammer days usually make me feel more creative. I’m not sure why – maybe there is some actual science to the stormy weather that makes me feel more juiced, meteorological stuff into which I have no insight. Or, it might just be in my head. Maybe it’s nothing more than the fact that bad weather outside makes it easier to be productive inside.
That’s not always the case, though. Sometimes the wind and the rain, the moody state of Mother Nature outside prompt me to be no more motivated than to take a good nap. And, if that is my fate today, there’s something comforting in the knowledge that no more than six blocks away The Drunken Frenchman is on his couch, Scotch bottle in hand, enjoying a Hammer day while watching Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein bring life to his creation played by Christopher Lee.
I just hope he’s wearing pants (both The Frenchman and Christopher Lee).
So, here’s a quartet of hammer songs (see if you can find the non-musical legend amongst them).