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Why Is Frankenstein’s Head Flat?

The Belmont. It is ‘the local’ for MTM and me, the place we go in the neighborhood to get out of the house, sit in a room full of strangers and sip a drink at the end of a trying day. Friday was a trying day for both of us, sending us scampering to our local Happy Place after dinner.

One of the coolest things about The Belmont is this: they run old movies on the back wall. There’s no sound, but the visuals are quirky. Last night, we were lucky enough to nab two seats at the bar in the back, front-and-center to watch the show. It was Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Vampires. Werewolves. Frankenstein. Hmmmmmm………sounds like what everybody’s hankering to write and view these days, minus the Frankenstein part.


I looked at MTM, because this is how my brain misfires, and I said, “Why is Frankenstein’s head flat?”

My genius husband did not know the answer. Before I could dig my iThingy out of the depths of my purse, he said, “Wait. Let’s be old school and do something novel…….let’s ask the bartender.”

So, we asked Mickey. I could tell he pondered calling our tab. Do people ask bartenders random questions anymore? With a sheepish grin, he blurted, “I don’t know,” and disappeared into the bustle of the bar.

Revelations were at the tips of my fingers, but human connection was what I craved. Google would give me a pass to avoid strangers and just sit there, playing with my phone. Instead, I turned to the person beside me. Dustin was his name. After a circuitous conversation that included a soliloquy to his favorite movie (Predator) and my apex choice (The Princess Bride), I had him warmed up enough to ask the Frankenstein question.

“He got hit on the head with a shovel?”

Maybe so, Dear Reader. Maybe so.

Whether Dustin was right or wrong, we had a rollicking conversation, a real old-school ramble. It made me wonder: is it more fulfilling to know I can have the ‘right’ answer with technology, or is it more fun to take the meandering route to a possible wrong one and still make a connection with a stranger?

Perhaps our devices are making us all flat-headed Frankensteins.

Too Much is Just Enough: Personal Connection

Okay. WITHOUT GOOGLING, why do YOU think Frankenstein’s head is flat?

32 Comments Post a comment
  1. When the good Dr Frankenstein was screwing in the large bolts in the side of the monster’s head, he had unfortunately already brought the monster to life. In order to hold the monster in place while screwing the bolts in, he had to push the monster up against the wall and lock him into that position while still lying on the operating table. Soooo, if your head was shoved against a wall while lying on your back and having bolts screwed into your head, your head would be flat, too.

    The mere fact that it is actually Dr Frankensteeeeen does not make your reference to the monster as being the goof Doctor any less of a major faux pas. Tsk Tsk,

    September 17, 2011
    • And, there you go, providing electronic references anyway. Good for you that I approve of this particular one.

      In the book, as an aside, the monster did not have neck bolts. I guess that is why his head wasn’t flat, either.

      September 17, 2011
      • Book?? There’s a Book?? Well, don’t that beat all.

        September 17, 2011
      • This whole question made me want to go back and read the book. Maybe after I finish my current one……

        September 17, 2011
  2. can’t provide an answer for this question, but I think you and MTM should join me for a relaxing dinner at Ted’s Butcherblock one of these fridays :)

    September 17, 2011
    • We should, though I cannot promise such scintillating topics of conversation. :)

      September 17, 2011
  3. Too much banging against the headboard with the bride of Frankenstein?

    September 17, 2011
    • You win the ‘laugh out loud’ award, Carnell.

      September 17, 2011
      • And so my job here is finished.

        Thanks Lou…. “My, what knockers!”

        September 17, 2011
      • Don’t say that. Someone could still take your biggest laugh crown.

        September 17, 2011
  4. Cause the movie was made when crew cuts were fashionable for men and the monster had to be stylish.

    September 17, 2011
    • It is funny how the versions of the different monsters change in movies, even from decade to decade.

      September 17, 2011
  5. How great to have a sophisticated local near you. Just read the Yelp page for The Belmont. Sounds like the perfect place for an interesting conversation. Several of the reviews said that it was boring, but I suppose that is because they are rubes and don’t know how to converse? Or were looking for dynamic djs spinning tunes? At any rate, sounds pretty danged cool. Kinda a Frank S. place?

    September 17, 2011
    • We have turned it into our ‘local’ because we want to have one adult, not-overrun-with-college-students place on Upper King Street. We try to go there once or twice a week, and it is usually an eclectic mix of humanity. No DJ. No tv. No loud music piping through the speakers from an iPod. People who always greet you and remember you come in often. An awesome cheese and meat plate on which to snack. Unexpected combinations. In a way, it reminds me of an early version of Raval, which was probably our local before they turned the back part into a harem room, stopped serving good food, put up the velvet rope and stuffed it full of college students. I am sure economics called for those choices, which is why we try to spread the gospel of The Belmont to all discriminating adults everywhere.

      September 17, 2011
  6. Frankenstein’s head isn’t flat.

    Frankenstein’s monster’s head is flat to make him look unnatural and like a construct. Natural things are generally curved.

    September 17, 2011
    • I always thought it made him look taller more than unnatural……..

      September 17, 2011
  7. mtm #

    It’s FrankenSTEIN (not Frankensteen) so it must be that his head is not actually flat, but is hollow…. Sorta like the Nutcracker, he was a collectible beer stein that escaped from the cabinet and came to life to bring joy and OctoberFest happiness to all of Transylvania. Things went horribly wrong when someone poured Bud Light into his head…

    September 17, 2011
  8. His head is flat (and his feet) because the Herr Doktor purchased him at Ikea.

    More monsters in a crate means cheaper shipping!

    And, also, the monster was assembled with a single allen wrench and a rubber mallet (and lots of electricity . . . and a stolen brain)

    September 17, 2011
    • Jill Clary Stevenson #

      Abby Normal’s brain to be exact! One of my favorite laugh out loud movies of all time. Thank Lou for the clip.

      September 17, 2011
      • I still love to sing “Don’t Touch Me” in my head while walking the bridge. Love that number.

        September 17, 2011
    • I have been deprived. I have never received a rubber mallet with any purchase from IKEA…………

      September 17, 2011
      • :)

        They’ve usually got a free bin of mallets near the front of the store. Or, no, wait. Did I say mallets?

        I meant a bin of brains . . . stolen brains.

        September 17, 2011
      • I need brains. A brain. Maybe IKEA can help me……

        September 17, 2011
  9. Loved your post this morning (those darn bartenders anymore).
    Here’s your answer… The round head model (see Peter Boyle in ‘Young Frankenstein’ not Boris Karloff in the original) was, unfortunately, on back-order at Lowe’s in 1931 – fresh out, not even findable on Amazon. So they sewed on that other thing, which had been sitting upside down in a dark corner of the studio prop room for goodness knows how long, and there you go. By the time Mel Brooks made his movie, the round ones had come in, by train of course. (Victor: ‘Pardon me, boy, is this the Transylvania station?’)
    I did not Google for any of this, honest. I just have a little Mel Brooks problem. Actually, it’s a rather large problem.

    September 17, 2011
  10. Lord knows I love my Google, but no amount of electronics could ever truly replace the human connection! You definitely made the right choice, Andra.

    I nearly choked on my coffee this morning when I read Carnell’s response to your query; and MTM and Keel were, in my estimation, running not too far behind. :)

    When you spoke of a flat head, Herman Munster was the character that sprang first to my mind (probably because of the ages of my boys and the fact that I was never a fan of the “horror” genre), but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

    September 17, 2011
    • Karen, The Munsters is more my speed, too. Glad you had a good laugh today. I joined you. Several times.

      September 17, 2011
  11. Dang, I just read this and Karen beat me to the Munsters reference, which is where I went first, too. Lisa and I like to think of ourselves as a modern version, including jumping-up-and-down tantrums by me.

    Hooray for communication over correctness… :-)

    September 17, 2011
    • Communication rocks, even when people look at me like I am insane for trying. (We used the same question at dinner tonight…….it was a riot.)

      September 17, 2011
  12. Ahhhh . . . a great post I needed to read tonight — fantastic responses!

    As for my humble opinion, I think our dear flat-headed friend was specifically created as a conversation piece. When the dear doctor was splicing him together, he paused as he held the rounded part of the skull in his diabolical hands. He thought to himself, “I think I will skip this part and slap some hair on his head. In generations to come, people will sit at their electric light boxes wondering why his head was flat. Yes, it shall be so.”

    September 17, 2011
    • Another great answer. So glad the post was what you needed. :)

      September 18, 2011

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