There was something terrifying about the sleestak from The Land of the Lost. They were genuinely scary, even though they were among the least threatening monsters ever. Nevertheless, when I saw them stumbling slowly out from behind rocks and trees, always in groups of four or five, my heart always raced. 'Run!' I thought. 'Run!'
"I was a sleestak," the old homeless guy said, his cigarette flipping up and down in the corner of his lips as he talked. "Back thirty year or more ago. I got paid twelve bucks an hour to wear that damn rubber suit in that hot-ass studio. Good money in them days. Worst job I ever had."
"Wow. A sleestak? Man."
"Worst job I ever had," he repeated. "Too damn hot in that suit in that studio. There was three of us, so they had to shoot all the scenes more than once if they wanted to look like they was a bunch of us. It took a long damn time. It was hot."
"So, tell me about sleestak culture. What did you guys do when you weren't chasing Marshall, Will or Holly?"
He took a drink of the coffee I bought him and took a long draw off his cigarette. "We stood around in that hot-ass studio waiting for our cue," he said. "They had coffee. Damn coffee. We was hot as hell, and all they had for us was coffee. There was this old water fountain, but it was dirty and warm. Hell if I'm drinkin' that. Couldn't bend over in them damn suits anyway." He eyed his coffee derisively, remembering.
"How did those crystal tables work? What was their power source?" It was good to talk to a real sleestak. I had wondered about these things for years.
"The tables with the little rocks on them? Damn those things. We had two of them, and neither of them would stand up worth a damn. If you brushed 'em with your tail they'd fall over and we'd have to shoot the whole damn scene again. Damn, I hated those damn tables. I tried to fix one once. Damn unions out there won't let no one do shit who knows how. Prop work? That's a better job. They didn't have to wear no stupid-ass rubber suits." He started digging in his dirty shirt pocket for something. He didn't find it.
"How did Enik learn to speak English?"
He just looked at me a little funny. He took a big drink, finishing his coffee. "You got a couple bucks?" he asked, putting his ratty cap back on and standing to go. I dug a couple of bucks from my wallet and he shuffled off, last survivor of a once proud race. He walked so slowly.