Remember your first few days of college? I do. I was a freshman at UC San Diego. I was entirely too cocky, and fairly sure that all the movies I’d seen about college were true. And then she walked into my dorm room, said hello, and walked out. I married her six years later. The rest is… meant to be, confusing, fulfilling, frustrating, gratifying, reassuring, happy, sad, misunderstood, scary, incredible, indescribable, crazy, exciting, anxious, angry, painful, beautiful, sleepless, everlasting, unsure, wonderful, heart wrenching, heart pounding, heart felt,…
Thank you for 80’s movies and Pop Rocks. Thank you for the nineties so we could all un-peg our pants. Thank you for Mr. Pibb and his courage to be satisfied with a masters degree. Thank you for mullets because we like to laugh at pictures of ourselves posted on Facebook. Thank you for Facebook. Mark McDonough likes this. Thank you for love songs like Tesla’s Love Song cuz darlin’ we’ll find love again, I know. Thank you for peanut butter and the dogs that get it stuck in their teeth. Thank you for Hermione Granger because she’s the one that figured everything out in every Harry Potter book. Thank you for quiet moments interrupted by SBD’s because really they’re funnier than the unexpected loud ones, though maybe not as much as the ones that want to be SBD’s but get too excited at the very end and make that little put put sound. Thank you for chocolate bars melted in diapers at baby showers. That’s just weird and gross and hilarious all at the same time. Thank you for friends who’ve got your back, every time… even when you’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake on the ass and you need the poison sucked out. Thank you for cozy socks. Not because I wear them but because seeing my wife wear them makes me feel… well… cozier. Thanks for Mona Lisa’s smile. I think she’s smiling about the SBD she just let slip and everyone is about to catch wind of. Thank you for wind and not being able to see it, but to see its effects… kinda like you… Thanks for clearing up misunderstandings so that no mother is ever murdered by her child because said child is told by papa to go aks mama. Thank you for Lucky Charms. They truly are magically delicious, like when a mother takes a bite of strained peas and says to her infant child, “seee? mmmmm! yummy.” Thank you for do overs. You know how much we need them. Thanks for laughter. Thanks for second chances. And thirds. And um fourths. Thanks for unconditionally loving me. Thanks for being patient and kind and never failing me. The truth is, I could learn a lot from you.
Every once in a while a movie phrase pops in my head, or a song quote or even a joke and I do my best to filter it before it manifests itself in casual conversation… for example, when somebody gets up from a chair in the room or from the table in a meeting, I inevitably channel John Bender from Breakfast Club and have an almost touretic urge to cry out, “How come Andrew gets to get up! If he gets up, we’ll all get up, it’ll be anarchy!” Whoa to those at the table who don’t get my Breakfast Clubisms,
but I really can’t help it. I’ve been doing it since high school… just ask Andrew Alvarez from GHS. Alright, that may be a little vain on my part to think he would remember, but then again it’s been twenty years and I still can’t keep myself from doing it. Half the time I give in to the urge to call out. I succumb to my tics. The other half… the tics swell as though full of non-sequitor, type-A plasma drawn from the proverbial blood bank of movies, TV shows, and songs in my brain. And when they do burst it’s oh so satisfying, like a popped pimple that’s splattered across the freshly windexed mirror. Some are of course more satisfying than others. I list a few of my favorites down below. There is one, however that has never satisfied, and yet it pops in my head almost daily. It’s another John Hughes quote (man, the guy was a genius when it came to movies) and it’s again from Breakfast Club. I include it below for reference, but know this first. As I type out the quote, the sense of un-relief builds relentlessly, for you see, the quote is a joke told by Judd Nelson’s character John Bender as he crawls through the duct work of the ceiling to distract himself from the precarious situation he’s put himself in. He crashes through the ceiling before he ever gives the punchline:
John Bender: “Naked blonde walks into a bar, poodle under one arm, two foot salami under the other. Bar tender says, “I suppose you won’t be needing a drink.” Naked blonde says… ” ? ”
What does she say? What. Does. She. Say. For the love of God, John Hughes, please tell me what she says. I swore I would ask him one day, but then he died. Please tell me the hidden punchline didn’t die with him? I like to think that somebody out there knows how this joke finishes. I know there are a few out there who could finish it on their own and write in their own punchline. I beg you all. I implore you all to give me the answer or at least post a comment with an alternative. I like to think the Naked Blonde says, “Oh shit, I forgot my pencil.” Why, you ask? Because those are Bender’s next words in the movie so that’s all I’ve got to work with. Do you have better? Yes of course you do… please, tell me. But still, if no one dares to project their own quirky humor into a feasible punchline so that I might find some relief then I’ll just have to go to plan B which is to see Mr. Hughes when I die. Although even then, I picture him as difficult to get a hold of, so I’ll have to write him a letter asking for the punchline. His response will of course be written in a letter because I’ll have given him a SASE – Self Addressed Stamped Envelope – to ensure he doesn’t slight me ( I guess my version of heaven is wanting when it comes to accessibility to celebs) My favorite part will of course be the answer I’ve been waiting on for twenty years now. That wonderful and mysterious punchline. Because the truth is, we all need punchlines in life, no matter how long we have to wait for them. Life’s just too…
I forgot to mention, my second favorite part of Hughes letter will be when he signs it.
Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club.
A Few Favorite Quotes for casual conversation: Please share some of your own.
That kid’s getting on the escalator again! (MallRats)
Bird is the Word (song by Surfin Bird, Ornithological quote by Peter Griffin from Family Guy)
I am Gladiator (Gladiator)
Dishes are done! (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead)
Look at the brain on Brett! (Pulp Fiction)
Do you have any idea how disrespectful that is! (Weird Science)
Damn Gina! (Martin)
And the List (Beat) goes on Dahda Duhm Dah Duhm Dahda (Eminem, Lose Yourself)
Words and Music: A Little’s Enough.
But today it was Temple of the Dog and I was on a Hunger Strike. Oh yes. And I sounded good. Eddie Vedder good, and I don’t care what the carload next to me thought when I turned and saw them laughing during my Chris Cornell Falsetto… I looked them in the eyes and belted it out! “I’m going Hungryaaheeeyyyyyeeeahhhh!” Ok, maybe I’ll stick to the lower register from now on. But really it doesn’t matter how I sound, because in the car with the radio up, I always sound good. And so do you. And it’s in those moments that the lyrics have a tendency to sneak up on us and we suddenly hear them in a new way that is unexpected and it changes our perspective on the day, or on a person, a friend, a spouse, a child. Yeah. It’s happened to you. And today it happened to me too.
The Band: Angels and Airwaves.
The Song, “A Little’s Enough.”
The Lyrics: Sorry, I have to say it but you look like you’re sad, Your smile is gone; I noticed it bad, the cure is if you let in just a little more love, I promise you this; A little’s Enough
You see, the truth is, you’re gonna be in your car riding solo soon enough. And you’ll find a song that makes you think of someone or something that matters (because words and music do that), and when you do, you can keep the song and the emotion to yourself by locking it back up in the car or you can take it with you when you get out and remember that it’s not that much of a stretch to go from keeping it with you to sharing it. It’s just a question of who you share it with. And well, if you do share it, I promise you this, a little’s enough…
Tonight belonged to the Oscars and the NBA All Star game. The Artist won best picture and the West won by three with Durant winning MVP. Streep won best Actress and Bryant surpassed Jordan for most career points scored over thirteen All Star appearances. Wow, Meryl is a good actress. Wow, Kobe can play. Can you hear my sarcasm? Not to say that Streep isn’t arguably the best actress of all time or that Kobe isn’t possibly the greatest basketball player ever to play the game, but really, when I wake up tomorrow it won’t have made a difference in how my day plays out. Not this time. Not in a long time. How sad right? Because if it’s not movies and basketball or books and music or work and cooking shows… then what is it that keeps us caring? I say us, because we all get disenchanted. Don’t we? Is it just me? Why should we care so deeply about the moments in a film or the physical efforts of a game that happen in our absence, that are forgotten in spite of us being there to witness them? Why bother with the red carpet or the All Star weekend at all? Why should they matter in the least? My answer simply is because they foster moments of greatness and moments of greatness remind us of who we can be. Of who we want to be. And if in those moments we can catch a glimpse of what motivates us in our own lives then perhaps we just might have a better day tomorrow, with a better outlook. And every once in a while, don’t we need just that?