I was at a hip trendy salon the other day to get my hair blown out before my Thirtyfive-ish birthday dinner. While talking with the owner and the receptionist, I sarcastically mentioned that I had a plethora of something or other, and the owner Chris said, “Plethora is such a funny word; it always reminds me of…”
Cue me interrupting, as I knew where he was going; “’Three Amigos?’” I interjected, and before he could answer, I continued in my best dirty Mexican accent, “Would you say we have a plethora of piñatas?” “Oh, jes jes, El Guapo, we have a plethora of piñatas.”
You, the reader, may in fact have no clue of what I speak, though if you do… you’ll enjoy where this goes. You see, in the good ol’ days this was how “Generation X” conversed with, and sized one another up. Like many a Gen X’er, quoting movies was my language and my way of knowing whether you were worth my time. What once had the “Something about Mary” effect for me, now made me feel more like Magda. You know, Mary’s old, haggard neighbor. Ugh, the thought of being either of those adjectives gives me agita. Great, now I’m using terms like agita. My prophecy is self fulfilling!
Chris: “I’ve never seen ‘The Three Amigos.’ I was thinking it sounded British, like Monty Python and what’s that movie called? Oh right, ‘The Holy Grail.’”
Wait, is this an opening? Can I regain my cool here? Sure I can. This time in my best Cockney falsetto (cause that’s always cool) “Doctor, is it a boy or a girl?” and in a proper British accent I answered myself, “I think it’s a bit early to start imposing roles on it, don’t you?”
Cue the look of utter bewilderment on the face’s of both Chris and the cute little receptionist who should be in school.
Me: “You know, ‘The Meaning of Life?’”
Chris: “No sorry, I’ve only seen the ‘Holy Grail.’ Isn’t that what most people quote anyway?”
Me: “Yeah, probably but that’s so cliché. Quoting the ‘Grail’ is like playing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the guitar.”
Chris: “Right?” He said in an attempt to end this awkward conversation with the senile old lady.
But I wasn’t having it. Nooo, I was determined to relate to him or make an ass of myself trying. “The key is for the quotes to be a little obscure. I mean, how else would you know you’re talking to someone on your level of humor and wit?” I explained.
And then it dawned on me: Holy crap, I’m not only old; I’m the biggest geek EVER!
Before my brain was able to fully process this fact, I continued, queerly trying to relate to someone 15 years my junior. Well, I know he likes ‘Linkin Park’ and metal bands, so maybe ‘Spinal Tap,’ the best rock mockumentary ever, could redeem me… it redeemed Lenny, you know, of Lenny and Squiggy?
Me: “You probably love ‘Spinal Tap,’”
Chris: “I don’t listen to them, but I really like Metallica” he replied, trying to relate by mentioning a group from my era.
What? You think ‘Spinal Tap’ is a band? In some kind of Tourette’s reaction, I began uncontrollably spitting out lines thinking something would surely ring a bell. It had the same effect as someone talking louder to a person who doesn’t speak English. “These go to 11.” “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” “You can’t dust for vomit.” NOTHING? “Come on…Caddy Shack, Fletch, Airplane, Hot Shots? Anyone, anything…Bueller?”
Chris: (Realizing this conversation would not end until we found common ground) “I liked ‘The Naked Gun.’”
YES, ha ha ha I’ve won! I’ve broken through.
Me: “Nice beaver.” “Thanks I just had it stuffed.” Oh, g-d I can’t stop.
Chris: “Yeah, don’t know that particular line. I have ‘The Naked Gun 33 and a Third.’”
Seeing the defeat on my face, the receptionist awkwardly popped in for the first time, “I think I saw ‘Airplane’ once.”
Me: “Surely you can’t be serious???” That was just to make myself chuckle. I wasn’t expecting the banterish response any Gen X’er, like me would give.
Receptionist: “No really, but but, I uh, don’t remember if it was 1 or 2,” she answered, letting the perfect opportunity to play along pass her by.
I also noticed that she actually stuttered her words. Oh crap, I’m scaring her.
Me: “Nervous?” “First time?” “No, I’ve been nervous lots of times,” I blurted out.
I regained my composure long enough to continue, “Wellllll, was it 1 or 2, they’re totally different? The original is like, a classic!”
Then I lost my composure and went on without breath “It’s like a big Tylenol with wings.” “I can make a hat… a broach… a pterodactyl.” “I take my coffee black, like my men.” “Oh stewardess, I speak Jive” “That’s funny, he never asks for a second cup at home.” “A hospital – what is it?” “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now!” “Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.” As I was escorted from the salon/spa, whose atmosphere I had completely un-zenned, I did my best Ethel Merman until I passed out!
Yep, I’m an old geek who’s got no game… and I’ll never get over Macho Grande.
Spill, did you ever quote movies to seem cooler? I won’t tell. In fact, I may call you up. Oh, and if so what’s your favorite quote of all time?