Sergeant: “Texas?! There are only two types from Texas, boy, steers and queers. Which are you?”
Private Joker: “Queer.”
Sergeant: “All right then.”
Professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy piper came to my high school to speak to my world problems class. He gave a long blustering right wing tirade.
He was there to talk about his expertise vis-a-vis violence in society. He did not come in his work clothes but dressed in jeans and a dress-shirt. On the wall was a signed photo of the teacher’s hero: Ronald Reagan.
He did bring his rasslin’ bluster, somewhat toned down, as he launched into a tirade about how society was too lenient on youth and other crimes. As he worked himself into a boil he finally reached his crescendo with a statement that people should be beaten and shot for petty crimes and hijinks. The room laughed at him. He was taken aback and growled, “You laugh because none of you have ever been shot!” And the laughter exploded. You could barely hear him protest, “If any of you had ever been shot you wouldn’t be laughing.” He had the room rolling in the aisles.
In the center of the room, laughing, was a guy in a leg cast. He had been shot.
After Piper left, the teacher, a friend of Piper, gave a long blustering speech about how we were mean to Rowdy Roddy Piper.
I know what you’re saying. Roddy Piper died today. This is a terrible memorial. But I enjoyed the film They Live; just not as much as Hell Comes to Frogtown.
Once I was at a theater as a zombie movie was letting out and I overheard a serious looking man in a suit say to his partner while exiting, “Highly improbable.”
Everyone’s a critic.
John Cleese says the best joke he ever wrote was inadvertently cut out of the film Life of Brian due to “camera angles.”
In the film Cleese’s character says, “There are two things you have to know about the meaning of life. The first is that people are not wearing enough hats. The second is that there are several paths to enlightenment but they all involve a lot of work, time, and concentration. Unfortunately people get bogged down by things that don’t really matter and concentrate on them above all else.”
At this point one of the listeners says, “Wait… What was that thing again about the hats?”
Jodi: Sometimes your facial expressions don’t match the situation. At all.
Me: Oh, no, they are always correct expressions. We are just out-of-sync.
Seeing a movie at the Capitol theater a week or so ago. The movie starts. WB logo comes on screen. A woman’s voice says, “LOGO, CENTER SCREEN.” It is a strange choice, I think, esthetically. The voice reads the text appearing on screen. “In space, survival is impossible.”
The voice starts to describe the action on screen. People float in space. One dances to music. One is frustrated. I am pleased the voice will be explaining facial expressions as we go.
The film stops cold. The blackness of space is replaced with the blackness of nothing. Two completely different blacknesses.
Someone says, “They are fixing the sound. It was playing the soundtrack for the visually impaired headsets.”
The film begins again at the beginning.
I watch the film regretting what could have been. As the film passed the previous stopping point I am left to wonder what the narrator would say. Probably information to enrich my moviegoing experience. In space narration is possible, but optional and limited.
By the way, I prefer the version of Charles Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” that he re-released after sound came in. Chaplin narrates the silent film all the way through. Critics revile this version. I love it.
AKA: The Disquieting.
A few years old but never before released. Read just after the writing at a small gathering on Halloween. This story will be in my upcoming book of shorts “Tragic Stories Disguised as Jokes.”
I cannot recommend to you highly enough the film Rubber. The world does not have enough metafictional absurdist films about tyres. Not nearly enough.
Rubber is a film about a tyre named Robert who rolls around making things explode while an audience watches. I need tell you no more of this story. That should be enough to pique your interest. If it isn’t, then this is not the film for you.