"I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle."

The husband tells me that my blog entries are too wordy . Evidently, he always has somewhere else he needs to be and in short order.

What, you got a date?

Just jesting. I know that right now you're downstiars wiping Princess Seconda's bottom, and then you're taking out the garbage.

In fact, many days my husband and I barely have time to say, "Your hat is on fire!" to each other. And so, to pack a lot of communication into a few words, we've taken to getting across what it is we want to say with sort of shorthand dialect of celluloid-speak. I'll explain.

You know how two hours worth of plot or character development or overriding theme from a particular movie can sometimes be distilled down to one pithy line of script? "Make my day", right? Well, instead of reciting cool lines from movies just to look cool by association or to impress friends with your uncanny ability to quote script ad infinitum and still actually maintain friendships, my husband and I have discovered a somewhat more practical use for all that practiced pithiness.

Par exemple...

In the course of our time-crunched day, one of us might toss out this line from Annie Hall:

"Yeah ... uh, now give me a like a medium-size chuckle here ... and then a big hand."

Which would translate to something like this: "Honey, I see that you're trying really hard to get my attention by pulling out all the "aren't I a gas" stops, but it's verging on obnoxious, and honestly, you're missing your marks and your comedic timing is off. I know you think I'm ignoring you, but I just need to focus on what I'm doing for ten minutes more and then you can have my ear, my eyes, my heart, my soul. But, until then, please stop. You're giving me a headache."

Of course, obnoxious is as obnoxious does. But I digress...

How about this one from Miller's Crossing:

"Jesus, Tom, I was just speculatin' about a hypothesis. I know I don't know nothin' ."

Translation: "Okay, okay! I was just trying to be helpful! You've been complaining about this weekend and the fact that you've overscheduled yourself...not that I'm saying you could help it, don't get me wrong, I know that you didn't have any choice in being at half...okay, okay, three-quarters...okay...fifteen-sixteenths of Saturday's entries on your PDA...okay? I'm not going to say anything else about it. I obviously don't know what I'm talking about. And more importantly, I don't want to get into an argument with you because then you'll get so pissed off that you will make me beg before you'll say yes when I ask whether I can go play baseball...next Saturday."

Or this one from Barton Fink:

"Wallace Beery. Wrestling picture. What do you need, a road map?"

Translation: "Dishes. Sink. What do you need, a road map?"

Okay, that last translation was actually shorter to say than the movie line, but not as whimsical.

Forget cool, we're more about whimsy at Chez Halushki.

So, how was that, Darling? Less verbose?

Oh wait, I mean...

"Give me my detonators."


Michael Plank said...

Hardly ever, maybe three times a week.

It's just W A C K Y around here, I tells ya.

Jeannine said...

Can I ask you something?

How do you fit that many words in one house?


I now really wish I liked movies at all or could tolerate them for more than fifteen seconds. Because then I could appreciate the reviews more completely. But for simple reading pleasure they are marvellous.

Back to you. My own favorite sweetened condensed communication also involves a motorcycle. It is "The clothes wouldn't fit anyway, dear,".

It is the punch line to a joke, which goes like this: Two engineers are talking and one says, "wow, what a great motorcycle, where did you get it?" The other one says "well, it was a really funny thing, this woman rode up on the bike and shook out her hair, ripped off her clothes and said 'take what you want'."

The other one says "Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit anyway,".

So anyway, that sentence means "God damn honey if you would please rejoin the human race for a moment and figure out that, while I might very well have said no to your boss' offer to take us to Cancun for two weeks for free, and I might very well have said that you should go without me, it is generally considered to be poor form to integrate all the available data, reach a conclusion and tell your boss that you will go and I will not without ever asking me one single time, I would surely appreciate it,".

This actually occurred once, but it involved Haiti and not Cancun.

In any event, since my own spouse agrees with me that engineers think as well as humans but not actually like them, this sentence saves a lot of time pretty often. Okay, he thinks they think better than humnans, but who asked him.

josetteplank.com said...


I honestly dodn't know how we fit so many words. I'm still trying to find out when my huband has the time to blog.

Lol...Thanks for sharing your punch line/comunication clip. That's pretty funny. Yes, definitley an engineer. I can think of at least one engineer I know who would have taken the bike and another who would have said "Attaboy."

But yeah...Cancun or Haiti...I can see where you might be tempted to give a little ping to the noggin'.


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