By Al Batt
“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man.”
The Dude said that in The Big Lebowski. I enjoy movies that make me laugh.
I was almost in a movie when I appeared with the famous producer, director and Opie, Ron Howard — or a guy who looked like him — in the same airport. And I sat next to a massive St. Bernard in a movie theater. What was the dog doing there? It had liked the book.
Quotes from films come in handy. If I get too busy, I repeat a line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I looked around from the sofa while thinking of Captain Spaulding’s words in Animal Crackers, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know,” when my wife spotted me. I listened better than either Dumb or Dumber who uttered this line from Dumb & Dumber, “Yeah, I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listenin’ to her enough, or somethin’. I don’t know, I wasn’t really payin’ attention.” I love and appreciate my bride. I need to tell her things like what Frank Drebin said in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! “Jane, since I’ve met you, I’ve noticed things that I never knew were there before … birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stoplights.”
My wife told me we were going on a grand adventure, otherwise known as going to town. Be still my heart. I jumped behind the wheel of the car and made motor sounds as I waited for her to make sure everything in the house was in her purse. I echoed Elwood from The Blues Brothers: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” His brother Jake added, “Hit it.”
My wife got into the car but needed to go back into the house because she’d forgotten her purse. We headed down the road as I quoted Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
It was time for my wife’s annual flu shot. I wanted to turn into the drive-through lane because it’d have been faster and I’d never seen anyone get a drive-through flu shot but she, lacking my sense of adventure, demurred. She insisted her vaccination would be over before I knew it.
I heard John Belushi’s ranting character from Animal House, “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”
As a sensitive and supportive husband, I regaled my spousal unit with an oft-told story of my grade school shot that involved a broken needle, screaming and a chase scene. I wanted her to be prepared, so I spared no details. In Naked Gun, I’d learned, “Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts.” I questioned the expertise of the woman who had administered that ancient inoculation. I added something from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “What makes you think she’s a witch?” “Well, she turned me into a newt!” “A newt?” “I got better.” The nurse had said something similar to Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan in Sudden Impact, “Go ahead, make my day.” Her attitude was described in Beetlejuice, “Don’t mind her. She’s still upset that somebody dropped a house on her sister.” I could have used an Airplane line, “Surely you can’t be serious.” To which the nurse should have replied, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”
Forrest Gump, in the movie bearing his name, said, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” That applies to husbands, too. My wife hurried off, saying “If I’m not back in five minutes, just wait longer,” from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
I mumbled an Oliver Hardy line from Sons of the Desert, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”
“There’s no place like home,” Dorothy had taught me in The Wizard of Oz. I wanted to go home, but I waited patiently. I would abide as the Dude did in The Big Lebowski.
But I kept an eye out for flying monkeys getting flu shots in the drive-through lane.