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Well, Hit Me with an Anvil–It’s Contest Time Again

25 Jun

by Roger White

 

OK, OK, you don’t have to klonk the Spouseman over the head with an anvil. Speaking of, you don’t see too many anvils these days, do you? Think about it. When, in your daily comings and goings, have you come across a nice, sturdy yet aesthetically pleasing anvil recently? Critics of modern society may hold forth about how the increasingly technological, service-oriented nature of our economy today has killed such former life staples as record albums, newspapers, actual books, travel agencies, home phones, and the pleasure of becoming permanently out of touch with that behold the anvilglommy high school friend, but I say a true death knell for the world that was is the marked lack of anvils. There was once a time when every decent home needed a good anvil. Nowadays, I’ll bet you can go a whole year without even saying the word “anvil.” And this is so because we simply don’t make things anymore. We tweet. We blog. We text. We don’t plow and dig and forge things. Today’s kids may not even understand the term.

 

Old guy: “I need me a good anvil.”

 

Young guy: “What’s that? An Advil? Got a headache?”

 

Having said all that, however, I did find a reputable anvil supply house—on the internet, ironically enough. For all of your anvil needs, visit www.anvils4sale.com. A classic, German double-horn anvil will set you back about $2,700, but if you’re not fussy, you can land a decent, used church window anvil for right around a thousand bucks. I’m not exactly sure what a church window anvil is, but it sounds righteous.

 

I’ve been told by more than one Spouse reader that I tend to ramble. This may be true. Let me just say the word “anvil” one more time, and we can get to the meat of this column: Anvil. OK, I’m good.

 rambler guy

So, anyway, the whole reason I didn’t want to be klonked with a church window anvil is because you guys have been clamoring for another contest—namely the Movie Mashup. In retrospect, I realize it’s been since last December since we mashed up some good movies, so here we go. Father John Connor, you’re now eligible to participate again. And thanks for the rosary beads.

 

If you recall, what we have here, fellow catnip cosmonauts, is a collection of famous lines from movies. However, quotes from two different movies have been squished together to make one line. Here’s a for instance: “What we got here is failure to phone home.” This is, quite obviously, a collision of “Cool Hand Luke” and “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.” Get it? No? Okay, here’s another one: “My precious goes all the way to eleven.” That’s a combo platter of “Lord of the Rings” and “This is Spinal Tap.” Or as I call it, “Lord of the Spinal Rings.”

 

So. Below (or above if you’re reading this upside down) are 10 Movie Mashups. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to tell moi what two movies got cozy and had relations to make the mixed-up quote. The first 18,427 people to respond with any cinderfella storysemblance of an answer win a genuine “Jesus is Coming, Hide the Bong” bumper sticker. If you get pulled over by the cops for displaying said bumper sticker, I will not be held accountable. E-mail moi at rogdude@mail.com with your best guesses. Void in Maine, Oshkosh, and in that little gin joint over by 5th Street. Ready? Set? Bang.

 

  1. “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been Mister Tibbs.”
  2. “Love means never having to round up the usual suspects.”
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger damn dirty ape!”
  4. “Attica! Attica! Toga! Toga!”
  5. “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become a martini. Shaken, not stirred.”
  6. “Say hello to my little wire hangers.”
  7. “Shane, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”
  8. “As God as my witness, I’ll never see dead people again.”
  9. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets a box of chocolates.”
  10. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice elephant in my pajamas.”

BONUS: “I’m gonna get medieval on your pod bay doors, HAL.”

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

 

‘To Sir, With Desire’ or ‘A Streetcar Named Love’

4 Dec

by Roger White  

 

I can’t tell you how outrageously enthusiastic the response was from Spouseman’s latest reader contest. Actually, I can tell you, but I won’t. And you can’t make me. I will tell you, however, that Father John Connor won going away. That’s really his name. I’m not sure if Father John Connor is actually a man of the cloth of some kind or just a really proud papa, but Father John, if you’re out there, here’s to a job well done. If you had Help From Above, I don’t want to know about it.

 

Now, whether Father John enjoyed the bumper sticker I sent him for winning the contest is a whole other matter. The bumper sticker, a life-size replica of which will be awarded for this contest, reads as follows: “Jesus is Coming. Hide the Bong.”

 

Anyway. You guys seemed to get a kick out of the Movie Mashup Contest, so I figured (1) in the interest of satisfying my rabid readers and (2) since I can’t think of anything daggers daggers daggersremotely humorous this week other than poking fun at the comically menacing faces John Boehner makes at President Obama when Obama’s not looking, I will present to you Movie Mashup II 3/8ths!

 

What we have here, fellow catnip cosmonauts, is a collection of famous lines from movies—however, quotes from two different movies have been squished together to make one line. Here’s a for instance: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in the Matrix anymore.” This is, quite obviously, a collision of “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Matrix.” Get it, man? No? Okay, here’s another one: “My precious goes all the way to eleven.” That’s a combo platter of “Lord of the Rings” and “This is Spinal Tap.” Or as I call it, “Lord of the Spinal Rings.”

 

So. Below (or above if you’re reading this upside down) are 20 Movie Mashups. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to tell moi what two movies got cozy and had relations to make the mixed-up quote. The first 18,427 people to respond with any semblance of an Honestly, Georgeanswer win a JICHTB bumper sticker. If you get pulled over by the cops for displaying said bumper sticker, I will not be held accountable. E-mail moi at rogdude@mail.com with your best guesses. And your PayPal account number. Void in Nebraska, Terre Haute, and in that little gin joint over by 5th Street.

 

Here goes:

1. “I’ll get you, my pretty. And your little dog, Gipper, too.”

2. “Hasta la vista, Adrian.”

3. “I feel the need—the need to put Baby in a corner.”

4. “Houston, we have a box of chocolates.”

5. “If you build it, he will phone home.”

6. “What we got here is failure to make my day.”

7. “You can’t handle the napalm!”

8. “They call me Mister Rosebud!”

9. “I’m going to make him fava beans and a nice Chianti he can’t refuse.”

coulda been a contendah10. “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been Stella. Hey, Stella!”

11. “We’ll always have an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”

12. “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I see dead people? Well, do ya, punk?”

13. “Either get busy living or get busy trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”

14. “There’s no crying in hakuna matata.”

15. “Greed, for lack of a better word, is shaken, not stirred.”

16. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to need a bigger boat!”

17. “Dammit, Jim, I’m a country doctor, not on a mission from God.”

18. “Hoo-ah! Schwing!”

19. “Is it safe, Bueller?”

20. “What is your major malfunction, Scarlett?”

BONUS: “Earn this, McClane.”

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

An Insider’s Peek at Hollywood, Part II

26 Mar

by Roger White

I suppose I had my one real insider’s look at how Hollywood works some years ago, when I attended a screenwriters’ session on how to “pitch ideas” to producers during an Austin Film Festival annual gathering of would-be writers.

A panel of so-called idea people (a Hollywood oxymoron if I ever heard one) sat at a table and critiqued writers’ script ideas, based on approximately 30 seconds of monologue. If writers didn’t have what the idea people called a high-concept proposal, if writers paused for a breath, if writers tried to explain a complex plot turn, they were toast.

The guy who won the pitch contest did so with the following idea, I kid you not:

“So you’re walking along the street, a nice sunny day, and suddenly everything goes blank. Then you’re like HOLY F@#K!! WHERE AM I?!”

“Ooh,” said the idea people. “Nice.”

Cursing and yelling seemed to be high on their list. “High concept,” to these folks, who I must say all looked to be about 25 to 28 years old, meant explosions, gruesome terror, betrayal, deadly animals, killer robots, slasher horror, or Brad Pitt. This particular pitch session occurred as the movie “Snakes on a Plane” was in production. One of the idea people could hardly contain himself as he explained what a fantastic high-concept film this was going to be—a classic in the making.

“Imagine it,” he gushed. “Snakes set loose on a plane! Don’t you see? There’s no way off of a plane. And all these snakes are slithering all over the place!”

I sat and wondered how this expert panel would have rated the opening scene to the 1951 epic “A Place in the Sun,” in which Montgomery Clift is quietly thumbing for a ride along a lonely stretch of road. It was then and there I realized I would never be a Hollywood screenwriter. No, not sour grapes. I’m just not young and stupid enough.

Am I alone here? With very few notable exceptions, this is the state of film-making today. If it bites, blows up, bleeds, beheads people, or is Brad, it’s got a green light. If we run out of ideas, we do it all over again as a sequel.

Even my kids, teenage movie buffs both of them, understand by now the banal, bottom-line instincts of your basic Hollywood producer. Both my daughters are big “Twilight Saga” fans, but even they balked at the notion of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Wind—Part II.”

Did I say “Wind”? I meant “Dawn,” of course. This latest gem, which opens in November, is a part two within a multi-part series of movies, mind you, all of which are looking more and more like the same vampire movie with simply fresh blood and longer fangs.

This got me thinking again. What if the great citizenry—that’s us—rose up and dictated to Hollywood: No More Sequels! I know, I know what you’re going to say, what about “Godfather II”? Simple, this is the exception that proves the rule. Just about every other sequel I can think of never should have seen the light of day. Here are just a few: “Basic Instinct 2,” “Caddyshack II,” “Grease 2,” “Jaws: The Revenge,” “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” “Dumb and Dumberer,” “Blues Brothers 2000.” The list is damn near eternal.

I shudder to think of the results if such movie-making titans as director Stuart Rosenberg (“Cool Hand Luke”) or Robert Mulligan (“To Kill a Mockingbird”) had been under similar pressure to squeeze out sequels. Oh, the horror.

Come to think of it, there’s no time limit on butchering classics. They have a new “Three Stooges” now, for crying out loud. So, as much as it strikes terror in my heart, you might look for these titles soon at a theater near you:

• “Cooler Hand Luke: Revenge of Them Damned Eggs”

• “To Sir With Even More Love”

• “Citizen Kane II: Rosebud Returns”

• “The Ten Commandments II: God’s Revisions”

• “Real Gone with the Wind”

• “Bonnie and Clyde Part 2: They Were Only Flesh Wounds”

• “The Post-Graduate: Revenge of the Robinsons”

• “Mockingbird II: Rise of Boo Radley”

• “Dueling Wizards of Oz: I’ll Witch-Slap You”

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

Follow the Tunisian Parakeet

16 Jan

by Hashiell Dammett 

 

In 1539, the Knights Templar of Tunisia paid tribute to Charles VI of Portugal by sending him a Copper Parakeet encrusted from beak to claw with the rarest of jewels; but pirates seized the galley carrying this priceless token, and the fate of the Tunisian Parakeet has remained a mystery to this day.

OK, Spade. You know what to do now. It’s all up to you. Mrs. Wonderly claimed not to know Mr. Cairo, but you know better, don’t you? Hurry before it’s too late.

You take all your men, go around the cliff to see Maria. She’ll give you a bag. (DON’T OPEN THE BAG, SPADE!) Carry it as if you couldn’t care less, but don’t let it out of your sight. Maria will give you the sign when it’s time to rendezvous with Count Umlauf atop the cliff face. It’s a narrow passage–one man a time, and slowly!

When Count Umlauf allows you to light his cigarette, make sure he sees you with the bag. Don’t dally there; you needn’t give Umlauf more than this. He should head to the old church when he knows you and the bag are secure. When you see the Count go inside the old church, tell one of your men to give Maria the green-light signal. Then, leave two men atop the cliff as a scout and a decoy. Take the rest of the men and proceed to Café Carismo’s, where a man in an off-yellow pantsuit will hand you a key in exchange for the bag you got from Maria.

Take the key, swallow it. Then have dinner with your men on the back patio. Some of the men will want to dance to the salsa playing downstairs, and that’s OK; just remember to warn them about the beggars in the kitchen. About an hour or so after you’ve digested the key, you’ll feel the need to go. When you do, take the back stairs down the employees’ hallway to the men’s john. You’ll see it on the left near the portrait of Emperor Hirohito.

Once you’ve excreted the key, you’ll notice that your body fluids have engaged a biochemical reaction on the key’s surface. Keep watching the key!! And don’t make any noise!! They’ll be looking for you by now.

When you see the three-digit code appear on the key, wipe off the key, pocket the key and return to your table nonchalantly. FOR GOD’S SAKE, MAN, WHATEVER YOU DO, REMEMBER THE THREE-DIGIT CODE!!  Even I don’t know what it is.

Now. By now your men will be wondering what the hell’s going on. Tell them the invasion is off, and that Plan DV 1 is now in effect. They’ll begin smelling the odor on your person because of the key and become suspicious, but this is all right. Your men were expendable, remember? Tell them to take Arturo and proceed across the harbor to the warehouse near the docks. I know, I know that you trained them all, Spade. I know you became like family. But we had a job to do, remember? Snap out of it, man. Just know that they died believing in the cause.

When you see the three-masted schooner set off a flare at the deep quays of the harbor, you’ll know that they’re all dead. Only after that will it be safe to use the code. By the time you pull up to Sardi’s, Samantha should be waiting for you. You remember her, don’t you? Settle, settle down, boy. You’re a married man now. Those days are gone. We were lions, weren’t we? Funny the CIA never knew, but they’re idiots anyway, aren’t they?

This is no time for sentimentality, Spade. You know what’s at stake by now. Samantha will take you up to the bar, and that’s where you’ll find Angela and the Chinese twins. God, I hate dealing with those fools, but this was the ONLY way. Believe me. You’ll have to small-talk and schmooze for half the goddamn night, but keep your cool. When the night’s winding down and the twins have gone back to the casino as they always do, that will be the golden moment, Spade old bean, old horse pill.

Angela will ask you if you remember Morocco. You may or may not remember, but just play along. God, Morocco. Remember Panzi and Vic and that weird sidewalk artist or whatever she was? You were a wild man, Spade. I didn’t know you could do that with your genitals. Christ, man. Ah, hell, all water under the bridge, right? Anyway, when Angela mentions Morocco, this will be your cue to give her the three-digit code.

Just remember, Spade, she’s vulnerable. I don’t think you really loved her then, but, God, Angie thinks the world of you, so if you’re gonna be a player with her, then for God’s sake, be sweet. Anyway, when you give her the code, she’ll tell you what night Mr. Cairo plays poker. That’s when we will find the Tunisian Parakeet. Keep your wits about you, Spade. That, and your .44, are all you have now. I would say good luck and Godspeed, but I know you don’t believe in that stuff.

Go on. Get outta here. If everything hasn’t gone completely to hell, we should see each other again in Caracas, come spring. You do need a shave. Keep your powder dry, old friend.

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.