When I left for work today, our weather station was showing an outside temperature of 66.6 f – perhaps not the best time to head out into traffic. Then again, Hell hath no fury like New England drivers on a Monday morning, so I took my chances. Hang onto that last phrase, it’s going to be important.
I was planning to write about the ways in which some companies seem to ignore technology, even the technology that they sell, in order to frustrate their customers. It’s a good topic. I have several real examples which are on-point. I have a draft of that, but I’m not sure enough time has passed since my last technical post. So then I decided to write about how summer is coming to a close: 66.6f, the last week of “wear jeans this summer” at work, back to school shopping and the neighbor’s tree is starting to turn. That tree is always the first to go. I wasn’t sure. Maybe it’s too early to be emotional about the changing seasons.
On the way into work, the guy on the radio said “blah blah blah, foggy start, blah blah a high of 90 degrees today, blah blah.” 90. That’s still summer. Somewhere in the next few minutes, a voice in a commercial said that some blah-blah-business was walking distance from some blah-blah-well-known-place. Shortly after that, I was getting off Route 2 in Glastonbury, CT at the Maple Street exit, and I couldn’t help but think of “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” and “Walking Distance,” two of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes.
Since it’s still summer, let’s talk about words, phrases and scenes that spike our memory back to a particular scene in a movie or TV show, or a song.
That does happen to you, doesn’t it?
Come on, it can’t just be me.
The above mentioned “I’ll take my chances” for example, is forever glued in my head to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s campy song by the same name where she pushes back at fate. I don’t know why these connections are there, it just works that way. I can be in a serious as heck business meeting but if someone says something about “taking chances” Mary is playing in my head.
Other associations I am quick to make include:
“Sorry” – not “I’m sorry” or “Sorry, I…” – just “Sorry” – short and cynical, the way John Belushi’s character Bluto said it in Animal House after smashing the folk singer’s guitar. Say it like that and I’m watching that scene in my mind.
“Put your hand down” – Actually, I haven’t heard this very often since graduating from high school, but I was stuck in my dentist’s office last week when Judge Judy was on and she says that a lot. The link probably won’t last long (they keep taking it down for copyright issues) but if I hear that, or even “you’re sure?” I am reminded of team meeting scene from “Remember the Titans”
“Fine” – By itself, “fine” might bring back a teenage daughter moment, but two other variants take me to the movies. “It’s fine” will put me at the bottom of the escalator in RED when Helen Mirren’s character Victoria responds to the Secret Service agent who tells her she can’t come down. She says “Oh it’s fine, it’s fine” and then she renders him unconscious.
The other variation is “That’ll be fine” or anything close, which instantly puts me at the table with Jake and Elwood when Jake is ordering Champagne in the upper-crusty Chez Paul restaurant as they are trying to recruit Mr. Fabulous back into The Blues Brothers.
The end of summer does bring one of these associations to mind. Here on the east coast, the forecast often includes a reference to a hurricane and that puts the Alman Brothers playing in my head. The song is “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” and it’s a very uplifting tribute to a couple of band members who died. A very good friend of mine used to like the line about “hurricanes – Runnin’ after subway trains” but I like the verse being sung to Miss Sally the best:
“Lord, lord Miss Sally, why all your cryin’?
Been around here three long days, you’re lookin’ like you’re dyin’.
Just step yourself outside, and look up at the stars above
Go on downtown baby, find somebody to love.”
I can’t help but associate that verse with the south where people are able to move sentence parts around with impunity. I studied German in school and I imagine that: “step yourself outside” would send a German speaker (who normally see the verb at the end of a sentence) into spasms, and it makes me smile.
That’s what it’s all about, right? Finding a way to smile as August slides into September and we all start getting serious again. Do you have words or phrases that send you into a movie scene or start a tune playing in your head? Tell me about them.