Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dr. Manhattan, Meet Ethel Merman

You know those really violent movies that involve so much brutality that it is a relief for there to be dialogue in between butcherings so that one can breathe a sigh of relief and loosen the white knuckle grip one has on the sticky movie chair arm rest? This was not that movie. This one had no rest between butcherings. It was dialogue dubbed over brutal chainsaw dismemberings - social commentary woven amidst the hacking of meat cleavers into brains and women being raped and/or shot in the face.

It was the first date they had had in a while.

He had assured her that it wouldn't be bad. "It might even be funny, " he said. "Not at all like Sin City or Kill Bill- much less violent. Trust me."

She had finally found her voice after sitting through such heinous atrocity, and was trying to decide how sincere he was in his repeated, pleading apologies. "I'm so sorry," he whispered scene after scene, "I promise I didn't know." And then after, "Let's go somewhere nice - anywhere you want - have some wine and something lovely. We can hang out.. talk."

She said, " but you said.." and then repeated the "it might even be funny" part of his speech.

"I didn't know."

That's the reason why it was ridiculously funny for them to be eating in the restaurant they were in - classy and expensive as seen in the absurdly large wine glasses that held splashes of twenty dollars-a-sip Cabernets. "Look for the legs," they were taught, "after you smell the cork, swirl the glass, and inhale the aromas." She knew that they were out of place. They weren't like these patrons. They weren't dressed up enough, plus they were still covered in the filth of the movie. She imagined that everyone who looked in their direction knew this about them as they were being paraded to their table in the back of the restaurant.

He tried to ease the moment by ordering wine and sitting on her side of the table with her. She tried to be rational - it was a good movie overall, just little too much violence. Yes. Focus on the message.. um.. that humanity will eventually fail, even if people are willing to sacrifice a few (millions) for the many (billions). Or maybe the message was that good guys are actually warped, desperate people who can only play at being good.. What was the point in good guys existing? This wasn't going well.

He interrupted her train of thought.

"So, I know you think there isn't just one soul mate for each person, because what if that person is in Bangladesh and you are here and you never meet," he said. "You think you could probably make it work with lots of people. Right?"

"Yeah, I guess," she said, curious. Her attention turned to making a list of people she knew with whom she might have "made it work".

"I think I was Ethel Merman in a previous life, although it wouldn't have been a previous life because she was living at the same time as me. Do you think you could be married to Ethel Merman?" He then broken into a much too perfect chorus - "Everything's coming up roses.."

She smiled, in spite of herself.

"There it is," he said, referring to her smile. "You're going to write about this, aren't you?"

"Probably,"she acknowledged, though she hadn't really processed the moment fully.

"Damn. I wish I had picked to be the reincarnation of someone who had a penis, then." He smirked at her and then hugged her. "I really am sorry."

"It's OK," she said. "Don't worry about it, Ethel."

6 comments:

Kathy B! said...

I love how you write.

And I love that he tried to make up for the movie catastrophe with dinner. And Ethel Merman? All is forgiven :)

Bonnie said...

Wonderful piece. I'll be singing the "roses" song all day now thanks to you :)

Amy said...

WIshing you a great day. I really do not know what to say about this post. Just happy you wrote it and got to come by and say Hi.

Pete the Brit said...

Oh to hear that perfect Ethel Merman impression :)

rich said...

Chainsaw? There was no chainsaw. Cleavers, rape, sure - but there was no chainsaw. It was a circular saw employed to chop the guy’s hands off.

But it was a great movie… It was. Sadly, I was warned about the sex, but no one mentioned the violence (typical American sensibility). In the comic, the worst bits were alluded to in a single panel or two, but in the film it was all right there in living color. It was not as gross as Kill Bill, but it was not campy - at all.

And as I recall, it was you who brought up the topic of soul mates. Possibly while contemplating the wisdom of your current relationship choices.
Lastly, I must say the Ethel Impersonation was far from perfect.

Christine said...

This + Rich's comment = laugh-out-loud funny. I love you guys.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dr. Manhattan, Meet Ethel Merman

You know those really violent movies that involve so much brutality that it is a relief for there to be dialogue in between butcherings so that one can breathe a sigh of relief and loosen the white knuckle grip one has on the sticky movie chair arm rest? This was not that movie. This one had no rest between butcherings. It was dialogue dubbed over brutal chainsaw dismemberings - social commentary woven amidst the hacking of meat cleavers into brains and women being raped and/or shot in the face.

It was the first date they had had in a while.

He had assured her that it wouldn't be bad. "It might even be funny, " he said. "Not at all like Sin City or Kill Bill- much less violent. Trust me."

She had finally found her voice after sitting through such heinous atrocity, and was trying to decide how sincere he was in his repeated, pleading apologies. "I'm so sorry," he whispered scene after scene, "I promise I didn't know." And then after, "Let's go somewhere nice - anywhere you want - have some wine and something lovely. We can hang out.. talk."

She said, " but you said.." and then repeated the "it might even be funny" part of his speech.

"I didn't know."

That's the reason why it was ridiculously funny for them to be eating in the restaurant they were in - classy and expensive as seen in the absurdly large wine glasses that held splashes of twenty dollars-a-sip Cabernets. "Look for the legs," they were taught, "after you smell the cork, swirl the glass, and inhale the aromas." She knew that they were out of place. They weren't like these patrons. They weren't dressed up enough, plus they were still covered in the filth of the movie. She imagined that everyone who looked in their direction knew this about them as they were being paraded to their table in the back of the restaurant.

He tried to ease the moment by ordering wine and sitting on her side of the table with her. She tried to be rational - it was a good movie overall, just little too much violence. Yes. Focus on the message.. um.. that humanity will eventually fail, even if people are willing to sacrifice a few (millions) for the many (billions). Or maybe the message was that good guys are actually warped, desperate people who can only play at being good.. What was the point in good guys existing? This wasn't going well.

He interrupted her train of thought.

"So, I know you think there isn't just one soul mate for each person, because what if that person is in Bangladesh and you are here and you never meet," he said. "You think you could probably make it work with lots of people. Right?"

"Yeah, I guess," she said, curious. Her attention turned to making a list of people she knew with whom she might have "made it work".

"I think I was Ethel Merman in a previous life, although it wouldn't have been a previous life because she was living at the same time as me. Do you think you could be married to Ethel Merman?" He then broken into a much too perfect chorus - "Everything's coming up roses.."

She smiled, in spite of herself.

"There it is," he said, referring to her smile. "You're going to write about this, aren't you?"

"Probably,"she acknowledged, though she hadn't really processed the moment fully.

"Damn. I wish I had picked to be the reincarnation of someone who had a penis, then." He smirked at her and then hugged her. "I really am sorry."

"It's OK," she said. "Don't worry about it, Ethel."

6 comments:

Kathy B! said...

I love how you write.

And I love that he tried to make up for the movie catastrophe with dinner. And Ethel Merman? All is forgiven :)

Bonnie said...

Wonderful piece. I'll be singing the "roses" song all day now thanks to you :)

Amy said...

WIshing you a great day. I really do not know what to say about this post. Just happy you wrote it and got to come by and say Hi.

Pete the Brit said...

Oh to hear that perfect Ethel Merman impression :)

rich said...

Chainsaw? There was no chainsaw. Cleavers, rape, sure - but there was no chainsaw. It was a circular saw employed to chop the guy’s hands off.

But it was a great movie… It was. Sadly, I was warned about the sex, but no one mentioned the violence (typical American sensibility). In the comic, the worst bits were alluded to in a single panel or two, but in the film it was all right there in living color. It was not as gross as Kill Bill, but it was not campy - at all.

And as I recall, it was you who brought up the topic of soul mates. Possibly while contemplating the wisdom of your current relationship choices.
Lastly, I must say the Ethel Impersonation was far from perfect.

Christine said...

This + Rich's comment = laugh-out-loud funny. I love you guys.