Read about the misadventures of a sped high school teacher in Savannah, GA as he sails through the exciting seas of committment, marriage with step-kids, some tour guiding while he attempts to break into the world of professional storytelling and the occasional act of piracy.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Marty McFly, Catch Phrases, and Just a Little Bit of Shock and Awe
I think it’s funny how every group comes with its own set
of in jokes and references. Mary and I have often joked about writing the
Richardson Family Book of In-Jokes which would include words and phrases such
as Mug Wump, Cherry Cheeks, Choo-Choo-Wah-Wah, and hour three (which I have
already written about).
As I settle into a daily routine of a house with a wife,
two kids, and dogs, I am noticing our own jokes begin and in-references are
growing. Jude has way too many to share but I’ll settle with his famous, “Waka,
Waka!” he does in a little kid’s voice. Veronica has created her own catch
phrase, “Oink!” When Kim screws something up she does this adorable
impersonation of the John Hughes movie, Dennis
the Menace. “I made a mistake?”
Being one of those people who constantly quote pop
culture, I probably have way too many but for today’s blog; I bring up the
Summer of Kim. Last summer, we had what is referred to as the Summer of Robby.
It is a phrase borrowed from Seinfeld’s
Summer of George. (YouTube, it) Basically, it means I had an amazing summer. Because
this summer is proving to be even better, we have continued the joke to become
the Summer of Kim. It basically means we are sitting by the pool with hand
muddled mojitos and enjoying life as the kids splash themselves to an early
So far Kim and have had out honeymoon where we travelled
around the world. Ok, we went to Epcot but we did try to drink our way around
the world. Unfortunately, approaching middle age and the fact we have become
light weights allowed us to make it as far as Germany before giving up. Good
thing too because I have heard stories about the margaritas over in Mexico that
were fast approaching.
A quiet moment in a Italian Cafe.
Now that we are back home with the kids, the Summer of
Kim is in full swing. The house is almost unpacked, the kids are happy in their
new rooms and the dogs are contributing by digging up the back yard to help rid
me of my unknown mole problem. Life is actually pretty good.
We have been watching movies almost every night before
bed. Kim and I have started a project to help round the children. We believe
it’s not only important to add culture to Roni and Jude’s life but also to make
sure there is a proper amount of pop culture too.
We began the lessons with Back to the Future. We assumed the kids would love it as much as we
did. Heck, BTTF holds a special place
in my heart because it was the first movie I went out on a car date with.
Imagine my surprise when my sidekick was not amused by the adventures of Marty
Mc Fly. Jude was unimpressed and even wanted to stop the movie about 30 minutes
“What’s the matter?” I asked Jude.
“Marty McFly is a jerk.” Jude said plainly.
I am very confused. Michael J. Fox is rather endearing
and somewhat cool in my book. I look at Jude and ask, “I am confused here. How
can you not like Marty McFly?”
‘Jude replied,”He is messing with the space time
How do you even know what the space time continuum is?
Jude wrinkles his eyes in disbelief like I have asked if
he understands his ABCs.
Robby, everyone knows not to mess with the fabric of time. Why didn’t he just
drive off? He chooses to go back in time.
He is screwing up our future.”
An awkward silence comes between us as I hear Christopher
Lloyd yelling his catch phrase of “Great Scott.” I have this overwhelming urge
to ask if I am addressing my step son or a Spock, Jr. Instead I go with a
“You do realize that Marty didn’t choose to go back in
time but rather was pushed into the circumstance because he was being chased by
Jude ponders this for a moment. He always gets this
serious look like I am getting a glimpse at Adult Jude. A few long seconds
“OK, Robby that makes sense. I’ll give this movie a
chance.” Jude lays back on the futon and stares intently on the screen just in
time to watch Marty thwart Biff by skateboarding into Old Man Jone’s Manure
Since that conversation, we have worked our way not only
through the first BTTF but also the
second one as well. After finishing the sequel, the kids were clamoring to
watch the third BTTF even though it
was 10:30 at night.
Perspective is a funny thing. I have watched Marty McFly
fight to get his self back to 1985 well over a dozen times. Not once have I
ever questioned the motives of any of the characters like Jude did. I think it
is because I grew up in a time when Science Fiction was still finding its feet
with the viewing public. There has always been a certain amount of cerebralness
to it but thanks to Capt Kirk and Han Solo, Sci Fi also had a certain Wild West
cowboy element in it in my younger years.
Jude and Roni have come up in a different time. I find it
funny that in an age of political correctness and social responsibility, even
science fiction reflects these ideals. Kirk has been replaced by Jean Luc
Picard and the Prime Directive. Thanks to movies like Star Trek IV and BTTF,
concepts like the space time continuum have become common plot points. I think it’s interesting to see how our
audiences are becoming more sophisticated in their plot devices. An eight year
old is catching it and then explaining it back to me.
While it excites me to see how smart Jude and Roni are,
it also saddens me a little in that due to their sophisticated palate, it’s
going to be more difficult for them to be dazzled. We tried to watch Jason and the Argonauts last night but
the DVD was scratched. I was a little glad. They have been brought in a time
where dinosaurs and aliens are computer generated. While hopeful, I somehow
couldn’t see Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion work wouldn’t shock and awe the kids
like it did me at their age. I guess it’s generational.
A true Artist
I remember being home sick on day back in third grade. The
Big Guy stayed home to help out. We watched The
Adventures of Superman on Atlanta’s channel 36 with George Reeves. It was
the Big Guy’s favorite back when he was a kid. I hated it. The flying sequences
were cheesy and the other special effects were on par with something my friends
and I could create in the back yard. It
wasn’t until I was much older that I could look past the cheesiness and begin
to realize how Superman was actually a pretty well done show for its time.
George Reeves does a great Clark Kent and the other actors did well with what
they had to work with.
I am guessing that many years in the future, Roni and Jude
will be setting down with their kids and to watch whatever passes for a DVD by
that time. They’ll explain to their kids how cool it was when their Mom and
Step-dad took them to see The Avengers.
The special effects were state of the art. Their kids will laugh at how
computer generated the Hulk looks. How silly it was to believe there could be
such a thing like the SHIELD Heli-carrier as compared to the orbiting space
wheels that would exist in this future. Roni and Jude will be frustrated
because all they will remember was the feeling of “wow” and wanting to share
that moment with their children.
"Hulk,.....smash." Best line that movie.
My wish is that at that moment Jude will remember a humid
night in June when he had just turned eight. His Mom and Step-Dad were so
excited to show him and his sister Back
to the Future for the first time. I hope that as he remembers pointing out
all the plot holes and things wrong with the movie to his step-dad, he’ll make
the connection that the same exact event is re-occurring. The only difference
is Jude will be the dad saying, “Now, wait a minute. This is a really awesome
movie. Give it chance.”
Maybe Jude will start using my new
catch phrase which I am openly admitting to stealing
from the Big Guy. “Just
shut up and watch the damn movie.”