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 bedtime.

            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 in.

            “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 continuum.

            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 different approach.

            “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 terrorists?”

            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 pass.

            “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 Truck.

            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.”

1 comment:

  1. If I ever have kids I probably wouldn't let them watch regular TV. I gotta teach them the classics.