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“Damn the man! Save the Empire!” February 24, 2010

Posted by osyrn in Me being me!.
Tags: , ,

A week or so ago one of my good friends Doug picked me up at my house.  We were going to dinner and a play with a girl he’s been dating and a friend of hers.  He picked me up first and our next stop (a few blocks away) was to his date’s house.  I got in the back seat so she could sit up front with him.  As he got in the driver’s seat he turned to me and said “Where to sir?”  Without hesitation or thought I instinctively said “The opera Rattigan.”  (Ten points for getting that last quote right before I tell you what it is).  Doug looked at me and said “The Secret of My Success.”  We both laughed as he drove down the street.  That little exchange got me thinking.  I do the movie quote thing a lot with my male friends (and female friends for that matter, although I usually get the “are you talking to me?” look from them, haha).  Why is that?  Why do men quote movies all the time?  So I started doing a bit of research.

The internet being what it is these days, anything is within pretty easy reach if you know where to look.  I think Boomhauer said it best, “that dang ol’ Internet, man. You just go on there and point and click. Talk about W-W-dot-W-com.  Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. It’s real easy, man.”  Well, it is real easy.  Within a few minutes I found what I was looking for.  Chris McKendry, an ESPN Sportscenter Anchor and online columnist wrote an article about this exact thing several years ago (the original article can be found here http://a.espncdn.com/page2/movies/s/mckendry/020828.html ).  If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, I’ll regurgitate her five main points.  1. It’s a bonding exercise.  2. Men can’t express themselves, and need the help. 3. Nothing to talk about. 4. Fear of intimacy. 5. Quotes become part of the subconscious.

Now, while I don’t necessarily agree with numbers 2, 3, and 4, as that doesn’t describe me, nor my friends necessarily.  I think 1 and 5 are spot on.  Number 5 you witnessed in the opening story with Doug and happens more times than I can count.  Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it.  As for her first point, there is one incident that clearly stands out in my mind.

One of my good friends Greg Gordy is in the process of starting his own vineyard/winery.  Back in May of 2007 I went down to Ringgold, Georgia (Gordy’s home town and where he’s starting his vineyard/winery) for a week to help Gordy work on the vineyard.  We spent a week working in the hot northwest Georgia sun, digging around in the red Georgia clay.  While out working on the vineyard, we passed the time by quoting movies.  It started with “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.”  Once we had basically quoted the entire movie we moved on to “Pulp Fiction.”  Once we exhausted that movie we went back to Oh Brother, haha.

To this day, we can be sitting around and one of us will go “*sniff*, ‘speck you want them chains knocked off?”, and it just starts all over from there.  Admittedly, it’s kinda sad, hahaha, because one of us will take one or more roles and the other will pick up the remaining characters, and basically act the scenes out almost word for word.

Is it because we have nothing else to talk about, can’t express ourselves, or fear intimacy?  Absolutely not.  We talk about plenty of other things (some of then intellectual and thought provoking), but somehow, invariably, movie quotes always insert themselves into our conversation.

This also seems to work with people I’ve just met or barely know.  Quote a movie, they pick up on it, and all of sudden you’ve got a common thread that ties you together and often will lead to more stimulating conversation.

Those of you who know me are sitting there reading this either shaking your head thinking, “yep, that’s Chuck,” or nodding your head thinking, “yep, that’s Chuck.”  It doesn’t make me unique or special, although, I am unique and special (my momma told me so :)), it just makes me a guy!

So what did I learn from all this?  The big thing I take away from this, is men use this as a bonding tool (at least I do with my friends, can’t speak for all men).  Sure, there are other reasons too, but it brings us closer together in a “manly” sort of way (yeah, sports do that too, but not all guys watch sports.  I know, the horror!).  So ladies, the next time you hear a guy quote a movie, or several guys are standing around holding a conversation in nothing but movie quotes, maybe now you’ll have a better understanding why, and guys, maybe you’ll understand too.

Are men cluttering up their brains with useless movie quotes when we would be better off using our grey matter to remember what we should be picking up from the grocery store on the way home?  Yep!  But hey, we’re men, cut us some slack!  That being said, I’ll take my leave of you for now, I’ve got a movie to watch!

“…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”