Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Raiding Barry Manilow's Closet

I've been watching The Breafast Club while eating my dinner. I think it's one of the best movies ever made (really!), but two things leaped out at me this time, in the first few minutes:

1) Nine hour detention? Seriously, did any school ever give nine-hour-long detentions? Wouldn't there be some U.N. ruling against that?

I had detention twice in my school career-- once in primary school, and once in secondary school. (I can't remember how I earned it either time, but I'm guessing it was more through absent-mindedness than anything else. I was too shy to be naughty.) As far as I can remember, it was under an hour both times.

2) Being assigned an essay on the subject Who I Think I Am? As a punishment? I would have walked over hot coals, naked, to be assigned an essay title like that! Nine hours wouldn't be enough!

Which reminds me. Why do people always ask boring questions when they are making conversation? How many brothers and sisters do you have? How long does it take you to get to work? Have you any holidays booked? What are you doing at the weekend? Yawn.

Why does nobody ever ask meaningful stuff about your beliefs and memories and philosophy of life and fantasies and fears and all that good stuff?

My standard conversation-making question is: "Would you rather be invisible or able to fly?". It usually gets a good conversation going. Although sometime I content myself with, "What are you reading right now?". (If they're not reading something, they should be, and the shame is healthy.) I remember the first conversation I made with a new colleague, after saying hello, was: "Would you say 'jumble sale' or 'sale of work' or something else entirely?". To give the lady her due, she answered it most readily, without the slightest show of bewilderment. And we've got on very well ever since.

(Another thing that always strikes me about The Breakfast Club is the unlikelihood of John Bender ripping up library books and sneering that "It's such fun to read". A character like John Bender is usually someone with literary interests, or at least literary pretensions. He would probably read Jack Kerouac or Charles Bukowski, if nothing else.)


  1. I've never seen that film so I guess I can't say. I'd hate to write an essay about myself though. I don't think I could write a page about it.

    In regards to your question, I would probably have said "fly" originally. But then, people may get jealous and shoot me out of the sky one day. In that case it seems better to be invisible, provided I don't have to be all the time.

  2. People may get jealous and shoot you out of the sky? Ha! You know, I've never had that response before!