Archive for September, 2008

Enough to Make a Grown Man Cry

We got home late last night–almost 11:00, and my day started at 5:30 this morning.  That’s the price of having a daughter who is a competitive swimmer.  I get up to get her up and to the pool at 6:20 in the morning–long before the sun gets its lazy butt in the sky.  Needless to say, all the caffeine I dare to ingest has not alleviated the fog in my brain enough to concentrate on job searching.   Therefore, I went to surf the Web, and that’s where my heart broke.

It’s said that there are only three occasions when it is OK for a grown man to cry in front of other men.  One is when watching Gary Cooper in the role of Lou Gehrig making his “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech in the movie Pride of the Yankees.

Another is when Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers dedicates his George S. Halas Courage Award to dying teammate Brian Piccolo in the original 1971 TV movie Brian’s Song.

I never remember the third, but room should be made for viewing the damage caused to the Lone Star Flight Museum on Galveston Island by Hurricane Ike.  Click on the name of the museum above to read on the home page about the damage.  Scroll down to click on the links to the photos.  Pay special attention to the last offering:  the “36 Hours after Ike Photo Gallery.”  If this doesn’t break your heart, go to your nearest cardiologist.  He’ll be very interested to meet someone who functions without one.  You’ll redefine “life” itself.

On a purely selfish note, thank God the B-25 was spared and is safely ensconced, along with the B-17, at the Commemorative Air Force’s museum in Midland, TX.  All other airworthy artifacts were removed to safety as well, and are being generously housed until such time as the LSFM can reopen.

I blogged about our too-short visit there back in June.  See, my daddy was a radar operator in PBJ’s (the Marine name for the B-25) back in WWII, when radar “didn’t exist.”  I got a couple of detail shots of the PBJ, but spent most of my digital storage on a MiG-21 not too far away.  I guess my own service memories distracted me.  I at least thank God I got to see it before Ike came a-callin’.  Something is better than nothing.

Folks, I know full well how the economy sucks right now.  I’m jobless and broke.  Still, not everyone is.  The LSFM wants and intends to reopen, but they admit that it is possible that the chasm between income and damages may become too great to sustain it long enough to repair, replace, and retool (it’s not just a place to display vintage warcraft, they actively restore them as well) themselves.  Then the rest of the island has to be ready not only to sustain itself, but tourists as well.  That’s a tall bill, Sports Fans.  Can anyone help with the tab?  I know everyone and his brother is begging for relief of some form or another now.  Still, it is a poor testament to the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation if we let the Lone Star Flight Museum die.  We just can’t let it happen.

Alabama 41, Georgia 30

Once again, quoting the late, great Lewis Grizzard:

I don’t want to talk about it.

The Vote Reaper

There is a conspiratorial cabal of us conservatives who congregate at The Daily Kitten (the link is to your right)–Instinct (the Wingleader), MeezerMama, her hubby MeezerRoboto, and me.  We had a little “round table” this morning that kept me in stitches.  One thing that I can’t resisting putting out for all to see is this bit of amateur filmmaking brilliance posted by a contributor who calls himself “machosauceproduction.”  It’s one of those things that makes me say “Dang, I wish I’d thought of that!”  Then again, if I had, the impact wouldn’t even come close to this.  Friend, why aren’t you on the talk show circuit–you’d kick * and take names!

The whole time I watched it, I couldn’t help but recall this classic political bit by the Wayans brothers from back in the days of In Living Color.  I thought it appropriate to put them head to head.  Enjoy!

I Know God Has a Sense of Humor, ‘Cause He Sure is Laughing at Me!

Is there anyone in this world who is NOT familiar with Murphy’s Law?  It had reasoned so much of my life that by the time I was a junior in high school, I already had it memorized and recited it frequently in attempts (some would say futile) to keep me sane.  In case you are one of the 66/100ths % of the populace who has been heretofore ignorant of that most basic of probability laws, here it is.

Murphy’s Law (Murphy was an optimist!)

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you expect, and
  3. If anything can go wrong, it will–at the worst possible moment.

So I finally do it–I write my “breakthrough” entry:  the one that finally opens up the cyber-world outside my circle of close friends, and which blog is it?  The one that exhibits my rapier wit?  The one that showcases my astute analytical skills?  The piéce de resistance that highlights my passion for the subtleties, complexities and beauty of masterfully crafted English?  No, it’s the one that exposes just what a dunce in math I am!

“A Better Way to Spend $85 Billion!” has garnered over 1,700 hits just since yesterday–before this, I had never had a blog entry have over 160 hits total.  And the whole entry is based on flawed math.  The one time I don’t check Snopes before I blog, and THAT entry gets chosen as a “Featured Blog” on WordPress.com (see link to your right) and gets a bazillion hits from everywhere.  The late, great Lewis Grizzard (the man who made me want to become a writer) called it “‘buzzard luck’:  can’t kill nothin’, can’t find nothin’ dead.”

What to do?  The only thing I can–own up to my mistakes (which I’ve done, and for which I have graciously been acknowledged by samjones2–thanks for the sage advice).   Having done that, I choose my victories where I can and take advantage of my 15 minutes of fame by showing off a better side of me.  Stick around, Sports Fans–there’s more to come!

NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dateline: Corvallis, Ore.  THE OREGON STATE BEAVERS DEFEATED THE USC TROJANS 27-21 LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

That’s TWO, player haters!   I made a genuine offer of Dawgs and 14 over the Sun Devils last week on two separate occasions to Arizonans (one here), and neither had enough confidence to back their team!  Then again, maybe they were just smart–the Dawgs won by 17.  It would have been nice for the McCains to only have 12 houses and me have one, but such is life.  The other is SWEET VINDICATION for putting that overrated Pac-10 group of brats (I was told that in LA, “USC” stands for the “University of Spoiled Children”) in their place–BELOW THE BULLDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO YOU HAIRY DAWGS!  FLUSH THE CRIMSON TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*we now return to our regularly-scheduled madness*

Time Marches on Down the Gridiron

The news broke Monday night and rumbled in waves of anticipated yet unexpected anguish throughout the Bulldawg Nation, reaching me late yesterday afternoon.  After 43 years, our beloved Voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, the legendary Larry Munson, announced his retirement, effective immediately.

We all knew this day would come…someday.  Larry had tried to break it to us gently, broadcasting only home games last year and leaving the trips longer than from Munson’s home in Atlanta to Sanford Stadium (nearly 70 miles one-way) in the capable hands of longtime assistant Scott Howard and former Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier.  We knew age was catching up–equally legendary color man Loran Smith had a nasty battle with cancer a few years back, and Munson himself had surgery for a blood clot back in April that required a long stay in a rehab hospital.  Still, that’s the thing about Somedays–you expect them, you plan for them, but when they do arrive, it’s still a shock.  They sucker-punch you and leave you on your backside, wondering from where in the world that blow came.

Still, to my friends among the Bulldawg faithful, at this time I beg you to remember the man who preceded Munson.  Anyone my age or younger won’t remember the golden throat of Ed Thilenius, who called UGa football games for 10 years before he moved on to call games for the new Atlanta Falcons and the gravelly voiced Minnesotan by way of Nashville entered the broadcast booth.  When Thelenius left after the 1965 season, Bulldog (they wouldn’t be “Dawgs” until nearly the end of the next decade) fans thought he was irreplaceable.  Then came Munson, and the legend of the nascent Athletic Director, Joel Eaves, and his anointed coach, Vince Dooley (who both had arrived on the campus just two years earlier) grew before our ears.

Modern-day Georgia Football traces its roots to Eaves/Dooley/Munson.  Don’t get me wrong; the Bulldogs were great almost from the start.  The dry spell of the late 50’s and early 60’s, before the arrival of the aforementioned trio is a Tale for Another Day.  The coaching torch was passed long ago:  Coach Eaves (always “Coach Eaves,” even though he arrived as AD) retired after the 1976 conference championship season, handing the reins to his protegé, Dooley.  Coach Dooley, in turn, gave up stalking the sidelines after the 1988 season, handing off to his protegé, former quarterback Ray Goff.  In 1996, Dooley selected Marshall’s Jim Donnan to replace Goff, then in 2001, Dooley then selected Donnan’s replacement, former FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt, who is now poised to grab Georgia’s first national championship since 1980.  Dooley himself retired from his AD position after the 2004 season.

Now Munson, too, has said it is time to give up his headphones and mike.  We have heard “Loran, whaddyagot?” live for the last time.  Thank God an astute co-worker gave me the Bulldog Boogie CD about 10 years ago back in Florida.  It contains tailgating songs, selections by the Redcoat Marching Band, and, most prized, several tracks of the “Best of Munson.”  I could describe my favorites, but perhaps it’s better to let you hear for yourself.  Thanks to matthewkham, who put a very moving tribute on YouTube.  We love ya, Larry, and wish you a long, happy and well-deserved retirement.  How ’bout THIS Dawg?

A Better Way to Spend $85 Billion!

I received the following e-mail this morning from several friends regarding the current debacle commonly known as the proposed bail-out of Wall Street firms that choose to back the pyramid scheme commonly know as the mortgage loan industry.  A very astute man named T. J. Birkenmeier has a better idea–one that is so democratic (notice the lower-case “d”–I’m not talking partisan issues, dearies) and common sense that it has absolutely no chance of being taken seriously in Washington.  Instead of something like this, our tax money will go to bailing out the fat cats (and only a well-connected few of those, mind you) who “know how to manage people’s money better than we do,” while the rest of us are told to go commit an act that is not only immoral, but physically impossible.

At this point, I turn over the floor to someone who can actually do the math.  More power to you, Birk.

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The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

Hi, Pals,

I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up….

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.  So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.  That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in his or her pocket.  A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?  Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads!

Put away money for college – it’ll be there!

Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car – create jobs.

Invest in the market – capital drives growth.

Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves.

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else.

Remember, this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it.  Sell off its parts.  Let American General go back to being American General.  Sell off the real estate.  Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.”

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party?  How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,

Birk
T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

An Open Letter to John McCain

The Hon. Sen. John S. McCain
c/o John McCain 2008
P.O. Box 16118
Arlington, VA 22215

Dear Senator McCain,

First, let me express, as a fellow veteran, my deepest appreciation for your sacrifice in service to our country.  Few in our nation have given what you have and lived to tell the tale.  No matter what the future holds, in my eyes you are a hero for what you have done.

Senator McCain, I am one of those “Reagan Conservatives” who has, of late, felt abandoned by the GOP.  In fact, I am so ashamed of Republican kowtowing to public opinion, to the Democrat machine that has succeeded in establishing a double standard of public opinion where a Klansman who is a Democrat can become President Pro Tem with impunity but it seems that a Republican who hears a sneeze and says “God bless you” gets censured for failing to separate church and state, and to Big Business by “pimping” out utilities and infrastructure to the highest bidder to the point where the American consumer is squeezed dry that I have in recent years disassociated myself from the party to which I once contributed.  I have become disgusted with both parties and had seriously considered not participating in a Presidential election for the first time in my adult life.

Then, you did a most remarkable thing:  you selected Sarah Palin as your running mate.  The Alaska Governor first came to my attention in March when she disclosed her pregnancy at a time of her own choosing.  She even managed to prevent an “outing” during a Vanity Fair interview!    I was impressed enough to blog on her amazing accomplishment back in March.

Senator McCain, your detractors say that you selected her merely to attract conservatives who felt disenfranchised.  If so, may I congratulate you for a job well done, for it worked far beyond the expectations of many a man!  She is everything I want in a candidate:  pro-life; a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, the family, and traditional values; and a “Great Communicator” in the tradition of Ronald Reagan–the President to whom all the presidents in my life are/will be compared.  In short, I’m definitely a fan of Gov. Palin.

Having said that, I must relate to you that I found the recent parody of the governor and Senator Clinton on Saturday Night Live downright side-splitting!  I think you may have made a mistake in having declared the skit to be “sexist.”   As a woman (and a Palin supporter to boot), I thought both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did “spot-on” imitations and the skit itself was almost equally balanced in the number of jabs at each side of the political spectrum.  In fact, both my husband and I (neither of which had tuned in to SNL since Joe Piscopo was in the cast) felt that a slight majority of the barbs were actually directed at Senator Clinton!

Saying that the skit portrayed Gov. Palin in an unflattering light makes you sound petty, Sen. McCain.  It makes people think that you are unable to take a joke.  Again, I thought the sketch was harder on Sen. Clinton than Gov. Palin, but I have heard no comments from the other side of the fence–not even reports of the sound of lamps shattering in the vicinity of Chappaqua, New York.

Sarah Palin has re-energized your campaign, Senator McCain.  She has made conservatives get excited about the race for the first time in a long time.  Momentum, right now, is on your side.  Please, for the sake of a country that cannot afford the “tender mercies” of an Obama Administration, don’t blow it by choosing battles cavalierly.  Our nation is depending on you.

Most Sincerely Yours,

“gatakitty”

P.S.  I support you in November, but football takes priority.  My Dawgs over your Sun Devils tomorrow by 14, Senator.  You heard it here first!!

PAC-10/BIG-12 Bias in the Polls

Those who know me best will be surprised that I joined a forum for women (I usually have a difficult time relating to others of my sex–four generations of women in my family have been only daughters, and there were no other girls close to my age where I lived growing up–it was play football and Army with my brothers and their friends, or be alone and bored), but my current ongoing unemployment status indicates that I should network more, thus the femi-forum.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’m going all lib on y’all–on the contrary, I just started a discussion group to talk football!  Here’s my intro–those “soccer moms” don’t know what they got into when they accepted me, do they? 😀

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WHAT IS UP WITH THE SPORTSWRITERS AND COACHES OF AMERICA?!?

Five of the top ten teams this week are from the SEC:

  • Georgia (GO DAWGS!) is #3
  • The Florida Philistines are #4
  • LSU (love the “Geaux Tigers” thing!) is #6
  • ‘Bama is #9, and
  • Auburn (my granddaddy’s alma mater, and the team I always pull for as long as an Auburn win doesn’t hurt UGa) is #10.
  1. Georgia and Auburn are undefeated, yet they have been knocked DOWN in the polls since the start of the season.  For the DAWGS, it’s happened TWICE–once in favor of a team from the PAC-10, the other for a team from the Big 12.
  2. Why is what is unarguably the best conference in the nation, the Southeastern Conference, with collectively the toughest schedule in the country (all these good teams have to play each other–at least those that are in the same division), considered a red-headed stepchild in the minds of those “intelligentsia” who decide the rankings and are put down in favor of less competitive teams from the “pretty boy” PAC-10 and the lopsided Big 12 (actually, call it the “Big 2–Texas and Oklahoma–and all those other guys”)?
  3. Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno (he’s only a sophomore!) makes a vault over a Central Michigan defender two weeks ago that would have made Bela Karolyi sit up and take notice, and ESPN doesn’t even put it on SportsCenter until they’ve received three days of requests and protests from incredulous fans!!!!  What’s up with that????  See for yourself: 
  4. Granted, Auburn’s 3-2 win over Mississippi State was pug-ugly (did someone forget to tell the teams that 3-2 is a baseball score?), and Georgia coach Mark Richt is too decent a guy to run up a score just because he can (unlike some others we know–I won’t name names, but Steve Spurrier, call your office), but that is no reason to move a team down in the rankings.  Last time I checked, there was no slot in the USA/AP or the BCS rankings for “pretty” wins.  It’s just win or lose.  That’s it.  That’s all that should matter.

OK, I’ve said my piece and counted to three.  Now it’s your turn.  How do you feel about the rankings so far this season?

Wounded British Soldier Denied Hotel Room

Before I let both barrels fly, let me make one thing perfectly clear:  I have several very good friends in the United Kingdom.  I know in my heart of hearts that they would never condone this kind of unconscionable behavior, else they would not be friends of mine.  I am somewhat soothed in that Parliament is not allowing this to go unattended now that it has come to international attention–especially since the entire male line of succession to the British Throne all the way to the Earl of Wessex (that’s Prince Edward to the rest of us Americans) is currently or has in the past served in the British military.

That having been said, make sure you’ve taken your blood pressure medication before reading this article from the London Times.

Heart rate back under control, Sports Fans?  Good, then I can comment on this article.  First off:  Thanks to everyone who has Napalmed “American Amusements,Ltd.”  They’re the parent company of the Metro Hotel in Woking, Surrey.  That is the hotel that made a soldier, wounded while jumping out of a truck that was being attacked by Afghan insurgents, sleep in his coupe because it was “hotel policy” to deny lodging to soldiers.  Interesting, isn’t it, that a Google search of both American Amusements and the Metro Hotel failed to turn up a company-owned website.  Guess they don’t want the public to find them.

Now, back to Cpl. Tomos Stringer, the young Welshman who has spent the last 8 years serving Queen and Country, most recently in Afghanistan.  When he jumped from that bullet-riddled truck onto the Afghan dirt, he broke his wrist.  Still, he fared better than his buddy from Surrey, who didn’t survive the attack.  Cpl. Stringer was accompanying his buddy’s corpse home for burial.  This was no beachside holiday, no weekend debauchery.  This was business of the most serious kind.

So what does the Metro Hotel in Woking, Surrey do?  Check-in was going just peachy until Cpl. Stringer showed his military ID as a guaranty.  In the US, that usually gets you a 10% discount.  At the Metro Hotel in Woking, Surrey, it gets you thrown on your bum in the street.  Cpl. Stringer was too exhausted from the ordeals of recuperation, intercontinental travel, and the stress and mental/physical demands of accompanying your buddy’s body back to his family for burial.  Rather than be a danger to himself and/or others by driving in such a fatigued state, he chose to sleep in his minuscule Euro-coupe.

My fellow Americans, trust me, the average working-wage European drives something roughly the size of a can of Vienna sausage.   How big is a can of Vienna sausage?  About this big: click here.

At least the rank-and-file Brit is as outraged as I am, according to the Times article.  Too bad it took “American Amusements, Ltd.”‘s phone ringing off the hook, letters from several Members of Parliament (what “MP” stands for in Britain, instead of “Military Police”) and a few organized efforts at consumer hijinks to get the scuzbags to make a half-hearted apology under duress to Cpl. Stringer (my favorite was the group trying to organize an effort to book the hotel solid, then cancel en masse at the last minute).  You may say that the Metro Hotel and “American Amusements, Ltd.” aren’t sorry at all, but I disagree.  I think they’re the sorriest sons-of-biscuit-eaters on the planet.

Cpl. Stringer’s mama said it best.  The Times quoted her as saying:

“In America, they treat soldiers as heroes. We went to Disney World with Tomos and the whole family was moved to the front of the lines. Everybody was standing up and clapping and cheering. Here, soldiers can’t even get a bed for the night.”

It wasn’t always that way, Mrs. Stringer.  Forty years ago, when America was entangled “policing” Vietnam, returning Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines were spat upon and called “baby killers” in public.  Our veterans learned quickly to shed their uniform and grow out their hair ASAP.  It was horrific and shameful what our ungrateful citizens did to the young men (many of whom had absolutely no choice when it came to serving in the still-drafting Vietnam-era military) who had been shot at almost daily, only to come home to be stabbed in the heart by the folks back home.  A lot of heroes never got over that.  Thank God I was too young to encounter that or to be aware of what was going on if I had seen it–I’d still be serving time for what I would have done to anyone who had tried such a stunt in my presence.

America, I’m glad we’ve learned our lesson about separating the soldiers from the politicians who insist on running our military operations into the ground.

Brits who have backed up Cpl. Stringer, I salute you.  Should God grant me the grace to visit your fine country as I have always dreamed of doing, I publicly promise never to patronize the Metro Hotel in Woking, Surrey or any other property owned by “American Amusements, Ltd.”

Cpl. Stringer, if you should ever find your way to Texas, look me up.  Hubby and I are both veterans, as are our fathers, as are various and sundry ancestors dating back to Colonial days (on my side) and to Cortez’s expedition (on Hubby’s).  We’ll show you a Texas good time!

Oh, yeah, bring your mama, too!  She rocks!!!

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PS:  Hotel and business review websites have been ablaze with scathing reviews for “American Amusements, Ltd.”‘s properties.  The best was on a site called bview by the intrepid “Sleaze pit” who writes:

(Not Recommended)

Pros They have them in almost every room

Cons No beds for our country’s hero’s (sic)

Also, if you want to express your outrage directly, here are the email addresses for (in order) the CEO, the Chairman, and the Recruitment head for “American Amusements, Ltd.,” courtesy of DVD Reviewer.

darren.webb@american-amusements.co.uk

michael.appleton@american-amusements.co.uk

mike.smith@american-amusements.co.uk

The Princess Bride Guide to Life

I had a sudden epiphany as I indulged in the apple streusel pancakes Hubby made for our family this morning.  Every important lesson in life is contained within the classic 1987 Rob Reiner film The Princess Bride.

What, you don’t believe me?  Observe, my friends.  I’m just sorry that I know nothing about video editing–if I did, the folks at the Webbys would already be engraving my name on the award.  If you do know something about video editing, I just became your best friend.  Just remember where you saw it first!!!  Thanks to Wikiquote for saving me a ton of typing!

The Princess Bride Guide to Life

Acknowledgment of others:

Grandpa: Yes, you’re very smart. Shut up.

or

Buttercup: [to Westley, in reference to Prince Humperdinck] He can track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you.

Acknowledgment of self:

Fezzik: It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.

I only dog paddle.

or

Vizzini: Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?…Morons.

I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.

Appreciation:

Westley: I would as soon destroy a stained glass window as I would an artist such as yourself. However, since I can’t have you following me either… [He knocks Inigo unconscious] Please understand, I hold you in the highest respect.

[After Buttercup enters the Honeymoon Suite and puts a dagger to her chest] There is a shortage of perfect breasts in the world. T’would be a pity to damage yours.

Attention to detail:

Valerie: Chocolate coating makes it go down easier.

Celebrating small achievements:

Fezzik: You just wiggled your finger. That’s wonderful!

Choosing one’s battles:

Vizzini: [laughs openly] You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But only slightly less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” [laughs maniacally for a few seconds, then stops abruptly and falls over dead.]

Commitment:

Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you.

Conciseness:

Inigo: Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marrying Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour, so all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the Princess, and make our escape after I kill Count Rugen.

Devotion:

Man in Black: Faithfulness he talked of, madam, your enduring faithfulness! Now, tell me truly. When you found out he was gone, did you get engaged to your prince that same hour, or did you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?
Buttercup: You mocked me once, never do it again! I died that day!
[The Man in Black turns to see Humperdinck’s hunting party riding past on the hill above them.]
Buttercup: And you can die too for all I care! [pushes him down the hill]
Man in Black: [tumbling down the hill] Aaaass yooooouuu wiiiiish!
Buttercup: [shocked] Oh, my sweet Westley, what have I done? [jumps down the hill after him]

Fashion:

Fezzik: Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?
Man in Black: Oh no. It’s just that they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Finding enjoyment in your work:

Inigo: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss… Fuss… I think he likes to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He’s really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we’ll all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it!
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: [screams in frustration]

Healthy skepticism:

Grandson: Hold it, hold it! What is this? Are you tryin’ to trick me? Where’s the sports? Is this a kissing book?

or

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something.

History:

Grandpa: When I was your age, “television” was called “books.”

Honesty:

Westley: We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

Humble beginnings:

Vizzini: Never forget this! [to Inigo] When I found you, you were so slobbering drunk you couldn’t buy brandy! [to Fezzik] And you! Friendless. Brainless. Helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed? In Greenland!?

Image:

Westley: Well, Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. So he took me to his cabin and told me his secret. “I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts,” he said. “My name is Ryan. I inherited this ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from was not the real Dread Pirate Roberts, either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia.” Then he explained the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley. So we sailed ashore, took on an entirely new crew, and he stayed aboard for a while as first mate, all the time calling me Roberts. Once the crew believed, he left the ship and I have been Roberts ever since. Except, now that we’re together, I shall retire and hand the name over to someone else. Is everything clear to you?

Life’s Work:

Count Rugen: [in reference to the Machine] Beautiful, isn’t it? It took me half a lifetime to invent it. I’m sure you’ve discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. At present I’m writing the definitive work on the subject. So I want you to be totally honest with me on how The Machine makes you feel.

As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old. Well, really, that’s all this is. Except that instead of sucking water, I’m sucking life. I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don’t know what that would do to you. So, let’s just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest — how do you feel?

Logic:

[The Man in Black challenges Vizzini to determine which goblet of wine is poisoned.]
Vizzini: But it’s so simple! All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet, or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You’ve made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely! Because iocaine comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait ’til I get going! [small pause] Where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!
Man in Black: You’re just stalling now.
Vizzini: You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you?! You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong. So, you could have put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard which means you must have studied. And in studying, you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!
Man in Black: You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work.
Vizzini: It has worked! You’ve given everything away! I know where the poison is!
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will! And I choose… [points behind the Man in Black and gasps] What in the world can that be?
Man in Black: [Turns to look while Vizzini switches the goblets] What? Where? I don’t see anything.
Vizzini: Oh, well, I-I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. [chuckles]
Man in Black: What’s so funny?
Vizzini: I’ll tell you in a minute, but first, let’s drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.

Making a living:

Inigo: I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.

or

Vizzini: I’ve hired you to help me start a war. It’s a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition.

Making the best of adversity:

Westley: [To an unconscious Fezzik] I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But in the mean time, rest well and dream of large women.

or

Westley: [entering the fire swamp] It’s not that bad.
[Buttercup stares at him incredulously.]
I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.

Management:

Buttercup: On the high seas, your ship attacked, and the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.

Man in Black: [leaning back leisurely against a rock] I can’t afford to make exceptions. Once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you, and then it’s nothing but work, work, work, all the time.

Marriage:

Impressive Clergyman: Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove…Have you the wing?

Obsession:

Count Rugen[To Inigo] You must be that little Spanish brat I taught a lesson to all those years ago. It’s simply incredible. Have you been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that’s the worst thing I ever heard. How marvelous.

Good heavens, are you still trying to win? You’ve got an over-developed sense of vengeance. It’s going to get you in trouble some day.

Observance of Social Etiquette:

Inigo: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

or

[Buttercup kisses the old, senile king on the cheek]
King: What was that for?
Buttercup: Because you’ve always been so kind to me. And I won’t be seeing you again, since I’m killing myself once we reach the Honeymoon Suite.
King: [smiling] Won’t that be nice? [calling out to the Queen] She kissed me!

Payback:

Valerie: [continues repeating “Humperdinck” at Max]
Inigo Montoya: [simultaneously] This is Buttercup’s true love! If you heal him, he will stop Humperdinck’s wedding.
Miracle Max: [quiets Valerie] Wait, wait- I make him better, Humperdinck suffers?
Inigo Montoya: Humiliations galore!
Miracle Max: [laughs and sings briefly] That is a noble cause! Give me the sixty-five. I’m on the job!

Perspective:

Prince Humperdinck: [To Westley, who is surrounded by Humperdinck’s guards] Surrender!
Westley: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well – I accept.

Physics:

Inigo: He’s right on top of us! I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using?

Priorities:

Count Rugen: Are you coming down into the Pit? Westley’s got his strength back. I am starting him on The Machine tonight.
Humperdinck: Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work. But, I’ve got my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it.  I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.

Semantics:

Miracle Max: See, there’s a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he’s slightly alive. All dead, well, with all dead, there’s usually only one thing that you can do.
Inigo: What’s that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Simple Pleasures:

Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.

Taking the time to do things right:

Miracle Max: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.

The First Amendment right “peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances”:

Old Woman: Your true love lives and you marry another — True love saved her in the Fire Swamp, and she treated it like garbage. And that’s what she is, the Queen of Refuse! So, bow down to her if you want. Bow to her. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo! Boo! Rubbish! Filth! Slime! Muck! Boo! Boo!

Vocabulary:

Inigo: [in response to Vizzini’s repeated use of “Inconceivable!”] You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

or

Grandpa: That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.”

So the next time life throws you a curve, you now know where to turn.  Did I leave something out?  Have a better idea?  Let me know with a comment, and if I indeed committed a sin of omission, I’ll fix it … “as you wish.”


September 2008
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