Saturday, August 26, 2006

Overheard Video-Rental Decision Conversation

Person 1: "Hey, you know what I haven't seen in a long time?"

Person 2: "What?"

P1: "A Streetcar Named Desire. Man, Marlon Brando was so great in that."

P2: "Yeah...we could get a bunch of those Tennessee Ernie Williams movies, make a night of it."

P1: (cracking up) "You mean, watching filmed versions of great plays, or whompin' up a mess of biscuits?"

P2: "Wha--???" (realization dawning, laughing and turning red) "OH, crap. You know what I meant. Tennessee Williams! Glass Menagerie! Cat on a Hot Tin Roof! The Night of the Iguana!"

P1: "Nope, too late, you said it. You just combined the greatest Southern playwright of all time with the guy who used to sell Martha White flour during commericals on Hee-Haw" (ed.: I think it was actually the 'Grand Ole Opry' show), "into one great, mutant entertainer. I'm running this one into the ground."

P2: "Please don't tell anyone I said that."

P1: "I'm so sorry, but I'm gonna."

ed.: As it turns out, this was maybe not such an embarrassing gaffe after all, judging by photographic evidence:Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Ernie Ford

I mean, really--they both had a penchant for bowties, hair pomade and mustaches...if not for Williams' intense, brooding air and Ford's sincere, crooked good ol' boy smile, they might be long-lost...well, cousins or something.

The good news is, that because of that conversation, Alex and I wound up renting "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," which we hadn't seen in a couple of years, at least, and Great Jumping Cats, is that ever a great film. I mean, it's almost the straight (no pun intended--and even though it was altered and censored, much to Williams' displeasure, to downplay the suggested homosexual tendencies of Brick, Newman's character, that aspect seems to come through pretty clearly to me in the dialogue that WAS left in the film) play, with much of the dialogue as it was written by T.W., and the raw material is pretty much unparalleled. But Paul Newman and Liz Taylor...oh, boy. SO pretty, both of them. If you haven't seen it in a while--OR--horror of horrors, NEVER--do yourself a solid and run and get it, Netflix it, whatever, immediately. Really. "Goodness gracious, it's pea-pickin' good, y'all!" (Apologies to all non-Southerners for THAT bizarre reference.)
And yet another reason that I love having Alex with whom to live and share things like this:

At about the mid-point of the film, at a particular point when the whip-smart, 90-mile-an-hour dialogue is just filling your brain with super-impressed appreciation, as if you're looking at a beautiful painting or hearing breathtaking music, we both begin speaking at exactly the same time. Now, you'll have to imagine these sentences tumbling from our respective mouths simultaneously, but here is what was was said, by each of us:

Belinda: "One of the main things I love about Tennessee Williams' writing, is that there is not one unneccessary word spoken, EVER."

"This dialogue is fantastic, isn't it? I mean, there is nothing superfluous in it. Nothing!"

And then we just stared at each other for the barest of instances, squeezed hands, and kept watching our movie. It wasn't one of those, "JINX! You owe me a Coke!" situations (though we often express the same thoughts, we hardly ever use identical vocabulary), but it was one of those little things that warms the cockles of my heart about this man I wound up with through Divine arrangement. Besides having a sense of humor, God also wants you to ultimately be happy a good bit of the time, I think.

One more, and then I'll shut up. But I kind of owe him after griping about his driving-me-psychotic kitchen (lack of) skilz. We had to stop by Walgreen's today, because I had a beef with them over $5.45 that they owed me for some generic Nyquil equivalent that was on sale in their circular for $.99 each, but for which they charged me $3.49 plus tax each when I bought them on Tuesday. And since now I am this crazed, coupon-mad, circular-scrutinizing FREAK, I could not help but notice that aside from some Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner that they had on sale AND I had coupons for, that they had their crack--um, Cadbury chocolate on sale. Like, big-time. As in, the 4.5 oz. bars were already 2/$3, and THEN they had a coupon for half off again, so each bar was like $.75. YE-AHHH, Baby! Have I mentioned my hormonal fluxes of late? Anyway, there was a limit of six, so I came back to the car where Alex and Bella were waiting, with my $5.45 triumphantly clutched in my fist, PLUS the shampoo and conditioner that promises to make my hair glisten and shine like, umm...fruit? Yeah, I'm not sure how that works, either. AND THE BIG SCORE, my assortment of six big ol' heavy Cadbury bars: Caramellos, Roasted Almond, Dairy Milk, and Classic Dark. Heaven, I tell you. The smugness aura around me must have been stifling.

And then? And then, my previously coupon-phobic husband (seriously, in the past, I have sent him into stores with a list AND coupons, and found the coupons later, because, apparently, there were OTHER MEN WATCHING when he checked out and they might have revoked his man-card on the spot if he'd pulled out a $2-off razor blades coupon at checkout) looked at me, with pure love shining out of his eyes and a heavenly glow all around him, and said, "Limit 6 per customer? So, I can just go in now, and get you 6 more? They have the circulars with the coupons in the store, right?"

I swear, at that point, the ethereal light beaming from all around him was so intense that I had to look away momentarily, like in those Bible stories in which angels appear unto mortals. Besides, I didn't want him to see the tears of joy, lest he'd think I was MAKING A BIG DEAL OF THIS IN MY MIND, which of course I wasn't. *ahem*

So, yeah. I got to watch "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and put up a month's supply of quality chocolate both in the same day. I feel like the luckiest est est est est woman an an an an an in the world orld orld orld orld orld. (Oh, great, now I want to see "Pride of the Yankees" again.)

Now, if someone could please remove the figurative claw (although really, at this point, from the feel of it, it could be a literal claw) from my uterus? I'd be in pretty high cotton.


  1. You're so funny :oD Sounds like a banner weekend

  2. Oh, and wow, the Tennessees could be twins. Freaky!

  3. Alex rocks! And so do coupons. I'm obsessed, too. I even read the bottom to see how much I've saved, and then I BRAG about it.

    Sick, isn't it? :D

  4. Ahh Tennessee Williams....just make sure if you decide to do a Tennessee Williams marathon all knives are put up and the gas to the oven is turned off. That guy was into tragedy I tell ya. No telling what latent suicide tendencys might come out....

  5. Okay, I like "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof", but missed all the homosexual tendencies of Brick, even after several viewings. I am going to have to rent it and watch it again and pay more attention. I love Paul Newman and Liz Taylor, but really enjoy Burl Ives.

    Glad you got a month of chocolate and that Alex is being trained corectly for your coupon madness:o)

  6. hehehe You crack me UP!

  7. Kim--the screenplay was altered. Get hold of the original play, and it's pretty darn clear. In the movie, just just get these vague, oblique lines about how "Skipper was MORE than a friend," and "the only person I could ever depend on," and Maggie talks about their "running around from town to town, hotel to hotel." If you read/see the original, those lines resonate differently than if the movie was your first exposure.

    cow camp: Southern lit. is just my true love. It's tragedy and comedy and a sense of the sublimely ridiculous, woven together better than in any other genre, IMO. LOVE. IT.

    melissa--you tickle me, pretty much, too!

    ST: I have been POSTING the darn things recently. You'd think nothing could be quite so boring, but my traffic both here and on flickr shoots up on "receipt posting" days. Just shows ta go ya. Last grocery visit? 51% saved. Haven't posted that one yet, though. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

    Sheryl, I know! And even though I wrote this post, when you said "The Tennessees," I though of Lucinda and Busy Mom first! How absorbed in the blogosphere am *I*?

  8. I thought I was going to pop something from laughing about the duelling Tennessees!

    You have mentioned a lot of my big favorites. One thing I miss about living in the US is the ability to see so many great classic films. I don't have the same access to them here. Like Pride of the Yankees. Not a well known movie here and it's a shame because I freaking love it. Then again I love pretty much any movie with Teresa Wright in it.

    Yay for coupons and chocolate!!

  9. And now I'm off to IMDb to find out about Theresa Wright, and look for *more* movies to Netflix!

    Germany needs Netflix. Is there a petition we can sign? I love me some German films, too, but, I mean, you can only watch Das Boot so many times (OK, so actually, I can watch that one over and over, bad example). But you know what I mean.

  10. I would fall over on the spot if I heard anyone have a conversation like that. As a former theatre major, and the fact that I'm a Yankee, I fell certain, in my neck of the woods, I'll NEVER hear that conversation.
    Was totally funny, glad you recounted it for the masses!

  11. Sunshine: I think it was just a TOTAL slip of the tongue. Down here, if a name starts with "Tennessee," it's probably been followed--in casual conversation, you understand--with "Ernie Ford" more often than with "Williams." Unless you're a drama major or a real Southern lit buff, like me. But still...I think of a guy named "Tennessee," I'm probably gonna think of "pea-pickin' good" just eeeeeever so slightly an instant before I think of "that's the smell of mendacity!"

  12. Oh- TW is my favorite playwright! In high school we watched C on a HTR. We started it the day before Christmas, and finished it the day after holiday break. We convinced the teacher to let us watch the scene where Newman is shirtless a second time since that was right around where we had left off before. There were only 2 guys in that class, and the rest of us were very interested in seeing Brick shirtless a second time.

  13. I swear Liz Taylor is sewn into the slip she wears throughout the bulk of the movie. I seriously cannot see how she would get it off & on. But I wish I looked that good in a slip!

  14. Me, too! I understand that the dress she wore in "A Place in the Sun" was the most-copied Hollywood dress EVER, even over Marilyn's subway-grate number.