Monday, May 24, 2010

We don't want that now, do we?

The actual dialogue:

"Derek: No it's not an exit. Not an exit.

David: We don't want an exit.

Derek: No, that's true."

I took this photo today at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. So what's funny about this is that this morning on the ride up to the museum one of my daughters mentioned Spinal Tap for some reason. Just possibly because 2/3rds of my portion of my discussions with my children amounts to quotes from the movie.

But that's nitipicking, now ain't it?

So that prompted me to call a certain frequent respondent to this blog to ask him whether he remembered trying to explain the idea of Spinal Tap to me back in the mid-80's when we were in high school. Though I've surely come to see it more often than he has (I've seen it at least, ummm, 11 times), he did in fact see it first. Glory is his forever on this count. And despite some disputes we've had about reconstructing dialogues from the past--specifically concerning bets about destroying stadiums with sledgehammers--we actually generally agree on how this conversation unfolded--or failed to unfold. This captures in ever so slightly truncated form, how it proceeded.

Me: So I don't get this movie you keep talking about. Describe it for me.

Him: Which movie? This is Spinal Tap?

Me: What is?

Him: No. That's the name of the movie.

Me: What is?

Him: This is Spinal Tap.

Me: What is?

Him: This is Spinal Tap.

Me: What about a Spinal Tap?

Him: That's the name of the movie.

Me: What is? Spinal Tap?

Him: Yeah. But what's great about it is the umlaut is over the "n" in Spinal.

Me: What's an umlaut?

Him: The two dots.

Me: the Dutch do?

Him: The Germans, mostly. The Germans invented the umlaut. The Dutch were completely derivative. Frankly, they’re derivative of the Germans on most things. Spoiled rotten thieves, if you ask me. Most of the greatness of Europe is derivative of German innovation. And as Europe goes, so goes the world.

Me: I didn't know spinal has an umlaut.

Him: No. No, it doesn’t. That's the humor—at least for most people. And what's great is that they placed it over the n.

Me: And…so?

Him: Umlauts are placed over vowels. Jesus.

Me: Why are you being so pissy? I didn't take Dutch like you did.

Him: German.

Me: So what's the band called?

Him: Spinal Tap.

Me: But isn't that the movie?

Him: No. The movie is This is Spinal Tap.

Me: You just said that.

Him: No, I said the the band’s name is Spinal Tap. The movie is called, “This is Spinal Tap.” Millions of people--some of them much younger than you--saw and thoroughly understood and enjoyed this movie.

Me: Fine. But what’s the movie about?

Him: It’s a mock documentary of a fictional band.

Me: Wait. I thought you told me before they put out an album.

Him: They did. I have it.

Me: But you just said the band is fictional.

Him: They are. But the actors wrote their own music and played their own instruments.

Me: So they’re a band…

Him: No. They’re fictional.

Me: Is this like Dungeons and Dragons? You and the Dungeons and Dragons! I do NOT get this whole alternative reality thing that you get off on.

Him: Point A, you wouldn’t know Dungeons and Dragons from crap if it came up and kicked you in the head. Point B, neither Spinal Tap nor This is Spinal Tap is anything like Dungeons and Dragons. D&D is a fantasy game; the movie and the band are fiction. Totally different.

Me: And the album is fiction?

Him: The album, Mike, is a collection of the parody music put out by this one hundred percent fictional band, Mike.

Me: Didn’t you say this band played on Saturday Night Live?

Him: Yes, Mike. As a skit. The actors are on Saturday Night Live.

Me: WHAT actors?!

Him: The actors who play Spinal Tap, Mike.

Me: The members of the band appeared on Saturday Night Live as actors? What??

Him: The band is fictitious--I thought we had established that point. The actors are skit actors for Saturday Night Live and they played them in a skit.

Me: So they impersonated the members of the band? That’s kind of ironic, isn’t it?

Him: No! Wait. What is?

Me: That actors of SNL would impersonate the members of a fictitious band.

Him: Sweet Mother of God, no. The actors are role-playing the members of the band. They ARE the members of the fictitious band. They aren’t impersonating anyone. They’re playing a role.

Me: Like in Dungeons and Dragons.

Him: F*** you.

Me: Excuse me. I didn’t take Dutch.


Andy D. said...

Uh, let me just say this about that:

This transcript is remarkably accurate. I will say it's 97% accurate, the 3% being that Him wouldn't have mistakenly attributed this to SNL at the point in time this conversation occurreed. Just as Him did not - err, would not have - taken lying down any pisstaking over D&D. At that point in time. Also Him would have been significantly more profane by the end of the discussion. Keeping in mind that Him one time effed at MB across an entire record store, with an offense no more than MB suggesting Leon Redbone didn't have the musical chops to lay down an album, let alone play it publicly...

But the "who's on first" pace and feeling is dead on - including the MB character simply not getting it. And as David St. Hubbins himself says, "And let me assure you, while it may well have been funny backstage, it was not pleasant to be onstage and part of the comedy."

"There's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

And finally, "The question is, 'How much more black could it be?'. And the answer is, 'None. None more black.' I can see myself in...both sides."


Mike Bailey said...

What's sad is that Andy actually told me before I put these recollections to paper that SNL wouldn't have entered the conversation at this. But I stand by my dialgue, imaginary and utterly factually mistaken as it is.

shinigami-sidhe said...

First, Andy, in response to your comment a post back, thank you! I will take any poll I can get. And also, the degree! I am, like, a leading expert on network I/O virtualization, which is impossible to brag about at cocktail parties.

second, there should ALWAYS be effing at those who mock D&D. Always.

Andy D. said...

Well that really generated the discussion. MB for your next posting, how about a shot of some crickets chirping?

For summertime of course, that's all...


timekeeper said...

So the band and your conversation is fictitous? What?

I envy us.

Andy D. said...

Timekeeper, dang it, how do you always end up getting the best final word....

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the Dutch, I say "Het volgende geschreven, you bastards."

This either means "E-mail message received at, you bastards." or "In reply to, you bastards."

My Dutch is limited. But it will be back, and in greater numbers.

RE: the photo. Lovvvvvvvve it. I had to look really hard to see if the text and gummyish borders were original or added on back in the laboratory. Five syllables, there, kthx.

Mike Bailey said...

Ms. Anonymous--

Bring on the Dutch all you want. Andy D studied it big time in H.S. and will be able to translate it all for us.

Oh, and how do I know you're a "Ms." Anonymous?

Simple evolutionary biology, yo.

Dudes flex, verbally or otherwise, for sumpin sumpin. If dudes is goin to the trouble of being that clever, they gonna be taken some credit fo sho, yo.

And contrarily...

You female types totally used to laboring for no credit whatsoever.

You be a she.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Like your little super-creepy, '1984' (that might actually need to say '1985', I always get that wrong) automated stalking program(s) hasn't tracked me all over the world.

Not that your other reasoning isn't solid and all, because it is.

Mike Bailey said...

My (apparently multiple) stalking programs have not yet been able to tell me the gender of the users. Or much of anything else, I fear. It does tell me, when I choose to look at it about once every two weeks or so, where I have received hits from around the world. But, alas, it doesn't tell me that for the people who respond.