Friday, March 02, 2007

A real toad strangler of memories courtesy of a former drama geek

(That's what we call those bouts of sudden downpours that occur in the spring - toad stranglers. Just in case you weren't familiar with that one.)

I was sitting here eating a Sno-ball and got hit with a rush of memories. A veritable toad strangler from the past. (Don't you love redneck metaphors?) Anyway, y'all know what a Sno-ball is, right? A delightful creme-filled cake, covered in a layer of marshmallow and then sprinkled with colored coconut. Yum-my! Usually they're pink. Right now, they're green for St. Patrick's Day. Anyway, a phrase from high school just smacked me right in the subconscious and then I decided to do a whole post about some of the more memorable quotes from my past.

(You can also check out Todd's take on a few of these, too. Here and here, if you please.)


"We're out of Sno-balls, Jessie!" - From the movie, 'Night, Mother. When I was a Senior, Cyndi and I did a scene from this movie as a Dramatic Duet for Competitive Speech. She played Jessie, the epileptic who was going to commit suicide before morning, and I played her elderly mother who was trying to talk her out of it. At one point Momma just blurted out "We're out of sno-balls, Jessie!" like the absence of sno-balls was going to keep her daughter from committing suicide. The line always made me have to stifle a giggle even when I was trying to be all elderly and sad and stuff.

"Harold's got a girlFRIEND! Harold's got a girlFRIEND!" - Okay, this is also a Comp Speech reference. My friend, Todd, got paired up with a girl named Michelle who, for the life of her, could NOT comprehend that the line was supposed to read in a sing-songy voice. She was supposed to be taunting him. Instead, poor Michelle could only blurt out "Harold's got a girlFRIEND" emphasizing FRIEND only and egad, it was just painful. Painful. Ask Todd. He still has nightmares over it.

"I know that sounds simple and stupid..." -Okay, these are all pretty much Comp. Speech quotes. This line is from Steel Magnolias. Cyndi and I did a Dramatic Duet from this play, too. I played M'Lynn and she played Anelle. (Or if you've watched the movie version, I was Sally Field and she was Darryl Hannah.) It was the scene after Shelby died and Annelle was fixing M'Lynn's hair. Cyndi played the character well with this adorable Southern drawl and the line to this day resonates in my head as "see-imple and stee-yoopid".

"Com-puh-LEETly out of character" - This is another one that Todd and I share memory of. We were novices and our teacher was making us watch some kids from Picher, the End All Be All Of All Thing Competitive Speech For All Of Perpetuity. They were well-trained, those Picher kids and OH SO dramatic. This one gal was giving the introduction to her piece and out of the blue waved her hand in front of her and said that someone did something "com-puh-LEETly out of character." I think all of us Wyandotte kids managed to throw "com-puh-LEETly out of character" into all of our pieces that year.

"THE BABIES! THE BABIES!" - I became famous over this line. Well, famous as far as the realms of our team went. Again, we were watching a Picher kid do a monologue. Monologues consisted of a humorous and a dramatic piece, melded together with relatively no seams. You had to go from humor to drama or vice versa with nothing more than a brief pause. This guy's humor piece was from A Midsummer Night's Dream and he was a very energetic Puck. His dramatic piece was a rather dark speech about a doctor who had done hundreds of abortions. His voice was low and rough, his mannerisms were foreboding and suddenly, while describing a nightmare he had, he screams that he saw "THE BABIES! THE BABIES!" Oh, the hours of fun our team had asking me to perform "the babies!" for them. I think I even have me on video doing it. (No, Hillbilly Mom, I do not have the technology to convert it to digital so you can see it.)

"He just leaned over the side and he was gone. Gone. One minute he was there and the next he was gone." - I think it was my Senior year, but it might've been my Junior, that I did a Monologue that the dramatic piece was about a gal who went on a date with a guy who commited suicide by jumping over the side of the ferris wheel while she was sitting there beside him. (Anyone noticing that I had a serious preoccupation with death and suicide? YIKES! I'd scare me now.) The piece was shocking and I loved the fact that no one saw his suicide coming and more than once someone in the audience would gasp when I would announce that "he was gone. Gone."

And then there were the SNL quotes. Ah, back when SNL was good and didn't suck. I couldn't tell you exactly when any of these skits originally aired. We all watched the anniversay show and took our quotes from that tape.

"Hey! You! I know you! I know you!" - This skit involved Martin Short and a guy (I don't remember his name) who were male synchonized swimmers. Martin Short was rather daft in this skit and freakin' hilarious. I still have the tape of that show - taped it right off TV the night it aired. I can't even rewind it in the VCR anymore, that's how much it's been played. I have to rewind it with a pair of scissors. Anyway, part of their swim routine involves them pointing at each other in time with the music. Martin Short points at his partner dramatically and their coach says, "No, you're not mad at him" then directs him to point as if he were saying, "Hey! You! I know you! I know you!" Tater and I are prone to pointing at each other and saying that line still.

"Choppin' broccoli" - Ah, Dana Carvey. Talk about comedic genius. In the skit he was a musician obviously failing at making the record exec buy into his songs. I can still sing it today just as he sang it on the show: "M'lady....she went downtown....she bought some.....broccoli.....she brought it she's choppin' broc-col-eee.....she's choppin' broc-col-eeeeee.....she's chop - UH!......she's choppin' broc-col-ee-eeee.....SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROC-COL-EEE!......SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROC-COL-EYE! SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROCCOLI! shechoppinbroccoleeeeeeeee...." Trust me, it's really funny. And good for you, too!

"I. am. outta here!" - Who can forget Dennis Miller's classic sign-off of the Weekend Update? Well, those of us in Student Council ran The Morning Program out of the school's TV studio every morning when the bell rang. It consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance, the reading of the lunch menu, announcements, etc. Cyndi and I had hosted it the particular morning that I - totally unrehearsed - signed off with "That's the morning news. And I. am. OUTTA HERE!" I scribbled on my notepad and knocked it off the table. When the camera finally cut off, she looked over at me and said, "You. are. such. a dork." Mr. Medders, the teacher who watched over us and made sure we didn't break anything, was standing in the control room with his arms crossed, shaking his head at me when we left the set. I thought it was clever and no one agreed. So much for extemporaneous newscasting. It's probably a good thing I'm not going into TV journalism.

I hope I haven't bored y'all too much with obvious memories that none of you will get, but these days I'm taking blog posts where I can get 'em.


Melessa Gregg said...

I love it when people post flashback moments in their lives. And since all of my flashbacks are met with 0 comments (unless it's from one of the friends who remembers what I'm talking about)I just wanted to show my appreciation by saying something. (And I love me some classic SNL.)

Hillbilly Mom said...

I must say (and not in a Martin Short/Ed Grimley way) that my favorite of your quotes is '...he was gone. Gone.' Heh, heh. I just have to laugh at that mental image. Not that suicide is humorous or anything.

One of my favorite SNL quotes is "You MOCK me!" I believe it was guest star John Malkovich saying it to everyone except Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz, who actually WERE mocking him by mincing along behind him.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Curses! I shall now have "Choppin' Broccoli" stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

I had totally forgotten about the Sno-balls line from 'Night, Mother; I always fixate on the Gone Fishin' sign and the one time the two of you used Mr. B.'s license plate hall pass to make one and snuck it in to rehearsal. Good times, good times.

Oh, and the guy from the "Hey you" sketch (which also gave me my oft-quoted "I'm not that strong a swimmer" line) was Harry Shearer, best known as the voice of Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Rev. Lovejoy, Principal Skinner, Dr. Hibbert, and others on The Simpsons; he was also in This is Spinal Tap along with the guy who played the choreographer in the sketch, Christopher Guest, who reprised his role of the choreographer in the hilarious Waiting for Guffman.

And, now that I've bored everyone to tears with useless movie trivia, I shall go.

Queen Of Cheese said...

Ah yes, the Picher kids. Who knew then that the whole reason behind their powerhouse speech club was LEAD. We Afton kids always suspected they were doping....know we know they were just sucking rocks for a lead high! My favorite one was hearing the kid say "Rosebud". Oh my gosh when Over The Hedge came out and that line was in it, I laughed until I cried because I kept having S&D flash backs!

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