Some of the lines are funny. Some are stupid. Most reveal something about my place in the world at the time I first heard them. I spend a lot of time searching for answers. These provide me with a glimpse of hope.
"That's what a writer does. Takes the truth and twists it."
-Lucille Ball, 1950's.
"How she feels? How 'bout me? How 'bout how I feel?"
"You're gonna get it. I don't know what second, what minute, but you're gonna get yours."
-Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason). The Honeymooners, 1950's.
"I want love. I want life, damn it!"
"In the midst of death, we are in life."
"It makes you feel less lonely in the dark."
-General Leo FitzJohn (Peter Sellers). Waltz of the Toreadors, 1962.
"I can make you do anything I want. Absolutely anything. I can make you dance. I can make you sit or kneel, or I can take away your power like this!"
-El Presidente Rodriguez. Gilligan's Island, 1965.
"It's real! It's real! No matter what it is, it's not nothing."
-Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington) on death. One Day at a Time. 1970's.
"The universe is a very big place, but if you accept me, we could make it one step smaller."
-Mork from Ork (Robin Williams). Mork and Mindy, 1980's.
-Alf (Gordon Shumway). Alf, 1980's.
"Can you please explain to me the meaning of the word, 'oops'?"
-Willie Tanner (Max Wright), Alf, 1980's.
"I've never seen that. I never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and then bang the hell out of it with a stick. I've never seen that."
-Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks). The Burbs, 1989.
"You have just said goodbye to oxygen."
-Big Boy (Al Pacino). Dick Tracy, 1990.
-George Burns, 1991.
"The male kangaroo doesn't have a pouch. Only the female has it, so the male has pouch envy. Why should she have this huge pouch, and I have nothing? I have things to carry, too. At least, at least give me a pocket."
-Polar Bear. Seinfeld, 1992.
-Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau). Ed Wood, 1994.
"Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No. But I do it anyway 'cause it's sterile and I like the taste."
Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn). Dodgeball, 2004.
Officer Slater (Bill Hader). Superbad, 2007.
"He's a freak. He's the fastest kid alive. He's the fastest kid alive."
Officer Michaels (Seth Rogen). Superbad, 2007.
"I drink your milkshake."
-Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis). There Will Be Blood, 2007.
Here's my favorite quote from any stage play (and since I've done theatre for over 35 years now, I think it matters.)
"And you - ain't you bitter, man? Ain't you just about had it yet? Don't you see no stars gleaming that you can't just reach out and grab? You happy? You contented son of a bitch - you happy? You got it made? Bitter? Man, I'm a volcano. Bitter? Here I am - a giant, surrounded by ants! Ants who can't even understand what it is the giant is talking about!"
-Brother Younger (Danny Glover). A Raisin in the Sun, 1959 (original Broadway production).
Here are a couple of personal ones.
"e to the motherfuckin tan" - graffiti I found scribbled in a high school notebook, 2005. A former student and I were cleaning out my classroom. I tore out the scrap of paper and saved it.
"I'm real. I'm freakishly truthful."
-Graham Schaafsma, 2008. (A student of mine, I think, using an alias. If anyone knows who this is, please let me know.)
"bannes, grips, wall-meel. all frista" - my grandfather's shopping list, early 1980's. I kept this, but not to shame him. Thinking about him and the time we spent together (with my brothers) makes me smile. He's the one person I wish my wife and children could've met. The note, of course, was a reminder for my grandmother to grab bananas, grapes, and watermelon while at the supermarket. All fruit.