It’s hard to describe the feeling of delight I get when someone new starts commenting on my blog. I remember wondering who this new Kristin was the day she left her first comment here at Mommy’s Pen. (My reader base is comprised almost entirely of people named “Kristin.”) Even more delightful, when I traced her back to Twitter and her blog, I found her sharp, funny and engaging. But this post was what did it for me. It’s exactly the type of thing I attempt to do here.
In short, I couldn’t be more pleased to have her guest posting for me. Enjoy…
Among the first posts I ever read at Mommy’s Pen was this one about Sue’s acquisition of Fezzik the Giant Chicken. And I knew instantly that I loved her. After all, any fan of The Princess Bride is a friend of mine.
I find it very difficult to restrain myself from tossing any given Princess Bride quote into a conversation if and when the opportunity arises:
As you wish.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.
Have fun stormin’ the castle!
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
OK, I admit that last one is a little harder to slip in under the pretense of everyday conversation… but it can be done.
The Princess Bride quote I most often use, however, has to be, “INCONCEIVABLE!” infamously (and continually) uttered by the villainous Vizzini, played by Wallace Shawn.
Now, here it should be noted that another reason I enjoy reading Mommy’s Pen is for Sue’s occasional series, Ben Stories, about her husband, Ben. Because Ben sounds like a pretty fun guy. At least, that’s the assumption I have to make about someone who idolizes The Dude from The Big Lewbowski enough to want his very own Dude sweater.
So today, in homage of Sue and her kind invitation to hold down the fort at Mommy’s Pen while she’s off living it up in San Diego at BlogHer, I’ve decided to share a story about my own husband, Jim. A Jim Story, if you will.
Jim – or Hubs, as he’s known on my blog – loves that I love to quote Wallace Shawn from The Princess Bride. Because Wallace Shawn is what he likes to call a B-celebrity. And Jim has this quirky fascination with B-celebrities. ‘Quirky’ is a relatively new term on my part for this particular interest. I used to find it just plain weird. But just as some endearing habits become annoying over time in marriage, so too do annoying habits become endearing.
Of course, my patience only goes so far. So, when he and his buddy, Doug – who shares this strange fascination – start trying to one-up each other with names of various B-celebrities, each one more obscure than the last, I generally roll my eyes heavenward and move on to something more fun – like sticking bamboo shoots underneath my fingernails, for example.
Hub’s affection for B-celebrities stems from sheer non-conformity. A self-proclaimed movie buff, he says the bit characters in his favorite films are often funnier or more interesting than the main characters. And since the actors who play them tend to make the rounds, he always gets a kick out of seeing them pop up in movies and on television shows in various and often dissimilar roles from ones they’ve played in the past.
Some of his favorite B-celebrities over the years have been Sorrell Booke (otherwise known as Boss Hogg), Conrad Bain (America’s favorite 80’s dad on Diff’rent Strokes), and Wayne Night (or, “New-man,” as Jerry Seinfeld would say.) But none surpass his most favorite B-celebrity of them all – Stephen Tobolowsky.
Stephen Tobolowsky has appeared in over 200 titles (205 to be exact), and has played everything from a profanity-spewing head trauma patient in Memento to a bumbling tourist in the now-defunct TV show Las Vegas. But Hubs loves him best as the uber-annoying Needle-Nose Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, in which he repeatedly torments Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, as a former high school classmate turned insurance salesman from hell.
It’s a role that endeared me to The Tobes as well. From his plucky pronunciation of, “PHIL!?” to the hilarious way he ends each sentence with a random, “Bing!” the Ned “Ned-the-Head” Ryerson Quotability Factor is high. After all, given the right opportunity, who wouldn’t want to bust out a gem like, “I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show!”
Last summer, I got into Glee during its Season 1 reruns. That’s right – I’m a Gleek. And in the pilot episode, who should happen to show up playing the creepily flamboyant fired Glee club coach Sandy Ryerson, but Stephen Tobolowsky!
“Jim!” I called excitedly, “Stephen Tobolowsky is on Glee! And his character’s last name is Ryerson!!!” I bet they did that on purpose, those crafty Glee writers.
Hubs entered the room, glanced from the TV to my eager face, and began to laugh.
“Oh, I can’t wait to tell Doug about this,” he chuckled.
And then his expression became very solemn as he said to me:
“You’re one of us now.”
What’s your favorite Princess Bride, Groundhog Day, or general movie quote?
And if you’re not familiar with the hilarity of one Ned Ryerson, here’s a compilation of his Groundhog Day clips for your viewing pleasure: