The Movie: Chinatown, 1974 (Roman Polanski, dir.)
Who says it: Joe Mantell as LAPD Detective Lawrence Walsh
The context: It’s the last line of the movie, said to private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson). Gittes has just witnessed the murder of the woman he loves, and seen the man responsible drive away unpunished with his next victim.
How to use it: In acknowledgement that some things don't change, despite your best efforts.
Due to a series of miscommunications and snafus, it looks as if my car will not be fixed until sometime early next week -- which pushes my departure date back from Sunday. I'll know more later in the day.
This means that in all likelihood I won't get to Maine in time to see my friends the Schulzes, who'll be visiting from Munich. Overlapping with their visit was the whole point of my scheduling the move for mid-August, so it's especially frustrating. I'll just have to do another of my bad-weather visits to Europe this winter... at least getting to Germany from Maine is much easier than from California.
A few people out here have said to me, "Well, this is what you get for trying to schedule a move when Mercury's retrograde." I had never even heard of Mercury retrograde until I moved to California, and it cracks me up to hear people talking about it as if it's a genuine meteorological phenomenon. I even say it myself, because it's become synonymous in my mind with Murphy's Law. But if astrology had any legitimacy at all, wouldn't my twin sister and I be much more alike? And wouldn't my brother Ed, born on our sisters Peggy & Susan's first birthday, be just like them?
I know I will hear from a couple of people about this... watch this space for rational explanations, if I get any.