The Movie: Withnail and I, 1987 (Bruce Robinson, screenwriter and director)
Who said it: Richard E. Grant as Withnail, a substance-abusing, out-of-work actor
The context: Withnail and his friend (Paul McGann) spend a weekend at Withnail’s uncle’s country cottage, a damp shack with no food, no heat and no form of entertainment.
How to use it: In any situation that should have been fun but is instead a surreal, mind-boggling ordeal -- or maybe just not where you feel you're supposed to be.
This quotation is a shout-out to my friends Maeve and Elyse, who introduced me to this film. Another friend -- who would probably prefer to remain anonymous -- used the line one night when we were drinking in a tourist trap with a random group that included a couple of friends and colleagues, but also some of the strangest and saddest people you’d find outside an Edward Hopper painting. To make matters worse, my friend wound up buying. I feel bad that I wasn’t more sympathetic at the time, but at least I laughed at the quote.
The surreal thing that happened yesterday was that I actually found myself apologizing to my insurance company representative, who called me nearly in tears after receiving the (extremely negative) customer satisfaction review the company had asked me to fill out. I've been without my car for more than a month because of this company's incompetence, carelessness and apathy. This one guy has been "nice," but completely unable to help me. It might not be his fault, but it's certainly the company's fault.
Still, God forbid I hurt anyone's feelings...