Sunday, December 19, 2004

“Don’t get him wet. Keep him out of bright light. And never feed him after midnight.”

The Movie: Gremlins, 1984 (Chris Columbus, screenwriter; Joe Dante, dir.)
Who says it: Keye Luke as Mr. Wing; Hoyt Axton as inventor Randall Peltzer
The context: Mr. Wing gives Peltzer these instructions for the care and feeding of the mogwai Gizmo, and Peltzer passes the rules along to his son, Billy (Zach Galligan).
How to use it: To comment on any person or animal who seems excessively high-maintenance.

Happy birthday to Gary Fleder, cherished friend of my youth, who has actually grown up to do all the things he said he wanted to do when we were teenagers. Don't worry, Gary, this quotation is not about you.

In fact, I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular; I just wanted a quotation from Gremlins, because no one ever mentions Gremlins when they talk about great Christmas movies. The movie is a very dark cautionary tale about what happens to people who don't take proper care of their belongings... I wouldn't show it to kids, because it's quite scary and violent, and Phoebe Cates' character's story about why she hates Christmas is awful.

Ashton and I were all over Washington yesterday -- downtown, Foggy Bottom, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights -- doing some Christmas shopping. Driving around Washington takes time, because the city was not designed for automobiles; it was designed, at least in part, to prevent an invading army from moving across town quickly.

I've been thinking about whether to look for part-time work in Portland, just to get me out of the apartment a few times a week, but the idea of the 45-minute drive from Gardiner to Portland gave me pause. Then I remembered that on any given day in Washington, it could take me 45 minutes to drive the four miles from my old house in upper Northwest to my office on 18th Street.

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