Saturday, January 08, 2005

“Thank you. Thank you ver’-ver’ much.”

The Movie: Bubba Ho-Tep, 2002 (Don Coscarelli, director and screenwriter, from a story by Joe R. Lansdale)
Who says it: Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley, aka Sebastian Haff, the inmate of an East Texas nursing home.
The context: This is the last line of the movie, after Elvis has joined forces with Jack (Ossie Davis), a fellow resident who believes himself to be John F. Kennedy, to send an ancient Egyptian mummy back to hell.
How to use it: To express appreciation in a way that honors the King of Rock & Roll.

Don't ask me why I know this, but today is Elvis Presley's birthday. I was never that big a fan, until my brother Ed and I visited Graceland on our cross-country odyssey in the early 1990s. We expected it to be cheesy, and it was, but it was also profoundly moving.

The house gives you a real sense of what the man was like, and how he spent his whole life trying not to disappoint the people who loved him, even if he didn't know them. He seemed to need to atone for his success, and despite the excesses of his lifestyle, I didn't get a sense that he had ever really enjoyed it. Sad.

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