The Movie: The Trouble with Harry, 1955 (John Michael Hayes, screenwriter, from the novel by Jack Trevor Story; Alfred Hitchcock, dir.)
Who says it: Jerry Mathers as Arnie, son of Jennifer Rogers (Shirley Maclaine)
The context: Arnie takes his dead rabbit back after giving it to painter Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe), who’s courting Jennifer. Later, Arnie trades the rabbit for two blueberry muffins.
How to use it: When deciding whether to keep something that might be useless.
I admit to being something of a packrat, but I come by it honestly; you should see my dad's garage. It's occurred to me more than once that I move so often as a way to force myself to divest all the useless junk I seem to accumulate.
And yet -- what's useless? I got rid of an awful lot when I left Los Angeles, but as I unpack, I'm still surprised to find some of the things I've kept. My small stuffed Noo-Noo the Vacuum Cleaner, for example. My friend SueLin gave it to me when she was working at PBS and I was in the deepest throes of my Teletubbies addiction (I was a high-powered executive at the time; I figured, better Teletubbies than Valium).
For the uninitiated, Noo-Noo lives with and cleans up after the Teletubbies, and the Teletubbies blame Noo-Noo for all their bad behavior. This particular toy has a plastic piece of TubbyToast on a string -- pull it out, and Noo-Noo sucks it back up. The toy sat on my desk or my dresser for years, and it still makes me laugh, though I haven't watched an episode of "Teletubbies" in at least five years.