Tuesday, June 28, 2005

“Do I laugh now, or wait til it gets funny?”

The Movie: Double Indemnity, 1944 (Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, screenwriters, from the book by James M. Cain; Billy Wilder, dir.)
Who says it: Fred MacMurray as insurance salesman Walter Neff
The context: Walter can’t believe what he thinks Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck) is suggesting.
How to use it: When something’s not as funny as advertised.

I pretty much knew how the day was going to go when I arrived at the Inter-American Development Bank's conference center this morning at 8:20 to see a line of people extended around the block. Registration, you see, didn't start until 8:30, and they could hardly let anyone in before then -- despite 80-degree temperatures and 90+% humidity.

As I approached the doors, I saw one sign that read, "Last Names A-K" and another that read "Last Names M-Z." Eventually, someone came out and replaced the "A-K" sign with one that read "A-L." Imagine my relief.

After that, though, it was a very good program, and continues tomorrow and Thursday... I'll report more on Friday, when I review the book underlying this conference, Beyond Small Change: Making Migrant Remittances Count.

Admit it, you envy my fascinating life.

Oh, and happy birthday to my nephews Matthew and Henry, who are two years old today, and to my good friend Caroline Case, who remains ageless.

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