Thursday, June 30, 2005

“I can safely say that my whole life was one continuous misdemeanor.”

The Movie: Heaven Can Wait, 1943 (Samson Raphaelson, dir., from a play by Leslie Bush-Fekete; Ernst Lubitsch, dir.)
Who says it: Don Ameche as Henry Van Cleve, recently deceased
The context: Van Cleve explains to His Excellency (Laird Cregar) why he believes he belongs in Hell, rather than in Heaven.
How to use it: When looking back on a good time.

This charming movie has nothing to do with the equally charming Warren Beatty film, which is a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan. You pretty much can't go wrong with Ernst Lubitsch, in my humble opinion. The point of this movie is that the main character isn't nearly as bad as he thinks he is, a principle that applies to most people I know (and I really hope applies to me, too).

Dizzy has decided that a terrier on the first floor of Ashton & Joseph's building is his enemy. I never know why this happens. Dizzy is an exceptionally friendly dog; he gets along well with almost all other dogs, except that every so often, he'll just take a violent dislike to one.

The terrier on the ground floor can look out of its apartment through a glass door that opens onto the sidewalk. Dizzy and I walk by and the terrier is there in the doorway, teeth bared, shrieking like a hound of hell. Dizzy barks back, and lunges for the door. The terrier -- either because it's valiant, or because it trusts the door -- holds its ground, and I yank Dizzy away.

Two minutes later, we're back upstairs and Dizzy seems to have no memory of the encounter at all. Weird.

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