Saturday, July 09, 2005

“Oh, no, my dear, I’m a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard.”

The Movie: The Wizard of Oz, 1939 (Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, screenwriters, from the book by L. Frank Baum; Victor Fleming, dir.)
Who says it: Frank Morgan as the Wizard
The context: Dorothy (Judy Garland), discovering the Wizard’s true identity, says, “You’re a very bad man!”
How to use it: When you’ve disappointed someone’s expectations.

It's always disconcerting when someone takes your flippant remarks too seriously. Not long ago, I muttered something to a friend about not being far from mental illness. I meant it as a joke, but he gave me a look that was a little too understanding.

"You're not nuts," he said kindly. "You're just a little eccentric."

I guess that's fair, though not as reassuring as he meant it to be. All I can really do about it is to hang out with people who are more eccentric than I am, so I feel normal in comparison.

Toward that end, I'm driving up to Hinckley this afternoon for a nature walk led by the brilliant (but notoriously eccentric) naturalist, artist and writer Bernd Heinrich, author of A Year in the Maine Woods, Bumblebee Economics, Why We Run, and many other books. It's pouring rain, but what is that to a professional naturalist? I called to ask whether it would be cancelled for bad weather, and the lady who answered the phone just laughed. So off I go, and it should be a great adventure.

How do people who aren't eccentric ever have any fun?

2 comments:

Running from my House said...

I'm reading Why we Run right now.. it's so good! I hope he was as cool as I think he is!

Chandra

AnswerGirl said...

He was really great. I actually thought of you when I bought WHY WE RUN -- I'm glad you have a copy!