Monday, July 11, 2005

“You wanna be worshipped? Go to India and moo.”

The Movie: Quiz Show, 1994 (Paul Attanasio, screenwriter, from the book by Richard N. Goodwin; Robert Redford, dir.)
Who says it: John Turturro as Herbie Stempel, the winningest contestant on “21” – until Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes)
The context: Herbie is less than sympathetic to the expectations of his wife (Johann Carlo)
How to use it: A nasty comeback to someone who seems to expect too much.

One of the mysteries of the universe may have revealed itself to me yesterday. Anyone who's done much highway driving has seen them: single shoes lying by the side of the road. Where do they come from? Why only one, always? Is it some kind of signal to members of a secret society?

I was driving home from Augusta down 95 yesterday, behind a red SUV. From the passenger-side window, a hand dangled one canvas sneaker. Another hand dangled another sneaker from the driver's-side window. It had rained all morning, and all day on Saturday, so maybe this was just a creative way to dry the sneakers out -- but I was waiting to see one of the shoes spiral off into the slipstream, to become one of the mysterious single shoes by the side of the road.

It didn't happen while I was watching, but the SUV continued south when I took the ramp to 295. I'm guessing that if I drove down to Lewiston this morning, I'd see one of those shoes along the way.

Oh, and this quotation is thanks to Tod Goldberg, who asked for a line from Quiz Show before the end of the month. He would never use this one to his own lovely wife.

4 comments:

tod goldberg said...

Ah, at long last. Actually the line that gets thrown around ye olde Goldberg home is this line between Charles and his father Mark after Charles has finally admitted to cheating:
Charles: "An ill favored thing, sir, but mine own..."

Mark: "Your name is mine!"

In this occassion, uh, yeah, it's generally me who is Charles and Wendy who is Mark and I've just told some lady at Target to fuck off.

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

"Quiz show hearings without Van Doren--it's like doing Hamlet without Hamlet."

My favorite line from the flick. And gee, given the current flap about who leaked Plame's name, sans bringing Rove to hearings and court, it's certainly not germane much.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand a single word in above paragraph, Tom.
Ellen's friend Sue

AnswerGirl said...

Ah, Sue... I'll send you some links about the whole Valerie Plame/Karl Rove scandal, it's probably not getting much attention in Europe.