Ever wake up in the middle of the night and think, “well, that was disturbing”? Last night I dreamed that I was demonstrating suicide to schoolchildren by repeatedly shooting myself in the head. I remember thinking “this doesn’t feel at all like I thought it would” and then blood started oozing out of my face holes and I died again and again.
And I was in my house, but it wasn’t my house…
I did dream that I kept killing myself, though, which is why I wasn’t too bothered when that crazy thunderstorm woke me up at 3am.
I think it’s because I watched Penn & Teller’s Bullshit about the death penalty before going to bed. Well, I tried to watch it. My dad called me twice last night to tell me he was drinking the bottle of Schlafly Grand Cru I bought him. Also I suspect that his girlfriend was at work and he was bored, because he actually called me three times yesterday: once around noon to bitch about life insurance paperwork (I have nothing to do with this paperwork, by the way), then around 7pm to tell me he was drinking the beer, then at like 9:30pm to tell me he was more liberal than conservative (lie!) and that movies like The Book of Eli, which he had just finished watching, could happen in real life someday.*
Every year, I buy my father a Dude Movie. Past selections have been the Godfather series, Rocky, and Apocalypse Now. I try to find good Dude Movies, which isn’t hard but is expensive. Yes, I’m aware that Escape From L.A. retails for around $3 in garbage discount bins all over the metro area, but it’s silly and the CW plays it like every Saturday afternoon. He claims to appreciate these gifts, but he’s also like all of the middle aged ladies in my office – his taste in movies is mostly crap.
For the past couple of months, I’ve had to sit at work and hear the following comments: “The Book of Eli was really good, it really makes you think.” and “Grown Ups is so funny and cute!” Christ. I’m not trying to be snide about my tastes and I know the French can make shitty movies, too, but haven’t you people ever heard of subtitles? If everyone who turns 50 in the suburbs suddenly develops a burning desire to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop, I’ll shoot myself in the head for real.
My father lives in the city but is still over 50, and he was drinking a 20-ounce bottle of 9% ABV beer I’d purchased for him, so it shouldn’t have been any surprise that he wanted to talk to me about the philosophical value of crap movies. Specifically, the crap sci fi/fantasy movies that could someday happen in real life. Because of the government. Or something.
Dad: Hey, you should see Fahrenheit 451.
Me: No thanks, I read the book.
Dad: Oh, but the movie’s really good. It has a lot of stuff the book probably doesn’t.
Dad: I’m more liberal than conservative.
Me: You forget I’ve been listening to you talk for the past 28 years. You’re a conservative.
Dad: Well, I believe in rules and regulations. If there were no rules and regulations, people would just walk around stabbing other people or something! It’d be anarchy!
Me: Dad, the only people who want anarchy are crazy hobos and teenagers with bad taste in music. Everyone needs rules, it’s just the kind of rules and why they get approved that concern me.
Dad: In The Book of Eli, there are no rules. The government just took all the books away and now it’s one person making the rules. Everyone is out of their minds, and it comes true! Like Animal Farm!
Dad: I like all kinds of movies in the future. Star Wars, and Blade Runner, and that trilogy.
Me: What trilogy?
Dad: You know, that trilogy! God, Erin, I can’t believe you don’t know it.
Me: How am I supposed to know it based on that description? That trilogy. Like that one with that guy who did that stuff…
Dad: Baaahhhh! The one with the precious!
Me: … The Lord of the Rings?
Dad: That’s it!
Me: Dad, that’s not the future. That’s Middle Earth and there aren’t any cars. Big difference.
Dad: You want to talk about good movies? Terminator. Now those are good movies and they could happen someday if we’re not careful —
Me: No. I have to go to bed soon and I haven’t even brushed my teeth. Also I haven’t been drinking so I’m in no mood to have a conversation about how likely Terminator is to happen in real life.
Dad: But it could!
Me: No, Dad. It couldn’t. And unless you want this conversation to go on the Internet, you’ll stop now.
Dad: I don’t care, I’m gonna say it! So there. Put that on your Internet and eat it. Or whatever.
* Just so you know, I am not ignoring a possible mental illness. My father does not suffer from senile dementia, acute alcoholism, or other standard forms of crazy. That I know of. Yet.