Friday, April 01, 2005

A Rare Moment of Fantasy Meeting Reality

There's a great scene in the Woody Allen masterpiece 'Annie Hall' where Alvy and Annie (Woody and Diane Keaton) are on line at a movie theater, and a pompous, stuffy professor is in line behind them, droning on and on with silly intellectual babble. Here's what happens next:
  • MAN: It's the influence of television. Now, now Marshall McLuhan deals with it in terms of it being a, a high-- high intensity, you understand? A hot medium--
  • WOODY ALLEN: What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it.
  • MAN: -- as opposed to the truth which he [sees as the] media or--
  • WOODY ALLEN: What can you do when you get stuck on a movie line with a guy like this behind you?
  • MAN: Now, Marshall McLuhan--
  • WOODY ALLEN: You don't know anything about Marshall McLuhan's work--
  • MAN: Really? Really? I happen to teach a class at Columbia called TV, Media and Culture, so I think that my insights into Mr. McLuhan, well, have a great deal of validity.
  • WOODY ALLEN: Oh, do you?
  • MAN: Yeah.
  • WOODY ALLEN: Oh, that's funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here. Come over here for a second?
  • MAN: Oh--
  • WOODY ALLEN: Tell him.
  • MARSHALL McLUHAN: -- I heard, I heard what you were saying. You, you know nothing of my work. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.
  • WOODY ALLEN: Boy, if life were only like this.
I recently had one of those moments when life is what we hope it will be. Two days ago, coming home in the madhouse that is I-35 at rush hour, this insane moron behind me moved over to the right where no lane existed (this is on an Interstate Highway, remember, in the middle of rush hour), and proceeded to whiz dangerously by everyone patiently waiting.

You've been here before, right? And like me, you silently (or not so silently, perhaps with the aid of one finger) cursed the maniac and said to yourself, "Where's a cop when you need one?" You've already guessed what happened next, no doubt...

As the traffic inched forward, I saw the maniac, pulled over with the flashing lights behind him, and the cop wasn't just writing him a ticket - he was going to town on him! I rolled down my window as I got near, and let me tell you, that man was getting the lecture of a lifetime on traffic safety. I have never seen a policeman so forcefully 'in your face' as this one. I had another forty-five minutes in brutal traffic before I saw home, but I passed it by rather is sometimes sweeter than you expect it to be.

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