Sunday, November 19, 2023

What Men Think About

The best skit from last night's Saturday Night Live involved the idea that's gone viral in the last couple of months that men spend a surprising amount of time thinking about the Roman Empire. I don't know whether that's true, or if they've just stumbled upon a good answer for when a woman asks a man what he is thinking about. They tried for a long time to tell us they are not thinking about anything, which women don't believe because women never stop thinking.

The concept is funny, yet it's the script, performance, and editing that raise this one to the level of masterpiece. The little boy is exceptionally impressive. Parental guidance is recommended here.

1 comment:

Marco McClean said...

That's pretty close to what I really do, except with me it's a mishmash of science fiction stories, and it's only ancient Rome or dinosaurs when there's time-travel, which is less than a percent of it.

The slapping, though. There's a musical number in /Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/ where two opposing lawyers in court, Rachel Bloom and some guy, have a fantasy dance (Horny Angry Tango). They dip (she sings, "Dip," to narrate). He reacts as though she /called/ him a dip, whatever that is, and sings in her face, "Whore!" She slaps him (they both provide the sound effect for this, singing, "SLAP!"). There's a shocked pause. He sings, "I cannot slap you back... because you are a lady." She sings, "This clearly is a double standard." They both sing together, "But it's prob'ly for the best." Story violence has always had this exact cartoonish quality to it for me, from Punch and Judy through The Three Stooges through Coyote-and-Roadrunner through John Wick.

I've never slapped anyone nor been slapped. I think I'd be afraid to damage their hearing by reaching too far or scratch their eye by not reaching far enough and that might mess with my aim and be a self-fulfilling prophecy, or I might hurt my fingers. In a tense situation I have imagined twisting people's head off like a ketchup cork while making a clever quip, but then I was occupied thinking up quips, deciding between them, refining them, and the moment passed.

The most shocking episode ever in my entire real-life 37 years so far with Juanita: I washed the dishes and somehow chipped her precious art cup that her recently dead best-friend-since-childhood had given her. She discovered the damage, narrowed down the pool of suspects to the only person in the place, got the hammer from the tool drawer and my big salad bowl from the cupboard. She held them up between us. I said quickly, "Don't hurt your hand!" And she smashed the bowl to smithereens, mostly into the sink, like serving a tennis ball! She set the hammer down and went to the other room, crying. I picked up all the shards and swept. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

There's an old joke: A teacher tells a very well-dressed mother that her child has been misbehaving. The mother says, "My son is very sensitive. If he misbehaves again, just slap the little boy next to him."