Thursday, June 30

Tips for the appropriate year-round use of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation quotes, Part 1

If I have anything, I have a good recall of movie quotes. I also have a gift for the timely application of those movie quotes to maximum effect. A disproportionate amount of those quotes come from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, for obvious reasons.

Today I'm going to home in on how to use Eddie's dim-witted, "Are you serious, Clark?" line. Observe:


In this NLCV scene, the adults are in Group 1, led by Clark, whose purpose is to up the Christmas-cheer ante by making the kids, Group 2, believe that Santa was en route. Eddie, the plastic-skulled slow-coach, ruined the illusion with his idiotic, "Are you serious, Clark?"

This classic can be applied to any situation in which there are two groups present: 1) People who are in on the joke/hoax/fib and 2) People who are fleeced by the joke/hoax/fib. When someone from Group 1 doesn't cotton on and unexpectedly joins Group 2, a well-placed, "Are you serious, Clark?" will do the trick nicely.

Real Life Application

Tonight, my parents babysat Ethan while Noah and I had dinner with friends. When we picked him up, he was so wired that he performed a wild dance while thanking God for our tomatoes, then he knocked off everything from atop of the coffee table in a single violent sweep. Naturally, I didn't want him to know Kyle was coming over to do P90X with me—Uncle Kyle coming over would be the perfect excuse to fight the onset of some much-needed sleep. So we staged a hoax: Uncle Kyle would come out to the car and kiss Ethan goodnight, then follow a few minutes later.

Finally contained settled into his car seat, Ethan sweetly said goodnight to Kyle and gave him a kiss.

"I THOUGHT KYLE WAS GOING TO YOUR HOUSE," my mother said loudly. While everyone else shouted their reproaches, I knew exactly what needed to be said.

"Are you serious, Clark?"


magnolia said...

that is MUCH better than my usual strategy of "shut up-shut up-shut UP..."

Erin said...

Exactly—it's like a sophisticated code.

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