Missed opportunities: The Perfect Line

Well, MPSIMS lost the coin toss, so this goes here. Mods, feel free to defy the quarter and relocate at will.

I was at a picnic the other day with two of my friends. All of us are at least partially of the “geek” persuasion, albeit with different specialties. I’m a computer geek with a side of music and movies. Ben is a math geek, with the same side interests as me. Greg is a movie geek, with a side of computers. Suffice it to say we’re all fairly familiar with the mainstream and the obscure aspects of cinema.

Also at the picnic were Greg’s parents and a few of their friends. Greg’s parents, and their friends, are decidedly not of the “geek” persuasion. They’re upstanding Bible-belt church folk, some of the nicest you’ll ever meet, but they’re not the sort you’d want to use choice four-letter words in front of, and certainly not the type who’d be familiar with, say, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

Anyhow, we’re all sitting down by the river, and Greg’s parents are starting to unpack the food. Greg’s dad opens up the cooler and pulls out a Heineken. He offers one to his friend. “No thanks,” says the friend, “I brought my own.” The friend proceeds to open up his own cooler, and pulls out – what else – a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Ben, Greg and I look at each other, mouths agape. Our expressions make it understood that one thing is certain: It must be said. But who is to say it? Which of us can summon the courage to utter the inevitable line, well aware of the shocked stares of disbelief and anger that will follow in its wake? The time to act is quickly passing; someone must speak out. But who? WHO?!

…alas, as luck would have it, none of us could muster the strength of will to take action on that fateful day. The crucial moment faded, and we were left with naught but a giggle and a mutual sense of amusement at what could have been, and a disappointment that it had not been so. Such moments come but once in a lifetime, and then only if one is particularly lucky. For three friends such as us to have shared such a wonderful opportunity, and to have to live with the knowledge that we missed it, is a powerful burden indeed. If ever you should find yourself in our situation – carpe diem, my friend. Carpe diem, and damn all those who would stand in your way.

So, now I’ve told my tale…how about yours? Have you ever had the chance to say The Perfect Line, only to let it pass, and then kicked yourself for it later? I’m wondering just how common this situation is. So, if you’ve an anecdote of a similar nature: by all means, do tell!

Well, I’m not familiar with Blue Velvet, so I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about…

So what was the line?

Anyway, I actually managed to deliver my perfect line, back in High School. I was talking to the girl that I wanted to ask to prom. She didn’t know I wanted to ask her to prom (and indeed, I knew that she was going to say no, because she had just finished talking about the guy that she wished WOULD ask her to prom).

HER: “Who are you planning on asking?”
ME: “I can’t tell ya. I don’t want her to find out.”
HER: “I won’t tell her, you know that.”
ME: “Oh, I’m positive that you won’t tell her.”
HER: “Are you worried that I’ll tell someone else, and they’ll…?”
ME: “No, no, trust me. If I told you, she’d know.”

Looking back, it was a very, very interesting conversation. I hope to use it in a script someday.

I have a feeling it has something to do with this set of lines:

Frank Booth: What kind of beer you drink, neighbor?
Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken
Frank Booth: Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

After leaving the gym on a rainy day I was on my way home when I passed a woman that was just getting out of her car. She said something like, “How about this rain?” If I would have been on my toes and my usual sharp self, I would have said, “Now I won’t have to shower when I get home!” Instead I wasn’t paying attention, said, “That’s life,” and kept going. Maybe it’s funnier to me, but I still wish I would have thought of the other line at the time.

Leaper wins. Sorry about the confusion; I could’ve sworn I’d included the line somewhere in the OP. But yeah, saying “fuck that shit!” in front of my friend’s parents would not have been the best of ideas, especially given that there’s no way they’d understand the reference.

This happened to me just the other day, in Tokyo.

A young couple rather nervously approached me, asked where I was from, and then the man said “Do you know…<something something>?” I thought it sounded like “Murphy Mac”, but I really didn’t catch it.

“Excuse me?” I said.
“Do you know Muffin Man?” he repeated.
“The Muffin Man?” I asked, hardly believing I’d heard him correctly.
“Muffin Man.”

Now, the obvious thing to say next would have been “That lives on Drury Lane?” Somehow I managed to restrain myself and said, “Do you mean the song?”

Yes, it turns out he did mean the song. The woman explained that they were both studying English together, and they showed me their textbook, which contained “The Muffin Man”. They were curious as to whether it was really a famous song or not. I assured them that it was well-known to English speaking children in various countries, which seemed to make them happy.

I could’ve sworn I’d heard that one in Shrek. The bit where the bad guy interrogates a gingerbread man…or maybe I’ve had one bong too many.

There is a “Muffin Man” bit in Shrek, although in that scene one of the characters (I forget which one) actually does do the Drury Lane line.

My Dad was once out in the front yard flower garden, weeding and pruning and hedge-clipping and whatnot, when a family friend pulled into the driveway on an errant, stuck her head out the window and left herself open for it by calling out to him, “Hey, good to see a man actually working on a weekend! Hey, how much do you charge?”

For the benefit of the 0.01% of folks who would not see this coming: he replied, “Well, the lady of the house lets me sleep with her”

A few weeks ago Mr. S and I were standing in line to buy something, and as we sometimes do, we were holding hands, looking at each other and smiling, and otherwise committing PDA (nothing gross or inappropriate, honest!). Suddenly someone behind us said something like, “Hey, you two lovebirds, over here!” It was a clerk calling us over to the new line she was opening up. The way she said it, my first thought was that it must be someone who knew us. During the transaction she kept commenting about how we must be newlyweds (“No, we’ve been married 14 years”) and how wonderful that was, and on and on. It got to be annoying and actually a little creepy. (Give it a rest, lady!)

Anyway, as we were walking out to the car, it occurred to me that the appropriate response to “Oh, you must be newlyweds!” would actually have been, “Well yes, we are, but not to each other.” :smack:

Or, if you want to be cutesy, “yes, for 14 years!”.

When I attended Georgetown University, I took a course in Medieval and Rennaisance British Literature, talk by an erudite Jesuit who was rather proud of his singing voice – when we came across something like “Lord Randall, My Son” he would sing it for the class. In some discussion, I forget in what context, he mentioned the Dudley Moore / Bo Derek movie 10 – “A movie which, I assure you, I did not see!” (general chuckling) Not until the class was over did it occur to me I should have blurted out, “Oh, you should! It’s got this musical priest in it!”

One day, in History class…

Margaret: Shoot, I don’t have a pen.

Jesse: You could prick my finger and write with my blood.

Me: Or you could finger his prick and write with his semen.

Stunned silence.

GINGERBREAD MAN: All right! I’ll talk! I’ll talk! Do you know the muffin man?

LORD FAHRQUAD: The muffin man?

GM: The muffin man!

LF: Yes, I know the muffin man!

GM: Who lives on Drury Lane! She’s married to the muffin man . . .

No, no, IMDB got it wrong. Jeffrey drinks Bud, not Heineken.

I really remember it as Heineken, not Bud. I’m a Pabst Blue Ribbon drinker, so the dialogue is quoted quite a bit around here.

I’d rent a vid and check it out but I don’t know if it’s safe to view Blue Velvet more than once in a lifetime, and I’ve already seen it twice.

I have the best one, albeit it happened to a good friend of mine, not to me. So my story will suffer for translation.

My friend is a big college basketball fan; he went to Duke and knew all of the SEC players and so forth. He interviewed for medical school at (IIRC) UCLA. When his student interviewer walked in, he couldn’t help but notice that the guy was well over 6 feet tall and of a basketball physique. When the student interviewer introduced himself, he recognized him as a former SEC player who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, and left after a relatively short career. He had entered medical school and now was a second year student.

So my friend starts out:
“Hey! I know you! You are <insert student interviewer name here>! You used to play for the Lakers!”

Now of course the interviewer responds, yes, that’s me, are you a basketball fan, and the interview is off and running.

But how cool would it have been if the student interviewer had said:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, kid. My name is <insert student interviewer name here>. I’m a medical student.”
To which my friend would have said something along the lines of
“I think you’re really great, but my dad says you don’t work hard enough on defense. He says sometimes you don’t even run down the court, and that you never really try except in the playoffs.”
And then he could have replied something along the line of
“The hell I don’t! I’m out there busting my buns every single night. You tell your dad to drag Walton and Lanier down the court for 48 minutes!”

Ahhh if only.

Airplane reference - I love that movie.
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: