The first meeting of a small discussion group for one of my college classes, we were introducing ourselves and telling a bit of our background. When my turn came, I said:
“I was born a poor black child.”
I am as white as can be (red hair and freckles). I got a lot of blank stares, except for one girl who cracked up and then started singing “Oh lordy, pick a bale of cotton, oh lordy, pick a bale of hay.” We were both laughing and the rest of the group was just looking at us like we were crazy.
In my last job, the whole department was at lunch at a restaurant. All of us were making Monty Python and the Holy Grail references, except our boss, who had never seen the movie and thought we were all daft.
(Well, we were all daft. That’s easy.)
But when the waiters joined in making Monty Python jokes, my boss totally lost it. “Has everyone in the world seen this except me?”
At a family gathering one Thanksgiving, my cousin started showing off her new iPhone. We started testing the Siri app, trying to find a question that it could not answer. When my turn came, I asked, “What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?” The app replied, “The last person who asked me that was hurled into a chasm!” My cousin was utterly confused, but her grandchildren and I loved it.
One time at work, my supervisor decided to buy us lunch. He went to Taco Bell, and brought back burritos for everyone. I mentioned that this was the shape of the universe. The supervisor was confused, but one of my co-workers laughed and said, “Wow! Obscure Bloom County reference!”
My boss took a day off since we were only running a skeleton crew the other day. A bit later someone called him on the radio and since he’s named Dave, it was the perfect opportunity for me to respond “Who? Dave? Dave’s not here.” Not a single look of recognition in the room.
I was on the USS Eisenhower back in the '90s, walking down the passageway right behind the Chief Engineer. A couple of junior officers were walking towards him, he grabbed one’s hand to shake and said, “Hi. I’m [his real name, not Eric Straton], Rush Chairman, and I’m damn glad to meet you”, and kept walking. The JOs looked confused. I immediately shook the same guy’s hand and said, “That was [the CHENG’s real name], Rush Chairman, and he was damn glad to meet you.”
The JO’s looked even more confused, and I thought that the CHENG was going to pass out from laughing so hard when he finally found someone that got that joke. So I guess I’m submitting this for him.
I have all kinds of uses for “I find your lack of faith disturbing” (Frankly, back in the days of IRC chat, I used to have whole conversations with lines from Vader, Palpatine and Tarkin, but this one remains useful.)
I also sometimes trot out “Only now, at the end, do you understand.” I use it partly for the irony because in everyday explanations, the end of the explanation always happens when the person finally gets it - if they didn’t get it, you’d have to keep explaining.
From real life, I love the Rumsfeld bit about “things we don’t know we don’t know” and often use variations of it in my work as an accountant when I’m trying to explain that there’s there a difference between null (i.e. lack of information) and zero (i.e. a confirmed quantity).
I also like to use “Mission accomplished” as a sort of joke about something that’s not actually done or not done well.
Too many to name.
Especially my hubby and I quote Beavis n Butthead a lot, stuff from the movie Clueless, and one particular line from Goodburger,
Dexter: Ed, I don’t know how to say this…
Ed: Oh, well, you just go, “Thiiiissssssssssss.”
So silly but if one of us asks what the other is doing, we say, , “Thiiiissssssssssss.”
There was some movie where I think it was Billy Bob Thornton shouts in his sleep, “beavers & ducks!” And the people look around at each other like WTF is he dreaming?
Similarly, we quote from the movie Step Brothers (hilarious if you’ve not seen it) when they’re sleepwalking and talking, “a clown has no penis”, “I’ll kill you Leonard Nimoy”. And if we’re grabbing cash from the other we say, “but what if I want wings?”
If someone says “gee” and pauses, I feel compelled to say “no, GTE”. (Old commercial)
And when we do a task together, we sing “how’s it gonna work, teamwork”, which is from a kid’s cartoon called the Wonderpets. People look at us funny, but the ones with toddlers get it.
I was recently in Chicago, walking up a flight of steps. A woman in front of us was pulling a baby carriage up.
Me: “oh shit, Cossacks!”
Wife and BiL: ??
Passerby: “molodets!” (Russian for “good one” approx.)
I quit intoning, “I’d prefer not to” YEARS ago because literally nobody got it.
There was no one to laugh at my wit yesterday when a friend said something about King Tut and I said, “Got a condo made-a stone-a!” and she gave me an utterly blank look. It did, however, compel me to look it up and show her a video, which was fun. After all these years, I remember most of the words, too.
Was in a meeting with my boss and her boss (no sense of humor or pop culture knowledge), I am the Excel developer who actually does the work. We were discussing some rather large spreadsheets we use.
The big boss has been rather insistent in the past that we could combine these large sheet into one mega sheet. Not really a good idea since this would overload the file and cause crashes. Better computers would not help, it is software limitations. My boss gets this, big boss doesn’t.
Big boss keeps bringing this up saying he would approve better computers. I get tired of objecting and finally say
“Maybe it could work if we could get better flux capacitors”
Right over big bosses head, “I would approve that”
After the meeting my boss scolds me
“Don’t ever do that again, I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing and spitting my Diet Coke all over big boss”