10.19.2004

It's getting hot in here!

Are you now thinking "So take off all your clothes"? If not, we may have some time to rest and regroup within written language, while the spoken word consumes itself around us. Is it just me or is it now impossible to use the phrase "It's getting hot in here" to mean what the words are meant to mean when they are placed in that order?

Recently, I was imprisoned in the blast furnace of an iron rod factory with some Chinese peasants by a diabolical robot programmed to behave like a cross between Gengis Khan and Jerry Springer. As I was explaining to the peasants which pieces to extract from the bag of waving-Mao watches that Mei Wei was carrying so that I could assemble a tiny karate-chopping automaton to smash through the wall of the furnace, I decided to motivate these watch dessemblers by observing -- and rightfully so -- "It's getting hot in here."

Chang Yi looks up at me sheepishly and says "So take off all your clothes." He knew it wasn't the time or place for such a joke, indeed he even knew that it wasn't a particularily original or entertaining joke at the best of times, and yet he felt compelled to go through with it. I still needed forty more 5mm springs, 6 gears and a dozen sprockets to complete my 50-armed, chopping mini-mao automaton and yet here is Fung Yu-lan exposing his -- admittedly flawless -- abdominal area. I glared at him and turned back to Chang Yi who was unsure of how to soften the leather wriststraps. Becoming frustrated I raised my voice:
"Shake it! Shake it!"
The idiot cupped the first strap in his fist and started shaking it quite vigorously. Wanting to signify that he ought to hold the end of the watch between his thumb and the tips of his index and middle finger -- I cried out in exasperation "Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture!" The next thing I know Fung Yu-lan's -- admittedly flawless -- derriere is bouncing up and down like a paint mixer. From there on out I had to give all my instructions in Mandarin. Thank Poseidon all the Chinese pop stars have Cantonese catch phrases -- or I might not be here now sipping 57 year-old cognac as I write this post. But this is no time for me to grow misty-eyed about the tragic beauty of a particularly fine vintage. I must refrain from further mention of fine spirits in this post.

It was bad enough to be forced to suffer through all the office-place chaffe saying "Is that your final answer?" a few years ago -- and, in the case of those most need of seperation from the wheat, to this day -- as though it were a meaningful phrase, occupying some worthwhile position in conversation. But things have reached a new low. "Is that your final answer?" was a catch-phrase invented by some diabolical hollywood execu-bot (who incidentally was also a cross between Gengis Khan and Jerry Springer). It was not a common, practical phrase. It certainly was a burden on our ears and minds, but it did not come into life by vampirizing a genuinely useful sentence. That sentence has actually lost its original meaning, it is now nothing but a prompt for a frustratingly over-used joke. We are marching towards some sort of bizarre twist on the Tower of Babel, where we all speak the same language but are still unable to communicate because our sentences only refer to instances of the same sentence in the media. If it weren't for the Hennessy V.V.V.S.O.P. in my hand, these might not be tears of joy I was crying. Oops, I did it again. Yes, I recognize the irony of my last sentence -- I'm not that innocent.

6 Comments:

Blogger deadpan said...

I've been wondering recently if I could spend an entire day speaking only in lyrics. Are apocalyptic signs any less frightening if I co-opt them for personal entertainment value?

Oh yeah, and "gengis" should maybe be "ghengis". I might be wrong about that one, but for sure Nelly would say that "here" is spelled "herre". For no good reason.

10:18 p.m.  
Blogger justin said...

I've heard... no, let's be honest, HAD entire conversations that conveyed, I thought at the time, deep philosophical truths which consisted only of Simpson's quotes.

Those Mao watches... damn them to hell! All busted before I left the country! 60% CHEAP, you bald bastard!

11:51 p.m.  
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