Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Davidson Lexicon: A Primer

 You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid. Merry Christmas.

It's a Davidson thing, I suppose, to communicate by metaphor. Or at least in cipher, using one idea to convey a completely different idea that is only discernable to those who have the key. For us, most of the keys lie in movies. If we want to communicate an idea, it's easier to use the shorthand of film than to launch into a lengthy explanation. So to clear things up on this blog, I'll offer a bit of a primer for the Davidson Lexicon. Hope you enjoy it.

Vinz Clortho. This is what we call any of our kids when they're handing us stuff, over and over and over again, like a movie they want to watch or a book they want read to them. Named, obviously, after Rick Moranis' character in Ghostbusters. Mostly shortened to "Vince," as in "Thank you, Vince." Also, if we see something that's utterly gross, of course the first line that pops into our heads is "Ugh. Disgusting blob!"Another great Ghostbusters line is one we use if we're engaged in some activity of an official capacity and we say or do something that gets us rejected or otherwise opened up for further abuse: "Ray, whenever anyone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!" One final line: If we tell each other not to do something but end up doing it anyway, we have to say "I looked at the trap, Ray."

This movie is rich in the Davidson Lexicon. Other lines:

"You're right. No human being would stack books like this." Used mostly by my wife on me when she sees my attempts at cleaning out the shed.

"That's a big Twinkie." Used any time something very big is being discussed.

"You will perish in flames!" That's one we use when we're embarrassed because we just did something stupid (like kicking over a lady's groceries) and want to cover our tracks.

Mr. Hilltop. Mostly, we don't call each other Mr. Hilltop, but instead use Gene Wilder's line describing Mr. Hilltop from Young Frankenstein -- "Nice hopping." -- whenever we want to describe someone in a pyhsically awkward situation, such as falling off the couch (this happens in our house more often than you'd think). And, whenever we're in a situation where people are either getting too formal or are arguing about how to pronounce something, Michelle and I just look at each other and say "Eye-gor!" "Froederick!"And it goes without saying that any time we want to emphasize just how scary we want ourselves to be, we simply say "Blucher!"

"Good. Take him into bowels of hotel in case of screaming." This line, from the Bill Murray film The Man Who Knew Too Little, is used most often when one parent is forcibly removing a child from the presence of the other, so the other can get a break from the, well, child in question. Another great line from this movie is "Forget about Nikita. He was vicious. He's in a better place." That's one we use whenever we're discussing a sad or disappointing situation in which someone or some thing has left our lives.

"I am a championship kick . . . box . . .errrr." This line, spoken by Spongebob SquarePants' Patrick Star, is used whenever we're not having luck trying to explain something complicated to someone who doesn't have a clue or didn't really want as much detail as we're offering.

"It's uh, Mr. Uuatsum. He, uh, frrrrpt." This is both a line and visual, because as you deliver the "frrrpt," you have to make a slashing motion across your neck, just like Tim Conway does in The Private Eyes. Any time we have a defunct appliance, a broken toy that cannot be repaired and thus must be relegated to the trash can after the kids go to sleep, this is the line we use. Another favorite from this film is one I don't get to use very often because it grosses Michelle out. Whenever she's tasked with doing something unpleasant, I ask her, "Do you want another glass of pus?" Not often, though, because she REALLY gets mad.

"I like the dark. I love the dark. But I hate nature. I HATE nature!" This line, delivered by Chunk as he's scrabbling through the wilds of Oregon trying to find help for his buddies who just went after the buried treasure, is one of the highlights from The Goonies, and a line we use whenever we're going about an unpleasant task.

And, of course, there are the lines from A Christmas Story, such as:

"Not a finger!" I'm the one who uses this mostly, when I'm upset about something and want to come up with a real crusher.

"Dad gummit, blowout!" Again, one of my favorites. Whenever soemthing int he house breaks, this is my line.

"Shaddup, Ralphie." Dad gets all the good liens in the movei, so I get to use them in real life. Whenever one of the kids is being slightly more than really annoying, they get a "Shaddup Ralphie." They just laugh and keep on talking.

And the best one: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid. Merry Christmas." This is one I use on my kids all the time when I tell them no about something. Usually, this isn't the first no, but comes after at least a dozen nos have been issued. I only wish I could push them down a slide with the toe of my boot after I deliver this line.

"The whole world has to know our business!" Again, this is a verbal accompanied with a visaul. One must fling one's arm in a large clockwise circle when saying this, to evoke the proper Fiddler on the Roof vibe. This is used particularly by myself and my older brother Albert when family secrets are being told. A companion line, of course, is "We'll be staying with Uncle Avram. We'll be staying with Uncle Avram!"

And three final lines, this time from the Star Wars canon: "Can someone get this walking carpet out of my way?" Used mainly by my wife when I'm in the way and walking slowly. "Hurry up, Goldenrod, or you're going to be a permanent resident!" I use this on my kids a lot when I need them to hurry. "We're fine, we're all fine. Everything's fine here. How are you?" This is one that's leaked out of the Davidson clan and is now being used at Uncharted mostly -- in both cases -- to describe a situation that's getting out of hand but over which we want to maintain that illusion of control. It's not much of a credit to George Lucas' writing skills that these three lines were ad-libs, not part of any script.

Thanks for reading. I don't know if this'll make dealing with me and mine any more comprehensible, but at least you can join in the fun.

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