A conversation between Fort Awesome and I two weeks ago as we drove 45 minutes to hear Deborah Eisenberg read:
Fort Awesome: I liked that movie, but it reminded me of Ken Burns.
Terrible Mother: Who's Ken Burns?
Fort Awesome: Shut up.
Terrible Mother: What?
Fort Awesome: What the fuck is wrong with you? "Who's Ken Burns?"
Terrible Mother: What are you talking about?
Terrible Mother: See, when you said "Ken Burns," I really thought "maybe 'Ken' is Mr. Burns first name."
Terrible Mother: You know. From the Simpsons?
Fort Awesome: You cannot have a Master's degree. You cannot. There's been some terrible mistake*.
An IM with Fort Awesome a week later:
Fort Awesome: I big heart Malcolm Gladwell- do you think he will marry me?
Terrible Mother: who is that?
Fort Awesome: holy shit
Terrible Mother: Oh God. I hate this game.
Fort Awesome: he writes** like every other month in the New Yorker!
Terrible Mother: I am now scarred, can't even begin to ask "who is that?" Because I know it's going to hurt when I don't know.
Fort Awesome: Can you at least recognize the name?
Terrible Mother: Yes?
Fort Awesome: Blink, Freakonomics***, The Tipping Point?
Terrible Mother: Are those essays he's written for the New Yorker?
Fort Awesome: They are books. Books.
Terrible Mother: Oh yeah. "Freakonomics." I think I read a review of that on Salon.
Fort Awesome: You're hopeless.
Terrible Mother: I'm not hopeless! I have a good memory for certain details! Conversations, for example.
Fort Awesome: Apparently no one you have ever known has talked about Ken Burns or Malcom Gladwell. Anyway, have you seen the preview for the movie based off So Much Water So Close to Home?
Terrible Mother: no
Fort Awesome: here
Terrible Mother: It looks fucking fabulous
Fort Awesome: please god tell me that's sarcasm
Terrible Mother: What? It looks good!
Fort Awesome: They've turned it into a thriller.
Terrible Mother: But I love Laura Linney****.
Fort Awesome: It's a dumb thriller.
Terrible Mother: But it's won awards. And all the awards have laurel leaves around their titles. I'm a sucker for the laurel leaf awards.
Fort Awesome: But it was this great quiet feminist story.
Terrible Mother: Really? Who wrote it?
Fort Awesome: Please stop talking.
Terrible Mother: Oh no. It's someone I should know isn't it?
Fort Awesome: Raymond Carver, TM. Raymond Fucking Carver.
Terrible Mother: I knew it sounded familar!
Fort Awesome: Ehud would kill you. If I ever want to be the favorite, I'll just email him this IM.
Terrible Mother: It's like the time I asked, "And who wrote The Seagull again?"
Fort Awesome: Please. Please just stop talking.
Terrible Mother: Done and done.
Two years ago, at the end of a long conversation between Friends One and Two and me, I described a dramatic moment in class by saying "It was the epitome of dramatic. It was like that scene in The Karate Kid."
Friend One looked at us. "Which movie was that again?"
This caused Friend Two and I to look at each other aghast. Then we stood up at the same time. "You know, The Crane Kick," we were both saying, chattering over each other. And then in the middle of Allann Brothers Coffee, we started miming said Crane Kick. And all the while Friend One looked confused. "I'm not sure I've seen that movie before," she finally said, as Friend Two and I became more agitated, saying things out of order like "Sand the floors, Friend One!" and "Daniel-san!" and "Cobra KAI!"
I think we just confused Friend One more.
*And the entire evening of the reading, I kept asking people "Do you know who Ken Burns is?" trying to prove that someone else wasn't as lame as I was.
Did it work? No. It didn't. Not even a little.
** And he has a decent blog.
***Also, MG didn't write that book, which makes me simultaneously feel vindicated (Ha! Fort Awesome was wrong!) and lame (Oh. But that's the one I sort of knew about). It's like life. Only on a much smaller scale.
***Notice how I didn't get any credit for at least knowing who she is? See that? Shenanigans I say.