Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wayne's World Revisited

Wayne's World has been my favorite movie since I was nine years old. When I was a kid, I watched it and re-watched it until my VHS copy was on the brink of disintegration; I quoted it incessantly; I wanted to move to Aurora, Illinois; once, I put Barbie and Ken in their little pink Porsche 911, parked the car in front of the TV set while I had the movie going, and pretended that the dolls were at the drive-in, laughing hysterically and making out. 

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Wayne's World is the foundation that my sense of humor was built upon. But, as true as that statement is, it's also extraordinarily insane because when I watch the movie as an adult, it's clear that at nine years old, I didn't understand what the hell was going on. 

Because Rob Lowe and Ione Skye were in bed, barely clothed, I understood that coitus had just taken place and--totally ignoring the pizza box and fast food employee uniform on the chair--thought that Shakey's was some kind of sexual maneuver or adult slang word for sex. So to me this meant: You haven't been into having sex for so long. 

For about 10 years, I thought he was saying "Merve-mobile." I didn't know who Merve was, but I just went with it. Even if I had heard him correctly, I don't think I knew what "mirth" was--I'm not being poetic or philosophical when I say that, I literally didn't know the definition of the word.

I didn't realize that Tiny was Meat Loaf until I watched the movie earlier this week.

The pelvic thrust that usually accompanied the word "schwing," or the variant, "scha-wing," well, I did that all the time, having no idea that it was a boner reference. You see the picture of that little kid over on the sidebar of this blog, under the words "Vintage Amber"? Just imagine her spastically thrusting her pelvis at her mother and inanimate objects, saying "schwing"over and over again.

The full line is: "She makes me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class." I wish I could remember why this was so funny to me--it probably had something to do with Dana Carvey's delivery--but obviously I didn't know about boys and puberty and friction at nine years old.

I couldn't appreciate how clever this line was until I was a sophomore in college.

Perhaps the most crucial joke in the movie, and I didn't get it. What's worse, I used it on everyone I knew and laughed when they said "what." If they didn't get it and asked me to explain the joke, I just said, "exactly" until they stopped asking me. All I knew was that an "asphincter" wasn't something that anyone wanted to be, even if I didn't know what an "asphincter" was. 

May not have understood this line when I was a kid but it sums up my life right now.

 Unfamiliar with the word "gratuitous," I looked it up in the dictionary. So here's a moment where I actually learned something from the movie. 

The full line is: "Ribbed for her pleasure...Ewwwww!" I didn't get this until I was in high school. Around that time, I watched the movie with my cousin who was maybe four years old. After hearing the line, he laughed and then walked around my grandparents' house saying, "ribbed for her pleasure...ewww." I love that kid. He's like my little apprentice. 

When I was 10 and spending the summer with my grandparents, one of them decided to order Chinese food. I said, "I'll have the cream of sum yung guy," totally oblivious to its meaning but knowing that it was supposed to be a joke. Thankfully, my grandfather was incredibly cool and did indeed laugh. But if you really think about it, anyone who would punish or reprimand a kid for saying that, is probably the same sort of person who wouldn't understand the joke.


Megs said...

I did not realize until JUST NOW that Meat Loaf was in this movie. I also went around repeating the "asphincter" joke without having any clue what an "asphincter" was.

But I did love this movie, so, so much. For some reason, my favorite part was always the part where the psycho ex-girlfriend gives Wayne a gun rack for his truck, and he says "I don't even own a guy, let alone many guns, which would necessitate a rack." Maybe its because it was one of the few jokes I truly got when I first started watching this movie.

T. The Destructor said...

Okay so...this has nothing to do with the actual content of the post but:

I work in D.C., and there is place called the Hot Potato Cafe, and pretty much all they serve are 'potato meals' which are potatoes seasons and baked with a whole slew of toppings on them. Pretty fun lunch, if you ask me.

Anywho, they have this potato called Wayne's World. Its a potato topped with BBQ Pork, collard greens and crunchy fried onions. Is that an actual reference to Wayne's World? Because I have actually never seen Wayne's World (don't shoot me) and I think this timing was actually pretty perfect because I was considering getting the Wayne's World today at lunch, but I always had that question...Yeah, so this is probably the most random comment ever. Sorry.

MJenks said...

When I was in grad school, I lived out by the airport. My friends and I would talk about laying at the end of the runway, staring up at the sky, and screaming when the jets came in.

The one time we drove to the end of the runway, the sheriff came and told us to go home. Seems as though that was a popular area to pick up hookers or weed. Or hookers and weed.

I'm just thankful we escaped without sobriety tests.

And...ah...Tia Carrere. You had a certain...standard...that one of my ex-girlfriends could never achieve...

Allison said...

That's awesome!

I totally get the whole "new" experience of watching a much loved movie from childhood.

I recently re-watched "A League of Their Own" - which was my favourite movie as a kid. I've seen it many times since - but there's one line that completely went over my head as a kid. There's a scene where two kids ask Tom Hanks' character for an autograph and then the kids read it: "Avoid the clap - Jimmy Duggan."

I definitively didn't know what the clap was as a kid - I probably thought it was a baseball term.

Also, nerdy Canadian fact: Wayne's World is supposedly based on Mike Myer's life growing up in Toronto. The donut shop in the movie is a parody of our Tim Horton's franchises.

Stephanie Ann said...

This is also one of my favorite movies. I love the part where Garth is asking Wayne what he should do about always wanting to hurl when he sees this one woman and Wayne tells him, "I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be." Sad or not, that has summed up my dating philosophy ever since.

Richard said...

I watched Men Behaving Badly (just in case - it was a sitcom, before anyone gets any ideas) long before I understood it - Someone talks about his Mazda for ages, until one of the main characters chips in with "You. Mazda." 'Mazda' accompanied by the hand gesture for 'wanker'.

So, unaware that Mazda was actually a type of car, and that hand signal meant wanker, I spent many a month when I was young wondering round and cheerfully calling people a silly name and giving them this funny... uh... wave.

soft nonsense said...


Now I know how I'm spending my evening.

And I feel the exact same way about Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. I had a killer Jim Carrey impersonation back in the day, and was almost goaded into doing in front of JC when we saw him at the Toronto film festival. I, however, chickened out (at age, like, six), so I missed out on a life experience.

Did get to talk to Whoopi though, so that's good.

But anyway, moral of the story, nostalgic movies where you missed most of the jokes but still loved the hell out of it are the BEST kind of nostalgic movies.

RAY J said...

The guy I dated in college, his hometown is Naperville which is right next door to Aurora so my roommate and I went driving around one time - we got a picture of that pole with all the cars on it - it was pretty neat seeing it in person!

Jess said...

I love the Wayne's World movies. Classics.
There are so many movies I watched as a kid and didn't understand most of the humor, and now I'll watch them and be like "Oh!" and just laugh because now the joke is obvious.

Good post!

MC said...

The question is: do you possess a fine collection of hairnets and name tags?

nikki said...

Oh man, I love Wayne's World more than I should too. I was a huge fan of the SNL skit and it's pretty much the only skit to make the jump to movies successfully.

My favorite scene is when they see Alice Cooper backstage, and he's all intellectual. To this day, you mention Milwaukee, and I'll say, "The most interesting thing about Milwaukee is that it's the only major American city to ever elect three socialist mayors." And then my brilliant husband says, "Does this guy know how to party or what???"

Good times.

Lorelai said...

I love how everyone has a story to tell about movie scenes they didn't quite get when they were younger.

Mine is from when I first watched Titanic aged seven, and had no idea what was going on in that sweaty, foggy car. My mother told me that because they were next to the boiler room, it was so hot that they had to take off all their clothes. It also explained the sweatiness, and I BELIEVED HER.

The next few weeks at school, everyone was all Titanic this, Titanic that, and when that scene would come up in conversation I'd be the little know-it-all who'd say, "Well actually, they were near the boiler room, and it was really hot..." I got some serious edumacation that day.

Amiee said...

I just loved this post!
I've only ever seen bits and pieces of WW, but have seen all of the sequel! I know, weird right?

TabithaVenasse said...

I've never actually seen WW. We were banned from watching it as children.

I know someone who was once banned from watching Mrs. Doubtfire for saying 'P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-piss off lou!' to her mother after watching it.

It wasn't me, but I certainly used this to my advantage whenever I wanted to watch a movie without that person!

TbR said...

God that made me laugh. Scha-wing!

Also, I admire your grandfather's level of cool. My brother reminded me yesterday that he was dragged into our headmaster's office at school because he found a recording of my brother quoting American Pie. I'd say cinema was a bad influence on young people if it wasn't so effing funny.

RMb said...

damn, i havent watched waynes world in forever! now i'm off to my netflix queue (because i only have a vhs copy of it & my vcr is currently out of commission). thanks for the reminder!

Christina In Wonderland said...

Oh my God. Wayne's World is the grand poobah cheese of all things my entire childhood was based on. I too didn't understand most of the things going on in that movie until later years, but isn't it great how that's why we're all a little messed up in the head. And I seriously want my own apprentice now. That's awesome!

Do you know what else is awesome? The captcha under this right now says, "chess". I don't know why it's awesome, but it is.

Emily said...

Wayne's World is my life.

Kylee said...

so weird that we had almost the same experience with Waynes World.

I still remember SCHWING pelvic thrust and then my mom saying KYLEE! Stop doing that, it is inappropriate. And also constantly saying I'll have the cream of sum yung guy, and my mom giggling and saying do not say that in front of anyone, or tell people I let you watch this movie. OH AND singing foxy lady and pelvis thrusting.

I have been watching it since I was 5 and I too credit the movie for the foundation on which my sense of humor was built.


Amber said...

Megs: I love that gun rack line. I think that it was the first time that I'd ever heard the word "necessitate." Glad I'm not the only one who didn't get asphinctersayswhat.

T.: I don't think that's a Wayne's World reference. I'm guessing the dude who came up with it was named Wayne, though. You need to watch Wayne's World. Seriously. It's like the greatest movie of all time.

MJenks: Tia Carrere is so hot. Still! I never understood why she didn't become a bigger star.

Allison: I remember that line from A League of Their Own fondly. I didn't understand what "the clap" was either. I think that i thought that it had to do with the war because all the men were at war or whatever.

Stephanie Ann: I think that's actually a fantastic dating philosophy.

Richard: Hahaha. That's hilarious! You should probably start doing that again as an adult.

Soft: But the question is, can you still do the impersonation?

Ray J: I went to school in the chicgoland area and visited Aurora but never got to see that car sculpture thing. That's definitely something I regret.

MC: Haha...but..unfortunately, I do.

Nikki: That Alice Cooper scene is great. And the funny thing is, from what I've seen of him on TV, he's actually like that.

Emily: Wayne's World is also my life. CAR.

Kylee: I knew there was something awesome about you.

Angie said...

Awesome! I concur with every statement here. It's funny how, as kids, we cling to things and love them, regardless of having no idea what's going on. Rocky Horror Picture Show is my personal best example of this phenomenon.

C said...

So, new to the blog...


I give shout outs for sharp wits. (according to my t-shirt.)