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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What's going on in my home at 75 cents an hour?

Keeping with yesterday’s post on MySpace, I bring up the site once again. This time, it’s about the personal quote that appears on most people’s profiles. Some may have a line like “Carpe Diem,” some famous movie line or some inside joke, but I chose a slightly different kind of quote. The line, “What’s going on in my home at 75 cents an hour?” comes from the cherished splatter flick spoof, Student Bodies, and I have a somewhat legit reason as to why I have it up on my page.

To give a little background, the scene where the line is said is early into the movie. A babysitter foolishly decides that she wants to have sex with her boyfriend while a mysterious killer named the Breather is on the loose. Well, if you know your splatter flick genre rules, premarital sex equals grisly death so Julie and her boyfriend get snuffed by paper clips and garbage bags. When the parents come home (and before they find the dead bodies in their bedroom), the mother is freaking out about how Julie didn’t wash the dishes and left the TV on all while being paid a handsome hourly wage of 75 cents an hour. Mid-freakout, the mother yells, “What’s going on in my home at 75 cents an hour?” It’s kind of a throwaway line but I love it because of how it’s said. Since so much of comedy is timing and timbre, the actress’s whining voice and freaked-out nature gets me going every time I hear it.

I don’t completely know why I love this line, but I think I just enjoy hearing a mother freaking out about what wasn’t done at such a paltry wage. I don’t know what the minimum wage was back in 1980 (when the movie was made) but I doubt it was as low as 75 cents.

As I’ve professed my love for this movie on this blog and on DoomedMoviethon before, I find the acting (albeit like the acting you’d find in an after-school special) and the humor of Student Bodies so unique but in a good way. This isn’t Oscar material but this isn’t ironic, so-bad-it’s-good humor either. Lines like, “Julie, you’re not responding to my maleness” and “Please, don’t be so formal. Call me ‘Daddy’” crack me up big time. Quotes like these work so well in the context of the film but what often occurs when something is taken out of its context, meaning/understanding is lost or hard to translate. Maybe this is all just for personal reasons that the ones that "get" it will enjoy and relate to it. For the same reasons that people laugh at the gross-out humor of There’s Something About Mary (which I never found funny), there is something indefinable in words as to why I really like something like Student Bodies.

For me, I can’t say, “I dunno – I just like it,” too often. When people try to convince me that some movie, music or book is worth seeing, hearing or reading, I want to know something more than just a “you have to” recommendation. I don’t mean to be a hard-ass with this stuff, but I want to know why I should take some time to enjoy something that someone else has enjoyed. I always welcome recommendations from people that know my tastes but whenever I feel like I’m being pushed towards something I don’t want to be pushed towards (like a cheese rock band on MySpace looking for me to be their 1,289th friend), I resist. Maybe that’s why I’m so guarded when I go out because I don’t want to be sold a widget or a lie.

And all this at 75 cents an hour.

3 comments:

Matthew said...

"I'd like to kill the kid with the gum."

Eric Grubbs said...

"Did you just say 'click'?"

_KiP said...

My favorite part is the MPAA bit - something about the timing of the F*** You followed by the Rated R tag cracks me up.

Horsehead bookends!