Tuesday, January 17, 2006

If You Have to Shoot, Shoot - Don't Talk

I've said it before. Mrs Gin-and-Tonic hates gin. Isn't it ironic?

Well, way back when, at the very beginning of our tawdry relationship, before the baby-making, before the mortgage, before the law degrees, before the long nights on the futon laying awake listening to the loud squeaky giggling copulation in the landlord’s bedroom upstairs, there was a pizza party. Not just any pizza party, mind you. As the self-appointed morale officer of the law school, I felt it my duty to break the monotony of finals season, by serving pizza and martinis in the mock-court room, and playing Casablanca on the over-head monitors.

Somehow, pepperoni and mushroom tastes better in a jury box.

Now, I was nothing more than a horny student and semi-suitor at that point, but the future Mrs. G&T was already smitten. As she arrived for the shindig at the appointed time, I handed her an atrociously concocted dry gin martini (not really shaken or stirred, mostly just swirled...), which she accepted with aplomb.

“You can really tell a lot about a guy by the martini he makes,” she said as she batted her eye lashes. She dutifully gagged the first couple of sips down, and quickly trashed the rest while I was looking away. It was OK though. It wasn’t really important anyway, and things obviously worked out.

What was important, however, were her words. They were wrong. Well, not entirely wrong, just not entirely right. See, I’ve learned since, that there are better ways to learn volumes about a person with just a few words and no alcohol at all.

It is part of my job, when a case actually goes to trial, to select a jury. With the very short amount of time that we are allowed, it is critical to gain as much insight into a person’s soul with as few words as possible, and the quickest way to do that, I have learned, is to ask them to identify their favorite movie.

Romantic, practical, aggressive, empathetic, athletic, academic, artistic, mind-less, shallow, geeky, savvy, arrogant, fucker: I can read you from the movies you like. You cannot hide from my all-knowing Gene Siskel-like gaze.

As for me, my number-one favorite, all-time best-liked movie is: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. I’m not saying it’s the greatest movie ever made, just my favorite. I can watch it in its entirety on DVD, in widescreen with surround sound, and then channel-surf past it a little later in the evening, and have to stop and watch a little.

So what does the movie say about me?

It is a movie made by a quasi-lunatic cinematic maverick. A rebel. An individual. It reinterpreted an entire genre and an entire historical era. The protagonists were mutually reprehensible jackasses. The antagonist was professionally sadistic. The characters are motivated solely by greed.

All of the characters, from the title roles down to the legless informant, were universally covered in a thin sheen of oil, sweat and dust. Nothing was clean, not even Tuco’s priest-brother, Father Ramirez.

Loyalties are fluid in the film. The protagonists lie and cheat and leave each other for dead more than once. Trust is non-existent. The only character who doesn’t lie is Angel Eyes, but at the beginning of the movie he goes to a man’s house, eats the man’s supper, then shoots the man and the man’s son. (Big Kahuna Burger, anyone?)

Only at the very end is there the merest hint of a shadow of redemption, but only from a great distance away. Blondie spares Tuco’s life and grants him his share of the gold. Tuco thanks Blondie by calling him a sonofabitch. Roll credits.

Goddamn, I do love that movie!

So can you tell anything about me from this movie? I’ll tell you what, go watch it. Then, come back and tell me all about myself. I do know this, no lawyer that ever asks me that question will let me on a jury.


  1. 5th Element.

  2. You are morally bankrupt. Strike that...too strong. How about, your morality is...fluid? ambiguous?

    Let's put it another way, if you were playing D&D, your character would probably be a thief, rogue or at best a ranger whose alingment hovered around true neutral. On a good day, neutral good.

    It is that, or you really like pasta and you misunderstood what the whole "spagetti western" thing means.

  3. I won't tell you my favorite movie. In part because it would open me up to more endless mocking than the endless mocking I already endure from you. And in part b/c I don't agree with your theory. The movie is romantic, hopeful and sweet. And anyone who knows me, knows what a load of crap that is in terms of my personality. So I bet you'd let me on a jury. You'd think I'd be "nice" and wouldn't want anyone to feel bad. Wrong.

    Although, to be fair, I ask what magazine they read for much the same reason.....

  4. Actually, no, if your favorite movie is mindless romantic drivel, I'd assume that your opinion is easily manipulated and you're a sucker for a story with a happy ending. Being on the defense, I'd probably boot your ass.

  5. So if someone told their fav was Saw, would you keep them on because they might sympathize with sociopaths and the like? Because if I was lawyer and someone told me that, I'd give the boot on sheer principal.

    Fear & Loathing for me, or Way of the Gun.

  6. Given that you and I are on opposite sides of the case, I'd think you'd boot my ass no matter what my favorite movie is/was. Then again, maybe you're not bright enough to figure that out....Gosh, Bri, I think that plaintiff is lying. Pick me! Pick me!

  7. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Loving The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly may simply say you are a typical guy

  8. Brian Smith11:39 PM

    I think Mr Wilson Actually summed you up the best when he pondered your statement "a burning log".
    I also still find you bumptuous on occasion and not surprised that you used food and alcohol to attract women. Next time try a coach purse party. My response to your question would be the entire series of Twin Peaks. I like the fact that wierd men can actually be surrounded by hot women. I still masturbate to that show. Would that statement keep me off your jury?

  9. Your statements about twin peaks and masturbation tell me that you are a unique individual, not easily swayed by the masses, and willing to speak your mind. I would want to keep you on the jury. Unfortunately your wind foil-like ears would be distracting, and I would have to remove you for cause...

  10. I have always thought you can always tell alot about people by what movies they hold in their collection. My choices are always static and varied depending on my mood but the ones that never stray too far out of mind are Jaws, American History X and Seven.

  11. Fight Club. What if it was an assault case?

  12. Brian Smith11:34 PM

    Im changing mine to A clockwork Orange


Be compelling.

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