As I use everyone’s favourite search engine to find appropriate images for this post, it returns local search results first, including film showtimes. My favourite film of all time, Airplane!, is playing in a Toronto theatre this week. I text D to see if we have any Garbage Day plans. I am generally oblivious when it comes to today’s date. Last Wednesday, February 14th, when we ran into a friend and she asked us if we had plans, I responded “taking out the garbage” because it was a Wednesday. It has been Garbage Day since then. We live in one of those weird zones where garbage pickup happens every week and I do not pay for parking.
Today I am to write about something I love. I am almost more nervous about writing about something that I love than any other topic. I want to do the things I love justice, and as I generally lack the vocabulary to describe the feelings that floor me. I give up before I try instead of stammer as I attempt to confront the point. Tonight I will write about Airplane!
I wrote this piece for a media archives class, the first personal writing I had shared since approximately 2002. Over lunch a few months later, the instructor of the course asked: feel free to tell me to fuck off, but how could you spend ten years of your life with someone who didn’t share your sense of humour? His question was one I hadn’t considered, and laughter was a need I hadn’t identified in my relationships. I dove headlong into the things that made me laugh the hardest instead of trying to deny them.
Netflix had some pretty great films in their Canadian catalogue when I should have been writing my thesis. I don’t remember seeing Airplane! as a child but watched all three of The Naked Guns with my father. I knew that it looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue because of El-P. What I did not anticipate was it becoming the gift that keeps on giving
- a sincerely beautiful Elmer Bernstein score
- an interesting reuse and copyright case
- sufficient adolescent body humour for my tastes
- so many subtle visual jokes that only emerge on repeat viewings
- ambient propeller sounds on a prop plane
- the first comedic role for much of the main cast, as most of them were established dramatic actors
- it was the first time I had laughed out loud for so long, by myself, and I have to trust that instinct
The first time I hung out with Dustin I asked him what his favourite movie was, and he said Airplane II: The Sequel. We instantly fell in love. Two weeks ago (in this, the year 2020) I called a radio station for the first time and they played the main title theme for me. We have a new hi-fi system and it sounds so good.