Sunday, August 31, 2008

If The Bandit's Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right.

"Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven!"

That's what elhansonET posted as a comment under a YouTube compilation clip of images from "Smokey and The Bandit" three hours ago. Not three decades ago, hours. From Germany. (Go ahead. Do it out loud with the German accent. You know you're dyin' to.)

Meanwhile, back in the States, it's dirt track date night at Casa de Lefler. What are we screening? You guessed it. The 1977 tire-smokin', Coors-haulin', hammer-stomping classic that some (a.k.a. "cousins") have called "the best car chase movie ever made." (Please don't go all culture snob on me and start waxing poetic about "The French Connection." Apples and oranges, particularly in two crucial respects. "The French Connection": sorely lacking in both banjo picking and Basset hound. There, I said it.)

There's just so much to whoop about, from Burt Reynolds' mustachioed grin to Jackie Gleason's bug-eyed infuriation to Jerry Reed's masterful theme song: "Eastbound and Down."

Here are some family activities that go great with this classic film:

The Name Game: Have a son? See if you can convince him that you came this close to naming him Cledus. (Works best if everyone on the sofa keeps a straight face. Doesn't work at all if son actually is named Cledus.)

The Career Counselor: Are your teenage kids dragging their feet filling out their college applications? Try leaving brochures for trucking school in strategic locations around the house. (Careful with this one - it can backfire on you depending on how much your teen bonded with the movie.)

Lightning Vocab: Hit the pause button at key times during the movie and see who's first to define critical redneck terms of art such as: choke-and-puke, bootlegging, rocking chair and Texas bubblegum machine.

For the Life Imitates Art file: I am living - living - for the day when one of my kids raises a hand in class and asks for the hall pass so they can go "ten one-hundred."

Parent-teacher what?

That's a big ten-four, good buddy, and remember: keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.


Karen said...

Is this a memorial post in honor of the recently deceased (I wonder how to say "kicked-the-bucket in CB?) Jerry Reed?

I loved that movie.

Anna Lefler said...

No, but isn't that weird? He passed away Monday morning (the day after I put this up) and I didn't hear about it 'till that night. So sad. Jerry Reed was awesome. Hmmm, I feel a film festival coming on...