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The GetDetails.com Editorial staff speaks out on matters of importance.  Unafraid of sponsorship restraints or sacred cows, these people are totally out of control.  Read our columnists here, updated at least weakly. 
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Comments by Scoper...Do you like my hair?  Damn, I am Handsome!!

If Life Were Like Old Movies

"Now I'm gettin' old, I don't wear underwear. I don't go to church and I don't cut my hair. But I can go to movies and see it all there, just the way that it used to be."

Pencil-thin Mustache, Jimmy Buffett

Well, maybe not quite the way things used to be, Jimmy. In some ways, movies were a completely alternate reality, even before high-tech special effects came along. Being mindful of that, and of the holiday releases, I offer a brief primer on a few of the differences between this world and old celluloid-land. 

Telephone etiquette:

In real life, if someone hangs up on you, you mutter a choice word to yourself and get on with your day. 

In old movies, when someone hangs up on you, you must repeatedly and at a frenzied pace, jam your finger on the plunger and shout "OPERATOR! OPERATOR! WE'VE BEEN CUT OFF!" even though this has never worked, even in the movies. 

In real life, we all have push-button phones by now. 

In old movies, when a rotary-dial phone is used, the number must always be 221-2112. Saves time. Maybe 2122, but there will never be a number higher than three, and certainly not zero, unless it's followed by shouts of "OPERATOR! OPERATOR!

In old movies, all long-distance calls were operator-assist, and the operator was actually alive.

In real life, it's 11 digits, unless you're on one of those 10-10-whatever services. Or unless you're away from home billing it to your home phone which is 12 more digits. Or someone gave you a prepaid phone card for your birthday ("now where did I put the damn thing?") which is God knows how many more digits and if you get it wrong you have to start all ovů"oh, hell, I'll just send an e-mail."

Interpersonal relations:

In old movies, if you punch someone in the face, hard, the sound is like a slightly muffled firecracker (a definite crack) yet you can immediately finish smoking your cigarette using that hand. Your opponent, while knocked to the ground, shows not a mark or a drop of blood. And if you're the hero of the picture, that one punch knocked him out. 

(Corollary to the above: in a Three Stooges short, hitting someone in the head with a ball-peen hammer not only doesn't crush the skull, it makes a pleasant, ringing sound, much like a door chime. In real life, it's second-degree murder.)

In real life, punching someone hard in the face makes a sickening "thud" sound, if it's anywhere near a nose or a lip it draws blood, and even if you didn't actually break your hand you won't feel like using it to pick anything up for a while. But you might consider using your feet, because your opponent was not knocked out and now he's really pissed.
 
 

Lovers, not Fighters:

In old movies, nobody got pregnant or caught a disease because nobody had sex. (One exception: the girl in Love Story died of "old movie disease." Symptoms: it's painless, and you're lucid and witty and have perfect makeup until the bitter end. Another "plot-device fatality."

Related: Nobody's mother, wife or sister ever went to the bathroom. (Real life: until you were in the 4th grade, neither did your teacher.)
 
 

Automobiles:

In real life, tires squeal only on dry pavement, and even then not very often, what with anti-lock brakes and such.

In old movies (TV too,) tires squeal constantly on dry pavement, wet pavement, sand, dirt, gravel and grass. But skids rarely get out of control. 

In movies and TV (old and new,) there's always free parking by the door. In real life, well, you know. 

In old movies, if a car has any reason to stall, it will do so on the railroad tracks. A deadly situation. 

In real life, if a car has any reason to stall, it will do so at a major intersection, causing others to switch into "road rage mode." A deadly situation. 

***

To the gentle readers of GetDetails, I wish the happiest of holidays. As the "real" millennium rolls in, Scoper is taking a break from the weekly column (Hey! I heard that!) But like the proverbial bad penny, he'll likely show up from time to time. Till then, "set a spell, take your shoes off. Y'all come back now y'hear?"
 


--Dear Scoper, (is that your real name?)
Thanks for a ruthlessly entertaining look inside the mind of a true deep thinker, and a regular supply of thoughful commentary.  It's with sadness that we wish you good luck with your future enterprises. We'll miss your wry wit, so we'll save you a few megabytes of space, just in case you decide to drop back in from time to time. By the way, do you have a sister?  --Editors

Just who is Scoper?

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