I love quotable lines. I’ve been trying to revive my long-neglected and very dusty Quotable section, so I have quotes on the brain. I love the clever things other people have said. Especially the ones that somehow become part of my mental landscape, deservingly or not.
Today, I want to talk about the random ones. Not the soul-stirring, life-altering quotes–I have plenty of those too, but today I’m in the mood to look at the other ones. The ones that somehow creep into conversation, the ones I find myself saying with varying degrees of regularity (and varying degrees of comprehension from the people I’m talking to!)
My friends and I all say “Curses, foiled again,” fairly often. It comes up more than you would think–especially playing board games. It’s the trademark line of a character in Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. I think it must be from something else too, because I’ve found it in an old Star Trek short story that I know I wrote before reading Xanth. If anyone can clear up that mystery, please let me know!
Confronted with difficult situations, I’ve been known to remark, “Sure, it’ll be easy–like peeling a turtle.” No one ever knows what I mean by that, and neither do I (nor would I recommend thinking about it too hard). All I know is that Bing Crosby said it in Holiday Inn, about something he obviously didn’t think would be easy. After watching that movie most Christmases, it’s worked into my brain.
There’s a dessert place near where I live which is very popular and a favorite of my friends and me. It happens to be named Rick’s, so inevitably if we’re talking about it, and how crowded it always is, at some point I’ll say, “Oh you know, everybody comes to Rick’s.” Usually about half of my friends catch that one, and the rest don’t realize I’m quoting Casablanca.
I’ve had even better times when people don’t realize I’m quoting. I honestly can’t remember the context that led to this, probably a discussion about different food, but I do recall I ended up saying, “Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese.” I was kidding–I was quoting Benny and Joon–but next thing I know the people I’m talking to start discussing cultures where cheese is important! The Greeks, I think.
Sometimes even I’m not sure what I’m quoting. For years the line “Sooooo…how did it go?” was part of my mental landscape and I honestly didn’t know why. Then I rewatched Aladdin, and there’s Iago asking Jafar, “Sooooo…how did it go?”
There are more, but that’s a fair sampling. I trust I’m not the only one who occasionally steals a good line in conversation, or has someone else’s words rattling around in their brain. What quotes do you find yourself saying?