The Movie Binge

Death at a Funeral


Okay, imagine you are like a teacher for a literacy company, or something (are those called schools?) and you're trying to help these ten year old kids be creative. So you decide your teaching moment for today is to explain to them what a farce is, except when you get to the nuances of how amazing it is sometimes to watch the most tightly wound people unbraid and unbraid and unbraid, as you get to saying that the kids are definitely waning, and one of them kind of punches the one next to him, and your co-teacher (who is doing something horrible like I don't know phonics) shoots you this look. God, I thought we could date when we both started here but he's just really turned out to be a tool, you know?

So you're like okay, let's cut to the chase, let's make a list of the funniest things in the world, and for some reason the first one on the list is "funerals" and the second one on the list is "British people" and then things just start to snowball and before you know it you're in the middle of this just deluge of statements like "and then you know what would be funny is if he had some DRUGS!!!" only they don't even know quite what drugs are so they're like "it's a drug that is X crossed with K crossed with UNICORNS and it makes you NAKED" "WAIT WHAT IF (indoor voices please) wait what if one of THE GUYS DIED AFTER JUMPING UP AND DOWN" and at this point you're kind of thrilled that they're so into this and not hitting each other anymore but also, like, this isn't what you meant it to be when you drew up the lesson plan and what if their parents walk in? But the kids keep going on and on, like "diarrhea!!" "homoerotic statues!!!" "old people!!" "sixty-nining!!" (that kid has seen too much, you think) "in-laws?" "diarrhea!!!" (again, I know)

Against your better judgment you do try to get this on track briefly and you say, "Well, what if there was a case of mistaken identity, or some sort of conflict within the family that is so blown out of proportion that by the conclusion of it everyone just realizes how silly it is to fight? Wouldn't that be a way to keep the farce grounded just enough so that at the end of the movie your audience doesn't just feel like you were out of mouthwash and used flat orange soda this morning?" At that point the kid who said "sixty-nining" actually gives the kid next to him a bloody nose with his mind. I mean, actually with his mind.

That's about all you can take for the day so you lock the kids in the classroom and ride your bike home. The faster you ride, the faster your tears will dry, and maybe no one will see when you stop for that bodega-born Vitamin Water, maybe nobody will see that you have really just been inventing hope this whole time, that you never expected a completely dated premise like this one to get you any farther than a gig at Kaplan. I mean: it is days like today you doubt the existence of comedy at all.


Meghan, please teach me to give bloody noses with my mind. Also, thanks for taking this one for the team, sounds mighty painful.

Wishing all a supper cool Labor Day this year and always.

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