Today marks the day that Julius Caesar got stabbed to death by a bunch of folks, including his good buddy, Brutus. Which makes me think of my pet peeve. And no, I don’t mean getting stabbed in the guts by a group of conspirators which includes my best friend — although that would definitely suck. I’m talking about people who randomly and incessantly quote lines from movies.
I read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in high school, and I remember shivering with delight over the soothsayer’s spooky warning to “Beware the Ides of March.” Because I am a nerd who is tempted to mix literary allusions into my conversations, I also remember making a mental note to tell people “Beware” every March fifteenth. But I’ve never actually done this. It would make me the lit-geek version of the person who lapses into movie dialogue in ordinary conversation, and then laughs uproariously. And that would be obnoxious.
Seriously. Why do people do this? If you’re that person, please stop — especially when you’re talking to me. Especially if you think you can do the accent. (You can’t.) Also, you might think your movie quote is apropos, but it’s probably not. The reason why is, I see about two movies a year. I don’t know what you’re talking about.* Maybe if I saw more movies I’d be one of those people, too. But I don’t, and I’m not. So that means when I’m talking with you about X, and then you screw up your face and deliver a non sequitur in a fake, vaguely-Asian accent, I don’t know how to respond. Usually I smile and shuffle uncomfortably, and then say, “Um…?”
And then you say, “Jackie Chan, man. Didn’t you see Kung Fu Professor?”
No. I didn’t.
So consider this your Ides of March warning: I don’t get your movie quote. And it makes me want to gang up on you with a group of people and stab you with a knife.
*Unless you’re quoting The Big Lebowski. I can, will, and have happily engaged in a Lebowski quote-a-thon.