“Well, can I just massage your thighs while you eat?”

Welcome to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday, brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s prompt for today:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “contains ‘igh.’” Find a word that contains the letters “igh” in that order and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Ah, Animal House, the movie that never gets old and keeps on giving. The quote above is the cafeteria scene that ends in John Belushi screaming “FOOD FIGHT!” and begins with Otter hitting on Mandy (who, of course, ends up with Senator Bluto).

And for anyone out there suffering through a setback or grinding for a breakthrough, no, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. [Scroll down to watch and be inspired to do futile and stupid gesture on somebody’s part

Rather than turning this into a paen to one of the greatest comedies of all time, my first dirty movie, and one that skewed my perception of what college might be like (though I suppose I had a few Animal House-esque times in my youth), on to the next “igh” word. Well, one last thought — the Animal House soundtrack is excellent! Also, fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.

I had the good fortune to have a summer study abroad course at King’s College in London during the summer of 1990. The course was entirely focused on WWII and was incredible on the history front — Imperial War Museum, V&A, lectures from the historians who wrote the books required for class reading, HMS Belfast, a two-day trip to the Normany beaches – St. Mere Eglise, Pont du Hoc (that place was smashed to hell), both American and German cemetaries (I found the German one sobering, with a younger/older age range than the US and a fair number of non-German names — the tombstones are also flush with the ground, which gives it a different feel from the white headstones of the American cemetary), hotel in Arromanche (sucked that I got sick on the ferry over, though was funny in that I woke up sick and wondered down to the lobby where a janitor was sweeping/mopping; after trying in my pigeon, one year of French courses-French to ask for an Aspriin, he turned out to be English, “Oh, oi, mate. There’s some here.”).

Cultural front was incredible too. I was pretty much country come to town. Houston and New Orleans were the only two major cities I had ever been to at the time and going to somewhere with the history of London for a history nerd was exhilerating. As you do with a group of random young people thrown together, everyone fell into groups. I ended up with some chicks who were hot to see Phantom of the Opera. I tagged along and payed a LOT of pounds for scalped tickets. Ended up in the 3rd row, close enough to see the mics, be under the candelabra, and feel the heat flashes from the stage pyrotechnics.

It was quite the experience. While I pretty much had to make the decision to use my Traveller’s Checks (remember those?) to spend 10 pounds on bread, lunch meat, and cheese to eat for the last 2 weeks (so I could afford to drink pints), I also went to see Les Mis (19 year old me almost cried at Little Fall of Rain, and I still remember all the sniffles around in the balls hot, sweat on your face theatre — it was the hottest summer in decades — after the song), Burn This with John Malkovich, Les Liason Dangereuse with Judd Nelson, and one other I’m blanking on at the moment.

Anyway, there’s an “igh” coming here.

Part of the course was having to, duh, write a research paper using primary research from the Public Records Office I chose to write about the effect of naval fire support in the success of the landings, focusing on the HMS Belfast. Reading the fire support missions stilted language and mentally thinking through that dry language was describing half-ton explosive projectiles traveling 10 miles to destroy German tanks or troop concentrations was incredible. Here’s the ‘igh.”

You could actually call up Captain Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, and read it. You had to wear white gloves and whatnot, but, at the time, if it was in the archives and you requested it, you could see it. To this day I regret not requesting it just to see it!

Sigh.

That was my 2nd favorite class I’ve ever taken, a close second to the Medieval Lit class I took my senior year. Learned to read a little olde English, how language changed, and Njals Saga! I wrote probably one of the best things I’ve ever written, high on a fever and Theraflu and the fact that the paper was due the next day, I wrote something on the heroic ethos that wove together Ahhhhrnooldd in Predator, the Authurian myths, and, I think, some basic stuff on bravery. Professor Hauer read part of it in class. Sadly, it’s lost in the mysts of legend itself now. Just remember that it’s one of the few things I’ve written and thought, “This is pretty good.”

Also, Icelandic Sagas. Holy shit. Incredible stories from 1,000 years ago that show that people are people and have always been as venal, generous, cynical, brave, vengeful, fair as we are now. The wife refusing to provide a lock of her hair to her husband so he could restring his bow to fight off their enemies who were literally burning their longhouse down because of an insult from a decade ago, is the epitome of how to hold a grudge, “Nah, we’re going to burn because you mocked me once.”

Awesome stuff. Highly recommend Njal’s Saga as a proto fantasy novel.

Hmmmm, there was another igh I had before I went down the longer-than-intended rabbit hole above . . . . . . .

Oh. yeah.

The obvious.

We gonna get hi-IIIGGGHHH tonight!

Anyone who’s read these before knows that I have, upon occassion, smoked a bit of the demon weed. Also, total bullshit about that woman being kicked off the Olympic team for weed. It’s an asinine relic of the stupid, fuck your pleasure cuz God bullshit strain of Puritanism that runs deeply in America (that strain also partially responsible and a foundation for the “christian” evangelicals currently acting like Christian Taliban/al cracker and supporting a fascist takeover of the GOP — reminds me, the GOP is a fascist party now. If you’re a Republican and voting for Republicans, you are a fauxtriot and don’t love America, you love a fictional version of America).

Crikey, now I feel like I could use some weed.

Breath. Ohhhhhhmmmmmm.

Not sure why it’s called getting “high.” I suppose it does elevate one’s mood; by which I mean I get gigglesnort laughing at most anything. I should record myself sometimes because i come up with some hilarious stuff to, just can’t remember it later.

Aaaaaannnnnndddd, that’s about my 30 minutes. Now to find the clips you can peruse below!

Ah, love where it paused. I learned how to arch my eyebrows because of John Belushi (Samurai Tailor!).

And, of course, the soundtrack — Flounder: “Excuse me, sir, is this the Delta House?”

Bluto: “Sure, Come on in.”

I can close my eyes when I listen to this song and remember exactly what it felt like to hear this live as young, dumb 19 year old being exposed to something new and wonderful for the first time. I still giggle a little at the echoes of the sniffles all around me, otherwise, it’s easy to get a little choked up.

However, I find On My Own to be even more sad and melancholy. This song aches with loneliness and unrequited love.

And Bluto’s inspiring speech, to cleanse the melancholy from the previous two!

2 comments

  1. See, this is why you need to go this prompt, Bryant. I love how you prioritized drinking vs. eating. Animal House is one of first adult-ish movies I let our daughter watch (the first was Caddyshack) I kept a firm grasp on the remote, but she loves that movie still.

    Nicely done!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Dan. My Dad wasn’t discriminating in what we watched on HBO and my Mama was usually in bed by 8 . . . so I watched mostly what I wanted. Caddyshack was and is awesome!

      It’s funny, I do remember adding up my checks and doing the math and thinking “I can eat or I can drink and do stuff.” Given that I enjoy sandwiches, it really wasn’t that hard of a choice.

      Liked by 1 person

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