July 20th, 2001

JOY

The Godfather Conversation

I’m starting to think that there is a stock conversation about the Godfather that was written in about 1994 (after anyone who ever fancied themselves artistic saw Pulp Fiction and decided they were going to be a movie buff) that since then has been covertly distributed throughout the population on either paper inserts in copies of the novel and the VHS recording similar to those fallout magazine subscription cards, or is on tape somewhere, perhaps next to the “Baba Booey” button on Howard Stern’s console, to be regurgitated at will, whenever the topic comes up.

This morning, I heard this conversation again. A sprightly young blonde was sitting in the Freak Seat (see Another Commuting Entry for explanation) reading a library-borrowed copy of the Godfather. A young man struck up a conversation with her, as he too had read the book. He asked if she had also seen the movie, to which she sheepishly replied that she had, and said that she loved it. He asked how the book was going, and she replied that she hadn’t gotten very far yet, but that the book gets better with every paragraph.

Then, as if the boy pulled a tape recorder out of his pocket, the Godfather Conversation began. He was good at it too. He must have read that card a thousand times. He covered all of the main topics:

1. “Man, that was just the best movie ever made. Brando and Pacino? Awesome.
2. The first one was great, but the second one? Even better. Unbelievable. DeNiro is the man.
3. But that third one, ugh. That Sophia Coppola really ruined it. No one ever talks about the third one [sic], but it was really terrible.

The girl dutifully nodded and agreed, as if this guy had just uncovered some great secret of the world, and made the necessary nods and nose scrunches at the thought of Godfather III. How many times do we have to discuss the same thing or spout out the same theory until someone else realizes that it’s been said a thousand times before? The Godfather Conversation may only be slightly less grating to the senses than when someone thinks they’re witty for making a comment about how we rarely eat peanuts on the ground but in airplanes we just lap them up. It’s been said before. You’re going to have to find some new material.
JOY

Art?

On the way to my building today, I noticed something written in chalk on the sidewalk. Someone had written LAST CHANCE in blue, and beneath it was a big dollar sign in green with several pink circles around it and then there were arrows pointing down the side street.

I wonder what on earth that meant.
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