Things & Stuff
Under The Influence
2006-05-09 - 9:50 a.m.
No, not the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is about two quotes that have had a major influence in my life.
Anyone who knows me knows that, in a lot of ways, I'm a big kid. I like to laugh, I like gadgets, I enjoy things from my childhood. I used to read comics, and still have most of my collection. I've gone on eBay and gotten board games that I used to play with my parents years ago. DVDs have helped there. I got Pufnstuf, Schoolhouse Rock...even the Electric Company, for crying out loud.
When Warner Bros. put out the Looney Tunes collections on DVD, I rejoiced - and bought. Here was a chance to see a lot of my old favorites - some I haven't seen in YEARS - cleaned and pressed. I still fondly remember Junyer Bear (aged seven-and-a-half) in "A Bear For Punishment", trying to do something nice for his Pa:
"I will fill your pipe for you, dear old dad, Pa."
Anyway, one of my life influences is a quote from the King of All Rabbits, Bugs Bunny. At the end of one of his later Chuck Jones cartoons, the Wabbit looks into the camera and says:
"Never take life so seriously that you don't get out of it alive."
The other is from one of my favorite TV shows.
I discovered MacGyver in the second season. I was managing a service station at the time, usually working the night shift. One Monday night in February, I was flipping channels and came across the episode "Birth Day". MacGyver picks up a very pregnant woman who is running from her husband. Seems he's an ex-con who used her to get violent criminals released so he could start a criminal gang. They wound up being trapped in a warehouse with the bad guys surrounding it.
I loved the idea. A hero who DIDN'T use guns? One who used his brains and ingenuity? Unheard of! But wonderful. Wonderful enough that I started taping the series right then and there, and played the tapes to death.
The quote comes from the first season episode "Last Stand". In it, Our Hero stops at a small airstrip cafe for directions and finds that the workers of the cafe and airstrip are being held by armed robbers. The robbers have hijacked an armored car and intend to fly out with the money once their plane arrives. MacGyver and Dave (played by Art Hindle) are recruited into digging a grave for the guard that had been shot.
As they work, they talk. MacGyver notes a helicopter on the tarmac. Dave reveals that he is a Vietnam vet who used to fly MedEvac. He was shot down and spent thirteen months as a POW...the last of that time digging graves. Including his own. His captors had him kneel at the edge for a long time...and then they started laughing.
Dave's face tightens a little. "I know what that sounds like."
MacGyver's face is calm, his voice mild. "Just the truth."
After a moment, Dave says, "You and Kelly (played by Kay Lenz) are about the only ones who didn't just pass judgement."
And Mac leans back, looks him in the eye, and says: "Well, I can't stand in judgement of you, Dave. I'm not perfect...yet."
Think about that. Don't stand in judgement, since you're not perfect...but you can work on becoming perfect, or at least better than you are now.
So. My two main influences are quotes from two fictional characters.
Maybe that IS kinda cool.
Maybe there's hope for me yet.
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