Really? It’s only been six weeks? What is happening to time?
I EAT time!
My Top Gun results notebook is halfway full. Seriously. In February. I promise I’ll let you vote on the next one I buy. Anyway, in case this is the first thing you’ve ever read on the site (and you really oughtta be starting with The Experiment so you know why we’re all currently insane), here’s how my mind is being affected by watching Top Gun every single week.
Feb. 5, 2012
8:06am EST – Typing an e-mail about quickly dropping in at Nancy‘s place; almost typed that it would be “touch and go.” This is relevant because I hate that phrase and never use it.
9:29am EST – “Mighty Wings” stuck in head for entirety of shower.
Feb. 6, 2012
12:22pm EST – While chatting with Nancy about communication styles, made an example of Iceman coughing, “Bullshit,” and how that differs from loudly announcing, “Bullshit!”
12:50pm EST – Thought of the “Slider, you stink” scene while watching a compilation of all the times Hurley said “dude” on Lost. Not because Hurley stinks, one of the lines was: “Dude, you stink.”
6:20pm EST – Responded to a messy situation by wondering, “How would they handle this in the military?” Pretended I was Stinger for a little bit. [More on this later.]
Feb. 7, 2012
4:52pm EST – Co-worker’s chips got stuck in a vending machine. Boss dislodged them by purchasing a large bag of Reese’s Pieces directly above them. I was bummed because I wanted to make a bet on which method would work to get them unstuck. Betting trend continues. [I have begun making several bets; this is atypical behavior for me that I theorize stems from the bet in Top Gun, coupled with me winning a bet about Top Gun.]
Feb. 8, 2012
morning, uh, EST - Second dream related to Top Gun since the beginning of the experiment. Described in detail here.
7:20pm EST – John and I were late to improv rehearsal. I started to make a bet that the other members would wait for us.
WARNING! WARNING! DRUNK ZONE APPROACHING!
Ladies and gents… it’s hard taking notes in a dark club or bar while getting one’s swerve on, so when I’m in those situations, I must resort to my only option: yelling into my phone.
I EAT minutes!
Here is a transcript of everything I shouted, while drunk, with music blaring, into its crappy microphone.
“February 9th! Ten fifty! I called the club ‘a target-rich environment!’ My conclusion: I quote Top Gun around Ty a lot, especially when we’re clubbing! It’s too fun! Bye!”
“February 9! 11:26pm! I told Tyyy… to be less like Goose and more like Maverick! Be a risk-taker! There’s a pretty girl dancing all by herself! I told him if he didn’t get on her, he’d be flying a cargo plane of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong! [unintelligible] Top Gun is the greatest movie ever now that I’m drunk!” [Ty is unintelligible in the background.] “I have the best movie out of everyone!” [Ty adds: "That's true."] “Though it’s kinda boring and everything that happens on the ground is kinda horse shit!” [Ty adds: "That's true, too."]
“February 8th[?]! 12:37am! We keep– Ty and I keep referring to a guy that we wanna get away from a girl we want to dance with… ‘a MiG.’ We keep giving each other orders to destroy the MiG! Best code word ever… declares Ty!”
And then we played chess and discussed Joseph Campbell.
Okay. Back to the notebook.
Feb. 11, 2012
11:29pm EST - “Playing With the Boys” stuck in head at end of workday.
11:40pm EST – Co-worker said, “Bet you there are blank DVDs in that locked cabinet.” I asked the stakes. She did not want to actually bet.
–END OF NOTES–
So, let’s address the betting trend first. For whatever reason, when somebody uses the phrase “I bet,” I now think they actually want to make a wager. This has been happening more since the beginning of the experiment. This is not like me at all, so I’m going to continue calling all bets relevant data for now. Also, I’m beginning to view the betting scene in Top Gun not as a crass sex bet, but as a way to motivate a friend. This is what I’ve been doing with Ty in bars and clubs (though Ty is no Maverick).
Wait, but Maverick gets laid all the time… maybe they are creeps.
Drinking is proving to me that I am actively trying not to quote Top Gun more than other movies. Myself, all the other cinemanauts, our friends, our demographic, our generation… we pretty much talk in quotes. We can’t psych ourselves up for major life events or cope with emotions unless we think about how Harrison Ford or Bruce Campbell or Jessica Tandy did it first.
Of course, alcohol removes the filter, so once I’m all hopped up on the Long Islands, I’m buzzing every tower and wanting all the butts and losing that loving feeling. I can’t help it. Maybe I should try to quote Top Gun more regularly, just to see what happens, but dammit, I have been pretty good at keeping quiet. Half the people I work with have no idea that I’m doing this project, and while that’s terrible from a promotional standpoint, it’s great in terms of not being that co-worker who can’t shut up about what he does outside of the office.
Finally, let’s talk about me pretending to be Stinger. As I just mentioned, movies guide our lives. The good ones, the bad ones… in moments of weakness, the right movie can fix everything. Well, I was incredibly stressed over a few different things in my life, and the epiphany came when I realized that I can relate to Stinger. Good old cigar-chompin’ Stinger. He’s always got a commanding wisecrack, and he doesn’t take any shit. But then it hit me… how do people treat Stinger?
They laugh at him.
If you go back to the movie and watch Stinger chew out Maverick and Goose, they’re trying not to crack up the whole time.
“It’s like being scolded by a cigar-smoking baby.”
“That would make a neat cartoon. Let’s put a rabbit in it, too.”
“ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME, YOU FRABBLE GURBA BARP BARP BARP–”
Nobody takes Stinger seriously, and that gave me insight into how I talk to people. I usually try to be quick and clever, but when I need to take command of a situation, it’s time to change my tone. I need to slow down, think about what I say and how it comes across, and have an assertive presence.
I need to be like Viper.
Stoic. Authoritative. In charge.
When Viper speaks, you listen.