interactive inning

MORALE WAS LOW AT WORK, so I wanted to do something fun.  The company encouraged us to be creative, which really meant cheap.  I cleared my idea with HR. Our “interactive inning because this place is too cheap for an outing” was on. I booked the conference room and made an announcement.
“Everyone gets five minutes only, but what you do with your five minutes is entirely up to you. So you can bring in five minutes of your favorite movie scene, or you can use the studio and create a five minute short, clipping together your favorite movies based on a theme.”
“Awesome, so I can do a tribute to Ron Jeremy then?”  Of course Chris had to go there.
“But don’t tell anyone what you’re doing because part of the activity is guessing whose movie clip goes with whom.”

Two weeks later, I’d gone to Price Club and loaded up on movie candy, popcorn, and hotdogs.  The conference room was set up like a theatre.  A guy in the studio assembled a dvd with everyone’s clips.  I handed out ballots.
One of the most conservative women of the group, an oversized woman who has been described as a large fraggle with nine hairs sprouting from the top of her head, who regularly trashed her gravy-soaked chicken in the clearly-labeled recycling bin, brought in a sexual scene from the musical Pippin.   The room became quiet.  Eyes darted, looking for similar reactions.  We began to fidget, as if we were forced to watch a love scene with our parents in the room.  Men in tights thrust calves between legs, pointing feet, erect.  There might have been a horse.  In one even beat, the room flooded with laughter.  Fraggle Lady laughed along with us thinking she’d hit it big, a real crowd pleaser.  We weren’t laughing near her; we were laughing at her.  She was a humorless woman and saw her selection as entertaining art instead of a really twisted choice.  “What in the hell was that?” could be heard in cubicles in weeks to follow.  “I guess that’s why there are 31 flavors.”
Gary did a montage of gore.  Massacre scenes.  Machine gun slaughters.  Westerns.  Dirty Harry.
David stripped sound from his selections and piped in his own background music to his travel and chase scenes.  North by Northwest.  Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.  It was seamless and inspired.
Phil clipped together bathroom humor scenes.  “Whew!  You don’t want to go in there.”  “Charlie, light a match!”
Among some of the other choices: Run Lola Run, Office Space, and Claymation.

Then it was my turn… The lamb fries scene with Chevy Chase in Funny Farm.  He spits the testicle out.  It lands in a bowl of spaghetti, prepared for Elizabeth by Diane Keaton (who sprays Fantastik on the baby) in Baby Boom.  Then more spaghetti in Defending Your Life, with one of my favorite comedians, Albert Brooks.  The scene turns sober when Sarah Jessica Parker answers Eric Schaffer’s probing questions about last night’s date in If Lucy Fell.  “You mean to tell me that guy took you out for all that cappuccino, was a perfect gentleman, walks you home, then takes some stanky shit in our bathroom?”  Before SJP has a chance to answer, Meg Ryan enters the scene, complaining of her lactose intolerance with, “I just ate that cow,” to one obnoxious yet delicious Kevin Kline in French Kiss.  “Stop the rocking!”  Her finicky nature is underscored with the When Harry Met Sally (no not the orgasm scene), “I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top.  I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it.  If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real.  If it’s out of the can, then nothing.”  Not even the pie?  “No, just the pie, but then not heated.”  I told you; I know all the words.  While I was then tempted to do the Caddyshack Baby Ruth pool scene, instead, I used The Goonies Baby Ruth scene coupled with Chunk’s truffle shuffle and freezer full of ice cream scene.  It flowed better from the ice cream a la mode bit.  Then I finished things off with two more Albert Brooks tributes.  In The Muse, Andy McDownsyndrome is following her dream of being a baker.  She has smears of dough on her face, flour on her collarbones; she just got to second base with Famous Amos.  Her husband, Brooks, walks in and asks what’s for dinner.  “Have a cookie,” she urges.
“I’m not three.  I’d like a meal.”   This leads me to the finale of my five-minute food tribute: Albert Brooks at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in celebration of his wife’s success.  It takes too long to explain.  You need to rent this movie, The Muse.  It’s damn funny.

Perhaps my choice in movies says as much about me as my life’s soundtrack, or bedside table.  I’m going to throw another make your own movie night come time for the oscars.  Hmmm.  I wonder what my new theme will be.  What would yours be?



  1. Nothing is more uncomfortable than someone trying to be humorous…and being so far off that it hurts…

  2. The scene: Midtown. Monday morning. Your former office.

    Camera opens on the office kitchen as Fraggle Lady comes in to put her lunch of weekend leftover chicken and gravy in the office fridge.

    The entire office is quiet. Church quiet. Only the sound of clicking keyboards and muffled giggles as your former colleagues huddle over their screens IM-ing each other saying, "Do you think she read it yet??"

    (This was a funny one, Stephanie. I hope for your sake that there are more than one Pippin-loving chicken eaters in your office… or that Fraggle Lady doesn't work in HR and maintain your 401k!!)

  3. the North By Northwest scene is fabulous. I have a love for the first appearance of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard though were Holden says to her "You're Norma Desmond! You used to be in silent pictures…you used to be big."…and then the response… "I AM big. It's the pictures that got small". Wow, great stuff.

  4. Ah yes, but who knows in how many workplace across this great land people are peering over their cubicles toward a follicly-challenged-gravy-dipping-chicken-loving-recycling-bin-defiler with an "I Heart Pippin" screensaver, wondering…

    "Is it HER??"

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I love it! It amazes me that people can go out of their way to say hurtful things and put someone down who they don't even know. You are an incredibly gifted writer and deserve everything good that happens to you. We should hang out sometime, holla back!

  6. hey..just wanted to say congrats on your boyfriend. been a way a few days and have been catching up. hopefully this one sticks.

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    I have been reading your blog for a few weeks, love it. I think you meant life soundtrack? Right now mine is
    New York by Richard Ashcroft.

    Last week I had Kennedy's "Your Momma" mercilessly looping in my brain, although I pray it has nothing to do with my life.

  8. It's a shame that you asked people to embark on a creative exercise, something you thought could raise morale and chide Fraggle for her contribution. Humorless Woman not only participates, but reveals something about herself. Perhaps she's not so humorless and others were judgmental. Such a shame.

    Seems another poster connects Fraggle's presentation with her departure. True or not? Don't know.

    I have enjoyed your blog for weeks now. You are a gifted writer. Don't use your gift to denigrate others.

    With no malice intended, and only a sincere expression, keep up the good work.

  9. Mine would be gay movies that my gay roomate forces me to watch then I end up liking them! Ever seen "Sordid Lives" funniest movie!! Jeffrey, cute movie! I have seen so many movies with Harvey Firestein I don't even want to count them. Seems like a good theme to me :)

  10. I can't remember the exact quote but I love the part in "The Muse" where Albert Brooks in Spago talking to the guy who doesn't speak English trying to explain that he is a screen writer and his sister teaches writing. The guy interprets that Brooks writes on ice cream cakes and his sister teaches horseback riding.
    I love this blog!

  11. a sexual scene from the musical Pippin

    dear god. the thought that there's a sex scene in pippin at all, and then the thought of watching that with my former coworkers is more disturbing than i can explain. love this post

  12. I love any movie with Albert Brooks in it…. The Muse is great from start to finish, but I also love Defending Your Life.

    and the line "I'm not three…I'd like a meal…" LOVE it!

    Great post…

  13. Ewww. She threw her gravy soaked chicken in the recyclie bin? And then showed clips from Pippin? Geesh. What a pig.

    Oh well. What do you expect from large, balding women? They should all be exterminated.

  14. I am not familiar with this "Pippin". Would someone be so kind as to summarize briefly and verify whether or not someone does it with a horse? I am trying to "feel" the Interactive Inning and I am coming up with nothing.

  15. Your theme got me thinking about a couple of my favorite movies. If you haven't seen them yet, do yourself a favor and rent "Dinner Rush" and "Melvin Goes to Dinner". Two low budget films with some great dialogue. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  16. What a great idea! Your presentation sounded great. I think I'm going to suggest something just like this for our next staff meeting. Might reveal a bit about my co-workers!!

  17. Saw the story about you in the Times, and said why not? At first reading; I was awed. I cherry picked, and read and read. So intense, so personal, so funny! Then as I tuned in every couple of days, patterns started to appear. Some seemed obvious and logical, others a conflict within a conflict. Just some shared thoughts.

    You know, if life is a tapestry we weave one day at a time. When do we get to see the whole picture? Enough for a first missive.

    You're a gutsy lady. Good luck.

    Question: Was today a flashback? I thought you'd quit. Man, skip a few days and I'm lost.


  18. What is it with you, Stephanie? I've never read such boring, teenage angst riddled drivel since I broke into my sisters' diary in 1983. Yeah, I'm laying the bean on the block for all your 'fans' to chop, but I have to say, you are the most unholy sell-out. I've wandered through your archives (painfull) to see if you were sincere and guess what?? You are . Sincerely painfull. Please go away, or better yet, meet a 'poor' loser and hopefully he'll go postal when you tell him Chardonay 'is so not today' and do you in on the cab ride home. Snob

  19. I think your idea was creative and sounded like a lot of fun! If I did one it would be parenting mishaps, that were comical. What comes to mind are a few scenes from the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin as a base. Well that's all that comes to my mind at the moment.

    Loved yours!

  20. I feel for poor Jizbitch. In my mind I picture some poor person, like the protaganist in Clockwork Orange, forced to sit and read, eyes forced open, shot full of nausea inducing meds, as your blog goes scrolling by on the screen. Arrrrgh, such pain, such torture, I weep.

  21. Third times some harm

    You are so right . I guess you know everything by now. Ill advised to post an opinion here. So many pre-pubescant girls, so few braincells.

  22. Stephanie,

    Read about you in the Times, inspired me to start my own, have no idea where it is goung or what its there for but is definately getting me writing, so thanks alot for that.

    Theme for my movie short, god I am hopeless at remembering anything that ever happens in movies, I think it would be series of shots of different women trying to get dressed, since a majority of my time is spent sadly trying to figure out what to wear.

    Anyhow thanks for the inspiration, check mine out if you have the time.

  23. Jiz Bitch! :-)
    I'm not sure why you chose to make sarcastic humor out of MY screen name, but whatever. Oh, by the way, the person who "felt sorry for you? Was browser 58 NOT "3rd times some harm?"

    The name of the author is BELOW the comment you dimwit. Go rain on someone else's parade moron.

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