A few years ago I was on a business trip to Los Angeles and one night the group went out to dinner to the House of Blues, which happens to be owned in part by Dan Akroyd. We all piled out of our cabs and composed ourselves before we walked towards the front of the place which had a porch along the front.
As we crowded into the small porch area waiting to enter, unbeknownst to me and honestly partly against my will I was shaking hands with the person at the door. Against my will because I usually don’t greet the person at the front door of a restaurant by making physical contact, however that changed when I looked straight into the eyes of Elwood Blues himself.
Before I could stop myself I blurted out “Ghostbusters 2 changed my life!”
As an aside, Dan Akroyd has the softest hands. Seriously, they are baby soft.
Anywho, as I shook his hand I could see the fear in his eyes as I declared that my life pivoted when I saw one of his Ghostbusters movies. Did he regret showing up that night to greet customers? Perhaps. But I did what any self-respecting 40-something would do next, I laughed uncomfortably and scurried away into the crowd inside the restaurant.
Looking back I have absolutely no regrets. Ghostbusters 2 did change my life. Up until I discovered this gem of a movie I had felt like such an outsider. My rural life as a kid made it near impossible to find a “tribe” of like-minded smart-asses like myself, with the result being that I thought I was alone on the planet.
Ever since a little kid, sarcasm and ridiculousness made me feel alive, and judging by the reaction of my family and friends, I do believe I was the only one that truly appreciated my comedic genius. I was told to grow up a lot, and to also “be myself” which was a cryptic message I’ve yet to decode decades later. To me, being myself was inseparable from sarcasm and continuously joking around.
Exhausting for others apparently but it was the elixir of life for me.
As I grew up, sadly I felt the need to modify myself to conform with the boring society in which I lived. No one got it anyways, so why cast my delicious jokes in front of the swine that couldn’t even begin to appreciate them.
Then that fateful day came when I saw Ghostbusters 2 for the first time. It was like seeing myself on the big screen – I was finally represented in the entertainment world! There were others just like me out there! The significance cannot be overstated. My life changed that day.
The movie is a series of amazing one-liners by nearly every cast member, knit together perfectly to create arguably one of the best sequels ever made. I still don’t really know if the movie was intended to be scary because it does have some elements that could frighten some viewers. The brilliance of the writing, the rhythm of SciFi, horror, and the comedy perfectly timed to move you through the arc of the story, all came together to create Hollywood gold.
It was from that point on that I began to own who I truly was. A fun-loving ball of smart-ass dipped in succulent sarcasm. And it was also from that point on that I can never pass up the opportunity to pick up a toaster in a store, hold it against my cheek, and declare out loud and proud:
“Oh oh oh baby!! Oh you’re my number one Christmas boutique gift item!”