I have two standard replies when presented with a baffling statement. Etiquette and unruffled feathers are very high on my list of social virtues. The responses are “Wow!” and some variation of “Isn’t that true?”

For instance, while visiting a friend’s set the other day I was greeted by an actor whom I’ve met several times before. He greeted me with a jocular, “Hiya, Rosie,” (my name is Vickie) and engulfed me in a bear hug. I responded by praising a recent role the actor had played in a dramatic film which fifteen people had seen in the continental United States, but which I happened to love.

To which he responded, “Rosie! Until you’ve wiped out on your bike, hit your head on the pavement, seen the white light, been to the other side, you don’t know what the f— I’m talking about!”

Wow. Isn’t that true?

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    • July 10, 2012

      Indeed! A publicity still for “Rebel Without a Cause”. Does Mr. Brando look rebellious to you?

  1. February 22, 2013

    You obviously have a lot more aplomb than I were I in a similar situation. At a minimum, such a response as the one above would merit a “WTF?” look.

    • February 22, 2013

      I like to think I’ve mastered my poker face… But, even if my eyebrows shot up to my hair line this gentleman lives in his own universe – where I’m Rosie!

  2. George Kaplan
    February 22, 2013

    Oh, Rosie… I mean Vickie, I know exactly what he means! That reminds me of the hilarious scene in Annie Hall where Christopher Walken is talking about his desire to drive into the headlights and Alvy says “I have to go now, Duane, I’m due back on the Planet Earth”! George

    • February 22, 2013

      One of the best scenes in the movie! I saw Mr. Walken interviewed the other day and he doesn’t have a mobile phone or a computer — my heart just swelled with admiration. But then, he’s in a pretty unique situation…

  3. George Kaplan
    February 22, 2013

    Unique, indeed… I was reading about academy award-winners or -nominees who’ve appeared in tv guest roles early on (mostly) and Chris Walken was one of those. Apparently he was on Hawaii Five-O giving an intense performance and the writer wrote there was fun to be had in the contrast between Walken’s perf and Jack “The Living Quiff” Lord’s. In fact, he wrote that their acting style were so different that it wasn’t just as if they were in a different show but in different *worlds*. 🙂 Also, Walken has one of the great idiosyncratic speech patterns and voices, hasn’t he?
    Have to say, I love your stories both lived and learned. You are E-voc-a-tive, interesting and often funny, dah-ling! A pleasure to read.
    May your Academy Awards weekend be a triumph, George K.

  4. George Kaplan
    February 22, 2013

    My pleasure. Thanks for the link I love that clip! G.K. not H today 🙂

    • February 22, 2013

      You’re very welcome! I am going to get my hair dyed – how’s that for candor 😉

      • February 22, 2013

        What color??? Are you going to be a Henarincess?

  5. George Kaplan
    February 22, 2013

    It’s marvellous, Katy Candid!

  6. Melissa
    February 22, 2013

    I would have said right back at him “Too right, Mr. Busey.”

    • February 22, 2013

      You need to go on YouTube right now and look up his new web series… He’s got some very interesting theories about Hobbits.

  7. August 21, 2013

    I should try this tactic one of these days … 😉

    • August 21, 2013

      My other secret response, for example if you’ve just seen a play or movie and someone asks you a very pointed question about it and you can’t say, “hated it!”, is to respond with, “it was so fascinating” — 😉 .

  8. August 21, 2013

    We may not know what the F that actor was talking about…. BUT did you get a load of the guns on Marlon Brando? I’ll take my beefcake with a motorcycle on the side please.

    • August 21, 2013

      Way off to the side, those motorcycles are just too, too noisy!

  9. August 21, 2013

    Dear Ms. Lester,
    I just discovered your “site,” and would like to declare that I find it delightful. Must inquire, however, if the above pic is indeed related to “Rebel without a Cause?” Wouldn’t Natalie Wood and/or Jim Backus need to be figuring in it, if so? And does anyone know who the Russ Meyer-type babe in front is? What a dish, as they used to say.

    And ditto to laniersmith’s comments about Brando’s guns. If I were the babe holding onto him, my nails would be deep into that beef!

    • August 21, 2013

      Thank you and — ya caught me. The photo is from “The WIld One” and the players are: Peggy Maley, Marlon Brando, and Yvonne Doughty (aka Babe 😉 ).

  10. August 22, 2013

    Dearest V
    I must remember that line when next I’m at a loss for something to say (an infrequent event as you can imagine).
    Apparently our late Queen Mother used to remark ‘We shall have fog by teatime’ regardless of the weather whilst her daughter, surely reigning world champion at small talk rarely if ever uses names and uniformly asks people ‘Have you come far?’, often without pausing for a response.
    Both existential and rhetorical… not bad for four words.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • August 23, 2013

      Oh, to have fog by teatime! Today we’ll top out at 91, but right now the sun is almost up and there’s a slightly damp hint in the air and it smells like sage…

  11. August 23, 2013

    So I’m on my boat which Dale and I have just finished restoring. The varnish gleams the chrome is polished and a man neither of us knows rides up in his inflatable. “Can I see you boat?”

    He boards. “THAT’S NOT ORIGINAL!” He points to the modern circuit panel protecting our vessel from electrical fire as if it were a snake and jumps overboard. AAAAAAARGH!

    true story.

    • August 24, 2013

      What a toad that guy was – thank goodness he hopped away. My brother lived on his sailboat from the 1940s for years, and it was well updated. Otherwise, in the words of Katherine Hepburn, it wouldn’t have been at all yar. I know what it takes to restore a boat and I say, three cheers for Alexander and Dale!

  12. Heather in Arles
    August 24, 2013

    My Mom has the “talent” “luck” what have you of attracting the oddest people who say the oddest things. She has a standard response too. She turns her head slightly to the right and says, “Hm.”

    • August 24, 2013

      I had a woman in her seventies come up to the Kid at a picnic, and upon hearing that he was going to Antwerp to study, she launched into a detailed description of seeing prostitutes sitting in windows in the red light district. Even though I was appalled, and my first instinct was to clap my hands over his ears, I just stood there, rooted in the lawn, and smiled grimly. No Christmas jar of homemade jam for her!

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