Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Oct. 20, 2009
Posted by Noah
Everybody knows the line in A Christmas Story that Ralphie hears over and over when he expresses his fervent desire for his Holy Grail Christmas present: "I want a Red Rider carbine Auction BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time."
"You'll shoot your eye out."
Okay, so I know I'm a little early - almost two months - to start posting about anything Christmas, but I have to admit two things here today, as the movie is on my mind: This movie is one of my all-time favorites and one that I have seen probably more than 500 times, and that I am living proof that kids do get shot in the eye with bb guns. Yes, it happened to me when I was six. It's a long story.
As for A Christmas Story, I actually read a blurb on the elevator TV screen at Heritage HQ - I would hate to get bored in the 30 seconds it takes the elevator to make its ascent - about the fan that bought the original Parker house from the movie, located in Cleveland, Ohio, and turned it into a living museum for the movie, re-creating it down to the smallest detail. Let me tell you, if I was in Cleveland - a killer city, if you've never been there - I would probably go to that house before I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I had to know if Heritage Auctions had ever sold any of the original props or set pieces from the movie to the owner of the house/museum, but the auction archives reveal that there is no connection. What connection does exist is in the selling of numerous A Christmas Story movie posters and lobby cards, any of which I would be more than thrilled to have - hint hint. My wife may not be so sanguine about it, but we can deal with that later...
Everybody has their favorite moment from the movie, and I am no different. I can rattle off about 10 parts I love, so brilliant is the film, but my most favorite moment in this classic is when "The Wicked Witch of the West" approaches Ralphie as he stands in the epic line to visit Santa Claus, the very picture of contemplation, and the witch asks him:
"And what would you like for Christmas, little boy?"
"Don't bother me," says Ralphie, clearly annoyed, "I-... I'm thinking."
Just plain funny.
Of course, Ralphie has now grown up, shed his white-haired, be-spectacled persona (as well as Messy Marvin, if you know what I'm talking about) and is the grown-up director of the recent Couples Retreat. No comment.
As for me getting shot in the eye with a BB? Yes, it happened, I can still remember it clearly and I was in the hospital for six days with patches over both my eyes. I do wear glasses today and my left eye - the eye - never got any stronger, but it never got weaker. All my eye doctors say I am lucky not to be blind. Looking back, though, I can see the event as a seminal part of my life, and the moment at which I began to think creatively. Go figure.
It also didn't hurt in helping to win my complete and total affection for A Christmas Story. I cannot wait until the day I can watch it with my daughter and have her get all the jokes.
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