Thursday, February 28, 2019


"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffin' glue" is about as funny as a one-liner gets. Its sardonic charm is applicable in just about any situation and can be delivered by anyone. In fact, the more unlikely the deliverer of the line, the better. Just imagine Queen Elizabeth watching coverage of parliament's Brexit arguments, then turning to a nearby footman and delivering the line in a perfect deadpan.

The problem: "Airplane!" isn't well-known among many of my generation. So when I recently busted out the line amongst friends and casual friends, there was a minor stir of confusion. "Wait, you used to sniff glue?" No no, it's from a movie....well, I don't want to get into the full explanation, but needless to say, whenever you deliver a joke and then need to explain it afterwards, brother, you just told a bomb of a joke. Not only did the reference fly over everyone's heads, but given how some of these people didn't know me very well, they might in fact think that I'm actually some kind of glue-sniffer.

For the record, I'm not. I've always had a very indifferent relationship to glue as a product, let alone as a stimulant. In grade school, I quickly grew tired of the unnecessary stickiness and lumps caused by Elmer's Glue and moved on to staples and tape at a young age. Glue irritated me so much that it never occurred to me to try and sniff it. Would you sniff something that annoyed you? Exactly.

I guess my point is that everyone needs to watch "Airplane!" again so I can keep using this line. Since surely that's a more reasonable request than for me to just stop busting out that quote.* The only other alternative is for glue-sniffing to become so socially acceptable that even if nobody gets the reference, at least I'm not looked on as a weirdo. But do I want to be responsible for a generation's drug addiction issues? No dice.

* And don't call me Shirley.

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