taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

When I was eleven, we lived across the street from a boy named AJ. I found him totally fascinating, mostly because he seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted, and when his parents had parties, he was sent to the liquor store to pick up the beer. His mother (like mine) chain-smoked endless long, white cigarettes on the porch, and said everything in a very droll tone of voice.

Anyway, one day AJ asked me to come over to see a movie, because he had rented Porky's, which was of course strictly verboten for most of us ordinary mortal children. I don't even remember the movie, to tell the truth, although I do remember that afterwards, I was in a state of panic. "What do I tell my mom we watched?" I asked him. He was wise, after all, in the art of deception--or so I thought. And I felt the desperate need to make up a convincing lie.

"Well," he said, very suave, "my parents watch totally boring movies, so just tell them you watched one of these." He picked up a box--the clear plastic kind with no description, like you used to get at the video store, and said, "'Last Tango in Paris'. Just tell your mom we watched that."

So of course I go home, all feeling slick and like my lie is totally down pat, and my mom says, "Did you have a good time at AJ's? What did you watch?" And I'm all, "Oh, it was boring. Last Tango in Paris." My mom's jaw dropped. But for some reason, I have no idea, she didn't say a word!


At 8:12 AM, Blogger The Cybrarian said...

I gotta add that to my netflix queue! Mmmm Brando.
From the NYT review:
"Brando's Paul, at the end of his emotional rope after his wife’s suicide, visits an empty apartment for rent. He encounters Maria and rapes her. She accepts this quick standing copulation and returns for more abuse and sexual experimentation as outlet for Paul's emotional turmoil.
Paul enters into a sadomasochistic carnal relationship with her, indirectly attacking the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous sexual behavior ... the sexual content in Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit (once seen, the infamous "butter scene" is never forgotten)"

Your poor mother!


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