Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Three weeks late for Blah Blah Blay Day

There was something on the calendar on April 17th called "Blah Blah Blah Day."

I know this because my DC Comics calendar told me so.

But I care about it because of Hotel Transylvania 2.

Let me explain.

For Christmas 2014, my wife gave me or my son -- can't remember which -- a 2015 calendar comprised of covers of classic DC comic books. It was entertaining enough, but we didn't really need my sister-in-law to buy us the 2016 edition as well. I'm concerned it may become an annual thing, so that we may never have anyone other than Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or the Flash looking down at us from the calendar spot on our kitchen wall.

But I digress.

The calendar recognizes a bunch of holidays beyond the traditional ones, though "holidays" may be a strong word for what some of these things are. Case in point: Blah Blah Blah Day, which landed on Sunday, April 17th.

This caught my eye because the words "blah blah blah" are part of a quote from Hotel Transylvania 2 that my younger son loves, even though he had never actually seen the movie. It's also an apocryphal quote, but more on that in a minute.

So my older son and I saw this back at the end of November when it hit theaters here. When we came home, I shared one of the quotes from it that both kids originally loved, but my younger one has held on to much longer. It comes from Adam Sandler's Count Dracula, most often referred to as "Drac." There is a running joke throughout both Hotel Transylvanias in which characters find it an astute impersonation of the most famous of all vampires to speak in a stereotypical Transylvanian accent and say "Blah blah blah." Or really, "Blah blahblah," if you want to get the meter of the line down.

So in the second one, which centers on Dracula's grandchild, the grandchild's first words are "Blah blahblah." When Drac hears this, he can only assume it's because someone has been impersonating him so regularly that the kid has gotten it engraved into his consciousness. He then of course defends himself against such a narrow and by definition inaccurate impression of him. (Inaccurate because no one actually says "blah blah blah.")

So my version of the line was "I don't say 'blah blah blah!' The only time I say 'blah blah blah' is when I'm talking about how I don't say 'blah blah blah!'" My kids are their father's children, so they loved the little bit of linguistic wordplay in this quote. I think they also liked the Transylvanian accent.

So I'd bust out this quote now and again when the situation seemed to call for it. And because my older son is his mother's son, he eventually got tired of the repetition. But the younger one didn't. Maybe he's more my son than hers.

I was eventually reminded of the fact that the younger one hadn't seen the movie yet -- which makes sense, as he's not even two-and-a-half yet -- and I found the perfect occasion to show it to him. My wife and I had spent the night of Saturday April 16th away in a hotel room to celebrate our anniversary, while the aforementioned sister-in-law stayed overnight at our house with our kids. My wife was going to also spend the day on Sunday working on a script she's writing, leaving me home with them. And I noticed it was Blah Blah Blah Day.

At this point it would probably be good to tell you what Blah Blah Blah Day actually is.

According to the internet, it's a day when you are supposed to get done all the boring things you've been putting off. All the tedious tasks that might be denoted by the phrase "blah blah blah." Jerry Seinfeld might have called it Yada Yada Yada Day instead.

For my family, though, it would be the day we'd watch Hotel Transylvania 2, which I rented from iTunes just for the occasion.

But it was my older son -- the one who has moved on just enough from things like Hotel Transylvania 2, even though he's still big into Scooby Doo -- who put the kibosh on the viewing. I slumped my shoulders in disappointment, but unless I have his buy-in on a particular movie, we're not going to sit there for 90 minutes and watch it.

Accepting his preference not to watch it on one particular occasion is one thing. Letting the 30-day rental window elapse without watching it is quite another.

So Mother's Day became the next best occasion to watch it. My wife was going out to treat herself to a 4 p.m. showing of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and since I'd already taken the kids out for about four hours in the morning, unwinding with a movie in the afternoon seemed like the perfect thing to do. With a little prodding, the older one acquiesced.

As we were watching, I sat there, excited, anticipating that moment when my younger son would have his mind blown by finally hearing "I don't say 'blah blah blah!' The only time I say 'blah blah blah' is when I'm talking about how I don't say 'blah blah blah!'"

So here is what the line actually is:

Mavis (baby's mother): Come on honey, say it again.
Baby: Blah blah blah.
Dracula: I don't say 'blah blah blah.'
Mavis: We didn't say you did.
Dracula: Then where did he get that?
Baby: Blah blah blah.
Mavis: Well, maybe sometimes you say it.
Dracula: I only say it when I say I don't say it!
Baby: Blah blah blah.

And ... scene.

So I slumped my shoulders in disappointment a second time.

It's too early to tell whether the misquote will continue to live on among our family's private jokes. An appropriate situation hasn't arisen in the three days since Sunday, but even if it had, I suspect I would have been too deflated to try it out again. However, when my younger son next needs perking up, I know I can go to that well and very likely get a smile, as well as his own hilariously broken version of trying to imitate the misquoted line.

I liked Hotel Transylvania 2 pretty well when I saw it, ranking it comfortably in the top half of films I saw in 2015, but realizing I'd been quoting the line wrong was kind of a microcosm of a general sense of deflation I felt on my second viewing. I suppose you just can't replicate the unique circumstances of watching a movie you know your son's been looking forward to in a classic old theater (the Sun in Yarraville), knowing that he's really enjoying it, and feeling pleasantly surprised by it yourself.

I guess maybe we've all moved on from "blah blah blah."

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