Ask a guy his girlfriend's middle name and he'll have absolutely no idea. Ask a guy Kent Dorfman's frat name from Animal House and he will emphatically shout "Flounder," then go on to tell you that the character was played by Stephen Furst, who later went on to play "Gonzer" in Up the Creek, co-starring Delta Rush Chairman Eric "Otter" Stratton, classically portrayed by Tim Matheson (he's damn glad to meet you).
Guys know way too much about movies, and not a goddamn thing about most everything else. My friend Bill came to visit last week and as we strolled Manhattan checking out the sites, he didn't seem the least bit enthused until I made some sort of movie reference. I pointed out the main branch of the New York Public Library, but he wasn't impressed until I said, "Y'know, the one from Ghostbusters." He was indifferent toward the Battery Tunnel Building in Lower Manhattan until I pointed out that it was used as the headquarters for Men In Black. And he had absolutely no interest in the Flatiron Building until I reminded him that it was the spot where they had trapped Godzilla with all those fish in the recent Metro-area version starring Matthew "Ferris Bueller" Broderick (I don't care what he does on Broadway, he'll always be Ferris to me). And as we rode the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, I had to point out where the X-men battles took place and that we couldn't go to the top for a fight scene like the one in Remo Williams.
So we dedicated a good portion of Bill's visit following up on his passion for movies, meanwhile finding a way to work in another shared enthusiasm - drinking lots of beer.
One of the musts on Bill's visit list was to check out Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash (35 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ) - a comic book store owned by director Kevin Smith, who brought the world Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Films recommended to be viewed in that order, as they all tie in together and would be much funnier to the viewer if the viewer had a clue as to what the hell was going on in these films). The store is certainly worth the 45-mile drive (thanks for the ride, Brett) for any fan of the films - or comic books in general, for that matter. (Ed. Note: You can take the train, too.) There's a lot of brilliant merchandise there you can't get anywhere else, but while I wanted to splurge on a "Berserker" T-shirt, I opted to spend my dough on a burger and beer around the corner at The Globe Bar & Grill (20 E. Front St., Red Bank), since there was plenty more movie/beer tourism left to explore in our area.
Another guy favorite when it comes to cinematic masterpieces is Stanley Kubrick's legendary adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. The Korova Milk Bar (200 Avenue A, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets, Manhattan) takes its name from the joint where Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell, in case you were wondering) and his three Droogies (that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim) would sit and prime themselves up for a bit of the ol' ultraviolence. While they don't offer Moloko-Plus Vellocet or Moloko-Plus Synthemesc, they do have an interesting mixed Moloko menu. Plus, one of the biggest draws is the fact that they show great movies on their mesmerizing TV screens.
While we were there, we caught the end of Logan's Run and nearly all of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels before we realized the sound wasn't on (see, most guys can watch movies without sound because they already have all the dialogue committed to memory - the effect being that the space available in our "hard-drive" for remembering birthdays, holidays and anniversaries is drastically reduced).
Next on our trip was a visit to The Slaughtered Lamb Pub (182 Fourth St., Manhattan), which takes its name from the pub in the horror classic, American Werewolf In London. As we were enjoying a few pints we realized that there was no pentagram on the wall, but there was Goodfellas showing on the TV. So we were basically snared once again in this ingenious trap set by bar owners to a) show guys movies that they like, and b) serve them beer and charge them for it. As it all came to me at The Slaughtered Lamb I began to feel a bit uneasy, so we left rather hurriedly - being careful to stay off the moors.
All in all, my friend's visit to New York was quite entertaining. We did a lot of other cool stuff too, but it wasn't movie-related so obviously I've forgotten it already.
(I apologize to any confused readers for any movie references that came in under the radar.)
Being a writer/bartender, it's nice to get praise on your writing from someone who isn't necessarily trying to get a free drink. I want to thank the New Jersey Press Association for my recent recognition. (Ed. Note: He won second place in the entire state for column writing for weekly newspapers! Congratulate Hal if you see him.)
If you know how I can effectively waste $50 in the Metro area, please write to:
"Hal Wastes His Wages"
c/o The Hudson Current
1400 Washington Street
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
Or via e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com