Monday, July 18, 2005

My Dad the Plagiarist

Growing up, I heard all sorts of amusing quips from my parents, and my dad especially. My dad's a funny guy in general, so I had always assumed these were originals of his. But throughout high school and college, where I met new people with more diverse knowledge of randomness, I discovered — to my shock and devastating disenchantment, let me tell you — that my dad stole his one-liners from all sorts of movies and songs and such.

Take, for example, the "group W bench." This, I always thought, was where a group ended up when you were resting mid- or end-adventure, and you were all sitting together at the same place. But no. No, no. It's much worse that than. The group W bench comes from Alice's Restaurant, where "mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys" sit on the bench. Devastating, I tell you!

The phrase "with feeling!" may also be stolen from the same song, as they do use the phrase there, but I think that's a more common phrase and could be from anywhere, really. I am, however, deeply suspicious.

Steve Martin's stand-up is a favorite source of quotes for my dad: "wild and crazy guy," "well, excuuuuuse me," among others I can't recall at the moment. Squirts, care to help out via blog comments with what other phrases of Dad's you've stumbled across elsewhere? We must document such things for posterity, methinks.

And speaking of parental lies, don't even get me started on tree skirts.

Update, November 23, 2006: This Thanksgiving, Thing 1 and I lamented our disenchantment to my parents, aunts, and uncle. She said our parents should have a bibliography at the end of their lives, so we can know their sources. They said we should start taking notes ourselves. So! Squirts, parental units (another Phrase!), please comment on this post with phrases and their sources. :)

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3 comments:

John Cowan said...

Cut the guy some slack, A. Did he tell you he made these phrases up? My daughter probably thinks I make up half the things I say, and the fact is, I hardly ever do make something up -- I quote all the time.

And as for Alice's Restaurant, see http://www.arlo.net/lyrics/alice_flame.shtml . What I'm really proud about is that this wound up on the official Arlo site.

Arthaey said...

I suppose he never did claim to be the author. OTOH, my "mistrusting" my parents has become something of a running joke in my family. :)

As for your parody, that's pretty amazing. I'll have to get my friend to play the song again, so I can read through it with music accompaniment.

Giynlith said...

Scrumpler! Which, for some reason, I want to spell "scrampler." Don't ask me why.