October 07, 2009
Hey Jeff Maybe,
So I wanted to say sorry for ruining our conversation the other night at that thing where people were performing and I don’t know if it was a dance thing or it was a really weird play, but it was intermission.
We were grabbing a drink and you had this shocked look on your face, as if you had just seen a squirrel piloting a kite in the middle of the ocean, and so I asked “What the fuck did we just see in there?” and you answered and questioned me at the same time with “Right?”
We were talking, laughing, digesting and vomiting what we had just witnessed on that stage, and then you started imitating one of the moves from inside by dancing with your arms over your head.
And you kind of marched in place.
Which is cool, man, I don’t want to take dancing in public away from you. Means you’re comfortable with yourself and that makes me pretty jealous.
Dance it up.
But then you went and said, “It was like during the dance scene in Teen Wolf. Remember that when they danced like that, doing the wolf move? Did you ever see Teen Wolf?”
“Sure,” I said.
“Kind of,” I said.
“Oh, you gotta watch it again sometime. I can’t believe you don’t really know that movie.”
And then you kept doing that dance, which had technically been for a long time at that point. And then you razzed me again for missing out on a “really good comedy.”
Here’s where my apology comes in, Jeff or Jason: I’m sorry I took my watch off and tossed it a few yards away and then went to pick it up and kept walking.
Kind of an odd thing to do, maybe.
A rude gesture to a possible new friend, definitely.
The truth is, you see, the movie Teen Wolf is actually a very special film to me.
You didn’t know that.
And how could you have?
It’s just that your representation of the wolf dance was mediocre at best, and cringe-inducing at worst.
It made me… very uncomfortable.
In fact, every second that your imitation continued it was like someone with a pocket full of quarters had reached up my anus with one of those arcade game claws and scraped repeatedly at the base of my spinal column.
While you were marching in place and laughing, telling me about a movie that was scratched into my soul by the time I was 15, I, well, I shut down.
Just shut myself down like a self-hating cartoon robot.
It was easier than trying to correct you.
Easier than exposing my insane Teen Wolf passion by being all Obama about it. (I hear he’s a Nazi or a Communist or a vampire that glitters in sunlight, and that he was never technically born, according to recently unearthed Hawaiian documents.)
I quickly stopped liking you, our time together, even your haircut, and I blame no one but myself because you seemed like a cool enough guy.
So again, sorry for being such a dick the other night at that thing.
But if you care, I’d like to attempt to explain: I’ve never been able to discuss Teen Wolf.
Not since high school, at least.
Just like I can’t talk about The Goonies, The Karate Kid or the infamous television series Saved by the Bell.
It’s not you.
These three movies and SBTB are so important to me, so integral in the way I’ve approached my life, so influential in the development of my sense of humor, on how to study treasure maps and how to befriend quiet karate masters disguised as maintenance men, that I just can’t handle having a nonchalant conversation about them.
Or a non-nonchalant conversation.
These films and that show, in my mind, were written for me.
And nobody else can understand or relate to them on the same level.
Picture me as a kid, Jeff, with wild curls and red popsicle goo surrounding my lips, sitting in front of the television with any one of my four brothers.
We didn’t have cable, and so we did what any honorable American family with two VCRs did: We recorded rented movies, smooshing four onto a single blank tape.
So, while you and yours were drinking Slice and watching Beavis and Butthead and The State and new music videos on MTV, or whatever lame-ass shit was playing on VH1 at the time, my brothers and I (and sometimes my one sister) were watching Teen Wolf for the 23rd time.
Or The Karate Kid for the 27th time.
Or The Goonies for the 98th time.
Or if it was late Saturday morning, we were gobbling up a couple of episodes of Saved by the Bell, only to regurgitate them into each other’s faces while the turquoise and purple collage background of the ending credits blasted behind us.
It unfortunately got to the point when I deemed myself a scholar, nay a genius, regarding all things Boof and Styles, Sloth and the Fratellis, Danny Larusso, the gang at the Max.
And I’ve been up on my high horse for so long that I can’t bring myself down to discuss any of those movies or SBTB, because I am suspicious of anyone else’s knowledge or fandom of Teen Wolf, including yours, Jefferson.
Your dance, to me, was sacrilegious.
Unless you used to fast forward to the last basketball game twice before leaving for school where Scott refuses to “wolf out,” or unless you had ever put together a pro and con list during 7th grade math class to compare that basketball game montage against the awesomeness that is the tournament at the end of The Karate Kid, then I felt our relationship had to end with me underhanding my watch and following it.
(After much deliberation, if you’re wondering where I stand, the tournament in The Karate Kid is more satisfying to watch than the Teen Wolf basketball game against the Dragons.)
This makes me sad, Jason Whatever.
This also makes me, obviously, immature and annoying.
I don’t see my inability and refusal to discuss these things as anything less than ridiculous. Like Jane Velez-Mitchell’s head of hair.
I see my explosive disappointment and cowering shame whenever I hear some asshole yell “Put him in a body bag!” as something to discuss at the top of the hour with a professional.
I’d love to make new friends over a good old fashioned Teen Wolf joke, and I’d be into hearing someone else wax on Screech’s wardrobe, and I’d love to giggle with a stranger about the funny way Mouth’s Members Only jacket balloons up behind him when he dives into the bottom of the well for more coins, but it’s impossible for me at this moment.
Maybe our paths will cross again, and that would be nice, but I’m pretty sure I’ll hide behind a dumpster until you pass, whispering every line from the scene where Michael J. Fox is trying to tell his coach that he wants to quit the basketball team because his body is going through some changes.
Do you remember that part?