How Movies May Ruin My Life
“Your honor, I thought he was a zombie, I had to take the appropriate action.”
“Son, you clubbed a drunk man who was staggering down the street…to death!”
“I regret nothing.”
This is an exchange that will most likely happen at some point in my life. I’ll be locked up and the biggest surprise will be that the incident didn’t take place in Florida, where things like this are generally called “A weekday.” Perhaps you scoff at this idea, like an elderly mustached British man might when he’s just learned that women can get driver’s licenses. But this shapes a very real fear I have that perhaps fiction may…may…have a negative effect on my life.
My willingness to believe that plots generally reserved for the world of fiction, but could happen in real life, is at an all time high. The medical term for this is “delusional.” However, I know I am not the only one. Asking someone how they would survive in a zombie outbreak is basically nerd for “Hello.” I am no different. I live with my girlfriend (she is not fictional), and I always, ALWAYS, lock the door when I go the bathroom, prompting this exchange:
“Why do you lock it? I’m not gonna like, come in or anything.” yells my girlfriend while painting her nails and remembering Lisa Frank folders.
“Ha Ha!…just an old habit!” I reply handsomely, if she only knew the dark truth. I lock the door knowing that if a zombie busted in and bit her, I would have a barrier between me and certain death on the other side. I’ve already mentally prepared to move on from her if she gets bit by a zombie. “We had some good times!” I’d yell while climbing out the bathroom window.
After accommodating for zombies, time travel is the next logical thing to start planning for. If a man ran up to me, said he was from the future, and needed help with something, but he played it really straight, like say, Liev Schreiber might, I’d probably give him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, Back to the Future has taught me that unmarried septuagenarians who live alone in a barn and want me to travel through time with them are people to be trusted. No matter what your parents, society, and the local police say. Or how could I forget the lessons of Looper ? Where (Spoiler Alert) Joseph Gordon-Levitt kills himself once he realize how ugly he turns out to be.
Then there are the Superhero origin stories. These have caused me to linger in front of microwaves longer than I should, and follow around toxic waste trucks hoping for an accident. No powers have manifested yet, but I can safely say that I have several restraining orders.
Perhaps it is not only nerds who think this way. It could simply be a difference of fictional interests. After Wall Street came out there was a marked rise in douche-ba…ahem…stockbrokers. Michael Douglas remarked in an interview that people would say that he was the reason they got into the business. This is okay because a job like that is socially acceptable (and also real). Nonetheless it was a fictional story that affected how someone lives.
If you think this is the only case, ask one of your finance friends if they’ve ever seen Boiler Room. It’s possible that nerds and people interested in fantastical fiction can experience the same emotion, just without the acceptable social avenue to release it upon. Like that time I met Elijah Wood and told him his work on The Lord of the Rings had inspired me to become a Hobbit, I was kindly guided out of the building.
So is there a point to this? I suppose not. Because of the various fiction we love and have been exposed to, I think our generation is going to be hilarious to listen to as we become senile and lose our grip on actual reality. In the meantime, when you see my name pop up on the news for being found buried in a radioactive waste disposal with a microwave lodged on my head, just know that I was trying to become a really great superhero–or a not that great hobbit.
Dedicated to Elijah Wood.
By Kevin Anglin