Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Revenge of the Rolling Chopstick Phenomenon

"Scorpion / Lost soul / Bent on revenge."
from the song "Scorpion (Lost Soul Bent On Revenge)"
Mortal Kombat: The Album

A while back, I made an entry about situations in which my own humorous thoughts caused me to laugh at awkward times. Today at work, another such occasion took place. During one of my lessons today, I had instructed my students to study a list of vocabulary words in silence for one whole minute. One whole minute of my own thoughts echoing noisily in my brain, just defying me -- taunting me -- not to laugh. And sure enough, along came a stupid memory from the early 1990s:

My sister and I are watching Saved By the Bell (an after-school teen sitcom starring characters who fit nicely into high school stereotypes like "cool guy," "babe" and "ninja"...see image). We are bored. In an attempt to become less so, we mute the TV and start supplying our own voice talents to the show. Onscreen, one of the teen protagonists is admiring a souped-up sportscar. As said teen walks around to the front bumper, one of us says, "This is where the spikes will be attached."

I can't remember which of us delivered this golden comic line, nor can I remember whether the word used was "spikes" or rather "spears." I like to think I said it, and that I used the word "spears," but either way it's funny to me. And upon remembering just how funny it was (not to mention the bonus mental image of hapless nerd character Screech being chased relentlessly by the nightmarish spike-mobile), a laugh escaped through my nose at long last, breaking the silence of the one-minute vocab cram session. When my students asked why I was laughing, I briefly considered the implications of explaining the Saved By the Bell anecdote, decided it would be too troublesome and answered, "I just thought of something funny."

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