Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Portrait of a Badass: Brad

Character: Brad Hamilton
Actor: Judge Reinhold
Film: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
Badass Moment: Brad threatens a mouthy customer with 100% ass-kicking. And even though Brad is really angry in this scene, he's smiling.

Big brothers from all walks of life can appreciate the badassness of Brad Hamilton, the biggest brother of them all. In Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Brad throws fast food out the window of a moving car. He protects the confidentiality of his younger sister's abortion. He gets walked in on by Phoebe Cates while masturbating to Phoebe Cates. He does everything a big brother should do. And then, on top of all that, he takes out the garbage. I didn't know, until I saw this movie for the first time, that I could win any argument just by saying, "I take out the garbage," with an air of miffed indignation.

Brad Hamilton loves his battleship-sized luxury sedan. Eight minutes into the film, he reveals that he has only six payments left to make before the car is officially his. When I was Brad Hamilton's age, I did not have a luxury sedan. In fact, I was a lucky ducky if I was able to borrow my parents' Mitsubishi Colt for a full school day. And I couldn't use the Colt to give any girls a ride home, because the only girl I wanted to give a ride home to had a 20-year-old boyfriend who looked like Judge Reinhold and drove a luxury sedan.


Important: Brad Hamilton's greatest scene is certainly his verbal showdown with a dissatisfied customer at All-American Burger. This scene has special meaning for me, as it ought to for anyone who bore the brunt of rude customer complaints while working in a part-time service industry job. As the basis for his complaint, the customer cites All-American Burger's "100% guaranteed" breakfast set.

I can relate to the absurdity of such a guarantee. I used to work at a video rental store which boasted that, "If you're not satisfied with your movie, we'll give you a free rental!" This ridiculous guarantee is a physical customer-vs-cashier altercation waiting to happen. Fortunately, I managed to cut down on potential nastiness by secretly removing all the little signs advertising the guarantee. My boss never even noticed the impact of my workplace sabotage. Of course, a handful of extra-clever customers had already noticed the signs and did what anybody would do: They abused the system to no end.

I am proud to say, however, that I only gave into a questionable demand for a free rental once, and that was because I recommended the movie Fargo to a guy, honestly believing that he would like it. He didn't like it.

Brad, you are 100% guaranteed badass. You take out the garbage. We salute you.

Technorati: Judge Reinhold / Fast Times At Ridgemont High / Fargo

1 comment:

Rick said...

You forgot how he took a pot of coffee and turned it into a weapon. I never saw Chuck Norris do that.