Friday, October 20, 2006

Ben Affleck in the Bucket

A few days ago, I was fixing cable lines in a bucket truck. For those who don’t know, a bucket truck is one of those trucks with a big, hydraulic arm that lifts workers up to the top of utility poles. Cable repair people use bucket trucks to work on anything that’s higher than about 25 feet.

When I was a five year-old kid, I used to see these trucks and think, “That is cool.” And you know what?

I was absolutely right. It is way cool. Sometimes I feel so cool in my hardhat and tool belt that I walk around the bucket truck really slow – like Ben Affleck’s character in the movie “Armageddon”. I try not to do too much of this because, frankly, slow motion walking looks stupid in real life.

The only time the bucket truck is not amazingly cool is when it’s raining and windy – like it was a few days ago when my cell phone rang. I answered it and had this conversation with my wife:

Me: What’s up?

Her: Hey, Sweetie. What are you doing?

Me: I’m in the bucket truck, 40 feet up in the air. It’s raining and windy. What do you need?

Her: Nothing. Just wanted to tell you I love you.

Me: Thank you. I love you, too. Can we talk later?

Her: Don’t you want to talk with me?

She sounds hurt and for a moment, there is total silence on the phone. I’m irritated because there is absolutely nothing I want to talk about. I want to hang up. If this was “Armageddon” and I was Ben Affleck’s character, I’d walk away in slow motion and just let stuff explode behind me.

But then it occurs to me that Ben Affleck’s character in “Armageddon” isn’t real. Maybe I should make decisions about my wife based on something other than movie characters. Walking away from explosions is stupid in real life.

“Of course, I want to talk to you,” I say into the phone. “So, what did you have for lunch?”

Real heroes, I think, run toward explosions. You know, like Keanu Reeves in “Speed”.


Anonymous said...

You should always make your decisions based on what Movie and TV characters would do, you simply have to pick the right character for the situation - in this case the base option would be perhaps Robert Duvall's character in Falling Down with respect to how he interacts with his wife irrespective of what is going on at his end of the phone call. Remember, if you can't think of a proper role model of a situation that occurs in your life, you have simply not watched enough TV and Movies.

Grim Richard said...

You make a really good point. And your Robert Duvall/"Falling Down" logic is flawless. But Robert Duvall would never, ever run toward an explosion - unless it was an explosion of TANGO!

Anonymous said...

I think for running toward an explosion I would use Helen Hunt's character in Twister - she is running toward the explosive power of the tornadoes to understand them better while running away from the explosive devistation of divorce.

Then again if you want to "stay golden" while being an outsider you could use ponyboy in the Outsiders as your reference for running into an explosive fire to save little kids.