11 July 2007

That '70s summer

The man and I have made it our summer project to watch every episode of That '70s Show (thus the scene in my recent dream). Watching such an American television icon with a non-American has made me vividly aware of how culturally specific language can be. It can also lead to some interesting conversations. I mean, how do you really, truly make someone understand how the word "muff" has taken on its slang significance? Other examples:

Him: "Who's Rudolph?"
Me: "Stop the episode! I'm going to sing!"
(he obliges)
Me: "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose...See, isn't that great?"
(he looked unimpressed, whether with my singing or the story, I'm not sure)

-Eric and friends TP the music teacher's house-
Me: "Wow, that was so much fun! Did you ever toilet paper houses when you were growing up?"
Him: "No, in Spain toilet paper was a scarce commodity."
Me: "Oh." (Ashamed silence. Back on the show, the gang takes out eggs and began throwing them at the house).
Me: "Hey! So did you ever egg houses?"
Him: "No. Eggs were also a scarce commodity in Spain."

Him: "What's a toker?"
Me: "Um...I don't think that would be appropriate for my blog."
Him: "What?"
Me: "Never mind."

I've had to re-examine my negative stereotype about living in trailers and explain the shape of a Mrs. Butterworth's bottle. And both of us now tolerate speech constantly peppered with "Burn! That's a burn!" (although I have to tolerate it more, if you know what I mean). All in all, so far the eight-seasons viewing challenge has been highly entertaining and educational. That is, until last night, when one of us uttered, "Well, you were being like Kelso, but now you're being like Jackie!"

Have we reached '70s saturation? Maybe it's time to turn it off?

Never! And when we finish, we have an impressive variety of behind-the-scenes footage to cement our expertise.

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