Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Called The Perfect Storm

I’ve noticed this weird phenomenon over the years, and I wonder if it’s a common human experience. Do terms from crappy movies (or even movie titles) get used to describe things in your life? One I’ve noticed myself using quite often is The Perfect Storm.  If you’ve never seen the movie, don’t bother. It’s not a bad movie; it’s just not a good or seemingly memorable movie. I remember the actors (George Clooney, Diane Lane, Mark Walhberg, and I think John Candy had a cameo) and the scene where the weather man (the bad guy from Billy Madison) was using Doppler (I guess) to show these three storms coming together. He utters to phrase, “We call it the perfect storm.”

 (Go to 1:22 for the stirring line!)

My point is that I use this phrase on a daily basis. I didn’t activate my debit card, and the perfect storm of problems occurred as a result. I used it yesterday to describe my shitty dietary habits. I had a greasy bar hamburger Thursday night, Popeye’s chicken for lunch and dinner the next day, and a Freebirds burrito the next day: it was the perfect storm of fatness and a not-so-certain stomach.

Another term that I use is cave troll (from Lord of the Rings. Oh and nerds, sit down. I’m sure they exist in D&D and things like that, too). Anyone who is big and dopey is a cave troll. There is an ex-pro basketball player named Popeye Jones (Hey, I used Popeye twice in one post!) who looks exactly like a cave troll. 

 (He might look more like an Orc, but I'm not here to argue semantics)

When I say it, I don’t even think of LOTR. It mean something else to me now. I’m aware that’s this is ultra-nerdy – mainly because I don’t think I’m even referencing the movie anymore. I know what a cave troll is, and you’re a cave troll!

Some of these terms from movies have obvious roles in real life. For example, if you play golf, the movie Tin Cup will invariable come up when playing a round. The most famous scene in the movie is where Kevin Costner’s character uses all of the balls in his bag to make a certain shot because he knows he can do it. I do this all the time when I play because I KNOW I can hit the ball in bounds and not on the street next to the course into oncoming traffic. I tin cupped it!

Before you think of a comment or an example, your movie has to be crappy/lame. LOTR fans I’m with you; they are great movies, but they’re nerdy. Making a LOTR reference is nerdy.


  1. Ahhh I feel so lame I can't think of a clever example!! I use them all the time and I'm running blank. grrrr. Great post though!!

    Thanks for stopping by my site!! I'm following!!

  2. Well are we allowed to make LOTR references or not? And I know it's nerdy. I have no problem saying I'm a nerd.

  3. The perfect storm was a term before the movie came out... am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

    I don't have any crappy movie terms off the top of my head. I pretty much try to forget them D:


  4. To Nicole-

    Thanks for coming by. I'll try to have better material in the future! :)

    To Chanel-

    LOTR references are always all right with me. Nerdy references are better anyways -- who wants to make a reference to something cool like Never Say Never.

    To TKchan-

    The perfect storm is meteorological event that happened in 1991 (though, obviously, events like it occurred before). The perfect storm is a term coined by the book The Perfect Storm's author, Sebastian Junger. The movie (based off the book) further popularized the term. I haven't seen it used in any place other than these specific, connected references.

  5. That's interesting. I would have thought the "perfect storm" was coined before Junger. It seems too recent for how it's so widely used.

    My daughters use the term "Homer gift" (from when Homer gave Marge a bowling ball already inscribed with the name Homer) when I give them a movie or something that they know I want to watch. They use it endearingly.

    And that guy really is a cave troll. Uncanny.
    It Just Got Interesting

  6. Oh no! This was a wonderful post. I'm just not clever. : )

  7. Yes. I can't wait to use cave troll!