This Time It's Personal

Outta Context

Remember the license plate in Back To The Future that said “OUTATIME”? I was just thinking about that when I wrote this title. The plate could be OUTACONTXT. But that’s too many letters for a license plate. Now that I think on it, so is “OUTATIME”, since you can only have 6 letters. Unless they had more letters on their plates in the 80’s. I don’t know. Probably not.

Lately everything I say seems outta context. Or maybe it just flat out doesn’t make sense at all. I feel like I’m insane. Maybe I am. Of course, we already have the issue of people misconstruing things that I say online. But that happens to everyone. So I’m not worried. I’m past worried.

On my Instagram stories I posted: “I hope they’re more damn excited than I am”. I used white text on a blank black background with nothing else. If you’re a Buddy Holly fan, you should know what that’s from. It’s from the song of the same name which was also the title of The Crickets 1958 summer tour. I’M FUCKING WITH YOU. C’mon, you know.

“I hope they’re more damn excited than I am” is supposedly what Buddy Holly said to Ed Sullivan when Ed Sullivan asked him where his Crickets were on January 26, 1958.

Ed walked into the dressing room to find Buddy alone.

“Where are The Crickets?” Ed asked.

Buddy replied, “I don’t know. No telling”. Then Ed says, “I guess The Crickets aren’t too excited to be on The Ed Sullivan Show.” and THAT’S when Buddy Holly said “I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.”

At least, I think he said it. That’s what it says on Wikipedia anyway. But I just posted the phrase to my story because I felt like it. It just seemed to fit my bleak mood: “I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.”

I love that quote because it works with so many things:

“How’s the family? Are they excited for the holidays?”

“I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.”

“The boys must be excited for the big game.”

“I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.”

“Gee, the kids don’t seem too excited about Disneyland.”

“I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.”

You see? You can work it into any conversation. And the best part, is you’re quoting Buddy Holly! If the Ed Sullivan story is true, that is. And incidentally, that quote is what made me fall in love with Buddy Holly. That and the fact that he’s the greatest music artist who ever lived. And his lips. And that kissable spot on his forehead.

But yeah, taken outta context the phrase doesn’t mean a whole lot.

“I hope they’re (who?) more excited (about what?) than I am.”

You can be talking about anyone using the pronoun they, and there’s nothing that indicates what the excitement should be about.

But really, does that phrase sound troubling out of context? So far three people asked me if I’m okay since I posted it. Of course, that could also be in conjunction with the post on my feed which says I nearly suffered a nervous breakdown and I need a little time off from social interaction online. It’s true too, I’m not just saying that lightly. I would never say I almost had a nervous breakdown in a glib manner; I would never say something like that over something small or trite. I don’t use terms that pertain to one’s mental status as just an expression. When I say “I almost had a nervous breakdown”, yes, I almost had a nervous breakdown. Like I also said, it’s been a hell of a year.

My love for quotes and just words in general reminded me of when I was in college back in California. In Intermediate Theater THAR 10B with Leslie MacCaulay, (I post her name because she was/is a fantastic instructor as were all the drama instructors at the SRJC) we did an exercise which I found particularly interesting. We took a section of a script and underneath the lines we wrote the SUBTEXT which is basically the unspoken meaning and feelings behind the dialogue. It’s frightfully fun, at least for me it is, but you know, I’m a big English nerd.

So let’s try it with the interaction between Ed and Buddy.

ED: Where are The Crickets?

(SUBTEXT: What’s going on? The show is about to start.)

BUDDY: I don’t know. No telling.

(SUBTEXT: Wouldn’t you like to know?)

ED: I guess The Crickets aren’t too excited to be on The Ed Sullivan Show.

(SUBTEXT: I don’t want you and your two bit Rock N Roll act on my show anyway, you little bastards.)

BUDDY: I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.

(SUBTEXT: You make being on your show a real drag. Jackass.)

Okay, you get the idea. Maybe it’s not the best example of Subtext, but that’s the best I could do. That exchange is actually a pretty good piece to use since both of them were harboring hostility towards the other.

Note that the Subtext is honest and to the point, where the actual dialog doesn’t necessarily reveal exactly what the speaker is thinking.

Well that’s it for this this post, whatever it was supposed to be about, I’m not really sure now. Whenever I post something, I never know what kind of reception my readers will give it. But I hope they’re more damn excited than I am.

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