Flaming monks, quick-moving women, the hair on your feet and a snake’s ass

I miss movies.  My father told me over the phone the other day about going to see the new Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris and I was jealous.

My top five favorite films are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, High Fidelity, Annie Hall, Sideways and Field of Dreams.  But if I had one film to watch, it wouldn’t be any of those.  It would be a movie I find myself quoting in my head every day … every day.

“It’s so damn hot I saw one of those little guys in the orange robes burst into flames!”

“First of all, don’t make fun of the weather here, and don’t say the weather is the same all the time here. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s two degrees colder today than yesterday.”

I don’t live in Vietnam, but I’m pretty close and every day I think of scenes from Good Morning, Vietnam.

An earlier scene finds Adrian Cronauer (played by Oscar-nominated Robin Williams to perfection) getting a ride in a jeep through a city in Vietnam where he spots a pretty Vietnamese woman.  He wants the driver, Edward Garlick (Forrest Whitaker) to stop, but he won’t.  Then he spots another pretty woman, only he thinks it’s the same one : slim figure, jet black hair, short and a pretty face.

Cronauer: Mayday! Mayday! Dragon-Lady with incredible figure at 11 o’clock! Stop the car.
Garlick: I can’t do that, sir.
Cronauer: Aw, Edward, you don’t understand. I’ve been on a small Greek island with a lot of women who look like Zorba, I never thought I’d find women attractive ever again. And now that I do, you won’t even turn the car around? Thanks a lot.
Garlick: You have a very important meeting with the top brass…
Cronauer: -Oh, there she is again! How did she get ahead of us?
Garlick: That’s another person, sir.
Cronauer: She’s beautiful and quick. Speed up, check her stamina. Oh my God, they’re quick, they’re fast, and small. Ha, ha, ha, ha! I feel like a fox in a chicken coop!  Quick, before she accelerates!

Last week I was at a get together for my tambon which involved a visit from the governor of the province and a business fair, similar to what one might find at the State Fair.  Each business had its own 20-foot area to display their product and advertise their services.  Everyone was going from one display to another, including the women from various SAO offices who were all wearing the same uniform.  I was looking for one woman in particular.  On the outside, I was just the one white guy there looking around.  On the inside I was rolling on the ground laughing at my misfortune.  Looking at only the backs of these women they all looked the same.  All these Thai women had on the same clothes, the same black hair, the same slim figure and they had their backs to me so I couldn’t see their faces.  I walked up to numerous displays and peeked around to see their faces and every time I thought I found the woman I was looking for, I didn’t and laughed at the preposterousness of the situation.  I must have looked at half a dozen women to no avail.  I felt like I entered the Twilight Zone.

“Quick, before she accelerates!”

The Good Morning, Vietnam comparisons don’t end there.  There’s the spicy food.

Shit! This stuff is burning the hair off my feet!

And, of course, the weather.

The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it’s hotter than a snake’s ass in a wagon rut.

If anyone would like to lend me their DVD copy of Good Morning, Vietnam I’d be grateful.  In exchange, I’ll happily buy you a plate of food that will burn the hair off your feet.

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