Monday, May 28, 2007

Pan's Laberoso: a tale of the Odd Squodd

Last Monday night, Li'l Dill came over to watch Pan's Labyrinth with the Boys of Benjiman Street. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Pan's is simulatenously the story of a sadistic military man charged with hunting down rebels in fascist 1940s Spain and a horror-tinged fairy tale about the step-daughter of the sadist who believes she is actually the reincarnation of a mystical princess. An extremely well done film, with some interesting creature effects, such as the enigmatic Faun
his pet winged fairies (which are incredibly difficult to find images of online), and the bizarre creature with an appetite for said fairies who also gives new meaning to the term "hand-eye coordination."

After the film was over, Li'l Dill announced that from now on, he wanted us to call him Faun; not surprisingly, nobody really jumped at the proposed name change*.

The next day, Li'l Dill and I had one of our usual Odd Squodd email exchanges where we strive to out-random each other; Li'l Dill, the most random man I have ever known, generally wins. A part of this randomness manifests itself as constantly shifting email signatures; often mine are a response to his -- he signs off as Leroy the Dragon, I respond as JimBob the Manticore; he signs off as Peter Pan, I respond as Cap'n Hook, etc. Sometimes the signatures are directly related to the content of the email. After reading my blog post about the death of the Blue Beast, he sent me an email offering up his services as chauffeur if I needed them, saying that he had a hat and coat he could wear to look official and offering to wear a mustache as well; I, being the kind soul that I am, reminded him that by the time he was able to actually grow a mustache I'd be back from Oklahoma in my new car. His reply: "Nicely played, swan, nicely played -- The Ugly Duckling." And then, there are those times when it's just a product of our fevered little odd-ball minds: in one of his replies on Tuesday, he signed off as "Pan's Laberoso**" which, in case you were wondering, is not Spanish for Labyrinth, although apparently it is Li'l Dillish.

The night before I flew up to Tulsa, I went out for a "well, since your trip has ruined our surprise party idea, I guess we need to do something for your birthday before you leave" dinner with several of the Singles at Frillys. I don't recall what prompted him to do so, but at one point PigPen called down the table "Hey, Li'l Dill!" and when Dill looked, The Lovable PigPen placed his hands to his face and began to turn his head jerkily in his best impression of the Hand-Eye creature.

Li'l Dill, of course, did what any rational person would do when faced with such a situation: started fluttering his hands like he was one of the fairies from the film and started crying out "Don't eat me, PigPen, don't eat me!'

I nearly injured not only myself, but also the person who was walking by me at the time, laughing so hard; the laughter only intensified when Li'l Dill confided that he was this close to shouting out "I'm a fairy!" but was able to contain himself.

Before he left, Li'l Dill wished me a safe flight, and told me that he'd call me on Sunday to wish me a happy birthday; I almost immediately thought about starting up a betting pool on if he'd follow through or not. The mischievous part of me hoped he wouldn't, since it would give me a chance to give him a hard time***. And, on the day in question, as 10PM came and went without any calls from my fellow Odd Squodder, I began to compose an email in my head which would take the form of a short one-act play wherein I was offered the opportunity to do many wondrous, magical, and profitable things, but was forced to turn them all down because I did not want to risk missing out on a call from One of My Favorite People in the Worldtm, my loyal, reliable, trusted friend Li'l Dill. And, warmed by the thought of how much joy this faux guilt trip would give me, I started to drift off to sleep on my parents' couch with a smile on my face-- only to be awoken by the ringing of my cell phone. I scramble to pick it up, and noticed two things on its screen: first, the picture that signalled that it was, indeed, a call from Li'l Dill; second, the time -- 11:58 PM. Chuckling to myself at his last-minute timing****, I answered the phone the only way I could.

"Nicely played, Faun, nicely played."

*But, speaking of name changes -- I'm highly tempted to retire the "Li'l Dill" nickname and go for something which better captures the random and oddball nature that is the very essence of Li'l Dill; a mildly embarrassing reminder of his pickle festival honor hardly seems to do him justice.
**Honestly, with fodder like this, how can I stick with "Li'l Dill?" No, a new primary nickname is called for, and soon . . .
***"A day without giving Li'l Dill a fake guilt trip is hardly a day worth living," that's my motto.
****Quoth Li'l Dill : "I wanted to be dramatic."


Redneck. Diva. said...

Okay, there was a young couple at the video store last week wanting to rent it and the girl asked the clerk, "Is it anything like the original Labyrinth?" I said, "Umm....did you look at the cover? David Bowie ain't wearin' tight pants in this one, sister."

Anyway, the clerk said it was subtitled. Did reading the movie take away from it any? There's no way I could get Paul to read a movie with me, but I'm curious. However, I don't want to frustrate myself if I'm concentrating too hard on reading to not get the whole effect. Do tell.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Being a veteran of countless subtitled foreign films and anime DVDs, I might not be the most impartial party here. For me, subtitles do not detract from a film at all; in fact, they force me to pay attention more, which can be a good thing when I'm having one of my short-attention span days.