Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From The Shining

I mentioned in last week’s EINTKILF that I typically watch The Shining every Halloween, and that was no exaggeration. I first met the movie when I was eight years old because my mother was very enthusiastic about “good cinema.” Though it is one of the favorite quirks of my childhood–watching entirely inappropriate movies far, far too young–I am so grateful for my mother’s relative insanity because I am kinda a film buff because of it. I mean, you guys may think I have not-so-great taste in film, but you haven’t even met me during an Oscar season yet so just hold your judgment.

Okay but anyway, The Shining is one of two movies that have ever scared me (the other being The Blair Witch Project, and only because my older brother locked me in the bathroom and told me to “stand in the corner” after the movie ended) and it is also just really, really well-made and well-acted and quotable and terrifying and all the good stuff. And if you have never seen The Shining, this shall inspire you to do so! Or, stop reading so there are no spoiler alerts.

EINTKILF The Shining
(Oh, and I know The Shining is also a book, obviously. I watch Friends.)

1. Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.
When Danny and his respectively creepy parents first arrive at the hotel, they meet Dick, the trustworthy groundskeeper type guy who takes a quick liking to Danny. We are endeared to him right away of course because we are supposed to be, plus he’s bald, so naturally we trust him more. He also has a deep, crooner like speaking voice and his real name is Scatman Crothers, so. Anyway, he is possessed by what is called “the shining,” which Danny also has, which he explains is just what some people have and some don’t, which seems inspirational and sweet, but is realistically horrifying because it basically means you have imaginary friends and can read people’s minds from far away and your dad will probably try to kill you.

2. Women. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
Ain’t that the truth! (I don’t think this book/movie were the first to rely on that ol’ expression, but you know. They say it, and it is true, so I count it as a lesson.)

3. “Correct” means “kill.”
Quite possibly my favorite scene is when Delbert (aka Charles/the previous hotel watcher/murderer of his family) and Jack are discussing what to do about his little “problem.” Everything they say is completely wacky and indicative of the fact that Jack is about to go postal on errybody.

“Perhaps they need a good talking to, if you don’t mind my saying so. Perhaps a bit more. My girls, sir, they didn’t care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches, and tried to burn it down. But I ‘corrected’ them sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I ‘corrected’ her.”

I used to tell my brothers that I was going to “correct” them, but they are not as sharp at movie references as I am (read: not as nerdy as I am), so maybe they never picked up on it. (Don’t worry, I never went through with it.)

4. The expression “hair of the dog that bit me.”
So, when Jack goes to see Lloyd and he offers him a drink, Jack sighs, “hair of the dog that bit me.” Because I was eight years old, I obviously knew basically no idioms (in fact, I basically still don’t), so my mother had to explain it to me. Now, every time I’m hungover, I think of it. Which is never of course because only losers get hangovers.

(Just kidding.)

So for those of you who don’t know, “hair of the dog that bit me” basically means have a freakin’ mimosa the morning after you spent the whole night drinking. Good lesson, huh? Moving on…

5. Never marry a writer.
Alright, so poor Wendy (my favorite name, please remind me to name my daughter Wendy, but like Wendy Darling, not Wendy Torrance) is just trying to bring her crazy ol’ husband a sandwich and he totally freaks out on her. You know what? This kind of stuff always happens to me. I am just going along with my day, asking normal everyday questions and all of a sudden, some lady is telling me she is going to kill me next time she sees me outside of work! Who are these people, and why don’t they just want to eat sandwiches like the rest of us!?

Anyway, I think Jack is mad because he is trying to work on some really important stuff on his typewriter and it is really annoying to be interrupted when you are a writer–like right now when this dog I am watching keeps barking at me every time I type more than three words in a row. Like, get over it Jagermeister.

Jagermeister. That’s the dog’s name. Hair of the dog that bit him, eh?

6. Redrum.

That picture pretty much sums it up.

7. If your kid has a weird friend that lives in his mouth and talks through his finger, at least hope it has good manners.
Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance.

Wait, can we talk real quick? What the heck is Tony? Does he really live inside this kid’s mouth? (I mean, obviously he is some sort of psychological issue that Danny created due to the fact that his parents are total freakshows.) Anyway, did you guys have imaginary friends? I did, but she did not talk through my finger or anything, we just hung out outside when I was mad at my brothers. Her name was Jolly because for some strange reason, my mom and aunt always said, “jolly!” instead of goodbye and I thought it was really cute when I was younger and that was her name and then she left me when she had a baby, which is likely some kind of psychological issue as well.

(I am babysitting twins right now, so it was awkward when the girl looked over my shoulder and saw me type that.)

No, but really–I have had a basically lifelong fear of identical twins and everyone thinks I am hypersensitive, but have you ever really sat down to think about it? Identical twins? Two people with the same exact face? And do not pretend they do not have a stroke of psychic ability to them as well because that “twin connection” thing is super legit. I mean, it seems cool, but really when I see identical twins, I am basically waiting for them to ask me to come play with them forever and ever and ever and it scares the life out of me.

 I semi-dated an identical twin once. (Good sentence.) He and his brother are awesome and I never really think he is going to kill me, but they definitely used that line on me when I came over to their shack for the first time.

Seriously, though. Best guy I have ever been involved with, freaky twin mind and all.

9. Jack Nicholson is seriously the coolest.
You know how at the Academy Awards Jack Nicholson is always either sitting in the front row wearing his sunglasses or presenting the most important award of the night (Best Picture) out of nowhere, just cause? I mean, when he decides to show up at all, that is. This man does whatever the hell he wants. The best thing about Jacky is that he has basically just played himself in movies for the past ten or fifteen years. He is the coolest guy alive.

10. Other things: cabin fever is a legitimate fever, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; avoid room 237 in all hotels forever; and the combination of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick is a beautiful thing.

“God, I’d give anything for a drink. I’d give my god-damned soul for just a glass of beer.”
(This is exactly how I feel right now, day three of babysitting.)