We had one of our (in)famous movie parties this weekend. The format is simple: invite some friends over; cook up some food on the grill; have plenty of drinks on hand; socialize for an hour or two to get folks comfortable and in a good mood; then start some pre-selected movie. Everyone does their best to make everyone else laugh as hard as possible. It’s similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000, except we’re on Earth, and don’t have robot sidekicks.

We’ve done this a number of times now, and always have a lot of fun. Notable standouts have been The Shining and Gremlins, and a surprise hit was Murder on Flight 502, which offered an enormous amount of spoofable material. I remember very little of the movie itself, but I remember quite a few of the jokes made that night.

This weekend we picked Jaws. Mike and Lauren, Jeff and Lisa, and Carina’s new friends Martina and Michael all joined us. We decided to let the twins stay up with us to watch the movie. This resulted in a decidedly PG rating to many of the jokes we made, but it didn’t detract at all from the fun we all had. It turns out that Lisa is quite the Jaws aficionado, and was able to really highlight a lot of wonderful absurdity in the film. It was a direct result of her quoting Roy Scheider’s comment about the “bad hat” before he said it that we all began to observe just how bad many of the hats in the film really were.

The twins even got in on the lampooning with us, when they weren’t covering their eyes from fear of the shark. No one can remember Tyler’s joke, save for the fact that it was pretty good. Tayler stole the show, though, when she made her joke.

Best quote from the evening? When Roy Scheider shoots the tank in Jaws’ mouth, as the shark explodes, Mike exclaimed loudly “Great shot kid, that was one in a million!” Jeff and I doubled over with laughter, Star Wars being the last reference either of us would have made.

These movie parties are always something of a mixed bag for Carina. She has a lot of fun, but it’s easy for her to feel left out. Jeff and I lived together in college for a year. At that time Jeff was working at Blockbuster video, and would bring home free movie rentals almost every night. I watched a lot of movies that year. It was at this time, too, that I met and became friends with Mike. Movies served as a common bond between the three of us, and we shared a lot of jokes way back then that are still funny – to us! – today. Because of our history together, the three of us can be in stitches by only saying a few words: we’ll start a joke, the others will remember it, and we’ll all start laughing. Or one of us will make a comment about a movie, and the others will make observations about that movie by referencing some other film. This is, understandably, a little annoying to Carina, who sees us speaking in sentence fragments and then falling over with laughter; or who lacks the familiarity with the movies we’ve seen to understand why we’re laughing.

Before this most recent movie party, Carina spoke to me quietly saying “Just break away, at least a few times, from that thing you guys do!” It was hard, sitting on the far end of the couch, watching Mike and Jeff speak in sentence fragments and quotes from movies. I couldn’t bite my tongue all night, though, so on more than a few occasions I joined in, leaving Carina wondering what on Earth was so funny.

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