On an evening years ago after we learned Carvin Jones wasn’t playing at Red Fish after all, the Amazing Amy and I sat in her car and considered our options. That happened. Now, I would be dishonest to suggest the following were true, but I wish I had interrupted her then apologized saying, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we both wanted to say the same thing?” and Amy said, “It would be hilarious,” and that’s how everything that follows began. She certainly did tell me that was her favorite line from what we discovered was our mutually favorite comedy, Tootsie, and we did spend the next hour or so talking about that legendary film
For weeks thereafter, we signed off e-mails with a Tootsie quote between our first and last names. We studied the movie together (“You can tell she’s lying because she isn’t looking at him”) and interjected Tootsie quotes into conversations between ourselves, then with others. That led to puzzled looks when one of us would say, apropos to any suggestion, “It would be hilarious,” and then we’d weep with laughter. Yeah, obnoxious. But as with all great art, the closer we looked at Tootsie the more we found to apply to our lives, and surely to others’.
So we decided to include first one friend in this language, and now publish it online in the form of language lessons. Here is the first installment of Tootsie 101, in original e-mail form:
Good Morning, Queen Martini--
Walking to the office this morning, contemplating my many sins, most of which I have no intention of mending at this time, I thought of one I should. That is to say, I think it's rude to speak foreign languages in front of others who don't know it. As the only foreign language I know is Tootsie, that's what I'm referring to.
I know you don't have the time or inclination to watch Tootsie a thousand times (the recommended number for true fluency), so I'm going to start a phrasebook for you.
Lesson One: "It would be hilarious."
Occurrence in the film: Dorothy is meeting Julie's dad, Les, for drinks. Dorothy is under orders to tell Les she can't see him any more (because Julie is convinced Dorothy is a lesbian), and Les intends to propose to Dorothy. They keep interrupting one another, but Les insists on speaking first. Though, as he says, "Wouldn't it be funny if we both wanted to say the same thing?" "It would be hilarious," Dorothy replies.
Usage: Excellent follow-up to any sentence beginning, "Wouldn't it be..."
Why you should know it: It is Amy's all time favorite Tootsie quote. Last recorded usage of the line by her, this morning at about 5am in an e-mail to me. She's probably also said it a few times on the phone, and thought it about a hundred. Seriously, learn these words: "It would be hilarious."
That's it for now. Try to use it in conversation or e-mail today until it becomes second nature. Soon, you will speak it in dreams and it will be yours.
That’s how it started, and the lessons will persist intermittently until we lose interest (impossible) or get lazy (likely). Please enjoy, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or suggestions.
Lesson Two: "Because it's not fattening and it's not good for me. How many things can you say that about?"
Table of Contents:
Lesson One: "It would be hilarious."
Lesson Two: "Because it's not fattening and it's not good for me. How many things can you say that about?
Lesson Three: “Tips. It’s ‘tips.’” and “Not with me as Tolstoy."
Lesson Four: "I'm really very up."
Lesson Five: "I've got my stars."
Lesson Six: "Try to think of them as something friendly--like a firing squad."
Lesson Seven: Mixing it up.
Lesson Eight: “Anything alcoholic will do” and “No, you’ll spill wine all over it.”
Lesson Nine: “I don’t take this shit from friends, only from lovers.”
Lesson Ten: “A disease!"
Lesson Eleven: “And I lose, right?”
Lesson Twelve: “I only did it for the work.”
Lesson Thirteen: “These are good people, George.”
Lesson Fourteen: "I'll do anything! I'll waitress. I'll be a wife!"
Lesson Fifteen: "I knew this was right. I didn't tell you how I'd feel about it though, did I?"
Lesson Sixteen: "That's very convenient."
Lesson Seventeen: "Who am I going to have dinner with?"
Lesson Eighteen: "Don't apologize to me because I'm three hours late!"
Lesson Nineteen: "I think Dorothy's smarter than I am."