Happy Wednesday, Blawg Pound. I found myself in a bit of a rut toward the end of last week, so Friday night I stayed in and watched a couple movies that I knew would cheer me right up. One of them was How to Train Your Dragon, for which I am a gigantic sucker. I will say that it wasn’t quite as good to me on this viewing as it has been on past watches, but that may be my own impatience talking. I just needed to see that first flight scene, man. I couldn’t be bothered with the exposition required to get there. That score, that landscape, that animated wind whipping about, that triumph of throwing the directions away and figuring it out your damn self — it never fails.
So How to Train Your Dragon, an animated family-friendly comedy from 2010, was one of the movies I watched. The other was a non-animated, less family-friendly comedy from 1989: Major League. In case you’ve just moved to Northeast Ohio or don’t know what movies are or this is the first thing you’ve ever read in English, Major League is the very best of all the motion pictures about the Cleveland Indians out there. It’s funny and enduring and has more heart than one might think. I try to give it a watch at least once every spring to gear up for baseball season. It always does the trick.
A funny thing happened during this watch, though. I realized that Major League is just bursting at the seams with intercourse metaphors. I suppose this is less film analysis than a case study in a twentysomething male’s ability to wring a sex joke out of anything. Blame Steve Carell, I suppose.
I don’t intend to be gross, however. I don’t look at every scene with Cerrano and his snake and start giggling. I’m more concerned with how said act can mess with our (“our” primarily referring to young men, but perhaps it’s more universal than I think) psyches, especially the very first time. You don’t even think about it for a long time, and then it’s all you think about, and then it’s really all you think about. Being a virgin is like being broke. You’re never unaware of it. You’re eating breakfast, you’re at the ATM, you’re tossing and turning in bed, you’re reaching for a new box of Kleenex — it’s hard to put it out of your mind.
And really, Major League is just one giant sex metaphor. It’s a bunch of guys who have never done it before trying to do it — and a couple guys who haven’t done it in so long that they forget what it feels like. The teamwork part of it makes the analogy a little tricky, unless you were particularly free-spirited at a very young age, but I think it’s still valid. It’s like American Pie meets Space Cowboys meets baseball.
Here are a few Willie-Mays-Hayes-centric examples of what I’m talking about. (Forgive the shoddy videos, please.)
The first example is when Willie Mays Hayes gets on base for the first time against the Yankees. He’s feeling good about himself, and rightly so. Now he’s in position to do what he really wants to do, which is steal a base (or, in the metaphorical sense, make whoopee). There’s a problem, though. He’s feeling a little too good about himself. He’s out there counting chickens. He got the number, took her out on a nice date, and thinks he’s made it. But remember this, men: Until you’ve made it, you ain’t made it. We as a sex are blessed with a preternatural sense for saying the wrong thing at the worst time. That’s how you get picked off.
the first time you thought it was gonna be the first time pic.twitter.com/QERPk2HDmo
— Will Gibson (@wjcgibson) March 26, 2016
Ah, but there is a great difference between thinking it’s gonna be the first time and knowing it’s gonna be the first time. The former is all hope, while there’s a tinge of dread in the latter. Perhaps she stepped into the powder room for a moment and now you’re alone with your thoughts, which are something like Oh crap, this is actually gonna happen. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s like the vibe in the locker room before the showdown with the Yankees.
The next example is what it’s like when it actually is your first time. You step up to the plate with visions of grandeur in your eyes. You’ve put in the training. You’ve watched the, um, film. It’s your time to shine. You see the fastball coming right down the pipe and you’re gonna hit it out of the park. But remember, men: just as Father Time is undefeated, so is his son, First Time. (Jake Taylor calling his shot and then bunting could also work here.)
As for what it feels like after your first time, there’s only one part of the movie that fully captures it.
Have fun and be safe out there, gang. Go Tribe.
EDIT: If you want to take in the flick at a proper theater this weekend, the Cedar Lee in Cleveland Heights has you covered.
— Cedar Lee Theatre (@CedarLeeTheatre) March 28, 2016