It all started last summer in an IHOP. A simple craving on a hungover Sunday morning has ballooned into a weekly tour of tri-state area breakfast venues. You can hold the eggs: I’ve been chasing the buttermilk dragon, and it’s only a matter of time before I brunch myself into real trouble. The new comedy, The Big Year, is about three otherwise ordinary guys whose seasonal habit of bird-watching becomes the defining pursuit of their lives. Sounds crazy, right? Bird-watching is about as high stakes as pancakes. But then I think of myself eye-ball deep in maple syrup and all I can say is, “physician, heal thyself.” Whether you’re fixated on an enemy, object, fantasy, substance or lover, the end result of obsession is usually carnage. I’m about to go off to Europe for two weeks and while I’m certainly psyched for exploring cities, absorbing culture and flirting across a language barrier, I’m more than a little bit worried about where a girl can get some pancakes. If these five films are any kind of predictor, I will probably shoot someone in the face at some point. So, it’s been real, guys. Au revoir!
My mom was big on that “cutting off your nose to spite your face” line. Moms are usually full of crap, but that old adage continues to ring annoyingly true. Take, for instance, the time I chopped my own bangs off because she told me not to. Or say, an amnesiatic husband whose very flesh is devoted to tracking down the man who killed his wife. Let me tell you, Hack Job ’91 certainly made for an awkward school photo, but this guy is pushing it with a revenge-killing plot scrawled on his chest. Also, I know you have your reasons, but do you really want to spend the rest of your life letting your tattoos tell you what to do? Really sorry about your murdered wife and all, but I can think of some better ways to put this particular brain damage to use. There are a lot of good reruns out there, dude. Why don’t you just listen to my mom, go to your room and think before you ink. And don’t use that tone with her.
Ah yes, the classic tale of a boy and his firearm. This one turns out slightly less murder-y than others on this list, but let’s consider where Ralphie might wind up ten years later. All that four-eyed rage turned inwards? An adolescence spent cultivating a gun fetish? I’m thinking he’ll be a lot less precious as the oddly threatening high school senior, lingering in the parking lot and half-ignoring a girl with self-esteem issues. Now that’s a real tragedy. There, have I successfully ruined your childhood?
I miss Harry Potter as much as the next dork, but somehow I can’t see myself kidnapping, drugging and eventually crippling JK Rowling into writing an eighth book. (Well, I haven’t had the opportunity yet. We’ll see what happens if her car happens to crash in one of the many cow fields of north Brooklyn.) I don’t know if I have an Annie Wilkes in me, but I’ve certainly seen her kind before. Those fangirls are a scary bunch. Forget bands or movie stars, there’s something about a sexy book series that brings out the real loony toons. Frankly, I don’t know how Stephanie Meyer sleeps at night. If I were her I’d be wide awake, knowing at any moment my life could be brought to a violent end by the hordes of Team Jacob.
High school romance is always a little dramatic, and that’s a natural part of adolescence—back me up here, entire-programming-lineup of the CW. But you may want to draw the line somewhere before dog decapitation. Personally, I think it’s adorable, but she might be one of those overly sensitive types. If that’s the case, forget her. We covered this way back in our post on stalking, but it bears repeating: she’s not worth it, bro. Move on to producing Entourage and cultivating a career out of complex supporting roles. She’ll just win an Oscar for dyeing her hair brown.
Certain obsessions are guaranteed to blow up in your strung-out face, and it goes without saying that heroin addiction will probably not wrap up with a dance number. Even if you make it out with all your limbs intact, there’s an even scarier beast you could turn into: the aggressively sober guy. You know, the one who spends the rest of his life nodding patiently at other people’s pain before launching his nuclear missile of story-topping. Or worse yet, writing it down in a book so laden with pathos it could rival a teenager’s poetry. That’s a path that leads straight to a spanking on Oprah’s couch. In this day and age I think I’d rather lose a limb.