By Mike Derderian
Every time you wake up you are given a second shot at life, so all you need is a hunting license; but if one day you wake up and discover that the ice age has arrived, humor is the best tool you can utilize to confront the coldness of the world.
A lot of you might disagree with me, but I stopped being serious two years ago, why? I discovered that Jordan was stuck in the ice age of time management, seriousness and routine. Some even dare say that Jordanians don’t smile much but I believe if you smile first they will eventually.
After years of conversing with a lot of people, taxi drivers (my favorite), vendors and telephone operators I decided to use humor in breaking the ice especially during my conversations with complete strangers. Here is a list of fun and guaranteed-to-work icebreakers.
First, when you are standing at a shawerma stand waiting in line shout “Bingo” when the busboy yells out your number. Second: when you are about to enter a hotel lobby through a motion sensor revolver door you can do two things, either shouting out “open sesame” or acting like a Jedi knight and gesturing with your hands towards the door in a way that implies that you opened it using The Force. Please note that the Jedi hand gesture can also be applied at restaurants. For example: when the waiter brings you the check use your force wisely to tell him that you already paid and that the drinks are on the house. If it works ask for a side order to add more fun to it. By the way you can also try doing it with your boss to give you a raise but at your own risk of course.
Third, when you ride a taxi act dead serious—try to sound like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant or Rushdi Abaza—and shout out to the driver in an authoritative tone, “Follow that car and step on it, Mac.”
Fourth, you are at a bar and you want to impress the person sitting next to you (by the way this only applies for men) ask for a martini and use the famous James Bond phrase, “Martini, please, shaken not stirred.”
Fifth, for this one you need a bathrobe, a shower hat and bathroom slippers—the cuter the better. Go into the bathroom at your work place, wait a while and come out pretending that you just took a shower. Don’t try this unless you are pretty sure that the firm you are working for won’t fire you.
Being funny is about knowing when to throw in the punch line in a casual conversation. The long hours of talking to complete strangers paid off. I can see a punch line faster than a tortoise crossing a finish line beating a pompous hare but deep in my heart I always knew that I was the right person at the right place but in the wrong tense, kind-a-like Sid, the sloth in Chris Wedge’s 2002 hilarious prehistoric animation movie Ice Age.
This 81-minute full-of-laugh roller coaster movie about three animals saving a lost baby and trying to re-unite it with its human family is probably one of the greatest animated movies to be ever made.
According to a scientific encyclopedia Earth witnessed four major ice ages and the earliest is believed to have occurred around 2.7 to 2.3 billion years ago and this could also be the time when Sid the sloth, Manfred the mammoth and Diego the saber-toothed tiger met, forming one of the most unlikely and bizarre animal packs in wildlife history.
The graphics are simply eye catching, and with the brilliantly designed and life-like characters that were designed by Peter DeSeve, Ice Age is simply a masterpiece. You’ll love the action, the drama, the slapstick antics and the real life parodies of 21st daily life routines. It is a film for the family, especially kids who will definitely grow an attachment with the cuddly characters.
Animation is one of the most difficult arts in life and it takes a long time to complete a single film and the team of animators in Ice Age certainly gave their best. Wedge and his team of animators in an odd and funny way pinpointed the reasons that led to the extinction of the dodos.
Another element that added to the success of this funny movie is the voice cast that included Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black and Cedric the Entertainer. In addition to Romano’s laidback voiceover for Manfred, aka Manny, Leguizamo’s voiceover for Sid was simply remarkable and enjoyable.
Leary, whose voice is dark and serious, was a good choice for the saber toothed tiger that is trying to lure the mammoth and sloth to a trap for his gang of merciless tigers headed by Soto (Visnjic), who wants to have the baby for a snack. Will Diego continue with his treacherous scheme or will he become friends with the couple, who are trying to return the baby to its tribe.
Once the ice melts people will still remember how they laughed their hearts out while watching Ice Age, especially when they know that Manny, Sid and Diego will return in a sequel slated for release in 2006. Here’s a teaser for you: The Ice Age is almost over and everything is starting to melt. Climax: Everything will be destroyed in the process including the valley in which the guys happily live in with other animals. Will they be able to save the situation and warn everyone?
I guess we will have to wait for next year to see what happens but until then start collecting firewood. Who knows, you might need it to stay warm during an icy winter brought on us by our government that decided to raise petrol prices. So as Jimmy Durante used to say, “It’s a catastrophe! I’m mortified! Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha!”
Must-see-scenes: The opening sequence with Scrat and his acorn; when Manny meets Sid; the melon-football game with the dodos and Sid’s dumb touchdown dance; when the pack along with Roshan, the baby, go on a crazy roller coaster ride in an underground ice passage; the touch and cheek humor between the three and anything Sid does during the entire movie. And if you are a Star Trek fan you will just adore baby’s Vulcan hand salute when Sid, Manny and Diego see a frozen UFO.