Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Dingo Stole My Baby

It's March, and you know what that means ... Oscar's time! (And you thought I was going to say March Madness). Actually, I must confess I've never watched the Oscars, which come to think of it is less of a confession than a point of pride. I wish they had a movie awards show where the movies considered were only those with extremely sophomoric humor. This year would have been a good year for it, what with Wedding Crashers (excellent), 40 year old Virgin (good), Duece Bigelow - European Gigilo (very good), and of course Brokeback Mountain (not a comedy per se, but if watched with a group of similarly homophobic men in a setting where we could make comments to each other out loud, it would probably be a real hoot). Barring an award show geared to the fraternity set, they should at least have a show that mocks all of the pretensions of the serious movies.

But it is important to see a lot of movies, if for no other reason than you may be able to pull out an obscure movie reference for a joke. I remember back when Meryl Streep was at the peak of her powers - at the time a director could have simply cut to a 10 second segment of Streep's torso with her obviously sitting on a toilet constipated - and that alone would make her a lock for best supporting actress. In any event, she did a movie based on a true story where she was a mother in Australia whose baby was stolen by a dingo, and she was accused of having murdered the baby (since there is after all no right for a women to choose at a certain point). In the pivotal scene where she discovers the baby is stolen, she runs around frantically saying "the dingo stole my baby" in an absurd Australian accent. Obscure movie, no doubt.

Flash ahead maybe a decade, and the Flying Tomato (though I didn't go by that name at the time) is at a Christmas party at a neighbors house holding Jake, who was all of three weeks old at the time. I am talking to a woman, when the resident dog, being of a breed so rare and expensive that it was not necessarily hard to mistake for something other than a dog, dashed by unexpectedly between me and the woman. Without thinking, I said in my best Meryl Streep Australian accent - "that dingo almost took my baby." And she got the joke. Then we did a shot of Chartreuse and laughed with the joy of the holiday.

8 Comments:

Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

Thanks, Hatcher, for telling us the origin of that phrase. I've heard Elaine say it on "Seinfeld" in a few of the early episodes but never knew what it was a reference to. (Come to think of it, I still don't: what movie was it?)

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't watch the Oscar's. I am usually too drunk on Chartreuse. I recently learned that only three of the monks know the recipie for that precious green ambrosia. I just hope the monistary has protection from Interpol. I would hate to think that a well placed IED could destroy my Chartreuse habit.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie was "A Cry in the Dark".

Now, if you made a reference to the scene in Fletch where the dog goes after Chevy Chase at the realtor's office, then you'd not only be obscure, but hip.

Keep on trying.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous hansirr said...

For some reason, the dingo phrase has morphed in my household over the years to "Dingo ATE my baby..."

I like mine better.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

I believe the Seinfeld line is "the dingo ATE your baby".

I too have never watched an awards show (Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys, etc).

8:32 AM  
Anonymous G Hindsley said...

In perhaps a modern version, the show 'Lost' has an attractive young blonde girl who gives birth to a baby boy on the island. The 'Others', as the evil counterparts on the show are called, have already kidnapped her (last season), and continue to threaten her livelihood. Every couple of episodes you can hear this cutie scream over and over phrases like 'They are trying to take my baby!!', and 'Get away from my baby!!'. Oh, and she's Australian.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous the_giant said...

In reference to "the dingo ATE me baby", circa 2000 I had an Aussie friend at work who I would constantly harass. At one point I used this phrase, and he proceeded to tell me that the origin of the phrase (pre-movie) was a court case where a woman in the Outback was on trial for murdering her baby. As the body was never found, her excuse was, you guessed it, "the dingo ate me baby".

Not sure if there was a link b/w the reference in the movie and the event. Or maybe there really was no event and the Aussie was just pulling one over on us Yanks...

I might have to do a google search..

2:02 PM  
Anonymous the_giant said...

Aussie didn't lie.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azaria_Chamberlain_disappearance

2:05 PM  

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