"Thanks! I Needed That!"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 24 22:38:54 UTC 2010

On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 8:38 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Thanks * I needed that"

When that commercial was airing, I was completely under the impression
that "Thanks ..." was parodying a well-known movie cliche in which a
man goes upside some hysterical woman's head to calm her down. She
immediately gets herself together and says to the man, "Thanks! I
needed that!"

This is not to say that I ever saw any such movie or even that any
such movie ever existed. I can't recall, one way or the other. It
could even be the case that I only *heard* this on the radio as part
of  some parody of a doesn't-hesitate-to-hurt-a-bitch-if-she-needs-it
movie tough guy.

However, I do claim that I recall that that bit was already so
well-known that its use in the commercial was immediately recognizable
and absolutely not my introduction to it. I instantly recognized that
a *man's* having his head gone upside and then being grateful for it
was a parody of the cliched scene in which a man slaps the shit out of
a woman and then she thanks him for having done it.

OTOH, if that commercial was a first, then what was its point? That
some unprepossessing dork will be grateful, should someone bigger and
stronger go upside his head with a palmful of a particular brand of
aftershave, whereas he would lose his temper and fight back, were this
to be done to him by someone wielding a palmful of some other brand,
e.g. Old Spice?


-Wilson Gray

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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