Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Animals of Delta House

Ugh. Work was a pain today. One of the baggers called out sick, which meant I spent a lot of the morning either on my own or with one other guy helping me. The leaks are getting worse and spreading like crazy. I thought changing the sandbags would help...but every time I tried, I'd get called to do something else. I don't mind rounding up carts, but I think the baskets could have waited. I didn't get to them until a little over an hour before I was done, and I wasn't nearly able to gather all of them. (In my defense, we really don't have enough sandbags left to cover all of them. Besides the sheer numbers, at least a quarter of the sandbags have split and are losing their fluffy gray filling, making them more of a mess than a help.) My fingers and the keys to the back door accidentally rubbed against a fly trap hanging next to it, leaving them very sticky. It didn't help that it was killer hot and humid today, too.

I jumped right in the shower when I got home. Between the glue on the fly trap, the funky water dripping off the sand bags, and the constant in and out all day, I needed it badly. I normally wait until after dinner to shower, but I felt so grungy, I just couldn't wait.

After I got out, I spent the next couple of hours writing. Maz Kantana is the owner of Marine Adventure Pier, a boardwalk amusement park. Leia asks her if she's had any offers for her property lately. Yes she has, from a bony, gray-haired old man in an expensive suit who came very close to harassing her. Luke just wants to hear her stories about their parents and brother Adam.

Broke around quarter of 7 for a simple dinner of scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Watched National Lampoon's Animal House as I ate. The year is 1962, and the Delta fraternity just brought in their newest initiates. Delta House is just about the wackiest - and worst - fraternity on campus. They chase half the girls on campus, party all night, play pranks on everyone, and ignore their grades. They're also the home to goofy misfits the snobbish Omega fraternity wouldn't touch, like Bluto (James Belushi), whose greatest achievements are smashing a beer can on his head and starting an epic food fight. The dean (John Vernon) has had it up to here with their antics and finally get them thrown out. But the Deltas aren't going to go down without a fight...and before you can say "Toga toga toga!", they're taking over the homecoming parade and proving that misfits do have a place, even on college campuses.

This ended up being a very pleasant surprise. It's a lot darker than I thought it would be, and fairly honest about its protagonists' behavior. In real life, the Deltas wouldn't have gotten away with almost anything they did and probably would have been expelled years ago. No one's a saint here, not the dean (he's a jerk about it, but he is just doing his job) or either fraternity, or even the girls. (One girl who ends up chasing the horniest guy is a lot younger than she claims - another is cheating on a Delta with her teacher.) A scene with a couple of the Deltas and their dates ending up in a black bar may be as uncomfortable for many modern viewers as it is for them (but for different reasons).

On the other hand, this is mainly known for some of its wilder comedy scenes, especially the toga party. And for all the cast members who later became famous, by far the most remembered thing about this is John Belushi. His lovable, party-hearty man child steals every scene he's in. (I also liked the guy with the mustache, D-Day, whom no one seems to know anything about and tends to pair with Bluto a lot.)

Some sex, nudity, and a lot of swearing make this for older teenagers and real college-age young adults on up. (This movie is still pretty popular on college campuses to this day. I knew a lot of guys at Stockton who had at least one poster of Bluto on their walls.) If you love snobs-vs-slobs comedies or college tales, throw on a sheet and join the toga party.

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