Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Unlike me, my girlfriend Adelphia isn’t much for gambling. So when we disagree on something, she won’t bet me money on who’s correct -- we play for the bragging rights.

She won the first dispute -- I believe it was a crossword puzzle clue about a Maurice Chevalier film -- and flaunted her bragging rights as if it was the Heisman Trophy, the Stanley Cup and a World Series ring wrapped up in one. One tremendous taunt: “I got the bragging rights, I got the bragging rights! You ain’t got none! You want some of my bragging rights? Psyche!” like Eddie Murphy’s old ice cream standup schtick, only with more tush-shaking torment. I woulda found it infuriating if she wasn’t so damn cute.

Still, I had to win it back and outdo the dance.

So when I did -- correctly identifying the lyrics to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” (Yeah, so what?) -- I was sure to do my patented Irish jig and relish relinquishing those rights.

And I didn’t stop there. Not only did I keep winning double-or-nothing on that wager, I developed a new dance each time. When I was correct that Edie McClurg appeared in the movie Carrie, I did a sort of interpretive performance that said: I’m drenched in pig’s blood but I have telekinetic powers… and the bragging rights.

Then Adelphia insisted Back to the Future won a Best Screenplay Oscar, but I knew she was mistaken; it went to the guy who wrote Witness. Appropriately, I did the Marty McFly/Chuck Berry duckwalk with an Amish raise-the-barn-roof-Jebediah jitterbug.

When my girlfriend learned that the heavy metal classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was in fact a Twisted Sister song -- not Quiet Riot -- I headbanged to my own rendition of “Cum On Feel the Bragging Ritez!”

Last weekend, she swore VH1’s “I Love the ‘70s” premiered before “I Love the ‘80s”, and I knew better. I did a Cabbage Patch dance mixed with a disco hustle.

By this point, I’ve won the bragging rights over more times than I can count. Adelphia acts irked at being egged on each time, but I’m beginning to think she’s purposely making preposterous claims just to see what kind of choreography I’ll come up with next.

The other night we were discussing the upcoming Academy Awards, and how too often the wrong picture wins. Like in 1999, I said. American Beauty wasn’t better than The Insider that year. And in my opinion, the Oscar should’ve gone to The Sixth Sense. “Oh, that was very well-written,” Adelphia said. “At least it won Best Screenplay.” I disagreed, but she was positive.

Here we go again, I thought.

But she took a moment to reconsider. That’s when she remembered us renting The Lady in the Water. We were curious to see how pretentious the director had become, but no wretched review could prepare us for that self-indulgent time-wasting piece of shit. And Adelphia realized the film would’ve been even worse, if that was possible, had it been advertised as “From the mind of Oscar winner M. Night Shyamalan”. So she didn’t bet me.

I love winning these challenges, but this time I was relieved. I couldn’t come up with any new moves for the “I See Dead People and The Bragging Rights” dance.


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