Tony Soprano, Don Draper and the Jaywalker
on one of the streets that I (unfortunately) frequent there is a median that bisects four lanes (two on each side). people, invariably, tend to scurry to the median and wait there until the other side clears. this makes me nervous for some reason (too much time in Europe where cars don't give a fuck)...oh wait, here's the reason.
so the other day I was going down that road. hitting the speed limit exactly (due to wanting to get a good eco score for my trip) which was 25 mph. up ahead I saw the jaywalker and his wife (aka fellow jaywalker). It, as usual, made me uneasy so I did what I normally do when something on the road makes me uneasy, I sped up to get past the whole ordeal.
well right at that exact same moment the guy decided to "go for it". he did this weird lurch forward (he was carrying a bag of groceries) and, not being able to maintain his balance, with his flip-flops not up for the sudden dart, he went careening face first into the middle of the street. I slammed on the breaks skidding to a stop well in front of this guy who was now sprawled out on the street, groceries everywhere.
his wife was yelling at him, I remember words such as stupid cocksucker being used. then, this guy gets up and comes running up to my window! he's bellowing at me about how I should learn how to drive and how pedestrians always had the right of way. he had dinged up his forearms pretty good but in general his face seemed to have avoided the majority of the fall. his wife, who was now beside him, started yelling at me as well! I was told that I would have to pay for the groceries. haha, I was like, bitch, what is even going on here.
now, I wanted to drive off, but the problem was that the groceries were all of the road so I felt it would be a huge dick move to run over their groceries. not wanting to argue with them I rolled down my window (to the extent that I felt their arms couldn't reach in to strangle me). I apologised and suggested that they maybe tend to the groceries as they were impeding traffic. I said I had a green light, they had a red one and that it looked like they were waiting for me to pass and that I was, most extremely and emphatically sorry.
they eyed me suspiciously, apparently having expected a confrontation (something I see a lot as a lawyer from people who KNOW that they are in the wrong). and left with a condescending, "okay, just drive more carefully next time." I need to get a dash cam.
so Tony soprano. I just finished the sopranos, never watched it. my god, that is the best character on tv I have ever seen. Shakespearean. James Gandolfini is an amazing actor. the mood swings he goes through, how you like him then hate him. how he's so flawed yet is striving to be "good" (in his own warped mind). I love his paranoia, his ability to act like the mob boss one moment and then get completely insecure about the slightest slight the next minute. he is the most complex character I have ever seen on tv. although the wire is by far my favourite show, Tony soprano is by far my favourite character.
his character (and Gandolfini's acting) has this amazing propensity to ignite at any moment. what makes soprano such an effective mob boss is that edge that anything could possibly happen at any moment. it is this menacing vibe that he carries. the closest I can think is Hans Lander in Inglorious Basterds (by Tarantino). the same propensity for limitless violence hangs like a dark cloud over both of those characters. but what is so terrifying about them is the calm that is at the surface. some guy who is constantly screaming and beating their chest is someone that you can somewhat decipher because they cannot control their emotions.
characters like lander and soprano can pull you, disarm you, even charm you, and then, in a quick moment you are like a fly in their web. some guy who is constantly violent can never effectively menace because everyone will stay far away from the "loose cannon". they are not trusted, but the grimacing thing about soprano is that, you can trust him...he'll give you his word.
don draper, so I'm now on madmen. I love don draper, this dude is what everybody wants to be like honestly. (or maybe not, what do I know). he's cool, he's suave, he's so above it. he knows something you don't know and his sly smirk always lets you know. he, like soprano, commands the room. it is effortless. those who try falter before him like the pathetic pawns that they are in his chess game.
I actually tried my own don draper mode the other day on the elevator. there's this one girl in a department that sits near me that is HOT. (now, I KNOW, I KNOW, I'm not dipping the quill in the company ink, I'm not a fucking idiot, but a little harmless talking can be in order right?). so we happened to get to the elevator at the same time and, being quite caught off guard I decided to implement don draper mode.
I gave her the deeply gentleman motion of the hand where you kind of horizontally swing it in the air to motion that you are, quite gentlemanly I might add, allowing the young lady to get on the elevator before you. then we were on the elevator and I adopted a position where I was on the back right corner (she was at the front left, so right across), casually leaning into the corner, left foot ever so slightly crossed in front of my right. I casually glanced up, as if I had just noticed her and saw that she was looking at me. she quickly looked down and I could detect the blush under her makeup.
at that point I was out of movements to make and, with the elevator rapidly descending, I started to get flummoxed trying to figure out what don draper would say to this lady in the elevator. furthermore, she had looked back up at me after the faint look away! god damn it nick! do something!
"the blueberry coffee smelled like blueberries but tasted nothing like blueberries, how outrageous is that?"
she stared at me for a good few seconds and then, in the most deadpan voice I've ever heard in my life said,
"whoever works for their marketing has a shadow cast upon them."
I was so taken aback by what she said that I didn't know what to say. she smiled this beautiful smile and, as we left the elevator and headed for the garage we engaged in idle chit-chat. I felt so like don draper but really all I did was say something and be nice. no need to act like a conceited alpha male to do that.