Cheryl St.John: Only in the Movies

1. It is always possible to find a parking spot directly outside or opposite the building you are visiting. This also applies to a building you are surveying in the dark to spy on someone. There is always an open spot on the street with a view of the exact window you need to see.

2. If you suspect your boyfriend is cheating on you, simply go to any restaurant with your girlfriends to catch him. He will never see you there, so slip out and walk home.

3. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment it’s aired. If you need to catch a breaking news report, try stepping out of the shower and flipping on the TV.

4. Creepy music (or satanic chanting) coming from a graveyard should always be closely investigated.

5. Any lock can be picked with a credit card or paperclip in seconds. UNLESS it’s the door to a burning building with a child inside.

6. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps. This phenomenon can be seen in high school hallways and classrooms as well.

7. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red digital displays so you know exactly when they are going to explode. Try as you will, you will never get the bomb diffused until 3 seconds away from detonation.

8. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to learn to speak German. Simply speaking English with a German accent will do. Similarly, when they are alone, all German soldiers prefer to speak English to each other.

9. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off. Even while scuba diving and kissing. Makeup looks as fresh in the morning as it did the night before and hair is only becomingly mussed, never ratted or all bunched up on one side.

10. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris. And the windows and balconies have no glass or screens. AAaarrr…

11. Any police officer about to retire from the force will more often than not die on their last day, especially if their family has planned a party. (Caveat: Detectives can only solve a case after they have been suspended from duty.)

12. Getaway cars never start with the first turn of the key in the ignition. But all cop cars do. (They will also slide to a dramatic stop in the midst of a crime scene.) If you’re trying to escape a maniacal killer, you will drop the keys as soon as you get into the car and then fumble with them. It will never occur to you to roll up the window and lock the doors.

13. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate all strange noises while wearing their most revealing underwear. Walk backwards a lot and don’t look behind you.

14. On a police stake-out, the action will only ever take place when food is being consumed and scalding hot coffees are perched precariously on the dashboard . . .

15. All grocery shopping involves the purchase of French loaves which will be placed in open brown paper b. When said bags break, only fruit will spill out.

16. Cars never need fuel, unless they’re involved in a pursuit.

17. If you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts, your opponents will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have defeated their predecessor.

18. If a microphone is turned on it will immediately feed back.

19. Guns are like disposable razors. If you run out of bullets, just throw the gun away. You will always find another one.

20. All single women have a cat.

21. Cars will explode instantly when struck by a single bullet.

22. No matter how savagely a spaceship is attacked, its internal gravity system is never damaged.

23. If being chased through a city you can usually take cover in a passing St Patrick’s Day parade – at any time of the year.

24. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building undetected.

25. You will survive any battle in any war UNLESS you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home. If you want to live, don’t get out a photo.

26. Prostitutes always look like Julia Roberts or Jamie Lee Curtis. They have expensive clothes and nice apartments, but no pimps. They are friendly with the shopkeepers in their neighborhood who don’t mind at all what the girl does for a living.

27. A single match is usually sufficient to light up a room the size of a football stadium or an underground cave.

28. It is not necessary to say “Hello” or “Goodbye” when beginning a telephone conversation. A disconnected call can always be restored by frantically beating the cradle and saying “Hello? Hello?” repeatedly.

29. One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at once.

30. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your room will still be visible, just slightly bluish.

31. Plain or even ugly girls can become movie star pretty simply by removing their glasses and rearranging their hair.

32. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their enemies with complicated devices incorporating fuses, pulleys, deadly gases, lasers and man-eating sharks.

33. All beds have special L-shaped sheets that reach to armpit level on a woman but only up to the waist of the man lying beside her.

34. Anyone can land a 747 as long as there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

35. During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once, and the most important conversations happen at the urinal in the restroom.

36. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

37. Most musical instruments, especially wind instruments and accordions, can be played without moving your fingers.

38. In Middle America all gas station attendants have red handkerchiefs hanging out of their back pockets.

39. All teen house parties have one of every stereotypical subculture present, even people who aren’t liked and would never get invited to parties.

40. When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a note. Just grab one out at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare. This works at restaurants as well. If your girlfriend gets in a huff and runs out, just throw money on the table or at the girl at the counter.

What did I miss? Can you think of anything else that happens only in the movies?

I’ve been on hiatus, recovering from a knee replacement. It’s good to be back in touch!


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38 thoughts on “Cheryl St.John: Only in the Movies”

  1. glad your back up and around from you surgery.

    I think #7 should read:

    All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red digital displays so you know exactly when they are going to explode. Try as you will, you will never get the bomb diffused until 1 second (not 3 seconds) away from detonation.

    Loved reading all these facts.

  2. Glad you are healing up. Knees are no fun.

    My fav was #33!

    Another, women always are perfectly made up and never sweat their make up off when running away from the creepy monsters.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Thanks for a great start to the morning! Have you seen the last Die Hard movie? It takes cliches to an all new level. Bruce Willis takes down a helicopter with a car. No. 40 especially cracked me up. I hadn’t noticed that one!

    Glad the knee is on the mend!

  4. Nice List…
    #34 is probable… watch Mythbusters, they did try it. (Mind you it was in a test thing for future pilot to train) and as long as someone was with them, they could land their 747. though, it never happen in real life.

  5. Enjoyed reading the myths of the movies. It seems guys kiss the heavily-lipsticked heroine and never have red lips afterwords. Or the family sits down to eat and you just assume they have washed their hands. Dogs in movies are always groomed so nicely and never appear dirty or muddy.

  6. Hi Cher, SO glad you’re getting back on your knee, er, feet. Sending warm hugs! oxox

    This post has me laughing out loud. I so loved it. Re: #40, taxis always magically appear the split second the heroine sticks out her hand to hail one. (Having visited NYC not long ago, NOT)

    I always ask my hubby: how stupid do they think I am? And his answer: it’s just TV (or a movie), honey. And I say, but we authors try so hard to be accurate in our books. Grrrrrrr.

    He’s a firefighter and says rescue scenes are the worst. He’s seen movie firemen without gloves. And in real life, burning interiors are always black as pitch from smoke. He said the only movie that came close was Backdraft.

    The LA Times health section often critiques the medical techniques or illnesses in a current TV show or movie. Accuracy seems to take a very back seat to drama.

    Wonderful post, Cher. oxoxoxxo

  7. And when the fruit spills out of the paper bag it is always LOOSE inside the bag, rather then the oranges being in a clear plastic bag together with a twisty tie to keep it shut, and the apples being in a bag together.
    And why does celery always come with all it’s leaves still on?
    And doesn’t that bread get dried out? Not to mention flies landing on it. Where is the state food safety inspector?

  8. When I’m watching a movie my pet peeve is when cops start a chase or go in after a bad guy and don’t wait for BACKUP.

    I sit and watch it and mutter, “Call for back up, call for back up, call for back up.”

    My lone exception to this is Walker Texas Ranger. One Riot. One Ranger.
    I knew Walker could handle it.

  9. How about:
    The good guy will have a runnign battle with all the bad guys, shooting them, thinning the herd, getting closer and closer to the BIG bad guy and once they get to him? Hand to hand combat.

  10. How about this? Manhattan apartments are roomy and chic in ALL movies and TV shows? And a roommate is only necessary if its your best friend — and not to help make the rent.

  11. Being a musical lover, I had to smile at #6. Of course, that’s part of the fantasy. And #17 is one my husband and I always talk about during fight scenes. So gracious of those bad guys not to overwhelm the hero all at once.

    Another classic is the need the villain has to explain his evil plan to the hero before he kills him, thereby enabling the hero to escape and thwart his dasterly intentions.

    Thanks for the grins today, Cheryl. Hope your recovery goes well.

  12. I had heard that about Backdraft, Tanya.

    Medical dramas: I love Gray’s Anatomy, but it is pretty ridiculous with all those relationships criss-crossing. The poor guy on the operating table takes a back seat to the sexy vibes from one couple and the animosity between another. Everyone is working out their personal emotional traumas during cutting edge surgical procedures.

  13. Yes, Wanda! There is one extreme or another in NY apartments. Some are all glass and chrome with huge spaces and windows, but then there are those little dark and dingy ones with pipes showing and peeling paint.

  14. Oh, here’s one! In movies about writers, they sell their books in a week and immediately go one fabulous book tours. That’ happened in “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.” Just rewatched “Romancing the Stone.” Love it when the author stands in the office while her editor finishes reading her book!

  15. And how about when they fall off a cliff, building, an airplane for heaven’s sake, and they all dangle there, by their fingernails.

    I’d just totally miss the one protruding root coming out the cliff and fall.

    And how about they run away from the explosion and always get away? An explosion is INSTANTANEOUS. You do not have time to run.
    and then rather than being mowed down and killed by a billion pieces of shrapnel, they just have scrapes and the ambulence always slaps a few Band-aids on and lets them go home.

  16. Oh these were hysterical and the replies. That lonely girl (usually in her underwear) always goes down the cellar stairs and no matter what, she always trips lol. My husband and I have a name for movies that go beyond belief – crazy @ss movies lol. Also we call them Bryan’s named for a friend who doesn’t think anything is possible (he’s usually right lol).

  17. Oh, I love explosion scenes. IN reality your ears would ring forever, if not be deaf, and you’re balance way off. And they never get splattered by shaprnel, or if they do, it’s minimal. Yeah, right. The other night we saw a guy survive a CAR explosion. Hmmm.

  18. Love the truths, Cher.
    Number 33 made me burst out laughing. Something I really needed!

    I’d like to add to 23–If not a St. Paddy’s parade, it’s a Chinese parade with the dragon to hide under!

  19. Glad you are back.I have been dreading the knee replacement thing,but thank God.Just heard with new meds,knees have improved.So, I wish you great healing.

  20. HI CHERYL!

    OK, girl, I am cracking up here. You must be healing well to have kept such a wonderful sense of humor. My husband, having been in the Navy, is always finding mistakes in shows that have anything military in them. I wouldn’t know the difference, and I’m sure that’s what they are counting on–the millions like me who wouldn’t. These are just so funny. I needed a good laugh. Hope you are feeling much much better by now!
    Cheryl P.

  21. April, several people have asked me if I would do this again, and even though the recovery is extremely challenging, I would. I know that what I’m going through now is the FIX I needed to not be in pain for the rest of my life.

    Yes, there is pain, but it’s a pain that ends in healing and in being able to walk and enjoy life more fully again. I can’t wait to take the kids to the zoo and the park!

    Anyone considering a knee replacement, don’t dread it, just DO IT! Everyone says they don’t know why they waited so long. Fear, that’s why. Put the fear behind and take the step that will change your life. With proper care these new knees last 25 years!

    email me for suggestions on how to prepare before surgery: I’d be delighted to be your encourager.

  22. I had a knee replacement in 2004. I am not sorry I did. It is such a blessing. But lately all I seem to do is fall and worry about damaging it. They are pretty sturdy. I tried to visit your website last night but gave up as it would not load. The more you walk the quicker you will heal. Be sure to exercise it as told too.
    I was so thankful to have a friend who gave me all kinds of suggestions before my surgery. Get some Aloe and vitamin E and put on your scar and you can almost completely fade it.

  23. I hope your knee is healing nicely. I’m afraid I will have to join the knee surgery club one of these days. So far I am managing, but the day is coming.

    Thank you for a wonderful post. You could add that the police officer, fireman, doctor, military person,… will disobey direct orders, save the day, and usually won’t get into much trouble.

    My husband and I enjoy watching the “over the top” movies or the really BAD Sci-Fi/disaster movies. They just stretch things so far you sit there waiting to see what implausible thing will happen next and how bad they will be.

    Laughter is the best medicine, and you gave us all our daily dose.

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