Last night Jim and I lay in bed watching a movie (and because I love parentheticals, I will now digress)(Yes, we have a TV in the bedroom,, which means we have 2 TVs! We are now living in the 1980s! Matt once came home from school with news of a group activity he participated in where he found out he was the ONLY kid in the classroom who had 1 TV in the house; more often than not there were 4 or 5 in his classmates' households. Woe was us, he was convinced).

Anyway, it was a dumb movie from the 80s (I'm going with an 80s theme perhaps?) called Peggy Sue Got Married which starred some fake teeth and a very silly voice (both via Nicolas Cage) and featured lots of gray and pastel yellow costuming and 80s-style 50s big hair (see if you can work that one out).

I wouldn't even mention having watched the movie but for one thing.

There is a scene where Peggy Sue and her boyfriend are in his car parked by a body of water and they are talking about having sex. As they get further into the conversation, I noticed that it was getting more difficult to hear what the characters were saying because a cruise ship horn was blaring and getting louder with each honk. I could hear snippets of words in between honks but couldn't follow the dialogue. I also noticed that the characters didn't seem to notice that there was some sort of extreme decibelic mayhem right outside the vehicle.

That's when I realized that the cruise ship horn was the network's way of cleaning up a conversation that was TV unfriendly (although that is meaning less and less these days. So it's dialogue for which I would probably want to cover up the ears of my kids) without bleeping, dubbing, or editing.

Soon the blaring stopped, except for one short blast a short while later when Nic Cage's character says one presumably dirty word.

Boy howdy, I laughed when I realized that someone in the network censorship office decided that normal methods of un-dirtying a film were either too expensive, too time consuming, too unwieldy, too much of a hassle, too noticeable, or whatever; they had to use another method, and someone came up with the idea, "Hey, they are near a body of water, let's use a cruise ship horn to drown out the conversation." (because cruise ship horns are known for subtlety, right?) And several network executives breathed with great relief and then went out for a fifteen cocktail lunch and a round of golf. And then some network peon known for being a prude had to sit in a booth, watching Peggy Sue Got Married (and wore gray a lot), and honk a horn every time he felt a blush coming on.

I think I'm going to get me a personal-sized cruise ship horn for my purse so that whenever I'm out in public and I hear conversations that grate on my ear--whether they be profane, pornographic, or just plain stupid--I can honk my cruise ship horn and not hear what is being said, and presumably, like in the movie, the conversationalists won't be affected by it. 


Jenni said…
That is so funny. How ridiculous to add a horn to the sound track. In other news, last night we watched a movie through to the end that we all felt was awful.
Jen said…
I've seen that movie way too many times to count...not sure why. The honk is pretty clever way to hide foul-mouthed fools. You could add in sirens if in a big city scene, monkies fighting if in a zoo scene, elephants if at a get the idea.