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.