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Just got back from seeing Napoleon Dynamite which cracked me up bigger than shit. That movie was so refreshingly weird. It definitely has the best dance scene of pretty much any movie, ever. Better than Julia Stiles’s debut to hip-hop club dancing in Save the Last Dance. Maybe not quite as good as The Time Warp but only because there are no fetish fashions. I am almost certain that when Strongbad takes off his mask, it is actually Napoleon Dynamite underneath there.

The thing that really made my head spin is that if you took away the irascibility, made his hair brown, and exchanged the obsession with drawing for an obsession with model rocketry, and you would have my first boyfriend. Lanky, gawky, socially inept, fond of dancing, obsessed with martial arts, weakness for tricked-out bicycles. Pretty much all there. He also very much wanted to be a metalhead. He was a nut. After we’d broken up, he kept calling me up and trying to talk to me like normal, when I seriously wanted him to go away. Eventually I stopped taking his calls, so one day, he upped and rode his bicycle all the way out to my parents’ house to see me. I must point out now that this was over a 30 mile ride. In the height of July. I’d been out on my own bicycle, visiting a girlfriend and checking out her 4-H projects (she was a whizbang seamstress and was making herself a plaid woolen bomber jacket and a 3-piece suit). So anyway, I was on my way back from visiting with Amy and I saw my mom driving up the road. I figured she’d decided to make a run to town for some chicken feed or something, but she flagged me over to the side of the road and warned me that my ex was at the house and that he’d ridden all that way out to see me. I contemplated going back to my friend’s house and seeing if I could outwait him, but I knew she was busy and needed to work on her projects, so I sucked it up and went home. I met him at the front door, told him hi, not-so-nice-to-see-you and my dad offered to take him back to town in his pickup, so that he could haul the bike along. That was nearly the last time I saw my ex. He was an avid photographer who eventually got hired on to the local newspaper, so sometimes I would run into him at events like the stock-car races or the county fair, but he had gotten over me by then, so it wasn’t nearly so awkward.

Sadly that wasn’t the first time a movie about geeky kids paralleled my life. If you took away the abduction sequence and the calling the little sister a “lesbo” you would have my Freshman year of highschool in the movie Welcome to the Dollhouse. The awful glasses, the seriously misguided fashion sense, the awkwardness, the hideous social gaffes, the obsession with unreachable dickhead boys, the rumors of homosexuality, the rape threat. It’s all in there. The only thing the movie is lacking is the part where my dad, three years later, in the midst of my senior year, after he gets called over a serious outburst of mine at school, tracks down one of the boys who was hassling me and threatens to call the boy’s dorm before his first year of college and start a rumor that the boy was queer. Thanks Dad, you rule my world. Josh never hassled me again after that one! See movies end; highschool seems like it never will. Thank goodness it eventually does, but those were honestly the longest four years of my entire life. I am sometimes amazed I did make it out alive.

Anyway, go see Napoleon Dynamite. Even if you were never a weirdo loser like me or dated one like Napoleon Dynamite, you will probably enjoy this movie. And if you have any rural roots at all, known any FFA geeks, the milk and cow judging scenes will have you rolling around and chuckling.

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