The dumbest question of all

Ed Smith
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Here’s the most stupid line in the history of Hollywood movies. I’ve seen it many times, as have you. (That’s not the line.)

Last night I was watching a movie called “Crash” starring James Spader. (Neither is that.) You know very well that if Spader is in it, there is going to be more sex than in the Old Testament. (Nothing stupid about that.)

I don’t know why that is. Perhaps Spader does it on the cheap. Remembering some of the scenes I’ve seen him in, that might be a totally defensible attitude for some people — like Tiger Woods, who would probably do it for nothing. Schwarzenegger might pay them. I don’t understand it myself, but in any case all this is totally irrelevant to the issue.

Here is Brother Jim yet again up to his neck in illicit sex with a bevy of beautiful women. Most of the action takes place in the backseats of cars, sometimes car wrecks. Any port in a storm, right? But the storm I am about to describe for you takes place near a car wreck in which the upside down wheels are still spinning.

I was in a wreck similar to that with a much different ending.

After various delectable episodes with various delectable women, Mr. Spader pursues the main female character in a car chase and runs her off the road. She crashes and the car turns over. He, of course, rushes down the embankment to see whether or not she survived. A caring person is our Jim.

He finds her on her back unconscious and bleeding. Only her feet are left inside the car. Want to hear the rest of it? Of course you do. That’s why you’re still reading. Our hero leans over her, turns her face gently toward him and asks tenderly (are you ready?):

“Are you OK?!”

She looks dead. She’s acting dead. She’s been through a horrendous car crash. She’s got blood all over her.

“Are you OK?!”

It’s the same as if the royal executioner, having separated Henry VIII’s unhappy wife’s head from the rest of her, bent over it while it was still rolling and asked in a concerned voice, “Are you OK?”

(How do I know she was unhappy? You try walking around a cold prison without even warm thoughts to ward off the chills and see how happy you’ll be. How do I know she didn’t even have warm thoughts? You try having warm thoughts without a head to put them in.)


That may be a bit extreme, but in the movies it’s almost as bad. You see this poor matador with a pair of horns sticking out of his guts and another anxious voice rises above the roar of the crowd, “Are you OK?”

Apart from everything else, who gives a rodent’s posterior? I’m always rooting for the bull, anyway.

It’s almost as bad in real life. Not long ago, I was in a funeral home where a father had died in the prime of his life, leaving behind a wife and several young daughters. While we were standing by the coffin and they were looking sadly and forlornly at the dead father, one of those bustling female relatives rushed up and insinuated herself in amongst us. She looked disconsolately from one girl to the others and asked in a broken voice, “Are you OK?”

I was hoping one of them would say, “Of course. Who is the man in this coffin, anyway?”

I know you’ve done it before, missus. You think that makes it all right? When people asked me that at the funeral of my father, I didn’t think it was OK. I gave them a look that could be interpreted as, “What kind of idiot are you? I spent the first 17 years of my life with this man. He taught me how to shoot, how to snare rabbits, how to fly salmon, how to drive a car, how to behave in an altercation, how to tell right from wrong, how to always stand up for the weak and the vulnerable, how to … how to. … And now he’s gone and I don’t know if I ever told him how much he meant to me. No, I am not OK! Ask me again in 10 years and perhaps I’ll lie and say, ‘Yes, I’m OK.’”

My dad has been gone 10 years. I’m OK. Thanks for asking.

Want to know what happens next in the Spader movie? Of course you do. That’s why you’re still reading.

I hesitate to say this, being of a discreet nature myself for my dear sister’s sake, whose friends lock themselves in the bathroom so their husbands won’t find out they’re reading this stuff. I’m told “The View” and “50 Shades of Gray” often occupy the same drawer in many households. I don’t know where trust has gone in marriage.

I guess I have to tell you so that I don’t get inundated with hate mail. The camera closes in on the car which is upside down and we can see the wheels still spinning, which makes the next line all the more incredible. If you don’t believe me, you can check it out for yourself.

Our young friend positions the lady properly and then proceeds to make love to her. Gently, of course. She’s almost dead. Then it mercifully ends. The movie, I mean.

Now, I was in a car wreck something like that 14 years ago. I looked up from where I was lying exactly in the same position as the woman — i.e. half in and half out of the car — and I could see the tires still spinning above me. But nobody asked if I was OK. Guess some things are pretty obvious.

The only thing I got out of it was a broken neck.

Now you tell me if life is fair.


Ed Smith is an author who lives in

Springdale. His email address is

Geographic location: Hollywood

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