Take it up a notch

Several bloggers lately have been complaining of being too busy to blog, too stressed to write, stretched too thin to impart their usual wit and wisdom.

Exhibit A is our dear friend The Absence of Alternatives. Or subWOW. Or secret confessions of whatever the hell she used to call herself.

Doesn’t matter. What matters is she resisted the urge to apologize for sparse posts but was caught up in the anti-meme running amok on these Interwebs: post that you’re swamped.

In fact, post the Prince Humperdink version of being genuinely swamped.

“I’ve got my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.”

So I figured, since I have come out of the blog malaise that has plagued me all these months, since I have a thought or two that sticks in the molasses of my useless, addled, pudding brain giving me some hope that things might get better before I lose it and knife my whole family, what the heck? Let’s throw down the whole Princess Bride text.

The swamped quote rocks. It’s up there in my top five. But I need to hear your favorites. Because today, this evening, at this exact moment of “stop typing and do some yoga or go to bed so you don’t complain all day tomorrow about being tired and having nothing to show for your life,” at this blink, my favorite Princess Bride quote is:

“It’s possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It’s conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I’m only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again… perhaps I have the strength after all. ”

Let’s hear your favorite. Ground rules? At Naptimewriting, the book version is fine. Preferred, really. There are bonus points for “Madam, feel free to flee,” any lines about stew, and anything from the extensive Fezzik training section. The movie version is fine. You will not be mocked for your choice, so let loose and retype the green spider lines.

Go on. I know you’re swamped and all, but play along when you have a moment.

31 thoughts on “Take it up a notch

  1. Oh all right. As you wish.

    I frequently find myself wanting to use this line on my students: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Ditto for my children.

    (I must admit to never having read the book. I didn’t even know it was a book until I read this post. See? Lowbrow over at Chez Fie.)

  2. Fie, I do use that line in my class every semester when I explain the abbreviation I use for wrong word/ word choice problem. They never laugh. :(

    Can I just quote the whole book? But I do love the first sentence: “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”

  3. I have several favorite quotes from Princess Bride but I’m especially fond of these two –
    “Hello. My name is Iago Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” It has nothing to do with what you were talking about but perhaps my other favorite quote does –
    “Life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell something.”

  4. I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!! I don’t remember if I read the book…being a book whore does that to you…But more and more, the line that keeps coming up within my own pudding brain is “As you wish.” And that Inigo Montoya is one of the best lines in the movie…I have got to watch it again…even though I’m swamped ;)…


    Your friend is only *mostly* dead.


    I don’t swim, I can only dog paddle.

    “TROO LUV”

    Tree, my students didn’t know “inconceivable” either, so I showed them the 10 sec youtube clip. I officially qualify as a “getoffamylawn” fogey now.

  6. Okay, everyone, please, do yourself and read the book this year. I love the film, and the book is about 148 times better. That book is hardcore good. I’m a lit snob, and it’s not Ulysses, but it’s well written and laugh out loud funny. It’s Player Piano funny.

    @Fie I love that line. Spouse uses it with me and I use it with students. As you and Tree of Knowledge and jc all note, my students didn’t get it, either. Kids these days.

    @Tree of Knowledge Welcome! I agree that the whole book is quotable. I find the relationship with his wife desperately sad and honest, which is what makes Goldman so good in my book. I saw the film first and didn’t think much about Fezzik. He was a sight gag. But the book made me ache for him. He hated it when they boooed and I wanted to hug him.

    @Linda Pleased to meet you! And I agree that those are fabulous. The “life is pain” line is gorgeous in a fairy tale, I think. Westley is one of the best written characters in popular culture, I feel.

    @Maria, those iconic Inigo and Westley lines are indeed fabulous. There’s a reason they are oft repeated. They beat the crap out of “you complete me” and “king of the world,” which are poor ugly stepcousins of Princess Bride lines.

    @jc we’re kindred spirits, since we walked uphill in the snow to school and all. I adore “To the pain!” and “DEATH FIRST.” After long runs Spouse and I used to say “your friend is only mostly dead. There’s a big different between mostly dead and all dead.” But we’re old and run less, and certainly not enough to make ourselves feel mostly dead.

  7. My top ten are coming tomorrow in a separate post, so keep yours coming. Watch it tonight and come back to tell us if you’ve remembered another or adopted a new quote.

  8. I’m guilty of having never read the book, although I’ve added it now to my summer reading list. I have many favorite quotes from the movie however.
    I’m with fie – I use that line all the time. My kids love saying “inconceivable” all the time!

    He clearly said “to blathe” which means to bluff
    I’m not a witch I’m your wife!
    Mawage – that bwessed awangment that bwings us togever today

  9. @Tree of Knowledge, I love that, too. It *is* a reasonable explanation for not having mobile limbs, after all.

    @Heather, there is no guilt for not reading a book if the movie is great. But I do think you’ll like the paper version.
    All the speech impediment lines are fabulous. “Man and wife! Say ‘man and wife!'” And he can, since it is a “w”. Delightful.


    Oh, nevermind. Wrong movie. I felt the need for speed. Not Speed. Well, not *that* Speed. Sorry, the “you complete me” gave me a brain fart.

    You keep harping on us reading the damn book. Well, is it a kissing book?

    Get used to disappointment. (I use this one all the time… allllll. tthhhheeee. timmmmeee.)

  11. “Sorry about that, Helen.”

    My favorite book ever. Hands down. Insert long story about how everyone in my family (cousins, grandparents, etc.) was given a copy of it because my own family loved it so much after we read it out loud during a superlong car trip…

  12. Ok, now I can’t stop. I don’t even have the book in the house (it’s with all my important books at school) to check if I remember these correctly, but there are about a zillion of them bouncing around in my head. Like: “A weed from your late bloomer, Billy.” And
    “Buttercup does not get eaten by the sharks at this time.” (Were they sharks? Can’t remember. Clearly it’s time for a re-read.)

  13. LOVE this post! :) My favorite quote, that I used with my students and now with my children, “Inconceivable. You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means”. AND of course the whole “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders — the most famous of which is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia.’ but only slightly less well known is this “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”

    Although as I am reading over all the entries, I realize that I love most of the movie (having never read the book, which is surprising). It is now on my Summer reading list as well. :)

  14. @jc YES! “I *must* know. Get used to disappointment.” So awesome with petulant children and petty bosses. And childish puerile bosses.

    @Inkiloo, for the record, we might be soulmates. Now, onto business: the trope of the disliked wife is so awesome. It’s a twinge disturbing, as with the disdain for his son, and fraught enough to make me talk myself down with “it’s fiction…it *has* to be fiction.” The bit about sending the novel to his teacher is lovely. “For some reason, I test very high on forgetability.”
    And it is sharks in the book, though eels in the movie. Pages 86 and 87. “She does not get eaten by the sharks at this time.”

    I have to say to you, before I reveal my favorite lines tomorrow, that I adore the bit about Buttercup moving up the ranks of most beautiful from way down the list, especially after she evens out her elbows.

    And we’ve already discussed (offline, years ago) the hats and the princess with you know what issue that leads to the line I use all the time: “Madam, feel free to flee.” Freaking awesome.

    @LP, the classic blunders line is great. I always thought it was a Wallace Shawn improvisation, like Billy Crystal’s Mutton Lettuce and Tomato line (it’s cough drops in the book). But the land wars and Sicilian are all Goldman.

    Keep playing, y’all. I love posts that amuse us collectively.

  15. This is turning into a *battle of wits* :)

    Anybody want a Peanut?

    Dear gawd what is that thing?

    It’s possible, pig, I might be bluffing.

    Drop. Your. Sword.

  16. @jc you have several of my top ten right there. The anybody want a peanut gets me every time. Every part of the To the Pain speech that has several of our favorites in it is awesome. Absolutely top five.

  17. I figured you’d put the peanut one in. I remember when I first watched the movie that Andre the Giant was so deadpan hilarious. I was a wrestling fan, so to see him in the movie fighting *civilly* was a crackup, but the one liners were fall off my chair funny.

    I swear to maud every time I do my research, I say To The Pain. (I’m sure Ink is cracking up about now since she knows what my sekrit identity is).

  18. Nap, yes. Of course we are soulmates. I thought that was clear. ;) The other line bouncing around in my head is something like “All I said is maybe he should leave some mashed potatoes for the rest of the world” and yes, the family dynamic = everything you said and still somehow funny. And yes, the ranking of the beauty and then the worrying about it and getting a line because of the worrying…happy sigh. Can’t wait to hear your fave lines! I hope I can sleep!

    Unicorn, TO THE PAIN is sheer perfection.

    Glittery stickers all around, yo.

  19. “Angelica backed into the kitchen. Another ‘treasure’ down the tubes.” Hilarious. The whole distorted twisted interpersonal tragedy. Hilarious.

    “If I were a furniture salesperson…or perhaps a teller in a bank, I could understand….”

    “All I suggested was he might leave a few potatoes for the rest of the world and stuff on this lovely prime pot roast your treasure has whipped up for my triumphant return”

    Hey, Inkabinkabottleofink, have you ever written the publisher as requested for additional text? I never have and always meant to. Each time I read I plan to request it but don’t. Bah. I’ll bet they don’t send it.

  20. the book is 48x better. i have the soundtrack, know the movie and have read the book a million times. my book is somewhere in a box that we just moved. i don’t know if it’s the exact quote, i don’t know the difference anymore between what’s in my head from the movie and the book but because“I’ve got my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.” i’ll just tell you without looking it up, it’s: “he’s only mostly dead”

  21. Tara, your brain is only *mostly* fried from the move. ;-) There is, after all, a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is still slightly alive.



    “Who ARE you?”
    “No one of consequence.”
    “I MUST know.”
    “Get used to disappointment.”
    (And Inigo’s shrug.)

  23. Yes, we did send away for that. And we got a response, but it wasn’t the promised excerpt–it was a sort of funny letter about why we weren’t going to get the promised excerpt.

    Btw, we had two different versions–one where the editorial bits were in italics (paperback) and one where they were in red ink (hardcover). Which one did you have? I wonder if they still print in red in the hardcover?

    Did you ever see the movie Year of the Comet (WG wrote the script)? It reminded me so much of PB–not the fairytale-esque parts, just the rhythm of the banter.

  24. Evenshine, I love that exchange. Inigo is clearly a persistent man. And he *must* know. But shrugs it off. Glorious.

    Ink, I knew it’d be a trick. I have two copies of the paperback with italics. The pre-film paperback, which I will not purchase because the book is not a vehicle for the film. Grrrrr. I think the red editorials would be lovely. So authentically editorial, you know?

    Haven’t seen the year of the comet, but will now netflix it, if possible.
    You know Good Will Hunting was his MAJOR rewrite of the two yahoos’ script?

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