Having a manversation


Tough Guy: “Whether or not you stay or you go, it doesn’t matter—you’re already dead.”

Me: “Did you poison me?”

Annoyed Tough Guy: “What? No.”

Still Me: “Am I Bruce Willis?”

That small exchange of dialogue would be me in any given action film. Men in action films always have great tough dialogue, but even cooler is the abstract conversations they have with one another without any explanation. See, Tough Guy Alpha can tell Tough Guy Omega that the days of disco are slowly coming to a close, and Tough Guy Omega knows that means the orphans are stashed in the underwater train car. He just knows.

I don’t. During the middle of films I find myself asking, “How did he know that? How could he?” Tough guys are so sure of their mental telepathy that they use it to ask women out. Note the next time a date is made in a film if the man ever gives full details, such as day, time, or even bothers getting her number. More likely he just gives her a stern look and says, “Friday?” Most times she doesn’t even bother responding, except maybe with a nod. Why would she say anything? It’s all been said telepathically already. Asking a woman out was never that easy for me.

I think that’s why action films have so little dialogue. My wife is convinced it’s because men don’t want to hear a lot of talking, but instead just want to see things blow up. Not true. We love to hear men speak cryptically with one another, but beyond those few monosyllabic utterances we know they don’t need to talk anymore. So best get to shooting. Trust me, Jane Austen would have a lot more explosions in her stories if they featured more tough guys.


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