"Well, sir, what do you suggest? We stand here and shed tears and call each other names, or shall we go to Istanbul?"
If you listened to NPR this morning, you too know that today is the 75th anniversary of the Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Read a few pages and you will be ready to pack up and move to San Francisco - if for no other reason than to wander the streets at night in the mist and the rain, watching the shadowy figures behind the drawn window shades of the upstairs apartments. (Never mind that this would get you a. arrested, b. assaulted, or c. worse.)
I love Sam Spade. I love Humphrey Bogart and Neil Simons' versions of Sam Spade. I spent way too much time reading and watching this stuff as a kid. That's not to say it didn't pay off. It did. When I first started working as a probation officer, I had no idea what I was doing or what to say to the people sitting expectantly across the desk from me. I found that you could bend a few Sam Spade lines to meet just about any situation. If you throw in a couple more lines from the movie Casablanca, you got it made.
As time went by, I got better at the job and didn't have to rely on Spade and Bogart for filler material. But, every once in a while, especially on rainy, foggy days, I break out the Spade-speak with some of my people. Nobody gets it and it doesn't really help matters any, but its fun. And fun, well, 'that's the stuff that dreams are made of. '