Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Even scarier than a murder

I recently rewatched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.  The first time I watched it I was in 9th grade.  I would not say that it left a great mark on my impressionable mind, despite being the tender age of… Lord, I have no idea how old I was in 9th grade.  If you remember, I had watched Leprechaun in kindergarten, and I looked under my bed for the little man until 6th grade every night.  I wish I were kidding.  I was scared of leprechauns grabbing my ankles and biting me.  I also VIVIDLY remember watching a TV show about extreme encounters with animals, where a boa constrictor slithered out of a toilet and a few rattlesnake bite victims talked about the tremendous pain they experienced after they were bitten.  These anecdotes might seem comical in a way (A boa constrictor in the toilet, everyone!) but I remember the people on the tv show were genuinely scarred, looking around as if they expected a rhinoceros to charge out of their bedroom closet next.  What I took away from that show was that I had to get to a hospital 11-13 minutes within being bitten by a rattlesnake, and that I should always look in toilets for boa constrictors.

Anyhow, Rear Window did not scar me in this same way. One of the only things I took away from it is that I remember the person I watched it with told me New York was like Alfred had portrayed it: one could see into another’s apartment and just sit around looking at everyone go about their business. 

I guess this is sort of true.  Let’s take a look at what we can see outside our windows.


Not too much from this window.  This happens to be the view out my bedroom window.  A couple of inches over to the left is my neighbor’s window, from which I can hear him pushing snooze every 10 minutes from 6 AM on.  He, on the other hand, probably didn’t hear my alarm clock this week because I put it on silent.  And I wondered why I wasn’t waking up on time.  Silly me!


This is the view from our bathroom window.  Unfortunately.  I feel an apartment has much more character when you can see people outside while you shower.  However, let’s move on to the south facing windows.


Nice, no?  We have great full sunlight in the afternoon, which brings the temperature in the apartment up to a comfortable 95 degrees upon occasion.  At night we can sit around and look at the city lights, and during the day we can look down at the neighbor’s yard and observe bunnies hopping around.  Due to its enclosed nature, if someone is having a party with any sort of music involved every note reverberates off the buildings as if it is being played on a timpani. 

Let’s return to this same scene at night.  Ala Alfred Hitchcock, something sinister takes hole once the sun goes down.


Maybe I have an overactive imagination (I did major in liberal arts.  I guess I thought I would be able to support myself with it.) but I think this seems like the perfect setting for murders to take place.  What's going on in that lit window in the bottom right corner?  Oh, nothing, Ben is just strangling his wife.  And in the window with the big lampshade?  That's where Joe is dismembering his son Al.  And what's going on in the top left corner?  A closer look you need?  Is that what you said?

My roommates and I have each, on separate occasions, sat down on the couch, looked outside, and jumped up exclaiming something to the effect of "HELPTHEREISANAKEDMANINTHATAPARTMENTIJUSTSAWHISUNMENTIONABLES!"  Now that I think of it, this should phase me no more.  I walk down the streets here and everyone is nearly as naked as the day he was born.  I guess we just weren't bracing ourselves for the sight.

So no, this is NOT a naked man.  This is not George, who just can never seem to find his underpants.  This just happens to be a mannequin perfectly positioned to give us a full front view whenever we happen to glance outside, sometimes giving us a start, but by now just a normal fixture on the horizon.  And something that provides me endless entertainment when we do have visitors come over to see what the world outside our windows is up to.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Rory Kelly said...

That picture before the naked man one is gorgeous. There I said something nice. And I was terrified of Fantasia as a child. All those brooms...

PS: My word verification word is dipardyn. Which sounds like a Tolkien character.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should I go to Ljubljana or Graz this weekend? The latter is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The former is in Slovenia . . .

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lehesz vicces izlestelenseg nelkul is. Nem hiszem hogy a meztelen ember szukseges a sztorihoz. Emellett nagyon perverz hogy ilyeneket fenykepezel. Szegyen gyalazat!

At 11:22 PM, Blogger joe said...

Really hilarious stuff. I need some funny insight like that from watching a movie...sigh.


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