As one with entirely too much time on my hands, I concocted a series of unusual movie, book and TV titles, usually with a letter or two altered to create an entirely different scenario.
I received three e-mails from readers, Steve and Yolanda Jensen from Springer, Richard Lindeborg from Las Vegas, and Ben Trujillo, who lives in Albuquerque.
We can dispense with Ben’s contributions in just a few words because 1) he answered only three of the 25; 2) he justified his failure to attempt the other 22 “because,” he said, “they were too easy”; and 3) he’s my son.
What impressed me was the way the participants came up with answers radically different from mine, or one another’s, and yet, well, still had some good submissions. Some were better than mine.
For example, one item read: In this J.K. Rowling’s flick, a diner in the cafeteria ingests a turkey morsel soaked in jalapeño juice. My answer was Harry Potter and the Giblet of Fire. The Jensens and Lindeborg chose Gobbler of Fire.
Another item dealt with dancer Gene Kelly, in a musical where he is “overcome by a potent insecticide.” The Jensens chose Singing in the Pain, and Lindeborg had Singing in the Raid.
Another item read, “Mel Gibson fights to preserve the peace in this American Revolutionary War movie that features a huge battle over marijuana.” The answers: The Pot Riot and The Potriat.
Following are readers’ answers and the original title:
This Lawrence Fishburne movie deals with a group that sets up a net and forms a basketball team in south-central Los Angeles. Boyz in the Hoop, Glass Action (Boyz in the Hood)
In this 1942 classic, Humphrey Bogart applies pounds of baby powder to his person, becoming ghost-like. Cara Blanca, Case of Blanca (Casablanca).
Tom Hanks is a platoon leader whose troops storm Normandy, to rescue a special ape that somehow enlisted. Saving Primate Ryan (Private).
Katherine Ann Watson, a teacher who studied at UCLA, leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles. She contracts the infectious kissing disease and tries to keep it a secret. Mono Lisa Smile (Mona)
Robin Williams and Andy Garcia star in this thriller about a detective who helps a woman casino employee who has amnesia. Deal Again (Dead Again)
Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci work their way up the mob hierarchy and slick down their hair with Dapper Dan pomade. Goop Fellas, Gooey Fellas (Good Fellas)
A local administrator (or a school board member) gets caught up in a family feud involving the Montagues and the Capulets. Romero and Juliet (Romeo)
W. Somerset Maugham wrote about Philip Carey, whose uncle suffers a cut. Philip places his hand on his uncle’s arm to stop the bleeding but never removes it and finds his hand grafted to the arm. Of Human Bandage (Bondage)
Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson star in this film in which students meet during detention and give one another hints as to what they’ll eat the next morning. Scenario 2: The three make mistakes by preparing their own recipes for their morning repast, such as using salt instead of sugar in their coffee. The Breakfast Grub or Flub (Club)
Teenage sleuths solve their first case to restore their names after being suspended from Coolsville High. They tidy up after their pet. Scooping Doo, Scoopy Doo (Scooby)
More than 150 years ago, Lew Wallace, the territorial governor of New Mexico, wrote a book about a chariot race and about a man who had a sex-change operation. He changed his gender but not his name. Ben-Her (Hur)
Hugh Laurie’s bedside manner becomes timid, and the medical staff in this TV drama give him an unflattering nickname. Mouse (House)
Elvis sings the praises of Santa Fe style homes. Viva Las Vigas (Vegas)
In this Coen Brothers dark comedy, William H. Macy gives up a new car to pay for having his wife kidnapped. Cargo, Forgo (Fargo)
Psychologist Morgan Freeman teams with an escaped kidnap victim. The killer has a weird fetish: osculating fish parts. Kiss the Gills (Girls)
A military officer, John Travolta, cannot contain his glee upon solving a crime. The General’s Laughter (Daughter)
Before closing its doors, Ludi’s Market became the meeting place for local groups, the Jets and the Sharks. West Side Store (Story)
John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd put a band together but use the wrong ingredients as they mix flour and water to make several varieties of adhesives. The Glues Brothers (Blues)
Scott Bakula and Sinbad organize a football team after last year’s players and coaches all have quit. Worse, they discover they’re out of charcoal and have to apply a Revlon blusher to block the sun and glare. Necessary Rouges, Necessary Rougeness (Roughness)
In this new TV sitcom, two feuding high school teachers become so out of control that their students run away from practice. Flee (Glee)
A giant ape shops for a filmy negligee at Victoria’s Secret. My submission was Nightie Joe Young, but the e-mails came up with something different. Lindeborg suggested Kling Kong; the Jensens and Ben say it’s King Thong.
In this horror flick, an alien monster consumes every e-mail, twitter and text message in its path. e-lian, Etherterrestrial (The Blog)
Art Trujillo is a copy editor at the Optic and a contributing member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. He may be reached by calling 425-6796 or by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.