The Assistant:
August 19, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

What we learned from this summer’s hits

We tried, we really did, to veg out mindlessly this summer, subsisting on a diet of reality-TV junk food, pop songs with forgettable lyrics, and empty-calorie movie blockbusters. Nonethless, some learning was unavoidable. Even ”Big Brother”’s Nakomis sent us scrambling back to our grade-school copy of Longfellow’s ”Song of Hiawatha” to see what this ”daughter of the moon” thing was all about. Here are some of the other useful lessons we learned this summer, along with their sources.

  • Men’s Grooming Tip No. 1: In a pinch, saliva can be used as hair gel. (Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in ”Fahrenheit 9/11”)
  • Tiki torches are flammable enough to burn down your entire backyard. (Andy Dick, on ”The Assistant”)
  • It’s possible to make a career out of court appearances. (Courtney Love)
  • Men’s Grooming Tip No. 2: Waxing your genitals is very painful. (Sean and Mike on ”Rescue Me”)
  • It’s hard growing up in the shadow of a famous sister, but scoring a No. 1 album is the best revenge. (Ashlee Simpson)
  • If the surprise ending of your movie is really lame, people are more likely to give it away. (”The Village”)
  • It’s easy to score a top-10 album if you force all your concert ticketholders to buy a copy of your CD. (Prince)
  • The next ice age will last about three days. (”The Day After Tomorrow”)
  • When making sausage, do not wear a navel ring. (Paris Hilton in ”The Simple Life 2”)
  • ”This Is Spinal Tap” wasn’t a spoof; metal bands really are insane. (”Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”)
  • Do not pick up strangers on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. (David Fisher in ”Six Feet Under”)
  • Even if you lose your superhero mask and inadvertently divulge your identity to a subway carload of New Yorkers, you can still trust them all to keep your secret. (”Spider-Man 2”)
  • Is cheating on your girlfriend a good career move? ”Yeah!” (Usher)

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