When my father and I were on the road filming interviews for our video music magazine The Down Neck Gazette we had some strange things happen in front of our lens. One moment in particular that stands out for both of us was an interview with a famous banjo guru who, as it turned out, was not as good as the hype. To this day the footage makes me cringe. All that came out of this guy was gobbledygook.
We were baffled by the experience. How could people think random nonsense was the same as teaching?
Then we rented the movie Mystery Men and it all made sense.
In the film a bunch of inept would-be superheroes are trained by The Sphinx, a mysterious hero who rattles off meaningless proverbs that are so stupid that they could easily be mistaken for wisdom.
At one point The Sphinx tells a frustrated student who is struggling to balance a tack hammer on his head:
When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.
To this day, this phrase will make my father and I laugh out loud. It takes us right back to that awkward interview with a famous teacher who could not teach.