So there I was, sitting on the sofa last night with Clare by my side, indulging in a late night telephone conversation with Brother Younger. The conversation was predictably unpredictable, a tangential soup that included Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on St Helena, the inherent wankiness of certain city centre bars and the amount of facial hair in the film Iron Man (which, we agreed, was one of the most heavily-bearded Blockbusters in recent memory).
For some reason – God only knows why – we moved onto the topic of John Hughes’ films. Rob was a bit confused by the term, so I endeavoured to clarify matters: “Y’know – those classic Teen comedies from the 1980s. The stuff we grew up with. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, um, St Elmo’s Fire…”
“Pretty in Pink,” added Clare, helpfully.
“Oh yeah,” said Rob. “All that Brat Pack shit.”
“That’s right,” I said defensively but somewhat inaccurately. “Y’know, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald…”
“That guy from The Hitcher. Who was the guy from The Hitcher?” asked Rob, instinctively launching into a new tangent spiral.
“The one who wasn’t Rutger Hauer?”
“That’s right,” said Rob. “Or Sean Bean.”
“That’s what’s his name,” I said, unhelpfully. “Y’know, thingie. He was in The Outsiders…”
“They were all in The fuckin‘ Outsiders,” said Rob.
“It’s on the tip of my tongue,” I said. His first name is an initial…”
“F. Scott Fitzgerald? J. Edgar Hoover? J. Jonah Jameson?”
“No,” I snarled, “and it’s not L. Ron Fuckin‘ Hubbard?, either! It’s C. Thomas Howell!”
And that’s when Clare sharply jammed a finger knuckle between two of my ribs and I made a somewhat undignified noise. I shot her a perplexed look.
“I just wanted to see Thomas howl,” she said.