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Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s.
Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! Mrs. Parker: No, you'll shoot your eye out.
Ralphie: Ohhhh fuuudge! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word! Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say? Ralphie: Uh, um... Mr. Parker: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over - I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.
[in a Chinese restaurant] Waiter #1, Waiter #2, Waiter #3: [singing] Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra. Chop Suey Palace Owner: No, no, not 'ra ra ra ra', 'la la la la'! Try again. Waiter #1, Waiter #2, Waiter #3: Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra. Chop Suey Palace Owner: No, no! Sing something else. Waiter #1, Waiter #2, Waiter #3: Jingre bers, jingre bers, jingre arr the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sreigh!
Narrator: Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.
[Mr. Parker reads a side of the box with the prize that he won] Mr. Parker: Aaah! "Fra-GEE-leh!" It must be Italian! Mrs. Parker: Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey. Mr. Parker: Huh? Oh, yeah. [nods in agreement]
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.
Mr. Parker: He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny. Mother: He does not! Mr. Parker: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!
Randy: Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf. The Old Man: All right, I'll get that kid to eat. Where's my screw driver and my plumber's helper? I'll open up his mouth and I'll shove it in.
Flick: Are you kidding? Stick my tongue to that stupid pole? That's dumb! Schwartz: That's 'cause you know it'll stick! Flick: You're full of it! Schwartz: Oh yeah? Flick: Yeah! Schwartz: Well I double-DOG-dare ya! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a "triple dare you"? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare. Schwartz: I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The old man stood there, quivering with fury, stammering as he tried to come up with a real crusher. All he got out was... The Old Man: Naddafinga!
Mr. Parker: What is the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse? Mother: Ah... Victor! His name is Victor. Mr. Parker: How the hell did you know that? Mother: Everybody knows that!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating about diving with his brother into the gifts under the Christmas tree] We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice. Mr. Parker: Didn't I get a tie this year?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, after BB gun shot bounces off target and hits his face] Oh my god, I shot my eye out!
[last lines] Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Meanwhile, I struggled for exactly the right BB gun hint. It had to be firm, but subtle. Ralphie: Flick says he saw some grizzly bears near Pulaski's candy store! [everyone stares at Ralphie] Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] They looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.
[after cracking a secret code] Ralphie: [Reading it] Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.
Mother: Randy? What's wrong? Whatcha cryin' for? Randy: Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie! Mother: No he's not... Randy: Yes he is! Mother: No, I promise, Daddy is not going to kill Ralphie!
[overdressed for winter] Randy: I can't put my arms down! Mother: Well... put your arms down when you get to school.
Mother: Ralphie, you're lucky it didn't cut your eye! Those icicles have been known to kill people.
Mr. Parker: [unveiling his major award] Would you look at that? Would you look at THAT? Mother: What is it? Mr. Parker: It's a leg! Mother: But what is it? Mr. Parker: Well, it's... A leg, you know, like a statue. Mother: Statue? Mr. Parker: Yeah, statue. Ralphie: Yeah, statue. Mother: Ralphie! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] My mother was trying to insinuate herself between us and the statue.
Ralphie: Heh, I was just kidding, even though Schwartz is getting one. I guess I'd just like some Tinker Toys. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] I couldn't believe my own ears. Tinker Toys? She'd never buy it.
Mr. Parker: You mundane noodle!
Mother: All right. Now, are you ready to tell me where you heard that word? Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But, I chickened out and said the first name that came to mind. Ralphie: Schwartz!
[Describing a "reaction" to an encounter with the bullies] Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Randy lay there like a slug! It was his only defense!
Mother: [gets on the phone] Hello, Mrs. Schwartz? Yes, I'm fine. Uh, Mrs. Schwartz, do you know what Ralph just said? [Mrs. Schwartz's speech is inaudible] Mother: No, he said... [whispers it close to the receiver] Mrs. Schwartz: [in a hysterical tone] NO, NOT THAT! Mother: Yes, that! Do you know where he heard it? Mrs. Schwartz: Probably from his father. Mother: No! He heard it from your son! Mrs. Schwartz: [screams hysterically] WHAT! WHAT! WHAAAAAAT! [footsteps are heard followed by screaming and spanking] Schwartz: [crying] Ah, no! What did I do, Ma? What, I didn't do nothing! AAAAUUUUGGGGHHH! [Ralphie's mom hangs up the phone] Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Another shot of mysterious, inexorable, official justice.
Mr. Parker: [Reading Telegram and doing a little jig] Tonight! Tonight! It's coming Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Hot Damn, Tonight!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man. Mr. Parker: That son of a bitch would freeze up in the middle of summer on the equator! Mother: Little pitchers! Mr. Parker: Thanks... hold it! [the furnace conks out] Mr. Parker: It's a clinker! That blasted stupid furnace dadgummit! [he walks down a few stairs and falls the rest of the way down] Mr. Parker: Damn skates! [coughing] Mr. Parker: Oh, for cripes sake, open up the damper will ya? Who the hell turned it all the way down? AGAIN! Oh, blast it! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.
Mr. Parker: [Mr. Parker's beloved leg lamp is broken] Get the glue. Mother: We're out of glue. Mr. Parker: You used up all the glue on purpose!
Santa Claus: If Higbee thinks I'm working one minute past 9:00, he can kiss my foot. Ho ho ho.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] My kid brother looked like a tick about to pop!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at it's zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters decend upon us.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Grover Dill! Farkus's crummy little toadie. Mean! Rotten! His lips curled over his green teeth.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] My little brother had not eaten voluntarily in over three years.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.
Mr. Parker: Get in the car. Get in the car. [Mother runs back inside] Mr. Parker: If we don't hurry, we're gonna miss all the good trees! Mr. Parker: [to the kids] Go on, go on. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, as Mother switches off the leg lamp] My mother was about to make another brilliant maneuver in the legendary battle of the lamp. The epic struggle which follows lives in the folklore of Cleveland Street to this very day. Mother: Don't want to waste electricity. Mr. Parker: [mockingly] "Don't want to waste electricity."
Ralphie: [in his fantasy, Ralphie explains the cause of his blindness] It... It 'twas... soap poisoning!
Ralphie: Scut Farkus! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Scut Farkus! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There he stood, between us and the alley. Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!
Mr. Parker: So what else happened today? Mother: Oh, nothing much. Ralphie had a fight? Mr. Parker: A fight? What kind of a fight? [Looks at Ralphie] Mother: Oh, you know how boys are. I gave him a talking to... [Looks at the news paper] Mother: Uh I see that the Bears are playing Green Bay on Sunday. Mr. Parker: What? Oh yeah! Zudock's got tickets I wish I had. Aw well, let him freeze his keister off out there.
Ralphie: Hey Dad! I'll bet you'll never guess what I got you for Christmas. The Old Man: A new furnace. Ralphie: Ha ha! That's a good one, Dad! [Randy laughs]
Miss Shields: [reading Ralphie's theme in his fantasy, she clutches his essay to her chest] Oh! The theme I've been waiting for all my life. Listen to this sentence: "A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time". Poetry. Sheer poetry, Ralph! An A+!
Mr. Parker: [after Mother "accidentally" breaks the Old Man's leg lamp] Don't you touch that! You were always jealous of this lamp. Mother: Jealous of a plastic... Mr. Parker: Jealous! Jealous because I WON. Mother: That's ridiculous. Jealous. Jealous of WHAT? That is... the ugliest lamp I have ever seen in my entire LIFE! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now it was out.
Ralphie as Adult: Mothers know nothing about creeping marauders burrowing through the snow toward the kitchen where only you and you alone stand between your tiny, huddled family and insensate evil.
Ralphie as Adult: [chuckling] Ho, ho, but no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.
Ralphie: Mom, this is just the same dumb old parade as last year. Mother: Ralphie, will you please calm down? Ralphie: Mom! Mother: Hush! Mr. Parker: SHUT UP, Ralphie!
Miss Shields: Now I know that some of you put Flick up to this, but he has refused to say who. But those who did it know their blame, and I'm sure that the guilt you feel is far worse than any punishment you might receive. Now, don't you feel terrible? Don't you feel remorse for what you have done? Well, that's all I'm going to say about poor Flick. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Adults loved to say things like that but kids knew better. We knew darn well it was always better not to get caught.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, after Mother breaks the Old Man's Major Award, and he is unsuccessful at repairing it] With as much dignity as he could muster, the Old Man gathered up the sad remains of his shattered major award. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of "Taps" being played, gently.
Miss Shields: Where's Flick? Has anyone seen Flick? Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating as Ralphie feigns ignorance] Flick? Flick who?
Goggles: I like The Wizard of Oz. I like the Tin Man.
Mr. Parker: It's a Major Award! Swede: A Major Award? Shucks, I wouldn't know that. It looks like a lamp. Mr. Parker: It is a lamp, you nincompoop, but it's a Major Award. I won it! Swede: Damn, hell, you say won it? Mr. Parker: Yeah, mind power, Swede; mind power.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Strange. Even something as momentous as the Scut Farkus affair, which it came to be known, was pushed out of my mind as I struggled to come up with a way out of the impenetrable BB gun web, in which my mother had me trapped. Ralphie: Santa. Yeah, I'll ask Santa. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Of course. Santa. The big man. The head honcho. The connection. Ha, my mother had slipped up this time.
The Old Man: [shouting] Don't anybody move! Hold it right there! The fuse is out.
[marveling at a Christmas gift he just opened] Mr. Parker: A can of Simoniz!
[Ralphie is visiting Santa at the department store, only he can't remember what he wanted] Santa Claus: How about a nice football? Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out 'football'. Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up! Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle! Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.
Mr. Parker: Dadgummit! Blow out! [on the highway, the car has gotten a flat tire] Mr. Parker: Ah ha! [excitedly gets out of the car] Mother: Not again. Mr. Parker: Four minutes. Time me. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Actually the Old Man loved it. He had always pictured himself in the pits of the Indianapolis Speedway in the 500. My old man's spare tires were actually only tires in the academic sense. They were round, they had once been made of rubber.
Mother: This isn't one of those trees where all the needles falls off, is it? Tree Man: No, that's them balsams.
Mother: Randy, how do the little piggies go? Randy: [oinks like a pig] Mother: That's right. Oink, oink! Now show me how the piggies eat. [points to his plate] Mother: This is your trough. Show me how the piggies eat. Be a good boy. Show mommy how the piggies eat. Randy: [plunges face into mashed potatoes, oinks, eats, and laughs] Mother: [laughs] Mommy's little piggie!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The snap of a few sparks, a quick whiff of ozone, and the lamp blazed forth in unparalleled glory. Mr. Parker: Oh, look at that! Will you look at that? Isn't that glorious? It's... it's... it's indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July!
Ralphie: [Giving his teacher a fruit basket instead of just an apple] I thought you might like something different. Ralphie as Adult: Yes, clearly, a little bribe never hurts.
Boy in School: [Firemen come to pull Flick off pole] Holy cow, it's the fire department! Ralphie: Oh no... Boy in School: [policemen come] Wow, it's the cops!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The line waiting to see Santa Claus stretched all the way back to Terre Haute. And I was at the end of it.
Schwartz: Hey, smart ass. I asked my old man about sticking your tongue to a flagpole in the winter, and he says that it'll freeze right to the pole, just like I told ya. Flick: Ah, baloney. What would your old man know about anything? Schwartz: He knows, because he once saw a guy stick his tongue to a railroad track on a bet, and the fire department had to come get the guy's tongue off the track, because he couldn't get it off. Randy: [is trying to catch up] C'mon, guys! Wait up! C'mon, guys! Wait up!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] There has never been a kid who didn't believe vaguely but incessantly that he would be stricken blind before he reached 21, and then they'd be sorry.
Ralphie: Hey Dad! I bet you never guess what I got you for Christmas! The Old Man: [staring blissfully into space] A new furnace? Ralphie: [chuckling] He he, that's a good one Dad! Randy: [lauging] He he he! Ralphie as Adult: My old man was one of the most feared furnace fighters in Northern Indiana.
Santa Claus: Come on up on Santa's lap, here's a wet one. And what's your name little boy? And what do you want for Christmas, Billy? A toy truck? Get him off my lap and get my a towel. [Billy is pushed down the slide] Santa Claus: Oh, I hate the smell of tapioca.
Ralphie as Adult: I slowly began to realize that i was not going to be destroyed.
Mr. Parker: [to Mother] You know, Zudock just bought one of those brand new green, plastic trees. Tree Man: Oh no! Mr. Parker: Darn thing looked like it was made of green pipe cleaners. Hee hee hee hee. Mother: It's a very nice tree. Tree Man: [quickly] I'll thrown in some rope and tie it to your car for you. Mr. Parker: You got a deal. Tree Man: Deal.
[Furnace makes creaking noise] Mr. Parker: Hold it! Shhh... [Furnace makes loud banging noises] Mr. Parker: Aha! Aha! It's a clinkerrrr! That blasted, stupid furnace! Dadgummit! [Mr. Parker falls down the stairs] Mr. Parker: Damn skates! [coughing] Mr. Parker: Oh for cripe's sake, open up that damper, will ya? Who the hell turned it all the way down? Hawk head! Aw, blasted poop flirt rattle crap camel flirt. You blonker frattle feet sturckle frat! Of a womp sack butt ratter bottom fodder... Ralphie as Adult: In the heat of battle, my father wove a tapestry of obscenity, that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan. Mr. Parker: ...smick melly whop walker. Drop dumb fratten house stickle fifer!
[the Bumpus hounds break in the house and raid the kitchen] Mr. Parker: Holy smokes, the turkey! [the old man arrives too late to see that the dogs already devoured the turkey] Mr. Parker: Oh, my... God! You sons of - ! [the dogs leave out the back door] Mr. Parker: [shouts, high-pitched] SONS OF BITCHES! BUMPUSES!
Head Elf: COME ON, KID! [pulls Ralphie] Head Elf: COME ON! Santa Claus: HO! HO HO! [spins Ralphie around] Santa Claus: HOOOO... HOOO... HOO... And what's your name little boy? Male Elf: Hey, kid! HURRY UP! THE STORE'S CLOSING! Head Elf: Listen little boy, we have A LOT of people waiting here, so GET GOING!
Mom: [Playing Santa] And this is for daddy... [Picks up a gift-wrapped bowling ball and drops it in The Old Man's Lap] Mom: Here, from me to you. The Old Man: [high-pitched] Thanks a lot!
Ralphie as Adult: First-nighters, packed earmuff-to-earmuff, jostled in wonderment before a golden, tinkling display of mechanized, electronic joy!
Mr. Parker: Holy smokes. Do... Do you know what this is? This is... A lamp! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was indeed a lamp. Mr. Parker: Isn't that great? What a great lamp. Mother: I don't know... Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The old man's eyes boggled... Mr. Parker: Oh WOW! Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] ... Overcome by art.
Ralphie as Adult: Immediately, my feet began to sweat as those two fluffy little bunnies with a blue button eye stared sappily up at me. Mother: Come down so I can see you better. Ralphie as Adult: I just hope Flick would never spot them as a word of this humiliation could make easier in life at Warren G. Harding School a variatable Hell.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] I left Flick to certain annihilation. But BB gun mania knows no loyalty.
Mr. Parker: [Going inside the house after the Bumpus hounds devoured the Christmas turkey] All right! Everybody upstairs! Get dressed! We are going out... to eat!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Honors and benefits already at the age of nine!
The Old Man: [Watching in horror as the Bumpus hounds flee after devouring the Christmas turkey] Sons of bitches! Bumpuses!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Getting ready to go to school was like getting ready for extended deep-sea diving.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand... Ralphie: YECCHH!
Goggles: I like Santa. Ralphie: Yeah. Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Let's face it, most of us are scoffers. But moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances.
Ralphie as Adult: Round One was over. heh heh. Parents one, kids, zip. I can feel the Christmas noose beginning to tighten. Maybe, what happened next, was inevitable. Mother: Ralphie, what would you like for Christmas? Ralphie as Adult: Horrified, I heard myself blurt it out! Ralphie as Adult: I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Oooooooh! Mother: No, you'll shoot your eye out. Ralphie as Adult: Oh no! It was a classic, mother BB-gun block. "You'll shoot your eye out!" That deadly phrase honored many times by hundreds of mothers was not surmountable by any means known to Kid-dom, but such as my mania, my desire for a Red Ryder carbine, that I immediately began to rebuild the dike.
Narrator: Downtown Hohman was preparing for this yearly baccanalia of peace on Earth and goodwill to men.
Mrs. Parker: Randy, will you eat? There are starving people in China! Randy: [groans and shoves spoon into his mouth]
Mr. Parker: [Explaining rather sheepishly to Mother why "Santa Claus" brought Ralphie the BB gun] Mr. Parker: I had one when I was eight years old. Mother: What if he hurts himself?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE!
Mr. Parker: You filty sicken hook-aid! Oh, smelly wok buster! Grout shell fratten house stickle fifer! You bladder puss nut grafter! Dorton hoper... Ralphie as Adult: What happened next was a family controversy for years. Mr. Parker: You wart mundane noodle! You shotten shifter paskabah! You snort tonguer! Lame monger snaffa shell cocker! [the sound of the lamp breaking is heard]
Ralphie as Adult: C+? Oh no, it CAN'T be! Ralphie: C+? Miss Shields: [in Ralphie's fantasy, dressed as the Wicked Witch] C+! C+! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Narrator: Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?
Mother: Is this another one of your silly puzzles? Mr. Parker: Yeah, another one of my silly puzzles. This one could be worth FIFTY THOUSAND BUCKS. Mother: What is it this time? Mr. Parker: Name the great characters in American literature. Mother: Victor? The Lone Ranger's nephew's horse?
Ralphie as Adult: [regarding the note on his report] Oh, no! "You'll shoot your eye out!"? Ralphie: Oh, no! Ralphie as Adult: My mother must have gotten to Miss Shields! There could be no other explanation! Miss Shields, Mother: [in Ralphie's fantasy, Miss Shields is dressed as the Wicked Witch and Ralphie's mother as a jester, both chanting] "You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ralphie as Adult: Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?
Man in Line for Santa: Young man. Hey, kid! Just where do you think you're going? Ralphie: Going up to see Santa. Man in Line for Santa: The line ENDS here. It begins THERE. [Points to the very end of a very long line]
Ralphie as Adult: My father's spare tires were only tires on the academic sense. They were round,and had once been made of rubber.
Mr. Parker: It could be a bowling alley! Mother: How are they going to deliver a bowling alley here tonight? Mr. Parker: They'll send the deed for cripesake. I didn't expect them to send a whole damn bowling alley.
Ralphie: Well, what have we got here, folks? Mr. Parker: Well, we figure it's Black Bart, uh, Ralph. Ralphie: Well, it's just me and my trusty old Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. Lucky I got a compass in the stock.
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