Napolean Dynamite is a big favorite in the Yen household. My kids (and Kim and I) liked it so much we bought it.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when a skinny high school guy is getting roughed up by a couple of high jock/jerks. Napolean's best friend Pedro, who is running an unlikely campaign to become class President, walks up to him afterward and declares "You are now under the protection of Pedro."
Pedro is as skinny and even smaller than Napolean, and one was left to wonder how in the hell Pedro was going to protect him.
Later in the movie, the same jerks are about to hassle the kid again, out by the high school's bike racks. Suddenly a couple of menacing-looking cholos pull up in a low-rider, glare at the bullies and quietly shake their heads "no." The bullies prudently back off.
I thought of Pedro today.
Among my errands today was to spend a small fortune and fill the tank of my Chevy Blazer, which was perilously close to "E." I had Sirius satellite radio playing-- my favorite channel, Little Steven's Underground garage. The deejay, record producer Kim Fowley, was playing a song from early punk legends The Dictators-- their great, amped up punk cover of the Rivieras' surf classic "California Sun." The Dictators, who reunited a few years back, are fronted by "Handsome" Dick Manitoba, who in addition to himself having a great show on the Underground Garage, is singing for Detroit legends The MC5.
In any event, I was enjoying it so much, I left the keys in ignition and kept the door open and the stereo blasting as I gassed up. As I did this, a group of three teenaged girls approached the gas station. I didn't pay much attention to them except for the fact that they seemed a little overdressed for a Saturday morning, wearing dowdy dresses.
They walked right past me and walked up to all the other people at the gas station and handed them pamphlets. It dawned on me that they must be handing out religious pamphlets, perhaps Jehovah's Witnesses.
I wondered for a second why they hadn't tried to hand me one, and then realized-- it was the punk music blaring from my car stereo.
Rock on, Dictators! Protect me from religious zealotry!