The Penny Chronicles

My name is Penny.

I don’t understand the old boring guy. He’s always doing things that make no sense.

IMG_1742I know he doesn’t like snow. That’s for sure!

Everyone knows that when it snows you do two things — play in the snow, or stay inside. I like to do both. I like to play in the snow, but when it gets too cold I like to go back inside and sit with the Leader, and wait for her to give us some food. Kasey does, too.

The old boring guy doesn’t do that. When it snows, he goes outside and tries to move the snow around. He throws the snow in the air. Why? I bark at him through the window. That bugs him! But I’m trying to tell him that throwing the snow makes no sense during the winter.

He throws the snow one way, and then the other, then he comes inside. Then it starts snowing again, and he goes outside and does it all over again, day after day. What’s the point? It’s winter! But the old boring guy never learns.

What Was The Point Of The Ice Fishing Story?

In one of the early scenes of American Hustle, Bradley Cooper’s eager FBI agent tries to convince his stodgy boss, played by comedian Louis C.K., to authorize an audacious sting operation. The boss resists, and to explain his opposition he begins to tell a “life lesson” story about an ice fishing experience with his brother when they were kids.

The story gets interrupted . . . but the hook has been set firmly with Bradley Cooper’s character, who asks his boss about the unfinished ice fishing story every time he sees him thereafter. The story comes out in dribs and drabs as the movie progresses. We learn that the boys went out on the ice in October, earlier than they should have. We learn that their father finds out. But we never hear the end of the story, or the point it is supposed to convey. Bradley Cooper guesses that the younger brother falls through the ice and dies, and the point of the story is that you shouldn’t take unnecessary risks, but the boss says that’s not it.

American Hustle is one of those movies you want to watch again; after you see the ending you want to know when you could first figure what would ultimately happen. It’s like The Sixth Sense, where you want to determine when you could reasonably have concluded – from his clothing, from his lack of actual interaction with living people except for Haley Joel Osment, and other clues — that the Bruce Willis character was a ghost. I’d like to try to put together the elements of the unfinished ice fishing story, to figure out what it was really meant to convey.

Incidentally, Louis C.K. has revealed what he says was the actual ending of the ice fishing story. It’s a crappy ending and I don’t buy it, because it doesn’t fit with the character of the conservative FBI boss or the scenario when he first began to tell the tale. Maybe it’s best that the resolution of the ice fishing story should forever be left untold.