8 Essential Life Lessons from Fast Times at Ridgemont High
You’d think it’d be impossible to extract any knowledge from the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But between all the pot smoking and sex, there were some real gems to be had from Cameron Crowe’s film, which celebrates its 31st anniversary today. (mostly, everything your high school teachers were too afraid to teach you). Here, lessons on becoming a successful adult from some genius (read: stoned) high schoolers.
“You are a wuss: part wimp, and part pussy.”—Mike Damone
Insults should be creative, explicit and, whenever possible, gender inclusive. When none of the existing pejoratives reflect the severity of the situation, make one up!
Brad Hamilton: Why don’t you get a job, Spicoli?
Jeff Spicoli: What for?
Brad Hamilton: You need money.
Jeff Spicoli: All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.
Working is for the ignorant who only find enjoyment in consumerism—or running water. Enlightened individuals, presumably ones with questionable hygiene, seek greater pleasures, such as being one with nature. (Read: Smoking tons of pot.)
“People on ‘ludes should not drive.”—Jeff Spicoli
Obviously. On ‘ludes or other mind-altering substances? Hitch a ride with a friend. It’s the prudent thing to do.
Stacy Hamilton: When a guy has an orgasm, how much comes out?
Linda Barrett: A quart or so.
Male ejaculation is a subject that has puzzled women for centuries. What’s normal? Should I bring a change of clothes on my next date? But thanks to Fast Times, women know to expect a gusher of a good time. Remember, ladies, geysers make for hot sex. This can also explain the raincoat euphemism used for condoms. As in, you better grab that raincoat—it’s going to pour! Years later, There’s Something About Mary presented semen as a veritable alternative to hair gel, but we think Ben Stiller just had a weak stream.
Stacy Hamilton: Linda, I finally figured it out. I don’t want sex. Anyone can have sex.
Linda Barrett: Yeah, Stacy? What do you want?
Stacy Hamilton: I want a relationship. I want romance.
Linda Barrett: You want romance? In Ridgemont? We can’t even get cable TV here, Stacy, and you want romance!
Romance and cable are mutually exclusive. This explains why Nielsen seeks cat ladies to boost ratings, or why your parents subscribe to all the premium channels while your idea of cable is downloading last night’s episode of Dexter. At a certain age, the relationship you have with your remote trumps any sort of amorous expectations between you and your significant other.
“Hey, bud, let’s party.”—Spicoli
When it comes to having fun, keep it simple.
“Learn it. Know it. Live it.”—Brad Hamilton
Stop vacillating between important life choices, such as wearing a tee shirt in public. Make a decision—no matter how bad it is—and stick to it. Poor judgment executed with conviction is totally acceptable. It’s all in the delivery. If only Spicoli learned this sooner.