Sister’s move brings up quotes from Oz

By Helena Rodriguez: CNJ staff writer

“I think I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.”

Those are the words my mom said to my 5-year-old niece, Marissa, as she hugged her goodbye when my sister Julie moved her family to Odessa, Texas, in April.

Since then, Mom has referred to Marissa as her little scarecrow and that got my daughter Laura and myself arguing recently. True, we could have debated the war in Iraq, immigration, or got into some exciting, hot-button teen verses mom issue, like dating or summer curfews. The issue at hand, however, was this term “scarecrow” and what Mom meant by it.

I thought Mom called Marissa “Scarecrow” because she resembles a scarecrow, with her tiny frame and a full mop of raggedly cute hair. Laura, however, insisted that Mom was referring to a quote from the Wizard of Oz movie.

Well, since, I am always right, which Laura herself acknowledged at this moment, thank you, she told me to call my mom. So I call Mom and say, “Mom, why do you call Marissa ‘Scarecrow’?” And Mom replies, “You know in the Wizard of Oz movie, when Dorothy tells the scarecrow she will miss him most ….”

So, in a rare moment of victory for all argumentative teens who are trying hard to prove their mothers wrong, Laura was right. I humbly accepted this defeat, which I’m sure will be an exception rather than a norm.

Then I started thinking about the lasting presence of some of these famous movie quotes and how they creep into our culture in seemingly small, yet powerful ways.

I’m sure you movie buffs can come up with some famous one liners from the big screen:
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” (Gone With the Wind, 1939)
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” (The Godfather, 1972)
“Here’s looking at you, kid” (Casablanca, 1942)
“May the Force be with you” (Star Wars, 1977)
“They’re here!” (Poltergeist, 1982)
But from the Wizard of Oz alone, I found many memorable quotes on the Internet. Many of them can have multiple meanings and be applied in the most serious or humorous of situations. Here they are:
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain?” (Wizard of Oz)
“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” (Glinda, the Good Witch of the North)
“You have no power here! Be gone with you!” (Glinda)
“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking?” (Scarecrow)
“I’ll get you my little pretty, and your little dog, too!” (Wicked Witch)
“I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do!” (Lion)
“I’m melting! I’m melting!” (Wicked Witch)
“Now, state your business!” (Emerald City Doorman)
“Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said come back tomorrow.” (Wizard of Oz)
“Going so soon! I wouldn’t hear of it. Why, my little party’s just beginning?” (Wicked Witch)
“Toto, I have the feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (Dorothy)
“Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!” (Dorothy)
“Joy! Rapture! I’ve got a brain!” (Scarecrow)
“Who ever thought a little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?” (Wicked Witch)
“You people should consider yourself lucky that I’m granting you an audience tomorrow instead of 20 years from now.” (Wizard of Oz)
“For 23 years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now … well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!” (Aunt Em to Miss Almira Gulch).
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” (Wizard of Oz)

Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at:
helena_rodriguez@link.freedom.com