Lex (Luthor) #atozchallenge

Lex Luthor, as I’m sure everyone who reads comic books knows (come on, admit it), is the archenemy of Superman. He’s known for his bald head and his super-intelligence and really gives Superman a run for his money, but Superman always ends up winning and Lex ends up in jail. In the 1978 movie Superman with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, Lex was played by the veteran actor Gene Hackman.

Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor (source: IMDB)

I bring this up because it’s crucial to the story…

Have you ever had a situation where you draw an absolute mental block on someone’s name? I have.

After my brother Pat’s high school graduation, we were all sitting at dinner at a very nice restaurant, and Mary and I are talking to my brother Jim and his wife Lisa. The subject was movies, and we were talking about a movie that Gene Hackman was in (since Pat graduated in 1993, I’m going to guess it was The Firm). And I said, “oh that’s the movie with…” And I drew a blank: not only could I not remember Gene Hackman’s name, I couldn’t remember anything he was in except Superman. So I went with it. “…the guy who played Lex Luthor in Superman.”

I thought Jim was going to wet his pants. “John! Gene Hackman? The French Connection, A Bridge Too Far, The Poseidon Adventure, and all you can remember is he was Lex Luthor in Superman?” I tried to protest, but he was having too much fun with it.

Incidentally, later in the same conversation, Mary is talking about going to Blockbuster (or Hollywood Video, I’m not sure) and picking out movies, and she says “Sometimes, when I’m feeling really generous, I’ll tell John to go out and pick a couple of movies for us to watch…”

Jim bursts out laughing again. “Oh, God, you let him pick out movies?” (My taste is a little on the, for lack of a better word, eclectic side, as you can probably guess.) “I can just imagine what he comes home with. There’s probably a section in the video store that’s covered in cobwebs and dust… the John section! you know, Mystery, Suspense, Drama, Comedy… JOHN!”

Mary has suggested that, if I should ever write the book everyone’s nagging me to write, I should name it The John Section. I was thinking Shanty Irish, but The John Section is growing on me…

32 thoughts on “Lex (Luthor) #atozchallenge

    1. Hollywood Video used to have a section of indie films, and I’d pick one of those occasionally. One was about a Chinese bathhouse, where the owner’s son comes home to help his father run it. Can’t remember its name, but it was a beautiful story. Another was “Hope And Glory,” about an English boy’s memories of growing up during World War II and being without his father, who was off killing the Huns. Another was “The War of the Buttons,” which was about two opposing gangs of boys in Ireland who would capture members of the other gang and cut a button off the kid’s clothes. Stuff like that.


      1. Those all sound good! Would “Shower” (1999) be the one about the Chinese bathhouse? The local library has a copy of Hope and Glory, and I will keep searching for Shower and The War of the Buttons (I found a newer version, 2013, but I don’t think that’s the one).


  1. I might prefer the titles in the John section. What passes for comedy isn’t funny, and most dramas are boring. Suspense is usually bloody horrors now. Eclectic sounds good!
    I wonder if soon we’ll have a generation that will ask, “What’s Blockbuster?”
    And, yes, I forget names. I am terrible at names. Sometimes I think through the alphabet and hope my memory pauses on the correct letter for a first name at least.
    Is Jim the older brother?


    1. No, I’m the oldest. Jim’s next, then Kip (who comments here from time to time), then Pat.

      The thing is, they want the 18-35’s and don’t want the 55 and up crowd. And we’re the ones with all the money. Gone are the days of well-written movies and TV shows. All hail CGI and four-letter words. Fifty years ago, Dad was a genius; now, he’s an idiot.


  2. Now, if you’re anything like me you know you’re waiting for the day that your brother will lose that special name in a movie and you know it, right? Well John, you’re day will come and I know you’ll have him stumped. I’ve seen you in action around here and you get me every single time and many others too. I have faith in you… uh… uh… what did you say your name was??? ~hehehe~ Have a great day what’s your name!!!!


  3. I’d read your book no matter the title but “The John Section” just has a ring to it. When has Mary ever steered you wrong? Probably never. You should go for it!


  4. One year I left for Christmas break and when I got back to school two weeks later, I’d forgotten the names of the students in a freshman English class. I was very young, so it wasn’t my age. That was just a boring class. I won’t say which one, since you never know who’ll read this.


  5. I’ve done the same thing with other stars. Gene was so good as Lex. You would find me in the same section at the video store..btw…love Hope and Glory!


  6. Who doesn’t like Lex Luthor? He’s such a great villain 🙂 Don’t feel bad: the expressions on my family’s faces when I’ve chosen a movie goes from “eek” to “oh, she didn’t choose something with subtitles”.

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing: Two Sides of the L


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