"You were on a helicopter?"
"You're scared of helicopters."
"Yeah, well. I'm right there. *Truly* horrible."
"They have no wings. You know that? :) They don't even have doors."
        - Maggie and Joel

"I think you're in denial."
"About what? Turning 30. That's ridiculous!"
"So heavily into denial, you're denying your denial."
        - Joel and Maggie

"I'm going to unzip your trousers and I'm going to pull them down over your hips. I'll try not to get turned on."
        - Joel, treating Maggie


"I didn't know you Jewish people were tall enough to care about Basketball.
        - Maurice to Joel

"I've got to go home, Coach Fleischman."
"I've got to do some things."
"Like what?"
"Eat. Sleep. Things like that."
        - Ed to Joel after a long workout


"Joel, the concept of random death in an indifferent world is one thing, but to be the instrument of that death? A dogkiller?... I don't suppose you'd tell the owners?"
        - Chris to Joel, after hitting the dog


"He's allergic."
"To what?"
"The twentieth century."
        - Joel to Maggie, on Mike

"I think of myself as a canary in a coal mine."
        - Mike to Joel

"Gimme a break, O'Connell. See, the bubble man is right out of Emily Bronte. He's handsome, flawed, and totally inaccessible. He's perfect for you."
        - Joel to Maggie, about Mike


"Words are a heavy thing ... they weigh you down. If birds talked, they couldn't fly."
        - Marilyn to the Flying Man


"I orbited the globe! All you had to do was go to the copying machine, and what did you do?"
        - Maurice chides Ed


"Death, like the white man, wasn't happy in his own land. He didn't think his kingdom was big enough. He wanted more. One night, when the good spirit was asleep, Death attacked the world. He killed a lot of people, and he took the Chief's prettiest daughter as his bride. She pretended to be a good wife, but one day she secretly fed him a pumpkin seed. The pumpkin grew and grew inside death. Finally, he exploded, and a million pumpkin seeds covered the earth."
"I still don't get it."
"A lot of people died, but a good thing came out of it, too."
"What was that? "
"It's the same with white people. They cleared the forest, they dug up the land, and they gave us the flu. But they also brought power tools and penicillin and Ben and Jerry's ice cream."
        - Marilyn explains the celebration of Death

"I'm amazed, Fleischman. You actually have a capacity for pleasure."
        - Maggie

"I may look white, but I am not. I am Jewish. Okay? Jewish. A fellow person of color. A victim of oppression."
        - Joel to Marilyn


"Back in my competitive days, Dr. Fleischman, you could drop a baton or mess up your statement of personal goals, none of the men would blink, as long as you smiled and displayed a well rounded personality. But the women; try to wear a lip gloss they'd never seen before or dare to squeeze your well toned buns into a size 4 swimsuit they couldn't wear on a bet, they'd mark you down all over the place. It was brutal."
"Well, Shelly, I hate to minimize your experience, but I hardly think that a beauty contest and a court of law are analogous."
"Well maybe not. But they're definitely the same."
        - Shelly and Joel, on men & women as judges

I know black people. I've been around black people, and I know how they talk. The say "thang" instead of "thing." They say "ax," "I ax you this, brother, I ax you that." Now, you don't say "ax." Neither does Colin Powell and that....that Denzel fellow.
        - Maurice to Bernard

"Although, admittedly, you're a racist and what you said makes me uncomfortable, there is a kernel of truth to it. Though, I suspect it has more to do with intellectual and cultural standards than it does with racial distinctions."
"Why is it that when I say something like that, I'm a racist, and when you say something like that, you're just being thoughtful."
"Oh no, Maurice, I'm a racist too. For a long time I didn't like being around white people. But once I realized that imperialism, slavery, and genocide weren't exclusively white institutions, it helped me loosen up a bit."
        - Bernard and Maurice


"I wouldn't mind so much if it made the slightest bit of sense. But this is just stupid."
"You can't look for logic, Maurice. With women, it seems that rabid emotion is the justification for everything."
"A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition G. K. Chesterson."
        - Maurice, Joel and Chris


O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you.
Angels are painted fair, to look like you:
There's in you all that we believe of heaven,
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
        - Chris reads Thomas Ottway: Venice Preserved. Act i. Sc. 1.


"Don't flatter yourself. Your family is no crazier than any other American nuclear unit. Believe me."
"Oh yeah? What would you say to a father who at 58 years old quits his job and buys a Buffalo ranch in South Dakota?"
"I'd say I would not be surprised if he had a daughter who was a bush pilot in the wilds of Alaska."
        - Joel and Maggie

"So tell us Joel, how did you and Mary Margaret meet?"
"Well, in a town of 849 people, I couldn't not meet her."
"Isn't that interesting!"
        - Joel is examined by family members

"So is Maggie still into those moonlight skinny-dips?"
"You and Maggie skinny dipped, huh?"
"Well, I don't want to tell tales out of school or anything."
"Can't be much to tell."
"Why's that? Because all the guys that got lucky are sprouting daisies about now."
        - Jed tries to psych out Joel during the basketball game

"OK Romeo, balcony scene is over."
        -  Joel to Jed, after Maggie interrupts their basketball game

"Why did you want to see me Mrs. Stowe?"
"Oh, I've never met a Jewish person before."
        - Joel sees Grammy

"You're right. You've got yourself a regular loony bin here. It's absolutely incredible that you survived. I don't know. I guess you're made of something."
        - Joel to Maggie


"I'm going to Seattle. The gateway to Alaska. I want an adventure."
        - Marilyn tells Joel she is going on vacation

"You did get traveler's checks, didn't you?"
"Look, muggers. OK? They smell cash on people. They do! They sniff it out and they lock on. Alright? With traveler's checks you can get your funds replaced."
"I want an adventure."
        - Joel advises Marilyn on travel

"I got to tell you, Shelly, I haven't felt like this since I went bow hunting in the Territories and brought down that barren ground caribou with a single arrow."
        - Holling receives his diploma


"There was a desert wind blowing that night.  It was one of those hot, dry, Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch.  On nights like that, every booze party ends in a fight.  Meek, little wives feel the edge of the carving knife
and study their husbands' necks.  Anything can happen."
        - Chris, reading from Raymond Chandler

"I came here to play an intelligent game, not to be victimized by some power freak with penis envy."
"I ought to just punch you in the nose."
"You and which army?"
"You think I'm bluffing?"
"Go ahead, O'Connell. Right there."
        - Joel to Maggie, playing Risk

"Kamchatka has way more strategic value than Siberia!"
        - Joel, exasperated by Maggie's Risk tactics

They say it's an ill wind that bloweth no man to good. I think our own Dr. Joel Fleischman will attest to that. For those of you who missed it, Maggie scored a one round decision over Dr. Fleischman last night. Right jab to the old honker. Pow! T.K.O. What better sign that the coho winds are once again upon us... My advice this year, don't fight them, embrace them. Know your enemy.
        - Chris

It's an ancient concept. Confucius once used that very word to summarize his entire philosophy, and Muslims cherish the idea of mutual obligation. By their standards, if someone saves your life, you owe that person until you save his. But that notion is hardly universal. Certain native American cultures, for example, believe that saving a life, that good deeds in general, are a person's natural function and thus require no special reward.
        - Chris to Maurice, on saving life

"Let's get this over with once and for all. Come on. Damage this Fleischman!" (Maggie points to her nose).
"O'Connell, you're making a fool of yourself."
"Come on Fleischman, give it your best shot."
"Hit her Doc."
"Chance of a lifetime Fleischman. This is a one-time offer."
"O'Connell, believe me, nothing would give me more pleasure than wiping that smirk off your perfectly arranged face, but, ultimately, I'd rather own your plane and your truck and your house and all other attachments."
        - Maggie, Joel, and a bystander

"Fleischman, normally I give 30 days. I thought in your case a week was *very* generous."
        - Maggie serves Joel with an eviction notice

"What is it? The wind that suddenly makes everyone think they can threaten the town doctor with impunity?"
        - Joel to Maurice

"This ain't New York.  It's not even the 20th century."
        - Joel, about Alaska

"You know ever since you've gotten here people have wondered when are they gonna do it; are they gonna do it..."
        - Maggoe to Joel

"We'll be here to answer questions later."
        - Maggie after Joel & Maggie's announcement of sex

"As far as I'm concerned, we buried the needle."
"Discovered another planet."
"You should have seen the claw marks this morning."
"Beyond, beyond."
        - Joel and Maggie, the morning after


"She's probably trying to put the whole thing behind her."
"I beg your pardon?"
"That's what I'd do if I had knowledge of you in the Biblical sense."
        - Ruth Anne to Joel, about Maggie

"It's a tribal ritual. Formal. Correct. This is what I'm talking about. This is what we are missing from mainstream America, some perspective; some dignity; some structure to make sense of this mating game."
        - Joel, impressed by Ed's arranged marriage after his troubles with Maggie

"Take a good look, though. Girls tend to turn into their mother and we're not talking about a pretty sight here."
        - Joel to Ed, about his arranged fiance Debbie

"It's not Debbie I miss so much as the idea of her."
        - Ed to Joel

"Look at yourself, Holling. You used to go out and kill things. Now you're bivouacing with an old woman and a zoom lens."
        - Maurice, not impressed with birdwatching

"I don't know why, but bourbon always tastes better out of a tin can."
        - Ruth Anne, enjoying the outdoor life

"Pretending it didn't happen won't make it go away. You can't close your eyes, click your heels, and make it disappear. You're not Dorothy, I'm not Toto, and this is definitely not Kansas."
        - Joel to Maggie

"It must be like eighth grade when I broke my leg skiing. The whole thing was so horrendous and so horrible that my mind just blacked the whole thing out."
"Well, I'm flattered and touched."
        - Maggie and Joel

"More than once?"
"I stopped counting when my fingers went numb."
"Oh God!"
"My guess it's some sort of land speed endurance record for a man my age."
"What else?"
"We made a general announcement at the Brick. You didn't want people talking behind your back."
"Oh, God."
"Yep, that pretty much covers it."
        - Maggie and Joel, admitting the truth

"Like what kind of things did you forget?"
"Well. Uh. Maurice almost fell off the roof of the Brick. Al Simmons' barn blew over. I had sex with Fleischman, and a whole herd of sheep went through Cicely."
"What'd you just say?"
"A whole herd of sheep went through Cicely."
        - Mike and Maggie

"So, wait a minute, let me get this straight. I'm expendable but he's not."
"Right. Well."
"You're saying it's okay to have sex with me, because it's no big deal if I croak, but you don't want to fool around with Mike because you're afraid that he'll kick the bucket?"
        - Joel and Maggie, about Mike and sex


"I'd guess you're homeless."
"I prefer the term hobo."
"Hobo.  Makes sense.  Lot less negative baggage to carry.  Implies a life choice instead of a state of being.  Hobo.  Howling up the open road, riding the rails, shanty towns, nail soup?  Very picturesque."
        - Bernard and Lance

"See, what I realized is ... a person has three choices in life.  You can swim against the tide and get exhausted, or you can tread water and let the tide sweep you away, or you can swim with the tide, and let it take you where it wants you to go."
        - Joel to Marilyn, returning to work

Goethe's final words: "More light."  Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, "More light."  Sunlight. Torchlight.  Candlelight.  Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's field.  Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep.
Light is more than watts and footcandles.  Light is metaphor.  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.  Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on, the night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on.  Arise, shine, for thy light has come.  Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.
        - Chris, unveiling his sculpture, quoting Psalm 119, Dylan Thomas, JH Newman, Isaiah


They say that blood is thicker than water.  Maybe that's why we battle our own with more energy and gusto than we would ever expend on strangers.
        - Chris

"We are definitely not friends, O'Connell.  Think about what friends do."
"What do they do?"
"They have dinners, and they have conversations, and they go to the movies, and they help each other move ..."
"So?  Well, friends don't go into barns and tear each other's clothes off in an uncontrolled sexual frenzy and then proceed to go at it in the dirt."
        - Joel to Maggie

Marriage.  You've probably read in Time and Newsweek that it's a dying institution.  But, try brooking a reception hall in June.  Like the proverbial lemmings at the cliff, everybody's still lining up to take the big plunge.
        - Chris

"How about desirous?"
"Mutually desirous incompatibles."
        - Maggie and Joel describe their relationship


"No man could move his bowels in here!"
        - Joel, touring a pink bathroom


"Maurice is having a party? What for?"
"Because he's alone and rich."
        - Joel and Marilyn

"They're monuments to himself. Maurice celebrating Maurice..."
        - Ruth Anne, about Maurice's parties

"Who do we have here? Cain? Abel?"
        - Joel, meeting Eve's new baby


"You can dress it up any way you want, but anthropologically speaking, we're only a nanosecond away from spears, loincloths, and sleeping up in the trees."
        - Chris, looking forward to a fight

"As close as we are today, tomorrow when we come back from that battlefield, we will be as close as two men can possibly be, sharing a bond that can only be forged in the face of imminent disfigurement. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.  For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."
        - Chris to Bernard

"Here I am, a certified public accountant, ready to sacrifice years of dental work for an ancestral vendetta which I knew nothing about until yesterday."
        - Bernard

"He moves like an Elk."
        - Marilyn to Shelly, describing Holling


"You know what I prayed?  In February I actually prayed for spring to come to relieve us of this oppressive, relentless, dismal, dark winter.  What was I thinking?  I must have been out of my mind.  How could I forget the mosquitos? It's like the state bird of Alaska."
        - Joel

"Fleischman, you're so typically male!"
        - Maggie to Joel


"It's like a Western cultural thing. We think the whole point of sex is consummation, ejaculation.  Let me tell you, things go down a lot different in other parts of the world. Take the Hindu Tantrics for example.  These guys approach sex like a process. It's touching, it's sexual connection on a spiritual level."
        - Chris to Holling


"I'm the doctor, I don't know anything about trees."
"Let us decide that.  We paid for your education, let us use it the way we see fit."
        - Joel and Maurice


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