Statistics Saturday: Amount Of The Plot Of 1994’s _The Mask_ That I Remember At All


Based on the Wikipedia summary of the plot, how much I remember of a movie I have seen possibly as much as twice back in the 90s:

Bit Of Plot Do I Remember It?
Stanley Ipkiss is a shy and unlucky bank clerk working at the local Edge City bank. Yes
He is frequently ridiculed by everyone around him, except for his Jack Russell Terrier Milo, and his co-worker and best friend Charlie Schumaker. Yes
Meanwhile, gangster Dorian Tyrell, owner of the Coco Bongo nightclub, plots to overthrow his boss Niko. No
One day, Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle into Stanley’s bank to record its layout, in preparation to rob the bank. No
Stanley is attracted to Tina, and she seems to reciprocate. No
After being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, he finds a wooden mask near the city’s harbor. Yes
Placing it on his face transforms him into a zoot-suited, green-faced, bizarre trickster known as the Mask, who is able to cartoonishly alter himself and his surroundings at will. Yes
Stanley scares off a street gang that attempts to rob him by turning a balloon into a Tommy gun, and then he exacts revenge on his tormentors. No
The next morning, Stanley encounters detective Lieutenant Kellaway and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt investigating the Mask’s activity of the previous night. No
To attend Tina’s performance, he again becomes the Mask to raid the bank, inadvertently foiling Tyrell’s plan in the process. No
At the Coco Bongo, Stanley dances exuberantly with Tina, whom he ends up kissing. I guess?
Following a confrontation with Tyrell for disrupting the bank robbery, Stanley flees leaving behind a scrap of cloth from his suit that transforms back into his pajamas, while Tyrell is arrested by the police as a suspect for the bank robbery. Yes?
Based on the shred of cloth, Kellaway suspects Stanley to be the bank robber. Yes
Stanley later consults a psychiatrist who has recently published a book on masks, and is told that the object may be a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Maybe?
The same night, Stanley transforms into the Mask and meets Tina at a local park, but the meeting is interrupted by Kellaway, who attempts to arrest him. No
Stanley tricks a large group of police officers into joining him in a mass-performance of the Desi Arnaz song “Cuban Pete”, takes off the mask and flees with Peggy, but she betrays him to Tyrell for a $50,000 bounty. Yes, up through that “Cuban Pete” thing, although the rest of that is a mystery to me.
Tyrell tries on the mask and becomes a malevolent green-faced monster. No
Forced to reveal the location of the stolen money, Stanley is kept hostage in one of the mob’s cars while Tyrell’s henchmen search his apartment. No
With the money now in the hands of Tyrell’s gang, Stanley is then delivered to Kellaway, along with a rubber green mask, where he is arrested. No
When Tina visits Stanley in his cell, he urges her to flee the city. No
Tina thanks Stanley for treating her with respect and tells him that she knew that he was the Mask all along. No
She attempts to leave the city, but is captured by Tyrell’s men and forcibly taken to a charity ball at the Coco Bongo hosted by Niko and attended by the city’s elite, including Mayor Tilton. No
Upon arrival, the masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina with dynamite. No
Milo helps Stanley escape from his cell, and Stanley brings Kellaway as a cover and hostage in a desperate attempt to stop Tyrell. No
After locking Kellaway in his car, Stanley enters the club and manages to enlist the help of Charlie, but is soon after spotted and captured. No
Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which is recovered and donned by Milo, turning the dog into a cartoonish pitbull who wreaks havoc among Tyrell’s men, while Stanley fights Tyrell himself. Yes
After recovering the mask, Stanley uses its abilities to save Tina by swallowing Tyrell’s bomb and flushing Tyrell down the drain of the club’s ornamental fountain. No
The police arrive and arrest Tyrell’s remaining henchmen, while Kellaway attempts to arrest Stanley once again. No
Mayor Tilton intervenes and demands that Kellaway release Stanley, declaring that Tyrell was The Mask the whole time. No
As the sun rises the following day, Stanley, Tina, Milo and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor. I guess?
Tina throws the mask into the water, and she and Stanley kiss. Yes
Charlie then jumps in the water to retrieve the mask for himself, only to have it taken by Milo first. Yes
The film ends with Stanley kissing Tina, quoting the Mask’s catchphrase: “SssssMOKIN’!!!” Not really, but it makes sense so I probably kind of remember it?
Sentences To Describe Plot: 33

Sentences I Remember At All: 14

Percentage Remembered: 42%

The Chuckletrousers Decades


So back on the 17th of March, 1994, the newspaper-syndicated humorist Dave Barry was reading something on Usenet, which was becoming a thing back then, and he wanted to write back to his friend who was there, and as is the fashion, he wrote a snarky little thing that used a couple of the words you can’t use as a newspaper-syndicated humorist, and made prominent use of the name “Mister Chuckletrousers”, which he’d recently picked up on a trip to Britain from a headline he didn’t understand. And after finishing his little reply he realized that instead of replying to the author, he’d replied to the post, putting it out for everyone in the newsgroup to see.

The newsgroup, where he’d been lurking, was alt.fan.dave_barry.

This was rather an exciting time to be in alt.fan.dave_barry, as you might imagine, as it set off a lot of debate about whether this was actually Dave Barry or just someone pretending to be him, and what the “Mister Chuckletrousers” thing could possibly mean, and, well, if it was him then what did it mean that the guy the group was gathered round to talk about was actually there in the group listening? Which doesn’t sound like anything today, but back in 1994, you only got direct contact with people you were a fan of by the traditional methods, like, their being minor characters on a Star Trek series and your going to a convention and paying money to get their autograph.

Anyway, somehow, the guy Dave Barry was responding to didn’t see it, and asked if someone could send him a copy of the post, and the newsgroup displayed an electrifying energy and complete lack of common sense and a few days later the guy asked that people please stop as he had received 2,038 copies and didn’t need any more.

Over the coming weeks there’d be confirmation that the Chuckletrousers Incident really did happen and really did involve Dave Barry: a guy who shared his ISP said it was him (and who could doubt that?), a mention of Chuckletrousers came up in his columns, and then, the number 2,038 started getting mentioned when the text needed some arbitrary number to be included. Eventually Dave Barry himself described the incident for his book Dave Barry In Cyberspace, which is the sort of late-90s explain-the-Internet book that’s fascinating because it captures a bunch of the memes and obsessions of the Internet of the summer of 1997. Both Chuckletrousers and 2,038 still turn up in Dave Barry’s writings, a little joke sent out to a community of people who witnessed flaming Pop-Tarts (which is what the Internet did back before the Mentos and Diet Coke thing was discovered) that has long since left behind alt.fan.dave_barry.

I also delurked on alt.fan.dave_barry in the middle of March, 1994, but nobody noticed at the time.

I also meant to write this in mid-February, because my brain insists on thinking this all happened shortly after Valentine’s Day that year, but it didn’t, so I didn’t, after I checked.

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