Saturday, January 20, 2007

A new contest! Jumping the shark

It's time for a new contest!

One of my favorite slang expressions is "jumping the shark." It comes from the old television show "Happy Days". In one scene, the character of Fonzie was water skiing and he jumped over a pen with a shark in it. When watching this scene, an astute viewer realized that Happy Days was no longer worth watching. For a video clip of this scene. (This phrase now has its own website).

Let's define "jumping the shark" to mean a moment that signifies a irreversible drop in quality of some social occurrence.

This contest will reward the best use of this phrase in a sentence. While the phrase was developed in reference to television shows, let's apply it to any aspect of life. The one condition is that it has to have really happened (i.e., no making up funny situations).

Here's my entry. I knew that class one afternoon had jumped the shark when I tried to imitate Michael Jackson moonwalking, complete with a Jackson-esque yelp.

In my last contest, Dan Myers won a quart of maple syrup for his caption of a sumo wrestling picture. This time the prize will be a UConn t-shirt.


Knumb said...

My manhood jumped the shark when I bought a minivan.

Dan Myers said...

I knew my candidacy for a job at the University of [deleted for anonymity] jumped the shark when during my job talk, the Dept. Chair (who was stting in the front row) fell asleep.

brewright said...

Here's the funny thing... the same thing happened to me during a job talk. I checked with Dan and it was the same person. Then a friend wrote me to guess (accurately) who this person was and say that s/he had fallen asleep during my friend's dissertation defense.

A serial snoozer!

Daniel said...

Honestly, I have heard this phrase way too many times. So for me "jump the shark" has jumped the shark.

Brad Wright said...

Good one Daniel... ironic.

I wonder if this phrase varies by region or age? When I use it (every chance I get), people usually haven't heard of it.