If you’re a Men in Black fan, you may be thinking, “I know exactly what you’re talking about! Yes! Tommy Lee Jones is awesome as agent K!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to MIB3 as much as the next person, but when I say that K is the greatest (and worst) letter in film history, that’s not what I mean.
I’m not talking about Men in Black, or Tommy Lee Jones. I’m talking about The Man in Black and 15 awesome seconds from The Princess Bride:
This moment is brilliantly written and flawlessly delivered. There are so many ways it COULD have been done, but instead, it was done PERFECTLY.
It’s a funny little moment in a funny little sword fight, but good comedy contains truth. Innigo is truly “used to disappointment.” He’s been seeking to avenge his father’s death for over 20 years, and he’s starting to lose confidence. He just works for Vizzini to pay the bills. It’s not a lot of money or revenge.
He’s so resigned to it all that when he answers the Man in Black, he doesn’t even muster up the energy for the first half of “ok.”
“K” will suffice.
That’s the soul sucking chorus that the world gives us over and over: Get used to disappointment.
Way back when, I remember telling some guys that I had gotten engaged. They were older than me, and married, and the response I got was a chorus of “Oh yeah, the old ball and chain…say goodbye to your freedom,” etc. etc. Get used to disappointment.
The chorus gets repeated over and over, by people we know and in our own heads. Ain’t nothing good.
What a contrast with, “In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I have a lot to be thankful for, but still, it’s easy to get pulled into the disappointment vortex. There’s a little bit of Eeyore living in all of us, waiting to say, “I might have known, after all, one can’t complain. Thanks for noticing me.”
I’ve got to be more careful about that, so that the next time life says to me, “Get used to disappointment.” I don’t say, “K.” It’s a Great Film Moment in The Princess Bride, but it’s a terrible way to live your life.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3 22, 23
Postscript: It doesn’t hurt that Innigo’s “K” line is immediately followed by one of the most brilliant, absurd, under appreciated sword fighting moments in film history. Watch it again, and marvel.