While flipping through a magazine, I passed an article discussing beloved cashier Lillian Cunningham, who worked at a university. I nearly choked on a particular snippet, wherein Maryanne Wolf described her young son’s relationship with Lillian, who acted as his babysitter:
When Lil took on the job of babysitting [David Noam], the two became inseparable. “Lil and David were Boston’s version of Harold and Maude,” Wolf recounts. “Over the years they would walk hand in hand through the neighborhood. Waitresses beamed, storekeepers grinned.”
I strongly suspect Ms. Wolf has not actually seen “Harold and Maude”, or at the least doesn’t recall the details. On its face, the film is about a young man who befriends an old woman. But if you’ve actually seen the film, you know that it was hardly an odd couple buddy picture. Instead, it was a black comedy featuring a death-obsessed man in his 20s who befriends a 79-year-old woman, ultimately becoming her lover.
So, ya know, ick, Ms. Wolf. Ick.
Previously in misused references: William Styron Must Be Rolling Over in His Grave