My take on the PyWeek 21 theme candidates

PyWeek 21's theme candidates are track titles from the motion picture soundtrack for Beetlejuice (1988), directed by Tim Burton, a fantasy comedy about a recently deceased couple learning the ropes of the bizarre afterlife with the help of the mischievous ghost Betelgeuse. The track titles refer to events in the film.

In the model: A model can be a representation of something else, either physically scaled (model airplane) or more abstractly structural (model government, model organism). The whole idea of modeling something allows for instances of mind-bending self-reference. A model can also be someone who appears on a runway or on camera to show off a product, especially in the case of a fashion model.

In the film, Barbara and Adam are shrunk down and put into Adam’s model town, where they first meet Betelgeuse. (soundtrack)

Jump in line refers to dancing. To jump is to push yourself up into the air with your legs. It implies a quick motion (jump to conclusions). A line is a one-dimensional shape in mathematics (border line), or something that suggests a series of objects or people (standing in line, line of thinking, product line).

Harry Belafonte’s iconic 1961 cover of Lord Kitchener’s 1946 song “Jump in Line" is played at the end of the film. (scene)

Showtime! is the time at which a show starts, whether it be a stage performance, film, or television show. Especially because of its relation to stage shows, showtime is when everything is ready and the action begins. Time is the physical phenomenon by which things happen one after the other (time flies). Show means to make visible, demonstrate, or display (show me the money)

Betelgeuse says “It’s showtime" when his plan is set in motion. (soundtrack)

The aftermath is the state of things after a devastating event. Things that might have an aftermath include natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes), human disasters (nuclear meltdown, murder), wars, and to a lesser extent, dramatic events in your everyday life (romantic breakup, dental checkup, broken appliances). The term originally referred to grass growing after being mowed, but “math" meaning “mowing" is unrelated to mathematics, which comes from the word for “learn".


The incantation: An incantation is words spoken to invoke a magical spell, or during a ritual. Incantation comes from the word for chant, which suggests a rhythmic, musical expression. Famous examples of incantations are abracadabra, hocus pocus, and open sesame. Magical spells in fantasy can be positive (charms) or negative (curses or hexes).

I don’t remember exactly what this refers to in the film, but it might be how you have to summon Betelguese by incanting his name three times. (soundtrack)