to get a kick out of asking me to draw his profile


Senior Member
Dear all,
could you please help me out with the expression 'to
get a kick out of asking me'. I've seen the thread 'get a kick out of you' started by quietdandalion, but neither of the meanings mentioned there seem to suit in the context (given below).

The expression in question is from the book by M.J. Nicholas 'Love and war'. He tells about his childhood in New-York city. His big brother shone pedestrians' shoes and M.J. made a sketch of the customer and then offered to sell it to him for a dime. It was then and there that the boys met Diego Rivera, a famous artist.

He (Diego Rivera) often stopped at our spot
to have John shine his beautiful high-heeled Mexican boots
so they glowed. He was a big, genial man, and seemed to
get a kick out of asking me to draw his profile.

I wonder what was Diego Rivera's motive. Did he ask M.J. to draw his profile
1) out of kindness to please M.J.;
2) to amuse himself;
3) for some irrational reason;
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo Alex. Your (2) is closest. He seemed to : enjoy / derive pleasure from : asking me to draw his profile.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Here's our dictionary definition:
    3informal a sharp stimulant effect.
    ■ a thrill of pleasurable excitement.
    As Ewie says, (2) is the closest, but it seems a little tepid. A 'kick', to me, is sharper and more intense, maybe even verging on irrationality (your sense (3)).


    Senior Member
    You see, I'm looking for adequate interpretation in Russian . To say 'to please himself', 'to amuse himself', 'to kill time', 'out of boredom' sounds bad. To say
    'to self-assert' would be too much, but 'out of professional curiosity' looks like ok. What would you say to this?


    Senior Member
    English English
    Out of professional curiosity sounds a bit (erm ...) 'dry' or 'cerebral'. It's more get a mysterious thrill out of.


    Senior Member
    My problem, Ewie, I don't understand the nature of this mysterious thrill. Rivera is famous, rich, there is no ground to think he's conceited. Why would he concede to the request of a boy-artist whose brother shines his shoes? Kindness, pity, self-assertion, curiosity, need to divert himself--neither of these seem relevant. But there must be the word!


    I would be more inclined to think that it is more to get pleasure out of irrational things, although amusement could also be the reason. For me it is connected to more irrational things. People can get a kick out of teasing somebody, out of having the most expensive Iphone, out of having the most torn pants, or just out of anything, the reason being often irrational.


    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, I agree with Liliana. (Well, it's not absolutely the first time;)) The suggestion is that MJ thinks, "I'm puzzled by it to this day ~ that the great Diego Rivera would want a humble shoeshine-boy's brother [not even a shoeshine boy himself!] to draw his portrait. Maybe he saw some spark of talent in me ... or maybe he was just a nutter":D

    P.S. I have absolutely no idea who M J Nicholas is ... does that matter?

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd say it means more "to get pleasure from something for some unknown reason", whether a person is talking about what they themselves get a kick out of or, as in this case, about what other people seem to get 'a kick from' or 'out of'. 'Irrational' sounds pejorative to me, even if it is only very slightly. My husband's behaviour is often 'irrational: I have no idea why he is annoying me so much; my own behaviour
    is never 'irrational' even if I don't clearly know why I am behaving in the particular way that others find 'irrational', annoying or even disapprove of, or even if I decide for myself that what I do is 'rational'.

    It seems to me that Diego Rivera's behaviour was kind and generous, even if it seemed to make no sense to others.

    Added: It took me ages to write my post because of interruptions.

    So Rivera did it 'for some reason'.

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