Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Innocence And the Folly of Deceit

Yesterday husband and I took the boys to see "Over The Hedge". After ten years of parenting, I've learned that despite clever trailers that romance us with hilarious antics and witty banter, children's movies are often mind-numbingly soporiphic. I assume this is an effort to keep the under 17 set from running amok in the theatre, glued to their seats mindlessly shoving carbohydrate and sugar laden treats into mouths slackened by the cheery but hypnotic soundtrack.

But once in a while, the movie industry blesses us with a rare gem of a children's movie. "Over the Hedge" was one of those movies. So, despite the fact that the first theatre had some kind of sound system glitch which resulted in only the sound effects being audible, the subsequent trek to another auditorium, sloshing soda and leaving a trail of popcorn, and another glitch that caused the movie to freeze about three seconds into was well worth the $437.25 we spent on tickets and ridiculously oversized snacks.

This post is not intended to be a review, but I do want to express that this movie was incredibly funny, clever, and engaging. Steve Carell is absolutely hilarious as Hammy, and while he is definitely the star of the show, the other characters are equally entertaining. Gary Shandling, Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte are a few of the other actors who lent their voices to the film. William Shatner, in a delightful show of self-mockery, is the voice of Ozzie, a possum who takes the art of playing dead to a new level with his erm..."acting" skills. There were two women seated behind us who were not accompanied by children. They laughed uproariously (as did all the adults) throughout the entire movie.

What I really wanted to tell you about was the encounter I had in the ladies room just prior to the movie, with Annie. As I approached the ladies room, I saw a man about my age standing as close to the ladies room door as he could in order to quickly avert disaster should it strike, without arousing suspicion that he was some kind of tinkle fetishist. Any parent would have recognized him for a vigilant father of little girls, but he might have given a young single woman pause. He nodded to me cordially, but averted his eyes demurely, presumably to spare me any embarassment that might have resulted from his awareness that I had to pee.

I entered the ladies room and was immediately approached by Annie, who introduced herself, and her younger sister Heather, who was ensconced in a stall, trying to have a bowel movement, which, due to her surroundings, was taking it's sweet time, much to Annie's chagrin. She all but followed me into my own stall, chattering like a magpie at my heels. I learned a great deal about Annie and Heather as she stood outside the stall, seeking to relieve her boredom by telling me the story of their parents' divorce (ugly) and about her father's large breasted new girlfriend, who looks like a princess, but is a big poo-poo head.

Abruptly, Annie's pink sandaled feet disappeared and, for a moment, a deafening silence prevailed. I heard a metallic rattling sound, and then a hushed, but reverent "OOOOOOooooohhh". I finished my business and exited the stall, somewhat curious about what could have moved the garrulous Annie to relative silence.

I had to stifle a giggle at the sight of Annie, staring agog at the gleaming silver condom dispenser, emblazoned with brightly colored disks. Her face was flushed with excitement and she hopped from one foot to another. She stopped hopping when she caught site of me, rushed forward, and grabbed my hand.

"Do you have a quarter?" she implored.

"No, I'm sorry, sweetie, I don't."

Undaunted, she asked, "Could you ask my Daddy if he has a quarter? He's right outside the door."

Immensely intrigued, I queried, "Annie, what do you need a quarter for?"

"I want to get some bubble gum!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands, and resuming her excited hop.

Ho boy. For a moment I pondered how to respond to that. I know kids. If I told her that it was not, in fact, a bubble gum machine, she was sure to ask what kind of machine it was. I certainly was not about to enlighten someone else's child on the finer points of contraception, and I had no qualms about lying through my teeth about the real purpose of the machine, but I was having trouble coming up with a plausible and suitably abhorrent alternative.

Searching frantically for something, anything, to tell her, I was struck by an epiphany. Trying to inject the appropriate amount of disaste into my voice I said,

"That's not a bubble gum machine sweetie. It's a medicine dispenser."

Her pert little nose wrinkled with disgust and her slender shoulders slumped in disappointment.

"Oh." she said flatly.

Then, brightening, she asked,

"Is there anything in there to make you poop faster?"

What your mother always told you about lying is true. One lie does lead to another. But I was locked in now and so, I studied the machine thoughtfully.

"Lesseee....headache, tummyache...nope, no poop faster stuff."

She sighed and looked so dejected I couldn't help reaching out to caress her glossy dark curls.

"Enjoy the movie." I said.

"You too." she replied politely.



I left the bathroom and found Dad still waiting patiently.

"They're umm...almost done." I said.

He mumbled his thanks and again cast his eyes downward. I managed to contain my giggles utnil I was nearly out of earshot and then I began to laugh in earnest. I was still laughing when I reached my seat which prompted husband to ask what was so funny.

"Oh...nothing" I replied, "I'm laughing at something that happened in the bathroom."

He looked at me quizzically.

"I'll tell you about it later."

A few moments later, just as the house lights were coming down, Annie, Heather and Dad filed in. Annie caught sight of me and gave me a spirited little thumbs up.

"Who's that?" Husband asked.

"That's my girl Annie. We had a moment."

Indeed we did. I will remember Annie for a long time. I doubt I will ever be able to look at a condom dispenser without thinking of her. I hope Dad knows what he's in for. She's going to be a handful.


  • At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    GREAT blog! I also loved Over the Hedge - wonderful movie. And your Annie story was priceless. I was laughing just reading it - it must have been hard for you, in the moment, to stifle your giggles. I can just picture the whole scene.

    Thanks for the smiles. But I gotta ask - why is there a condom dispenser in a **theater**???

  • At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dammit. My mother-in-law got to take Tacy to see Over the Hedge a few weeks ago. But I actually took her to see Cars today (which was pretty good, especially the movie short at the beginning and some of the gems in the credits).

    Thank you for telling the story about Annie and her sister. You handled that masterfully - a medicine-dispensing machine, without any remedies for constipation. I love it.

  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great story (Annie) - and good for her parents who haven't put total "fear of nice strangers" into her yet (and smart dad, hovering outside!)

    Thanks for today's laugh!

  • At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That was an awesome story. Totally cracked me up!

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    Thanks for the movie recommendation and the great story. I can almost picture Annie's slumped shoulders when she heard she wasn't getting any gum. I wonder if she'll remember the lie the nice lady at the movie theater told her about the condom machine when she's older. I really hope she does!

  • At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a cute wonderful story... one that "happens" on the way to something else!

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Sandra said…

    That was a fabulous story! Oh sweet Annie - her dad is in for quite a ride :)


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