Writer’s block? More like the border wall President Trump is ordering Mexico to build. Sure, I’ve stashed a couple of half-hearted starts and musings in the draft folder. But I always remember the writer’s axiom: Good writers write about what they know. When you’re not confident in what you know, well …
Still not an excuse for such a long hiatus, but that’s all I’ve got.
I’ve been out of commission since early December (still managed to perform in the Nutcracker). I blew out a bicep and had surgery to re-attach it. The operation was difficult — the doctor spent four hours putting me back together. I’ve been wearing a “bionic arm” brace since late December. Been on workers’ comp.
Gratuitous plug: Home Depot has been outstanding in handling this. It’s all done through corporate, but their people have been there every step of the way — even calling regularly to express genuine concern for my well-being.. There have been no hassles with insurance or anything else.
It’s hampered me from participating in some family activities, like shoveling out after that massive snowstorm. I had purchased a kid-sized shovel from Five Below, and our daughter gave it the old college try. Still, it was the wife who did all the heavy lifting — and she never once busted on me for being sidelined.
The weather gave us extra family time to snuggle in and watch a few movies and TV shows. I picked up the 3rd and 4th seasons of Bewitched in the $5 bin at KMart. Big hit with both girls..
Our daughter watches a few Disney kids’ shows on her mother’s tablet. But she’s also developed an appreciation for the famous Hollywood musicals. It started with Dancing in the Rain.
It wasn’t much of a leap for us to land on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It has another memorable piece of Hollywood choreography, when the brothers first come to town so each can “find a wife.”
I ordered the movie. The DVD included three other movies with the rich singing voice of Howard Keel and plenty of fabulous dance numbers: Showboat, Annie Get Your Gun, and Kiss Me Kate.
(Spoiler alert:) The climax of Seven Brothers is when spring arrives and the angry townsfolk can finally get through the snow-avalanche-blocked pass to the Brothers’ homestead, where six women kidnapped from town are being held.
The men are out for blood. They’re armed and their bringing rope. But after a winter at close quarters (not THAT close — it’s a family film), it’s Stockholm Syndrome: The women have each fallen in love with one of the brothers.
Adam, the brother played by Keel, had earlier selected and married his woman. But that happened in the beginning of the story.
When it looks darkest for the brothers, a sound stops everyone cold: It’s a baby crying, inside the shared homestead.
“Who’s baby is that?” The angry townsfolk have no way of knowing it’s the legitimate baby of Adam (Keel) and his wife Millie.
Each of the single women, in true “I’m Spartacus”style, claims to be the mother. Dilemma. This child must be legitimized with wedded parents. If the rabble doesn’t know who the mother is, they go stringing up the father.
Solution: Shotgun wedding, for the six brothers and the women. It’s not often that a shotgun wedding amounts to a happy ending.
This ending elicited questions from the 8-year-old daughter on the topic of pregnancy and being married. We’re not quite ready yet for the birds and bees.
But the next day, we noticed a lump on the dog’s stomach. Nothing serious. We’re keeping an eye on it.
Her reaction: “Maybe Oliver is pregnant!.”
Uh, no. Oliver is a boy.
“But he has those things (nipples).”
“Can Daddy have a baby?”
Hmmm. We’re not going to stop watching Hollywood family musicals. But we might need to spend a little time on the birds and bees, first.
Not much. Just a little.