We had a lot of rules in my family when I was growing up–things like:
Don’t get fresh with me, young lady.
No, you can’t keep that box turtle. Or that frog. Or the crawfi—wait, where are you even getting these things?
Oh my God what are you doing to your brother? WE DO NOT BITE PEOPLE IN THIS HOUSE.
With a few exceptions, my parents ran a pretty tight ship.
Cursing was one of the exceptions. When I was ten, my father got a speeding ticket in a known speed trap while driving my brother and me home from the movies. As he pulled the car over, he let loose an uncharacteristic torrent of profanity, and within seconds our obscenity portfolios quadrupled in size. (Until then, the most controversial things my brother and I said were “take a chill pill,” “gag me with a spoon,” “as if!” and “eat my shorts, man.”) The incident did some damage to my father’s position on the moral high ground, and my brother and I were soon able to get away with the occasional well-placed Jesus H. Christ. As in, “Jesus H. Christ, dad, these fish sticks are delicious.” Or “Jesus H. Christ, mom, that’s a great dress.”
Another exception was black and white movies.
Let me back up for a second: Weeknight television was usually off-limits. My mom worried that we’d rush through our homework if we were allowed to watch TV when we were done, and she was probably right. Weekend television was allowed in limited quantities until she saw me watching Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games video on a Saturday afternoon. Do you remember that video? I just watched it again and it is definitely 4 minutes and 3 seconds of medium-core porn. We’re talking generous side boob, fingers in mouths, grinding up against a palm tree. No wonder she banned MTV and four channels in either direction.
The one channel we were allowed to watch anytime was Turner Classic Movies. Sure, the actors smoked and drank from the opening title to the closing credits, but that was the worst that was going to happen. You might see a sword fight, or a punch to someone who had it coming, or a closed-mouth kiss, but you could count on it that Ginger Rogers would be wearing a brassiere and Fred Astaire wouldn’t try to hump a tropical plant.
I’m telling you all this because I want to get you in the mood (G-rated, people) to watch my favorite movie scene of all-time. Bringing Up Baby is my favorite film, but my favorite scene is from The Philadelphia Story, which was released in 1940. Katharine Hepburn plays Tracy, the socialite ex-wife of Cary Grant. The day before she’s supposed to get remarried to a man named Kittredge, she flirts shamelessly with both Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, who is hanging out at the festivities because he’s a reporter. That night, after getting drunk with Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart shows up at Cary Grant’s house. The two of them never rehearsed the scene, and Jimmy Stewart improvised a lot of it.
Isn’t it awesome? My favorite part is where when Jimmy Stewart starts hiccuping and Cary Grant looks down at the table because he’s about to crack up.
I read somewhere that Jimmy Stewart was drafted into the Army in 1940 but was rejected because he was 5 lbs. under the weight requirement. He doubled down on the good stuff and started lifting weights, and in 1941 they let him in.
In honor of his heroic decision to start eating delicious food, here’s a photographic list of what we’ve been eating around here.
Doughnuts from The Doughnut Vault! I got up early and waited in line for an hour for them to open, and I got a parking ticket in the process. Worth it.I’ve been soaking strawberries in balsamic vinegar and sugar and eating them in a pool of cold yogurt.If you like olives, you should try a mozzarella and green olive grilled cheese. If you don’t like olives, maybe try one with capers?I made my mom’s recipe for lamb marinated in lemon and dill the other day. Seymour was into it.
And finally: Thunder and Seymour are not fans of the rule that says dogs have to stay inside unless they’re being supervised.
We’re off to the park. Happy weekend to you all!