I spent a very quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”…I always feel I need to explain what that stands for on the off chance there is new reader of these blogs. By the way, it is pronounced “Mott-En-So” in case you were wondering.) Anyway, MOTNSO was spending time with his son and his parents (who are interchangeable with my parents; we think they are the same people and they just live on different coasts.) so I was left to my own devices until it was time to go to my son’s for dinner on both days.
So, what did I do?
I did the quintessentially laziest thing I could think of: I laid on the couch and watched old movies on TCM and AMC.
I don’t know what this fascination I have with old movies is all about. They certainly aren’t “state-of-the-art” or even remotely technologically thrilling. For the most part they are in black-and-white, feature heart throbs as opposed to dramatically gifted actors and the scripts sometimes could have been written by…well, by someone who writes scripts as bad as I do.
There are several things one can always be assured of in these movies:
- There will always be twin beds in anything prior to the 1960′s.
- Practically no one ever gets divorced.
- Servants are almost always black (I know that’s not PC of me, but it is true. Unless it is an English butler…and then it’s usually Arthur Treacher of Fish’n'Chips fame who lived in my apartment building in Queens in the ’60′s.)
- Anything with Shirley Temple in it will feature tap-dancing and sugar sweet drooling as she says something like, “Oh, pleeeeeease, sir…don’t take away my Grandpa.” Nowadays that would be elder abuse.
- There is very little blood and graphic cinematography in war movies. Speaking of war movies, MOTNSO is a WWII buff. He knows everything about it. Really. When he taught high school history, he also taught Military History. If we watch a war movie together I have to give him a pen and paper to write down all the inaccuracies he sees. Otherwise he continually interrupts the dialogue by getting all bent out of shape when there’s a plane featured in a movie that wasn’t made until 1943 and it’s a movie about Pearl Harbor. We’ve almost come to blows about these things. That would be WWIII for sure. Just about no one but him would know that.
- If you look realllllly closely at the starlets you can see how heavy the make-up is and it makes you wonder what they looked like in real life.
- No female actresses in old movies had real eyebrows. They were always penciled in. There must have been a booming business for eyebrow shavers in the ’30′s and ’40′s.
- Every glamour girl has a waist as big as my thigh. Or smaller, since my thigh is pretty hefty. And feet that were never more than six inches long and were size zero. I’ve been to Graumann’s Chinese Theater too many times. I only fit into John Wayne’s footprints. And he was 6′ 3.5″…and of course, MOTNSO knew that off the top of his head when I asked him how tall The Duke was.
- When it comes to Westerns, the horses always run away when the hero gets shot and falls off his mount. Likewise, the heroine will lose her bonnet when the wagon/stagecoach/carriage goes haywire when attacked by robbers. She will scream and hold on until some nutcase cowboy stunt man jumps on the charging steeds and brings it to a screeching halt…this could never happen in real life. Except the screeching halt, which pretty much describes my driving in NYC.
- Indians are usually not really Native Americans; they are usually of another nationality, wearing shoe polish-like make-up. Again, not PC, but I also know a fair number of the Indians were actually Latinos.
Well, I’m hoping New Year’s Eve has me doing something at least a little more exciting…like maybe watching Technicolor© films from the ’60′s and ’70′s…where people actually did sleep in a double bed and got divorced.
Please feel free to share your observations on the classics. However, I draw the line on comments about the Three Stooges. I never got their humor and saw nothing at all funny about them poking each other in the eyes.
…and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2012 be filled with health, happiness and prosperity for you and yours!