Friday, May 04, 2007

First Date Movies

My son has a post on this. It is a concept foreign to me. When I went on first dates – just south of 40 years ago now – my thinking was no more advanced than “Is choosing this movie going to embarrass me in any way?” The answer is always “Yes, possibly,” but I didn’t know that then. There were also very few choices within driving distance on any given week. Usually the choices boiled down to a bloody movie, a Disney movie, a suggestive comedy, a significant movie, and an adventure movie. Few of these are ever a good choice. Patton? The Aristocats?

Come to think of it, I doubt that first dates were movies very often, for this very reason. I think dances were more likely.

It does, however, remind me of a story about Benjamin…

Ben was enamored of an unsuitable young woman from youth group, and though she would entertain his attentions, it just wasn’t clicking, despite his best efforts. He hit upon the idea that they would each read the book that had been most important to the other in childhood. He chose Watership Down, which he had read every year since he was 8 or 9. She chose A Dog Named Kitty which was er, a book that she remembered reading. People who know Ben are wearing slightly pained expressions at the moment, and for good reason.

A Dog Named Kitty is reportedly even worse than it sounds. After the usual dog story elements are dispensed with – boy is unhappy, boy doesn’t want dog, boy warms up to dog, boy is happy, dog is heroic – the dog dies. As is usual. But the dog does not die while being heroic and saving the calf – that is the penultimate chapter. The dog dies randomly in the final chapter, when an oil pipe falls off a truck and crushes him. Those darn oil companies, eh? Boy is heartbroken I imagine, yet ennobled somehow, from having come to love such a wonderful dog.

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