a night that was some kind of wonderful, except it wasn't actually 'some kind of wonderful'
Last summer, on a particularly perfect late August night, I prodded my two boys through the aisles of Kum & Go for boxes of Milk Duds, Reese's Pieces, and giant vats of pop. So eager was I to get them to the place that would answer their unending queries of "What are we doing?" that the prodding was absolutely necessary. It's amazing how long children given the combined magic of $3 and free will can spend pondering the perfect chemical-laden confection. I'm not being superior, friends. I just know that Snickers really does satisfy, so I'm able to pluck the holy grail of snacks from the sea of impostors faster than an 11 or 6 year old.
Sustenance and seat belts secured, I resumed responding to their need for answers with an eager refrain of "You'll see! Just wait! You'll see!" until the moment I stopped the mini near a vast, grassy park, then retrieved lawn chairs from the back and strapped them to my back like the hardworking pack mule I am most days. "Tonight, boys, is a magical night. Tonight you shall become men!" I cried, leading them through the park until we reached the summit of a small hill.
"Is that a movie screen?" the boys asked, equal parts delighted and dumbfounded by the aberration before them.
With glee - pure, magical glee - I affirmed their query, then challenged them to a race down to the front of the screen, a feat, it should be noted, that was made somewhat challenging by the addition of the aforementioned lawn chairs and the fact I was double-fisting 44-ounce refillable cups of liquid gold in the form of Diet Mountain Dew. It was, however, completely necessary, for on this particularly perfect late August night, I was introducing my two boys, just days away from starting school, to the magical world of a fictional teenage boy determined to play hooky from his own classes. On this night, my children were to receive their formal introduction to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Oh, yes. Leisure does, indeed, rule!
While some of the credit to their slack-jawed enjoyment may have to be given to the fact I was letting them maw down caramely nuggets of chocolate-covered fantastic (I love Snickers, but who am I to turn my nose up at a Milk Dud?) at 10:30 p.m., I do believe they were as equally charmed by the free-wheeling Ferris and his friends. Intrigue, wild rides through the streets of Chicago, art museums, baseball games and the Beatles. My boys loved it. My oldest also took a bit of delight in the fact that, for a few days at least, I allowed him to get away with what passes in our house among the under 18 set as a dirty word by saying to me, "Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond."
I was, to say the least, quite pleased and very proud.
Then I was also rather cautionary, informing my boys that I could not, under any circumstance, condone the rampant disregard of authority, a less than exemplary school attendance record, the trying on of another's identity ("You're Abe Froman? The Sausage King of Chicago?"), nor the stealing of vehicles for the purposes of joyriding through the community. That particular brand of behavior can only lead to one thing and that one thing may very well end up being an extra eight weeks of detention.
But that's an entirely different movie and I'm saving that one for another particularly perfect late August night.
On this particular August night, I'm mourning the passing of John Hughes, who, for an unfortunately long period during my senior year of college, compelled me to quote "Their dog's a ball sniffer" and also "Waiting for your sex?" from Uncle Buck. Honestly, it's a wonder my friends are still my friends. I was REALLY enamored with that ball sniffing line, and, after catching a Christmas Day airing of Uncle Buck on HBO last winter, I found myself kind of chomping at the bit to reintroduce it my daily life, but I didn't and you're welcome. Instead, I've kept it tucked in the back of my mind until tonight. However, if you've been around here any length of time, you know how much I love me some John Hughes (and that's just a very small sampling of the posts I've written over nearly three years that have a little of that hot beef injected into them), and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll note my avatar is a nod to Sixteen Candles where Farmer Ted displays Samantha's panties to a sea of wide-eyed geeks.
So in memory of that particularly perfect late August night last year, on this particular August night, I quote my friend, That Girl From Shallotte, and say I'm lighting 16 candles in memory of John Hughes.
Danke shene, Mr. Hughes. Danke shene.
Labels: I weep for the future