GUNS OF AUGUST
Turner Classic Movies had a great program on last night. It was an evening with Gregory Peck, Delightful program, directed by his daughter, which interspersed home movies, and movie clips with long bits of his one-man show, where he just sat on stage and answered questions from the audience (the most asked question seemed to be "which was your favorite role" and not surprisingly, the answer was Atticus Finch).
My particular favorite moments were when his grandson (named for Harper Lee) was being born, watching the nervous grandpa sitting in the waiting room and then being there with his daughter and son-in-law and the new baby, the wonder of that just-born experience. Brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps moreso than it would have beforehand, now that Brianna is in our lives.
At some point during one of the clips about his one-man show, he mentioned the film The Guns of August. I turned to Walt and said whenever I hear "the guns of August," the only thing I think of is "go boom!"
He laughed. He didn't need me to explain that perhaps incongrous statement.
Years and years and years ago...we were either just married, or not married yet...we went to a performance by The Committee, an improvisational satirical review which played in San Francisco for many years. One of their bits was to ask for book titles from the audience and they would make up...I don't know--a song? a poem? a skit?--about the title.
This particular night, someone in the audience suggested "The Guns of August." I can still see Scott Beach draw himself up, imperiously, and say, in that deep, sonorous voice of his: "The guns of August.......go BOOM!"
Funny, but in that whole night's show, that is all that, 40-50 years later, I come away with. But its was enough. All I had to say was "go boom" and Walt was laughing with me.
It's a strange thing, when you've shared a life with someone for nearly 50 years, how you develop your own verbal shorthand, things that nobody really understands.
All Walt has to do is look at me in a certain way and say "Isabella....?" and I know what he means. (Bozoette Mary may too!)
In Stan Freberg's "History of the United States of America" there is a scene with Isabella, Christopher Columbus, and King Ferdinand. Columbus and Ferdinand argue over whether the world is round or not. When Chris leaves, Ferdinand turns to his wife and says "Isabella....? When are you going to stop fooling around with these nuts?"
Any time I'm going through a rough or weird patch with any of the colorful characters in the cast of our life, all Walt has to do is look at me and say "Isabella....?" and I know what he means.
There was a time, when the kids were living at home, when I swore that we didn't have a single original thought among us. It seemed that we spoke in quotes from shows we all knew. It was kind of one gigantic "groupthink."
The nice thing about being together nearly 50 years is that life doesn't need any explanation. A word or two makes us both think of the same joke, the same TV show, the same movie, the same experience. (Of course it does make for shorter conversations that way!)
So there was no need to say anything about how I was feeling when I came out of my office after talking with someone from Davis High School who was updating contact records and wanted to know David's current address.
Cell phone report
There is no resolution yet. I went to Verizon today, pulled out my phone (which is in a shocking green cloth bag) and said "there's something wrong with my phone." He naturally asked what and I had the dramatic moment of pulling the mangled instrument out and saying "the dog ate it."
It sounded like it was going to be so easy. He gave me a number to call, said to ask for their LG division, gave me the model number of the phone, told me what to say, that that was that. Nothing easier.
The phone number ends up being the main Verizon number, which puts you in voice mail hell. And there is no option for "what to do when the dog eats your phone." I finally decided that it best sounded like "technical assistance," so I went for that. Only the options there didn't come NEAR anything with "equipment replacement," so I punched my way through back to the main menu.
Then I decided to be clever and punch zero and see if it got me to an operator (most companies are onto that little trick by us sneaky customers and now to get an operator you have to punch an esoteric number or number combination, but Verizon still works with zero). I was told I would be directed to the next available operator.
Only then I got a recording saying that before they could put me through they needed the last four digits of the social security number of the holder of the account. Well, I was in the car parked across from the Verizon store and the holder of the account was at home, and his social security number was on my computer, so I had to wait until I got home.
But before that, there was a $200+ trip to Costco, putting groceries away, taking a nap, and by the time I remembered, it was too late to call Verizon, so I'll try again tomorrow and see what kind of luck I have.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 63.5 miles