The Great One and Various Other Actors
My six year old son always keeps us in stitches! Tonight it was announced during our family dinner of Stouffer’s lasagna, sweet corn on the cob, and sliced home baked pumpkin vanilla chip bread* (not made by me) that following supper there would be a performance play of epic proportions to be performed by:
The one, the only—–The Great One! Our little six year old!
He dictated to us the start time (ASAP) and length of our required attendance (one hour)! So no TV tonight!
It was past 9 pm. Most children are long asleep. I’d already received six phone calls full of details that had made my head spin during the preparation of dinner. My husband and adult children came in intermittently as they all got off work. My mom came over. My needy cats needed food and medicine. So I was already a wee bit tired when my theatre star son announced the required play we would all be attending. I really wasn’t in the mood for another play choreographed, produced, and acted by the same person who starred in last night’s play.
Alas, the emperor had spoken and my wishes were simply that—wishes. Dinner was to be wolfed as quickly as possible so we could all see the amazing and fantastic play. Oh, and audience participation would be required.
I got the dishwasher loaded. I got off a long-distance call from my dad whom I hadn’t spoken to in months. I took Tylenol for the migraine that was returning from the night before.
I sat down and tried to dig deep into my exhausted body and muster up some enthusiasm. I was sitting beside my mom. My husband was in a chair beside her with our cat’s Elizabethan collar upside down on his head. This collar prescribed by our vet is used to keep animals from licking injuries, but my husband calls it “The Collar of Shame” from a movie I clearly never saw. His lampshade-attachment like choice of accessorizing made him appear to be a rickshaw driver. Do not ask me why he was wearing the cat’s collar. I have learned in my world it is better not to question some things. My six- and-a-half foot tall adult son stood beside me near the door in case he needed to make a hasty exit. My daughter was given a pass by my six year old since there was no more room for people or pets to sit or stand in our sunroom that doubles as a Toys-R-Us, when it’s not being used for off-Broadway plays.
The house lights were darkened. The conductor (my son) flipped a switch and the programmed organ began to play a classical rendition of Deck the Halls sung by tonight’s soloist (my son). Then the star of the show (also my son) made a compelling announcement to the audience!
Welcome Everyone! This Play is About:
Back in The Day of the Twenty Fish Century!!!!!!
Dun Dunna Duh Duh he trumpeted!!
Well okay then! Maybe this play won’t be so bad after all. I’d love to hear about life in the TWENTY FISH century. I wonder if it’s better than the twenty-one-ways-of-communication century I’m living in every day! I figured I was about to be entertained by a riveting story similar to the times our Lord and Saviour lived in. A story where people baked bread with yeast, and made loaves that fed multitudes. A place where the roads were made of dirt and only the prosperous or the greedy had sandals or donkeys anyway. A story where fish really had a starring role and where fishermen fished for real men AND fish. Regrettably, I was about to be disappointed.
Where’s the concession stand I wanted to know! I would like a Moonpie and an RC Cola please!!
Ain’t happening. Take your seat I was informed! My tall grown up son was roughed up a little bit and tapped on the back with an umbrella hook by security (my son) for attempting to leave in the middle of the play, which sort of (okay—a lot) was lacking in plot, character development, and believability. It didn’t matter. This displeased the emperor (my son) and so security (also my son) was called in for non-compliant patrons.
The rest of the obedient audience, that is my mom, husband, and myself, continued to endure the show: a mixture of a laser light show (a light from a broken electronic slinky), a frightening song about ghosts being on the ceiling and inside of our head which was penned and performed for the first time ever, on the spot, by the singer (my son). Then we were treated to a stirring rendition of Für Elise set to a backdrop of an electronic metronome.
Occasionally the actor in his limited reading ability did seek help from his grandmother to help him read the verbal script that she had helped him prepare prior to the show. He stumbled on one line, quickly gained composure, and then delivered this line perfectly:
Okay, this is the part you are really going to freak out!
Again, however, the plot weakened. I didn’t freak out, but I did look at my wrist praying a watch had somehow materialized. That’s when the emcee (also my son) announced the play no longer had a set time to end.
That did it! I revolted! I turned on the lamp and thanked him for the amazing and exciting performance. We were all affected beyond belief! We would not forget this night ever. We could not if we tried! You see, we love the movie star who was in it. Even though the entertainment can sometimes be sub-par, he really has a way of hooking the audience—literally! Every star makes their share of box office flops; why should my child be the exception? The point is this—it’s the passion and the intention of what he was trying to get across:
I love my family! This is so much fun! Thanks for coming to see ME in MY SHOW! Creating this for you has been my supreme joy! This audience rocks!
The truth is, we had lots of moments when we laughed. There were indeed moments I thought I might cry. There were boring parts and there were parts with music. Not a lot different than when we shell out $11.95 at the theater to go see a movie on a Friday night after our tax refund finally arrives! Okay, so the story was a bit lacking. But you know? You get what you pay for!
But spending quality time with a family you just might be too embarrassed to go out in public with anyway after a delicious dinner, in the presence of a rising star? Well now, that’s priceless!