Glug, glug, glug…


Good morning, 007…

…well, last night I ran from work like a schoolgirl in heat towards a Tigerbeat release party and purchased the Dallas Season 3 Box Set. HOT DAMN, Y’ALL!!

I thought I would go into why I love this show so much. I have two god-parents, Kathie and Wayne, who live outside of a small town in Northern Ontario. The town itself is small, but they live in a ‘suburb’ of sorts…population under 100. They’re best friends with my mother and father and are truly salt-of-the-earth people. Friendly, warm, caring, everything.

They have a house, which Wayne built, on the side of a small pond and a huge piece of property. Behind their house is an immense (or what seemed to a 7 year old to be immense) forested area that I always knew contained bears and all sorts. Scared the shit out of me once it got dark. There was a sand hill that led to a sand quarry of sorts, a part of the hill that had fallen apart and looked like the aftermath of a sand avalanche.

The pond used to be boring and unswimmable as it was covered with loon poo on the bottom. “Loon poo” isn’t a technical term, and doesn’t actually mean loon feces, it just means the bottom of a lake or pond that FEELS like that. Fuzzy. Squishy. Revolting. There weren’t even any fish as far as I can remember, but it did provide a hot bed of frog activity; lifting rocks to find the little tiny ones that looked miniscule in my then smallish hands.

Before they had the large house, they used to live in a moveable house. Not a trailer, but a rectangular house that was ‘delivered’ rather than built. It was surprisingly large on the inside and had a huge cast iron fire place that was really fucking cool in the wintertime.

In the actual winter months, the entire place became even more strange and enjoyable for a child. Their sand hill became the greatest sliding hill ever. Period. It also was the most insurmountable hill to climb…ever. Many a time I went down on a Flying Saucer and was whipped into the air, landing on my stomach and thinking that I had died because I had the wind knocked out of me. I’d cry like the little bitch that I was and then my brother, or cousin Clint, would take me inside and pass me off to my mother or aunt and then they’d give me hot chocolate as sat there, trying to feed their hamster a stick of wood.

The inside of the house had at least TWO dreamcatchers which I used to find strangely fascinating…and those early 80s crystals that reflected rainbows were in every sun-exposed window. My cousin Clint had a stuffed animal doll of…oddly…Animal, from the Muppets, that I always endeavoured to capture and steal, but never managed to get up the balls to do.

Soon enough, I’d be bored and feel ignored (as most restless children do) and I’d go outside to try sliding again or just running around the yard with Pepper, their old dog. They had many friends that used to come over, but usually not any other children. One couple, however, did have kids in between the ages of my brother and I. A younger daughter and an older son…fun people who usually came over when my family was visiting.

With so many children watching each other, it was natural for our parents to assume we’d be fine just supervising ourselves as we frolicked outside, jumping in and out of snow drifts and sliding down the hill. They always used to warn us to stay away from the pond as it was never completely frozen (it was a resevoir of sorts; being fed by a well, and travelling under the street through a somewhat complicated aquaduct process to a pond on the other side). As a child I never understood why, but I knew there was a section of the pond that had running water shooting out a tube; not very powerful, but enough to keep the ice very thin or non-existent.

One night, however, I decided I wanted some attention (not conciously, of course) and I ventured out by the pond; the other kids within a safe visible distance. I started playing with a stick on the ice and noticed that it seemed pretty stable to me.

“Grownups just want kids to be bored, like them. Going out on the ice is fun and that’s why they say not to do it. Stupid adults.” At this point in my inner monologue, I had managed to creep out about 5-6 feet towards the middle of the pond and was having a rip roaring time.

“Those stupid grownups don’t know what they’re mis-“

As I plunged through the ice, I realized that walking on ice left a lot to be desired and that whoever had told me it was fun didn’t really understand how much I didn’t find death amusing…

…I don’t remember the timeline, but I’m sure that one of the other kids bolted inside to scream at the parents to save my sorry ass. I do know that it felt like an eternity and that I couldn’t breath, even with my head above water – it was so cold that I felt like someone had stuck me in a tube just big enough to fit, but not to take in air. I rememeber looking up and seeing the ice from underneath at one point. And I remember being yanked out of the water like Superman ripping off Lois Lane’s car door in Superman: The Movie. I don’t recall who pulled me out, though, but I know they ran me inside and threw me in the tub. There was a lot of swearing and my mother freaking out.

Anyway, anyway, anyway…that’s my most vivid memory of that place, aside from travelling their on Friday nights – we used to live about 1.5 hours away from their house and my parents would go up at least once or twice a month. We’d go up on Friday night and return Sunday afternoon. Upon arriving on Friday, it would be about 8-9, and my ‘rents would always sit down and watch Dallas with my god-‘rents and I’d chill out and watch it with them.

I had no idea what the show was about and being 7-8, I generally fell asleep towards the end. I did, however, remember one thing: the theme song. I remember hoping we’d get there in time to hear that song and watch those credits.

It stuck with me forever.

Then when TNN started rerunning the episodes in the early 90s, started actually watching and fell in love with it on a whole other level…the backstabbing melodrama, the catty lines, the vicious business deals, the underhanded wheeling and dealing of JR Ewing, etc, etc, etc.

Anyhow…the newest release of Season 3 on DVD is GREAT fun. Sue Ellen returns home from the hospital after John Ross III is born, only to have her child kidnapped, Pam finds out she has a hereditary disease and then that she’s pregnant, only to lose the baby AGAIN, Ray meets up with Donna Culver, and they rekindle their romance, Kristin Shepherd, Sue Ellen’s sister, returns to stir up some shit at South Fork, Miss Ellie gets cancer, Jock gets shot, Lucy gets engaged to Alan Beam, Sue Ellen begins her affair with Dusty Farlow, and then JR gets shot to end the season in the greatest cliffhanger ever. Period.

Sweet.


“Don’t look so glum, Lucy. Rich people are always happy.” – J.R. Ewing

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~ by seangstm on August 10, 2005.

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