"So, tonight we are watching Casablanca," I announced on Saturday morning, while Corb was taking a break in between calls from his job at Binkley International.
"What's that, and why are we doing it?" was Corb's response.
I sighed and patiently explained the situation to my partner in crime, the voice of a younger generation. "It's a classic Hollywood movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It's part of my program to make us more culturally aware."
"You mean, we're not culturally aware enough?" Corb asked, amused.
"Nope. I learned this when Elizabeth Taylor died."
Corb raised an eyebrow. "Did she come back from the dead and yell at you about it?"
"No! But I realized that I haven't ever seen a single one of her movies. So, we're going to watch Casablanca tonight."
Corb squinted his eyes. "Is she in Casablanca?"
"Oh no, not, not at all."
"Was it her favorite movie, and she came back from the dead and yelled at you about not seeing it?"
Corb paused. "Then, um, why are we watching it, again?"
Argh, it's so aggravating, having to describe my logic. "So we can become MORE culturally aware! So, every week or so, I'm going to pick up a classic movie. And we're going to watch it. Maybe we'll even pick up an Elizabeth Taylor movie, one week." A beat. "Just not Cleopatra."
Ooops. Break time at Binkley was over. Corb had to go back to the phones. "All right, then. Casablanca, it is," he said, and flipped a switch.
After Corb punched out from Binkley, we headed off to the local Stop & Grab to decide upon dinner. "So, what'll it be?" he asked.
"Oh God, not this question."
"I hate this question."
"Whenever you ask it, we can never agree. Whatever I say, you're going to hate."
"No, I won't."
"Yes. You will!"
"Ted, just tell me what you want. Please."
"Of course, you know what I want," I said, smiling. "What do I always want on Saturday nights? Steak."
"See? You just made that face!"
Corb shook his head, and his golden blond locks swayed in the breeze. "What face?"
"That face! The face you make when you don't like my choice."
"Well...it's just that we had it on Tuesday night..."
"I'd have it every night, if I could. Just like you'd have Chinese food. Okay, how about nachos?"
Again with the face.
"Argh! we are never going to be able to make a decision. We might as well just order our own separate meals! This is going to be impossible, we're never going to...ohhhh! Meat pie!"
"I love meat pie! And we never have it with your kids around."
"And we could have potatoes and vegatables, and..."
We both looked at each other and smiled. Crisis averted.
"Okay now, let's figure out what we're going to buy for after dinner. You know, the popcorn and stuff like that."
"This is going to be just like the Gilmore Girls!" said Corb, moving down the aisle. "You know they have their movie nights and order all those crazy things? Like, everything on the menu of a Chinese restaurant and then they have to eat all the Chinese food for the rest of the week?"
"You ever think maybe that's not so realistic? I mean, when you get right down to it, that show really doesn't promote very healthy eating habits."
"Actually, that show is really all about gratuitous consumerism, when you really think about it..."
"Shut up! Don't you go spoiling Gilmore Girls for me. And besides, what's wrong with eating Chinese food all week long?" We reached the end of an aisle. A light bulb popped up over Corb's head. "Oh! So you know what I really want, more than anything in the world? Ever since Theo watched Zombieland the other night, all I've been craving is..."
I grinned. "Twinkies?" Corb nodded.
Suddenly, a disheveled man with string brown hair made his way into the supermarket, past the check out areas, past the lines of people, past the other shoppers. All the way through, he was singing to himself, not so loudly, but loud enough so that everyone else could hear. Loud enough.
His hands were shoved into his threadbare coat and a huge smile was plastered on his face, as if he were addicted to soma. He skooted past us, still singing all the way.
"Oh, this is great!" Corb said enthusiastically, a bit too loudly for my tastes. "We get to follow a bucket of crazy!"
I grimaced. "Shhhh!"
"Don't shhhh me!" Corb said. "That man's voice resonates with my soul. I must follow this beautiful music!"
I quickly ducked into the next aisle, mortified beyond belief.
Later that night, Rick walked over to a table and opened a cigarette box. He was disappointed to find it was empty.
"You want to feel sorry for yourself, don't you?" said Ilsa. "With so much at stake, all you can think of is your own feelings. One woman has hurt you, and you take revenge on the rest of the world. You're a, you're a coward, and a weakling."
She swept away the tears in her eyes. "Oh, Richard, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but, but you, you are our last hope. If you don't help us, Victor Laszlo will die in Casablanca."
"Why should he care?" Corb asked, from the armchair. "If I were him, I'd just let Victor Laslow die, and then they could be--"
"What of it?" growled Bogie. "I'm going to die in Casablanca. It's a good spot for it." Then he turned away to light a cigarette.
"Why should he die?" Corb asked. "He has those papers, after all, hidden in the--"
See, this is why Corb and I can never watch movies together. He likes to talk, talk, talk, all the way through.
Me, I like to savor movies. Listen to every word, luxuriate in ever emotion. I want to get a thrill, feel the ups and downs, and the only way that I can do that is by trying as best I can to lock myself into the room with the characters. Lights off, volume up. Silencio.
Corb, on the other hand, sees movies as a social experiment. Watch a little, talk a little. Watch some more, talk some more. That's why I never can remember the plot for half of the shows that I see. Corb and the kids are so busy chitty chatting during them that I can't concentrate on anything that happens.
Maybe I should hand him a tape recorder, so he can whisper his thoughts into it and then play them back, later on. And by the way, he HATES what I ask him to do whenever I get thoughts during a show, which is to put the movie on pause so I can talk about it. But in my eyes, that way you can at least have a conversation and still not miss a moment, you know?
Twelve midnight, movie over, we're both wiped. We shut off the television, exit the living room, and climb into opposite sides of the bed. "Well, that wasn't bad, was it?"
Corb yawns loudly. "No. It wasn't."
I wink, and move my body to give Corb a kiss. "Here's looking at you, kid..."
Fade to black.
Oh? How was the movie? Oh, funny thing about that. You see, Corb and I both felt that--
(TRANSCRIPT ENDS AT THIS POINT.)
Next installment: Adam's Rib