One of the things Jackson and I did this weekend was go to the movies. We have a decent little theater here in Fake Cow County. The best thing about it is the full price movie admission is $4.25. Matinees for two bucks! It's small and the sound system is not the greatest, but it'll do. (I still miss the dollar movie at the old Granada Theatre, but that's another story.)
Being in a small town in a highly mobile society, our local theater has to appeal to the lowest common denominator to stay in business. That means kid movies and slasher movies. If you want to see some of the better stuff, you have to travel. So, we searched out the only multi-plex monstrosity in Big Flat City that was showing "A Praire Home Companion." (Last door on your right - dinkiest little screen in the whole place.)
Let me admit, up front, that I do not listen to Praire Home Companion as a general rule. I don't much care for the music. Its like baseball - I enjoy the games in person, live, but can't stand to watch it on TV or listen to it on the radio. This type of music is the same for me.
I enjoy going to small town oprys and jamborees. I like open air concerts on the Fourth of July. I love county festivals and fairs where this music and schtick is performed live. MostIy I have fun watching other people enjoying old jokes and old songs.
But, to steal from Cheesehead, Garrison Keillor is my radio boyfriend. He will always remain only a radio boyfriend because of his startling resemblance to a bullfrog. He looks like a child killer in a cheezy horror film. But then he speaks and all at once God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. Watching this movie is like sleeping in a feather bed under a heavy quilt on a cold, cold night.
I want to be him when I grow up.
Jackson and I got there early, but the theater was already filling up. We were the only ones there who were not drawing social security. A frosty-haired foursome arrived after we did, but still well before the previews. (Promptness is a virtue.) They sat right in front of us. The men had evidently imbibed a bit at the all-you-can-eat catfish buffet before heading over to the picture show. They were having a good time. They shot a lot of crummy old jokes back and forth before the lights dimmed. We smiled.
There is a bit of a scene at the end of the film when the group tells a joke. It is so old that they all know what's coming before its told. So old that they can each contribute a part of the punchline. So old - but we (the audience and the performers) all still laughed. Why do we still laugh? I don't know. Why do you still recite creeds even though you memorized them years ago? Is it the same thing?
The movie ended with an old hymn. As the credits rolled, one of the guys in front of us stood up and announced to his companions that he didn't need to go to church on Sunday. He'd already been. *rimshot*
I think he was right.