20 December 2006

Hanging out with Ben and Chris

Bill and Em went to Bill's office Christmas party Saturday (at the very yummy Normandie Farms, whose popovers I remember fondly) and so I hung out at the their place with their sons Benjamin (13) and Christopher (7).

Ben*, of course, is pretty self-sufficient and doesn't require lots of babysitting, except for his teenage belief that if his father is not home to stop him, a given activity is no longer forbidden. Like most of the rest of us, as an adult Ben will speed except when he actually sees police cars in the area.

Being seven, Christopher requires more active adult supervision. So Christopher was reminded that as Friday was only the 16th, he could not open the little box on his Advent calendar marked "18" until Monday. I have this theory that the number of times that little boys must be told "no" roughly compares to 18 minus the child's age, so Christopher needs to be told "no" about 11 times before he determines that this answer will not change. Emily had already told Chris "no" on the Advent calendar thing a few times, so I only had to pick up the handful remaining.

All in all, a pretty basic evening watching some kids that I like, except that Ben is into anime. We watched several shows ranging in sophistication from roughly Speed Racer to Spirited Away. Chris likes Pokemon, so we watched that for a while, but Naruto had to wait until after Chris was asleep - or as close to asleep as Chris was willing to get. The two episodes that we saw involved some kind of arena-based fighting.

Interestingly, one of the voices for Naruto is Robbie Rist, who I remember as Cousin Oliver from post-shark episodes of The Brady Bunch, proving that what goes around comes around with a vengence. Anyway, Naruto was really cool and I found myself enjoying the all the anime stuff that I had forgotten in all the years since I used to watch Robotech: large, round Walter Keene eyes; short, sharp gasps punctuating dramatic moments; nutcracker jaw motions ----- ahhh, good times.

So anyway, back in the day, I would watch Robotech with Brett and the rest of our crowd. Minmei was my favorite character because she was a complete - com plete - Barbie doll. And she had this little song that she would sing. I claimed, when asked by Ben, not to be able to remember the song, but actually I do remember some of it. If you think that the lyrics to modern pop songs are inane, you have not experienced the song stylins of Lynn Minmei. Ceirdwyn detested Minmei's song, not just for artistic reasons but because it offended her feminist sensibilities. This meant, of course, that once I learned to imitate it, it had to be sung to her as often as we thought we could work into a conversation. Or more often, really, just to push her buttons.

The tune was this gawdawful light pop tune sung about 20 octaves above middle C (remember those little bitty women in Godzilla vs. Mothra? Like that.) and the lyrics that I can remember are: To be in love, must be the most important thing a girl can ..... At which point things get a little fuzzy. I think the actual next word was "be," but we re-wrote the song just a bit to make it even more annoying to Ceirdwyn, so our next word was "do" so that we could make the next line "except to screw" (you can see why I claimed lyric amnesia with young Mr. Benjamin). Sing this around Ceirdwyn and the fun just never ended.

I didn't see enough Naruto get completely hooked, but now that damned Minmei song is semi-stuck in my head. What goes around, indeed.

*Ben also, by the way, likes to wear black clothes and a black fedora. If he had any idea that his doing so makes middle aged ladies clutch their hands to their (still admirable even if middle aged, thank you very much) bosom and call him adorable, he would probably stop it immediately. So don't tell him.


David Gorsline said...

Which were the pre-shark episodes? I think I missed them.

Brett said...

Ahhhh Minmei every fanboy's sweetheart. Sadly that is how she was rumored to have caught the disease which killed her.

Bill said...

Naruto has an interesting, if somewhat absurd, political good-vs-evil big picture story going on behind all of the action. Most of the action characters, including the title character, are as yet unaware of it. That's what hooked me on it. Well, that along with the repeatedly presented almost defeated underdog finds the reserve of strength to smack down the strutting bad guy just when you think all is lost. Brett will be happy to learn that I can control myself much better when exposed to that theme these days. Much better than when he swore to never again go to a theater presentation of a movie with me.

Anonymous said...

"Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer...."
Comeon, you had to expect that from the Skraelings in the corner.