it’s a wonderful life… isn’t it?
(originally posted 12/28/2019)
Once the holiday season was underway Cody always felt a certain ‘something’s missing’ vibe that he couldn’t put his finger on. Then one day, when scrolling through the TV menu, his jaw fell open and his finger moved from the channel button to the putting itself on it.
Kudos if you were able to follow that sentence. Most people would just stare blankly ahead trying to digest “putting itself on it.” (Eventually repeating “Putting itself on it?” over and over)
Anyway, acknowledging what his finger was pointing out Cody realized that he’d never seen the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. Bingo! Before he could object his finger hit Restart and he braced himself for a whole lot of wholesome.
It was about twenty minutes in when he became aware that he had no idea what the plot was because he’d spent the entire time trying to perfect his Jimmy Stewart impression. It kept slipping into Sean Connery territory. He grabbed his well-intentioned finger before it could hit Restart again. It might be a wonderful life but clearly come people were not meant to watch it.
Additional kudos if you were able to appreciate the existential double entendre.
Trying to find another route to lose the ‘something’s missing’ vibe he scrolled down a bit further and found Miracle on 34th Street just starting up. He didn’t even last twenty minutes. Maybe it was because the film was in black and white and he couldn’t help but repeat every line uttered in his best Jimmy Stewart voice. The only other black and white film he’d ever watched was Jailhouse Rock so it could have been worse.
Triple kudos if you immediately imagined Kris Kringle as played by Elvis.
I’m afraid there aren’t enough kudos left to reward you adequately if you instead heard the part of George Bailey being voiced by Mr. Presley. (“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”)
Not one to give up when a ‘something’s missing’ vibe was at stake; Cody kept searching cable channels for something uplifting. And what to his wondering eyes should appear?
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The 1971 version. In color no less.
“Now we’re talking” he said to himself and settled back into the chair.
Five minutes in he got the weird feeling that he’d seen it already. If not seen it, he’d heard about it so often that it almost seemed pointless to continue. So he didn’t.
The problem was that he hadn’t seen it and whatever he’d heard about the movie was all wrong. While it was accurate that four of the five children lured into the factory did not make it out intact, they were not, in fact, killed by and then resurrected as Oompa Loompas. This small deviation from the truth really ramped up the ‘something’s missing’ vibe to the next level.
Cody labored under no delusions that he was the next coming of Charlie Buckets. He knew beyond a reasonable doubt that he would have never made it out of the Chocolate Factory alive (What have I said about self-awareness not being high on most people’s wish list?).
That very evening, after all the decorative lights had been turned out and his mother had finally dozed off, she was awakened by the sound of her son in the depths of what appeared to be a terrible nightmare.
“Elvis killed me and turned me into an Oompa Loompa!” he screamed as his mom gently shook him back into reality.
“Oh did he now?” she said… her face bright orange and her hair green.
“AAAAAAAAAAA!” (If those AAAs sound a bit girly you’re spot on)
“Mom, you were an Oompa Loompa!” he exclaimed as this time he actually woke up. He was shaking and drenched in sweat and his mom was forced to ask if he’d been watching movies that promote moral well-being again. She hadn’t seen him this upset since the flying monkeys in Wizard of Oz.
Cody couldn’t get back to sleep so the two of them went downstairs and watched TV until he drifted off. Luckily Rambo: First Blood Part II was on.
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