This Week's Family Outtake
Jennifer E. Miller
T and I have been introducing G to 1980s movies we grew up with. I’m sure that decade is considered old and outdated by now. But we are having fun rewatching all these fabulous films.
So far, the watchlist includes: Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Harry and the Hendersons, Back to the Future 1, 2, and 3, The Princess Bride, and Flight of the Navigator. Coming up next is Overboard and Field of Dreams. Yes, I’m aware of Indiana Jones, E.T., and Goonies. We currently feel these are a bit scary. She has previously seen The Great Outdoors and Annie, but those might make another living room comeback.
It took some convincing for her agree to watch most of these, but she really enjoyed the stories, crazy hair styles, and weird looking phones. You know, the ones with a cord that hang on the wall. Or the blue box with a folding door, otherwise known as a payphone. It struck me as interesting, that she didn’t pay too much attention to fashion quirks of the decade. She saw the characters for what they were; families, kids, etc. I found that sincere and sweet.
I jumped out of the decade, by mistake, this week when I borrowed Cool Runnings from the library. (I thought it was 1989ish but it debuted in 1993.) It’s a comedy film about the triumph of achievement, loosely based off the first Jamaican bobsled team at the Calgary Olympics. I loved John Candy’s statement to Derice during the Olympics: “If you’re not good enough without [the gold medal], you won’t be good enough with it.”
The film integrated actual footage of the bobsled’s crash into the Hollywood takes, and G became curious about it. Since there is this awesome find-a-video-about-anything site, called YouTube, I found the aforementioned 'actual footage' quickly. We cringed quite a bit as we watched it. G commented that it seemed much more real than the movie. Well, go figure.
Then she asked if bobsledding was the only sport Jamaica participated in. I’ll wait until you stop laughing, too.
“Don’t you remember the runners we watched in the Olympics last year?” I asked.
I got a confused look in return.
“Does Usain Bolt ring a bell?”
“Oh yeahhhhh! He was super fast, but I think I can run faster than him.”
In your dreams, kid.
Next she requested to watch Usain Bolt’s 2016 Olympic sprints on YouTube followed by the women sprinters; also notably from Jamaica. A switch to women's gymnastic concluded our Olympic flashback and I shuffled her off to bed for the night.
The following morning, I needed to chat with Microsoft customer service. Out of politeness, the agent asked how my day was going. I said if it stopped snowing, things would improve. She got excited about snow because she was from, none other than, Jamaica! Obviously, they don’t experience the true charm of winter. She seemed jipped not knowing what snow is like. I told her that, while it looks pretty, it can make driving difficult, causing schools to make parents’ worst nightmare come true by cancelling classes for the entire day. I would gladly trade my frosty white winter wonderland for a breezy tropical island right about now.
A friend of mine said that Jamaicans don’t leave the island much because it's simply too costly to do so. I wondered why that is. This led my thoughts to those lizards that can run over water. Since Jamaica produces such good athletes, the residents should be able to run like Usain Bolt and sprint their way to a vacation. That’s certainly more cost effective.
See what watching all these classic films leads to?