Monday, April 19, 2004

I'm Not Clever Enough Today... think of a witty and short and zinger-ish title. So that one will have to do.

First off, Zannah, thanks very much for your comment. I'm sorry to say that the 'matrimony pony' line is not mine, and even more embarrassingly, it came from a Simpsons episode. Otto said it to Bart on the day he was supposed to marry Whatserface in the Simpsons' back yard. Ah, good old Whatserface.

Yesterday my wife pointed out that the piece of apple pie in our fridge...the one I was given at Eric and Becky's luncheon...should be put out of its misery. I snidely remarked that I was thinking of freezing it and giving it to the happy couple in a year or so. You know, in memory of the day.

Now I'm almost afraid to eat it because it's been in the fridge for three days, and who knows how old it was before I got it? Perhaps not even Marie Callendar herself. So I'll eat it in a bit, even with the knowledge that I'm taking my life into my hands. If I'm found dead later today with pie crumbs on the edges of my mouth, my blog-reading public (which amounts to Eric, Leon and Zannah, one of whom is on a honeymoon) will know what happened.

In case you're wondering, Marie Callendar was a real person and restaurateur, unlike that crock, Betty Crocker. So she could know and tell me how old that pie is, if only she could find a way to communicate with me from beyond the grave. Or, maybe she's too busy with the pie business on the other side to pay attention to the temporal enterprise that bears her name. You know what? I'm giving this far too much thought.

Last week I was eating lunch after I got home from school and idly flipping channels. I happened upon the Style Network, which I never watch, and saw the funniest show I’ve seen since I was twelve and discovered late night standup on Comedy Central.

The Brini Maxwell show sucked me in and for the first thirty seconds or so, I wondered if it could possibly be the real deal.

Here's how it works. The host, named Brini (rhymes with genie), is a Martha Stewart type, but a little younger, and completely and firmly stuck in 1956. Remember the orange and olive-green style of that period? Well Brini's all over that. In each segment, she's wearing a different (and fabulous) 1950's outfit, and she gives homemaking tips that I swear I've seen in use in my grandmother's home.

My mom's mother was a Home Economics teacher in the local public school system for thirty years. She didn't retire until a few years ago, and a childhood around her house involved bowls of fake fruit and dinners made from recipes so devilishly complex that only a Home Economics teacher would dare attempt them.

Please don't think that I'm disparaging my grandma. She's a great lady and she's done some amazing things...raising my five aunts and uncles plus my mother, nearly alone while my grandpa was in the Air Force ranking high among them. I'm just saying--at Christmas, she made chocolates and caramel corn snowmen. There is always, ALWAYS, a centerpiece on every table in the house. She had the first bread maker I'd ever seen, used her own home-ground flour in it, and her kitchen is a temple to all things culinary.

The woman is the patron saint of homemaking, and maybe even a demigoddess.

So anyway, this show started setting off all kinds of grandma alarms in my head. And for that first half-minute, the utter retro-ness of it captivated me.

But then I suspected. First off, Brini's patter was far too perfect. Have you ever seen Martha Stewart say something that would make her blush if she weren't on camera? No big deal, right? She may crack a little smile and move on, but that's it.

Brini, on the other hand, plays it completely straight. Completely. Straight. Of course she smiles on cue, and of course her dialog is well thought out. But too much so to be real.

And so I quickly caught on that Brini is having fun with me. As soon as I was in on the joke, I enjoyed the show immensely.

There's one more surprise on the Brini Maxwell show. You see, her mannerisms aren't quite perfect. At first you don't notice, but the more you watch, the more....hmm, well it's hard to say. Enough with the suspense. Brini's a man.

No one thing gives her away: She doesn't have a huge Adam’s apple, her boobs seem perfectly normal, her hands aren't all wrong for a woman, and she certainly sounds like a woman. But, you know? My third minute into the show, I was eighty percent sure she wasn't...uh...pure woman, so I went online to check. Sure enough. She’s mostly man.

My grandmother would vigorously frown on the concept of a man, playing a woman, doing a homemaking show. But I'm not sure that she'd pick up on Brini's manliness, and if she didn't, I think she'd really enjoy it. I'm torn as to whether to record an episode and screen it for her.

Of course, if she stumbles onto (or is directed to) this blog, then the surprise is ruined. That isn't terribly likely, but it's certainly possible.

Her piousness would ruin the content of the show for her. Grandma isn't all that tolerant of those in "alternative" lifestyles. So maybe it's best that I not introduce it to her. If she liked it a lot, she might watch it regularly, and then it's just a matter of time before someone announces the obvious to her. So maybe not. It would be funny, though.

Leon doesn't know yet; I asked out a girl in Institute for him. He's going to call me in an hour or so when he gets off work and then I'll tell him.

Oh, I tried the pie a minute ago. My microwave melted the crap out of the little clamshell box it was in. It wasn't very good, so I let it go. Not to fear, though. I had Tasty's for lunch, and donuts are forthcoming.

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