The Boomers Take the Field
By Rodney Jones
It takes a long time to forgive
heroism or beauty.
And then the young girl
in the old song owns a plot
in the memorial gardens,
a brow full of Botox,
and a lover with Viagra.
The laps of the mythical
parents of World War Two
and the Great Depression
have lithified to granite,
yet we remain childish.
In our fifties, we study ourselves
studying their violence.
Do they forgive us our graduations?
They got dark early—
so elegant in photographs,
but thin from hunger
as often as vanity.
We were lucky, they said.
We should have lived in the thirties.
No one could find a kid.
Occasionally they'd find
a little person and beat it
for impersonating a kid.
And if it cried,
they'd beat it again, harder,
and give it a pair of Lucky Strikes.
Another by Jones, who "approaches large-scale material as if from a small side entrance," according to Robert Pinsky in Sunday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "Sometimes, he keeps his musing, vernacular voice so moderate in tone that the writing reminds me of a baseball term for certain pitchers, 'sneaky fast' -- the delivery finishes with more heat than the lulling windup suggests."
So the hot tub I thought was so wonderful on our trip because it had such marvelous hard jets? Is apparently the most likely culprit in older son's rash, even though he was in it for less than five minutes, because the nurse he saw today at the clinic (doctor's office being closed Sundays) was quite certain that what he has is folliculitis and she asked almost immediately whether he had been in a hot tub. The good news is, it's not contagious and is treatable with antibiotics because the infection is bacterial in nature, so at least we don't have to worry about keeping him home or out of the sun for the foreseeable future.
Since our original plan for the day was to spend nearly all of it outdoors at Mount Vernon and an evening concert, we scrapped that idea (Mount Vernon will still be there in the future and Laurie & Peter are playing in Gaithersburg in a couple of weeks) and instead went to see Evan Almighty (my choice was Nancy Drew but the animal-loving testosterone brigade in my family heavily outvoted me). I actually liked it better than I expected -- certainly better than Bruce Almighty, which was a lot more mean-spirited and made the female characters look stupid and shallow. In Evan, the female characters are very much supporting cast in every sense of "supporting," but they all have better chemistry with Steve Carell than Jennifer Aniston did with Jim Carrey, and I think Evan is more appealing than Bruce despite being just as self-absorbed. Plus, as younger son pointed out, there are penguins on the ark.
And I find it comforting to know that God chooses to quote KJV rather than NIV, though maybe he only did so for a Genesis 6:14 pun on gopher wood. In general I find Morgan Freeman's God relatively unobjectionable despite the kindly-old-man model, which is arguably supposed to represent what His followers expect to see rather than objective reality; clearly He is not a Fundamentalist, does not believe in smiting nonbelievers and does not object to a teeny bit of meddling in human affairs for the greater good. I was annoyed that Evan refused to take a few hours off from ark-building to go vote against a bill threatening national parks -- I worry enough about congressmen who think God is talking to them, they don't need it suggested that they should ignore their districts to do God's bidding -- but as mainstream American Christian ethics go, we could do worse than public officials having environmental responsibility instilled in them via divine intervention. And John Michael Higgins was my camp counselor a million years ago -- I have a photo of me and him when I was fifteen and he was eighteen and extremely good looking -- and he has a pretty big part in the movie and that's good enough for me.
And for some reason, haunted houses are too!
Even werewolves at indoor miniature golf courses!
But of course there is also beachside music...
...and the inevitable arcades, fun houses and amusement rides.
And the beach has other pleasures, like making sand convertibles.
And body boards! Here are mine and apaulled's (older son also got a pirate, younger son got a dragon).
And in case it all looks low-class, here is the beachside production of The Tempest beside the old Coast Guard station.
Speaking of pirates, I am going to see them again Monday. My kids and dementordelta are abducting me, I tell you. Arrr! *g*