Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Memory Game

One evening my wife asked me to check what was on TV. I started to click around, but on the Customer Information Channel I got distracted by the promo for that movie with Sean Penn. You know. That movie where he’s a gay politician? Milk! That’s it. Somebody Milk.

In the scene that caught my attention, Milk was talking to the other guy, and looking at that actor, I thought Milk was talking to George Bush, who the other guy played in "W". Of course I found that funny - because of the type casting - so I said,
”That actor, there …”
KAREN: “Sean Penn?”
ME: “No, the one who plays the guy that shoots him… Dan.”
KAREN: “Yeah?”
ME: “The actor, who plays Dan … I can’t think of Dan’s name …”
KAREN: “Mmmm…”
ME: “Anyway, he plays Dan, who kills Harvey Milk and he also plays "W". Two evil roles. Like typecasting.
KAREN: “Ha. Yeah.” (Okay, I thought it was funnier than "Ha.Yaeh." but I moved on to trying to remember the guy's name)
ME: “James something.”
KAREN: “Yes.”
ME: “Jaaaaames …?”
KAREN: “His dad played a doctor. I mean in our time. Doctuuurrrr … Kildare?”
ME: “No. The one who worked with Dr. Welby.” At this point, in my head I was making a connection with the father actor in some commercial for auto parts with an annoying jingle.
KAREN: “But he was a doctor.”
ME: “Yeah. Oh, Dan White!”
KAREN: “Right.”
ME: Played by James something. We’re almost there. I’m going to have to go to Google.” I picked up the laptop, but then I remembered. “James Brolin!”
KAREN: “… was the father.”
ME: “….on Dr. Welby, MD”
I googled “brolin george bush imdb”. “Josh Brolin,” I announced.
KAREN: “Yes, I was thinking it was a ‘J’ name.”
I googled “james brolin marcus welby”.
ME: “James Brolin was best known for … Dr. Steven Kiley … Marcus Welby, M.D.”
KAREN: “Kiley. I was close. I said Kildare.”
ME: “Yeah. K I L. Not bad. Oh! Double-A M C O!"

We used to entertain ourselves with card games or Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Now this memory game fills the evening just as well.

The game changes with age. I see our future whenever we visit the in-laws. (My father-in-law's initials, by the way, are CRS)
DAD: “That guy there. Not the one that married the singer. The other one, who shot him.””
MOM: “Sean Penn?”
DAD: “The other one.”
MOM: “The other one’s father was a doctor.”
DAD: “I think his father played a doctor.”
MOM: “On Marcus Welby.”
DAD: “What?”
MOM: “Marcus Welby.”
DAD: “Marcus Welby?”
MOM: “Robert Young. He was on the show with the father of that guy.”
DAD: “Sean Penn?”
MOM: “He’s dead now.”
DAD: “Milk is dead.”
MOM: “I just said Marcus is dead. Welby, Kildare, Ben Casey. They’re all dead.”
DAD: “You know Sam Fishman died yesterday.”
MOM: “Oh, here’s Karen and John. Hello. We were just watching that movie where Sean Penn dies.”
DAD: “We weren’t watching the movie. It was a preview.”
MOM: “It wasn’t the movie. We were watching a preview.”
DAD: “What?”

And so it goes. Their game is like playing Scrabble back to back, with two boards. As far as I know, it’s still entertaining. And if it’s not, who remembers?


Anonymous said...

You are so right.


Jenny said...

I can think of at least one other movie where Sean Penn dies!

JohnnyB said...

Karen - can I get that notarized for later?

Jenny - Sure, you are able to think of them now, but in 30 years, you won't be. On the other hand, in thirty years, when you say somthing to Gavin about "that movie where Sean Penn dies", he will know exactly which one you mean; though neither of you will be able to think of the title.