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.”
ME: “The actor, who plays Dan … I can’t think of Dan’s name …”
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.”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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?