Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wife Rule #73: Have No Fear, Captain Culture is Here!

That last Wife Rule was rather heavy, so I thought I would lighten up a bit by mentioning that with two little boys in the house, the subject of superheroes comes up often.

Especially so since I have introduced my children to the wonders of "classic" Sesame Street clips on youtube. Not the watered-down sissy stuff they put on the air today--you know, the stuff that's actually geared towards kids of all people--but the good old stuff.

Stuff such as Captain Vegetable, the giant purple rabbit with a cape, flaming orange hair, long ears, buck teeth, and horrible white whiskers that look like badly curled pipe cleaners, which they probably are.

Narrator: "Out of his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey, comes your new favorite superhero...."

Captain Vegetable (singing rather badly, like Neil Diamond, but with better timbre): "It is I, Captain Vegetable, with my car-ROT, and my cel-ery. Eating crunchy vegetables is good for me. And they're good for you, so eat them too. For teeth so strong your whole life long, eat celery and carrots by the bunch. Three cheers for me, Captain Vegetable, CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!"

Then of course we meet Andy who loves candy (Andy: "Wh-who are you, some kind of a bad dream?" Captain Vegetable: "Do I look like a bad dream? Andy: pregnant pause). We also meet Eddie who loves spaghetti (Eddie: "What are you, some kind of weirdo?" Captain Vegetable: "Do I look like a weirdo?" Eddie: nods vigorously).

With a wave of his magic carrot, somehow Captain Vegetable converts Andy and Eddie over to veggies. As a father of five, let me tell you that it truly would take superpowers to do that to a kid. If I magically replaced a big bowl of candy in front of my kids with a plate stacked with celery, my kids would attack me and the skit would have ended with my violent demise occurring just off screen. Not Captain Vegetable; the kids follow him like the Pied Piper. I guess that's why he gets to wear the cape.

For tragic reasons we may never fully get to the bottom of, Captain Vegetable only appeared on Sesame Street for that one skit. Maybe his agent never worked out an acceptable deal with the writers. Probably some sort of conflict with union rules or something.

But the important point is, I am trying to inject as much Fine Culture, such as Sesame Street skits (Monsterpiece Theater, anyone?), into my family as possible. That's me, Captain Culture, my family's new favorite superhero (Tag Line: "Remember to always eat your yogurt, kids!" Get it? A culture joke! Ha ha ha!).

So today Captain Culture and his trusty wife concocted a brilliant plan for the evening: to see the "Monet to Picasso" travelling art exhibit at one of our local university museums. My normal Wednesday night meetings were cancelled, and Wednesday happens to be the only day of the week the museum is open past 6:00 PM (I agree, totally lame-o). We had it all planned: I was home from work early, and my parents would watch the kids (we didn't want to worry about them wiping any bodily fluids on a Monet, after all--a Jackson Pollock, maybe, but definitely not a Monet). Unfortunately, we didn't realize until we had literally loaded the kids into the minivan, that the tickets to this show were pre-sold for certain time slots and today's shows were all sold out.

Thus, we had a good half-hour session of feeling very sorry for our sorry, sad selves, and then tried to come up with an alternate plan for the evening that didn't involve house cleaning or paperwork. My wife realized she didn't feel well anyway, and was just as happy to stay at home and rest. And luckily, Captain Culture's keen consciousness concocted another plan absolutely oozing with copious culture: take the kids to the dollar movie at the Sticky Shoe. At least that's what we locals call it. Rumor has it that the owners were actually considering officially changing the name of the theater to "The Sticky Shoe," but thought better of it and ended up with the totally benign and boring "Towne Cinema" instead. No vision at all. Kind of like if Malt-O-Meal had named "Marshmallow Mateys" something like "Oat and Starch Puffed Cereal." Their loss.

But regardless of the theater's name, as I mentioned, the Sticky Shoe oozes with culture, and that's just what's on the floor. The featured movie tonight was "Kung Fu Panda," which amazingly was not sold out. And it goes without saying that Jack Black and Jackie Chan make an equitable cultural substitute for Monet and Picasso.

Dead, artsy guys are usually overrated anyway.

So my wife got to rest, and the kids ended up loving the movie, and were spewing forth culturally-enriched Kung-Fu sound effects during the entire ride home. And two-year-old Andrew literally glowed with bashful appreciation when I dubbed him "Kung-Poo Andrew" while changing his diaper before bed. Imagine, he would have missed out on this important cultural experience had our original museum plans worked out.

So as you knew it would happen, Captain Culture prevailed once again, making the best of what might have been a culturally-anemic night. Now I'm going to settle down for bed, as soon as I have a little snack.

I think a big plate of celery sounds just right. Or maybe some yogurt.

1 comment:

Alisa said...

I think the kids are probably happier with the sticky shoe.

You still have two days for the art museum!