Am I less stabbity today? Eh, a little. But I’m also WAY WAY SLEEPY. Someone tell me that I shouldn’t stay up until 1am when I have to get up at 6, ok? Because that can’t ever end well.
OK, listen, I saw The Real Thing Wednesday night. That’s a play. By Tom Stoppard. Who, Amy? FINE. You all know Tom Stoppard, even if you don’t think you do. Tom Stoppard wrote the plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing (Tony award-winner, you guys), Arcadia, The Real Inspector Hound and 15-Minute Hamlet, among many, many others. Amy! I hate theater! FINE. He’s also been KNIGHTED. By the QUEEN. Is that more impressive? NO AMY WE’RE MERKANS! ZOMG FINE HE CO-AUTHORED SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and BRAZIL, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? Hey, we like movies, cool, thanks, Amy! You’re welcome, troglodytes, you’re welcome.
Anyway, if you don’t like intelligent, wordy theater, stay away from Stoppard. I brought my mom to see Arcadia and she left so upset and confused. “I have NO IDEA WHAT JUST HAPPENED,” she said. I felt terrible. I’d seen it before (twice, actually, it’s one of my favorite plays) but he might be an acquired taste. You can’t dabble in Stoppard. You have to dive in and luxuriate. It’s dense and things are flying at you fast and furious and if you’re not careful, you get lost…but if you catch it, you fall madly in love. And I have. And I do.
Anyway, I won’t go too much into The Real Thing, other than it was just a brilliant night of theater all around, and I can’t stop thinking about it, and it brought up a million things for me, and I was listening and watching so hard I gave myself a little headache. Also, Patrick was in it, and you all know I’d walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to watch Patrick in anything. (SPOILER ALERT: he was awe-inspiring up there. But hell, you knew he would be, right? Right.) It’s about – oh, love, and betrayal, and commitment, and writing, and heartbreak, and art, and how the people in our lives fit into our lives, and how we change our lives to make them fit. You know. Just little things like that. It was just an utter revelation.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this, from one of the monologues Patrick’s character had.
“Words… They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”
How gorgeous is that? That made me tear up, seriously. I was in the front row all teary-eyed because someone was extolling the virtues of words. But it’s nice, right? So nice. And so true. I’m printing this out and hanging it up. I need this in my house where I can look at it regularly. This is how I feel about words, when they’re done right. This is how something spectacularly written makes me feel. Right? “Nudge the world a little.” That’s just poetry, right there. Beautiful.
OK. That was tangential. If you’re local, here’s the website. It’s inexpensive for a night of theater over there, some of the best local actors are onstage (and one of the best local directors is directing this one) and you won’t be disappointed, seriously. So wonderful. One of the best I’ve seen this year. And yeah, sure, I’m biased because I know some people involved, but take into consideration I also DON’T recommend crap, even if my best friends are in it. Promise. Recommending crap tastes like ashes in my mouth and gives me a migraine.
Anyway, that wasn’t at all what I was planning on talking about, but I didn’t think I could find that quote online, and when I did, I got all fired up and wanted you to see it immediately immediately immediately because I thought some of you might love it as much as I did.
We have something important to talk about today. And that thing is: HELPER MULE.
I know, I buried the lead in gorgeous writing from Sir Tom Stoppard. Sorry. Had to. Couldn’t resist.
So Dad’s home now. His trip home was fine, except he ALMOST DIED. No, not really. He’s melodramatic.
Apparently, there was a MAJOR RAINSTORM ZOMG in Syracuse and Dad was pretty sure he was going to die, but just barely escaped all the dying. That’s good, because I don’t want to be a sadface orphan. Oh, wait, I have a mom, that’s shitty of me. A sadfaced half-orphan? Better.
But anyway, now he’s home. And last night, I got a HELPER MULE UPDATE.
Dad: Blah blah blah COULD HAVE DIED RAINSTORM!!! blah blah just so you know I didn’t even walk over there to see that thing.
Me: What? Whoa, back up, Charlie Segue, what thing. I thought you were driving, although I have to be honest, I kind of tuned out during Rainmageddon 2012.
Dad: MEAN TO YOUR POOR FATHER. That ass. I didn’t even go look at that ass.
Me: Is this a Hooters story?
Dad: THE HELPFUL ASS.
Me: HELPER MULE?!?!? You went to see Helper Mule?
Dad: No, I went to see (SIDE NOTE, I have to make up a name for Helper Mule’s Dad, it’s too hard to say “Helper Mule’s Dad” all the time. He has a nickname which I won’t use, because that’s rude of me and how do I know he won’t sue me? I promise the one I’m about to use is very close to his real nickname, and don’t even start with me, WE ARE FROM THE COUNTRY) Rooster. And he kept saying, “Let’s go see my mule!” and I was all, “I don’t want to see that mule.”
Me: The internet’s going to be PISSED at you for not checking on its favorite beast of burden, you know.
Dad: Rooster told me all about it anyway. Don’t worry.
Me: TELL ME TELL ME.
Dad: Well, it’s still not helping at all. It still won’t go near him.
Me: Dammit. That mule is NOT HELPFUL. That was a totally misleading mule.
Dad: I think it’s because he always rides up to it on that scooter. That scooter’s kind of loud. Maybe it scares the mule.
Me: Aw, poor Helper Mule! He’s got delicate gigantic ears.
Dad: And now Rooster is broke.
Me: What? He’s a rich guy!
Dad: Not anymore. It’s expensive to keep a mule. It needs a number of saddles, apparently.
Me: Why would you buy saddles for a mule that won’t let you get near it?
Dad: Not sure. Maybe in the anticipation that eventually it would let you get near it?
Me: So, they’re optimistic saddles. They’re investment in the future saddles.
Dad: I guess. Also, now that he has the mule and the horse they eat a lot. They’re expensive.
Me: How’s the horse? Did she have her love-child yet?
Dad: No. Now he thinks she’s not pregnant, just fat. So he’s got a vet coming over. They’re going to see if she’s pregnant or just fat.
Me: How do they do that, I wonder?
Dad: I asked him that and he said they punch the horse in the stomach.
Me: I DON’T THINK THAT’S A THING DAD.
Dad: You don’t know, you didn’t go to vet school.
Me: Common sense tells me that stomach-punchery isn’t a scientific pregnancy evaluation for mares.
Dad: Also the mare hates the mule.
Me: What? I thought they were friends! He was going to be a step-dad to the love-child!
Dad: Stop making up farm animal soap operas. Apparently, the mule is afraid of the mare, because a couple days after she arrived, she headbutted him so hard he fell over.
Me: ZOMG DAD. That is SO SAD. And also a little funny. That poor mule! He’s just about the saddest thing in the world.
Dad: Also, she won’t let him eat. He tries, and she attacks him until he gets away from the food. Then she eats until she’s done, THEN he’s allowed to eat.
Me: Well, maybe it’s her pregnancy hormones. Or she’s just really hungry. Or her baby-daddy done her wrong, and she’s really gun-shy around men at the moment.
Dad: Yeah. Probably she just hates that mule. So Rooster’s wife feeds him carrots.
Me: I’m so going to feed him carrots. He’s going to love me. Then I’m going to pet his nose. He’ll let me ride him. This is going to be great. He’s going to be totally helpful to me.
Dad: He is NOT. He is NOT HELPFUL.
Me: He will be to the Mule Whisperer.
Dad: How do you know you’re the Mule Whisperer? Have you ever even touched a mule?
Me: No. But remember those goats at the zoo? They loved me. And a mule’s just a taller goat with no horns.
Dad: Except completely different.
Me: They have the same number of legs and are mammals. And have hair. SAME.
Dad: So are cheetahs the same as mules, using this logic?
Me: Sure. I would pet a cheetah’s nose, too, but only if it was really sleepy. Because I don’t think I’m a Cheetah Whisperer.
Dad: Also, I don’t think cheetahs are very helpful, and it’d be pretty hard to ride a cheetah.
Me: Nu-uh, they did it on Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and it was AWESOME.
Dad: Hmm. OK.
Me: We’re going there this summer. I’m coming home the first week of August. You tell Rooster.
Dad: I’ll tell him. He’ll be so excited someone’s taking an interest in Helper Mule.
Me: SUCH AN INTEREST. The whole internet loves him!
Dad: The whole internet is weird.
Me: I know. That’s why I love it. I fit in there beautifully.
And there, ladies and gentlemen (not Ding Dong Joe, when he realized there was no sex today he left, it’s what he does) is the Helper Mule update. He’s in an abusive relationship, he’s being starved for both affection AND nutrition, and he’s STILL NOT HELPFUL.
I feel terrible about this. I’m going to bring him lots of carrots. Maybe an apple. And some sugar cubes. I’ll Mule Whisper the shit right out of him. Don’t worry. I’m on the case.
Happy Friday! Look, it’s almost the weekend, how’d that happen? Hooray!