After the Christmas feast and the weekly Playing Of The Boggle, after a slice of pie slathered with a daringly large dollop of real whipped cream, we began to stir in the general direction of the living room and talk about watching a movie, a nicely inert activity especially suited to days when our bellies are stuffed with hundreds of pounds of juicy pork product. Nobody was really sure what to watch, though; would it be Elf, or would it be It’s A Wonderful Life? Or would anybody like to discuss a third possibility? While they dithered, I slipped away, slipped The Wizard Of Oz into the DVD player, and stretched out on the sofa. Soon, the others joined me and settled in, too. Well, one of the others settled in. The third stood by, nervously trying to decide how to sneak out the front door without upsetting the decorum.
“I never really appreciated this movie,” Tim said diplomatically as he watched the sepia-toned introduction out of respect, I suppose, for my choice. He stayed all the way through Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead, his favorite song from the movie, but when it was over and the representatives of the Lullabye League emerged from the crowd en pointe, he fetched his jacket from the closet and took his leave, returning to the munchkin-free peace and quiet of his bachelor pad.
Odd. I honestly never realized he didn’t like The Wizard Of Oz. I thought everybody liked The Wizard Of Oz, literally everybody. I mean, do you know anybody who doesn’t? I’ll bet you don’t. And I almost feel as though I’m to blame; as if, for instance, I should have done more to expose him to the movie more regularly. That’s how I got hooked.
I grew up watching The Wizard Of Oz every year on television. We never missed it. We weren’t allowed to. It was on TV the same time every year — not sure if it was Easter or Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure it was a holiday. I don’t think it was Christmas. That’s when It’s A Wonderful Life was on, if memory serves, which it doesn’t, not really, because I also seem to remember that there was always a parade being shown before the movie. It could’ve been the Rose Bowl parade, or Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, I’m not sure now. They seemed to be televising a lot of parades back then.
I must have seen it at least a dozen times that way and maybe half a dozen times more as a video rental. Last year, My Darling B got me a DVD as a stocking stuffer along with several of my other Christmas favorites: The aforementioned It’s A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and at least one more that I’m forgetting right now. I told you my memory was for shit.
Tim was out the door before Dorothy was following the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, so he missed just about the whole movie. Well, at least now I know what I’m getting him for Christmas next year.