Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Failure of the Day: Pirates

In Seattle, the other apartment on our floor of our building was a corporate rental, so it was vacant except when the company had somebody in town who needed a place to stay. (I didn't realize how idyllic that was until I met the Yelling People of apartment #2 next door.)

For some reason, Chris decided that people who travel on business are pirates—and to be fair, I must grant that pirates do travel quite a bit on business. And so from that point forward, it was generally accepted—by everyone: our friends, Chris's parents, everyone—that our neighbors were in fact of the Pirate persuasion. And during the one or two days per month that we actually had people on the other side of the wall, we never actually saw them, but only heard them as they left for work in the morning, usually speaking a language we didn't understand but that included a rolled r, and that only reinforced the image.

And now, Chris is bursting about Pirates of the Caribbean. He's positively beside himself about a movie based on theme park ride that even he will admit, he thought sounded dumb when he first heard about it. But it seems that the buzz about the movie in the last six months or so has been very, very good. And what's odd to me is not that Chris knows about a movie's pre-release buzz (because he is astonishingly well-informed about such stuff) but that it seemed like he thought there was a chance that the movie could be good to begin with, if they just didn't screw it up. As if we were afraid that the filmmakers wouldn't do justice to the thrills of the ride.

And that's peculiar to me because although I haven't been to Disneyland since 1984, I remember that the main thrill of Pirates of the Caribbean was that bump your canoe slid down, and the water sloshing around at your feet splashed your ankles. But I'm probably missing the point; the little slo-mo Jack-In-The-Box pirates drank rum and fired guns and clearly never had to wash their faces or go to the dentist, and I suppose that is a little boy image of Heaven.

So we'll go see the movie on Saturday (because lord knows, we have tickets already) and Chris will "Aarrrrrr!" for at least the whole rest of the weekend if not longer. And I will continue to pretend to be a stick in the mud about it because it's more fun that way. Ahoy! And watch your socks.


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