"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Monday, June 19, 2006
Yesterday, as I presume most of you know, was Fathers' Day. My own father is facing a minor (we hope) medical situation, so I took special pleasure in talking to him on the phone. If you're the sort of person who prays, or sacrifices goats, or whatever, you may want to include a nice thought for Dad.
This was my fourth Fathers' Day as an actual father, and I have enjoyed each one even more than the last. My son and I spent much of the morning playing his favorite Pokemon game on the Nintendo, and then we spent most of the afternoon watching School of Rock, the Jack Black movie, on DVD. My Lovely Bride bought the movie with the intent that Nick and I could watch it together - on several occasions, however, when the dialogue got a bit sassy, she shot me a look that clearly said "You're gonna deal with the notes home from preschool when he repeats this!" I, in turn, gave her a look intended to say "Hey, this was your idea."
Anyway, I felt a little bad for Nick during the movie, because it's his bad luck to have a father who views a film like School of Rock as a canonical text. I was busy pointing out key information throughout the early scenes, and then quizzing him during the second half of the movie. I am pleased to report that he can now consistently identify a Flying V and an SG; when we watch it again, I am confident that he will be able to pick out the Les Paul and the Thunderbird. (Obviously, Gibson got the product placement contract for this flick; if there is a sequel, I hope that Fender gets the nod so that Nick can learn to tell a Strat from a Tele.) He also, I think, understands the fundamental lessons that (1) a hot chick bass player brings tremendous value to her band (accord Kendra Smith, D'Arcy, and Tina Weymouth), even if she's only ten years old, and that (2) all drummers are hopeless flakes (Q: How can you tell when the stage is level? A: The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth).
But the payoff came a bit later, as Nick and I were driving to the pool to enjoy family swim together. I asked him if he enjoyed the movie, and he said that he did. I asked him if he thought it was funny, and again, he said that he did. Finally, recognizing that the moral of the film represented a teachable moment, I asked him if he learned anything from it. After a short pause, he said:
Yeah. Don't boss people around until you hear their song.
Have I mentioned that my son is a genius?