Saturday, June 18, 2011


WHEN THE NEIGHBORS go to dinner each month, we meet at a Chinese restaurant where the waiter is willing to write separate checks for us so the evening isn't spoiled by figuring out math problems. We sit around a big table with a lazy susan in the center and in the beginning, about 6 years ago, there were 10 of us before we lost Gunars whose life on earth came to a close too early, so then there were 9. Last Thursday we numbered 11, because Jeff and Karen were able to join us. They're the young couple in our old neighborhood, still raising babies, whereas the rest of us have children old enough to be giving us grandchildren. Karen is a physical therapist. Years ago I wasn't sure what that meant, but recent years and many P.T. sessions have educated us.
Jeff is a writer
who nowadays comes up with a daily comic strip which is syndicated in 50 newspapers. I sat next to him the other evening and enjoyed chatting with him about the creative process. Certainly, my daily gibberish can't begin to compare with what Jeff produces, but we both agreed that some of our favorite writings don't get much response at all from our reading public, whereas other items that we feel are mediocre receive great acclaim. Go figure.

When Jeff asked me how I was using my time at the Manor, I confessed to being part of a 2 woman team in charge of the library, and compiling a staff directory and as an afterthought remembered that I'm now one of four members of the Movie Committee. Movies are aired on weekends in the Tea Room and the first 18 months we were here, it seemed that without exception the films being shown were produced a very long time ago.

It is with apologies that I admit that I'm not a classic film buff. I don't know why, but anything made much before 1980 holds little interest for me and I know that admitting that is akin to saying I don't care for character rating plunges in the minds of many people. But there we have it.

So when I was invited to sit on the film committee it was a natural thing for me to suggest some more recent movies that I remembered enjoying.

Enter, culture shock. "It's Complicated" found Meryl Streep cavorting between the sheets and was a noticeable departure from the cinema fare the residents were used to. My suggestion of "Four Seasons", starring Carol Burnett, Alan Alda among others brought forth a phone call and the words "the raunchiest movie I've ever seen" were uttered. 

The movies can be watched on each person's television set and the language in "Billy Elliott" caused more than one resident to turn it off before the story even got started. When it was time to show "Amelie" I was sure no one would be offended with this charming French film set in Paris. Wrong! Fornication appeared, however briefly, on the screen, startling even me.........I hadn't recalled that part at all.

One lovely lady resigned from the committee due to the nature of the films being shown. Oh, dear.

When I told Jeff that Nadine, the other librarian, and I don't approve of censorship and recently accepted into the library a book on bordellos in early Alaska and then shelved a donation of a book on Chicago's brothels in the early days, Jeff's comment was that I should be named officially as the Smut Director of Windsor Manor. 

When we moved in, one of the directors commented that she was counting on us to liven up the place, but I'm not sure this is what she had in mind.

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities."  ~Jean Houston

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."  
                                                                ~Kurt Vonnegut

"Laughter gives us distance.  It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on."  ~Bob Newhart

"With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die."  ~Abraham Lincoln

"Laughter is an orgasm triggered by the intercourse of sense and nonsense." 
                                        ~ Author Unknown


  1. Four Seasons is a GREAT movie, Jane!!!!! (There is another little movie I adore (and no one else saw) called Best Friends with Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. Did you ever catch that one?)

    Funny what we each like! Funny what we each censor!

    Maybe the Manor would get a chuckle out of Calendar Girls..... maybe they would propose a calendar for themselves-----be.naked?

    You are a brave woman to take on the responsibility of suggesting movies. It's a tricky little path to walk. But, you DO have excellent taste and know how to spot a real gem! I'd see ANYTHING you would recommend!

  2. Come to think of it, we did show Calendar Girls a couple of weeks ago. Probably another shocker.

  3. Hey Bob! How are you making it so far? If that picture of you laughing at dinner was not Photoshopped, I'd say you are doing all right! I am gladder than glad.

  4. Dear Smut Director: God bless you as laughter is the best medicine. Can't you just designate one evening a week to be Modern Movie Nite. Those who might be a bit offended by a little flash of bosom or a cuss word or a romp in the hay can choose to play Scrabble that night or, perhaps, solitaire. As Graham Greene said in "Travels With My Aunt, "Life is a banquet and most poor souls are starving." T.O. Joanne

  5. Auntie J, I have to say that Uncle B truly looks like one of those distinguished authors. I love it! (again, it is me the anonymous niece Denise)

  6. Oh, I'm so glad you're getting a little comic relief. I know you're under a lot of stress, and you certainly need it. I do think you'd really enjoy "Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)"

    If you like Monty Python, it's typical of their nutty humor, but it's set in a symphony/opera environment, if you can imagine that. It's very funny. Watch it when you're having a bad day with all of the stresses, Jane...


  7. ps
    I'm glad you're shaking things up a bit--they probably need to loosen up some, and you have a great sense of humor.

  8. Dear Jane... I love you even if you don't particularly care for cats. Hugs... Timi

  9. Whoa! You're dealing with a rough crowd you porn peddler you! LOL! I LOVE "The Four Seasons" too by the way! Love, Shelley

  10. I love the posts above!! Porn peddler...Queen of smut!! How fun to shake things up!! The quotes above are great to, as we all know laughter is what keeps us on on toes about reality! You do not like cats?????

  11. Susan H writes, When I was in fourth grade we were to give monthly speeches on a subject we picked out ourselves, I gave one on the Besenji barkless dog, one about bookshops, and I was looking through the encyclopedia for my next subject and was facinated with Smut - a form of bacteria, I remember having you, Mom, read it over much to your mortification. I did not know the other definition of Smut. I had to change my topic, again, comic relief :)

  12. Dear Smut Director,
    What a funny post!! I'm glad you're laughing today!!! Another movie that may get you on the banned list (for different reasons) is 'Fair Game'. I thoroughly enjoyed it.