Monday, November 16, 2015

Bond... James Bond...

We went to another movie today - making up for all those months when we didn't.  We are "taking turns": last Friday, we went to see Burnt (Joan's choice).  Today, we took in the newest James Bond offering, Spectre.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie today.  Joan said, "That was definitely a 'guy movie'."

"Yep, and Burnt was more of a 'chick flick,' with all that angst and stuff."

The Bond movies are a formula: big thrilling opening scene, set up the plot, introduce the "Bond girl," a chase scene, Bond whoops up on the bad guys, the bad guy captures Bond, Bond escapes and blows up everything and in the process saves the world, Bond gets the girl.  It is a formula that works - I like it.

I read the Ian Flemming books when I was a kid.  Other kids wanted to be Batman... I wanted to be... Bond... James Bond.  (Cue the music!)

I told Joan today that James Bond was somewhat responsible for me being a guitar player.  No, Bond wasn't a guitar player.  No, it wasn't about the theme music.  When I was a kid, my Mother got me a James Bond 007 race car set for Christmas...

I put it together and... it didn't work.  I took it back to Sears right after Christmas, and they already had the toy department put away - not like these days when the Christmas shopping season starts in mid-September and runs through Ground Hog Day.  But, I digress... they couldn't just replace it, and they could only offer me store credit, not a refund.  Think back to when you were a kid - not much fun to play with a piece of paper that shows you have store credit.

I walked around the store, looking for something to buy.  I wasn't interested in clothes... or paint... or chain-link fence.  Hey, it was Sears!  Then, I happened upon their musical instrument department.  Well, more like a short aisle with a few guitars.  I had heard about this band called The Beatles (they hadn't come to the US at this point) - I just knew if I had a guitar, they would want to enlist me as a "Junior Beatle."  I was willing to grow my hair... but, I knew I needed a guitar.  Alas, the only guitar in my store credit budget was one of those "old fashioned looking acoustic guitars"... I really wanted an electric guitar.  No way I could check with my Mother to see if she could "kick in some extra $$$"... we weren't exactly rolling in the dough.  I didn't understand it at the time, but the only way should could afford that race car set for me was to put it on Sears Revolving Charge.  Besides, I had asked for a guitar prior to that and was told, "You cannot live in this house if you ever bring a guitar home!  You'll grow up to be like your Father!"

I was pretty sure she wasn't going to toss an 11 year old kid out of the house... I came home with the least expensive guitar in the Sears "music department."  It was - and this is a technical music term - a piece of crap.  The strings were so far off the neck, I could hardly press them down... playing an actual chord was out of the question.

There was the "I thought I told you about bringing home a guitar" speech, followed by the "But, they didn't have anything else in the whole store" sniveling.  I was allowed to continue living in the house.  Pretty sure she thought it was just a stage.  So far, that "stage" has lasted 51 years.

Lucky for me.  Had that race car set worked, I may have become a race car driver... or a secret agent.  James Bond and I do share the same first name... and last initial.  It's probably too late to take up being a secret agent, now, huh?  ;-)

Every once in a while, Joan will say, "Oh, James."  I'm sure she means it like the Bond girls.

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