I've decided to...come out of the bottle. Yes, it is finally time to let everyone know...that I am not...your uncle, your "Life Preserver" your "Waldo" or your genie. I know, it's hard to believe after all those years of near miraculous performance as a husband, father, teacher, moonlighter etc. that I just don't have it in me anymore. I don't even command the snappy repartee or the storytelling chops that I used to have. When called upon now, I seem to simply shrink and defer to my masterful sons. Oh, I still have lots of dreams and fantasies but, zero-zip on the follow through. If I do happen to come through, then there is a greatly increased recuperation time.
Cases in point: Yesterday, for my Total Body Fitness Class at Crafton Hills College, I had to imporve my jog/walk time for the mile and a half. I barely did it and now I'm paying, pain-wise.
The first time I did it, it took 27 minutes walking steadily. The next time, a couple months ago, I improved it to 23:18 in the cooler weather around the track. My latest effort was just over 22:21 with mitigating circumstances. You see, the EMT class was having an on-field demo of a rescue heliocopter. It and its crew had landed near our walking/jogging track and we were able to get around it; but along about the 5th lap for me, it/they decided to take off and we all had to wait out of the way. Our coach Chris had to stop her watch and then start it 1:30 later. This gave us all time to catch our breath. Would I have been able to improve my time if this hadn't occured? I doubt it. Sunday, I had the great idea of flying kites again, this time with my grandchildren. Oops, maybe not. I needed help building them, finger strength or just perseverance and then trying to run with them in the gusty wind was...too much. Little things like this keep reminding me that...I've got to step asside. It is very hard after being the...Robin Williams...I used to fantasize.
We seem to need more of a "cushion" now in many ways, especially financially. No margin of error anymore, little time to recoup booboos. Can't be counted on to replenish, reboot or bail out anyone anymore. Kind of a weird feeling I haven't experienced before. The real concern now it not to come off as a "jerk" about such things but to be gracious and quiet. Not so quick on the "comeback" or sarcastic zinger that is still right there in some instances. Love conquers all and sometimes, lack of action speaks louder than words.
I was reminded of all this by an article in yesterday's L.A. Times Calendar section, titled: "Scriptland: Jim and Ryan's Excellent Adventure" It seems that Jim Herzfeld and Ryan Rowe, successful screenplay writers, have just gotten a $1.6 million advance for a comedy screenplay they co-wrote 20 years ago. They had tried several times to get it developed by various studios for TV or a movie but it had "died" mostly from neglect and circumstances. Disney was going to do it but then along came a very successful Aladin. There was also a Screen Writers' Guild Strike too. Their idea, from a colleague was: a messed up, jerk of a Genie named Bob. (why do we continue to choose my name for this characterization? ie. Bill Murray's "Bob"...baby steps etc.) This genie was a ghost who inhabits a bottle that some teenagers find. He, of course, is more than willing to grant their typical (teenaged boy) fantasies, but screws them up, predictably. Anyway, 4th wish is granted and we will be seeing a redrawn scenario based on this concept in the near future by Fox. I can hardly wait...2, 3, 4... for this blockbuster. You never know; these guys have written for "Meet the Parents", "Charlie's Angels", "Men in Black", "Great American Hero" (one of my favorites - a superhero - teacher) . It may be just what we need in "TVLand". I'll pass...and just...Bob!