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» Thursday, June 12, 2014Appointments, Books, and Dogs in More Ways Than One
Since James worked Sunday, he was off today, so I took the day off as well. After a rather hellish week—I was in a lot of pain on Tuesday afternoon with what felt like a gall bladder attack, triggered by God knows what, as I ate the same thing on Wednesday and it didn't make me sick again—I was looking forward to today. Originally I had through we could go up to McKays (there are two boxes of DVDs and books), and then James told me he had scheduled his MRI for today. This was okay, though, because, although he has had an MRI before and didn't mind, he was not sure he could do one again without some medication. So it would be expedient for him to have a driver.
We got up at eight and while I was perambulating the puppy he was starting dinner: boneless pork ribs in Classico tomato-and-basil sauce cooked in the crock pot. Then we headed out to Kaiser Permanente's site at Towne Park near Kennesaw. Wow, this is a huge facility, bigger than the Glenridge site; we waited outside the imaging center until we could go inside where I could wait while he put his things into a locker and went in the back. He returned before long, having gone MRI-less. The last time he had an MRI, his shoulders were so broad they almost did not fit in the tube. Now apparently they have to put padding between your shoulders and the wall of the unit; with the pads there he could not fit in. They will send in a referral for an open MRI.
Meanwhile, there we were...hungry. So we went to Panera where I had breakfast (oatmeal and a bagel with the roasted veggie spread, which is delicious) and James had soup and sandwich. We then made a brief stop at Barnes & Noble (drat, they still have the April "Best of British") and stopped at Petco to (guess what) buy more stuff for Tucker. Bought him three Nylabones, a Kong toy and biscuits to put in it, and a rope tug; also a bottle that will hold water with an attached bowl, all of which clips to a belt (dog park and vacation friendly).
Then, since we had nothing else planned, we drove up to the Books-a-Million in Acworth. I haven't been up there in months. We shared a frozen hot chocolate at the J. Muggs coffee shop and I picked up a book I'd looked at but didn't buy some time ago, called Unholy Night. It asks the question: what if the "Wise Men" were actually criminals? For $3 I figured I could risk it. I also bought Murder on the Home Front, the true story of a woman who became a secretary for a police coroner during the Blitz in London. Looks rather Foyle's War-ish.
By the time we got home, the pork smelled heavenly. James cooked some fusilli to go with it. Oh, I've missed this; I haven't made gravy in ages. The crock pot does it perfectly; this cooked on warm from about 8:30 to 5:30 and was marvelous. Tucker was full of beans after that long in the crate, and tore into his new toys with gusto. I think he likes the Kong, but he's not as food driven as Willow was, at least in her later years. He loves the tug rope; you can pull him off the floor with him hanging on to it. I didn't realize one of the Nylabones was a bacon-flavored bone treat; he killed it within a half hour.
Anyway, tonight we watched the final Cosmos, with a clip of Carl Sagan near the end, and some episodes of The New Lassie, including what I call "The Infamous 'Timmy?' Episode." The skinny: The New Lassie, originally just called Lassie, was a syndicated half-hour series from 1989-1991. In this incarnation, Lassie lived with the McCullough family: Chris, an architect; his wife Dee, a job counselor; their 13-year-old daughter Megan, who loves photography; and 10-year-old Will, Lassie's especial pal. Visiting occasionally is Chris' younger brother, Steve, who's into traveling and is a journalist. Steve is, by the way, played by Jon Provost, who, as almost everyone knows, played "Timmy" on the original Lassie series.
The episode is actually titled "Roots," and wasn't any easier to swallow almost 25 years later.
So, the facts: per the story Chris rescued the Lassie of The New Lassie as a puppy from a burning car three years before our story takes place. As the story opens, they receive a registered letter from a Mrs. Chadwick, who claims Lassie is her property and she's coming to pick her up. The McCulloughs consult a lawyer, but Mrs. Chadwick's legal papers are all sound—she even has Lassie's AKC papers! So Chris, Dee, and Uncle Steve are waiting when Mrs. Chadwick walks in and she immediately sees Steve, freezes, and then says "Timmy?" and he says "Mom?"
Predictably, Steve is pissed off. He says his parents abandoned him. She says "but you were only our foster son, and the county took you away from us. Remember, I sat you down and explained this to you, very carefully." He doesn't remember still, and she hazards, "Well, you were so young."
Seriously? They had him for seven years, and never adopted him? And Timmy was fourteen when they moved to Australia. He was NOT very young. So anyway then he went by his middle name, Steve, and the McCulloughs adopted him. Next!
So, evidently feeling a woman's touch might help, Dee tries to talk Mrs. Chadwick out of taking Lassie, and this poor woman is just about pathetic. She rambles on about having some very bad times in the past, but that having Lassie back will help, and says "we had Lassie before we had Timmy! My father had a Lassie, and my grandfather had a Lassie, and this one is very special because she's the last of the line..." like she's ten years old. And of course everyone who's watched the series is saying "Seriously?" Because Timmy got Lassie from Jeff Miller, and the Martins had never laid eyes on her before they showed up on Ellen Miller's doorstep. (They even acknowledge this in the episode where Jeff shows up again!) The executive producer of The New Lassie wrote this episode and he evidently knew nothing about the history of the series.
So, happy ending--Will and Mrs. Chadwick bond over Lassie and they promise her a puppy (which Lassie has a couple of episodes later). But, honestly, the only way this episode works is if you view it as a comedy, because it has to be the stupidest reunion show ever.