Friday, October 12, 2007

Ahhh, the Memories

Above is a vid from one of my favorite channels on YouTube, belonging to a couple of bunnies called Buns and ChouChou.

Watch it and then read this post...

So, I saw this little video this morning, sweet little bunny singing her heart out for Christmas (for which, incidentally, I am monumentally stoked this year), and it brought back a memory of my own, from middle or high school, I can't remember which. (This story has a happy ending, so please don't panic halfway.)

My sister had a friend, who shall remain nameless "just in case", who loved to sing, but sang terribly. It was a breathy kind of wheezy nasally whine, completely off key, in its own dimension with its own inflections and pronunciations. Seriously. You'll see what I mean. My memory of it is that something terrible can be beautiful in its awfulness, the sheer fact of its existence reminding you of why you appreciate even an OK singer next to it.

Still, she sang with a passion, and somehow my sister was always next to or around her when they would do little performances at school. For the school Christmas show that year, their class was singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and my sister was complaining loudly about how she was being torturously subjected to "Jane's" otherworldly intonations.

So, we were in the car one night, driving home from getting groceries in Gouverneur (about 40 minutes from home--yeah, and you think you've got it hard: that was the CLOSE grocery store!), and Judy was on about Jane and my dad had the idea that we should all sing like Jane. And he launches into "O Little Town of Bethlehem".

And just as he gets through with a particularly soulful "bethle-HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!!!!!!" (mimicking Jane's pronunciation), doesn't a damned deer leap into the road and onto the hood of our car? So of course, Dad hits the brakes, the deer goes skittering off the hood and is lying in a fairly undignified (for a deer) heap on the side of the road. Dad throws the car in reverse, we see the deer in the headlights, lying in a ditch, licking its leg and glaring at us.

Well, this is not good. The poor thing is hurt. So, instantly, the revelry of caroling over, my dad goes to a nearby farm to call the DEC officer to come out and humanly dispatch the poor thing. Meanwhile, my mom is in the car, "Now girls, don't upset your father, it's not his fault, these things happen, deer often get hit by cars, the warden will know what to do..."

And the minute my dad gets back in the car, before he has the chance to open his mouth and tell us what's going to happen next, my mom wails, "Oh George!" and about bursts into tears. My sister and I were dying not to burst out laughing.

So my dad says the DEC warden is on his way to kill the poor thing and there's nothing we can do, so we might as well not be around to watch the proceedings.

We drive the rest of the way home in contemplative silence. I was probably crying or praying for the deer, but whatever. We pull in the driveway and decide to survey the damage to the vehicle. None!!! Dodged a bullet there... There is a small line of fur along the hood of the van, but nothing dented, cracked, broken, nothing at all.

We start unloading the groceries and no sooner get inside when the phone rings. It's the DEC warden, calling to say he tracked the deer 3 miles into the woods and couldn't find it, so he's guessing it was just winded and is totally fine.

There was much rejoicing, and perhaps even another verse of "olittletownofbethle-HEM" to celebrate.

Why I am writing this, I don't know, other than seeing that video gave me such a nice memory to think of. I guess those are the times I miss most now that I'm a grown up with so much changed. Nice to have the memories inside, though!

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Seraphim9 said...

On the subject of bad singing....a couple of thoughts:

Annette kills me with the description of the little old ladies singing in the choir. "Caterwauling grannies" I think she calls them. She puts me in stitches when she does her imitation of them singing a hymn.

And there was the time I went to church with my parents while visiting one weekend. While singing a hymn, one of the little girls behind us stands up in the pew and proceeds to screech the remainder of the hymn at the highest, shrillest decibel she could muster. People all around her had tears running down their faces, "Oh what a blessing", "What an angel". They were just overcome with the glory of God.

Me....I was annoyed to the 'nth degree and pretty sure I was going to be struck by lightning and go straight to hell right then and there. I was not only irritated by this child, I was irritated by the people who obviously thought she was channeling Jesus Christ himself. "Oh, out of the mouths of babes...." "How precious!"

And I wanted to smack the mother of this child who allowed her continue on with the shrieking.

I felt truly evil at that moment and it made me wonder what was wrong with me. Am I so heartless that I saw this as a child who was obviously just doing this for attention rather than a "precious blessing" that the faithful churchgoers saw her as?

I was never so glad in my life to have a preacher start his sermon......

Kate/Susan said...

I have a real bad habit of getting the giggles in church on the rare occasions I go. Had I been there, I'd have been poking you, tears streaming down my cheeks as I bit my tongue, trying to keep the giggles inside.