Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I haven't told a family story in a while, so here's a new one.
Along about 1991, I was driving along a street in Dallas and I saw a sign that said that extras were needed for a large tent revival scene in a film, and that the pay for extras would be donated to the Montessori Schools in Dallas. This sounded interesting, so I called up my parents to see if they wanted to go with me. I suppose I was such a spaz about it that they thought they'd come along because they felt sorry for their retarded daughter, or maybe like me they were curious about how it all worked.
The film turned out to be Leap Of Faith with Steve Martin. The scene was shot in a soundstage in Las Colinas, which is West of Dallas near the airport. We were inside the tent, inside the building, with blazing lights, so it was quite hot. This was the scene when the storm finally comes to the drought-blighted community and the cynical fake preacher Steve Martin finally starts believing in miracles, and all heaven breaks loose on the wet folk at the tent revival.
Well, it was hot and muggy in the tent, and we stood for what seemed eternity as things were shot over and over. I have to say the whole trip was made worthwhile by the magnificent 100 strong black full gospel choir who were singing their brains out at the front of the tent. To hear that many good singers singing full-voice is a hair-raising experience, to say the least.
We were near the back of the tent, with two rows of chairs in front of us with an aisle in front of them. Most of the time was ours to play tiddly-winks. We were hot and restive, but everyone stayed in their spots because the film people were running around losing their minds, and somewhere, a director was yelling. Finally, some production assistants came through the humid masses with bottles of water to hand out. I took two. Mom sat quietly in her chair, but Dad and I were standing, looking around, and truth-be-known, probably itching to instigate a riot.
There was a mouthy heifer two rows ahead who also took extra water bottles. Dad and I were standing, taking a swig of our water when the bitch stone cold turned around, let out a "whoop" and flung a big ropey splash of water onto me and the people behind me. I was filled with the need for revenge. I pulled out my second bottle of water and began to remove the cap, when Dad said "don't do that," and took it from my hand.
Dad, always the clever one, pulled out his pocket knife and bored a small hole in the lid of my water bottle, rendering it a precision weapon by which I could exact my revenge on that nasty bitch. I crossed my left forearm across my waist to hold my elbow, and waited for my moment. As soon as I got a clear bead on her, I sent a quick projectile of liquid vengeance to douse her neck. By the time she reacted and turned, my left arm was still in place, right arm upturned and holding the (seemingly) capped water bottle casually, not looking at her. We had fun this way several times but I stopped before she figured it out. Her sputtering impotent fury made me glad she'd been such a jerk. Needless to say, we laughed about it the entire rest of the day.
I never saw the movie, so I don't know if we are visible, and I really don't care. I certainly know there is no entry for Phlegmmy in the credits. Like I said, it was worth the discomfort to hear that choir. But to have an opportunity to have my pop act as efficiency expert to my mischief-doing was absolutely priceless. You rock, Dad!