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Friday, June 7, 2013

Jane Reacts to Monty Python




This entry probably won't interest you much unless you particularly love almost-12-year-old kids and their infectious enthusiasm for new things, or unless you particularly love my own daughter Jane, or unless you BOTH particularly love Monty Python AND YET are not a "movie-quote snob" who insists on getting every quote exactly right. (If you do insist on absolute exact recitation, this video is not for you. You'll hear me make a correction here or there, when I should have just held my own tongue.

But I had to record some of this and I had to share because it delighted me so much.

Jane's history teacher decided that as part of class, the students should watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I am *so* glad that she did. I too saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a student--but I was a senior in high school and not a 6th grader. My English teacher felt it was absolutely necessary viewing, and I was elected as the class member to do the cumbersome ritual of calling Sycamore Video and reserving the gigantic metal box we called a VHS VCR as well as the VCR tape of the movie. Back in those days, we had to rent the box as well as the movie because most people (and most schools--at least private ones) didn't actually OWN such expensive and high-tech equipment.

So I brought the equipment home and my older brother Jimmy set it up at our house first. He, Kevin, Chris, and I put in the video, not having any idea what to expect. I remember within moments laughing so hard I feared incontinence. By the scene of the Black Knight, I can only remember lying face down on the den floor, literally crying and gasping for breath.

The cardboard cutout of God appearing in the clouds, complaining about the miserable groveling of all those Psalms, unfortunately coincided with the entrance of my dear Uncle Sammy, who stood in judgment over us with hands on hips and declared, "That is the most sacrilegious thing I've ever seen IN MY LIFE!" and bewildered, left us still giggling and howling.

Jane's reaction, even though she's much younger than I was at my first viewing, has been very similar. I'm so pleased for how much of the story and humor she really grasped, so that she could recount it to us in her own narrative.

For the Python-quoting purists, you'll just have to forgive her. She doesn't quote it word for word--at least not yet. But her enthusiasm and delight are worth every single inexact repetition. She went on and on for at least a half hour, sometimes laughing so hard at her own memory that she had to stop to breathe and start again. I'm sorry I missed recording most of that. She got decidedly more self-controlled when the camera came out.

Documented for our own family history.

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