Wednesday, August 31, 2016

We Love You, Conrad

...  oh yes we do!
When it comes to comfort movies, "Bye Bye, Birdie" tops my list. I watched it again the other night and enjoyed every corny moment. I was only five when the film came out, and from that point on, wanted to be Ann-Margret, with the long red hair and killer bod. I wanted to live in goyisha Sweet Apple. I wanted to go steady with Hugo. I wanted Conrad Birdie to kiss me on "Ed Sullivan."  I wanted to slip into this cheeky song-and-dance fantasy, if only for a moment or two, and finally got my chance in junior high, when my friend Laurie and I performed "Kids!" for the Daddy-Daughter Dinner. You know it. You've sung it to your own offspring in one form or another:  "Kids!  I don't what's wrong with these kids today!" There we were on the big stage, Laurie and I, dressed in our dads' baggy pants, lip-synching to Paul Lynde's classic rant against "noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy loafers." Naturally, we rocked it.  The reviews were stellar. According to our dads, we were "fantastic!"
"What's the story? Morning glory?"

And while we're on the subject, a few months later, a bunch of us did "The Telephone Hour" for the Mother-Daughter Tea. It was a mini flash mob, as I recall. I can't remember how many of us were up there, or whether we actually sang, "What's the word, hummingbird?" or pretended to, but once again, the reviews were stellar. According to our mothers, we were "sensational!" Sadly, my budding stage career ended right there. I never lip-synched again, never grew up to look like Ann-Margret, never wore bright pink skin-tight pants, never got pinned by Hugo. But I'm alright with that, I've made peace with it. As long as I can watch "Bye Bye, Birdie" every now and then, I'm good. Who needs goyisha Sweet Apple, when you've got the wonder, the charm, the excitement of Sherman Oaks?

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