Gilbert and Sullivan

It’s Gilbert and Sullivan night on KUSC racio. When I got in the car to come home, “The Mikado” was just beginning. I really wanted to call Neal and tell him to turn it on. It was hard not to send him a text, even though I know he won’t be on the other end to receive it. (And it would confuse the person who now has his phone number.) “The Mikado” and “Pirates of Penzance” were real favorites of his, from the time he was only 7 or 8 years old. He had them memorized, just like he did his favorite movies, like “Army of Darkness” or Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or “Star Wars”. They made him laugh out loud. I can almost hear it now. Shakespeare comedies had the same effect. He laughed so much at a college production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when he was about 10, everyone in the audience was craning to see where the sound was coming from. I was a drama geek before I was even a computer geek, I admit it. Met Neal’s dad when we were cast in a high school play together. So, yes, my kids ended up watching all that stuff with me, and so did the little boys.

I can remember Neal and Devon arguing over “Pirates of Penzance”. Neal really liked the pirate king, but Dev preferred the police Sgt. There was Neal, singing “It is, it is a glorious thing to be a pirate king,” while Devon was singing “Ta-ren-ta-ra! Ta-ren-ta-ra!” at the top of his lungs. They weren’t really meant to be sung together, I fear. It didn’t stop them, though.

Where was Ian in this argument? Ian went in a different direction. If it was a musical, it had to be “Man of La Mancha”, over and over again. He would sing “”I am I, Don Quixote the lord of La Mancha, my destiny calls and I go!” and when he came to the end he would say “Again!” and go through it all over again. I used to sing it over and over with him, just as I read “Blueberries for Sal” over and over again. I wanted to see how many times he would say “Again!” before he finally tired of it. I never did find out. Usually another grown up would say “No, NOT AGAIN!” before we ever got to that point.

Sweet boys, I miss them all. “Are you in sentimental mood? I’ll cry with you – ‘Oh, sorrrrrrrrow, sorrow.'” No? Too melancholy? How about “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” Too far in the other direction? Oh, well. “May the force be with you.” That covers everything, I think. Monkey.

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