Saturday, February 04, 2006

In the (star) wars...

The runny nose/sore throat/tickly cough that has been making its way through North West London finally arrived in Mill Hill this week and both Scrappino and I have been suffering the winter sniffles. We both woke up feeling like our heads weighed ten tonnes on Thursday morning and neither of us could complete a sentence without hacking our guts out. So we had no choice but to take the day off school and work respectively.

Do you remember when you were off sick from school years ago? It was brilliant, wasn’t it? Your mum would make a bed on the couch with pillow and duvet, and you’d snuggle under the covers with a bowl of macaroni cheese and a hot ribena watching day time telly. It was the days before Fern and Philip of course. (If I remember rightly, it was the days before Richard and Judy. I think we had to make do with Pebble Mill at One and Crown Court.)

Anyway, Scrappino and I decided to take the day off on Thursday. I hid under my duvet on the big chair while he snuggled up on the couch. I made myself a mug of tea and a huge cup of hot chocolate for Scrappino and we took the phone off the hook and watched….Star Wars. I’d bought Scrappino the Star Wars box set (both of them – this year’s Mother of the Year award is practically in the bag) for doing so well with all the legal shenanigans recently. And this week was the perfect time to watch them. (Not least because, with our blocked noses and tickly throats, we both sounded like Darth Vader every time we opened our mouths.)

Now I have to admit to something which will no doubt baffle all my male readers, but which I’m sure all female devotees will fully understand. Basically, I have never (ever) been able to sit through an entire Star Wars film without falling asleep. And that’s when my head has not been pounding with flu and I’ve not been up all night coughing. So you can appreciate how tricky it was to stay awake while I was under the weather. But, as a single mother of a young boy I find myself having to do things that I’m not particularly equipped for. It’s something of a daily learning curve. I have had to master skills I never knew I had or feign an interest in activities that I’ve never experienced before. Understanding the rules of test cricket, for example, or building AirFix models of Spitfires. And now, I can add watching Star Wars to the list.

I tried my hardest to follow the plot and not fall asleep. But it was impossible. Scrappino had no such difficulty. He was hooked. From the minute the opening credits rolled at the beginning of Episode IV A New Hope to the very last moment of Episode III Revenge of the Sith (via Episodes V, VI, I and II) he was gripped. Admittedly, Scrappino is now something of a Sci-Fi junkie. He drops words like ‘hyperspace’ and ‘teleport’ into a conversation with uncanny ease (almost as though they were real words which actually mean something) and not a day goes by without some reference to Dr Who (as you all know only too well by now). But I must admit that I struggled with it all. I kept drifting off and then waking up, only to discover that the story had moved on by a matter of decades and I had no idea who anyone was or where they were. I was the most annoying DVD companion. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Is that Princess Leia?”
Scrappino: “No, Mum, it’s Padme”.
Me: “I see. But then how can that be Obe-wan Kenobe? I thought he already died?
Scrappino: “He did. But this is the young Obe-wan”
Me: “Oh, so is that Luke Skywalker?”
Scrappino “NO! It’s Anakin Skywalker”
Me: “Oh right, are they related?”
Scrappino: “MUM!!”

Scrappino was not the only one left exasperated. The feeling was mutual. He’s an eight year old boy and he’s started doing what all eight year old boys who are newly introduced to Star Wars do. He has started to say every sentence like Yoda. Later that day, (after he agreed to talk to me again once I had promised not to ask any more questions about the plot) we had the following conversation:

Me: “How is your throat feeling now?”
Scrappino: “A lot better, my throat feels”
Me: “Would you like some supper?”
Scrappino: “Some pasta and cheese, would I like.”
Me: “Are you feeling well enough to eat it at the table?”
Scrappino: “Eat it on the sofa, I would prefer.”

He wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t complete a sentence without stopping to cough or blow his nose, so I let him have his fun. But once I made the pasta and brought it to him on the sofa I asked if he’d like some tomato sauce to go with it.

Scrappino: “Yes please”
Me: “On the table, it is. May the sauce be with you”.


Anonymous Pet Shop Boy said...

Wow! Even I haven't done the "all 6 films" marathon viewing yet! Reeeeeee-spect comin' at ya! Interesting decision to do the original trilogy followed by the new trilogy, rather than follow the story chronologically. Very purist.
Hope you both feel better - all hail Hot Ribena!!

9:49 am  
Anonymous Jason Strugnell said...

At the last census in 2001, there are 390,000 Jedi Knights in the country, making it the 4th largest religion in the UK. Indeed, if statistics are to be believed there are more Jedis than Jews. Or put another way, there more drunken students, some of whom are probably Jewish too. Probably they were tempted by the new fangled doubled-ended light sabres used the later obscure sexual reference intended there Rx

5:31 pm  
Blogger Elster said...

Ah George Lucas - bringing families closer together for almost 30 years

9:47 pm  
Blogger R.x said...

PSB - Reeespect gratefully received. I feel I deserve it! Scrappino would never have allowed me to watch from Episode I. But having the series start at IV is just asking for the kid to watch it on a never ending loop. (Last night was attack of the clones...appropriate title since the film was the same as all the others).

Jason - More Jedi's than Jews? Now there's a thought. Re. the double ended light sabre (non) sexual reference - do I know you?

Elster - indeed. Couldn't have put it better myself.

9:50 am  
Anonymous Jason Strugnell said...

Aye, and an unlikely admirer too! :o)

10:26 pm  
Blogger R.x said...

Well, a quick google search tells me that Jason Strugnell is either:
a) a Wendy Cope fan
b) Wendy Cope
c) someone who googled Wendy Cope in a bid to impress
Either way - I have no idea who you are - although all admirers (however unlikely) are very welcome

11:19 am  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

If only they had cast Christopher Eccleston (pre- A Price Above Rubies, of course)! What is a Fern and Philip? Hope you (and Scrappino) are feeling better...

2:06 am  
Blogger R.x said...

MC - Scrappino and I are both feeling better thanks. Due to Star Wars and Chicken soup. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, and the thought of Christopher Eccleston in Jedi cape weilding a light sabre has made my day...

10:31 am  

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