Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Binky Goes to Bensenville (Part 2)

The front cover of my Ice Dreams program!

My mother passed away last summer, very unexpectedly. Also unexpectedly, one of the things she left me was her car: A Mercedes-Benz E-320 station wagon that is exactly the same car that Carmela drives in the first few seasons of The Sopranos. Which, while not a car I would or could ever buy for myself, is fun to drive, and also fitting, because my children's father is Sicilian and pretty much looks and acts like Tony Soprano. A lot of his dialogue is straight out of the Standard Sicilian Phrasebook: "Yeah, so, I know a guy who knows a guy..." and "Whaddya gonna do?" and "But he's family..."

However, I hardly ever drive the Carmela car, because my 1998 Dodge Caravan, which is fast closing in on that 100,000-mile mark and in which my children and I live and breathe and EAT to the point that we call it the "candy-coated van," is really much more me. It's blue and kind of resembles Bill the Yeti lying on his side.

My mother's car is in fact 10 years old, but looks brand new and has less than 27,000 miles on it--and a Bose stereo to die for.

Which made it the perfect vehicle to drive to Bensenville last week, because Lady Gaga has never sounded better than she did blasting out of those speakers for three hours straight with the bass all the way up. (Although sometimes I feel bad for my Carmela car, because my mother's musical tastes ran more toward Johnny Mathis and quiet piano solos, and she also had a garage, which I don't. So I always get this vibe that, with me at the wheel, the car feels kind of nervous and a little embarrassed, like an elderly Lutheran lady who meant to go to the Quilting Circle but somehow took a wrong turn in the church basement and ended up at the Johnny Weir addicts support group meeting where tonight's theme is, "Show me your teeth!" Which strikes her as deeply strange, because she doesn't really take her teeth out in public. And also she feels a little ... exposed ... parked on the street with her hood ornament hanging out for all the world to see.)

But Carmela loves the highway, so we piled in and headed over the rainbow via I-88 East to arrive in the Wonderful World of Weir.

Through a long and complicated set of circumstances, I was very fortunate to be afforded a bit of backstage access during which I took photos of some of the flowers sent to Johnny by his 37,000+ Facebook fans, a number that is roughly twice the entire population of Bensenville. I also got to meet the lovely, down-to-earth, and very gracious Dorothy Hamill and tell her that I was a HUGE fan and had watched her win her gold medal in 1976, to which she murmured, "My, that sounds like a long time ago, doesn't it...?" And I also met Dan Hollander, a brilliant comedic skater who was impressed that, when the skaters all donned lighted gloves to rehearse the finale number, I not only immediately knew the name of the movie he was racking his brain trying to recall, in which people's glowing palms meant that they had to die (Logan's Run), but also who starred in that movie (Michael York), and the year the movie came out (again, 1976). He was very appreciative of my role as a veritable fountain of useless trivia that only people as aged as Dan Hollander (37) and me (48) would know. All the other skaters thought we were crazy old people. But when I saw him in the hallway again later, he smiled and called me his "Logan's Run girl!" which was so nice because nobody has called me a girl since oh, about 1976.

I also had a brief moment that must be recorded here, simply for posterity's sake, in which I discovered that OMG! Rockne Brubaker has the finest set of washboard abs I have ever, EVER seen.

So not only did I get to meet some amazing people, feel all sparkly and girly, and watch some really wonderful skating, here's the best part: I also got to meet Johnny Weir!

"Yes, we KNOW," you're sighing to yourselves. "We SAW the picture ALREADY." Really? Here it is again, just in case.

And coming next: A little more of the story behind The Picture, to enhance that "you are there" feeling ...

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

More. Please, more.


Kimmichelle said...

Ha!!, LOL! sometimes your blogs really crack me up!, I can totally relate to what you're saying in this one as I am about to purchase my elderly mother's car. Now her car is not a fancy smancy one like yours but the bit about the music and the car being embarassed is EXACTLY what her car will feel when I fly to Rhode Island and drive it home to Charlotte, NC!, I'll have a VERY long time to blare Lady Gaga from its speakers!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Binky, you are totally torturing us!! *sob* I love the part about the car, but where's the rest of the Binky-met-Johnny story? Coming next . . . coming next . . . I feel like I want to camp out outside your front door! Or bribe you with candy to write faster.

Robin <(^_^)>