Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunday Evenings with Edward Gorey

Dear Dad,

I don't really think of myself as a creature of habit. I don't eat the same lunch every day. I don't take the same route when I walk the dog in the evening. I don't want to go to the same vacation spot year in and year out. I like new things. I enjoy different.

There's an exception, of course (as there is to every rule), and that is Sunday evenings. I think, even if I was lost in the wilderness or trapped on an island and I'd totally lost track of days and months and even years, I would know when Sunday evening rolled around. Because almost without fail, as the day fades into evening and the weekend draws to a close, the urge to watch Masterpiece bubbles up inside me, and I find myself craving a cup of tea and a good episode of Inspector Lewis or a nice costume drama. And it's totally your fault.

I'm sure there was a point in my life when I did NOT love a good BBC/WGBH mystery and/or lengthy period saga, although I can't really remember it. Masterpiece Theater and Mystery are, along with my accidental viewing of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the earliest memories I have of watching TV. Names like Morse and Forsyth and Jeeves seem to have always been in my scope of understanding. I don't even remember when I started actually watching Masterpiece and Mystery (although I remember that it was BEFORE they became one show) but I have very vivid memories of my evenings ending right about the time that either Vincent Price or Alistair Cook came on the screen to give a few hints about what events were about to unfold. I was allowed to stay up and watch the introduction long before I could understand the show that followed. I liked Mystery best. The travelling shot of what I supposed was meant to look like an old fashioned gentleman's library (Alistair's?) was ok, it had a catchy tune, but it had nothing on Edward Gorey's art, or for that matter, Vincent Price's creepy voice, still audible as I lingered on the stairs on my way to bed. I loved the fainting lady best of all, but the spiderweb fan in the ballroom seen was pretty awesome as well.

I still find myself a little shocked when the old, longer introduction doesn't play before mystery. It's been shortened and shortened again I know, but I always expect to hear the whole thing because that's how it plays in my head round about the time the kids go to bed on a Sunday night. It's like an internal alarm. Sunday evening has arrived!! Cue the Masterpiece! Make the tea!

More frightening still is that this disease seems to be catching. Last weekend Will suggested we rewatch an episode of Lewis "Because it's Sunday." I wonder how long it will be before the kids catch it? Evelyn is most likely to fall first, being, already, a fan of Miss Fisher and Jane Austen. It's contagious, or possibly genetic. Either way....

Bah Bah bum bum bum bum ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bum bum bum ba-bum bum bum

Who's making the tea?



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