DVDs, Captain Fantastic & a Skinny Guy

   Written by on March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The Godfather gave us a DVD for Christmas.  I seem to remember lots of folks talking about DVDs when I was single and none of them had anything positive to say about them.  Needless to say I was somewhat concerned when he told me he was putting one together for us.  Having made it half a century without one I didn’t see any need in trying one now.

In any case I was pleasantly surprised.  It turns out a DVD is like one of those Seedy thingys. Seedys are little LP record looking things that you are supposed to put in the cup holder on computers. (And you thought I was computer illiterate in addition to my other issues.)  Anyway, DVDs have pictures on them.

These particular pictures were of the Bratlets when they were babies. I knew the Godfather had a video camera and that he had watched us doing lots of things through it, but I didn’t know he could put them all on a DVD.

Anyway, it was a great gift. The first video was of the Boy child at 9 weeks old with us in the Recreation Center.  Recreation Centers are what were once called Pool Halls. Both Recreation Centers and Pools Halls have pool tables and arcade games. The big difference is that Pool Halls were where my generation hung out to kill time, meet people and do things we didn’t want our parents to know about.

Recreation Centers are where my generation drops their kids to hang out and meet people so we can do things we don’t want our kids to know about.  In my opinion, the most important feature of either is the Captain Fantastic pinball machine.

I’ve tried some of those computer games and none of them compare to The Captain.  The interesting thing is the same kid who will get all involved with a computer game will stand at a pinball machine like a statue doing nothing but flipping the flippers.

Proper pinballing is a total bodywork out.  First you have to learn each machine’s idiosyncrasies.  It is sort of like getting married. You learn if you do this, this will happen. You learn what each machine likes and dislikes. You learn to avoid the TILT feature which will shut down the entire show, either pinball or marriage.

  I would buy one for exercise but unfortunately, watching a fatish fiftish father properly pinballing is NOT a pretty sight. Not only that, I would probably hurt myself.

But back to the DVD; we watched the Bratlets’ first and second birthday parties. Then we watched them watching us in the Honey House.  For the first two years of their lives we spent most of our time bottling honey.

I recognized the Bratlets right off but those young men and women took some time to figure out.  There were much younger versions of the Godfather, one of my cousins and my brother. There was an attractive young woman about 22 years old and a skinny bearded guy who looks so much like the son does now he could be his brother. Who was he and what was he doing with my kids?

We watched this crew bottle honey.  The pumps were pumping, the conveyor was conveying, the filling machine was filling, and great things were being accomplished.  It looked a lot like work to me.

Then The Godfather asked each person what he or she was doing. The skinny guy was feeding bottles into the conveyor, the attractive girl was putting caps on, the cousin was labeling, the brother was putting the filled jars in cases and the Bratlets were watching with interest.   

Anyway, each person explained how he or she fit into the process until he got to the skinny guy.  “Well,” he drawled, “I just hang around, stick a few jars on the conveyor, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and watch it all happen.”

Needless to say, I was impressed with the skinny guy.  If they chase me away from here maybe I can get his job.

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