Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gold Dust

Let me tell you about the worst movie ever made. It’s not a cheesy horror flick. It’s not a mindless comedy. It’s not an overblown indie film. Nope. Nope. Nope. The worst movie ever made is actually a children’s movie.

Thomas the Tank Engine and the Magic Railroad.

Leah hates everything about Thomas. I save my loathing for the feature film only. I think the original stories are entertaining and wonderfully illustrated. I enjoy the short films with the working model trains. They are narrated by the likes of Ringo Starr, George Carlin, and Alec Baldwin. The toys are cheaply made and grossly overpriced, but so is everything else these days.

But the Hollywood movie? Pure and utter trash. To even attempt to follow the plot line gives me a headache. Here’s my best shot at a synopsis:

Peter Fonda is a widower suffering from chronic depression. Alec Baldwin is a magical railway conductor. They live in the real world, which, in this movie is called Muffle Mountain. Thomas the tank engine lives & works on the island of Sodor. There is a magical connection between Sodor and Muffle Mountain, but no one remembers how it works. The local disaffected youth catches Peter Fonda in a hidden mountain cave with a steam engine that doesn’t work. Peter Fonda’s granddaughter comes to visit, but gets off at the wrong train station because she listened to a dog. She believes in magic. Alec Baldwin travels to Sodor by blowing his whistle filled with gold dust. But his magical gold dust is running out, and he doesn’t know where to get more. He is there to watch over the engines while Sir Topham Hatt is away on vacation. An evil diesel engine shows up looking to find and destroy an engine that no one has ever seen before. Alec Baldwin calls his stoner cousin for help. The stoner meets the granddaughter and abducts her to Sodor. They find the magical railway connection and go back to Muffle Mountain with Thomas & some magic coal. They put the magical coal in the steam engine in the mountain and it works. Peter Fonda drives the engine back to Sodor. This is the engine the diesel is out to destroy, and he chases them, but ends up falling off a bridge.

Now here’s where it really gets crazy. The granddaughter collects the shavings (small pieces of metal “shaved” off from the contact between the rails and the wheels), filters them through water, and throws them into the air. What happens? They turn to gold dust, thereby restoring the magical powers of Alec Baldwin and his stoner cousin.

Like I said: the worst movie ever made.

The other night, Leah and I forgot to eat dinner. It happens every now and again. No big deal. We just ordered a pizza. If she could, Leah would order jalapeno pizza with Tabasco sauce instead of tomatoes. Instead, she gets hot peppers and then sprinkles crushed red pepper on her slices. It was late last night, and the crushed red pepper was left on the floor, along with an empty beer bottle. Whoops.

Leah left early the next morning to go to Syracuse, so I was in charge of breakfast, clothes, and transportation to school.

Breakfast? Grampa style pancakes - great.
Clothes? All boys in Sabres regalia. – perfect.
Tranportation to school? Sammy was delivered on time – wonderful.

There was just one episode this morning that needs telling. Noah & Aidan were dressed. Sam was in process. I told the twins to go play in the living room. I finished helping Sammy and went into the kitchen to get his lunch and backpack.

Walking out to the living room, I see all three boys, standing over the grey plastic train tracks that Aunt Bridget gave Sam a couple years ago. Noah is shaking his arms up and down. There is crushed red pepper all over the tracks. And the rest of the floor.

My eyes popped out of my head. “What is going on here!” I yelled. Like they do every time they get caught red-handed, all three scattered in different directions. I reached for Noah, grabbing the pepper from him before he could inflict more damage.

“What are you doing,” I asked.
“Makin’ gold dust, Daddy,” he replied.