I hate funerals.
Well, I dunno anyone who particularly likes them. They're sad, and so hard. Even virtual funerals. Like John's on Friday. (Ok, we all know he's not really dead, but let's just play along for a bit, k?)
I think I would have made it the whole way through Friday's episode, but then Eve started singing Danny Boy. And even then, I was still teetering . . . teetering . . . and then Evangeline picked up where Eve left off. After that, I was just no more good. I was even nice and friendly and helpful at school. Can you believe that? Not a single smart-aleck comment the whole rest of the day. And night. Ok, the night part was a little difficult, but I . . . somehow . . . made it through.
Eve. Evangeline. That's kinda got a nice, transitory ring to it, don'tcha think?
Back to our story.
Really, though -- it was the pipes that got me.
Anyone who knows me also knows the story of me and the pipes 'cross town. But we don't have many secrets here -- it's just us, right? -- so I'll tell you all, too.
Back a few years ago, must've been somewhere in the very late 90s, I was living in wild, wonderful West Virginia. I was on the East End of the capital city, living in a duplex (two-story) apartment. My bedroom was on the top floor. (Of course, she says.). I was sitting in my window, enjoying this really sweet Spring afternoon. That's when I heard it. The sound is unmistakable, at least to my ears. Bagpipes.
I can hear pipes from almost anywhere, especially in Charleston. The air is quieter and the breezes bring sounds and scents wafting clearly over relatively short distances.
So I hear these pipes, off in the distance, and I got up and walked -- mesmerized -- from my flat to Sacred Heart on Virginia Street. It was a wedding, and a really beautiful one at that. Standing across the street listening to those pipes, though . . . (sigh)that's my love affair with bagpipes. I don't listen to them all the time, and I can count about one bagpipe CD in my eclectic collection of musical entertainment. But live . . . I weep, especially when the piper bellows Amazing Grace. Like they did Friday, for John McBain.
The Powers That Be did a GREAT job on McBain's funeral on Friday afternoon. The digging-of-the-grave thing really got to me, and it was especially poignant that TPTB cast a guy who looked about the same age as Thomas McBain was when he and John had that conversation last week. Very nice. Like Ryan said last week, it's not too often that I get to congratulate the OLTL Powers-That-Be on a great week, so: GOOD JOB, YE POWERS THAT BE! GOOD JOB!
At the same time, it was AWESOME to see Asa back -- and still as ornery as ever! What does he have up his sleeve this time? I loved Nigel's "I'll get the bourbon" response. It was such a classic, classy scene. Matthew all decked out, gathered with all the Buchanan men . . . (except Duke, dang it!) But, it was priceless.
Meanwhile, over at Llanfair, Nat was getting the crap slapped outta her by her First Mama, Roxy. I loved the look on Viki's face!! Like, "Oh dear Lord! We've never had a child-slapping before!" See, I think that Nat's been at Viki's entirely too long. Maybe that's why I find her so bobble-headed. She's lost her scrap -- her Nattie-ness -- and TPTB have replaced that with the kind of insecurity that made this beautiful, sexy redhead stoop so low as to steal another girl's guy. She could've done way better than that and I wish TPTB hadn't done that to this character.
Now, I am not letting John off the hook. I mean, Natalie is beautiful and all, but there ain't no way that the John who first came to Llanview would have ever chosen Nat over Vange. (Haven't I said that before?) I never bought that and I never will. Now, maybe TPTB needed Nat's scrap to help John weather the storms he hit when he started finally dealing with his father's death. Why TPTB couldn't leave them as friends to do that, I'll never know. But now that the storm is over and John's dead for awhile, I'd love to see Cris back with Nat, painting, and John and Vange work their way home, too. In fact, let's just all wake up on Monday and see that this was all a dream (dreamdreamdream . . .) and instead of Crange, we have JoVan . . . no Rexiana . . . Layla (Laaayla, you got me on my knees/Layla . . .darlin won't you easy my worried mind . . . ). Oh, and Jessica became Tessica, the baby isn't named Bree Brennan, 'cause Lord knows we don't wanna have to call that child "BeeBee" when she grows up and jumps to age ten before Jaimie gets out of middle school. . . Well, we can dream, can't we?
I've gotten quite a few emails recently, alluding to the possibility that David may be the long, lost Buchanan. Truth is, I dunno. But, that wouldn't be too far-fetched, would it? And if that were so, we could put Hugh's parentage discovery in with that this-was-all-a-dream stuff I mentioned earlier. Then, Hugh would be safe and maybe Dorian wouldn't cringe if he decided to pursue Kelly. Although I have to admit that I am hoping that her kid'll be Kevin's kid and that they'll live happily-ever-after. The way that TPTB have made it all but impossible for Dan and Heather to stay, their characters deserve at least that much.
So, quick question: Exactly when did Evangeline go from this self-assured smack'em-down attorney to everybody's friggin' cheerleader? I'm serious -- if i have to hear her say, "You're innocent, and we'll prove it" one more time . . . I mean, Holy Cheese, Batman! Can we not have her team up with Todd to find Todd's kid and let Cristian babysit Nat for awhile? I know! We could see John's "death" make Evangeline think . . . and re-evaluate . . . and . . . stuff. And then she could let him down (yeah, okay. gently.) and tell him that she knows that Natalie really needs him and that she can't deal with having Natalie that close right now, especially given their history. I can see Vange getting close to Eve a lot easier than I can see that with Natalie. Plus, I like Nat hangin' with Roxy and Rex. If she needs anybody right about now, they would be It. It takes a really awesome Mom to say, "Let's have a beer," when (it looks like) somebody you respect kicks the bucket. Not that Moms who don't drink with their kids aren't awesome, too, 'cause they are. Depends on the (over-21ishness) kid and the (hopefully not-alcoholic) parent. Oh, yea . . . and the circumstance. Must not forget the circumstance.
(Mental note: Proper circumstance.)
I often get really interesting questions in my Inbox, so I think I'll answer a few of them, right here in the column. If y'all dig it, or even if ya don't, drop me a line and let me know.
From Kathy L: My big question is - is Michael Easton gone or not? I thought they had worked out a deal to keep him and [gave] him a juicy storyline. Dead ain't juicy!! If he's coming back I'll stay tuned. If not I'll turn the TV off now. I agree with ya, Kathy, dead ain't juicy! But I've kinda gotta leave the TV on, though. I'd get in trouble if I didn't. But I'm there with you in spirit!
From Missy P: Don't you think Hugh's real parents should have been the first people that Nora called when they found out he was in the hospital? Y'know, Missy, I would think so. Great eye for catching that. I mean, I'm all knocked out, mummied up in some strange hospital, the first voice I wanna hear is the Mom I know and love -- not some ditz who says she gave birth to me and then proceeds to tell me that the man I'm about to prosecute for multiple murders is my friggin' bio-donor! Yes, we suspect that it's not Hugh who's King Tuttin' it, but you're right, Missy -- his adoptive folks should have had first-call priority.
From Elaine: Vange is a VERY SMART lawyer. She has great logical instincts [and]strong critical thinking skills. When Cris said he smelled something chemical on the glove, why didn't Vange: 1) wipe his wound and save the cloth, take him to the hospital for the wound to be examined and the cloth to be analyzed [and] 2) go to someone "official" and get the gloves or at least lodge a formal complaint as Cris's lawyer? Good points, Elaine. You're on the money there. That's actually a point in favor of them being better as friends. As his lawyer and friend, Vange would have never missed that. As his lawyer and lover, her eyes . . . not so open. That's why sleeping with your clients is such a no-no in many professional service fields.
Nice mathwork there, too, Elaine! You did some calculations that I didn't even think of!
DINGDINGDINGDING LOVE/HATE THING TIME
This week, I loved Tess' right hook! Man, to have her back and PO'd! Oh yeah! It's on, now. Or, at least, I hope it is. Oh, and the, "Breakfast isn't going to help; John's dead" comment. Ah! I was in Tess Heaven!
But I hated Nash immediately using Claudia's (TPTB knows why) addiction for him to keep her from pressing charges. It would be better for him to make her go out of his life, completely, than to seem him use her like she seems to want him to. I don't see how he doesn't feel all slimy and gooey afterwards. Personally, I think that he's not the man Tess saw in him when he does that.
I loved Marcie this week. Kathy Brier is nothing short of phenomenal. Period. If we could get more of her and Renee Elise Goldsberry doing occasional sets down at Capricorn, I think that would be a truly awesome thing. Like Vange singing sometimes to purge the pain of John's "death" and Marcie singing just because she likes to sing and Michael loves his night-in with his boy. This is another couple I'm hoping for a happy ending for, Michael and Marcie. I figure (along with many of you) that Tommy is probably Todd's kid. But I'm hoping that when he finds out, he'll tell Marcie, Michael, Blair, and Starr and that they'll all keep it quiet and let the baby grow up normal. Really. That would be cool, don'tcha think?
I hated watching Natalie cry. Not because I really felt for her -- and I really did feel for her -- but because Melissa Archer kinda always looks like she's putting in way too much effort for way too many tears. It's like she's reaching for emotions that she hasn't had yet. But, I loved her funeral scenes. Awesome. Just awesome. Her composure, her "scrap" . . . wow. Very nicely done. I actually found my self saying, under my breath, "Ok, Kid, just keep it together . . . just a coupla more minutes . . ." I thought the way she asked Viki to leave her alone was very classy. I wonder who her Mysterious-Man-In-Black is. Could it be Vincent? Hm. Could be interesting.
Last, but certainly not least, I loved Kevin being with Kelly for the ultrasound. In fact, I really just loved Kevin all over again this week. He asked for advice and tried to be all supportive . . . and stuff. Dan Gauthier keeps proving over and over again what a solid range he has. He's played the maniacal faux-daddy, a drunken slob who calls his girl a ho . . . in public, and the ripped up father who chose some girl he wasn't even sleeping with over his own dying son. And I loved Kelly this week, too. I like the way that impending motherhood is giving her more backbone with Kevin. Nice.
And for once in a great while, Antonio actually said something that made sense. Can ya beat that?
All in all, a pretty good week, I'd say. LayDriana should be an interesting roommate match. 'Course, how twisted would it be for Rex to fall for Layla. (teeheeheehee) DavOrian could be a fun re-match. I hope Eve sticks around for a little while. I hope she and Bo get quite close, in fact. I will be glad to stop hearing Cris' choruses of "I coulda been a contendah", and it was nice to have a relatively Spencer-free week. What was it, just that little blurb on Tuesday? Thank you! Here's hoping that next week won't bite us in the butt.
But if it does, just know that I'm right here, feeling biteburn with you!
'Til next time, everyone . . .