I didn’t watch much of the Oscars telecast last night. To be honest, I only caught about the last 20 minutes or so, with a gap in between as I drove home from The Girlfriend’s house — it’s hard to muster a lot of enthusiasm for a four-hour awards show when you haven’t seen most of the nominees. (In the Best Picture category, I’ve seen only The Departed; in Best Animated Film, only Cars; none of the foreign films or documentaries; and pretty much none of the flicks from which the various acting nominees were drawn.) Also, it was obvious two weeks ago that this would likely be one of those suspense-free years when there’s an overwhelming sense of inertia leading toward the coronation of particular nominees. Honestly, did anyone not believe that Scorsese was finally going to get his statuette? Especially when the presenters for the Best Director award were revealed to be his three most pre-eminent contemporaries and friends (Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas)?
Sunday morning. I’m at The Girlfriend’s apartment, waiting for her to finish getting ready so we can go to brunch, our usual Sabbath-day routine. Suddenly, I realize her poodle is staring at me with deep, imploring eyes… he needs to go outside and do his dirty, sinful business. Being the great guy that I am, I put on his leash and take him outside.
Through the open patio door at my back, I can hear brief snatches of unrelated sound: a TV chef blathering about oysters, a cacophony of cheering at a sporting event, gunshots, country music. The Girlfriend is channel-surfing. The disconnected rapid-fire audio stops, and there’s now a familiar, urgent melody playing.
“Sounds like you found some classic Trek,” I say over my shoulder.
“Bet you can’t tell me which episode,” she calls back.
I listen for a moment. I can’t hear it terribly well…
“What is that, ‘Amok Time’?” I ask. She doesn’t answer me. Puzzled, I turn to look back through the door. She’s sitting on the couch with the TV remote dangling loosely from one hand and a stunned look on her face.
“What?” I say, even though I already know.
“How do you do that?”
I shrug and wait for the dog to finish relieving himself while Spock, deep in the throes of pon farr, fights his captain and friend to the death for the sake of a woman…