This weekend we enjoyed the companionship of dear old friends, J & S. They were passing through from two states away on their way to a baby dipping further down the road. It was their first visit since we moved, and they brought a big paper bag filled with quirky housewarming gifts: water balloons, a Radiohead t-shirt, toilet paper, an objet d'art, a fly swatter, cheese doodles. We sat out on the back porch for hours, telling stories and catching up.
In addition to bearing unusual offerings, J & S pack interesting overnight bags, and have vehicles filled with assorted treasures and various detritus. This is no surprise to those of you fortunate enough to know them. J had brought his video camera this time, not so strange, you might think. But it was close to midnight when they arrived, and raining, so outdoor cinematography was out of the question.
S just happened to have another big paper bag in her trunk, this one filled with old plastic toys she'd picked up at a garage sale. They were labeled with 10 cent price tags, and many appeared to have originated in Happy Meals. There were troll dolls with bright hair, race cars, strong men, movie and television characters, princesses, animals. We got a huge kick out of pulling them out of the bags, and standing them up, rolling them around, knocking them over.
One thing led to another. Soon the camera was out. The piano was being played. Props were constructed. And some truly brilliant short pieces were filmed.
Disclaimer: No toys were hurt during the filming of these shorts. Big Bird is a skilled stuntsbird, and collaborated with a truly talented make-up crew. This should not be attempted at home.