Birthday Custom and Practice

Today has brought enlightenment and swept away a few of my prejudices. It was my son’s birthday, and as is customary in our family, he got to choose how we would spend the day. So we found ourselves on our way to the cinema to see The Day After Tomorrow.

It wouldn’t have been my first choice, American disaster movies being mostly gushy nonsense. The science behind this plot is laughable, but hey, this is Hollywood; suspension of disbelief and all that and my spirits had been buoyed by Roland Emmerich’s pretty positive (and witty) review in this morning’s Daily Telegraph.

So it was I found myself settling down in the dark ready to be entertained and to snicker at the script’s more banal bits. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The effects were brilliant, and once you’ve successfully suspended disbelief, it was highly watchable. Even the banalities sounded as if they were meant to be ironic, rather then clichéd.

If I had a problem, it was at the end when the sky clears, Jack rescues son Sam (the kid from Donnie Darko with a fine line in shy smiles) and they are being whisked off in a helicopter. As they look down, they see hundreds of people emerging on top of the skyscrapers where they had presumably been sheltering.

Nice happy ending; everyone lives happily ever after in South America, except that when the -150° temperature hit New York, sending super-cold ice running down the buildings, all the windows were blown out, so how did they survive? For a start, they didn’t have a library full of books to burn to keep warm as the resourceful teenagers had (though why they didn’t burn they wooden furniture is beyond me), nor a fireplace in which to burn them, or a chimney to take away the smoke. Okay, disbelief reinstated!

After the film, somewhere to eat, again son’s choice, so guess what — McDonalds which I hate. This isn’t a lifestyle choice or me railing at globalization. I just don’t like McDonalds food and as ever I searched the menu for the least offensive offering, plumping for one from their new salad range, crispy chicken caesar salad to be exact. For the second time today, I found myself swallowing my prejudices (literally in this instance) because it was really tasty.

Next on son’s list of things to do is to watch the last ever episode of Friends this evening. Again, sugary American comedy soaps aren’t my thing — should I risk challenging a third prejudice in one day and watch it for the first time? I could be on a roll.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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