Even in the worst of times Erik and I laugh. A lot. It was the unspoken part of our wedding vows: For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, you’ll come up with stupid monkey-themed song lyrics and band names (him), you’ll share videos of dogs going down slides (her) and you’ll laugh like idiots watching your favourite TV shows together.
The best part of December for me is watching the Christmas episodes of our most loved Brit shows. My all-time favourite is the Father Ted ‘A Christmassy Ted’ episode. Father Ted is a brilliantly written and performed sitcom, sadly cut short by the horribly premature death of actor Dermot Morgan. But A Christmassy Ted has so many exceptional moments. The priests lost in Ireland’s largest lingerie section. Mrs Doyle and the Teasmade machine. But best of all, Father Jack in the kids play area, surrounded by screaming kids and some alphabet bricks.
Father Jack is a rude, alcoholic, lecherous, violent priest, overly fond of drinking and shouting Feck, Arse, Girls, in response to any situation. His other most quotable line is a stock answer he’s taught to give when important guests ask him a question: ‘that would be an ecumenical matter’. It’s a great response and one that I suggested Erik use when dealing with sibling attempts to antagonise him earlier this year.
So it was sheer delight a few years ago when we rounded the turn on Bee Cave road and caught a glimpse of the sign for the new hospital/medical facility and both yelled out ARSE! in our best Father Jack voices. Followed of course by Feck! Drink! Girls! Yes, yes, it’s supposed to be Arise, but there’s no Brit who wouldn’t first see Arse and then do a double-take. I think it may be the absence of the dot over the i, that creates the effect. And yes, I know the dot is actually called a tittle but in the circumstances that seemed too easy a joke, even for me. On a sensible note, this clearly proves just how important typography is, especially in medical situations. You wouldn’t want to turn up to the Bum Clinic with a nasty burn. Or to the Burn Clinic with a…well you get the picture. And aside from all of that, no-one seems to have questioned why a medical facility is calling itself Arise. Are resurrections covered on the United Healthcare plan?
Continuing to speak of bums, one of our favorite holiday destinations, Sanibel Island has its own typography problem. The first time we were reading our bikes past this place we both commented on the ‘Colon Resort’. There’s something about the ‘y’ that doesn’t feel connected. And when you do see the ‘y’ it just reads Colon-y as in, ‘in the style of a colon’. Okay that one may just be me.
A few years ago I thought I was being very clever when I titled my solo show about Princess Diana ‘Our Angle in Heaven. It was based on a sign that someone had left among all the cards and flowers at Kensington Palace after Diana’s death and my snobby character was commenting on the misspelling of angel. It was on my show poster. I was very proud of it until I discovered that half the listings in Austin changed the title to ‘Our Angel’ presumably thinking they’d done me some kind of favor for correcting my silly error.