I just had to use that title, which is part of a song from “Footloose.” The song, I discovered about two weeks ago (after I heard it on – what else? – the opening five minutes of “Cold Case’) iis “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. (Leave it to that show to get the tiniest details right; the opening five minutes depict a man in a hospital literally being shocked back to life in a hospital by a doctor as this song whirs in the background amidst the shouting of the man’s family, the clanging of the ER machinery, and so on).
Remember what other movie used this song? A fairly recent movie – and in a very funny way. The song was performed by someone who wanted to be the center of attention at an elaborately staged deception – a deception that she almost pulled off. The “she,” if you haven’t figured out yet, was “Fairy Godmother,” and the movie was Shrek 2, and the manner in which FG performed the song was flat-out hysterical – the song was an utterly inappropriate choice for the occassion, and was sang as perfectly inappropriately as it was supposed to have been sang.
I’ve read the utterly dopey lyrics to this song, which, I guess, is an act that makes me gay, and these lyrics are really dopey. We don’t even learn what “the fight is” by the end of the song, so it goes without saying we cannot figure out how one becomes fresh from it. But something occurred to me – both as I read the lyrics, as I saw Shrek 2, and even as I saw the opening several minutes of “Cold Case”: the song is mindless good fun, so who cares? We can always imagine what the lyric means – “just be ready for another day where anything can happen” – and just go from there.
This past weekend, I visited Universal Studios in Orlando. The last time I was in Orlando solely to do tourist stuff was (and still is) 1987. Then, Universal hadn’t even been built. When I visited the park this Sunday, the lines were pretty short, and I got to experience the “Shrek” exhibit, along with many others. The day was just a blast. I haven’t been to an amusement park (other than my body, har har) in a long time. I have NEVER gone to one with JUST friends, let alone two friends that, when placed together, caused me to laugh more in one day than I have all year(note that this is not because both are intentionally funny; one tells very funny jokes and the other does things that allows the other to do same), and have NEVER been able to cover so much of an American theme park -let alone one I’ve been wanting to visit for so long – in one day – a day with perfect weather, in which I was feeling fine, and a day that was just about the perfect antidote to a previous week where my work life had turned upside down.
It’s odd to consider how a perfect day – and this day, from about 10-3 was perfect not in the sense that each moment was perfect but in the sense that the day was so terrific that I simply managed just about to abandon everything that was worrying me and to just BE -can even be in a position to come about. Millions of decisions – unintentional, intentional, lucky, bizarre, and god knows what else, go into it. For example, if I hadn’t gone to law school where I did, this day would not have happened. The only reason I went to law school where I did was because one night it dawned on me that law schools only cared about one test score, and that I had better apply to as many as possible up and down the East Coast to get into a good one. If I hadn’t signed up for certain classes, I would never have met the friends I mentioned, and if I hadn’t casually made a remark to one of the friends over the phone when I heard him over the phone reading something aloud, an act which led me to lend this person some help in the writing department….. And, if, after July of 2003, I hadn’t survived a fight I didn’t even know I had started – a fight against myself and others – and did not – quite improbably – somehow remain “fresh” from it until this day (and knock on wood, hopefully forever more), there woulld have been no perfect day.