I hate spoilers more than anyone I know who says, “I hate spoilers,” so I apologize in advance for what I’m about to tell you.
I’d like to think I am uber-anti-spoiler-boy because I’m a filmmaker and there is some knightly code we have to uphold. But, in truth, it’s a tragic flaw—not unlike Hamlet’s indecisiveness or the fact that I’m too big a fan of Purell hand sanitizer.
Full discloser, I even despise semi-spoilers and “this won’t spoil it” spoilers as I will then spend the entire movie thinking, If they said I’d be surprised by the ending, then this scene must be a MacGuffin and I’m being set up to think it’s something false, or do they think that I would think that this is what’s going to happen so they are saying I would be surprised, but in fact they may be surprised that I’m not surprised at all by how it ends? And if they think I’m going to ‘love’ the direction and the supporting actor’s ‘stellar’ performance, does that mean the story is about to get arty and the actor is going to have an Oscar clip emo-scene in the third act? And if it’s ‘sad’ then certainly this character isn’t going to make it, and if it’s ‘so funny’ then it won’t go too dark … or will it … do they think that I think that they think I like dark comedies? It goes on and on. Story ruined. Almost any mention of how someone likes or doesn’t like a film = spoiler for me. I try my best to be polite and hide my feelings on the unpardonable sin, but I don’t do a very good job.
Case in point: Our dear friend, let’s just call her ‘Gena Minnix’, wished us well on our way to take the kids to see Maleficent. The film was very low on my list, but Family Movie Day is sacred turf and is a close second to Christmas morning for me. Gena left us with, “You will enjoy the way it twists… Angelina plays a surprisingly benevolent version of the Sleeping Beauty character.” I must have done a poor job of hiding my inner turbulence like a groomsman with a knife in his back grinning at a wedding party to not let his pain take away from the festivities at hand. Before we even left the Alamo Drafthouse, my voicemail was full with a most heartfelt and sincere apology from Gena. Based on the look on my face, she treated the incident as if she had said, “Darth Vader is Luke’s father” on our way to see The Empire Strikes Back.
The need for an apology is, of course, a bit embarrassing. My attempt to apologize in return was quickly unmasked as I went on a rant about how thankful I was that she’d recognized the error of her ways and that she should be a champion for others to do the same. Epic fail. Equally unsettling is the fact that I have to literally bite my tongue when I hear my daughter has shuffled ahead to the end of her book or asked her classmates who wins Master Chef Jr. before we’ve watched it together. I know this is not a universal law, like the fact that “washed hands save lives,” but I cannot help it. I lack the ability to put ‘spoilers’ in their proper place of importance in the grand scheme of life.
I’m not sure why I share this backstory with you, as I’m certain a blog about my Ass and adventures at Green Acres does not carry the same weight as anything in cinema. This is not like telling you that Sandra crashes on Earth and safely makes her way out of the astronaut suit to burst out of the water and fight her way towards the shore. (Please tell my you’ve already seen GRAVITY?) But, if you’ve been reading the blog in order like it’s a Serial Podcast, here comes the "SPOILER ALERT"...
I am writing this blog from the future.
In truth, as these stories of land, donkeys, and tiny living are unfolding online, I am actually writing from our completely restored 1955 Spartan Mansion trailer overlooking my miniature donkeys grazing next to my complete biff-of-a-coral. Our radical downsize came before Thanksgiving so we could finally move onto the land and live in the 400sq foot Spartan. Two days before we moved, we decided our fourteen-year-old son needed his own ‘room’ so he now dwells next to us in a small Airstream Land Yacht with an Atari 2600 hooked up so he can simultaneously rock it like it’s 1965 and 1981. I joke that when he wants to move out he could drive his room away or simply park it on the other side of Green Acres.
Living with my family in trailers is an absolute wild ride minute by minute. I’m asked almost every day, “Is it what you expected?” or “What’s the hardest part?” The answer is yes and no and mud and patience.
Donkey and Yoti keep escaping. I will continue to share the ongoing battle, like when back-to-back-to-back failed barricade repairs led me back to Callahan’s General Store inspired to install an electric fence. You would be surprised how much time and how many friendships it burns to get the wire all the way around. I continue to learn more than I am asking for:
SAFETY NOTE: When you are making tweaks to an electric fence, it is best to make sure the fence is in the “off” position. This will ensure that, when you are touching the positive charge and accidentally grab the copper grounding, you don’t create your own personal defibrillator. (I could swear I heard Yoti snicker “Clear!” before the jolt.)
ADDITIONAL SAFETY NOTE: It would be wise to attempt electric fence repair when someone is nearby, rather than when your family is all attending a birthday party in town.
Many more shocking stories to share (couldn’t resist), like the time I first tried mowing with my red tractor…