Monday, April 17, 2006

Rich and the Earthquake

Rich was part of the gang from my days at University Park and a founding (and finding!) member of the Brotherhood of the Stake. Someday I'll write a prologue on Rich, because his personality was so distinctive.

On this eve of the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake, I had to write this remembrance down.

One night we ended up playing a game in the TV room on our floor and someone had put the movie San Francisco on. It's quite a good movie, but almost all of the story concerns Clark Gable trying to seduce Jeanette MacDonald with Spencer Tracy as his boyhood chum priest trying to stop any shenanigans. This is all prelude to the earthquake. The promotions during the commercial breaks showed scenes from the earthquake and that's what we were all itching for. At one break, Rich announced that he needed to go to the bathroom and shuffled down the hall at absolute minimal speed, as only he could. As soon as he was out of earshot, the movie returned and voila, the earthquake. I remember the earthquake scene as being pretty quick.
As soon as the next commercial break came on, we heard the telltale shuffling coming back down the hall towards us. We burst out laughing before he ever re-entered the room. We gleefully announced that Rich had missed the only part of the movie that he was interested in. He accused us of conspiring to trick him into leaving and missing the still pending earthquake. Only after the movie returned to the air and he looked at the images of rubble on the screen, did he start to believe us. And he went ballistic, cursing fate for yet again conspiring against him. And he was plenty mad at us for having such a good time at his expense.

By the next day, we were all friends again. After a night's sleep, even he could laugh at his own misfortune. The quick rebound was what made Rich so endearing.

3 comments:

Baker said...

Sorry that I missed the event probably studing in search of that elusive C.

Pat

rollin said...

If I recall it right, there was also another line from the movie that we got a good laugh from right after we had finished laughing at Rich's self-inflicted misfortune. I'm not entirely sure on the line or the timing in the movie, but I believe it was right at the end. Clark Gable had been trying to seduce Jeanette MacDonald all movie long, as Ed stated, and right at the end he seemed to succeed in getting her to come up to his room with him.

Well, the anticipation that a group of college boys, in the 70's, has about this event was not reciprocated by the dialog from a 1930's era movie. Because we burst out in a fury of disgust and laughter when Clark Gable enticed and rewarded her acceptance of his "proposal" by promising her a plate of spagetti once she got up to his room - THE END!!!! WHAT???

Edmundo said...

Good memory, Rol. I'll have to check up on the end of that movie -- there was some killer line at the end that had us howling.