Do or Do Not.

“Krist”-erious ways

with 4 comments

During the weeks when it’s Brian’s turn to drive us to work, we get to listen to selections from the fairly massive amount of music he’s got on his iPod. He’s got one of those groovy gizmos that allows him to play the iPod over his car’s stereo, so we get to rock out in style. His iPod has a sense of humor, though: even with thousands of songs to choose from in random-play mode, it’ll keep coming back to the same artists–and even the same songs–way more frequently than is statisically likely.

Which wouldn’t be a problem…except for the fact that his iPod seems to think that what we really, really want to listen to during our commute is selections from “The Pirates of Penzance.” Not so much with the rocking out, that. (Brian insists that the “Penzance” songs are his wife’s, but I know he’s just using that excuse to mask his obvious and somewhat disturbing love for old show tunes.)

But the other day, listenting to one of these songs–or at least those first few seconds before one of us was able to hit the skip button–reminded me of a movie I hadn’t thought about in nearly twenty years…and reminded me of one of my first big celebrity crushes, someone I hadn’t thought about in probably nearly as long.

Kristy McNichol.

Those of you under thirty or so might be saying “who?” to that name, and I couldn’t blame you; it seems Ms. McNichol hasn’t done much of anything for the past twenty years or so, not counting a few seasons on “Empty Nest,” a sitcom I had completely forgotten existed. But those of us over thirty should all remember her. She was one of the biggest child/teenage stars of the late 70′s and early 80′s. Won a couple of Emmys for her work on the series “Family,” made a bunch of movies (including Little Angels, where she and Tatum O’Neal played two 15-year-olds battling to see which one could lose their virginity first–try getting that flick greenlit today).

McNichol was all cute (in a very tomboyish 1980 feathered-hair kind of way) and popular and stuff, and all over TV and movies when I was a kid, and looking back into my memory now I can see how she probably informed the kinds of women I was attracted to as I got older–I’ve always gone for “cute” more than I have “hot,” and I’d be lying if I said that “tomboyish” hadn’t popped up in my real-life crushes a time or two as well. (The rest of the equation was provided by the fervent pre-teen crush I harbored for Olivia Newton-John (note: I was the pre-teen, not Libby), but more on the topic of Ms. Newton-John some other time).

The thing that astonished me about the resurfacing of Kristy McNichol in my consciousness was that those bits of my brain containing all of my memories of her had obviously lain dormant for about two decades. Those particular neurons hadn’t clicked until hearing some bits of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which reminded me of the wretched and justly-forgotten The Pirate Movie (starring McNichol and the chest of The Blue Lagoon‘s Christopher Atkins)…which I didn’t even know was based on “Penzance” until years after I saw it (give me a break, I was eleven).

My point? The brain, much like the iPod, works in mysterious ways.

Written by Allen

August 5th, 2005 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Movies,Pop Culture

4 Responses to '“Krist”-erious ways'

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  1. Do not mock the iPod, curse you! It is subtle and quick to anger. Now we’ll have nothing but techno remixes of Le Mis for weeks, ya bastard.

    Not even hawt pics of Kristy McNic will make up for the plague you have brought upon us.


    6 Aug 05 at 9:11 am

  2. My iPod likes Beastie Boys and Sublime. Must be stuck in my college days. It likes to pepper in some La Boheme, which is like hitting a patch of sand on your BMX at the bottom of the hill.


    6 Aug 05 at 1:27 pm

  3. Don’t mock the Pirates of Penzance. It totally rules!!! The movie version with Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Kline was our favorite video when we were kids.

    I am the pirate king, And it is, it is a glorious thing– To be a pirate king. It is! Hurrah for the pirate king, hurrah for the pirate king.

    How can you not love that?!?


    6 Aug 05 at 2:15 pm

  4. Everything is much clearer now.


    7 Aug 05 at 5:25 am

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