Thinking about Squirrels
Anna Quindlen

"The Straight Story"

There are some Friday nights when all you want to do is veg-out in front of whatever Netflix DVD is in the house.  Last Friday was one of those nights.  The red envelope had been sitting on the kitchen counter most of the summer, and we had forgotten what it contained.  But we didn’t care.

“The Straight Story,” produced in 1999, tells the truth-based story of an old guy named Alvin whose estranged brother lives 300 miles away and has had a stroke.  Alvin wants to visit him, but can’t get a driver’s license due to his age, so he hitches his John Deere lawn tractor to a trailer and drives across Iowa.  On the way he has a few adventures and although it’s one of the slowest moving movies ever, we got involved.  It did have a few memorable lines, such as Alvin’s response when asked “What’s the worst thing about being old?”  Answer, “Remembering when you was (sic) young.”

But a little over an hour into it, the dreaded faulty disk thing happened.  It just stopped dead. We wiped the disk and started it again, fast-forwarding through the part we had already seen.  No luck. It stopped in the same place. Frustrated, we sent the usual bad disk message to Netflix. 

We hope Alvin got to re-unite with his brother, but we’ll never know.  We just can’t fast-forward through it again.

We decided to go back to reading.


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"What’s the worst thing about being old?” Answer, “Remembering when you was (sic) young" - that's so true! That's what Dante wrote about in his Divine Comedy: "There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery"

Oh, do try again. I saw this movie in the cinema when it first came out and remember liking it very much.

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