My Night In ‘La La Land’


I hate to be late to a movie! So it was that when my wife and I arrived to see ‘La La Land’ at the theater a number of years ago, the lights had just gone down. My eyes were still trying to adjust to the darkness when I caught my foot on the stairs going up to the back row. Normally I would just put my hand out and catch myself but seeing as both hands were gripped around the 126 ounce drinks I had purchased, I was headed for a face dive into the carpet landing half-way up. In what seemed like slow-motion, I extended my elbows, and caught myself before I did a face plant. As I did so the impact jarred my elbows, loosening my grip on the drinks, and I saw them tumble and roll out of my hands. I quickly picked them up while still on my knees and found to my surprise that not a drop of soda was lost. A true testament to my manhood! In our younger years my wife would have burst out laughing and we both would have rushed out into the hallway and laughed our heads off of how I had made such a fool of myself. However, when I surveyed my wife’s face that night, it had the look of terror on it and her concerned question of, “Are you alright Honey?” said more about my age then her concern. To be old!

We settled in our back-row comfortable VIP seats to watch the highly praised, and Oscar touted “La La Land.” It didn’t take long for me to be grateful that I had not chosen Diet Coke as my beverage of choice, but rather Mr. Pibb, the hard stuff! Because the opening musical number of the movie, featuring a packed highway full of singing, dancing, stranded commuters, left me longing for the last musical I attended with my wife, Les Miserables, of which the title speaks for itself.

It wasn’t long before the war to stay awake began, and no matter that I had an IV of Mr. Pibb infused in my system, it was a battle I lost. (Musicals are not ‘my thing!) Soon I found myself in my own private “La La Land” where everyone sings like angels, dragons fly, and knights in shining white armor abound. Me thought I saw the Wicked Witch of the West, Steve McQueen riding his motorcycle in a scene out of ‘The Great Escape’ and oddly Red sitting by an oak tree from ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ Later I saw my home from childhood, which brought back wonderful memories, and my old dog Bullet who was romping in the woods with me. None of it made any sense, but it was interesting. I don’t know how much time went by in my “La La Land” but I was awakened with a gentle nudge by my wife, and I groggily got up and left the theater as the credits rolled.

When my friends found out I had seen ‘La La Land’ they excitedly ask me what I thought of it. I look very pensive and repliedd, “I found it refreshing!” They nodded, smiled and said, “Interesting perspective!” as they walked away.

In my mind, there is no need for further explanation, because it is obvious to me that anytime a man can get a two-hour nap in the late afternoon of the day, it can’t be anything but ‘refreshing.’

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