Thursday, May 03, 2007

Adoption Papers

While wrapping up family business at Lazy Acres this weekend, my sister and I were recalling various family stories and legends. She recalled that for a couple of years she insisted that she was adopted, and I wanted to be adopted. Not that I was unhappy with my parents. It wasn't that they were Beaver Cleaver/Ozzie and Harriet enough. Maybe it was that they fit that model TOO much.

I went through various adoption fantasies. Claudine Longet would have been a fun mom, but then I'd have Andy Williams as a dad. Ew. I sort of thought of the Brian Keith/Sebastian Cabot/swanky Upper East Side, all male digs, but I felt there might be something a little off there. Nico would have made a great glamour mom, but I suspect her nurturing and cookie baking skills were weak.

All the women in my family sort of resembled Babe Paley, but then my dad was never as cranky as Bill.

I thought the perfect adoptive parents would be Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson. It wasn't as if I didn't already have an attractive Jewish dad, but Burt Bacharach was just a little more swingin' and with it. He also started out as the arranger for Marlene Dietrich whom many people said my mom was a brunette shadow of which was equally ironic.

I always loved the Bacharach TV specials, especially when he sang his songs himself in that whispery, raspy offbeat voice. No wonder Elvis Costello and Oasis eventually idolized him. One of my favorite tunes of his was Hasbrook Heights, probably the best song ever written about a New Jersey suburb. I came across a rare original recording or Burt singing that tune in the 25 cent bin at the Alemany flea market a few years back.

In my dream scenario, papa Burt
would noodle away on the piano while mother Angie recounted stories from the days of the Rat Pack and Camelot.

Like all fantasies, this one finally burst. After a few dark phases such as the theme from the Arthur movies, Burt made a comeback in the late 1990s. Angie made such classics as Big Bad Mama (1974) and Big Bad Mama II (1987) -- not to be confused with the equally marvelous Shelley Winters' vehicle Bloody Mama. And she was the best Westchester housewife gone wild in Dressed to Kill (1980).

When I was watching the new v
ersion of Casino Royale, besides being impressed that the swimsuit moment was for Bond not the Bond girl, I really missed the soundtrack of the original 1967 version. Though that version had somewhere on the order of 20 directors, it had wall-to-wall Burt and Herb Alpert. Herb Alpert...but that's another childhood fantasy we'll discuss in the future.

Labels: , ,


At 9:54 AM, Blogger WAT said...

Hmmmm. Adoption.

Poor Cristina Crawford.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Scot said...

I never wanted to be adopted per se, but when my mom would call me a bastard I would say "you wish!" It's still a regular exchange.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my gosh we have the very same fantasy ...burt and angie... i had a back-up... bobby and ethel kennedy

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

WAT: Yes, adoption is fun only if you get to chose which celebrity.

SCOT: Putting yourself up for adoption is always a good out in an argument with moms.

ANON: Don't be a greedy sibling with Angie or I will send you off to Ethel and Bobby's house!

At 7:38 PM, Blogger fuikhvgjkguug said...



Post a Comment

<< Home