Last week my wife went out on a date with another man. This was not the issue you might think it would be.
For one thing, he's a good friend of ours. For another, if he were going to make a serious pass at one of us it would be me rather than Kim. And finally, it meant that I was excused from Sex and the City II: Airhead's Revenge. Win all around, as far as I was concerned.
I was one of the few straight men in America who actually sat all the way through the first Sex and the City movie. It was an experience. So is getting shot. Neither really requires a second time around to know deep in your bones that it isn't something you want to do again.
Instead, I ended up at Not Bad President Elementary watching Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson star in Tooth Fairy. Yes, this was an upgrade.
The Rock, nicknamed for his acting skills, was playing a character whose emotional range did not really place too much strain on those skills, making the movie somewhat less painful than it might otherwise have been. Plus, I brought a book. About ten minutes into the film I wandered out into the hallway, found a place to sit down and spent a happy evening reading and playing hall monitor, much to the amusement of the school principal.
I had ended up in the same place during the last movie night at NBPE, when the combination of the acoustics of an elementary school gym and the vocal stylings of the Chipmunks sent me running into the hall for relief. The principal saw me come in for Tooth Fairy and said, "We've fixed the speakers! You should have no problem hearing this time!" When she saw me back at my post this time she looked concerned and asked, "Couldn't you hear the movie?"
"All too well," I told her.
But the girls liked it, and they had a good, popcorn-filled time. Plus Tabitha actually lost a tooth during the movie. It had been loose since the morning, and out it came. Irony, thy name is The Rock.
And on top of everything else I successfully managed to tape the Flyers game that night, although successfully might be pushing it.
The new DVR system still strikes me as black magic, but as neither of my options that night allowed for sitting at home watching hockey it was magic I would need to figure out. "Ask Lauren," said Kim, but Lauren was already at school when I finally sat down to work this magic so I was on my own. It took some time and some creative vocabulary (which made me glad Lauren was at school, really), but eventually I got it set up. Don't ask me how - I doubt I could replicate it in a laboratory - but I did. The game was scheduled for 2.5 hours, and I figured it would run long so I also set it to record the half-hour program that followed, to catch the overflow.
And a good thing, too.
The game did run long, and - like all of the games in this year's Stanley Cup final, even the ones that didn't turn out so well for the good guys - it was entertaining. About ten minutes into the extra half-hour of recording I looked at the clock and had my first misgivings. And when there were 34 seconds left in a 1-goal game, with the Flyers ahead and the Blackhawks having pulled their goalie and the face-off coming in the Flyers' end, I ran out of recording.
The real problem with watching recorded sports late at night is that everyone else is asleep and you really can't scream.
But it still beat Sex and the City II.