Dick Wolfsie: Googling for the gift of gab

Dick Wolfsie Submitted photo

Mary Ellen has me on very short leash due to the virus. I am not allowed to go into grocery stores, play Pickleball or even sit indoors with friends to toss back a beer. When I kiss my wife, I have to stand 6 feet away, which is wreaking havoc with my neck.

One way we are remaining socially engaged is every Saturday at 4 p.m. we Facetime with our friends Jane and John Murphy. We start the hour off by asking each other what we all did the past seven days — which is usually nothing. Then we proceed to discuss which movie to stream for a discussion the following week. Any movie is okay as long as John doesn’t have to pay for it.

I am not very good at following movies and have trouble participating in some of the conversations. John has a PhD in statistics and he told me that 51.7 percent of the time, I have missed the entire point of the flick. But I did much better than that a few Saturdays back.

Jane: I liked the movie: the characters’ personalities were multi-faceted.

John: The plot was very suspenseful. Lots of surprises. I liked it.

Mary Ellen: Yes, I loved the cinematography, especially the director’s use of tight shots.

Dick: I felt the movie was surprisingly thin on plot, angry at times and disjointed, often wobbling between high-minded outrage and tabloid sensationalism.

Later that evening, Mary Ellen was on my case. “Where did that analysis come from? You are never that insightful. When we watched ‘Titanic,” you asked me why the captain permitted guests to swim alongside the ship.”

She had a theory. “Do you know what I think? You looked up the film online and then quoted some egghead from ‘The New Yorker’ so you could look smart to all of us.”

I told her that was craziest thing I ever heard, which, as you know, is not exactly a denial.

This past Friday night, Mary Ellen walked into my office. I slammed my laptop shut, afraid of being exposed for my duplicity.

“What are you doing?” she screamed. “I sure hope that was porn, and not the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site.”

That Saturday we decided to watch an old classic, “Notorious,” by Alfred Hitchcock. Our group was pretty high on the movie, but then it was my turn to talk.

“The inclusion of real-life footage and YouTube clips was an interesting idea, but the shooting style was awkward and the movie disgraced its subject, when it should have celebrated this music star.”

“Dick, you googled the wrong film. That sounds like the 2009 movie, also called “Notorious.’ It’s about a rapper, and not the classic Hitchcock film.”

Mary Ellen was mad at me for continuing to cheat, so I promised to stop Googling films. While we were eating the meal she prepared on Sunday, she asked how I was enjoying it.

“Your dinner tonight, Mary Ellen, was the best! The entrée was skillfully presented, not upstaged by the appetizers, pastas and vegetables. The dry-aged sirloin was impressively tender, living up to the standard set by the smashed fingerling potatoes wearing golden jackets of crisp baked Parmigiano-Reggiano.”

“See?” asked my wife, “don’t you feel better when what you say comes from your heart?”