The other morning before work the Beast said he’d like toasted tomato sandwiches for dinner. We’ve been eating them, usually open-faced on that expensive multi-grain bread we like with butter, salt and pepper, all summer long. The tomatoes have to be perfect or else it doesn’t make sense. The best batch we’ve had this summer came courtesy of a fruit and vegetable stand just outside of Port Stanley called Yahnke’s. They were perfection.
Anyway, in the afternoon I got a call at work.
Beast: I’ve changed my mind about dinner.
Foodie: Okay. To what?
Beast: I want good old-fashioned thick-crust pepperoni pizza.
Foodie: Uh, okay.
Beast: I’m going to order it from Cici’s on Queen St.
Foodie: Uh, okay.
Beast: I’m getting pepperoni and mushroom on mine.
Foodie: Will you order me one with pepperoni, red peppers and green olives?
Beast: Cici’s doesn’t have red peppers.
Foodie: Just pepperoni and green olives then.
Beast: Will you pick up wine?
Just to be clear, Cici’s is your run-of-the-mill take-out pizza joint. There is nothing extraordinary about it. At all.
But it’s cheap, close by, and the Beast really likes it.
At home after work, about 8:30 pm
Beast: There is nothing on television.
Foodie: Do you want to watch Emma or Sense and Sensibility?
Foodie: What about Romancing the Stone? I haven’t returned the DVD after Erinn and I watched it the other night. I forgot how good that movie is. I will totally watch it again.
Beast: What about Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?
Foodie: Are you serious? I will totally find that DVD right now if you. Are you?
I found the DVD and we ate our medium personalized pizzas with a cheap bottle of white wine.
Beast: This is definitely the best Indy movie.
Foodie: No way bro: Raiders is the best.
Beast: Are you kidding me? This one has it all!
Foodie: This one appeals to the child in me but the first one is the superior film, plus Karen Allen is obviously a superior leading lady than this blonde Austrian bitch.
Beast: This one has Nazis, book burning, a blond woman, Crusades history, River Phoenix, Sean Connery. IT HAS IT ALL.
I don’t blame the Beast for having a soft spot for The Last Crusade. When I was a child, the third movie in the trilogy (I don’t think we need to include the fourth installation from 2008 in this discussion) was my favourite too. In fact, I went to see it twice in the summer of 1989–right before I started high school–when it played at the Capital theatre in St. Thomas, Ont. The Beast would have been six years old. After I saw Mosquito Coast, I fell in love with River Phoenix, who plays Harrison Ford’s son (their resemblance was why Phoenix was cast as a young Indy in The Last Crusade.) And before that, I was in love with Harrison Ford. I even sent him fan letters after his turn in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. I remember drawing pictures of C3-PO, Chewbacca and Princess Leia for him too. I still have the autographed photo of him I received in return.
So I get how young people could think that the Last Crusade is better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. But sooner or later, you have to grow up.
Foodie: I think you’re just saying this to make me upset. You don’t really believe you. (Pause) Holy shit.
Foodie: I just remembered something but I don’t know if I can say it out loud.
Foodie: I think I actually decided to study classics at university because of this film. I wanted to know more about that fucking extraordinary facade in Petra.
Foodie: YES! I did! I even remember writing a paper in my undergraduate on how the eastern provinces in the first and second centuries AD adapted Roman architecture in this sort of really Baroque way only because I wanted to learn more about that place.
Foodie: Do you want me to go get the essay? I remember the professor being really annoyed with me because I used the word “propagation” incorrectly through the entire essay.
Foodie: HOLY SHIT. Do you know what else?
Foodie: Oh don’t even believe this…but when I lived in Italy, I bought this little leather journal when I was really depressed and melancholic and just so in my twenties, you know?
And I took it on all the student field trips and would do little sketches and write all these notes, just like Indy’s dad’s Grail journal. I even wrote Haiku poems. I’m not even kidding. What a fucking monster I was.
Foodie: How is your pizza? Are you going to eat the whole thing?
Beast: Delicious. I love a good Cici’s, you know? And yes, I am.
Foodie: I’m going to get a lunch out of this, if I can stop eating right now. (Pause.) I think I wanted to be Indiana Jones. Is that weird?
Beast: Not really. The reason I studied creative writing was because of Finding Forrester.
Foodie: Oh my god, really?!?!
Beast: Ah, no.