Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Father-Daughter Night: Hooters, Taken, and Flat Aidan


One of the advantages of living in Charleston is being able to meet my oldest daughter, a student at UNC-Wilmington, for dinner every few weeks. Last night we met up in Myrtle Beach at the Hooters that hooked the rest of my family on Hooters's wings. (I can almost hear the audible gasps: "You take your daughters to Hooters!?" Take them? We've had birthday parties there, graduation parties, informal gatherings. After the first time they tried the wings there, during a visit following a day of outlet shopping at the beach, a visit to the very place we ate last night, I had to be sure we got there in time for the afternoon specials to avoid breaking the bank. Trust me. No other wings like them.)


Following dinner, we headed to the mall next door to see Taken. If you need a Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, lone wolf sort of action thriller, this will fill the bill. Just be sure to pull the circuit breaker on your reality filter. It's not that any of the action sequences are over the top. No, they're well enough done. It's not that the whole kidnapping for sex slavery thing is overdone. No, that happens often enough to require an annual briefing on it to everyone in the Air Force. It's the other things that films like this consider unimportant that make such films utterly forgettable.

It opens with the obligatory "let's show who he is" scenes. He's a guy with close friends from his past life as a "preventer." These are guys who visit for a cookout and invite him along on a contract job, to remind them and us he "still has the edge." These are the guys he can call on to analyze the tapes once his daughter has been taken. The guys that will tell him he only has 96 hours to find his daughter and then wish him luck doing it all on his own. What?! Speaking purely figuratively, I have gay friends with bigger balls. In fact, my female friends have bigger balls. If anyone in that line of work called a "friend" and said, "They've taken my daughter. I'm going to get her back," the reaction from the other end would be, "Party! Rock and roll baby! Where should we meet you?" Not this movie. So long as that fairly significant break from reality doesn't bother you, you'll be fine.

And if that one gets by without causing any problems, you should be fine when he gets his daughter home. That would be the seventeen-year-old who's been kidnapped, drugged up, tramped out for auction, kept as a virgin for a particular type of clientele, but no doubt "schooled" in a few things, and then (spoiler alert) rescued at the last second by daddy, unlike the now dead girlfriend she went to Paris with. If you're okay with him having to run the whole op on his own, then you'll be fine with her arriving back in the states after her less-than-96-hour adventure all cheerful and bubbly like she's been away at cheerleading camp. I'm sure that won't bother you anymore than it did me. Even the man who gave us Rob Roy has to eat, and all that well-choreographed stuff in the middle that stretches incredulity so much less does somewhat satisfy every father of daughters' secret longing to run rampant through the entire high school or college male population of would be defilers of his princesses. Catharsis. Get some.

Flat Aidan

Lastly, remember Flat Jackson? Well, now it's time for Flat Aidan. I pulled him from yesterday's mail just in time to make the trip to Myrtle to see his cousin and get a money shot with the Hooters Girls. :-D

And my sister, Aidan's mother, thinks I mind this why? Looking back, I see a trend. I have a Chief Female Associate (CFA) beyond compare, so this new awareness does me no good whatsoever, but listen up guys: If you can't borrow a baby or a puppy from your friends who have one, get out the black construction paper and the white marker, and work on your back story. Trust me on this. And ladies, don't even think about giving me a hard time. We have to work with what God gave us. All you have to do is toss your hair.