Thursday, October 27, 2005

Time Warp For Tots

The school where my wife works has a Fall Festival every year near the end of October. Fall Festival being the non-denominational, non-occult version of Halloween. As I walked through the halls I heard a vaguely familiar tune that I wouldn’t normally associate with a school environment. It was the Kidz Bop version of “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This disturbed in a great number of ways. It’s just so wrong when that stuff filters sown to the elementary school set. The first time I saw a group of five year olds clamoring to be included in a YMCA line dance, I cringed and wondered what happened to all that was edgy and subversive from my younger days. Rocky Horror was a vital part of my youth that has now been co-opted as children’s entertainment. Not to mention the cloying children’s chorus arrangements that the succubae at Kidz Bop use to totally defang anything. I think they could do Iron Maiden Kidz Bob style and no one would object.

I was never a huge Rocky Horror aficionado, but went at least a half dozen times when in high school. I knew what to shout and when, but never went out of my way to bring props or show up in costume. A casual fan.

In college, my future wife and I were visiting an old junior high friend of hers that attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Her friend, B., said he was a cast member of the local Rocky Horror troupe at the only Cineplex in the area and wanted to know if we wanted to go along. My wife is the only person I know that has fallen asleep at Rocky Horror and she begged off, but I was game.

B. warned me that the Saturday night performance was a little looser than their by-the-book show on Fridays and cast members frequently skipped out. B. played the monster and had the gold bikini shorts for the part. We got there and found out that the regular actor that played Brad had called in sick. B. asked me if I wanted to substitute. I tried to beg off by saying I didn’t know the movie well enough. He rightly said “What is there to know? The movie is right there on the screen and all you have to do is pantomime the action.”

Besides, the cast thought I was perfect for the part. I was tall, thin, wore glasses and had a dorky yellow Members Only jacket. Secretly indulging my deeply repressed thespian tendencies, I went on with the show.

It was easy and a great time. The cast was a lot of fun and everyone went out to Waffle House afterwards, where I found out that Columbia and Magenta stayed in character off stage, if you know what I mean. While the whole event seems pretty tame in retrospect, it was all wild and bacchanalian when set against the mores of the surrounding community. Greenville, after all, is also the home of Bob Jones University, but that is a whole ‘nuther culture clash.

So I did wear a yellow jacket while in college, but that is not why I am yellojkt. But if anyone needs a Brad for a Rocky Horror revival, I’ve got that on my resume.

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Unknown said...

As soon as I read that you had a yellow Members Only jacket I thought, "That's why!" But then you said it wasn't at the end.

So I'm gonna stick with my original assumption. You just really want to be the Man in "Curious George" that wears yellow all the time.

I've never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show. Is that un-American?

yellojkt said...

Too late now, Sara. It was a cultural phenomena as much as a movie. Without the audience participation, it's just a really bad campy movie you can see on VH1 every Halloween.

Mooselet said...

Saw the comment about Member's Only jellow jacket and thought to myself "there's one of them red herrings he mentioned last time". I was right - sweet!

Dude, is that you from college? Man, you were a dork! You are very lucky your wife saw past all that. jk, mate!

yellojkt said...

That's Barry Bostwick aka Brad-Asshole who would go on to be mayor of New York on Spin City. I would have to hunt down some college era pictures of me. Maybe I can find the yellow jacket.

Mooselet said...

Gotcha... so you weren't that dorky? Then again, you owned and wore a yellow M.O. jacket. Hmmmm, the mind boggles.

yellojkt said...

I have found a picture of the yellow jacket. I cannot confirm that it is a Members Only brand. I may be confusing it with some other poor fashion choices of mine from that era. The picture with me in a striped polo shirt and tight white tennis shorts will never see the internet.

The Dormitory Boys said...

Hey, if we need one up in China, we will let you know, yellojkt!

Hi, Michele sent us.

I hope you have a great Halloween, and thanks for visiting our pathetic blog! lol!

Anonymous said...

My high-schooler son goes to our local midnight showing of "Rocky" every once in a while. He's got a friend who's a regular in the cast. I'm not sure if it's the experience he likes as much as the staying out until 2 a.m.


Anonymous said...

I don't know...the phenomenon passed by me somehow. I never took the opportunity to go see RHPS and by the time I got to actually see the movie, the people around me had built it up so much that I couldn't help but be disappointed. I'm thinking that I was just waaaaay too sober to watch it. It's probably worth the MST3K treatment at this point.

Anonymous said...

What a great story. Beats the daylights out of kidsbop. I think that would disturb me, too!

Renee Nefe said...

I've seen the movie many times but never in the theatre with all the actors. I had a friend who attended regularly and said that they brought in loaves of toast for the wedding toast and if it was your first time you would have to pop a cherry...oh and the squirt guns for the rain. I guess I missed a big deal...too bad I wasn't allowed to be out at that hour...they didn't show the movie until 1am.

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