The Serendipity of It All


Several months ago I rented a movie the old-fashioned way from Netflix. It came in the mail as a DVD, and I proceeded to lose it in my house.

Let’s blame it on the kitchen remodel. I like the old way of using Netflix because then I can carry the DVD down to the beach house where I have no internet or streaming.  Anyway, I reported it lost to Netflix, and then a few weeks later I found it again.

I never got around to watching the movie and wasn’t even sure what it was about.

To make a long story short, I lost it again with all those trips lugging it back and forth from the beach house. Then, as other DVD’s came and went, I forgot about it.

Tonight my internet and TV both went out. It was 7:00 p.m., and I had nothing to do, and no way to share Facebook posts. In a moment of serendipity, as I checked and double-checked all the plugs and wires to make sure they hadn’t come disconnected, I found the twice-lost DVD behind the TV set. How long had it been there? I have no idea.

So I watched Far and Away from 1992. The opening scene had a familiar handsome face. OMG! It was Tom Cruise, only a 27-year-younger version. And who was his fair co-star? None other than his ex-wife. Nicole Kidman. The movie started out in Ireland but ended up in Oklahoma, during the Land Run of 1889. There was a scene where some Native Americans were looking on with both wonder and consternation when the gun went off and settlers took off to claim their free land — Native American land.

Ron Howard was the director. You’ve got to love a grown-up Opie, right? It was supposed to be a moment of humor.  I think today that scene would not be acceptable to anyone under the age of fifty. The humor is no longer PC.

Just last week my friend and I went to a very crowded park in Concord three towns up the freeway to hear a popular Beatles tribute band. We moved in between some people who had carefully laid out their blankets.  The guys behind us said something to my friend when I was off at the bathroom.

“We were here first,” he said.

My friend’s witty retort, as politically incorrect as it could be, was, “Well, so were the Native Americans, and look how it worked out for them!”

I’m glad I was at the bathroom. I am glad no one else heard her say that.  No, she is not younger than fifty. No, it is not funny, not really. But the guy behind us left her alone after that.

We were sitting in a culturally diverse park where there were probably Native Americans in attendance. I am glad they don’t know about the movie Far and Away.

Other than that one poorly-chosen scene, the movie was a hoot.

Now it’s over, and the TV and Facebook work again. I can send back the DVD tomorrow and freak out the Netflix people.

All on a hot Tuesday night.

Serendipity doesn’t get any better than that.

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