The night-time soap opera “Dallas” premiered the year the husband and I married. Every now and then, we would walk around the corner to the local mom and pop, buy a pint of Haagen-Dazs rum raisin ice cream, carry it home and eat it while J.R. Ewing schemed big on our small black and white. It was a poor man’s version of dinner and a movie.
I used to enjoy watching J.R.’s wife, Sue Ellen, flare her nostrils. The woman didn’t need dialogue; she could communicate with her nose. When she was thoroughly enraged, you could have driven a Smart car up her left nostril.
When we heard “Dallas” was back with a number of the original cast members, it perked our ears. Inquiring minds wanted to know. Could Sue Ellen still flare her nostrils, or had they been botoxed into paralysis? Was J.R. still sinister, or had age mellowed him and he now passed time in an all-season room playing canasta?
It was going to be like a reunion; only instead of classmates we’d reconnect with the greediest, money-grubbing oil tycoons to sully the state of Texas.
Small hitch though. We didn’t get the channel that “Dallas” was to air on.
“Maybe we do know somebody with a better cable line-up,” the husband said.
“What will we do? Invite ourselves over?” I asked.
But wait, we did know somebody. Even better, we had keys to her apartment and knew she would be gone. We texted our youngest that the ’rents were crashing at her place to catch “Dallas.”
She has a small flat-screen television. It was just like 30 years ago. To see the picture you have to sit on the floor in front of the set.
We watched some of the show, talked over a lot of it and kept asking each other what a particular character had said, because that is how we watch television these days.
J.R. is still a great villain. Unfortunately, the next generation set to duke it out is too baby-faced to be believable. They painted a moustache on J.R.’s son to make him look sinister, but it will wash off the first time someone knocks him in the pool. The young generation also kept ripping off their clothes.
The plot went something like this.
“I believe in green energy!” declared Bobby’s son. And then he ripped off his shirt.
“I want to drill for oil on Grandma’s land!” snarled J.R.’s son. And then he ripped off his shirt. And then everybody double crossed everybody else and they all ripped off their shirts.
Our daughter walked in when the show had gone south and characters were ripping off articles of clothing, as required by all major networks. We clicked the television off and hoped we wouldn’t be grounded.
“How was it?” she asked.
“Disappointing,” I said. “We didn’t see Sue Ellen’s nostrils flare once. We think her face has been frozen.”
Still, it had been an interesting visit back to South Fork. All that was missing was the rum raisin ice cream.