John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving?

Hey, I'm not ashamed of my ethnic heritage ... I'm white and nerdy and raised in Virginia, born of a WASP farmboy and an Irish Catholic who wrote computer programs for the CIA(!).

Nevertheless, there are times when I just gotta rear back and say, "Dayum."

For Thanksgiving, we went to Tidewater to spend the day with laurie_robey's family. Much turkey and carbohydrates (in the form of scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls, dressing, corn pudding...) was consumed, and we retired to the den (complete with pecan-shell resin statuettes of various World War II historical figures) to watch football ... and when the football was over, eldest male changed the channel to "Encore Westerns" and we watched Kenny Rogers in The Gambler Returns: Luck of the Draw.


Now I don't have anything against Kenny Rogers, mind you ... and in fact I enjoyed the movie in a camp kinda way (although when it was revealed that Reba McEntire's plucky western femme fatale was fighting to save an orphanage, I almost gave up on it). It was a corny piece of made-for-TV junk that never tried to be anything but what it was, and featured cameos from or shout-outs to every western TV show ever made from The Rifleman to Rawhide (much the same way Mel Gibson's Maverick would do three years later, and with a lot of the same cameos, although James Garner was conspicuously absent from Gambler Returns, with Jack Kelly appearing as Bart Maverick instead).

Naturally, we followed that up with breakfast at Cracker Barrel the next morning. Did I mention, "dayum"? And I've had the lines "And somewhere in the darkness, the Gambler he broke even, but in his final words I found an ace that I could keep..." going through my head over and over ever since.

Anyway, back home now, where I intend to spend the weekend playing D&D and listening to punk music or jazz in order to restore my equilibrium. If anybody catches me saying, "Y'all," please swat me upside the head.

-The Gneech

PS: Trivia time! Did you know that Kenny Rogers didn't actually write "The Gambler"? In fact, it was recorded by two other artists (including Don Schlitz, who actually did write it, but just doesn't sound country-westerny) before Rogers made it famous.
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