Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wicked Not Awesome

Wicked Not Awesome
by Rob Cottignies

            Recently, I made a bet. But first, some back story…
            My friend Mike loves almost everything. He gets giddy at the very mention of Sasquatch, shakes with excitement over ordering martinis even though he hates them, and buys endless memorabilia of orange-colored sports teams. He's a special guy, this Mike.
            Now, I said Mike loves almost everything because there is a song he absolutely detests. You, dear reader, are most-certainly familiar with this tune and probably downright love it because it is wonderful. The song loved by everyone which is hated by the guy who loves everything else is Love Shack by The B-52's. What a feel-good song. And what a video! A dance party where everyone is handsomely-dressed, a great big car, some woman in a bathtub watching indentured servants work in the yard- I mean, can you watch that and not smile? I know Mike sure can.
            And now, another back story…
            Some years ago, Mike decided it would be a great idea to discuss Broadway during a football tailgate. This went on for hours, days, years. And it was all about Wicked. Apparently this is the biggest play ever and even more apparently, everyone we were tailgating with was horribly interested in its story.
            SPOILER ALERT: Do I really even have to put this here? Has anyone actually not seen The Wizard Of Oz?
            Anyway, The Wizard Of Oz is probably the most popular movie in film's great history and Wicked is its prequel.
            But wait a second
            How can there be a prequel to The Wizard Of Oz? Oh I know, it must be a documentary-style film about farm life in rural Kansas. Perhaps it shows the three guys getting hired at the farm or where the Gales got that little jerk Toto. Or maybe it portrays how Uncle Henry and Auntie Em met. Why is Dorothy living with her aunt and uncle instead of her parents? Whoa, can't wait to find out!!! What's that, it's about the wicked witch? You mean Miss Gulch? Alright, I've always wondered why she was so cranky. Let's have it…
            Nope. Wicked tells the story of how Glinda, the good witch, and the wicked witch (supposedly named Elphaba, though that has changed throughout the years) grew up together. But how could there be a prequel to a teen-aged girl's dream? Exactly. This was and still is my argument.
            Back to the tailgate, Mike and I debated furiously over Wicked being a worthy addition to the story and its storyline being completely illogical, respectively. Much to the amusement of those in our company, the contest went on and on with no mutually agreeable conclusion. That storm still rages today, and we've been best friends since first grade.
            Long story short…
            Mike and I both like hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins are my team while his affinity for sub-par orange teams has led him to be a New York Islanders fan. So these teams played each other and we decided to bet on the game. Oh, did I tell you about how we bet on the NFL's Raiders/Broncos games???? I like the Raiders and he the Broncos. (I told you he likes orange teams. They are one of his three equally favorite NFL teams. Don't get me started on that.) So we wager one dollar every time they play but it's just in fun because neither of us pays the other. This has worked in my financial favor because the Raiders are terrible. But one time while in college the Raiders lost and I sent Mike a check for $1, which he framed instead of cashing.
            Long story short…
            Mike and I grew weary of wagering pretend money on games so he suggested that if the Islanders won, I would have to see the Wicked movie with him. Confident in the Penguins' abilities, I accepted and countered that if his Islanders lost, he would have to sing and dance to Love Shack at karaoke one night. We shook hands and our fate was left up to athletic strangers. The game in question started out great but ended horribly when the Penguins decided to stop trying. So they lost and therefore I lost. I am doomed to see Wicked.
            I've never seen the play nor do I remember its details from Mike's ramblings but from what I hear, it's quite lovely. That's not the point. My point is that Wicked, along with Return To Oz, Oz The Great And Powerful, The Wiz, and whatever other additions to the story exist are all bogus. The Wizard Of Oz explained what happened perfectly- Dorothy got knocked out, visited a bizarre fantasy world which included likenesses of people she knew, and woke up after she had gotten the point of the dream. That's right- dream. Imaginary. No start, no end; just what she and only she saw in her head. I did a crossword puzzle on January 23rd and the clue for 36-down was this: 'Dorothy's visit to Oz, e.g.' The answer was five letters long. Get me?
            The only way for Wicked to exist would be if Dorothy dreamt it up, but according to Mike there is no mention of her in this story.
            I'm furious. My team lost, I lost a bet, and now I have to angrily sit through a movie which already makes absolutely no sense to me. I also realized too late that I bet a five-minute song against a full-length movie. On the bright side, the release date keeps getting pushed back so hopefully it will never come out.
            And, yeah, that's all…
            (Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?)

1 comment:

  1. It's the Tommy Westphall Universe theory.