"Well, they fall in love." Right. Then what?
"Their families are fighting! They want to get married but can't!" Okay, so far this jives with what I remember from 9th grade, although mostly what sticks in my mind from back then is that the English teacher had to explain all the dirty jokes in the text to us, which is pretty ironic considering we were obsessed with dirty jokes. Any off-color joke you need to actually explain to 14 year olds is either far too complex for anybody's good or has simply passed its mid 17-th century expiration date.
"Juliet gets a sleeping potion." Yesssss? And then what? Because as I recall, this is where the play gets especially heavy on the dirt naps.
"They run away together. The end."
This reminds me of the St. Patrick's Day parade last weekend, which I attended with some friends who have a boy Stella's age. Before the parade began, a guy skated by all the kids and families lined up on the sidewalk waiting for the huge parade. He was waving a huge American flag and wearing a bright red shirt that read, in capital letters, "FUCK WALKER." In case you have been living in a hole -- or Illinois, which we here in Wisconsin consider the equivalent -- I will tell you that this is a reference to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who's not exactly vying with Aaron Rodgers for my favorite Cheesehead of the year. I was trying to explain the political goings-on in Wisconsin to my mother, and I was struck by how much recent events here resembled a day-time soap opera: "The Governor introduced a bill gutting public sector unions and the Democrats fled the state to deny the Senate a quorum and they Republicans managed to pass the bill anyway, but now a judge has said that they might have done so illegally, and when Ricky wakes up in the hospital the first thing he wants to know is if Samantha really is his long-lost half-brother after a sex-change operation because if so, they're going to have to get the marriage annulled."
At any rate, the FUCK WALKER skater met with a variety of responses. Some parade-watchers gave him the thumbs-up signs, while others, particularly parents of kids who can read, were not thrilled. My friend gave the skater a big round of applause and when his kid asked the reason why, my friend said, "Well. He had a big American flag and I like the flag." Then Romeo and Juliet run away together. The end.
In a story not quite as tragic as Romeo and Juliet, Baby W got his first haircut this weekend. My mother and sister trimmed his bangs, and if you are wondering if it takes two adults to snip what amounts to about six or seven hairs total, they answer is a definite yes, particularly if the hairs are on the head of an 11-month old. They did a nice job and now his hair is out of his eyes, although I'm a little said that he is not able to rock out the Justin Bieber look anymore. The haircut makes him look more like a toddler and less like a baby. (Here I am referring to Baby W, not Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber looks like a baby no matter how his hair is cut.) Baby W is growing up! It won't be long before he'll be reading Romeo and Juliet for himself. I'll ask him to explain all the dirty jokes to me.