Thursday, April 16, 2015

On the Edge of the Precipice...Again

I didn't get up until around 10:30 this morning. I spent most of last night enjoying my discovery of the old group on Google Groups. I think I joined the group somewhere around mid-late 1997. There seems to be a lot missing, including many of my posts, but what's still there brings back so many memories! Especially the hilarious spoof resolutions to the crazy season three cliffhangers (which we'll discuss a bit later in this post).

When I finally did get out of bed, I started a gorgeous, sunny morning with more Remember WENN. WENN's receptionist tries her hand at radio script writing in "From the Pen of Gertrude Reece," one of the best episodes of the third season. Gertie's play is "Rendevous In Rabat," a drama that quickly turns into a hilarious spoof of Casablanca. Scott is Rick, who cares for nobody...until Betty (Ilsa) shows up in his life again. Victor Comstock is Victor Lazlo, Eugenia's Sam, Maple is the singer at the cafe and the desperate immigrants, Jeff's a waiter, Mr. Eldridge is S.K Sakall, Mackie is Major Peugot, Hilary is a cafe customer, and Mr. Foley is a Nazi commander. Gertie, however, doesn't have an ending for her play. Betty types out eight letters that could contain the name of the man she wants to end up with...but then she decides it's best for Gertie to figure out her own ending.

I headed out after the episode finished. I decided to stick to walking this time, since all my plans for today were local. I originally peeked at Studio LuLoo before deciding to do the Oaklyn Library first. (And after I had to go back for the Lord of the Rings series, which I forgot.) Not a ton to do there, though I did get some organizing done in the kids' area.

My next stop was Dad and Jodie's house. I've been meaning to get over there for weeks, but I either haven't had the time, or they weren't around. I picked the right day for it. Not only were they home, but Dad's longtime friends from Cape May Brian and Diane were visiting. I hadn't seen them in ages. Dad seems ok, other than his throat and the ongoing arthritis in his back. He and Jodie gave me 80 dollars for my birthday. I'll put half of it in the bank tomorrow. 

(Diane told me some disappointing news - the Pilot House, a long-time bar and restaurant in Cape May that my family went to a lot during my childhood, shut down and was replaced by yet another fancy restaurant. Like Cape May needs another fancy restaurant that no one can afford.)

I had a very quick lunch at Common Grounds Coffee House. I wasn't really that hungry, so I settled on a bagel with jam and an iced tea. It was too nice of a day to be sitting in a coffee house. I was the only one there besides the college kid behind the counter.

Went a few doors down to Studio LuLoo after lunch. I chatted with Roxy and a young male volunteer while continuing to tear (and when I got tired of tearing, cutting) strips of tissue paper for craft projects. I wasn't there for too long. A couple of little girls arrived after-school. They had homework to do, and I didn't want to disrupt them. I left as soon as I finished with one large square of white tissue paper.)

After dropping Rose and her family's Easter card in their mail box, I strolled to WaWa. They were incredibly busy, partially due to the local kids being out of school by then, partially because today was WaWa's Free Coffee Day. I don't drink coffee. I bought their cheaper eggs and treated myself to a $1.99 Cotton Candy Milkshake instead.

It was a glorious day for a walk. The neighborhood is looking more and more spring-y. The trees are glowing with pink, white, lavender, and pale green flowers. The lawns are starting to actually look a bit bushy. The air is fragrant with hyacinths, daffodils, and jonquils. 

When I got in, I spent the next few hours online, re-reading a few of my old Remember WENN On the Edge of the Precipice fanfics before I finally started the 28th story in the series, "Fox and Falcon." For those of you who weren't WENN fans fifteen years ago, this began as a college assignment to write a response to a TV cliffhanger. From there, it grew into my version of WENN's never-written fifth (and considering how many stories there ended up being, sixth) seasons. I lost interest in the series and ran out of ideas before I could finish it. I'm hoping to at least do this much.

For those of you who are interested in catching up, here's the rest of the series:

I returned to more late third season WENN as I made flounder in lemon-wine sauce with the last of the broccoli, cauliflower, and stir-fry vegetables for dinner. "Eugenia Bremer, Master Spy" brings in more espionage...but this time for laughs as snobbish British secret agent Desmond Quist invades the station. It's understandable that he thinks there could be more Nazis at WENN after the second season finale...but he targets the least-likely character, sweet organist Eugenia Bremer. While the cast paraphrases their shows to try to stop more Nazi messages from getting through the airwaves, Quist courts Eugenia...who has a secret of her own.

"Caller I.D" may define the show more than any other episode, since it concerns the true magic of radio and television. Mackie is playing DJ on a late-night music program when he gets a call from a woman who claims she's sitting on the ledge of a near-by building, ready to jump. She's a plain secretary living a plain life, and the WENN shows are her reality, her dreams. When she realizes they aren't real, she thinks she has nothing. The cast first throws together several regular WENN shows to appease her, then prove to her that they're all real people...and that the real magic of fiction is just how strong the imagination can be.

Betty's imagination is working overtime in the infamous third season finale "Happy Homecomings." She hears a different voice playing turncoat Johnathan Arnold on the radio and worried for Victor's safety. On advice from station lawyer Doug Thompson, she finally decides to open the name of Victor's contact in the locked box in the station manager's office. Meanwhile, Scott discovers what Quist didn't - that the Nazi codes are in a sponsor's commercials, not anything the station wrote. Jeff's finally home, too, much to Hilary's dismay. She's not going within five miles of him. Either he goes, or she does. And then, when Betty does discover the contact, it's not whom she or anyone expects. Including a strangely distracted Victor Comstock....

Yes, these are the cliffhangers that left the entire Remember WENN fandom screaming in agony...for six months. AMC aired "Happy Homecomings" in January 1998 and for some reason didn't start the fourth season until mid-June. I still consider the interim to be the longest six months of my entire life. I told everyone online, at home, and at Stockton College that I wanted only two things from life during those months - to pass my classes and find out the ending to those blasted cliffhangers!

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