|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
One day last weekend my son, Chuck, and I enjoyed a DVD watching marathon of episodes from the old TV show, MacGyver. As those of you who are old enough may recall, MacGyver was a sort of free-lance secret agent for the government who was brilliant and ingenious and could fix or make just about anything from practically nothing. Every week MacGyver would save the world, or at the very least himself, by some entirely ingenious means using whatever he had on hand. MacGyver could build a nuclear accelerator out of a kitchen hand mixer, some copper wire, and a roll of duck tape. MacGyver was the man.
Prior to watching the actual episodes, Chuck's knowledge of MacGyver was limited to a popular cable TV show where two guys periodically attempted to prove or disprove the possibilities of MacGyver's many exploits. He also had heard expressions like, "That looks like someone tried to MacGyver it," or "Maybe we can MacGyver the stupid thing," proving that the idea of patching something together cleverly without the proper tools or materials had become part of the language. I must have said something along those lines to him about a hundred times since I am frequently trying to "MacGyver" one thing or another.
When I suggested the MacGyver marathon Chuck snidely implied that I was obviously getting old and attempting to relive my long, forgotten youth. I told him that I was doing no such thing; it was simply that MacGyver was the only man I had ever truly loved.
"That's funny," he said, "Grandma told me that at one time another you had also loved Thomas Jefferson, Sherlock Holmes, Aubrey Beardsley, Joe Namath, and two or three other guys."
"Your grandmother is exaggerating, as usual," I retorted. "Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character who didn't particularly like women, Joe Namath pretended to be a rebel but was just a poser, and Beardsley was a skinny artist with tuberculosis who undoubtedly preferred men."
"What about Thomas Jefferson?" he queried.
"Thomas Jefferson was kind of like MacGyver," I agreed, "but he was dead."
"MacGyver isn't real, Mom," said Chuck, as if I were a little stupid.
"No, but if he were I would be in love with him," I insisted.
Let's examine MacGyver's qualifications for being the man of my dreams. He was ridiculously handsome, brilliant, sensitive, kind, charming, well-educated, cared about people and the environment, wanted to save the whales and little spotted puppies, and if, by some strange series of events you happened to be kidnapped by enemy spies or stranded on an island, he would be able to save you or build you a great house with running water and a jacuzzi. Even better, MacGyver could keep your car running forever. Excuse me, but how could anyone not be in love with the guy? I blame my entire history of relationship failure on MacGyver. He spoiled me for other men.
After watching two or three episodes, Chuck commented that although the show was a little dated and corny, MacGyver was definitely cool and he understood far better why I was hopelessly in love with him even if it was a little bizarre and disturbing. I asked him whether he would have liked having MacGyver as a step-father, and he had to admit that he would have absolutely put MacGyver in his top 5 candidates for the job.
Since I can't have MacGyver I have tried to live a MacGyver-like existence, combining a wide vista of general and intellectual knowledge with the ability to learn and do useful things. I think that it is a pretty good formula for living one's life since it makes a person pretty multi-dimensional and even interesting.
I told Chuck that I was sorry that I never managed to find him a cool stepfather. He shrugged and patted me on the back.
"Too bad we couldn't MacGyver one," he said with a shrug.
Now that would have been truly ingenious.