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sometimes it may be a movie
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Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the
staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in
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By Joshua Miller (Facebook)
My Dad’s Crossword Puzzles
There was a time, not that long ago, when the average person didn’t spend much (if any) time on the Internet. Back in these archaic days, I had a highly specialized function within my social sphere…
I was the movie guy.
Like an old sage perched in meditation atop of a rocky peak, my wisdom and expertise were sought from all across the land by those in quest for filmic enlightenment. In school I would often hear someone break away from a conversation with: Josh will know this. Invariably this was followed by: “Who was the guy in ___?” “Who did the voice of ___?” Was ___ in ____?” etc. When cell phones showed up on the scene I would often get random calls to satisfy some intense curiosity or settle a bet.
I never minded. On the contrary, I dug it. Of course I did. What movie nerd doesn’t enjoy the satisfaction of all those wasted viewing hours serving a purpose?
Alas, with each passing year, fewer and fewer travelers ascended that rocky peak to seek my wisdom. Like John Henry, I was being pitted against the might of technological progress. IMDb. Google. Wikipedia. In casual settings I could still be the go-to resource, but soon smart phones invaded that space too. Thankfully, I still have one safe harbor in this growing storm…
My dad’s crossword puzzles.
A little background on my dad. He was a pilot – first a test pilot in the military, then a commercial airline pilot for now-defunct Northwest Airlines. Pilots are made to retire early (for safety reasons), and since my dad retired a while back he has basically become a cat, taking a truly enviable number of naps throughout day, falling asleep wherever he sits or lies down. His day of napping is punctuated mostly by waking moments spent doing New York Times crossword puzzles (in pen). My dad loves crossword puzzles. He was a history major, and is a horrifying wealth of factoids and random historical anecdotes. Seemingly the only thing he knows nothing about is movies and TV.
That’s not true. He knows even less about the Internet. Which means I might get a random call from him while I’m in Los Angeles to the tune of… “How’s the car? Hey, was there an actor named ‘Diesel’ in something called Chronicles of Riddick?” I’m currently home in Minnesota for the holidays, and generally without fail when I walk downstairs in the morning he’ll have a query waiting for me. Just the other day I let him know Michael Caine played Scrooge in A Muppet Christmas Carol.
The best part of this relationship is it’s never going to change. My Dad’s understanding of the Internet is comparable to my understanding of an airplane. We both get the purpose of the respective technology, and if you set us in front of the controls with action already in progress, we could probably make things work for a minute or two. But it will end in flames. As long as my dad is doing crossword puzzles, I remain the nerdiest film nerd in at least one person’s life. And that’s good enough for me. For that, I am and always will be thankful for my dad’s crossword puzzles.