“Have fun with your friends!” I kissed Anne goodbye.
“Have fun watching hockey!” Anne kissed me goodbye.
“See you when you get home,” I said. I watched her walk down the driveway, and headed back into the house. Marlowe and Seamus ran up to me as I got close to the kitchen.
“It’s just us tonight, dogs,” I said. What they heard was, “Chopper, how about a bunch of treats?”
Marlowe jumped over Seamus’ back as she ran — galloped, really — to the pantry where the dog treats live. Seamus looked at me, waiting to see if there was any reason to go to the pantry.
“Okay,” I said. His ears perked up and his tail began to wag. “Yes, you can have a treat,” I said. His tail sprang to life. Marlowe scrambled, Flintstones-style, on the floor in front of the pantry door, as she ran in tight, excited circles.
I pulled out the treats, had them sit, and gave them each little training rewards. I hope that someday I will be as excited about anything as my dogs are about a treat that’s not even the diameter of a dime.
I headed to the couch and turned on the hockey game. Montreal was trying to force a seventh game against Tampa Bay, and they trailed by two goals in the second period. My phone buzzed:
Nolan: Mom said you're home alone watching hockey.
Me: It's true.
Nolan: Want to hang out?
Me: Sure. Come over whenever. The first game is on now.
Nolan: When does the second game start?
I looked up the schedule, realized that I was wrong about there being two games, and replied.
Nolan: What? Wait. I'm confused.
Me: Hi, confused. I'm Wil.
Me: There's no second game today. Come over whenever you want.
Nolan: Okay. See you soon.
I watched most of the rest of the hockey game. It wasn’t ever very close, and Tampa Bay won, eliminating the Habs (and the last Canadian team) from the playoffs. I felt bad for Canada, but as a life long Kings fan I’ll never get over 1993 (or Macho Grande), and there are so many players on this Canadiens team who I think are jerks, I was glad to see them go.
Nolan came into the house shortly after the game ended. The dogs ran laps around the house to welcome him.
We decided that we’d watch a movie or something together. As we searched through Netflix and the DVR, I said, “You know, I have the complete series of the original Knight Rider, from the 80s.”
“Knight Rider?” He said.
“Yeah,” I said. “It’s about –”
“A guy with a talking car.” He said. Not a question, but a continuation of my thought.
“That’s … uh …” I began.
But it’s more than that, I thought. It’s about … um … fighting crime! And that lady in the jumpsuit with the boots! And the old British guy, whatshisname! And KITT is, like, um … a talking car.
“Yeah, that’s pretty much what it’s about,” I said, “but it’s awesome!”
“Awesome like when you showed me text games, or awesome like something that is actually awesome?”
“Someday, you’ll thank me for showing you,” I reminded him. “because of me, you’ll never be eaten by a Grue.”
Before he could remind me that it was unlikely that would have happened anyway, I continued. “This show is genuinely awesome. It has The Hoff, the talking car, and is so unapologetically 1980s, you’re going to love it — and I don’t mean ironically. I mean you’re going to legit love it.”
“Okay,” he said. “Let’s give it a try.”
I searched through all the episodes I had, and decided that I wanted to show him something from the first season. Sure, I could have jumped in right away with KARR and Michael Knights Evil Twin™, but I was afraid it would confuse him, not knowing the rich backstory of a man who does not exist. I settled on a first season episode called Sammy’s Super Stunt Spectacular, where Michael and KITT must save a car stunt show from an evil developer, after the show’s owner, Sammy, is wounded in an accident which was engineered by the evil developer’s minions. It featured all manner of profoundly lame car stunts that were actually charming in their execution, and a stunt driver with a Hasselhoff wig that really should get its own spinoff series, where the wig is voiced not by the St. Elsewhere guy, but Mister Belvedere*.
Over 49 minutes, we were treated to some truly entertaining early 80s prime time action television. By the time it was over, Nolan was officially on board.
“So I think we need to watch this entire series,” he said.
“I knew I raised you right,” I said. “How’s your weekend looking?”
“Let’s not get carried away,” he said. “Knight Rider is something to be savored.”
“That’s … uh … ” I began.
We looked at each other, as the credits rolled and the theme music played.
“That’s pretty much exactly what it is.”
*In the pilot episode, the wig, called WIGG (which stands for Walking Investigation Guy’s Gear) helps the star of the show, Ted Jacobs, played by a young Parker Stevenson, works for Devon after Michael Knight drives off into mystery. Ted Jacobs, a former astronaut in training who faked his own death, helps solve the mystery of the missing computer tapes and saves a daycare center from an evil developer. Nell Carter and Justin Bateman co-star.