Six degrees of Kevin Bacon

The Bacon Brothers

I fell in love with Kevin Bacon when I was 16. Footloose blew my tiny mind. All that sweaty dancing and teen angst crammed into such tight, high-waisted jeans … enthralling. (I’ve always been a low-art girl. Your high-art girl would probably nominate A Clockwork Orange or Annie Hall as her first life-altering cinematic experience, mine were Can’t Stop The Music and The Breakfast Club … until Footloose. Post-Footloose, The Graduate almost pulled me from the abyss until I saw About Last Night. Things haven’t improved much in the past 25 years.) After ponying up the admission price for Footloose around ooooh 10 times, I lay in bed every night praying fervently to God to let me meet Kevin Bacon.

When I lived in New York, God kind of answered my prayers. I didn’t get to meet Kevin Bacon, but I did get to see him in the flesh. And I wrote a blog about it for Wondertime magazine.

As I spent yesterday cooking (so much farking cooking – I made hummus, I made spinach and cheese triangles, I made pear crumble, I made chicken tagine … you will be subjected to all the recipes in due course) for the numerous social engagements I over-scheduled for the long weekend, I did not have time for creative thinking.

I finally got a chance to turn on the computer late last night and started freaking out because my brain was a total blank but I couldn’t possibly NOT blog something today. So I did a search on my back files and dusted off the Kevin Bacon blog. Here you go …

“I saw Kevin Bacon singing in the street last week. So life in New York City can’t be too bad. I took the Sprogs to a festive celebration called Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square. Kevin’s band, The Bacon Brothers, were headlining the entertainment.

I have a bit of a thing for Kevin Bacon (it all started with Footloose). So, while I tried to pretend I was taking the Sprogs out on a cold Monday night for their own benefit, I actually had a secret agenda.

It gets dark in New York around 4.30pm these days and Sprog 1 wasn’t too keen to leave the apartment to catch a train to Winter’s Eve. But, when I mentioned there’d be ice-sculpting, she had her boots and coat on in two seconds flat.

Anything that has a hint of “craft” about it always lures her in. Long afternoons are spent constructing things out of bottle tops, sticky tape and cereal boxes.

She had a fit when she saw me throwing things into the recycling bin the other day.

“No Mummy, there’s lots of good craft stuff in there!” she gasped, pulling boxes, bottles and cartons out of the garbage possessively.

“We could make a really great rocket ship with this,” she informed me, holding up a smelly old milk container.

Oh goodie.

On the weekend we’re choosing our first-ever real Christmas tree from one of Manhattan’s streetside stalls. Husband is fervently searching for the closest stall to home so he doesn’t have to schlep a hunk of wood and pine needles too far.

In the lead-up to this highly anticipated event, we’re making budget tree decorations – paddle pop sticks are being turned into Christmas stars; paper is being cut into strips and glued into chains; popcorn is being strung into garlands; beads from a broken princess crown are being turned into ornaments. It’s a junior craft-lovers heaven …

Anyway, back to Winter’s Eve. It kicked off with a mediocre tree lighting (I overhead one mother griping on her mobile phone: “The tree in our living room is bigger!”), then various stores along Broadway offered food, entertainment and activities for the kids. BeingNew York, the crowds were insane. I saw 50 people lined up for $2 mini-burgers and another 50 scrambling for $3 noodles. The only stall without a queue was the one selling quinoa salad. But I couldn’t convince the kids to try that one.

Somehow, we survived the madness and got to decorate Christmas elf hats in a bank while nibbling on free gingerbread men, scored optic fibre thingies from Disney Channel for the kids to wave around, snapped up complimentary muesli bars, noshed on a delicious $3 plate of pasta from a street stall … and then there was the ice-sculpting.

As predicted, Sprog 1 was mesmerised by a man with a chainsaw sculpting a huge block of ice (despite her initial disappointment at not being able to sculpt the ice herself). After being showered with ice fragments for five minutes in sub-zero conditions, the novelty wore off for me, but Sprog 1 was in heaven.

I eventually dragged her away so I could ogle Kevin Bacon on stage – not a bad voice and still quite sexy after all these years, though a little gaunt and wrinkly –  but I was soon hauled back for another ice viewing before we finally hopped on the subway home.

Sprog 1 pronounced it a fantastic night and has decided to be an ice sculptor when she grows up. Sprog 2 wants more of the pasta now, now, NOW. I saw Kevin Bacon singing. What more could anyone ask for in an evening’s entertainment?”


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