Monday, March 9, 2009

Kevin Bacon, My Oldest Daughter And The Bed Of Death

We have to go back a way. Back before my grandson was born, back before my daughter's marriage, back into her teenage dating years.

The best friend of the boy she was dating had an ambition to be a magician, and my daughter and her boyfriend were helping. They had put an act together and planned to rent the local high school auditorium to launch his career.

The only problem was, the act had no grande finale. So these three geniuses put their three heads together and came up with the idea of a great escape to be called "The Bed Of Death".

They would build a canopy bed with hundreds of ten inch spikes poking downward from the canopy. The magician would lay chained to the bed while a clock ticked and then escape at the last minute before the canopy of lethal spikes came crashing down.

And if he didn't escape in time, well it would be a memorable performance.

The three of them worked on this bed in the driveway of the magician's home for a good part of the summer.

Meanwhile, half a block away, large white trucks were pulling up in front of a large mansion that sits at the top of the Scarborough Bluffs. Kyra Sedgwick, the actress and wife of Kevin Bacon, was directing an Indie film using the house as a location. And Kevin Bacon was there as well, showing support.

While far from an expert in film production, as I understand the business, there is a lot of free time for the crew as shots are being lined up and lighting is being adjusted and they just want people quiet and out of the way.

During these periods of enforced inactivity, bored members of the crew started to wander over to where the Bed of Death was under construction. There was nothing else of interest going on and, after all, how often do you get to see a Bed of Death being built?

In fact the Bed of Death soon became a central social activity for the crew. They would stand around, drink coffee, shake their heads, admire the activity and give sage advice.

News of the Bed of Death spread through out the crew and began filtering over into the cast as well. It wasn't long before Kevin Bacon was wandering over, just another guy in the crowd.

Finally the Bed of Death was finished and a lethal looking thing it was too. The magician took to the bed, arms and legs chained to the bed posts. A curtain was pulled around, an egg timer set to go off. The crew was gathered in respectful silence.

Back lit by a lamp, the crew could see the terrified magician straining helplessly against the chains that bound him to the bed. Only moments remaining before his young life would, possibly, be snuffed out forever. The egg timer ticked and ticked and then screamed. The canopy plunged downward.

A full half inch before it stuck.

The crew all offered advise, the bed was rebuilt, the bed poles realigned, grease was applied, but nothing would reliably permit the canopy with its lethal spikes to plunge more than an inch or two toward the bed.

Eventually the show went on without it. Enough people turned out to cover half the cost of the rental of the auditorium and the magic show aspirations of the three were satisfied. The magician later went into advertising where he makes more money producing television ads for Ford than he ever would have as a performer.

And as for Kevin Bacon, it's unlikely any of this still resides in his memory banks. But my daughter, her boyfriend (who is now her husband) and the magician remember him fondly.

And the Bed of Death, still rests quietly in the basement of the magician's parent's home.

Please, please do not disturb!

Beginning today I've instituted some changes in my blog, bringing a little more structure to the blog and my life. I will be reducing the number of posts to four a week and will be assigning regular topics to two of those days. For more details please consult the outline in my profile.

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