Where Credit is Due

Here in the black hole outside of Harmony Grove, where there are not enough gigabytes to stream Hulu and Netflix like the rest of the world, we watch names roll by to kill time before our chosen movie begins on one of our ancient movie channels.

"Do you want to watch some credits?" asked my sweet Sven.

"Sure," I said.

There is something gratifying about staring at all the pretty letters.

They are there for a reason you know.

Imagine the mother waiting to see her daughter's name up there on the big screen. The woman who won't leave the theatre until she can point her out to her friends who must remain seated.

There are lots of reasons for credits.

Even though I have never been completely whole since the sudden and unexpected death of Bambi's mom. Those few minutes waiting for the the aisle to clear in the Oshkosh cinema, holding onto my grandma's hand and watching all the names, was, what I believe to be, the very beginning of my very first, life long healing process, after a traumatic event, such as a sudden death.

After the line, "Frankly my Dear, I don't give a damn," my girlfriend and I used the credit time to get our legs working again so we could walk out to the pay phone to call for a ride home. We were kids. And that was back in the days of intermission. I cannot imagine how the adults faired.

At sweet sixteen, the credits were a time for reflection. Of course I had been reflecting inside a car that looked a lot like a Cheech and Chong movie, through the whole show. I was mesmerized by a bible rolling over and over in a pair of black hands holding a rosary. I don't remember what movie it was. All I know is time stood still.

When the Exorcist credits were rolling, the time was instrumental for us teenagers to build up enough courage to bundle up in our short, faux-fur jackets, to venture out to a dark and icy parking lot in subzero temperatures. We were still really freaked out from the head spinning, green vomit and those stairs. All the other cars drove away as we beat on our doors that were frozen shut. My memory blanks out at this point. But apparently we got in the thing.

The Way We Were. Now those credits were used for excessive nose blowing and mascara wiping.

In my early twenties I eagerly stayed on my couch after every movie, searching for the perfect name for the perfect child growing inside me, wishing they would slow those letters down and stop making me nauseous.

When my Sweet Sven and I took a gang of boys to to see, Kindergarten Cop, they did not want to sit with us. Those credits were a great time to round them all up.

I went through a bitter credit phase in my life.

It was back in 1991, when, Hook, came out. This Peter Pan movie had a second assistant director with long blonde hair and cowboy boots, who used to date my Sweet Sven. She called him to let him know about her latest accomplishment. It wasn't the time she phoned him just to reminisce about their good old days and he pulled the phone out of the bedroom and sat on the floor outside the door and talked to her for an hour and a half at two-thirty in the morning, because it was only twelve-thirty in California, while the cord was stretched across my ever loving neck.

You get my drift.

"There's her name!" shouted our kids in front of the tv at the end of the show.

I am over it now.

After Schindler's List, the credits were an absolute must. Just so we had some time to get our shit together well enough to shuffle out of the theatre, in silence.

Credits are always good for talking yourself into getting out from under your blanket and brushing your teeth so that you can go to bed.

"I will, as soon as they are over."

Sven and I are well credited credit critics today.

Much like the Olympics precise scoring system, as well as complete subjective judging, we take our duties seriously.

Music is key.

Take, The Bourne Identity, for example. This ending credits song is considered to be a perfect ten.

But of course one must also consider the color scheme.

Truth be told, a crisp white font on black is the easiest for viewing. I have a soft place in my heart for lines that mirror the title and name from the middle out, creating different widths.

This generally has a nice flow.

I had to give my lowest score to date last week to some hideous lemon yellow letters spinning by on a vibrant blue screen. I don't care what the music was. It almost had me upchucking.

Speed is also an important component.

Crank out another tune and slow those mothers down, if you have too many names for too short a song.

Be kind to those searching for baby names. Or to those waiting for a loved one to go scrolling by.

And then there is my sweet Sven. He wants to know who played bar stool guy five and the names of the Grips.

"I was wrong. It's not credits playing. It's previews," said Sven.

"Oh, cool!" I said.

Movie previews are even more exciting than watching credits.

I however missed them all since as I was jotting down notes for this story.

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