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Real life distraction thanks to Agent 007

When I finally got home Wednesday evening, I was way past my saturation point as far as the 2008 election coverage was concerned. I had thought about little else, college football aside, for months and was ready for a mindless diversion. After supper and a shower, I plopped down in front of the television set and began surfing the channels.

I hit the jackpot, too. "Goldfinger," the Sean Connery James Bond classic, was playing on some obscure channel. I pressed the pause button, threw a bag of popcorn in the microwave, poured myself a Coke and settled in for the duration.

OK. I melted a lot of butter and poured it over my popcorn first, but then I settled in for the duration.

What a fun evening - and what a difference 43 or 44 years can make.

That is how long it had been since I first saw "Goldfinger" at Covington's Strand Theater. I remember going with Steve Piper and I remember having to sneak because the movie was so "dirty," which is what we called "risqué" in 1965. I think Foy Harper threatened to tell my mama on me, but I don't think he did because I don't remember having to go cut a switch because of it.

"Goldfinger" might have been risqué by 1965 standards, but it is decidedly tame compared to what we watch today on a regular basis. Victoria Secrets ads, which air on broadcast television at 8 o'clock in the evening, are much more revealing than anything the "Bond girls" were - or weren't - wearing, and there was not a single curse word in the entire film.

Even cartoon shows have curse words these days. Officer Don would turn over in his grave if he could see "The Simpsons." Popeye might have beat the snot out of Bluto on a daily basis, but he never uttered a single word that would embarrass Olive Oyl.

But there was no cursing in "Goldfinger." In fact, the only thing the least bit objectionable about the whole movie - other than one woman getting spray-painted gold and a few bad guys getting knocked off - was the name of one of Bond's nemeses, a certain Miss Galore, whose first name I dare not mention in print, even in these enlightened times.

007 did make some very bad puns, which I deemed objectionable, but they went right over my lovely wife, Lisa's, head.

I suppose I should offer a bit of clarification here, in case there is someone out there who is not familiar with the character or the storyline. James Bond, a creation of author Ian Fleming, was a spy, during the dark days of the Cold War. He was under the employ of Her Majesty's Secret Service in England, but worked closely with the CIA in this country.

Goldfinger was a random, redheaded fat guy who, in his attempt to corner the world's gold market, hatched a scheme to detonate a nuclear device inside Fort Knox, which only James Bond and his colleagues would be able to thwart - none of which is relevant to why I enjoyed this week's viewing of the film so much.

I think what I liked best about watching "Goldfinger" was all the futuristic gadgetry the Bond character employed. He actually had a device that could track his enemies, wherever they were, on a little map, right there in his car. It was a very crude version of the GPS systems that so many of us have in our cars today - but I remember thinking, back in 1965, that that whole concept was a little bit beyond belief.

He also had gadgets in his car that would throw out smoke screens and oil slicks, and he had machine guns that would pop out of the front fenders, too. I don't know anyone, personally, who has those adaptations in their vehicles, but I am sure we have the technology.

I got a kick out of the classic cars in the movie, too. There was an original Mustang featured - and an Aston-Martin and a '64 Thunderbird, too. And all of Goldfinger's henchmen were, interestingly enough, Korean. I am not sure if they were from North or South Korea, but they wore blue military uniforms, not gray.

Naturally, the story line was pretty simple, with a clear distinction between good and evil. Pure and simple, cut and dried, no shades of gray.

Unfortunately, the movie only lasted a couple of hours. Then it was back to the reality of the real world in 2008, where nothing is simple; nothing is cut and dried, and there are problems galore.

But 2009 will be here soon. They tell me change is just around the corner. Let's all hope it turns out to be as positive as promised.

Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.