Movies with Grandpa

The day we finally have a decent television is also the first time that we have eliminated cable. Show of hands now if you think it’s absolutely ridiculous what the cable company charges and gets away with. “Enough,” we said.

What this means in reality is that we have Netflix for movies and for old television shows, and Hulu Plus for current programming, which so far has been a disappointment. Our set-up requires that we use our Play Station 3 for streaming, a remote, and the game control console, hand controller thingy.

This thing.

You know what I'm taking about. This Game Controller Thingy. And, of course, I know what it's called.
You know what I’m taking about. This Game Controller Thingy. And, of course, I know what it’s called.

It just doesn’t feel natural for me to hold one of these, a keen reminder that I’ve never played video games and, when I did, I was lousy at it. Are you surprised I’m not good at everything? I’ll let you down easy. This is just one thing I’m really not good at.

For the most part, our TV arrangement has meant my sons watch commercial-free programming, typically with a nature theme like The Blue Planet.Β It’s educational, calming, and who doesn’t want to learn about the plight of the sea turtle? You somehow feel like a better human being for watching it. Just recently, it was World Turtle Day. I hope you celebrated.

Photo credit: Wikipedia commons

When Grandpa (my Dad) came over the other day, he and my seven-year-old son decided to watch a movie together. I assumed they would watch something along these lines or another family friendly offering like Hugo or Happy Feet.

I left the room momentarily so the two of them could select a show together. I returned to see on the screen a movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. Hmm.

“What are we watching?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I can’t remember what it’s called,” replied my dad.

Oh really? The name of it escaped me, but I know it was something I had considered watching once.* I left the room to do a few household chores.

When I returned Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are at a party drinking beer, flirting. Obviously not family fare. My son’s attention was already elsewhere, playing a game on the device. Grandpa’s attention, rapt. I rationalized that Grandpa doesn’t have the opportunity to watch movies everyday, and left again, seizing these minutes to do some quick chores, or maybe check my blog. Okay, perhaps not a shining parental moment.

I return once again, not even ten minutes in mind you, and Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman are laying on top of one another…naked! They don’t waste any time. We are in the middle of what appears to be a sex scene. Perfect.

“Oh, Oh. Oh,” I say, shocked.

“I didn’t…I really….I really didn’t know. I…oops,” Grandpa says, grinning from ear to ear.

Uh huh.

“Obviously, we must watch something else,” I counseled.

Meanwhile, I’m frantically trying to manipulate the controller. Is it the circle? The X? What is it? Arrghh.

On screen:

“We need a condom,” searching the end table drawer.

Off screen:

“We need to turn this off. Quickly.”

On screen:

“Where is it?”

Off screen:

“Where is it?

Oh, child of mine. I handed the controller to my son.Β Can you please turn this off…and help mommy turn off this sex scene you’re not supposed to see. My son, completely unperturbed, takes control of the situation by fast-forwarding through probably what are dozens of scenes with sexual content. I’m not even sure he noticed they didn’t have clothes on.

Whew! That was close. Turned off, we desperately tried to find The Blue Planet or something like it. My son was typing “blue” into the search but was having trouble finding the space bar for the space. I left to get something in the kitchen, perhaps.

I return to the room a minute later and observe that my son has typed into the search function the word “fuck.”

I’m thinking to myself, Fuck? Fuck! Oh, well this is fucking perfect, isn’t it?

For my son, this is a fascinating new word that holds a lot of mystery and power, and at this particular moment in time, will be an incredibly awkward moment for mommy since Grandpa has earlier expressed that when he was a little boy, no one ever used this word, or any swear word. Ever.

“Oh, this is not the word we want,” I say to no one.

At this point, my son has spilt his chocolate protein drink all over his hair, his face, his shirt, the couch. Grandpa, already laughing before the protein drink explosion, is now on the verge of completely losing it, choking uncontrollably. I’m fearing a visit to the ER.

I guess I can’t leave these two alone for a minute.

Postscript: They finally decided to watch The Monitor Lizards. They are, after all, lizards with an attitude.

* The Ashton and Natalie movie was No Strings Attached.

56 thoughts on “Movies with Grandpa

  1. I hate using that thingy to control Netflix /DVD. I make my hubs do it. I loved this snapshot into your day.


  2. I’m getting charged hefty for local news, home shopping, c-span, and local government access channels up the ass. Thank god I have the guide channel in case I ever need to quickly find any of this bullshit..


    1. Adam, I feel your pain. It never used to cost so much. Now with so many many channels, there’s often nothing on! If we could the Hulu to work properly, we haven’t tried that hard, it would be even better. Really, I don’t miss cable at all!


  3. Amy, I don’t mean to laugh. But, I think it’s funny how your son, in the midst of all this commotion, very calmly took control of both the situation and controller.
    Good times with grandpa. I’m sure your little man will look back on these memories with your dad and totally treasure them. Spilled protein drinks and all!


    1. Anka, you can laugh all you like. What’s even funnier is my son isn’t even aware that he took control of the situation, and this “situation” wasn’t really a situation for him at all!
      I hope so. I don’t take these times for granted. I never knew either of my grandpas.


  4. My sympathies, Bumble. The cable companies have a monopoly generally – which explains your lack of choices, non-uniform technologies, and high prices. When I complained about my cable company, the FCC referred me to my cable provider. They have it pretty wrapped up. For your kids, Planet Earth is great too…. The Living Planet, and all the David Attenborough programs.


    1. Hopefully, we’ll get it all figured out and we’ll save some money. There’s a couple of choices here, but they all want too much, in my opinion. I wasn’t watching enough TV to justify it. We’ll have to check out the other ones you mentioned. They are pretty incredible to watch!


  5. I can turtley sympathise. We have so many remote controls. One for our cable box. One for the TV. One for surround sound home theatre system, one for the digital radio, one for the blu ray player and one for the ancient VHS which hasn’t been used for 10 years but of course is theoretically needed πŸ™‚

    Sometimes the folks that stay with us in Airbnb have two approaches to this. The first is that refuse to go near the coffee table and would rather watch the artsy documentary of how African bushmen dig holes in the ground looking for water containing vegetables than switch over to what that they actually want to watch. Then there are the others who sportingly think to themselves that they can beat the odds and get the tv to work. Related to these are the people who haven’t properly considered the magnitude of the situation and thought to themselves, how hard can watching TV be?

    I end up coming back hours later and find the cable box is locked, the tv is on playing the sound but not the picture of the blu-ray… bonus points to the guest who managed to play the movie in French without seeing the screen and then the radio playing Classic FM loudly on the second set of speakers.

    It isn’t that difficult but you just have think it through logically.

    You are right about the Attenborough documentaries, they are magical. Have you seen the new ones on Africa by the way?


    1. Oh, Stephen…I laughed hysterically reading your message. Oh. My. God. You need to write up a post about this one! That is one complex process. For awhile we had about three remotes. and THAT drove me crazy!! Yours sound far more complex. I would be watching the documentary about the African bushmen and just be happy that I would have sound.

      I know part of my obstacle is psychological, it’s the gamer’s remote and I feel inferior because I never partook in video games. I try sometimes with the kids which is easier now with the touch screen variety.

      I have not seen the new ones on Africa by Attenborough. Good to know. I will be looking for them. Thanks!


  6. As soon as you said who were starring in the movie, a little alarm went off in my head, since I knew which movie you were talking about. πŸ™‚ Ah, the trials of modern technology and keeping it kid-friendly. I don’t have kids, but my worry is when I use Google Image Search (and to a lesser extent, Youtube) to illustrate a new word to my class. Since even Safe Search isn’t 100% safe, I usually turn the monitor off until I’m sure there is nothing bad on the screen. You never know (like when I was looking for weather words and typed in “stormy”. Yeah…apparently there’s a porn star by that name or something).


    1. David, but of course,there’s a porn star named Stormy…Yeah, that could be a little awkward in your class. No wonder you want to take precautions and play it on the safe side.

      I knew the selected movie probably wasn’t going to work. I just had no idea it would happen so fast! I guess I need to get up to speed on the TV!


  7. This is fucking brilliant πŸ™‚ There’s nothing worse than when you have to rely on your son’s technical navigation to get you out of inappropriate movie content. You probably shouldn’t send those two out for ice cream either. He sounds like my dad. Hilarious post!


    1. Ha ha, JM!! I bet you’re right about that and the ice cream. I will not be taking my chances on that one. I really need to get up to speed on the TV. Something tells me this will not be the last time this happens! Thank you!


  8. The mistake was watching No Strings Attached, instead of the far superior Friends With Benefits.

    JK, although I didn’t see either, I’m sure they both sucked.


    1. If Friends With Benefits is far superior then I sure don’t need to see No Strings Attached! I like Justin Timberlake, too, and the Friends movie just didn’t cut it. Lately, I’ll think a movie has a lot of promise and it will be so crappy! How hard is it to make a decent movie?


  9. This is hilarious! I can just imagine you running around trying to get the sex off the screen πŸ˜€ I’ve never been able to use one of those controls, but kids can use them like they were born with them in their hands πŸ˜‰


  10. Hi Amy. There’s more sex on a nature program between two ants or two elephants. Gets a bit kinky with the ant and the elephant though. So what’s all the fuss about two humans ??? Now where’s the xxx button on my remote πŸ˜‰ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


    1. Ha ha. Love this comment, Ralph. You are absolutely right! I just didn’t put it all together until now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched these nature shows and have seen two whales, two insects, whatever, going at it. Of course, this is just natural and happens everywhere, here and there…but I didn’t see any xxx on my remote, but I do know it exists, a secret compartment πŸ˜‰ Amy xoxo


  11. Way to burst my bubble! I really did think you were good at everything.
    Your Dad laughing like that reminds me of an Uncle I had that would always get us kids into some kind of a mess (especially the boys) and then sit back and watch the fireworks as the parents tried finess their way out of what ever embarrassment ensued. He was especially talented at creating this distraction at big occasions like weddings. We affectionately referred to him as Uncle Bert the Pervert.


    1. You didn’t?! It really is a mystery as to why I can’t conquer the controller, although I have a feeling I should pay a little attention to it. Well, since this is the only thing I can’t do well…well, I guess it’s okay. Ha ha!!

      That’s funny about your Uncle Bert. I bet he added to the wedding entertainment. Grandpa can be unpredictable, or so I’m learning. I was laughing throughout this whole thing, although I was trying to contain myself.


    1. Thanks, Katie. We finally had to get a new TV because our old one couldn’t keep up with the video game needs. Anyway, who needs a TV for watching TV anyway. I kind of miss cable, but I didn’t watch much when we had it. Now, I seem to be watching more movies and old TV shows. I’m glad you got a laugh out of this!


  12. Hahaha, that is so cringe-worthy, but oh-so-funny. Reminds me of the times my parents used to walk in on me just as a seemingly clean movie decides to reveal its true colours.

    I love how cool your son was acting about the whole thing!


    1. Zen, the only thing worse is watching a movie parent (when you’re young) and having it reveal its true colors. Talk about awkward moments!

      My son couldn’t be bothered. It was me who just a little panicked and surprised. Thanks for reading.


  13. We don’t have cable any more, either, Amy… and there’s really not too much I miss. I did like to watch The Blues / hockey… and a few things on the travel channel and HGTV… but other than that I can’t even remember what I used to watch.
    Hahaha… I thought the ‘O’ button that made Ashton run really, really fast (like… away from the plot)?! Or maybe it was his spinning jump move?!


    1. I think more and more people are ditching the cable,. Robert. Once you don’t have it, you can replace it with other things very easily. The cable companies are going down. They charge way too much! They get you with their little so called packages.

      The ‘O’ button, huh? Okay….I’ll remember that. πŸ™‚


  14. Good for you, ditching the cable! Seriously, it is a crime what they charge and for cell phone usage, too. Let us know about that controller hickie–don’t think I could get the hang of that!


    1. Thanks, Ly. So far, no regrets. I spent most of my time switching channels anyway! Cell phones are outrageous, too. What a racket. I’m going to try harder with the controller hickie. I know I can do it!


  15. Your dad sounds like a riot. Which is probably not what you needed at the time, but it’s still funny. And your son is obviously expanding his vocabulary quite nicely… Hope you had a good World Turtle Day!


    1. Thanks, Weebs. Perhaps my dad thought Natalie Portman was pretty. I knew you could appreciate my son’s expanded vocabulary. Ha ha. Oh boy…I just get a little flustered when he says it around Grandpa. I think you would get a kick out of it to hear him. I have to laugh. You’ve never heard it so innocently.


  16. Hi Amy,
    We have two or three remotes. I’m not sure what they all do, or what we need them for so I totally understand your plight. I must admit I was laughing out loud at the situation. Your dad is quite the example — which will be fun later on in life for your son, but maybe not quite yet. πŸ˜‰


    1. Hi Tania,
      We used to have several remotes, too, most of which collected dust. This new situation is an improvement so long as I can figure it out! I’m glad you got a laugh out of this. It was actually quite comical. I had just had to laugh…my dad has a good sense of humor. I was perplexed why he chose this movie. Maybe he liked the name, and of course, Natalie Portman is pretty. πŸ™‚


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