Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bonnie Hunt's Blue Drapes

If it wasn't for my enthusiastic infatuation with Bonnie Hunt, I would have never joined the BBBH (Bring Back Bonnie Hunt) club. I'm not much of a joiner, but tackling the direction of Bonnie's career all by myself seemed quite formidable, so I've become immersed in a stew-pot of Bonnie's fans. The club meets once per month and is dedicated to all things Bonnie, the foremost of which is to bring her sparkling personality back to television. We meet at Ginny Nooten's house, and each gathering is chock full of news about Bonnie, as well as Bonnie handicrafts, made by a few of the more inspired members.

My contribution to the club is my Bonnie Hunt Drapery Report, which, for the sake of clarification, is compiled into a poster-board-sized bar graph. It's a simple graph identifying each day of the week, along with a corresponding blue bar, indicating whether Bonnie's bay window drapes were open or closed at 10:00am, the time when I make my daily, well-being, drapery check. I whiz by Bonnie's house on my bicycle, practically unnoticed, and only glance furtively at her window so as not to appear nosy. Once, Bonnie waved to me, and I returned a polite wave, but didn't stop. She deserves her privacy, and, besides, I'm hesitant around celebrities.

Really, nobody is bothered by my excursions except for Ginny Nooten, who is envious of my first-hand association with Bonnie. More than once, she's tried to pry the location of Bonnie's house from me, but I always reply the same way: "Out of respect for Miss Hunt, her home address must be kept confidential. I'm sure you understand." This bugs the hell out of her, and once, when I referred to myself as merely a neighborhood fixture, reporting on the well-being of our beloved Bonnie, she called me a "neighborhood nut," which is saying something if you tallied some of the behaviors of the BBBH club membership. There's Francine, who embroiders Bonnie's likeness on hand towels and pot holders, and Harriett, who makes Bonnie Hunt refrigerator magnets from shellacked magazine photographs, and not-to-be-outdone is Dory Wibben, who manages to celebrate Christmas 365 days a year with her glitter-encrusted Bonnie Hunt Christmas ornaments. To be called a nut among this bunch is a notable accomplishment.

What really bugs Ginny is that my monthly bar graph garners more than its share of attention. Each month, the entire BBBH club gathers around the poster-board and discusses the meanings of the open-or-closed blue drapes. Generally, if they're closed, they conclude she was out late, the night before, at some swingin' star-filled extravaganza. And if they've been closed for extended periods of time, they surmise she's out of town, working on a fabulous new venture that only a few insiders like us could be aware of. So, even though Ginny resents my presence, she's well aware that my drapery reports are an integral part of the glue that keeps the BBBH club together.

The other part of the BBBH club glue is DeAnne Speckles' South-of-the-Border punch, which is nothing more than a giant margarita in a beach-ball-sized bowl of ice. It does, however, help loosen up the players in the Bonnie Hunt puppet show. Ginny Nooten makes Bonnie Hunt hand puppets, which are featured at the end of each BBBH club meeting with an often-improvised puppet show. Ginny insists on being the Bonnie puppet while another member is chosen to take on the role of one of the many puppets in her repertoire. At the last meeting, she asked me to play the role of Bonnie's producer, Don Lake. The Don Lake puppet is a bespectacled, balding man casually dressed, and, as disagreeable as Ginny can be, her impeccable attention to detail is remarkable, right down to Don's tiny headphone and microphone set. Ginny always speaks first, followed by appreciative applause from the BBBH club members, almost as if it's the opening of Bonnie's television show.

--Bonnie (Ginny): Hello everyone. Welcome to my living room. (applause) I have a concern today.
--Don (Me): What's that, Bonnie?
--Bonnie: Well, Don, there's this guy who rides his bicycle past my house every day at ten o'clock in the morning.
--Don: What's the problem?
--Bonnie: He gives me the willies.
--Don: What does he do?
--Bonnie: Nothing. He just rides by. No wave, nothing.
--Don: What would you expect him to do?
--Bonnie: Wave or something, I dunno. I'm a big star. Shouldn't he at least wave hello?
--Don: Maybe he's the thoughtful type and doesn't want to bother you.
--Bonnie: No, no. There's nothing thoughtful about this guy.
--Don: He sounds swell to me, a gift, a harbinger of the day.
--Bonnie: Oh please. This guy rides by at the same time every day. I swear, I could set my watch by him.
--Don: Do you wait for him?
--Bonnie: Well, no, maybe, sometimes. I dunno.
--Don: I think your curiosity might be turning into a crush!
--Bonnie: Goodness, no!
--Don: Maybe he's playing hard-to-get and you're falling for it.
--Bonnie: No, no, he's...he's up to something, I swear!
--Don: I'm seeing a big red heart with "Bonnie loves the Bicycle Guy" inscribed in the middle.
--Bonnie: I wouldn't have a crush on this guy if he was the last man on Earth! He thinks he's so smart with his charts and graphs. I'll tell you what he can do with those bar graphs! My puppets are way better than any goddamn graph. I don't even know where I live. Why can't he tell me where I live? Is that so freakin' much to ask!
--Don: I think it's time we break for a commercial.

The BBBH club meeting ended with an awkward silence while everyone gathered their handicrafts and filed out the door, trying in earnest to disregard the uncivil turn of the puppet show. I'm thinking this may not be the club for me and will be looking for another club where the merit of a well-organized bar graph is appreciated.