ome wretched days this weekend as I recovered from an unexpected side-effect from mixing two medications. Live and learn. The tedium was brightened by good conversations with Mum and Dad, a brief one with Nate (and Joe and Daniele, of course) on Skype, as he tried to dazzle me with his knowledge of U.S. state capitals (and him not even three years old, yet: the prodigy!), and a silly but very welcome video message from Grace, Haley, and Sophia that raised my spirits.
I had a funny moment, somehow talking about the art in my living room with Mom, where I had to explain the origin of the gag birthday present that Barnes gave me two years ago of a portrait of Diana Rigg
. I had been watching a few episodes of The Avengers
while recuperating, the first from 1965 to feature Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel, and so I found myself laughing as I explained to Mom how my late-night summer discovery of reruns of The Avengers
(probably my first encounter with "cult" pop culture) playing on some Rockford station, probably back in the late '70s, had made quite an impression on me: one that I had related to Barnes and the gang one night, as we somehow got on to movies, television, and first sex symbols. I speculated that my admiration for Mrs. Peel was probably a bit off the beaten path for boys of my generation, but I was rather fond of it in retrospect. Remembering this conversation led Barnes to purchase the portrait of Rigg for me as a gag birthday present when he spotted it at some pop memorabilia store, which I thought was hysterical.
So, after that conversation, I wandered to the computer, looking on YouTube for a clip of a half-remembered scene of an Avengers
episode that I saw when I was a kid, but wasn't one of the six episodes I (currently) own. Instead I found this fabulous tribute, which sort of smashingly sums up something of why Mrs. Peel was so fabulous: the debonair style of The Avengers
, of course, her own mid-60s Mod-ishness, hints of the humour and intelligence of the character, and, of course (perhaps an early instance of genetic Irish appeal in me) the attraction of, and respect for, the power of a woman capable of righteous and tremendous violence.