I love and hate the Olympics. I am so tired.
But it occurred to me on Sunday that I'd love to hear Mrs. Lynde and Deborah Jenkins talk about ice dancing. I mean, seeing those two precious pillar-of-the-church ladies watch performers with those costumes, especially the Latin dancing, just cracked me up so much.
And then I thought, why not? Let's make it happen. So I present to you, The Olympics Come to Avonlea.
deborah jekins isn't in avonlea, schuyler
i know. but that title, tho.
Scene: A cozy parlor, with wooden rocking chairs on a clean, wooden floor. Over the backs of the rocking chairs are folded hand-pieced quilts. The curtains are drawn, and there's a fire in the grate. Not a roaring fire. That would be a waste of wood. But a comfortable, economic fire that is doing its work creditably. Both ladies sit in cozy knitted shawls. Over Mrs. Lynde's lap is a quilt square she's piecing, and Deborah Jenkins has yarn and needles close at hand.
In front of them sits an antique wooden table with a modern black box of Babylon on it. The screen is currently blank. Miss Jenkins takes up a small rectangular wand lying on the table next to her and looks with furrowed brow at the buttons on the face of it.
Miss Jenkins: "Perhaps, Mrs. Lynde, if you will attend to this, I will attend to the tea kettle. I hear it in the kitchen."
She departs. Mrs. Lynde puts on her glasses and takes up the remote.
Mrs. Lynde: "I suppose this makes that great contraption work somehow. I never did hold to television. This red button looks like the gateway to evil. Downright sinful, that's what. For mercy's sake, it says ON."
She pushes the button and waits, leaning forward on her rocking chair in suspense. Miss Jenkins returns with a tea tray.
Miss Jenkins: "It is late to be observing this curiosity. I doubt any good comes from staying up past one's bedtime."
She shakes her head and lifts the teapot, but before she can pour it into the cup, a great blast of music comes from the screen and it turns on. Both ladies start.
Mrs. Lynde: "So that's what I heard coming from Alexander Randall's the other night. How does anyone keep this under control? It's enough to make a person deaf."
As soon as the commercial ends, the camera return to the ice, where a pair of dancers stand waiting for the music to start. Mrs. Lynde gasps. Miss Jenkins, in the act of pouring tea, freezes speechless.
Mrs. Lynde: "She's actually showing her legs. Well, things have come to a pretty pass with the current Prime Minister, make no mistake. I never thought I'd live to be ashamed of being a Liberal. I knew this country would go to ruin after the last election."
Miss Jenkins: "I am relieved Martha is in bed."
The music starts. As soon as she hears the opening notes, Miss Jenkins sinks into her rocking chair, cold disapproval in her gray eyes. The teapot is forgotten with the cups half full.
Mrs. Lynde: "I heard they have to travel all the way to South Korea. In my day, young women were content to live and die in the same place as their mothers and fathers before them. And they certainly wouldn't have bared their backs to the watching world. Why, I was at the Ladies Aid meeting and the minister's wife spoke of watching them. Things have changed, that's what."
The music ends. The pair leaves the ice, and the television cuts to commercials. Mrs. Lynde finishes pouring the forgotten tea. Mrs. Jenkins lays aside her knitting, at which she's been working furiously. She gets up and lights another candle, then blows out the first one to make sure they stay even in length. The dancing returns.
Mrs. Lynde: "The Yankees are all over the scoreboard. I'm not surprised they're involved in something like this."
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir stand waiting on the ice. Mrs. Lynde raises her eyebrows and removes her spectacles. Miss Jenkins purses her lips.
Mrs. Lynde: "Ruby Gillis would have been an ice dancer if she had been born later. If Canada wins a medal, I won't count the evening as a waste, but I'm not the same woman after what I've seen. If it gets out what I've sat and watched, I'll never face the Sewing Circle again. I never thought I'd actually have to hold my tongue about something."
Mrs. Lynde watches the dance spellbound until the commercials interrupt before the score is given.
Mrs. Lynde: Well, that's the last one. We'll find out who gets a medal next. I only hope it's the Canadians."
The commercials are over, and the ice dancing returns. Miss Jenkins placidly keeps her needles clicking in and out. She does not watch the television. Mrs. Lynde drops her quilt piecing and leans forward.
Mrs. Lynde: "I wish it was over. Lawful heart, I don't know how anyone can stand it. Of course, the Canadians will win."
Miss Jenkins, still knitting: "Speculation is the enemy of calm."
The score appears on the screen. Mrs. Lynde's quilt square drops to the floor.
Mrs. Lynde: "Well, they've won, and that's a mercy. The Canadians still do themselves proud, I'll say that for them. Though none of the world will hold together much longer when they're handing out medals for falling all over each other like that. If the heathen could see us now, they'd send back the missionaries, that's what. I'll hardly sleep a wink tonight."
Miss Jenkins: "I do not approve of this modern invention. It has evil tendencies."
Mrs. Lynde: "It's indecent if you ask my advice. I heard yesterday that Josie Pye's cousin's family watched the television every night and turned into the most shiftless housekeepers. I went to call there yesterday morning and I caught Ellen Pye actually bundling Monday washing into the kitchen cupboard. And this was on a Tuesday. The whole church knows what goes on behind those closed doors, believe me."
Mrs. Lynde pushes the red button, and the screen goes black. Miss Jenkins collects the tea things and replaces them on the tea tray. Soon after, the little house is tucked into a quiet slumber.
The next day, a modern television is carted away to the village to be sold.