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Country Goes to the Movies or Take This Movie and Shove It

By Robert Loy, March 1997

Page 2...

But she doesn't let insomnia and illiteracy stand in her way, no sir. Her husband is Brad, who is very supportive of her decision to return to college, always there with hugs and kisses and cliches about following your dream.

Supportive, that is, until the first time Lily has to spend a Friday evening at the library, and he has to take care of the two younger kids by himself. Then he changes his tune - well, no, not his tune, this is not a musical, remember. Being a Carradine, he doesn't change facial expression, either. But something is different.

Maybe that something is Joshua Harrison, teaching assistant in Lily's literature class. "What brings you here?" he asks her, when they run into each other at the library. Instead of giving him an honest answer ("A big old red pickup truck.") Lily gives him the cliche about following your dream, living life to the fullest. He scoots his chair over by hers, puts his arm around her and begins discussing why the whale in Moby Dick is white, but Melville's symbolism and Joshua's erotic intentions are both way over Lily's head.

Following his dream of becoming a sexual deviant, Joshua later tries to rape Lily. She escapes and this gives her a new set of cliches - the "No means no" lecture, which she delivers to Joshua twice.

Also about this time, Lily's father drops dead - perhaps of boredom, since he really hasn't had much to do in this movie up to this point. But there's no time to mourn. It's time for finals.

Joshua is still the T.A. (so to speak) of the class, and he's still determined to nail her one way or another. He tries to trip her up on her weak point - Greek literature - but Lily knows her Euripides.

What she doesn't know is how to write a theme. It's obvious she's thinking about dear old deceased Dad and not Dickens or Dostoevski when for this all-important pass or fail grade she gets up and recites - not sings, mind you, recites - something she probably heard on the radio on the way to class - the words from "The Greatest Man I Never Knew." Never mind that this theme is supposed to take all year and Lily dashed hers off in an afternoon. (And possibly plagiarized it.) Never mind that this class is supposed to be world literature not country music studies. She gets an A, and - well, you've seen the video, you know how it ends.

(Next issue, we finally find out just what the heck Billie Joe McAllister flung off the Tallahatchee Bridge. Stick around, kids, you're going to love this one.)

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