Home Front: Unexpected online stardom a shock
Stars and Stripes March 2, 2008
It took me a couple of months to check out the videos my oldest son made with the camera he got for Christmas. There was no rush to see a close-up look of feeding time for our pet snake or his brother doing a silly dance … or so I thought.
This morning, I was in for a big surprise when I finally sat back to watch the videos from start to finish.
The first video began just as I expected. There was Tommy, giggling as he performed for the camera at my parents’ house in North Carolina.
I could just make out the top of my mother’s head in the background. She had undoubtedly prepared the boys’ favorite breakfast of sausage and eggs. Before I could fully get lost in the memory, a scary creature invaded the screen.
No second glance was needed for me to recognize the little woman with wild hair, wearing a very unglamorous flannel bathrobe.
It was me, making my video debut and looking like a cavewoman!
“How had that been on the Internet for two months without me knowing about it?” I asked myself.
In a matter of seconds, I pulled up another of Jimmy’s videos to watch. This one was even sillier than the first.
The filming took place in my brother’s minivan as he drove the boys, Glory and me back to Virginia after Christmas.
Much to my relief, the only part of me that made it on camera was a quick glimpse of my arm. What is supposed to be a comedy sketch seems to go on for hours although it’s actually less than three minutes long.
“Hey, we were bored,” was the explanation Jimmy provided for the ridiculous skit.
About halfway through the video, I realized my brother, Jack, and I were talking loud enough to be heard over Jimmy’s “character” voices.
Without immediately panicking, I tried to recall some of the things we talked about on the five-hour drive. I turned up the volume on my laptop to find out what we were saying as the camera behind us was rolling.
Most of it sounded like, “Blah, blah, blah, blah,” just as the adults on the old Peanuts cartoon shows.
But every now and then, I caught a word or phrase that brought me back to whatever we were talking about at the time … Christmas presents and stray dogs. I breathed a small sigh of relief and looked at the next video.
Jimmy’s close-up films of Caramel the corn snake eating baby mice are pretty cool to watch, especially the way Caramel stretches his tiny mouth to squeeze in his frozen prey.
I was making sure that I hadn’t missed any videos, when I noticed my youngest son, Ronnie, had posted one on his own account (that I didn’t even know existed).
It instantly became my favorite Zich video so far, as it features a sweetly sleeping Tommy, using Glory as his pillow in the backseat of Jack’s minivan.
Now that I’ve seen the videos my sons have posted on the Internet, I plan to be a bit more careful about what I say when the camera is rolling.
And I will definitely keep my flannel bathrobe-clad self out of sight during their productions. There’s no need to scare any children out there who are innocently searching for silly videos!
In the meantime, I’m hoping something good might come out of this. I expect my phone to ring any day now, as someone from GEICO offers me a role on one of those cavemen commercials.
A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has moved eight times in 17 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. They have been stationed in various locations, including Okinawa, California, Texas and their current home in Springfield, Va. E-mail her at email@example.com or find the Zichs online at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.