Fear and trembling shot through my veins as my mother and I walked into the dentist office. At age four, it was the scariest place that I had ever been. I could never get used to visiting a location that created pain in the name of health. But, all I had to do was sit patiently in the waiting room until my mom’s teeth were evaluated.
While I wasn’t the type of person to sit still, a book about TV production fascinated me. I had no idea what was written in the book, but I could tell from the pictures that they used three cameras, a director and talent. The on-camera personalities sat on a small stage or platform under cool looking lights. The cameras were numbered so the director could pick which one went live during the production.
When I got home, I ran up to my room and got some of the Jewel-Osco president collectables. They were miniatures of each president standing in a regal pose. I put a piece of masking tape around the belly of three that looked like cameramen and numbered them. Then I took a few other presidents and put them on a little platform made from a book and positioned Andrew Jackson to direct. I played for hours setting up various shots.
My imagination ran wild, as I pretended to make a feature film. While I don’t remember the exact story, I do recall that the cop story was intense, as the detective cornered two suspects.
“Mr. Bellagio, where were you during the night of October 31st?” asked the detective.
“I was with the dame from the all night pub.”
The detective slowly circled him, as camera 3 pushed in on a close-up.
“So, you say you’re innocent, but I can prove that I’ve caught you red handed.”
Trixie quickly turned toward the detective and confessed, “I was with Mr. Bellagio all night, even when we visited that dame. He couldn’t have stolen the cash.”
Camera 2 dollied in to a tight shot of Trixie, revealing her increased pulse. She was hiding something.
“There is only one way for me to prove you’re guilty.” Camera 1 set on a two shot. “Will you submit to a simple test?”
“Maybe,” quipped Mr. Bellagio.
“First wash up,” the detective instructed, tossing him a dry towel. Camera 3 turned to follow Mr. Bellagio’s every move.
Mr. Bellagio stepped over to the wet bar and washed his hands. When he pulled them out of the water they glowed bright blue.
“Hey! What’s this sadistic magic you’ve performed on me?”
The detective clasped handcuffs on Mr. Bellagio as he explained. “The stolen money was laced with a dye that once wet, turns a florescent blue. So, I’ve caught you red handed… Thanks to blue ink.” Camera 2 swung wide.
The detective walked over to Trixie and held up a second pair of handcuffs. “It’s now time to cuff your accomplice.” Camera 1 pushed in for a tight shot of Trixie’s face. She swallowed hard.
“Oh no, Mr. Detective, sir. I remember now that I was with Mr. Bellagio on a different night.” Camera 3 zoomed in on the detective.
The detective smiled at her. “I’ll see you at the pub for a drink later.”
Trixie smiled and ran off.
A shout from the first floor told me it was time to put away my film team and head down stairs for supper. My dad was home for dinner and I couldn’t wait to tell him about the adventure I filmed. It was an awesome movie for a four-year-old’s imagination.