Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's with the leg?

I never thought I'd be proud to say that my son makes a great nerd, but I am and he does.

We saw last night's performance of Bye, Bye Birdie at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. Certainly not bad for community theater. Roque "Respect the Collar" Berlanga did a great job directing and as we sat there, John and I found many examples of Roque's influence, all those little things that made it great. Another win for a talented young man. Our family is fortunate to know him.

We sat in the McBIC box seats with a bunch of folks from church. I believe the largest laugh of the evening from our section of the house was when Jesse entered the stage for Telephone Hour. Playing Harvey Johnson, and dressed as a nerd, he played the part better than a non-nerd should. I honestly didn't recognize him at first. I knew he was in the scene and was looking for him but with the taped-up glasses and slicked-back hair he was someone else's kid. I haven't seen that much polyester since the matching blue polka-dotted suits my mom made for my brother and me back in my preschool years.

Mariana, as always, wowed us with her stage presence. Her dance with Albert as "Sad Girl" was very graceful and she faints so dramatically when in the presence of an Elvis impersonator. We are thankful that in reality she has more sense than that.

Isaac was very handsome with his slicked-back hair (non-nerd style) and Boy Scout uniform. We enjoyed watching him sing "What's the matter with kids today?" A line that I think I will need to repeat often in the coming years.

But I did leave the theater with one very important question: What's with the leg? I'm sure you've seen it, it's in every movie and Broadway show. It's the female's seemingly "natural" response when standing to kiss the leading man; she "spontaneously" and gracefully bends one leg at the knee and lifts her foot several inches off the floor.

Is there an anatomical reason for this? Something I missed in health class? Or is there a historical reason? Something I missed in history class? If someone has the time to research this, I'd love to know it's history. I'd google it myself but between eating bon-bons and watching soaps I just can't fit it in.

I thought of making up a story. Something about how the body's natural response to puckering while standing results in an involuntary reflex which causes the female's dominant leg to autonomically bend. But then I'd have to admit that my body has failed me; my knee has never bent while kissing. Come to think of it I'd have to admit to having kissed someone and I just don't talk about things like that so I gave up that idea. Then I thought that there could be a great story from Queen Elizabeth's day; a tale about her first kiss and how it happened that she was also nursing a sprained ankle at the time. She raised her foot to kiss the guy because it hurt too much to put pressure on that foot. When the royal subjects saw it, however, they thought it was such a beautiful gesture that they all tried it. Of course the common folk saw that and didn't want to be seen as village idiots so they adopted the practice. The practice eventually made it to the Americas with a boatload of pilgrims from a prominent foot-raising village in England. But then I'd look like one of those commoners not-in-the-know for all these years. Or perhaps it goes back to the days before the Louisiana Purchase when pioneer women had to worry about little varmints running across the prairie and so lifted a foot out of reverence for those that were there first. But then everyone would think me hypocritical for crying during stories about hurt animals while having no regard for them in real life.

So, I decided to try it out. You have to understand what it took for me to even think about attempting such a thing. Physical touch just is not my thing. I figured I could stand around puzzling over the practice or I could just try it for myself so when I saw John standing in the doorway of the living room I thought it was as good a time as any to see what all the fuss was about. I went up to him, put my arms around his neck and raised my right shin, ankle and foot slightly off the ground. I was very proud of myself and was waiting for that leading-lady feeling to take over.

Then Andrew walked by and informed me that I forgot to kiss John at the same time.

Shoot! Better luck next time.


  1. The "Foot Popping" commentary reminded me that I had seen a movie that addressed this very issue, and I couldn't remember what it was. If there's one thing I love to do, it's a Google search to find answers to questions just like this one. The movie I was thinking of was The Princess Diaries, and here's a website that talks about the real history of the "foot pop." (Though I really like your history too!)

  2. I love it, Bina! Although I was let down by the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the real history; I was looking for a little more creativity. At least now I know. And I also know where to turn when needing a google search! :) Glad to know you're finding some free time for such things and hope things continue to go well for you.