Wednesday, February 2, 2011

By the skin of our teeth.

With the Arab world on fire and America under a sheet of ice, as I slid my way to work this morning, I thought of a play that was always one of my favorites, "The Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder.

I was lucky enough to see it performed once, outdoors in Central Park in 1998 with that great bear John Goodman in the leading role, Mr. Antrobus.

Here is Wilder's "Story of the Play":

"Here is a comedy about George Antrobus, his wife and two children, and their general utility maid, Lily Sabina, all of Excelsior, New Jersey. George Antrobus is John Doe or George Spelvin or you--the average American at grips with a destiny, sometimes sour, sometimes sweet. The Antrobuses have survived fire, flood, pestilence, the seven-year locusts, the ice-age, the black pox and the double feature, a dozen wars and as many depressions. They run many a gamut, are as durable as radiators, and look upon the future with a disarming optimism. Alternately bewitched, befuddled and becalmed, they are the stuff of which heroes are made--heroes and buffoons. They are true offspring of Adam and Eve, victims of all the ills that flesh is heir to. They have survived a thousand calamities by the skin of their teeth. Here is a tribute to their indestructibility."

Here's to our indestructibility, too.

No comments: