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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to find inspiration in an idiomatic expression from another language, which are often similar to but distinct from our English equivalents. I chose the idiom of “ironing one’s head” being used in Armenian and Turkish to mean annoyingly repetitive, like the constant requests of a shrewish woman, and also tried to develop a few of my own idioms.)

I think she once invented wringers
Just to put me through them daily.
I grit my teeth
And dig beneath
And wish that looks had stingers.

My head is being ironed solely
For the joy of seeing it flat.
My wrinkles never
Hurt her ever,
So why, for love of all that’s holy

Does she get such twisted jollies
Watching me squirm on her hook.
This fly is caught
‘Twixt web and swat,
And someone’s laughing at his follies.

A fool’s not down until you’ve kicked him,
Seems to be her school of thought.
I’m not the first
And not the worst,
So why am I her favorite victim?

MPA rating: PG-13 (solely for language)

I don’t have much to say about Guarding Tess, which is why it’s a good fit for a day when I don’t have as much time to devote to writing. Plus, it’s an interesting contrast to Shirley MacLaine’s much earlier role in What a Way to Go! that I reviewed a couple days ago. This dramedy follows a perplexed Secret Service agent named Doug Chesnic, who is assigned (forced really) to continue guarding former First Lady Tess Carlisle (MacLaine). Famously difficult to work with behind the scenes, Tess is outwardly an American sweetheart, and when she takes a liking to Doug, not even the President is going to turn her down.

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Guarding Tess isn’t really anything special beyond the love-hate relationship formed between Cage and MacLaine. There’s humor to be had in their battle of wills, but it’s neither funny enough to be a comedy nor compelling enough to be a drama, though it has flashes of poignancy surrounding Tess’s late husband, whom Doug also admired deeply. It tries to ramp up some slightly unrealistic tension near the end, but Guarding Tess is little more than a diversion, not that that’s a terrible thing. Fans of Cage and MacLaine should enjoy it, but it felt like the idea behind the story held some missed potential.

Best line: probably the best gag with Secret Service agents radioing each other over supermarket prices


Rank: Honorable Mention


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