the deleted scenes

I don’t know if anyone else has ever noticed this, but the inside of the cover of a certain DVD pressing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has a picture that must have been from a deleted scene in the movie. A staple in our household between Thanksgiving and December 24, I have seen this movie dozens of times and never noticed this particular part. Oops on the packaging team.

Deleted scenes. Blooper reel. Outtakes. Cutting room floor. All expressions for the things that made the script but not the movie. What makes some things worth seeing and others not? Were they boring, unflattering, didn’t really benefit the story, made it too long? I will admit half the time when I do watch the deleted scenes on a DVD I agree with the editor–that was dumb.

Sometimes I wish life had deleted scenes. Parts you could remember if you wanted to, but should really be left out for the sake of the overall story. I think we would all leave certain parts, even if it’s just a few days, on the cutting room floor of our lives if we could. I know I would leave out the part of my audition for admission to college where I blanked on my Haydn sonata 3/4s of the way through and had to stop and admit I needed to go on to my next selection. Or the day we drove 16 hours through the mountains from PA to Nashville in a 26 ft truck with no acceleration and 2 dogs. I’ve never wished for teleportation more than that day.

But, until Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind style memory erasure becomes a thing, we have a director’s cut version of life. And maybe that’s ok. Now I look back on that audition and laugh because I did make it into college; I remember the yellow truck that went 30 mph up a hill on the interstate and am thankful that we made it safely.

Let’s go with the kinder term for left out material: bonus features!

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