You hear that phrase uttered around my household a lot, despite the fact that nobody in it is actually named Jaclyn. And perhaps by the spelling, you can guess who it refers to… although why her name would be bandied about so often probably isn’t quite as clear.
Some of you may be too young to remember, but there was a time when Jaclyn Smith was the queen of the made-for-TV movie. If there was a woman in jeopardy, chances were good she was being played by Smith. And even in those pre-Lifetime Move Network days, women were constantly in jeopardy, as evidenced by titles like “Love Can Be Murder”, “Lies of a Stranger” or “In The Arms Of A Killer”, all of which can be found in the Jaclyn Smith collection. You know, the one that isn’t available at Sears or K-Mart.
Apparently, that’s what a girl does after playing one of CHARLIE’S ANGELS, because Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson also wound up following similar career paths.
But we’re not here to talk about them.
No, this is all about the power of Jaclyn.
You see, in nearly every one of those films, Smith played a woman whose life, at least in the opening moments, seemed pretty damn awesome. “My life is pretty damn awesome,” she would declare, just in case we couldn’t tell. “My husband is a wildly-successful doctor, my children are straight-A students and our home is tastefully but modestly decorated.”
Sure enough, 15 minutes later, her husband was dead, her son had turned to drugs and her daughter was turning tricks. Why? Because she’d committed what I like to call the sin of First-Act Hubris. It’s sorta the opposite of that whole “Field Of Dreams” philosophy of “If you build it, he will come.” In fact, if Smith had stared in that flick, Kevin Costner’s corn field would have been destroyed by locusts and the baseball field hit by an asteroid.
That’s just how fate rolls in Smith’s world.
So now, whenever someone in our circle makes the mistake of saying, “What an awesome day for a picnic! The sun is out and there’s not a mosquito for 200 miles!”, we shake our heads and mutter, “Oh, Jaclyn.” For without a doubt, their words, as powerful as black magic, will summon up dark clouds, flash floods and fire ants.
On the plus side, perhaps we’ll be able to sell the rights to the story, and someone will make a movie called “Death Packs A Sandwich.”
I’d totally watch that… if it starred Ms. Smith.
Does your household have catchphrases that crack you up… but probably make everyone else say “Huh?” If so, share them below!