Hakuna Matata

By TIM BEELAND,

I’m not a movie buff. In fact I’m probably as far from being one as a person can possibly be. I can’t sit still that long. Simply put, I’m a bit hyper.

That being said, a television commercial Sunday night was touting the new Lion King movie which opens tomorrow and it instantly flashed my mind back to the year 1995 and the release of the original animated version on video cassette. It was one of my daughter’s favorites.

She was only two years old then and had complete control of the VCR. A VCR, Video Cassette Recorder, is how we used to watch movies, at home on the television, in the old days, for those wondering.

The Lion King played over and over at our house and one of the featured songs, Hakuna Matata, became a favorite of my daughter’s, and mine, in our morning getting-ready-for-work routine. My wife, being a school teacher, left for work before me each day and I would drop Rachel-Johanna off at the sitter’s on the way to my  office around 7:30 or 8:00.

We did a whole lot of singing in those days — I sometimes still do —   and most of the time it was done from the seats of my 1987, bright red Saab convertible. Turbo mind you! Something about driving with the top down on a spring day brings out the voice in a person even if they are somewhat challenged in the singing department.

We lived in the tiny North Central Mississippi town of Carrollton and we only had to travel a couple of country-size blocks to the office, and the sitter, so the two of us had to really pack it in fast if we were going to get very far along in that song. So pack it in we did and at the top of our lungs sang these words.

Hakuna Matata!

What a wonderful phrase

Hakuna Matata!

Ain’t no passing craze

It means no worries

For the rest of your days

It’s our problem-free philosophy

Hakuna Matata!

Needless to say in a small town, with the top down, we were certainly turning the heads of friends, and neighbors, and strangers alike.

Watching that commercial for the new movie version, I began to long somewhat for those days some 24 years ago. Simple life it seemed. Beautiful little family. Sweet baby girl, loving wife, awesome turn of the century home with a white picket fence around the yard and a great big fluffy Old English Sheep Dog named Butterbean bouncing around in that yard. It was perfect. It was Hakuna Matata!

Not to say that things are not good now, they are, they are just different. The kind of different that comes with age and a grown woman for a daughter that my wife and I don’t see nearly as much as we would like. And we certainly don’t sing at the top of our lungs like we used to when we are together. Well, sometimes we do. When I can get the air to the top of my lungs anyway.

I’m pretty sure I won’t see the new version of The Lion King. I certainly will not be going to a movie theater to watch it. I don’t do very well in movie theaters. That hyperactivity thing, you know. But, I might pull out that animated version that we still have on video cassette and give it a spin. I think the VCR still works. It’ll probably make me sad and glad at the same time which is pretty easy to do. That’s what reminiscing is about, right?

In the end, the good news is that little ole song brings back a whole lot of sweet, sweet memories. The bad news, though, is that now I’ve got the darn thing stuck in my head for who knows how long. Perhaps it is time to let the top down on the Saab and take her for a spin too.

Hakuna Matata!

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