In a home on the north side of Chicago was a home. This was the home of a contractor and builder named James Belushi – Jim to his family and friends. Jim was a friendly enough fellow, kind of boisterous and unpredictable, with a big heart and a bigger mouth. No one knew just what stupid act Jim was going to do next, but he was never dangerous. Jim considered himself a man's man, and he had quite a different view of the world around him. He was either deserving of what he should get, or willing to do what it took to get what he wanted.
"Daddy…" His long haired daughter Ruby appeared at the side of the chair with her long tresses bound into a ponytail and her younger sister, Gracie, by her adorned in pig-tails..
"Girls…" Jim tried to be what he thought was a dutiful father. "Can't you see that daddy is trying to read the sports page of the newspaper? Is it okay to bother him?"
"Can we have new bicycles?" They bothered him anyway. All Jim could do was stare over the top of the newspaper and try to think of a response to make. When nothing came to him, he took a deep long breath, and looked back to his beloved and beautiful little girls.
"What's wrong with your old ones." He asked.
"They're little baby bicycles."
"I see…" Jim tried to rationalize their thoughts as if they were adults, but at the same time, he tried to take advantage of the way they thought. "Well, you know, there's little kids in Africa who don't even have bicycles."
"Well," Gracie outsmarted him. "If you get us new bikes, we'll send them our old ones."
"Do you know how much it costs to ship a bicycle to Africa?" Jim turned the tables back on them. "I'm sorry, girls, but I just had to replace the water heater and, Gracie, you just had to get braces. I can't afford it right now."
"But you just got that Chicago Bears Ceremonial Memory Annual Mug."
"That's a necessity." Jim tried to con his own daughters. "I had to have it."
"Well," Gracie looked to her sister and back to her father as her mother entered the dining room behind them. "If we can save the money, can we get new bikes?"
"Why sure!" Jim condescendingly grinned as the girls cheered and scampered excitedly past their mother at the dining table. Blonde, statuesque and as beautiful as a Norse goddess brought to life, Cheryl Belushi straightened her lip exasperatingly to her chuckling husband.
"It'll take them years!" Jim cracked out loud.
"Jim," Cheryl wandered over to him with a handful of napkins still in her hand. "Why can't you just buy them bikes? They're just little kids."
"What better time to teach them the value of money?" Jim slowly lifted the newspaper back up. "And save a lot of mine." He chuckled to himself a bit longer as his wife set the table for seven people. Nearly every night, Cheryl the happy homemaker opened her heart to her brother and sister to partake in dinner with her family. Her sister, Dana, was the epitome of the girl next door with radiant blue eyes and long tresses of brown hair and blonde highlights. She looked like a movie star, but she had the neuroses of a teenage girl lamenting over her single life and her future. Andy on the other hand was full of himself. Blonde and a bit rotund, he was often the subject of both good-natured and sometimes sadistic insults spewed from Dana's perfect ruby lips. There was still a lot of boy in the man that was Andy from his love of science fiction to his anxiety over the opposite sex, but what annoyed Dana and even Cheryl was how Andy had bonded with Jim in the throes of male brotherhood and unity. Andy was Jim's cohort in mischief and accomplice in deception, but he was also the weak chink of armor in Jim's cavalcade of lies. It was often Andy that spewed the truth whenever Jim stayed out late or did something behind Cheryl's back. It was almost as if their lives were a TV series on the ABC Network.
"Cheryl," Jim bothered Cheryl as she set the table for dinner rather than help her with it, but she graciously continued setting out placemats and silverware. "Look at this, there's a movie production team coming to our neighborhood to film a movie and they're looking for people to offer their homes to film some scenes. We got a home; why don't we do that?"
"I don't know, Jim." Cheryl looked up radiantly as she prepared Jim's head of the house place at the head of the table. "I don't think I want a lot of strangers in our home."
"Cheryl," Jim had a scheme ready in the back of his head if he needed it. "I want to do this. I mean, we don't know if they'll even consider us. Let's at least make an appointment with the locations director."
"Sounds exciting, I guess," Cheryl started grinning at the idea. "And if we get paid we can take care of a few things and get the girls bikes."
"We can do that too." Jim had aspirations of using any movie money to get a pool table.
"What kind of movie is it?" Cheryl set aside a handful of silverware. "Does it say who the actors will be?"
"What, oh…" Jim rechecked the article. "It just says it's a nice family-based movie directed by a guy named James Danvers."
"Did you say James Danvers?" Cheryl's eyes went wide as if she had seen a ghost from her past. She yanked the newspaper from her husband and spread out the article to read it for herself. No, it couldn't be! It just couldn't!
"You are getting excited about this!" Jim beamed ear to ear. "Imagine, our home in the movies…."
"On second thought…." Cheryl began having other thoughts. "I don't want to do it."
"What!" Jim was incredulous. "Why not?"
"Jim…" Cheryl sounded weakly upset yet absolute. "I don't want all those strangers here tearing up our home and God knows what else. I don't want to do it."
"But I really want to do this!" Jim whined like a big kid.
"Well, I…" Cheryl sounded as if she were considering it. "No."
"Well, why not?"
"Jim…" The blonde beauty knew her husband. "I want you to promise you won't call that number to have them look at our house."
"I want you to promise that you won't have Andy call that number to have them look at our house." Cheryl exacted another promise as Jim groaned again.
"The kids either!"
Jim started groaning louder.