Inside an Esquimalt family's 'Mr. Bean House'
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2019 12:02PM PST
ESQUIMALT -- You might not notice it when you start walking up the path, but by the time you reach the home’s front entrance you can’t miss. It’s a picture of 'Mr.Bean.'
"He’s ‘bean’ a part of my life for a long time," Harley Flack says, leaning into the pun.
The 24 year old says the framed image of the comic character has been hanging beside his front door since he was a young child. It appeared around the same time he was attempting to trim his bangs, but accidently cut a chicken-pox sore instead.
He laughs at that story. We ask why. "Because it’s funny," he says.
Harley says he grew-up with a soundtrack of laughter; his mom would regularly play old comedy records. "She just does [silly] things," he says. "She’s a powerful force of nature."
When we go inside the house, we see that Vicky Flack is the kind of mom who prefers goofy pictures of her son on the fridge. When we ask her about the ‘Mr. Bean’ picture, she suggests she wear a mask that looks like a horse. "I’m camera shy," she admits. But she didn’t want to say ‘neigh’ to the interview.
Vicky says she also learned to communicate with unbridled silliness as a child. Her mom would frame pictures of themselves in Titanic life preservers , while her dad and her listened to classic comedy records. She plays one for us that includes wacky music and laughter from a live audience inspired by quick comic conversations.
"Tell me, why did you leave your last job?" one man asks. "Because of illness," the other responds. "My boss was sick of me." Vicky smiles, "we’d laugh at the same stupid jokes over and over."
Despite life's inevitable ups and downs, Vicky learned to find comfort in comedy. That brings us back to ‘Mr. Bean’, which she posted 16-years ago to simply make strangers smile. "Maybe they’re having a crummy day...and they see this goofy face and it gives them a chuckle."
Then we notice a sign across from ‘Mr. Bean’. It says "the heart that loves is always young."
Vicky hopes, along with laughing, to remind people to be kind to each other.
"Always look on the bright side of life", she starts singing the Monty Python song while still wearing the horse-mask. Then Harley continues, "If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten…" And finally in unison, "And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing."