Sunday, April 12, 2009

Overheard at the theater

I attended a screening of a movie called Lymelife on Thursday night, my third such screening on the heels of seeing Departures early last month. My wife gave me a really good route to get to the theater, so I arrived 15 minutes early. I'd eaten a small dinner, but there was no place within easy walking distance to grab a supplemental snack, and I'd already parked, so I just went in early.

I was trying to read my Entertainment Weekly, but this was one of those screenings where a lot of people knew each other, and I was finding it hard not to be distracted by the other conversations going on around me, as I sometimes am. The one closest to me was particularly hard to ignore, as it featured a British guy sitting in the row in front of me, talking to a guy and a woman sitting next to me. The last two were not British. To follow up on the logic of my last post, I'm racist against British guys, so I thought the fact that he was British was worth mentioning.

Anyway, two dowdy women in their mid- to late-60s came up to this British guy to ask him if he wouldn't mind moving over, because they needed two seats. A fairly ordinary request, you will agree.

Except that there were already two seats open next to the guy. As well as two seats in the row in front of him, which was still a perfectly optimal distance from the screen.

Unwilling to be bullied by the strange whims of two eccentric ladies, he pointed this fact out. He did indeed have another open seat on the other side, but rightly, he didn't see the logic behind relocating.

One woman, the less bizarre of the pair, seemed perfectly happy to occupy the seats adjacent to the British fellow. But the first woman stood firm. "I was just thinking about your left eye, how you have trouble seeing out of it," she told her compatriot.

"I'll be happy to move if you just tell me why I need to move," said the British guy, who by this point was looking quizzically around him, and for confirmation of the weirdness of this situation from his friends in the row behind. When the ladies' attention was turned elsewhere, the British guy asked his friends, "Am I being punk'd?"

I'm no physicist, but I can find no way that these women's viewing angles would be significantly altered by the guy sitting directly next to them, or with a buffer in between, regardless of the condition of anyone's left eye. The request simply didn't make sense, unless they had some issue about being seated next to this particular guy. He did have a bit of an air of danger about him, his hair closely cropped almost to the point of being totally shaved, and his outfit a bit London punkish. But if that was their concern, they could have just sat in the row in front of him.

They ultimately accepted the seats next to him without further argument.

I will never understand the peculiarities and inexplicable deficits of the human brain.

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