December 06, 2005

Good night, and good grief

Rose and I went to see Good Night, and Good Luck this evening (excellent movie, by the way), and right in the middle of one of the more intense Edward R. Murrow speeches, two guys wearing little lights on their hats came in the theatre, kneeled in the aisle, and made a noise like someone pouring out a jar of coins on the floor. We couldn't see what they were doing, but that just made it more distracting somehow. A few minutes later, they left.

At the end of the movie, one of the workers reappeared near the exit of the theatre, resting his clipboard on a railing and looking at blueprinty-type layouts, still wearing a cliplight on his head. Since my curiosity about what the heck had been going on had not abated, I asked him, "So what was that, when the two guys with the lights on their head were doing something in the aisle in the middle of the movie?"

"Oh, that was me," he confirmed. "We were taking measurements. We're going to be putting some new seats in here."

"Okay," I said. " the middle of a movie?"

He seemed very blithe about the whole thing, answering, "Well, why not?"

"Um...because it was incredibly noisy and distracting?"

"That's why we left," he replied, reasonably enough. Since how could anyone know that two contractors would be unable to do their work during the screening of a movie without being distracting unless they had empirical evidence to that effect?

At least the usher who told me that we couldn't bring food into the theater let us pass once we explained that we were not carrying an extremely poorly concealed secret stash of Jujyfruits and popcorn, but rather a styrofoam container of leftovers.

[Endnotes: Given that the two men were taking measurements, Rose theorizes that the coin-spilling noise was probably the sound of a metal tape measure unrolling and retracting. Also, it belatedly occurs to me that they must have been planning all along to do their work during movie showings, given that they had planned ahead enough to have little flashlights on their heads with which to see in the dark. Crazy.]

Posted by Francis at 11:02 PM

It was just a way for them to see the movie (or at least that one scene) for free. Cheap bastards.

Posted by: Rich at December 7, 2005 08:17 AM

For pinpoint accuracy, it's always best to measure things in the dark.

I think Rose is right about the measuring tape sound, but I like the preliminary assessment of coins spilling out of a jar too. Once, I awoke to the sound of bowling balls being dropped from the roof of the 5-story apartment building across the street into a 100-ft-long galvanized steel chute. I couldn't imagine what else could possibly make such an ear-splitting, thunderous sound. (Actually it was one of those long demolition Dumpsters being emptied at 3 a.m.)

Posted by: Victoria at December 7, 2005 01:47 PM

Or they were aliens, and that coin spilling sound was the sound of them relieving themselves, which certain aliens do upon seeing black and white docudramas about people losing their individual freedoms.

Posted by: Pauly D at December 7, 2005 05:00 PM

Ah, to live in a world where mysterious men with lights on their heads wander into movie theaters, pour jars of coins on the floor, and vanish without a trace. It is too much to hope for.

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