Friday, 29 November 2013

Fri 29/11/13 - Jerks Who Talk During Movies, Steampunk Magicians & This Week's Watches.

Friday 8:12pm, AEST

Last Friday Evening
As I mentioned in last Friday's post, I had thought about going to a six-twenty session of "Captain Phillips" at a nearby cinema. My wife told me to go ahead, since she and the kids were going to have a cruisy night at home making pizza and watching a few more episodes of "30 Rock" on DVD.
And so off I went.

Picture courtesy of and Sony/Columbia Pictures.
Now, I'm of the generation of movie-goers from before the age of 'allocated seating'. The worst seats I ever sat in were about twelve rows from the screen and positioned against the left wall. This screening was a packed one and this was the only seating we could find. The screen appeared all distorted and quadrilateral. This was at the Capitol Theatre in Swanston Street back in 1974 and the movie I was watching was "The Towering Inferno".
That's when I decided that, from now on, I would sit ten rows or less from the screen, and in the middle of the row.
I got to the cinema and flashed my Village Movie Club card and my student ID card; "One student for the six-twenty Captain Phillips, thanks."
Now, for almost 40 years, I've always chosen my own seat in cinemas. I must have been tired or perhaps I thought it wouldn't be a busy session or maybe just I trusted the judgement of the bespectacled dude at the box office.
So, for whatever reason, I didn't ask to sit in the middle of Row J or less.
He handed me my ticket and change. I headed for Cinema 7 and looked at my ticket; F3.
"Damn you, four eyes!!!"
So, I sat in the middle of Row D. Shortly before the film commenced, two young ladies sat in the seats on my right, and a couple in their late Fifties/early Sixties sat to my left. The house lights dimmed. I had on my Omega Planet Ocean, presented to you here in glorious W I D E S C R E E N !;


Okay, so the film was now about fifteen minutes in and a mobile phone started ringing to my left. Late Fifties Lady reached into her handbag and pulled out her phone, it's blue screen glowing as she switched it off. 
Intermittently over the next two hours, her husband made comments to her as I tried to concentrate on what was happening on-screen. Now, he didn't  whisper and he didn't talk at normal volume either, but was clearly audible to me, with his constant murmuring,  throughout the movie. Just plain rude.
At one point, I looked over at him while he spoke. He didn't notice me, but his wife turned to look at me briefly, but she didn't say anything.
And on it went. Now, yes, I'm aware that I was sitting in the wrong seat and maybe this was karma teaching me a lesson. However, by now, the punishment was far outweighing the crime.
I spent the rest of the film thinking up cutting remarks that I could throw at this guy when the film was over. He just did not shut up. Just when ten or fifteen minutes had passed without a word from him, he would make some comment.
I had a few options like;
"Thanks, pal. I didn't know I was watching this film in your friggin' lounge room." (too obscure?)
"You know, it's Baby Boomers like you that give the rest of them a bad name, you selfish old nuff-nuff." (too soft)
"Hey, I paid twenty bucks to watch Tom Hanks act, not listen to you talk."
"Pricks like you should stay home and rent the DVD."
"Shaddupp, you mudderfugger" (delivered in my best Arnie-voice)

The film ended and the closing credits begin to roll up the screen. It was now or never. I wanted to leave before he made a move, so I got up and turned to him and said;
"Thanks for talking throughout the movie. It was very inconsiderate of you."
He just sat there with a dopey look on his face. His wife didn't say anything or come to his defence, so I take some solace in the possibility that she thought he may have gone too far as well. I spoke at a volume loud enough for other patrons to hear.
And then I turned and walked out of the theatre.
Sure, it wasn't as snarky as I would have liked, but I wanted to make sure he didn't have any comeback. And I had a few more remarks up my sleeve if he did.
And if, by some incredible coincidence, you happen to be reading this post, you ass-hat, keep your mouth shut at the movies in future!

So how was "Captain Phillips"? It was okay, but I can't help thinking that my opinion was tainted by the talking douche-bag, and the fact that I probably spent about 30 minutes thinking up put-downs to deliver to the numbskull seated near me.
I'm sure I'll enjoy the film more when I catch it on DVD when it's released.

It was the Summer Fete/Fair at my daughter's school and my wife and I were pencilled in to operate the Fairy Floss machine at 2:00pm. I left the Planet Ocean on my wrist...

...which soon got wisps of sugary thread over it. Those amusement-park Fairy Floss jockeys make it look easy. Takes a bit of practice. And the sticks are so flimsy.

Here's the machine;

By the time I was done, I felt like a Carnie!

I switched over to the Tudor Oyster hand-wound on a tan strap. I would be travelling light.

Went to visit my old next-door neighbours. Haven't seen them since my Mother died early last year and my wife said it's "good continuity" to stay in touch with them, although I must say it felt strange looking at my old house knowing that other people are living there at the moment. As I cast a quick glance at the front porch, the roof tiles, the side fence, the laneway right next to it, I saw half my life reflected back  at me.

Worked a little more on my final assignment in the late afternoon. Still have quite a way to go and not sure how to go about it.

Last class for the year! Took my laptop in and wrote non-stop for about two and a half hours...and got the bulk of it done. Five hundred and fifty words. Doesn't sound like a lot, but I had to make every word count. Felt good. Still had the Tudor on my wrist, but switched the strap over to a black lizard-print one for greater contrast;

Then I thought I'd give the garage door an undercoat. Time to change wristwatch. Sure, I could've done the painting without wearing a watch, but where's the fun it that? So I put on the quartz-powered TAG Heuer Formula 1;

I've always maintained that every watch collection should contain at least one quartz watch, for those times when you just want to slap it 'round your wrist without having to re-set the time or date. So glad I didn't get any paint on it.

After dinner, I organised my watch, pen and tie for work the next day.

A lady came in and purchased four ballpoint pens. She was so happy with my service that she came back ten minutes later and gave me some French macarons from a nearby biscuit boutique. Later, on my lunch break, I nipped out and picked up a William Maxwell novel that some consider one of the finest novels of the last century.

My feet were killing me when I got home that evening, and I was absolutely starving. All I wanted to do was sit down and eat, but Madame wasn't going to give up her spot so easily.

"You want to sit here? I don't think so, baldy."

Thirty seconds after I started eating (seated elsewhere, natch), she got off the chair. I thought I heard her laugh.
Later, it was time to bust open a fresh shirt for the next day.

Geez, manufacturers still put about 63 pins in these things before packaging.
A guy walked into the store wearing a light brown pair of trousers and waistcoat (although I always call them 'vests'), a golden brown coloured shirt with a striped tie, and a fawn coloured hat with a narrow brim. He had a goatee and a thin, waxed moustache that was curled at each end. He approached me and asked what time the store would be closing, because he was hoping to set up out front. He was a magician.
While he was there, he took out a deck of Bicycle Playing Cards and a polished copper penny. He asked me if we carried a pen that could write on both of these. I immediately thought of the Fisher Space Pen and went to fetch one for him to try. I was about to hand him the pen to try out and he took the deck out of the pack and made a perfect fan.
"I gotta learn how to do that", I said.
"Public transport is my friend. I've had a lot of practice", he replied as he took the pen and wrote a symbol onto the five of spades.
"Yeah, that writes really nicely, but the only thing is it's too thin. I need something that can be read from five or ten metres away by the audience", he said.
He took a Sharpie from his vest pocket. "This is what I use, but it doesn't suit the rest of my look."
"I understand", I replied.
We then chit-chatted about various ways to make a plastic Sharpie look a little more steampunk;
Me- "Get a cheap and nasty trumpet off eBay and cut it down. Or maybe a woodworker can whittle down something so you can fit the Sharpie into it."
And then I remembered something;
"Wait a sec. I went to ComiCon a couple of months ago and there was a guy there who makes steampunk clothes and stuff. I've got his card somewhere at home. I'll e-mail it to you."
He seemed happy with that.
We chatted a little more. He has three typewriters, so he's a righteous dude in my book. His name is Mr Marmalade. He even had a business card. And I found the steampunk guy's card.

Man, I had a lot to do! Got most of it done. Still wearing the Omega Railmaster. Saw another job worth going for. Busy times ahead.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!



  1. Sounds like you almost had an "Opposite George" moment in the movie theatre! :)

  2. Urg! The frustration I get from having dickheads in the cinema. It isn't your lounge room people!

    Man... you sure did have a productive day, didn't you!

  3. Well done, sir (newer reader here). I was just wondering though - what line of work are you in?

  4. I would have been very annoyed about that constant chatter in the theater, too. Well done!

    This is precisely why I do not go to the movies. I wait to rent the DVDs.

  5. Nice post. I'm with you on the annoying cinema goers. So distracting. For me, people eating in the cinema is just as distracting. When I'm trying to catch the dialogue, all I can hear are the rustling of packets and people sucking up their buckets of fizzy drinks. I think I'd ban food in the cinema if I had my way.

  6. Yes, it IS a pet hate of mine. Funnily enough, I've noticed that it's the older patrons who tend to talk, whereas your average teenager tends to keep quiet and watch the movie. I have been tempted to bring my mini Maglite to the cinemas and shine it in a person's face when they continually talk throughout a film, but in this politically correct age, I'd be worried about being taken to court.

    @ glennmisztal, I am in retail. Till Christmas. Then the job-hunting continues. Fun times ahead. Check out my "Adventures in the wristwatch trade" post to see what I learned (if anything) during my time in that industry.