No popcorn-crisis was too big for me to handle, and my deft touch at the
fountain soda machine earned me high praise from both management and
customers who knew that "goosing" the button on the machine always
resulted in a more syrupy soda mix. (works on chicks, too.)
I got the job from a friend of mine who, while very strange, was also
very hilarious. (kind of like American Idol in Bulgaria). Here is a rough transcript of a conversation we once
had while leaving the movie The Matrix (which, since he worked there at
the time, we got in to see for free).
Me: "Wow... that was crazy! Neat concept."
Friend: "Yeah, really." ::shakes head:: "Nuts..." ::pause:: "Uh... so,
what exactly is the Matrix again?"
[Possible lost-reference disclaimer: the preceding statement is funny because there was no attempt in the movie to hide what the Matrix was. No mystery, no confusion, just "here's what the Matrix is." Done. If you watched the movie and still didn't get it you were either A: Not that sharp, B: High, or C: A girl.]
In fairness, he was normally a pretty bright guy (well, book smart anyway.) I think it was more
a matter of him being distracted by the incredible actor stylings of
Keanu Reeves. Anyway.
So eventually I got bored fitting my movie-watching schedule around my
friend's working-at-the-theater schedule and asked him to get me a job
there, too. Though I was lazy and unqualified, I was at least charming
(read: punctual) and fit into the movie worker culture. Pretty good
peeps there, so don't bust their chops when you next go to the
concession stand. Well, unless they're not goosing your soda enough.
I even volunteered to be one of the few who had to stay late and clean
up after the late movies got out. You might wonder what cultural
demographic goes to see movies regularly at 10:30 at night. Let me tell
you: Hooters girls. This probably explains things to those of you who
were confused by the phrase "I volunteered."
After their shift of pleasing grimy old men who were "just there for the
wings" and pretending not to notice as their boobs were ogled like a
black kid at a Korn concert, they would come over to the theater to
unwind. Usually they would have 15-20 minutes before their movie
started and would subject themselves to the charming arts that were my
conversations. I usually thought I did pretty good, and often did
plenty of push-ups beforehand to build confidence, but invariably
something like the following would happen:
Me: (charming conversation)
Large-Chested Wing-Flinger #1: "Oh, Caleb. You're our favorite!"
Me: "I know, right?"
LCWF #2: "We should definitely go out or go see a movie together
Me: "That might be cool. Think you could handle me?"
(Girls look at each other in mock disappointment)
LCWF #1 "Oh wait... we couldn't."
Booby Girls, in harmony: "Cuz you smell like popcorn!!" (high fiving,
laughing, and "Good one, Shelly!"'s all around as they went off to see
their movie, looking back occasionally to laugh at me again)
I think my ADD kicked in after a few months and I quit working at that
theater, but I've always held on to a special respect for the
rank-and-file concession workers of this world, and a deeply-imbedded
resentment of women that builds to this very day. If there is a moral to this story, I don't know it.
PS What- you didn't think I was done, did you?