Shock Cinema - Part II

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Clay D. Major, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Clay D. Major

    Feb 16, 2004
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    ...And Evil came to the Springfield Six in the form of a big fat load named Connie Puttle.

    Now, you have to understand that -- while I hated slinging 'corn 8 hours a day in someone else's greasy polyester -- I had a certain financial stake in this job that had nothing to do with my actual paycheck. At $4.25/hour they paid me just enough not to set fire to the place and dance on the ashes singing Camptown Ladies. But there were ... 'perqs' to be had, if you knew where to find them.

    Legend had it that Bob -- the manager I didn't want to stab in the eye with a sharpened popcorn scooping utensil -- had bought himself a car on the 'walk-in' business. Walk-ins were clueless moviegoers that purchased a ticket but didn't go on the books because what they were buying was actually the OTHER HALF of a ticket already sold and torn. Remember, this was in the days before computerization and fancy-pants ticket machines that actually cared whether or not the theater took in money. So Bob would sell a ticket, tear it at the box office, and palm the other half. Then he'd sell the next patron the torn half and pocket the cash. Brilliant.

    And I wanted a piece of this action.

    Unfortuneately, there wasn't enough of that kind of graft to go around (Hodges: "Hmmm...the Friday showing of DIE HARD took in $12.00 total? Odd..."), so I had to make up something else. Something that took advantage of the real Cash Cow in any cinema: the concessions stand. Hell, who needs a $4.00 ticket jig when every bucket of corn I sold went for SIX? I was sitting on a salty, buttery goldmine. Except that -- because Hodges made his own fortune off a cut of the concession profits -- every last kernel of corn, every Raisenette, every greasy strand of Twizzler was inventoried on three sets of books. So I had to get ... creative.

    There was no way around the candy counting so I went for the big targets: popcorn and drinks. The Springfield Six featured stiff cardboard buckets in three sizes for corn and those old-fashioned, waxy drink cups for sodas; just perfect for a little conservative recycling. All you had to do was wait for a show to clear out, then start hunting beneath seats for buckets with no butter and cups with no ice (something about the cold broke down the molecular cohesion of these particular cups). Give 'em a quick swipe with a paper towel and PRESTO, brand new merchandise for sale. Keep track of how many you added to the stock, sell that many without keying it in the register and go home with an extra $100/night. So what if you were selling innocent people disgusting pre-used saliva-studded germ-buckets? So what if, by the time they were 1/3 of the way through their refreshing cola beverage the bottom of the cup was sagging dangerously above their crotches? I NEEDED ME SOME GRAFT!

    Keeping this little scam in mind, we fast-forward back to Roger Rabbit's Opening Day. The first three shows had been a non-stop nightmare: wave upon wave of children, crashing against my concessions stand like soldiers on Omaha Beach, me firing down on them with popcorn and Ju-Ju Bees like a panicked German trying to clear his nest. Hodges had cleverly scheduled one show after another in both theaters, leaving us little breathing room between assaults. Only once did I have time to reconnoiter an empty theater, hastily gather up cups and buckets, and add them to the legitimate inventory.

    Mistake Number One.

    As the crowds started pouring in for the 3:30 showing, Hodges himself decided to take up a post at Station #1, and to get as far away from him as I could (the stench of Viscious Bastard overwhelming burnt popcorn and high-fructose corn syrup) I retreated down the counter to Icy Cold Beverage Dispenser Station #2.

    Mistake Number Two.

    And then in walked Connie Puttle.

    Connie Puttle had four children in tow, none above the age of five. Each of these monstrous little asshats seemed determined to scream louder than the next, and the single boy in the group thought it was hysterical to occasionally ram his finger up one of the girls' noses and scream 'SNOT LOCKER SNOT LOCKER SNOT LOCKER!' in THX. He was so annoying that one of the other little boys in line next to him broke ranks to give the little bastard a clonk on his bowl-cut noggin. That kid got some extra butter, on the house.

    But I could have weathered these four monsters without trouble or care if they'd not been in the company of Connie Puttle. Without stooping to hyperbole, Connie Puttle weighed something like 800 pounds; she had her own asteroid belt, she was so big around. Her head looked like it was being swallowed whole by her doughy neck cavity, just a glop of spongy tissue with some eyeholes punched in it. She couldn't bend or turn around -- not without taking half the room with her -- so her discipline tactic for all four of her beastly charges was limited to violent, belch-like shouts of 'YOU CUT IT OUT' as she swatted spastically at the curved time-space around her, hoping to make contact with at least one snotnose. These kids were wise to her flailings, though, and just danced in and out of her gravity well like comets bouncing off the atmosphere.

    I kept praying for one of the patrons ahead of Big Connie to pull a gun on me, demand the day's receipts and then shoot me dead in a frenzy of flying corn and hot lead, just so I didn't have to deal with her. No such luck. In no time I was face-to-glop with this galumphing human elephant's ass, and she was open for business... conclude.

  2. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

    Jul 20, 2003
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    You need to write for a sit-com or something.... This is great... [​IMG]
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Nov 13, 2000
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    as a part time projectionist in college, I feel your pain [​IMG]
  4. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    May 7, 1999
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    "as she swatted spastically at the curved time-space around her"

    SO poetic[​IMG]

    This would make a GREAT episode of Arrested Development!

  5. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

    Mar 6, 2001
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    So when do we get part III or the conclusion to this story?

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