Sunday, October 09, 2005

Movie: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

The first full-length adventure of W&G contains a rousing action climax typical of the shorts produced by Aardman Animation, a host of sly tributes to old Universal horror films, and a script packed with double entendres and bad puns worthy of Benny Hill. Which I intend as a high compliment. Ralph Fiennes is priceless as an upper-crust lout. Not every Englishman can utter “What ho!” with such brainless bravado.

But enough about the movie. It’s time for me to use this blog as it was intended: to vent about everyday annoyances.

Thanks to poor planning on the part of the theater’s management, the ticket-holders line is stretching into the parking lot instead of along the sidewalk. By the time we arrive all of the handicapped spaces are blocked, and the line has reached the first parked vehicle. The woman one step ahead of us squeezes into the last inch of available space, pressing her body flat against the minivan as if she’s just busted out of the joint.

The decision falls to me. If I go to her right, the line will arc out to the sidewalk. Where it’s supposed to be. If I stand on the left, the line will continue into the middle of the parking lot. Which is rapidly filling up with cars.

Naturally, I break right. I do not expect any thanks for this. I simply want the wisdom of my action to be acknowledged with grateful, wordless awe.

This does not happen.

Instead, the next group of people stands to the left of the woman making like Raffles, the gentleman thief. Others - with kids - begin milling behind them, studiously ignoring me.

And vehicles are still pouring into the lot.

Years of ushering instincts kick in, and I find myself making a public announcement. “Can we please move the line to the right so no one is in the way of traffic?”

Woman several places ahead of me, in no way affected by this request: I think that’s an excellent idea.

Woman hard against the minivan, who also does not have to move: Uh, OK.

The latecomers lope around the minivan and queue up behind me. The first of them is a pixie-faced hipster chick. Who smirks at me and says, in best Pacific Northwest passive-aggressive fashion:

“Sure, if it’ll keep you from stressing about it.”

I don’t want to overstate my actions. I’m no hero. All I’ll say is this: lives were saved by what I did out there. Including the lives of children.

And for my trouble, a Lisa Loeb manqué in an artfully ratty cardigan calls me uptight.

It’s not easy being a force for good in your time.

Miscellaneous: Quote of the Day

From this New York Times article on writers’ rooms:

“If I’m at home working, people don’t respect that that much; they call or text or e-mail, or make arrangements to have coffee.”

And, of course, you simply can’t ignore these distractions. When others “make arrangements to have coffee,” you have no choice but to go.