Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Night of the Living Tweens

Oh god, they were everywhere.

Last weekend "New Moon" opened. I haven't been in a building with that much bottled-up estrogen since the last drag king show I saw. The theater was practically dripping with rampant teenage hormones.

Receiving a whopping 38% from Rotten Tomatoes' top critics section, "New Moon" definitely won't be seen as a pinnacle of film-making. I give you for consideration the closing thought from Roger Ebert's review:

...sitting through this experience is like driving a tractor in low gear though a sullen sea of Brylcreem.

(Read the entire review at

In spite of the film's being being a crapscapade on ice, it made some $140 million dollars opening weekend in the US alone. Clearly someone is watching it. Enter: millions of squealing "Twihards" and "Twimoms." I kid you not, that's what they call themselves. I couldn't make that shit up, even if I were that steaming double-shot of crazy Stephenie Meyer, "author" of the series.

Apparently some Twihards were camping out for five days waiting in line to see the movie. It wasn't that bad at my theater in Santa Monica, but we got our fair share of the crazy tweens.

There was a girl of perhaps 16 years who came to see "New Moon" on Friday. Several of our staff members (including myself) were wearing promotional buttons advertising the movie. The girl approached at least 6 different employees, asking if she could bribe them in exchange for one of the buttons. I was almost afraid to refuse her offer out of fear that she would leap on my back and bite me. I wouldn't have put it past her.

Another girl was about 20 people away from the front of the line. She and her friends wanted to move to the front, so she was sent to try to get some form of "VIP pass" that would just let her jump ahead. This girl also attempted to bribe several of the employees. She actually told the security guard that she was my cousin in an attempt to win him over. He approached me about the girl in question, and I honestly told him I had never seen her in my life. So she stooped to both bribery and lying in order to move ahead about ten feet.

When the theater was finally clean for the 6:30 show, we allowed the line to enter the theater. I was on break in the break room, minding my own business and eating a sandwich, when I heard what I can only describe as a stampede. I opened the door and looked out onto the stairs below the break room and saw hundreds upon hundreds of girls hurling themselves up the stairs at full tilt and screaming at the top of their lungs. At least two girls actually fell down on the stairs in the rush to get seats. We had to post several employees on the stairs to make people stop running.

I could go on and on (and in fact already have), but I'll leave it for now. The craziness hasn't ended, but at least opening weekend is over. There are many more stories, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Made of Magic

I wanted to feel a little classy after spending the evening cleaning up people's detritus at the movie theater, so I made a rum drink with Cherry Pepsi (which I get free at the theater). Now that may sound to you like the opposite of classy, and you'd be right. To class this drink up, I busted out one of the tumblers I got when my dad's father downgraded apartments and gave me a bunch of servingware. So now I'm sipping a delicious beverage and letting out stress by writing about it.

For some reason, everyone must have come to the movies today thinking "I know, I'll throw shit around and give the guy more work than he already has!" My theory is that their lives suck, and they want to feel better by treating me, a worthless movie theater employee, like scum. Either that or they're just rude. In any event, every theater tonight was trashed. Even the ones that only had 5 people in them. In two different theaters I found sunflower seed shells all over the place. What kind of jerk deliberately scatters shells all over the place? I mean, someone has to clean it up. You're making someone else's day that much worse. We give away small cups for water. Just ask for one of those and keep your mess contained. Jesus.

On a lighter note, I found 83 cents while cleaning up!

Now to the aforementioned magic of which I am composed. At the beginning of my shift, someone out front dropped their ATM card into the metal box that surrounds the ATM machine. No one could see it. Along I came with my handy-dandy usher's flashlight and got stopped to help. I got to the floor and saw the card a few inches away under the metal. My brilliant mind came up with a solution immediately and I went in search of a paper clip. I came back, straightened the paper clip, and fished out the errant card. I made that woman's day. I'm fucking MacGuyver.

Later on, as I was waiting to clean a theater that was letting out, one of the patrons came to me and asked me to help find her daughter's cell phone cover. Twenty seconds later, another woman from the same movie came up and asked me in a Spanish accent if I had a "light-flash." Her daughter had apparently lost her shoe. Tonight must have been "lose your shit and have Michael find it" night. And being made of magic like I am, I found both the shoe and the cell phone cover. I'm MagiGuyver.

My rum and Cherry Pepsi is almost gone, and I feel the siren call of "Six Feet Under," so I'm done writing for the night. Peace to you all!

PS: Next time you go see a movie, please take your trash out with you. If you do, the recent college graduate with a useless degree who cleans up the theater will have less of a shitty day. Please, think of the ushers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Crazy Evening at Work

I usually collect ridiculous stories from work, waiting several days at least before sharing them with you all on this marvelous blog. But tonight was definitely crazy enough to warrant a post of its own. Never a dull day at work, but today takes the cake.

The first story is about a man named Zeb Atlas. For those of you who don't know Zeb:

This is him. A gay-for-pay pornstar. A freakily muscled ex-body builder. Has a girlfriend named Devon Michaels (also a pornstar). So what do these two people have to do with me, you ask? Well, my friends, I shall tell you.

He and his lady-friend came to the theater tonight to watch "Michael Jackson's This is It." And guess who happened to take their tickets? Moi. I of course immediately recognized him but not his girlfriend. She's not exactly in high demand in gay porn. Anyway, Zeb is even more gigantic in person than he seems on TV. Rather frighteningly so, actually. So I didn't say anything, especially since he was with his girlfriend. And that was my first porn star sighting.

The second story from tonight also involves teh gays. A young, 20-something couple of the non-caucasian persuasion came to see MJ tonight, but at a different time than Zeb. About thirty minutes into the film, I heard a commotion in the downstairs theater lobby and looked to see what was up. The two young (and extremely attractive, I might add) men were arguing with an older man and my manager between them. Apparently, the younger men had been somewhat noisy in the theater, although the details are uncorroborated. The old white guy asked them to keep it down. Somehow from that point it escalated to him leaving the movie and asking the nearest employee to call the cops. Luckily, we're not stupid so no one called the cops. All three left the premises at my manager's request. As the couple came by, I played the "family" card and asked if everything was OK. They just responded that some old white guy was being a jerk. A few minutes later, the aforementioned jerk came and stood near me, waiting for the couple to leave so he didn't have to see them. He just stood there, huffing and puffing angrily and texting someone on his phone. Dramatic.

My final story for tonight is about balls. Well, one ball really. A glass sphere ( hah, see what I did there?). Some guy walked into the theater with a glass sphere on his head, just chilling there. I asked him what's with the balancing act, and he replied by saying he was a contact juggler. If you don't know what contact juggling is, google it. Really cool stuff. You take a large-ish glass ball and roll it around your hands, arms, chest, etc. in fluid motions without letting it lose contact with your body (thus the name).

The man was Australian (I'm a total sucker for accents) and very attractive. I'm not sure how reciprocal it was, but I definitely turned on the charm and flirted. We talked for a few minutes about juggling and balls, but only after he left did it occur to me to say "can you show me how to handle your balls?" or some other equally lame line. Damn. What a waste.