Saturday, December 26, 2009

A night out at the movie - if you can find it

So yesterday we went to our local gazillion-plex to see George Clooney's latest film, "Up In the Air." Very good film but definitely don't go see it if you're depressed or easily depressed, however, the movie itself is not the focus of this piece.

Given that it was Christmas Day with frazzled parents looking for something - anything - to do with their kids, you can imagine the crowd running to line up behind and between the ropes that will lead them to the promised land and mindless diversion for a couple of hours.

Search as we may we couldn't find the number for the line up for our theatre. The focus was to seek out number 10 but all that was visible were people lining up for theatres 8 and 9. After walking around in circles for a while along with other theatre 10 theatre goers, we spotted a guy wearing a Santa hat holding an electronic device wearing a name tag with the name of the theatre. Asking his assistance as to where the line up was for theatre 10, he pointed to the mass of humanity behind the ropes for theatres 8 and 9 and answered, "there!"

"Wrong!" I responded, "there is no chorded area for number 10.It doesn't exist!"

"Look - I should know," he answered defiantly, "I'm the manager of the theatre."

At this point our numbers had grown to a relatively large-ish crowd of people seeking out the elusive number 10 and there was a definite sense of hostility and possible rebellion in the air.

"You have your number 8. You have your number 9 but there is no line up for number 10," my husband added. "Go see for yourself!"

The manager took off followed by our number 10 group at his heels, stopping in front of number 8 and number 9.

"Oh - there is no number 10," he mumbled."I don't understand" after which he spoke to somebody on his walkie-talkie. "The ushers were supposed to set it up..."

Walking quickly he returned to the front of number 10 theatre with our group of number 10 close behind.

"Line up here," he told us even though we reminded him that it was not a corded area. We stayed there for five minutes after which the theatre manager returned, minus the Santa hat and beads of sweat on his forehead. This did not bode well.

"You're gonna have to move," he instructed, pointing a finger to the number 8 and 9 lines, The group did a collective look over and after seeing the extent and length of the line we told him, "no way! We can't just push in there. They won't let us in!"

"Then you won't be able to enter the theatre!" he threatened. "You're blocking the exit of the people exiting theatre 10."

"But why should we line up for theatres 8 and 9 when we're number 10?" I snapped back, determined to hold my ground in front of theatre 10. "We'll move to the side but don't make us move again."

"The usher just put up a rope for theatre 10," he said confidently, pointing to the empty space with the number "10" in front.

Once again our group number 10 went back to join the people in lineups 8 and 9, who at that point had been released from standing in and being contained behind a rope prison for who knows how long. They poured out while ushers removed the printed numbers 8 and 9 along with the ropes. Within 5 minutes the theatre manager returned to remove our rope and allowed us into the theater.

"Tell us again why we couldn't line up in front of the theatre?" I asked as we passed by him on our way to our seats.

Anyway, the movie was very good, the popcorn fresh and hot for a change, even though the line to get in wasn't. Just goes to show that life these days is filled with numbers and you gotta have the right number to get ahead - even in a movie theatre.

Friday, December 04, 2009

No more official UFO sightings for Brits

Interesting that this story ended in the Quirky news file, given the gravity or repercussions of this report. So y'see - the British Ministry of Defense who deals with UFO reports (among other things one presumes), is closing up shop after 60 years of investigations, 12,000 reports including 135 last year alone.

As is the case in many governments around the globe, the heart of the matter is money so the decision to close the department will result in a savings of £50,000 per year.

That's it? I mean, one wonders if this an entire departmental staff salary or one person's salary `a la British eqivalent of a Fox Muldaur. The official wording is that the department after deciding there was no benefit investigating sightings which were "an inappropriate use of defence resources".

A lot of Brits are not pleased with the decision including one Nick Pope, who ran the Ministry of Defence UFO project from 1991 to 1994, said it was "outrageous".

"We're leaving ourselves wide open to terrorist attacks," he told The Sun.

Well Nick, I don't know if I would go that far. Is Nick referring to an alien attack from another planet or dimension? Does he know something that we should know? Is there a space ship in a hangar somewhere hidden away from the public? Is there a British equivalent of Area 51? These are things enquiring minds wanna know!

After an application under the Freedom of Information Act, the Ministry of Defence admitted that responding to every UFO sightings "diverts MoD (Ministry of Defence) resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence". Presumably, it also costs to send out investigators to write up flying saucer reports that are most likely stored away for posterity or something.

It said that in more than 50 years "no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom".

Uh-huh...and what about all those corn field patterns? Huh?

After investigating, around five per cent of reports remain unexplained. There you go. Five percent is five percent!