Last night we went to our local art film and revival theater to see Pontypool, in which a town in rural Ontario is taken over by a zombifying virus transmitted via the English language. The underlying logic doesn't quite hang together, but it was fun, genuinely horrifying in bits, and a nice testament to the possibilities of low-budget filmmaking.
The local theater in question presents films in the auditorium of the art school just down the way from the university where I teach. We certainly are glad to have it so nearby, and I enjoy its many personal touches, including the little bowl of you-never-know-quite-which candies from which you may pluck your choice. This time I had a pomegranate Tootsie Roll Pop, something I had not previously realized even existed.
Once we went there to see Crispin Hellion Glover presenting his (terrible) film, What Is It? He did an audience chat afterward. He talked for a long, long time. Hours. The director of the theater was reduced to holding up a sign that said
which had little effect. Eventually we slipped out and chatted for a little bit with the guy manning the ticket table. "He's still talking?" he said. "Yeah. He's pretty loquacious," I said.
"Tell me about it," he said, very very wearily and with feeling. "I picked up his loquacious ass at 6 this morning."
Another feature which we enjoy, but not in precisely the way intended by the nice people who run the theater, is their tradition of giving away a gift certificate to a local cafe at the beginning of every show. We are not fond of this cafe. It serves unpalatable things like a "mocha" which consists of some chocolate milk substance poured directly from a plastic jug into the steaming pitcher. There it is steamed, then transferred to your poor innocent cup and served, with the full expectation that you will consider it an appropriate response to your order.
The awarding of the gift certificate is thus fraught with anxious anticipation. Will this be the terrible day when one of us wins? So far it has never happened. At this point I feel we are really skirting the odds. Last night I was sure we were in for it. There were not many people there. The theater director began to read out the number from the ticket stub -- oh no! But at the last minute, a reprieve: the ticket just after mine was the winner.
I can't help but think that cheating fate this way will redound upon us unhappily. When we catch that language virus, I suspect our loquacious asses will wish we had just taken the free coffee.