The things I do to get my geek fix.  What a night!

I had been dreading yesterday night, because like an idiot I had forgotten about my team’s practice being on the same night as the premiere of Episode III, and so I had to come up with a way to get downtown as fast as possible and join my friends in line and still be able to go to practice.  On top of it, I find out during the day that there’s also a gathering taking place at that haven of truly authentic Mexican experience, Carlos and Pepes, located on Peel (‘Try the chalupas!’).  Luckily, I happened to have some ripped up pieces of paper, some chlorine and some bleach and I was easily able to fashion myself a precarious timetable for the evening after a bit of mulching.

It turned out to be a mistake to order food so near to the practice, as I found out that I move about as quickly as Jabba the Hut (*snort*) on a pitch with three or four fajitas at the bottom of my stomach.  On the other hand, my enhanced Spanish cursing vocabulary clearly scared my teammates away from me, leaving me with the ball most of the time.  That and the intense glare off my new cleats, which according to my sources, are about ‘as blinding white as the nucleus of the sun’.  Here’s hoping that I decide to play in a mud pit with them soon.

Leaving practice slightly early, I caught a lift back home, it was a tire-burin’ run worthy of the cheesiest dukes of hazzard chase scene, with the potholes and uneven pavement of sherbrooke street substituting for the hills of san fran.  A quick shower (think water+bucket+tub+me) and I was off once again, destination: Paramount!

I get there and I see that there seems to be an awful lot of people trying to get into Ben’s restaurant.  Now, Ben’s is a legendary long-lived establishment in Montreal, but it doesn’t have exceptionally good food – it’s basically a hangout for older folks who still want the same type of meals they got in the 50′s – namely, the more gritz the better.  I soon realize that it’s not Ben’s they’re trying to get into – it’s the Paramount theatre at the complete opposite end of the block.  Flabbergasted, I ask myself how the hell I’m supposed to find my friends waiting in line, until the weight in my pocket reminds me of the magical properties of cell phones in social meeting situations.  I easily hook up with the rest of the peeps, and see that we’re about 3/4 of the way down the block to the front door.  Decent, because there are 12 theatres showing the movie, each sitting about 300 people.  So you have to figure that even if you see about 500 people standing in line ahead of you, you’re still doing pretty good.

For not the last time of the night, I wished I had brought my camera along with me as a light saber duel broke out in the street in front of us, which distracted us from the guy in the parking lot on the other side of the line twirling balls of fire on strings.  He sucked though – he kept splashing the petrol all over himself.  We stayed clear.  In any case, the saber duel was much more entertaining as the commentary from the crowd cheered them on (‘Kick him in the nuts!’)

About an hour later, the line shuffled forwards, and in we went.  Seat strategy already having been discussed among us, we all knew what we had to do – attempt to secure 9 seats together in a reasonably far back and central position.  No small task!  We entered the theatre, ignoring the megaphone shouts of the exhausted paramount employees, and went as quickly up the escalators as possible.  Since we were in theatre 11, we had to not only break for it once we hit the first floor landing, we had to get up to the top of the stairs on the second level before heading into the theatre.  Putting my vastly underused talent for squirming quickly through thick crowds to use (Hey, it sometimes pays to be thin), I manage to reach the escalators before the others in my party.  Disgusted at the lack of speed of the escalators, and obvious congestion, I change methods of elevation on the halfway landing and take the stairs, joining a party friend who was now level with me.  We bound up the rest of the stairs two at a time, bypassing all the overweight computer geeks along the way, and dash to the theatre 11.  We quickly survey the scene, and as discussed, we split up and head up opposite aisles, determined to meet in the middle somewhere with enough seats between us.  Sure enough, we spot our prize at the back two rows, we quickly disrobe our jackets, and we fling ourselves onto the cushiony goodness, waiting for others.

Thinking that a bathroom break is a good idea before the marathon 3 hour movie starts, we head to the head.  Unfortunately, lots of people had the same idea.  It was one of those rare occasions that the guy’s bathroom had a large lineup and the women’s had none.  I remarked upon this fact loudly to complete strangers in line with me, to which I received a obvious response (’98% of the people here are guys!’).  True – I could have counted the females I saw that night on the fingers of my two hands.

The most obvious highlighting of this point (i.e. we are surrounded by nerds, and we’re part of them) was when we saw a some people whip out a couple of laptops in the theatre to watch episode II before the movie started.  The other lappy was playing some strange cel-shaded anime version of star wars.  Odd, really.

The movie was decent – it did a good job of explaining everything that they needed to explain.  It wasn’t an exceptional movie by itself, but it fit in well with the rest of the story and would have been fine if only this episode had been released instead of the I, II and III.  In any case, if you want a review of the movie, I’m sure you can find that somewhere else.  The only complaint with the movie I had was of the strange periodic whistling that was playing throughout the entire movie.  Two hours in, I finally figured out that it was in fact not part of the doubly surround super 10.1 subwoof galactic magic sound, but actually the nose of the heavyset fellow immediately to my right.  It’s hard to concentrate on the deep conversations that Anakin is having with Padme (‘I love you*999,999′) with such a noise in my ear, but I managed to hang on.  I am worthy of the Jedi council.

After the show and much cheering and clapping, the problem was then exiting the theatre, since all the escalators were jammed.  Out of the corner of my eye I spot the pearly-white stucco walls lining what appears to be an emergency exit opened for the occasion.  It looks a bit sketchy, but the attendant assured us we wouldn’t get lost if we didn’t stray… whatever that means, dude. 

We manage to leave through the secret exit, thoroughly scaring the shit out of the people lining up for the 3 a.m. show (!!!)  by the hidden door.  High fives are dished out all around for leaving so quickly, and we all depart our separate ways.  I get home, exhausted from a crazy night, at a quarter to 4.  The next day I wake up at a blissful 1 p.m.  It was a good night.