The Barn Ultimatum

Yesterday, Mr. Shakes and I went to see an afternoon matinee of The Bourne Ultimatum. We've just been looking forward to this film forever and were totally excited, settling in with our hard-won concessions. I'd been busily trying to connect James Spader to Russell Crowe—because we're so beyond Bacon—in less than six steps (eventually I got: Spader to Susan Sarandon in White Palace, Sarandon to Michelle Pfeiffer in The Witches of Eastwick, Pfeiffer to Al Pacino in Frankie & Johnny, Pacino to Russell Crowe in The Insiderfour steps!), so Mr. S offered to get the stuff. He had no problem acquiring his Raisinets and Pepsi, but when he asked for the bottle of water I'd requested, he was told they were "out of water."

Mr. S: You're oot oof water?

Dude at Counter: Yeah, sorry.

Mr. S: Let's think ootside the box. [pointing to cups] Grab oone oof thoose coops, [pointing to ice] fill it with ice, [pointing to tap] then add tap water, ookay? Great.

I got my water.

And just how I like it—with a twist of harrumphing about how stupid people are.

Anyway…so the film starts, and there's a big scratch on the print or something, causing big yellow lines to flicker down the screen over and over and over. We tried to ignore it for a few minutes, but it was un-ignorable, not least of which because other people around us were talking about it, so we got up and went out to tell the manager, who apologized and said there was nothing they could do about it. We asked for tickets to a later showing on another screen, which he gave us.

No one else complained. No one else left.

We were the only people who actually expected to get what we paid for, who didn't just sit and swallow the total bullshit of being offered a crappy, defective product for our money.

As we walked out to the car, I expressed my amazement that people who would sit in their seats and complain about the faulty film would nonetheless sit and watch it, resigned to their fates as if they didn't have a choice, don't have a voice. I said to Mr. Shakes, "This is why it's easy to sell the American electorate shitty wars on false pretenses."

"Fooking sheep," he muttered. "Silly, stupid sheep."

[BTW: The film is excellent. It's no surprise that Damon gets the best bang for his bosses' buck.]

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