Fun With Strangers


My relationship with good advice is antithetical at best. Sure, I’ll try to maintain a healthy diet – right after I finish this Cinnabon, then destroy the dollar menu at McDonald’s. Does anyone want Papa John’s? Reading with a light on is for suckers, or the rich. Get plenty of Vitamin C? OMFG don’t tell me how to live my life, conformist. Deeply ingrained stubbornness means I tend to do the opposite of what’s right or appropriate. It should come as no surprise, then, to know that I’m always game for hanging out with total strangers.

Granted, these were movie-going strangers. And they seemed really nice! Setting the scene: my friend and I were leaving Loews after seeing American Teen. It’s quarter after midnight or so; hardly late, of course, but generally time for the working world to get to bed. Not, it turns out, the forces of destiny. Three guys approached us outside the theater, frantically asking if one of us would like a free Dark Knight IMAX ticket. One of their group failed to show up. I paused to think about their offer. YES, I wanted to see the movie, but for a third time? With strangers? Probably trannies or communists? One of whom was wearing a bandana?

“Well?” their plastic flip-flop wearing leader asked. “You in?”

Ten minutes later I returned from the snack stand armed with a garbage bag full of popcorn (my peace offering) and a large Coke (to keep me awake another three hours) to find my new friends in their front row seats. In the time before the movie started I learned some interesting things about these guys.

  1. Jared, the leader, is an underwear model. Or not. “Dude, dude, I’m just fucking with you – I clean up spunk at a peep show downtown.” This was a lie, too, as it turns out he’s actually a working actor (with incredible improv skills) originally from Tacoma, Washington. This I found out as he playfully punched me in the arm.
  2. Tony, in the bandana, is a gay costume designer. He HATED the costume design in Dark Knight. I told him he would have done a way better job.
  3. Mark is a 50-year-old investment banker who for whatever reason hangs out with Jared and Tony. He’s pretty quiet.
  4. They were all, to the best of my knowledge, cheesing their f^@#!ng balls off.
I actually had a great time. It helps that the movie is as amazing as it is (and in IMAX – good lord, what a ride), but sharing it with a new – in every sense of the word – crowd made for a truly unique experience. Will I ever see them again? Probably not. I think they were mad when I turned down their invitation to party afterwards.

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One Response to “Fun With Strangers”

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