Monday, February 02, 2004

Clinton Street Theatre

I don't know how many of you have been to the Saturday night showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the theatre on Clinton Street. But then, how could I, possibly? Well, we went, and I'm not sure what I was expecting. A movie, I think. Mostly we were sitting with young people in black clothing, metal attachments, ubangi ear plugs, facial glass, post-apocalyptic fashion statements straight from the mind of Tim Burton or Waterworld or Sid and Nancy. It was a festival for the personality disordered... A "look at me!/how dare you look at me?" extravaganza. As a teen I was more subtle. I think. I could be wrong. Then the show started. Here's the thing. I'm going to pass along a tip to those among you who would not otherwise be hip to this tradition. You'll thank me later. Or, you could thank me now. Send money. Personal checks are fine. So the show starts and they go through some peremptory statements to prepare the dainty and misdirected for the level of profanity and potential for now-legal nudity. There is no adequate preparation, really. Then the question comes: everyone stand up (we did) now, everyone who has been to the show in the past six months, sit down. (we sat down, lying of course. I'd never been there before in my life.) Those left standing were then identified as virgins, and called up to the stage for the week's deflowering. What followed was like Star Search only not really. It was like reality TV without the remote. But I'd paid my six bucks and was getting my money's worth. Eventually the movie did start. I'd never seen it. I know that's a pretty serious pop cultural oversight, but there I was, a virgin in hiding. I'd heard there was a fairly dedicated cult following but didn't know how far it went. For most lines in the script, there is a shouted response from the audience, like when Johnny Carson used to say, "It was so cold..." And the audience would yell out, "how cold was it?" only mostly it was profanity, which I don't mind, but also don't find all that creative. Sometimes the word fuck is explanatory, sometimes its the only word that really conveys the message succinctly, but in this case, it was fucking ridiculous. Idiocy. But fun. The movie was great. Tim Curry was remarkable. The movie, however, was a bit hard to follow, given the extraneous "performance." It was like this: actors acted out the movie in full costume (some better than others) at the same time the movie was running, all of this competing with shouts from the audience as they did the equivalent of a responsive reading without a prayer book. If you've ever been to a protestant church, you'll understand the reference. Seemed a lot like a three-ring circus to me-- the movie, the actors, the shouters and the virgins. It lasted three hours. You can go any Saturday night and check my facts.

It was a nice distraction from the dog thing. I don't know many other pitbulls but I had to get to know this one, and did. It was not only emotionally, but bureaucratically difficult to put the dog down. We're both country boys/girls. We've killed things -- seen things killed. Been killed. (No, not really.) But having now grown up, or become older and less willing to manufacture bad memories, my sweetie decided to do the right thing. It was a difficult decision. It went from, "fuck it, I'll just cap him," to the decision to go to the pound. The pound. Why do they call it that do you suppose? Because they impound your pet? Because they weigh the dogs? Charge by the pound? I was just wondering. But turns out the pound doesn't euthanize pets anymore. Not unless you do a dump and run, call him a stray and abandon man's best friend. (boy on the porch's worst enemy); but that didn't seem right. There wasn't much about it that did seem right. So, on to the Humane Society. But you have to make an appointment two weeks out, then they tell you no, they'll only euthanize if adoption is unsuccessful. And the dog's a biter. He's gotta go. Passing the problem off on someone else and pretending it goes away just doesn't work for me. Farm world. Chicken killer. And the last resort is the family vet, high dollar euthanizing-- unless we resorted to what we used to call "half a ride" (there and not back). He went to the vet. But no dice. They only euthanize for medical reasons. Does the boy on the porch qualify? we inquired. He does not. After some debate, some tears, the receptionist (reminiscent of the guard at the emerald city) goes back to ask the wizard if he'll kill the dog. Only in this story, the wizard agrees. It did my cynical heart good to see an old man do the right thing when he didn't have to. I felt like sending him a thank you note, but what do you say? Thanks for killing my boyfriend's dog so fast. It was really great. ? I don't know what that blue shit is they use, but it works.

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