Fumbling in the dark

So it turns out my night vision has wandered off while I wasn’t looking. That’s annoying.

I went to the cinema last night to see Road, the new motorcycling documentary. I’ve seen somewhere in the region of 600 movies at the cinema and every single one of them had at least 15 minutes of crap between the scheduled start time and the time they actually start the film. Consequently I time my arrival so I can smugly saunter in as that certificate thingy comes up, just before the opening credits. It doesn’t always go right – I’ve seen Kevin Bloody Bacon gurning Orange so many times it haunts me in my sleep – but on the whole I’ve got it down pat.

By sheer coincidence, last night I found myself walking in at 6:59, for a scheduled start time of 7, which meant I was expecting to have to endure 20 minutes of shiny creepy people trying to coerce me into throwing yet more of my money at pointless crap that nobody wants or needs. But no. Liam Neeson was already lilting away to the backdrop of likable loonies on bikes. Bugger. And of course, since the film’s already started, they’ve turned the lights off. Double bugger.

At this point I realised I had to find my seat, but I turned away from the screen and could see exactly nothing. I mean NOTHING. I was aware there must have been a sea of seats in front of me, and one of them was F9, but I was jiggered if I could see how the hell I was going to get to it. I tripped over something, which I assumed was the first step, but after fumbling for a few seconds I decided no step is that high, it must be a seat. But I don’t understand. I saw the floor plan when I booked the ticket. There should be a staircase here. It was then that I noticed the blue lights to the side. Well I say “lights”. I can only assume they were designed for the double-slit experiment, because they were clearly emitting only one photon at a time. Right, so that’s where I need to walk. But I didn’t count the rows and I can’t fecking see anything. How is it that I still can’t see? There’s a 20 foot screen behind me, that should be casting light, shouldn’t it? Why am I still blind? At this point I start cursing and mumbling to myself, which is always A Bad Sign. I get my phone out to give me at least a small pool of light and I start probing it around looking for seat numbers. I can’t find any so I’m shining it up and down the back and side of the seat before I realise that bit’s actually some bloke’s leg and I should probably move on. Finally I find row F and thankfully seat 10 is empty so I can get in. But there’s a gaping chasm of blackness where seat F9 should be and I’m just going to have to make a leap of faith and grope into it. Please don’t be a heavily tattooed biker…

I survived – the seat was free. I was mighty relieved. After five minutes I could even see well enough to see there was no-one in F11, which I’d been afraid to “research” until then, so I had an arm-rest to myself as well. Then the next chap came into the cinema and I prepared myself for an enjoyable bout of schadenfreude while he grappled with the same situation I’d just endured. Good luck mate. But he just looked up the stairs and walked straight to his seat. Bastard.

That’s when I realised I don’t have night vision any more.