The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alas! Poor Yorick

I was thinking about courtesy this morning. Well, I wasn't thinking about it, really, until I read Pearl's post about discourtesy on the skywalk and I was reminded of why I never liked any job where I had to interact with human beings.

Follow me through the box canyons and roaring rapids of the twisty badlands of my mind back into the distant past. I was 17, maybe 18, and I held the powerful position of usher at the local theater. "Usher", by the way, is probably derived from the word "husher" since that is one of the primary tasks of the job... but I digress.

I had been an usher for about 3 months when a special showing of Hamlet with Richard Burton hit the theater. You may remember Burton as the guy who wed Elizabeth Taylor... twice. And stole her from Eddie Fisher's arms after Taylor had taken Fisher from Debbie Reynolds. I am babbling, aren't I? It was a special event, two days and nights, three showings each day; matinee, evening, and night.

I had to do double duty, working both the door taking tickets and then acting as usher once all available seats had been sold and no one was in line to enter the lobby of the theater. Needless to say, the theater was full (aka "sold out") for each screening. Between showings, we herded the patrons to the rear of the lobby (convenient to the candy counter) behind those velvet ropes (aka "tapes") where they were to wait until the theater emptied.

Do you remember in school where everyone would line up and wait patiently until they were told they could enter the auditorium? Or the lunchroom? Or just about anyplace? Well, none of these patrons recalled it. What happened was this...

The show ended and the evening audience started out of the theater, exiting fairly orderly from the aisles into the lobby and then toward the exits.

When the doors of the theater opened, the crowd behind the "tapes" grew restive and then a couple of them unhooked and dropped the tapes. The rush was on. Though they had nowhere to go except into the exiting crowd, they surged forward with a strange feral look in their eyes. Two of us, the ushers, tried to grab the dropped ends of the tapes and stop the stampede. We risked life and limb, let me tell you, but we managed to stop the thundering herd intent on getting the best seats.

Oh, a number got through before we could regain control and that riled a few of the ones who didn't. I cannot repeat what we were called that day. I don't wish to think about it.

I was never happier than when that special showing had run its course and we went back to showing things like "Muscle Beach Party" and other classics.


Pearl said...


Douglas, I was a "husher", too. :-) Saw "Fame" about a thousand times. Ack.


Michael said...

I can relate having been in catering... people will literally try to barge into the bar, or attempt to climb over it, grabbing things they aren't supposed to grab, serving themselves. Impatient people suck.