Friday, June 03, 2005

Murder, murder, murder most foul! Sorry to be so depressing with the previous posts, dear reader(s).

OK, is it me, or are the gimps and retards coming out in force this season?

Last night I went to see the third Star Wars episode. Quite liked it, but that's not what I'm about to tell you about.

Checked in for the 8:30pm showing, by myself. (I have few friends, see, and even fewer that have a life to speak of, which is why I'm in on a Friday night writing this post.)

Well, yeah you guessed it: It was dubbed. The tip-off came when the words "A long time ago..." didn't show up in English, yet I wasn't completely sure until Anakin and Obi-Wan started yammering at each through their headsets in Czech.

So I'm thinking: "Hm..."

I quickly got myself back to the ticket desk and, brandishing my ticket, politely inquired of the young man whether Star Wars is showing at this cinema with subtitles. He says, why yes indeed it is, at 9:50pm.

So I'm all, "Please, please, I'm very sorry, I make the big mistake. I speaka the badly Czechly and no want no Starwarsky dubbing. Can I change for the ticket?"

And he's all, "You want to change this ticket for a ticket for the 9:50 show?"

And I'm all, "Please, yes."

And he's all, "Do you have the other part of the ticket [indicating the part they rip off when you enter the cinema]?"

And I'm all, "Uhhh... uhhhh... no... ummmm.... It already started and already I was there and..." (This is maybe 80% a transliteration of my actual bad Czech, and 20% me faking bad Czech so as not to be stuck with the dubbed version.)

"Oh, I see," he said. "It already started and you already entered the cinema." (Duh...) So he called the manager.

I brace myself.

The manager approaches. The young man explains the situation quite well. She looks up at the time.

"You want to exchange it now?"

I am smiling on the inside when she says this. I think if I understood Czech like a native, but had only lived in the country a year or so, I might not have gotten what she was getting at. Of course, having lived here for -- oh, rather too long -- I understood quite well. I couldn't help but be amused.

"Yes, yes, now! The film right now!" I replied, feigning ignorance.

She says, "But it's 8:50. It started at 8:30. It's already 20 minutes into the film."

Let me interrupt the story point out the obvious: Movies here, as most anywhere, never start at the designated time, due to ads and trailers. Right? You knew that. That's clear to anyone who's ever been to a film, never mind somebody who works at a cinema, never mind somebody who manages a box office at a cinema.

Besides, what possible ulterior motive could I have for "stealing" the first 20 minutes of the dubbed version?

The last thing I wanted at this point was to be told I knew Czech well enough to sit through the remaining two hours of the film. So I used hand gestures and played the simple fool. "But only five minutes started it... "

It occurs to me now that she probably thought I was just a smart-ass imitating the Czech-dubbed Yoda.

To the managers credit, she gave me a new ticket, but she really wasn't pleased about it, and she still seemed to harbor a suspicion that I'd somehow cheated both her and the cinema out of 20 minutes of that movie. But god bless her! I enjoyed the film, and I am grateful to Cinema City Flora for all it has done!

Alas, oh Czech nation, in these perilous times we're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you...


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