A Festival Of Fools

, , , , , | Right | July 31, 2018

(Every year I volunteer for one of the world’s busiest film festivals. The rules are known and pretty clear to film goers. If you buy tickets for a screening, you have to be there at least fifteen minutes before it starts; otherwise, if you are not in your seat by then, your seat is given away to people standing in the rush line. Most people are fine with this rule and understand it is festival policy. One day I am on ticket-taking duty for a new Samuel L. Jackson film in the IMAX cinema. As predicted, it is absolutely full, and the screen starts on time without a hitch. Thirty minutes into the film, I see a pair of trendy couples casually walking towards the theatre, all carrying armfuls of sacks from the concession stand. One of them hands me his ticket.)

Guy #1: “Okay, let us in.”

(My fellow volunteer and I look at each other nervously, as we know this is about to become difficult.)

Me: “I’m sorry… The screening is full.”

Guy #1: “Yeah, but we have tickets, so let us in, please!”

Volunteer: “The screening is totally full; you need to be here at least 15 minutes before it starts to get your seat!”

Girl #1: “Are you f****** kidding us? We have tickets!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t let you in now.”

Guy #2: “Dude, we bought tickets and we want to go in! Just let us in.”

Me: “Let me just get the volunteer manager for you; maybe he can sort something else out.”

Girl #2: “F****** ridiculous.”

(I can hear them loudly arguing and complaining among themselves as I grab the manager. He’s a very short guy, so people just assume they can intimidate him, but he has nerves of steel and doesn’t back down from a fight. Immediately one the guys stands over him threateningly.)

Manager: “Hi, sir, I understand you arrived late for the screening.”

Guy #1: “Listen, buddy, let us on into our movie that we paid for and there won’t be a problem.”

Manager: “Sir, this isn’t the regular cinema. This is a festival, and if you read the back of your ticket, it clearly states that you have to be here on time or your seat becomes forfeit.”

Guy #2: “Who reads that s***?”

(The manager gives a look that suggests he should behave himself, and the other guy immediately recoils.)

Manager: “It’s also on our website, brochures, and every other festival material you will find! Sorry you cannot get into that film, but…”

Girl #1: “OH! SO, YOU’RE HAPPY TO TAKE OUR MONEY, BUT YOU WON’T LET US IN? THIS IS BULLS***!”

Manager: “Okay, calm down! Can I ask first what made you late for the screening?”

Guy #1: “There was a load of traffic coming in, OBVIOUSLY! The game was finishing and the f****** festival is on!”

Guy #2: “Yeah, we were watching the Jays game first!”

(The whole group agrees loudly to this.)

Manager: “Firstly, watch your language! Secondly, have you been to other films this festival?”

Guy #2: “Yeah, but there were biga** queues! We couldn’t be bothered standing in those. Who the h*** stands in a queue for over an hour to see a movie? We just thought we would skip them.”

Manager: “Right, so even though you knew there would be traffic due to the festival, and you actively knew there was a baseball game on today… you still decided to arrive late?”

Guy #1: “We thought our seats would be held for us!”

Manager: “Did you see the people standing in the rush line outside?”

Guy #2: *laughs* “Yeah, what suckers.”

Manager: “Well, if you are not on time for the film, then they get your seats, because they want to see the films just as much as you do. If you are not here on time, then I am sorry, but you will miss out!”

(Following this is another few minutes of the couples begging, pleading, and threatening to get into their movie. The manager doesn’t relent, and basically tells them are no seats to accommodate them, and refuses their request to throw out other people due them holding tickets. Finally at the end of his tether, the manager tells them:)

Manager: “Right, if you will follow me, we can look at other films I can get you a ticket for. Sorry, but you will not be seeing this picture tonight.”

(Angrily, three out of the four follow him to the box- office. The other girl turns around to us and gives a disgusted look.)

Girl #2: “WE HAD TICKETS!”

(With that, she storms away with the others. The other volunteer and I look at each other and try not to laugh.)

Me: “If they’re that bothered about seeing their movie, why did they get snacks for the already busy concession stand and waste more time?”

Volunteer: “People are strange.”

(Thankfully, that was the only time I had to deal with something like that… roll on next year.)

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