I've encountered many a strange person when working at the movie theatre. I was shocked really by how many odd personalities seemed to inhabit the cinema. Before I worked there I thoroughly enjoyed going to the movies. My parents are big movie buffs and took me and my sister to the theatre often. During high school I went on a lot of dates to movies. Never did I encounter a weirdo.
When I started working there though my whole perception on the movie going public changed. First off I will tell the tale of the Crutchman who was a regular at the Bellis Fair Cinemas.
Yes the Crutchman. He was a short stocky guy who wore about six layers of clothing decorated with veteran's pins. He had crutches, but he didn't actually need them. He would walk with them, but he wouldn't use because of any physical ailment. He would just simply swing them by his side as he strolled up to the theatre. Sometimes he would just carry them to and from his car.
Crutchman had all sorts of abnormalities. First off he would pay for everything using $100 bills. He always seemed to have a gangster's roll with him. Then he would walk up to the concession stand and order one large popcorn, one large soda, and numerous Haagen-Daz ice cream bars. He would place the ice cream bars in his jacket pockets. Since he was wearing about three coats he could fit a lot. And there was that awful odor that would assault the senses anytime he was within 30 yards.
My first encounter with him was at the doorman's podium where he came up to me and placed his ticket down on the podium. I picked it up, told him what theatre the movie was showing, and held out his ticket stub.
Crutchman: Put it down. Put it down. Put it down.
Crutchman: Put it down. Put it down.
Me: Uhhh. Put what down?
Crutchman: Put the ticket down!!!
Me: Oh. Okay.
I placed the ticket down on the podium and he snatched it up quickly.
Crutchman: Finally got it didn't ya?
Me: Ha ha ha...ehhh...Enjoy your show sir.
Crutchman: Smart ass.
Me: Thank you for choosing Bellis Fair Cinemas.
Crutchman: Humph. Kids.
He chose to see "The Little Rascals", which was an odd choice for an older gentleman. I walked into the theatre to find him in the front left row where he placed all his Haagen-Daz bars on every arm rest in the row. Weird I thought. Even though the theatre was over three quarters empty he chose that place to sit.
He came out after the show was over and went to the bathroom. He decided to recite bible passages in a booming voice that would make Billy Graham proud. A customer came up to complain about it after his child got his nerves rattled by hearing the lord's word being screamed from a toilet. I went in to investigate and sure enough he was belting out Leviticus.
He finally exited and went along his merry way. He returned often though. He watched"The Little Rascals" on more than one occasion. One time though he defiled everything that is human and good.
My coworker John, who enjoyed getting a rise out of anyone, decided to go against conventional wisdom to not disturb the Crutchman's method of movie going. Rather than simply putting down the ticket on the podium as ordered he looked at him and said "I think you need some assistance with this" and shoved the ticket stub in Crutchman's coat pocket. This did not pleases our disabled wannabe. He screamed at John about respect, to which John simply looked at him with a smug smile and said "Enjoy your show sir."
This alarmed everyone. I always imagined Crutchman had a 9mm in one of his pockets, but had the inner strength not to use one. He unfortunately did something far worse.
He went into the bathroom and decided to regain his toilet ministry. John and I stood at our doorman's podium and noticed Crutchman coming out of there...two hours after he first entered. We both looked at each other with shock. John looked at me and proudly said he would investigate. He came back and almost had tears in his eyes. He silently went back to the podium and stood and stared. I asked him what he saw and he raised his hand to me without moving his transfixed gaze.
Stupid as I am I went in there. I looked in the stall previously occupied by our bathroom preacher and was absolutely horrified. I will spare you dear readers of any description of it for I am too less of a writer to accurately paint a picture of the terror I felt when I looked upon the toilets contents.
My boss Andrew investigated and made one of the female employees go in there, lock the stall, and then crawl under the door so no one would use it. It was so bad the janitor refused to clean it for a month.
I never saw Crutchman again. I heard he was kicked out of another theatre in town for screaming bible quotes in the bathroom. Imagine that.
"I don't judge others. I say if you feel good with what you're doing, let your freak flag fly." -Sarah Jessica Parker