Saturday, June 6, 2009

Peanut-crunching crowd

In the winter’s blear I trundled off to Carlton’s Nova cinema to see Samson and Delilah. I waited in a ruck of bodies, all with choc-tops in hand. I should know better than to see a film in a full cinema. The sibilant gentleman next to me had a musical nose. I always seem to sit next to morons who like to offer up slow-witted commentary—the pair behind me bleated their feeble observations, ‘He’s done his work for the day…’. Then there’s the imprudent guffawing: the popcorn-munching crowd laughed robustly at awkward moments and at the quotidian—as if the scarfing of popcorn necessitates that one must have a jolly time. The chortling group seemed terrifically pleased with their acumen when a bridge-dweller swigging cask wine cautioned the teenagers not to inhale petrol as it ‘will rot your brain’. Complacency effloresced as people clucked their tongues at the standoffish white coffee-drinkers for shunning the black beggar girl.

As the credits rolled, people collected their belongings with a cheery lightness, as if they’d done their charity bit for the season. So the kid with the circle of black paint ringing his mouth will still cause people to cross the road as he approaches And the slight, long-haired indigenous woman will continue to pace Brunswick Street singing ‘Happy birthday to me’, dollarless and jumperless.