Turd Of The Month by Eliot P. Ness
|Artist's representation of Mr. P. Ness|
And that was only the theater audience!
I knew I was in trouble upon approaching the box office of the tiny Wormhole Theater (constructed, apparently, in the early 1500s); therein sat a younger (apparently female) of indeterminate age with two enlarged cold sores (at least I hope that's what they were) on her/his lips, giving the exaggerated mouth the appearance of a puckering aborigine.
I wiped off my ticker and handed it to the doorman, who seemed to be draining Niagra Falls from his nose; he kept picking and wiping at his flowing nostrils and I declined to take back my half of the ticket stub.
|Abandon all hope, yee who enter!|
At the concession stand (which looked to have about half the populace of Southern California in front of it) I asked for an Orange Bang and a six-ounce box of something called Iris Rings (on sale for 3.95); I saw to my horror that the concession man had an eye patch (his one good eye kept drawing to the bridge of his nose, as if to catch sight of the phantom eye that was no longer there), and kept running from spigot to spigot, frantically screaming, "Is this it?! Is this it?! as he tried to track down the drink you wanted. The little children in the crowd (they were a virtual melting pot of pre-pubescence) were all laughing--and even spitting--at him, being urged on by their equally-ridiculing parents; I even heard one mother in the crowd ask her little girl, "Look Janey; aren't that man's eyes funny?" By that time, however I was almost crying for this poor man, and I decided to cut out of the sea of sweating bodies and head for the bathroom (due to an old war wound, I have to urinate before and after each film I see, lest my water starts to seep from out of the pores in my thighs).
|Orange Bang and Iris Rings just 3.95!|
Upon entering the bathroom, my senses were assaulted by clouds of rusty-smelling marihuana smoke (I started to choke almost immediately) and the horribly dense, thick scent of rancid feces; I have actually smelled foxholes full of dead bodies that were less offensive to my nasal cavities, yet most of the countless men there were laughing loudly and heartily eating their candy and popcorn items, all the while practicing intense and highly-audible flatulence, as if to see who could produce the most noise from their anal cavity.
Walking past the unending lines before the urinals (I cannot relieve myself in front of others) I headed toward the old spotted toilet stalls (someone had apparently tried to rip all the doors off their hinges years ago), and was utterly shocked to see, sitting at a small table just beside the last urinal, a bathroom attendant, complete with towels and a shoe-shine kit!
I could see that he had half of an old cigar box on the table (he was an old black man), which looked to be completely filled with trinkets, buttons, broken soiled prophylactics. One young black man, after pissing an unending yellow stream on a strip of wall between two urinals, wiped his excessive member off with one of the towels and threw it into the cigar box. The old man smiled and thanked him.
|The bathroom attendant|
I managed to squeeze inside a stall and do my awful business (being repelled by the moving of my own bowels, I try to hold it off as long as possible--sometimes as long as two or three weeks--but this day it could not be avoided--get it?). Almost twenty minutes later, after I had finished, I heard a most horrible gagging coming from the next stall (by this time most everyone had cleared out). Upon washing my hands, I noted that the bathroom attendant was not at his table, and there were two pairs of shoes sticking out from under the noisy stall, one pair facing the nearest wall and one pointing in the opposite direction. I didn't care to investigate any further and upon turning to leave, saw a sight I suppose I shall never forget; apparently unable to find an empty stall, an unashamed midget had hoisted himself up and was sitting in one of the urinals, smoking a long cigar and spitting, and making offensive grunting sounds while dangling his funny trousers around his size 2 1/2 Keds. With that, I all but ran out of the men's room and into the auditorium.
|NO INTERMISSION TIME!|
Finally, the film started up. It was some brand-new and immediately obscure little item entitled The Scum People. Unfortunately (or perhaps the opposite is appropriate here), I was not long for that movie theatre, and never did finish the screening.
Although the film had already begun, there were several patrons who insisted on playing their portable tape players at near-earbursting levels, so after a moment the projectionist compensated by turning the volume up the soundtrack of the film. This went on until the noise in the movie house was almost deafening, which somehow caused the multi-nationalized children in the audience to jump from their seats and run rampant around the theatre auditorium shouting "Mee-mee-mee-mee!!" as if they were on fire. This caused their parents to laugh loudly--the film trying to run all the while--as they threw pennies at their little sons and daughters, treating them as moving targets; most of the coins bounced off people's heads, and when the occasional patron would sustain an eye injury in this manner, loud laughter and hand slaps could be heard over the victory.
Meanwhile, it seemed that The Scum People was a grainy, ass-held camera production about a family of ultra-poor folk on Skid Row who had literally countless numbers of children; kids by the dozen constantly passed in front of the camera, as the fat greasy father (who changed lightbulbs for a living, was forever farting (always getting a child in the face, which seemed to be the running gag) and blowing snot from out his nose by pinching the opposite nostril. The mother was a bag-lady, who would repeatedly beat other such decrepit women with her plastic K-Mart shopping sacks, proclaiming "This is my corner!"
The filmmakers (who actually go unnamed in the film's credits) seemed to have been producing a half-assed attempt at social pathos here, as all family members are forced to wipe themselves with their own clothing ("You think we can afford ass-wipe?!" Mr. Scum would scream with venom at several complaining children. "What do ya think we are, the goddamn Rockerfellers?!") but, by mid-way through the film, seem to be laughing at these people, and it was to my ultimate horror and disgust that I viewed the film's apparent director come on the screen to explain that the extreme human depravity depicted in the film was in fact real, and that "The Scum Family" (as he so jokingly referred to them) were in truth a real-life family who had agreed to be in this documentary. "What started out as a terribly touching human interest story," explained the director, as the title "Mr. X" flashed on the bottom of the screen while he spoke, "turned into a comedy! I mean these people are scum!" he said, laughing.
|Patriarch of the Scum Family|
Well, needless to say, I was appalled! Even if it all were a joke, I found it unspeakably offensive! However, most of the audience were no longer paying attention by this point, as various theatergoers were walking about the crowded room, talking loudly to one another, completely ignoring what was on the screen. What did these people pay their money for? I asked myself incredulously. To talk to their neighbors? Two young men were even throwing about a Frisbee, and one of the persons who owned a tape recorder turned it up to the max, getting a couple of women to dance with him in the aisles to the banal beat of the Negroid rhythms, enticing them on with shouts of, "C'mon, Mama!" It was precisely at this point that they projectionist cranked the soundtrack up to its highest possible decibel, causing the theatre speakers (not to mention my earholes) to very audibly pop, as Mr. Bojangles called up to the projection booth, "Hey deer, White Boy! Toin dat shit down!" I turned around to see the projectionist press his stiff middle finger against the glass, as the dancer stated matter-of-factly, "You is dead meat, Mistah White Muddahfuggah!!" as he let up the aisle with a basketball player's stride.
I turned back to the screen, horrified, while all around me people laughed and sat backwards against the tops of their seats to get a better view of the approaching slaughter; I even heard some people making bets as to which man, if either, would live past, the next five minutes.
Oh' please God, I thought, let me get out of here in one piece! Or at least make this all a horrifying dream! But, alas, that was not the case.
On the screen now, Father Putrid had received a phone call from his well-to-do uncle in Boston; the uncle had an acquaintance who'd recently been viscously struck down by an out-of-control 7-Up truck. "Come on out here!" ounce urged the farting father. "I've got a great idea!" The relative lived in a small section of Boston, and it was when he dressed up as a carnival barker (complete with bushy mustache and straw hat) and pitched the sight of his comatose friend to the residents of his small town that I got up to leave, absolutely amazed and incensed that such inhumanity be present within the same family.
But, before I could even squirm out of my row of seats, I heard a horrid scream come from the booth, as the film suddenly broke on the screen. I turned around to see the black man beating the projectionist over the head with a large, hour reel of film.
That was when everyone in the place scattered, some laughing, some screaming, but all heading for the doors. I looked to the screen to see a man being chased across the stage by a huge policeman, who was swinging a club and saying, "Stand still so's I kin smash you, you sonuvabitch!"
Well, I shot up that aisle like Gamera on speed! In the lobby I saw people charging the large glass street doors, breaking one of them. One person was even vomiting, for some reason.
Outside the theatre, a couple paddy wagons drove up, out of which jumped a couple dozen cops, all grinning insanely, resembling wild animals about to kill and feast upon their prey; one of them even intoned, "Let's get 'em, boys!!"
After a moment, I heard screams coming from inside the movie house, as the police were happily performing their civilian duties. On the marquee a theatre attendant was changing the title of the now-showing movie to something called "Colostomies on Parade".
When I asked the manager why the film had been changed after only one day of its run, he replied, "Why, isn't it obvious? The Scum People is simply too controversial a film; it's inciting riots!" as if I were the stupid one.