I wondered if the young man thought I was lying about not having jumper cables. My fake sincerity face looks like a mime with an intestinal infection. I felt I needed to sell my concern just a bit more, but without making us late for the movie. So I asked, "Do you have a cell phone?"
Now keep in mind that 110% of all young men his age group, at least around here, have cell phones. The figure is higher than 100% because some people carry two, in case one has a low battery. So there was no real risk of him asking to use my phone. And besides, who goes to the movies alone at that age? Surely his pack of friends was nearby, all with cell phones if not jumper cables.
But no. This was the one young man in the solar system who had no phone, no friends, and a dead battery. So I handed him my beloved BlackBerry and hoped he wouldn't start running in the other direction. He looked fast. But he was legit, and dialed his mom.
If you want to imagine how his end of the conversation went, recall George Costanza from Seinfeld talking to his mother. It went something like this:
Guy: "Can you tell Dad to come get me? My battery is dead."
Guy: "Why does it matter?? I was listening to the radio. Just tell Dad..."
Guy: "Just tell Dad..."
Guy: "Mom, can you just tell Dad to..."
Guy: "MOM!!!! CAN YOU PLEASE PUT DAD ON THE PHONE!!!!"
Meanwhile, I'm tapping my feet, looking around, trying to look impatient without crossing the line into full jerk mode. I don't want to get the worst seat in the iMax theater. That's not a good one.
Now the young man's conversation turns to describing where he will be standing when his father arrives.
Guy: "I don't know, maybe near Fudruckers."
Guy: "FUDRUCKERS! FUDRUCKERS!"
Guy: "Or maybe by Game Stop. Near Fudruckers. Or I could just walk over and stand by the Game Stop. It's by Fudruckers. Fudruckers. Fudruckers."
Surely this conversation was coming to an end, I assumed. I imagined only one seat left in the theater. My heart was pumping and my palms were sweaty. We already had our tickets. I sent my best ESP messages to him: Please hang up. Please hang up. But things only got worse.
Guy: "I think it's in the dryer."
Guy: "Yes, in the dryer. Because it was wet."
Guy: "I know you think it was on the couch but it's in the dryer."
Guy: "Yes, I'm sure it's in the dryer. JUST LOOK IN THE DRYER!!!"
At that point I reached my limit. I started giving the slice-my-own-neck signal to him to cut the call short. I mouthed "We're late for the movie." He got the hint.
Guy: "Mom, I have to go."
Guy: "Look in the dryer."
Guy: "Because I have a borrowed phone."
Guy: "Just look in the dryer. And tell Dad I'll be by the Game Stop."
Guy: "Not Fudruckers, but next to it. By the Game Stop."
Guy: "JUST LOOK IN THE DRYER!!! MOM! I GOTTA GO!"
Phone retrieved, we raced to the theater. There were exactly two seats left, on the far end, in the front. If you haven't been to an iMax theater, the screen is the size of a three story building. From my vantage point up close I could tell that motion was happening on the screen, but I couldn't discern what it was. I think the movie was about robots that fight, but I can't be sure.
I spent the next two and a half hours wishing I could meet the a-hole who decided to squeeze a few more seats into the iMax theater by putting them where no human being could enjoy the show. I'm peaceful by nature, but I'd make an exception for that guy.
Attempting to look at the screen was a losing strategy because it was just headache inducing. Luckily I can nap literally anywhere. I even fall asleep when I'm having my teeth cleaned (true). So I had a nice snooze through most of the movie, and I needed it. I guess it all worked out.
Recently I lost my sense of smell thanks to, I assume, some allergy meds I've been snorting. I assume it's temporary. I never would have noticed I couldn't smell except my wife, Shelly, kept asking versions of the question "Do you smell that? It's awful!" But I never smelled that.
Over time I have come to realize that the ratio of stinky smells to delicious smells is very high. If the price for not smelling a flatulent cat five times a night is that I also don't get to smell pumpkin pie once a year, I'll take that deal.
I suppose there's a risk I won't smell a gas leak or something else that's about to kill me. Maybe someday I'll have a watch with a built-in sensor to detect that sort of thing. Until then I just hang with people who have functional noses and let them sort out the cat poop from the flaming sofa smells.
I think I also gave up something in the food tasting department thanks to my lack of a functional sniffer, but I'm okay with that too. I've dropped about eight pounds in the last two months because lately I'm not attracted to the taste of food, just its utility.
So this got me thinking that a good diet strategy is to numb your sense of smell, thus making food just a bit less attractive. I can say from experience that I don't miss all that deliciousness because I don't crave it. When I imagine eating a formerly delicious food, now I imagine it as an ordinary food and don't feel much desire for it.
I wonder if people who overeat have better sense of smell than other people. So I put it to you: Tell me your relative weight (thin, medium, or overweight) and whether you believe you have a good sense of smell or not. Let's see if there is an unscientific correlation.