A little lovin’ tonight…

Well, I just picked up an advance screening pass for Punch-Drunk Love, and after reading the back of the pass, I’m a little worried. Ominous portents fill its backside, much like Al Roker at a chili cook-off.

First, a little backtracking…

So eagle-eye Barb spotted an ad for the free passes in today’s Metro (Boston’s freebie paper they hand out at the subway stops). Stop by HMV between ten and noon for free passes to tonight’s advance showing of Punch Drunk Love. I had seen this trailer online awhile back and have been waiting for it to come out ever since. Naturally, I set a reminder on my Palm Pilot so I could rush over there (a block away) just before the place opened. I get there at ten til’ and there are already three people in line. Not bad. I won’t look like the only fool standing outside waiting, yet there aren’t too many people in front of me.

Want to have some fun? Get some friends together some weekday morning and go stand in a line outside a store. You’ll get more than your share of interesting looks and bizarre behavior from the passers-by. Now this is the way to people-watch!

So a little after ten, the doors start opening and our line has grown to twenty or so. Imagine the surprised look on the door-opener’s face at the huddled masses awaiting him.

We rushed up the stairs en masse (though orderly) up to the second floor. I was quite proud of my fellow line-mates. They did a nice job of following along and keeping their positions. That Adam Sandler has some well-behaved fans.

We get up to the second floor and the line snakes over to a scared girl at the check-out counter.

No one there knew anything about the passes.

The bewildered girl at the counter called a manager who said they weren’t mailed yet and we should come back. It was fun to watch the girl’s expression change as she was being told this, realizing she’d have to tell all of us.

People started angrily dispersing, and I asked her if there was some sort of time frame for the tickets’ arrival. Another guy suggested they take our names so we could come back and get them. Meanwhile the murmuring had started. “No tickets?” “Come back?” “…waited outside…” “…between ten and noon…” “…cheese and sausages…”

She called for a manager again and a different one picked up the phone. Apparently this is the only person in the store who knew what was going on. “Oh, I have them – I’ll be up in a second.” Passes handed out, crisis averted, HMV goes from Orange back down to Blue Level.

I walk happily away from the HMV, free pass (Admit Two) in hand. Then I flip it over and start to read the back of it.

“Please arrive early. Seating is limited to theater capacity and is not guaranteed. Theater is intentionally overbooked to ensure capacity and is not the responsibility of the theater.”

Crapola – here comes another line.