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Open Mic Night Guest: Keith

Here's a reprint of a posting I just made to my blog, Susskins Central Dispatch. Serendipity Or where a series of unrelated decisions leads to joy Fred called me up early in the afternoon and asked if he could pick me up after work and take me to dinner. I said yes, because few things are finer than being chauffeured by my honeybear. At 4:30 he was waiting outside my building. I threw my bag in the back and climbed in. We zoomed off. I suggested that he go left, to avoid the traffic. He went left. I suggested that we go up University Avenue rather than the freeway. I also suggested that we take the third avenue bridge across the Mississippi, rather than the Hennepin bridge. Due to a huge number of buses in the right lane, we scooted past third avenue. I said, "fuck it; just go on to Hennepin." He disagreed, and doubled back to third. We crossed the river, and got to the turnoff for University. I said, "where does that go?", and pointed straight ahead. He said, "let's find out", and went straight instead of turning. We went through NordEast, the North-East section of Minneapolis and continued up to Columbia Heights. (note: the term "NordEast" is a play on Minnesota accents.) We went by The Heights Theater, a small theater that holds the claim to the longest continually running theater in the Twin Cities. It was purchased by a pair of guys in 1998, and has been undergoing a serious restoration since then. I've wanted to see a movie there for some time. The marquee showed that The Triplets of Belleville was playing. Fred had been dying to see it, and I'de been extremely interested too. We made an abrupt U-turn and I ran up to the box office to check the times. It started in twenty minutes. Fred parked the truck, I went in and bought tickets, we got popcorn and drinks, and went in. The theater is a marvel of old Beau Arts style, complete with a massive organ and an orchestra pit. (The organ is played Friday and Saturday nights before the 7:00 showing.) The Men's room has old movie posters. You can take a steaming dump under the watchful gaze of The Duke. I opted to pee in front of Gregory Peck. The movie started with a single trailer, a policy reel, and headlong into the feature. Oh, and the curtain was drawn, which is something I just love to see. The print was immaculate and smooth as glass. The sound was excellent. The theater was empty. Okay, actually there were four of us total, plus the guy running the theater. (I think he was one of the owners.) If you get the chance to see The Triplets of Belleville, take it. It's a very odd piece of animation. Gorgeous hand-drawn animation, with some nice computer assists for backgrounds and vehicles. Weird characters. A big fat dog that hates trains. Three singing sisters that are off their group rocker. Frogs. Explosives. The Tour de France. Wine. Dark deeds. Music. Almost no dialog. Most everything is broadcast via body language and grunts and groans and sighs. It's a quirky little film, and we got to see it in a theater. Hurray for lucky chances and being in the right place at the right time! The phrase "In Vino Veritas" shows up in the movie. For us, it was "dans la joie de serendipity". Or something like that.