Friday, December 12, 2014

Minority Retort

I just read an article about the 2003 film "The Last Samurai," and I was reminded of a story one of my good friends told me.

If you're unfamiliar with the plot of this movie, Tom Cruise plays an American military officer who is training Japanese soldiers in the 1870s and eventually embraces the samurai culture. It's basically Dances With Wolves, but with katanas instead of tatonkas. 

Anyhoo, my friend went to this movie in the theatre. During the first scene in which our hero dons traditional samurai garb, there was a startled outburst from several rows back. 

"What the -- I didn't know Tom Cruise was Chinese!"

Friday, December 5, 2014

Secret Service With a Smile

I went to see a play the other night at a local theatre. My friend and I arrived quite early, and there were very few people around. So when one of the ushers offered to take us to our seat level in the elevator, we agreed.

It was just the three of us on the way down, and we started joking that it felt like such special treatment, as if the usher were escorting us to safety. When I remarked that he even had an earpiece like a secret service agent, he joined in the game mock-seriously.

ME: "Do I have a code name?"

HIM: (totally straight-faced)  "I'm not allowed to reveal that information."

ME: "Why not?"

HIM: "It's a liability issue.  In case I have to take extreme measures for your protection."

ME:  "Ah. Plausible deniability."

HIM: "Exactly."

When the elevator reached the main floor, he insisted on going out first to check the hallway, then led us to our seats.  I, however, decided that a pre-show trip to the restroom might be advisable. As I re-entered the theatre, my bodyguard happened to be standing outside the door.

"It's all clear," he whispered conspiratorially. 

After an excellent show, my friend and I lounged quite awhile at the theatre bar . . . long enough that a couple staff members joined us. One of them was the secret service usher.

HIM: "I see you made it out safely."

ME: "Yes, thanks for your excellent protection."

There was a long silence, during which we all sipped our drinks.  Then he added, "Your code name was Hootenanny, by the way."

I laughed so hard I almost spit out my wine.