Finding Waldo

Last night I went to back-to-back shows of Cinematic Titanic. For those not hep to my jive: Cinematic Titanic is five alums of “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, sitting on the sides of a stage, making fun of a bad movie as the audience watches it.

It’s more fun than you’re probably thinking. You’ll just have to trust me on that.

Last night’s targets were “Rattlers” (experimental bio-weapon sends snakes to spree-killing) and “The Doll Squad” (all-women team of agents try to stop Michael Ansara from… doing something).

Between shows I ran into some former colleagues, and I joined them for a snack while we discussed terrible cinema and great comics. They failed to ditch me, so I sat with them for the second show. Much fun was had by all, especially by Jeff who got a couple glares from a woman sitting in front of him.

I was alone for the first show. While I’m okay with going to see things by myself, the long wait before the proverbial curtain rises is always a test of my resolve in the face of screaming nerves. It’s worse when there’s a crowd in place of a line, as there was last night. Clutching my satchel — to protect me, not it — I began scanning the lobby for any signs of the doors opening.

No luck. Time crawled, as did my skin. To distract myself I invented a game. Actually, I started playing before I realized what I was even doing! (Good brain. Give yourself some dopamine.)

I call it Finding Waldo. Here’s how it’s played.

1. Scan the crowd until you spot someone distinctive in some way. They should be far enough away from you that they could disappear in the crowd. This is Waldo.
2. Look somewhere else for a while. A minute or two, whatever you please.
3. Now find Waldo.
4. Repeat until you no longer have to play Finding Waldo.

It’s a simple game. You can’t really win, and honestly you kind of lose just for playing it, but it kept me relatively calm I could go find a seat.

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