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FiZ

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  1. FiZ

    Episode 253. Cats

    What I absolutely loved about this movie was not the movie, but one of my friends' reactions to it. As Paul mentioned at the end of this episode, a lot of movie drafthouses started doing rowdy-showings of Cats, and the Alamo in VA was hosting one early this year. That sounded like it would be hilarious, so me and a handful of friends (we all love to riff on movies/shows) decided it'd be a fun night, and got tickets. The night of the show, a different friend of mine texts me, and asks if I wanted to do something, and I tell them that we're going to watch a rowdy screening of Cats. He asks if he can join, and he gets to the Alamo with about a minute to spare... They had cat ears for us to wear, a cat toy at each seat, the cocktails came in little cat saucers, they gave us name tags to write our jellicle names on them. They encouraged us to sing-along and be generally rowdy (as long as we weren't yelling the whole time). About a minute into the first song, the last-minute-addition friend leans to me and asks "Is this going to be one of those singing things? ... 'cause I hate those." It turns out, he'd never heard of the Broadway show, the poems, none of it. The only thing he knew was that it was a movie that came out last year, and totally bombed. (He'd seen midnight showings with our group of things like The Room, and Monty Python, so he was always down for a hilarious movie) But he was completely unprepared for what a delightful travesty we'd experience. He'd occasionally ask what this or that meant, who these cats were, etc. and the rest of our group got to watch his face contort as we explained "Nothing means anything." I think it was about 3/4 of the way through, we see a scene of a lit-up city street (or alleyway, I can't remember) with no people, and he asks him: "So, is like the plot that the world ended in 1920's London?" me: "The real world ended about 80 minutes ago, and this is our last acid-trip, fever-dream before we all die." him: "No, but like...what's the plot?" me: "A bunch of cats are auditioning to die." him: "Seriously? That's it?" me: "That is it." him: "...metal." And given all the times the whole theater was chanting for two cats to kiss (who never did), when Grizabella and Old Deuteronomy are in the hot air balloon, that same friend yells out "OKAY! YOU KISS, THEN! I DON'T REALLY CARE WHO, AT THIS POINT!", which got a great laugh from the theater. After the movie, we all joked about not knowing whether we actually died in that theater or not. And about 4 days later...the Covid lock-downs started happening. To this day, we blame Covid-19 not on illegal pangolin-trade, but Cats.
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