NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 7, 2013

You may be downsized, but I'm dinosaured

Yes, the Screening Room fundraiser went exceedingly well, far better than my ability to answer again and again the same question over and over night after night.

Often I wanted to glare “How is” back into patrons’ mouths before they got to “the fundraiser going,” but hostility is hardly for people happily throwing $100 checks and $20 bills at you.

Absurdity sufficed. Patrons approaching with open checkbooks and poised pens were easy and willing targets:

“Screening Room is spelled J-A-C…”

But those moments were few and far between, especially during the two-week runs of “Blue Jasmine” and “20 Feet from Stardom,” well-attended films that surely enhanced the fundraising effort.

Problem was that people — timing last-minute arrivals as many theatergoers do — were making inquiries and writing checks at the ticket counter while lines halfway to the library were waiting to get in.

Making matters worse — which, of course, means “better” for those collecting the money without having to deal, as I did, with logistics — the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival ran during the fundraiser, drawing inquiries about its tickets and times and venues and …

And I was on the verge of what years ago was called a nervous breakdown, but which today is called going ballistic.

One night a woman took her time stirring her Constant Comment Decaf — now there’s a contradiction in terms! — at the concession stand long enough to hear me say “two-thirds of the way with three weeks to go” four times.

She had to notice that I was sounding more and more like Norman Bates near the end of “Psycho.”

Amused sympathy on her face made me confide that I was considering flash cards that I could update every few days.

She suggested that I make a recording with a button to push whenever the question was asked.

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