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23 January 2010

Crookèd Thieves

The following notice was displayed at the ticket desk at the cinema today:

Due to the actions of a handbag thief at this cinema, non-pocket-sized umbrellas cannot be taken into the screening rooms and should be left at the ticket desk and picked up after the film.

I suspect that the said thief probably got the idea from the cartoonish advert that sometimes plays before the trailers where a sibilant-ridden snake hisses out a warning about handbag thieves as the snake itself curls its body into a hook shape and pinches someone's handbag. It's not a laughing matter but somehow, I found the image of an oh-so-subtle thief with a ginormous umbrella that they were using to spirit away the handbag of the woman a few seats down quite amusing. I mean, does that really work?

Anyway, after two and a half hours of Un Prophète (which, with its plot of young Arab boy struggling to survive life in prison alongside the Corsican mafia, was very good), I was pretty desperate for the loo and hurried out of the screen, after almost forgetting my shopping bag. As I was walking out of the cinema, though, I realised I didn't have my hat with me. I thought I might have left it in the bathroom but I hadn't; nor could I find it in the still dark auditorium. Perhaps the umbrella thief had managed to sneak in one of those telescopic walking sticks. Or maybe Little Bo Peep had popped a long for a gritty, prison thriller.

Luckily, when the lights finally came on, the cleaner helped me to find my hat, which had got stuck behind my seat. Funnily enough, though, my umbrella was missing!

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