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01/23/2007 Archived Entry: "Children. And men. And small town cops."

I swear I started this blog entry with pure intentions. But I got a little sidetracked. Then I got distracted. After that, I'm not sure what happened.

It's me, PSM. Hi. Seriously, I hope you're not reading this while you're waiting for your pop tart to toast.

Children of Men is the best new movie I've seen this year. Of course, that might not be saying much. For one thing, I don't see a lot of new movies. Financial constraints and family obligations being what they are, I am forced to choose only the very most promising and enticing pictures that come out. And for another thing, my standards, frankly, just aren't that high. Oh, I know and appreciate the difference between a popcorn movie and a work of genius. But when it comes right down to it, all I ask of a film is that it entertain me for the duration. If it also happens to be a stunning work of genius, then so much the better. Basically, if it meets the minimum requirement of keeping me interested from one end to the other, that's good enough.

So now that you are armed with that grain of salt, let me tell you that I haven't seen a film like Children of Men in many buffalo. Alright, I'm addicted to dystopia anyway. But rarely have I seen one executed with such skill and conviction as this. I've heard it criticized for not providing enough backstory or explanation. I had no problem with it -- it's a taut, sparing film with a ground-level focus, not a sweeping epic. The camera work is astonishing, with a lot of single-takes and few cuts. The plot may be sci-fi, but the setting is unfortunately not at all hard to imagine. Oh, and also there's a giant inflatable floating pig hovering over Battersea Power Station. Worth the price of admission right there.

But that's not what I came here to tell you about tonight...To coin a phrase.

I didn't go to my local movie theater to see Children of Men; talkies haven't come to this part of New Hampshire yet. No, for this event, I traveled an hour and a half to the biggest, newest, fanciest, best theater in the land, complete with stadium seating, Dolby this, digital that, and real flush toilets.

So it was a long ride home, late at night, after the movie. And toward the end there, it got pretty weird, too.

First, I got stopped in Orange, MA, for running a yellow light. When the officer asked me if there was a reason I was in such a hurry, I couldn't think of anything good to say. And I didn't want to just sit there not saying anything at all. But I didn't want to say, "It's late -- I wanna get home." Which is what I said.

My gut told me I was going to get a ticket for sure. "Uh, Lord?" I prayed, "Is it too late to ask for travelling mercies?" To my amazement, the cop returned my license and reg., saying, "That's the first honest answer I've gotten all night, so I'm not going to give you a ticket."

Bewildered, I carried on. In the very next town, I got pulled over again, for hanging the tail around a bend. No, I wasn't going that fast, it was just very windy and I hit a patch of sand or ice going through the curve. "Okay, Lord," I prayed again, sheepishly. "Your word says something to the effect of forgiving someone seventy times seven, I believe..." Cop number two also let me off with a warning, astonishingly.

By this time I was sure that God was having fun with me, although I had no idea why.

So you can imagine my state of mind when, not a mile from home, I saw those very familiar looking Crown Vic headlamps in my rearview. That's right -- I got pulled over a third time, this time literally in front of my own house. Needless to say, I was once again exploring the finer points of spiritual communication. And almost predictably, I was let off with a warning.

One hour, three towns, three cops, three warnings.

I'm not here to extoll my beliefs. But this was just too weird to not blog. Take from it what you will.

Posted by Penguinsscareme @ 01:06 PM CST

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