9.14 Same Shirt
The next few blogs will be transcripts of the latest season of Storytime with Paul Dore. Storytime is a short adrenaline shot of a podcast straight to the mind, heart or sometimes the funny bone, wherever that is located. For this season, each episode is a live recording from the monthly event Stories We Don't Tell. With the release of season three of the podcast, I'll be posting the transcripts here on the blog.
Three recent experiences that have made me question the world and my place in it. And as with every experience, there are winners and there are losers.
I enjoy going to the theatre because of the art, the writing, the acting and so on, but really because plays start on time. I’ve been to some music shows and other performing arts shows that start an hour or more after the official appointment. I understand this is so the audience can arrive and get settled and all that. The general excuse for the tardiness is - well, Everyone knows the show will start late. The audience knows this, the show producers know this. We've created a system that fails on both sides.
This particular play I was at did not start on time. The crowd seemed a bit older and there were lots of steps, so I forgave this divergence from the norm. One of the younger patrons found his seat a few rows in front of me, removed his jacket and I noticed that he wore the same shirt as me. It's not like I noticed he was wearing the same white shirt as me. In fact, it was this shirt I’m wearing. So, as you can see, it is a somewhat unusual shirt. I just took note of this as a coincidence and moved my intention to the performance.
Since the play was unnecessarily three hours long, there were two intermissions. During the first intermission, there was a lineup for the washroom. As the line moved forward, I realized that the gentleman who had the same shirt as me (let's call him Same Shirt) was at the urinal. There were only two urinals and a few stalls, all were taken. The man at the urinals beside Same Shirt finished. I was second in line and I felt okay about this situation because I could change places with Same Shirt's, like we were tagging out.
The guy in front of me wasn't moving towards that now empty urinal beside Same Shirt. He was waiting for a stall. So, I walked up to the urinal and in a crowd of about 200 theatre-goers, two people who had the same unusual shirt on were now peeing next to each other. I was hoping that no one would say anything, but there’s a comedian in every crowd and this other guy waiting in line said, "Hey, you two are wearing the same shirt!"
Same Shirt finished up and as he turned, he saw me in my shirt but also his shirt and was confused because he didn't know that I had stepped up to the urinal beside him. As Same Shirt washed his hands, the comedian in line now repeated what was quickly becoming his catchphrase, "Hey, you guys are wearing the same shirt!" He followed it up with, "Hey, are you two related or something?" Okay, let's say this guy and I were related and let's say that we saw an advertisement for this play and really wanted to see it. We picked a date and bought tickets. On the day of the show, I called this relative of mine, maybe a brother or a cousin and said, "Hey, you know what we should do? We should both wear that weird shirt we've got because I think it would be cool if we both walked around in public wearing the same thing. That makes a lot of sense and something we should definitely do. And then we can time it so we're peeing next to each other just to see if we could blow someone's mind!"
As I washed my hands, the comedian in line wanted to make sure that I heard his earlier statement, “Hey, you had the same shirt as that other guy!”
At the end of the show, I put on my coat and zipped it up. I located the position of the guy wearing the same shirt as me because now I had to manage my movements in relation to his. I don't know who wins in this scenario. It definitely wasn't me or the guy who wore the same shirt as me. He'll probably never wear this shirt again, and I’m burning this fucking shirt after this night. I think the winner here was the comedian in line, who will probably be telling this story to people for years to come.