punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Punkie's Earlier Years: "WJOK Junk: Side 1" - The Unbearable Feeling of Projectionist

WJOK was an all-comedy radio that used to be in the area. It only lasted a few years, but it carried Dr. Demento and was the first "lewd after hours channel" I would come to listen to. I suspect this was a recycled "Best of" tape I would start before I went to sleep.

Neal intros this as "September 1983 - Gym Class"

I give some summary about running in circles in Gym class. I think this is where I got my hatred of jogging, "It's only going in circles! Going nowhere!" Ah... my Gothy youth...

Then it jumps to the part where I was doing the projectionist booth in High school. A lot of chaos is portrayed, and apparently I had totally forgotten what a pain the audience was when we started.

The people watching the movie, "Creep Show," were apparently a rowdy bunch, as they threw popcorn all over the floor. Apparently, they were much better, in my freshman opinion, than the other theater which was showing "Wargames." Apparently, my crush, Trish Morrisey and her friend Kirsten James, screamed a lot, and some 8th grader (you can tell my distaste when I say, "Eight Grader," like he had a disease) had given me and the other guy in the booth the finger. The other projectionist said he was going to "kill that kid," and stop the movie to "deal with him." I guess that kid would have been 34 today... no, sadly, he lives. Apparently the other projectionist (Mike) just banged on the glass instead and shook his head and gave him a wagging finger, and the kid shut up. My estimation was "It must have been terrifying to have a SENIOR do this to you with you are just an Eight Grader." BWAH! Then, later, some OTHER kid gave him the finger, and this was around the time when Mr. Duncan, the head of the whole theater experiment said, "We can't have this sort of behavior," and threw the kids out. They snuck back in anyway. My tone of this event suggested a disapproving "that's life for ya" kind of attitude. I also expressed dismay that the "Ushers" we hired were not ushering, but watching the films.

Renee Hogan, a name that would surface later in life when she was coincidentally a roommate with my friend Tracie some ten years later, apparently burst into the booth for reasons I either didn't know, or could not explain on tape. She was running concessions. I forgot we HAD concessions, that must have been gotten rid of after people threw popcorn everywhere. I had to push her out, I suppose, but the way I described it suggested I nearly pushed her against the opposite wall and slammed the door. Sorry, Renee, I am sure whatever you did to piss me off was pretty insignificant and I overreacted.

I told Ky (another projectionist who had a weak constitution) NOT to watch Creep Show, but I guess she had to when she ran that booth. I told her NOT to watch the part where roaches burst out of that guy's mouth, but she did, and got sick, and had to go home early.

I describe a lot of audience rowdiness, and I guess I had forgotten that part, because I remembered playing to a lot of empty seats before the program was cancelled. I also had forgotten that in the choral room, you couldn't really see the movie through the small glass window the projectors used, but the glass reflected back onto the opposite wall of the projectionist's booth, and we watched for cues there.

Estimating that there were quite a lot of people, and Mr. Duncan, I am guessing this was when we first started showing films. Later, it would just be me, because people kept dropping out.

I wonder why...? Heh.

Later, I explain when yet another projectionist dropped out that I was the only one. I explain that another theater major, Glennica Bufe (pronounced "BOO-fee"), would be there on concessions, and I remember I had a little crush on her, too. I would do it for Glennica...

Apparently, this night, running the booth alone, some guy who shall remain unnamed (it was one of my bullies, but he grew out of it, so in respect for that, shall remain unnamed) kept coming into the projectionist booth to ask when we were going to start. He was so desperate for the movie to start, he started to mess with the projector. He didn't know how it worked, and started demanding I start it. I finally unplugged the master switch for the projectors, and he lost it, hurling names at me, calling me a fag, asshole, "egghead" (that was an insult?), and so on. But apparently his meddling screwed up the audio speakers and the secondary projector. This delayed the movie even longer, and caused a lot of missing audio while I rooted around to fix the problem (someone had also unplugged the speakers in the choral room). When I found the plugs and the audio started up, I said, "Oh, you didn't really NEED that cheesy soundtrack, did you?" Much cheering followed. Yet, someone later unplugged the speaker on the right side again, and this time, they stole the patch cable.

Yeah. Fun.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000621.html
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