A couple of weekends ago, the Eastport Pirate Festival was in full swing. As I sat on the deck smoking a cigar, I could hear the festivities going on down on the waterfront including canons being fired. It all reminded me of a little story from my theater days.......
I dislocated my knee chasing pirates.
Well, technically I didn't dislocate it chasing pirates. I dislocated my knee getting into the backseat of a cop car. Either way, it's a good start for a story.
It was in 2004, and Loews had just announced a campaign to crack down on movie piracy. There was a $1000 reward for any employee who caught anybody trying to bootleg a movie. One day, we had numerous reports of somebody videotaping in theater 6, so another manager and I went to check it out. The movie was letting out, and another customer pointed out the person who had been filming. I followed the culprit and his girlfriend out of the theater while the other manager called the detail cop. The cop must have been sleeping somewhere, so I followed the couple out of the theater and up the street. By the time the detail cop caught up to where I was, they had gone into the Beantown Pub.
The cop and I went into the bar and confronted the couple. They were from Belgium, or one of those mayo-on-the-fries kind of places, and they were surprised to say the least. The cop made them show him their camera. It turns out they were taking photographs of the screen for some reason, but the camera's monitor made it look like they were filming. All pictures are prohibited, so the cop stood there as they deleted the 30 or so photos. We then left the red-faced tourists to enjoy their crappy potato skins and overpriced beer.
The cop offered me a ride back to the theater, and I gladly accepted. As I got in the back seat, I heard a horrible pop, and a lightening bolt of pain shot up my leg. I let out a blood curdling scream, and flopped on the seat. I looked down at my leg and I could see my kneecap sticking way off to the side. The pain was intense. The cop came around and called for an ambulance as soon as he saw my knee. We were in the heart of downtown near at least three hospitals, but it still took 15 minutes for the paramedics to show up. The cop was furious that it took that long when one of their own had called. I gotta say, I agreed with him. As I sat there, the cops holster was right at eye level. I can visualize the pattern of his gun's grip as if it were yesterday. The pain was so bad that I remember thinking that I could just grab the gun and shoot myself in the head. That's pretty bad when you're seriously contemplating death over putting up with another minute of torture.
Eventually they loaded me in the ambulance for a short but painfully bumpy ride to the nearest hospital. They knocked me out with some anesthesia, and reset my knee. I was in such a haze when I woke up and my roommate came to get me, that weeks later I thought I had been at a different hospital. Now I have phantom pains in my knee every time I walk by the Beantown Pub, get thrown in the back of a cop car, or hear a pirate joke.
Had I really hurt myself chasing a bounty on pirates?
Did the hospital really have to cut my best pair of dress pants and my shirt to get to my knee?
No pain medication for my recovery? What a jip......
Why do so many pirates have eye patches and striped shirts?
The biggest mystery still remains why the fuck anyone would go see Soul Plane, let alone take photos of it?!? I guess there's no accounting for European taste.