Alan was walking home from the gym when suddenly a man appeared from a gap between two buildings. The man was suspicious in nature.
"Any DVDs?" the man asked in a criminal accent.
"Buying or selling?"
"No thanks, mate." Alan replied, careful to make his false "mate" sound genuine.
"Just have a look." the man demanded, flashing a gun at Alan. "Here, hold this." he said, handing the gun to Alan as he pulled out his pirate merchandise. "Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Groundhog Day..."
"Groundhog Day came out years ago!" exlaimed Alan.
"Yes, but it's a classic. If you want something a bit more current how about Cheaper By The Dozen 3?"
Alan was intrigued. He didn't even realise they had made another CBTD film. "OK." he said.
"Good. Follow me." said that man, who shall now be referred to as Excelsiomn in a bid to inject some humanity and depth into his character.
Excelsiomn took back the gun and led Alan down an alleyway filled with dumpsters and cats that had fallen on hard times.
"In here." Excelsiomn pointed at the dirtiest dumpster. Alan stood frozen. Something felt weird.
"Do you want to see the film or not? Climb into the dumpster." barked Excelsiomn, who shall now be referred to as Ex in a bid to save on typing.
Alan was aware of Ex's gun. He was almost certainly going to be murdered and left in the dumpster. He could certainly outrun Ex, even though his legs were tired after the gym, but could he outrun a bullet? Almost certainly probably not. Maybe if he entered the dirty dumpster willingly he would only be raped and his life would be spared. Alan climbed in.
The dumpster was empty except for a hole, a hole leading to another hole, a hole in a building. Alan made his way inside the building (through the hole) and was soon followed by Ex (formerly Excelsiomn).
"What is this place?" asked Alan.
"It used to be a cinema, but it closed down after piracy destroyed the movie business." replied Ex with a look of guilt and pride.
The pair made their way into the heart of the cinema, where the seats and big screen lived.
"Sit anywhere you like." said Ex "But the middle two rows will cost you extra."
Alan paid £6 to sit in a standard seat, then Ex gave the signal, a sort of fearful lonely howl. The lights dimmed and the curtains covering the screen flew apart like divorced cousins. Then, unexpectedly, the screen was raised and two men appeared.
One of the men was Steve Martin. He was unshaven and covered in bruises. His torn dirty clothes hung loosely on his gaunt body. There was a chain fastened to his leg. The other man was Tom Welling. He was young and handsome. His clothing was clean and well-fitting. There was no chain around his leg.
For the next two hours the two of them performed a play about a man with a very large family, most of whom were played by puppets and stray cats. It was clear to Alan that Steve Martin was unhappy with the script, he spoke his lines without enthusiasm and often broke down in tears. Tom, on the other hand, made the most of what he was given. He approached his role with genuine hunger and his chemistry with one of the more well groomed cats was always interesting to watch.
When the performance ended Alan rose to his feet and clapped with genuine praise. Tom bathed in the applause. Steve simply sat with his head in his hands. Alan certainly felt uneasy about the situation, but for £6 this seemed like a very good deal from a consumer's point of view. For a brief moment though, Alan thought about wrestling Ex to the ground, grabbing the gun and freeing Steve Martin, but it seemed like a lot of effort and it was getting quite late.
"Do you think you could get me the new Superman film by next week?" Alan asked Ex.
"I'll see what I can do." he replied, as Tom Welling stood shaking with excitement.
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