Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bread & Circuses

Cobo Hall. Detroit, Michigan. Summertime. Hot-as-hell, unrepentant humidity. 1984. Commercials for The Toughman Contest had been playing for weeks on Channel 50, showing amateur pugilists in tight, stained jeans flailing at one another, shirtless, wearing sloping discolored boxing gloves circa 1940. No Vic Tanny muscles there. Hardened Joe Q. Roughnecks chosen from the audience to face-off in the ring. Winners continued through the tournament -- to another weekend or another town -- and the losers went home to muster themselves with bathroom surgery; pissing blood, affixing raw calves' livers to shamed, blackened eyes.

Pryvett Rawgers & Co. were there to see it.

The protocols preceding any stadium event dictated that Pryvett & Co. got themselves liberally shitfaced beforehand. They blew the afternoon at the Sunnyside Tavern in LaSalle. Among Pryvett's crew was "Milk Man," whose nickname derived from his pathologically pristine appearance: long flaxen hair, pressed white shirts, immaculate beige Members Only jacket. Milk Man was voted "Mostly Likely to Pursue a Career in Menswear" two years running in their high school yearbook.

There was Konrad, a surly Arab guy whose method for picking up girls in bars involved tripping lasses or spilling drinks on their arms. Whenever a brother, boyfriend or bystander punched Konrad in the face for such conduct, he swore that he was suffering residual prejudice from the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. Konrad did, however, distinguish himself once for bringing three packages of hotdogs to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and disposing of the weiners by hurling them over the audience throughout the film.

The quartet was rouned out by Ernst, an opaque young man of few words, bearded and crowned with an unruly thatch of uncombable brown hair. He was an artist who once submitted a project to his art teacher comprised of a baby doll scorched with a blowtorch affixed to a piece of wood with a dagger. His instructor went ballistic and Ernst was ordered to see the school psychologist, a wan man who regarded the world with heavy-lidded eyes staring through thick-framed Henry Kissinger eyeglasses. He had long, wispy sideburns and stared at Ernst for a long time at the start of their first session before saying, "What are you trying to say with the doll and the dagger?"

So, gunned on draught beer and corned beef sandwiches, Pryvett & Co. made their way to Detroit's Cobo Hall for the Toughman Contest -- MulletVille, Redneck Woodstock. The boys assimilated perfectly with the assembled crowd. This was where drunken auto workers, plumbers, roofers, working slobs of all stripes spent a summer Saturday. Tickets were ten dollars a shot -- "Priced right for families," Pryvett later recalled. "I could just see guys asking the ticket-seller, 'Hey, do I get more beer if I buy the Family Pack?'"

The scene around him at Cobo enthralled the historian in Pryvett. It was Ancient Rome colliding with contemporary trailer park.

The Toughman Contest audience was jacked up on beer, cocaine, nitro-glycerine testosterone. Jeers and epithets circulated through the mob as though some outrage had just occurred on a baseball field, that a running back had just fumbled the ball, or some referee had stuck his officious, ferret nose into the business of sportsmen competing. There was a general contankerous, grunting pulse amid the arena's inhabitants as they waited for the fights to commence.

However fragmented and disjointed the audience's attentions were as the arena filled, all voices joined in a communal roar when the guest MC of the event made his appearance ringside: Mr. T.. Rocky III was only two years in the past and The A-Team was in full flower. Mr. T. shouted a few unintelligible words into a microphone he would use to give the loudspeaker play-by-plays of each fight. The audience roared back its approval. Then Mr. T. gave a final wave and took his seat amid the officials surrounding the ring.

For all of the unhinged hype of the violence to come, the Toughman Contest fights were actually tame; sometimes dull bordering on lame. Shirtless, out-of-shape autoworkers took the ring -- one wearing a pair of Budweiser shorts so tight those sitting nearest the ring could have counted the number of beer caps in the guy's pocket. One fighter threw three punches and then stopped, winded. His opponent was in no better physical condition to capitalize on this pause in the action. In between rounds, fighters returned to their corners for a few drags off a cigarette, a chance to hork into a plastic pail. To get around the Boxing Commission and all its constraining rules, fighters were allowed to kick, as well as punch. This brought a further unkempt schoolyard touch that appealed to the collective reptillian brain of the mob.

The promoters doubtless recognized the limitations of unleashing untrained fighters before an audience of thousands. Hence the guest MC. And Mr. T. did not disappoint. His rapidfire verbosity, the primeival guttural resonance of his voice, held the mob rapt. His most frequent verbal lash at the fighters was, "Come on Gorilla Man!"

Neither Pryvett, Milkman, Konrad or Ernst were particularly demonstrative members of the mob. This wasn't The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But they took in everything around them like cultural observers from another land. Every once in a while a fierce shout would go up somewhere behind them or off to the side, and a fist fight among the rabble broke out like sudden brush fires on the badlands.

After half a dozen matches, an announcement was made from ringside that women would also take to the ring. There was some booing and sexist outburts amid the almost-completely male crowd. These soon turned into startled, excited cheers when it was seen that women were capable of sudden, stunning violence, as well. The female roughnecks had their own menace the mob recognized and approved of. The women had more endurance than the male fighters, flailing leopard-like in the center of the ring, launching kicks with greater frequency and speed. Although few fight-goers would later admit it, the female fighters put on the kind of show they had paid to see.

One of the last fights, between two women, had all the hallmarks of being a completely lopsided slaughter. A gargantuan Detroit Mama, sporting a large round butt and enormous, unwieldy breasts hanging to her waist was to face-off against a petite Latina chick who had the body of a sparrow. The Latina would certainly have speed and dexterity on her side, but the moment the Detroit Mama got hold of her, a massacre would ensue.

The bell rang. The Detroit Mama moved across the ring with a lumbering swagger that seethed menance and confidence. The Latina approached with a light lithe step that betrayed no fear. The disruptions among the audience dissipated as the bloodsport they had all come to see was surely seconds away from happening. The Latina didn't have a chance.

The Detroit Mama made her move, launching a sweeping haymaker that would have easily decapitated her opponent had it landed. It didn't. Where the male fighters usually failed to take advantage of their opponents being off-balance, the Latina chick lashed out with shocking surety, kicking the Detroit Mama in the tits. Unlike the male fighters, the Latina chick didn't lose her wind two or three kicks into her onslaught -- she continued with a ferocious, automated rhythm that soon had the mob on its feet cheering, screaming, calling for more, more.

No matter how the Detroit Mama sought to protect herself, the Latina chick continued kicking her in the tits. After a few failed turns and attempts at blocking the blows -- after a couple of dozen kicks -- the Detroit Mama collapsed to one knee. The Latina reset her stance and delivered a crushing blow to her opponent's face. Then another, and another. The Detroit Mama buckled and crumpled to the mat.

The mob was in overheated hysterics, cheering and cheering the untouched Latina chick.

As the sated crowd poured out of Cobo Hall that night, Pryvett & Co. retired to the Detroiter Bar on Beaubien street in Detroit. The place was filled with fight fans reliving the night's entertainment. As Pryvett and Milkman and even Ernst talked and joked about the last fight, Konrad was unusually quiet. None of the guys commented on this, and it was quickly forgotten after that night. And though they continued meeting and hitting the taverns of LaSalle and Windsor and Detroit, never again did Konrad spill another drink on a girl's arm, nor did he ever trick another lovely prospect on her way to the Ladies' Room.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Idiots Are Due on Maple Street

The corporate necktie isn't so much a noose as it is a leash.

-- Pryvett

It was a sunless, muggy day when Pryvett's place of work filled with a strange chittering sound that smothered even the '80's glamrock belching out of the warehouse boombox. The chittering sound grew, perpetuating itself everywhere through Package Handling Company, International, like the coming of a locust plague, the approach of a living sandstorm filled with operatic mites and ticks and fleas.

The un-unemployed of Workplace Inc. shuffled about their discordant ways and looked up as one of their number ran into the warehouse from a hallway that led to the offices.

"They're coming!" the crier cried, breathless. "The idiots are coming!" he moaned. "They're coming this way."

As the crier slunk away amid the motionless rabble of the warehouse, the chittering insectile hum entered the area, followed a moment later by a gaggle of idiots. There was probably half a dozen of them, though their number was difficult to ascertain because of their constant movement.

Before thoughts of escape formed in the green fly-guts brain goo of the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc., the idiots were upon them.

It was an abysmally hot day -- even more tortuously sticky and airless in the warehouse -- and the idiots from Head Office approached, wearing suits and neckties, looking around the place with the parched myopia of newborn babies, seeing everything, understanding nothing. They were like inadvertent wanderers stumbling upon an ancient, alien civilization. The idiots moved in a group as though they shared the same invisible brain or nervous system, operating by radar like bats. All of them incessantly rubbed their hands together as they sweated through their suit jackets.

The idiots circulated through the un-unemployed, stretching the limits of their invisible, idiot manacles. They spoke to the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc. like foreigners practicing their English: "Are... you uh employee here?"
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 117 sub-section 11(c): "Try to humanize yourself by speaking on the rabbles' level, with quips and bon mots. The rabble responsible favorably to humor."
Pryvett was roused from his slit-eyed sniper's observation of the scene when he received a spine-straightening slap on the back. He looked to his side and saw a grinning moon-faced idiot who had no pupils in his eyes. "Say fella," the idiot intoned, "do you... feel you make... a difference here?" The idiot's smile broadened, growing exponentially more maniacal. "I once had TB... and I continued to work..."
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 231 sub-section 19(f): "Try empathize with the rabble by saying such things as 'I used to work such low-level jobs, too,' whether or not it's true."
A shift manager called the un-unemployed to order as the gaggle of idiots reformed behind her. Pryvett stood near one of the few attractive females of Workplace Inc., a lithe hillbilly chick who had a great body -- perpetually clad in a tight wife-beater tanktop shirts and cutoff shorts -- but who had strangely large, mannish hands and spoke with a disconcertingly masculine voice. She appealed to Pryvett's sensibilities due to the complex attraction/aversion cycle she aroused in him.

The shift manager said: "To celebrate this warehouse going fourteen months without a workplace injury--"

Pryvett thought, Come on! Bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus--

"-- we're going to give each of you a baseball cap and T-shirt to say 'Thanks!'"

The idiots zestily applauded.
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 469 sub-section 5(x): "The rabble respond favorably to gifts of trinkets and cheap clothing, which also serve as cost savings measures from actual monetary rewards."
The lithe hillbilly chick said to the paeon next to her, "They should give out tanktops instead of T-shirts!"

The spot ceremony was adjourned, though quickly readjourned. The enthusiasm exuded only moments before by the shift manager was visibly missing, as she said, "Sorry, I had meant to say that you will each receive either a baseball cap or a T-shirt."

A collective rasping, resigned, groan circulated among the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc.

As Pryvett returned to his station to resume the grinding wait until quitting time, he overheard an idiot remarking to a shift supervisor, "Going fourteen months without a workplace injury is fine, but this warehouse is so untidy. You should have the workers sweep up during their breaks."

The insectile hum of the idiots moved from the main area of the Workplace Inc. warehouse the far wall where the punch-clock was mounted. There was a strange intonation of excitement amid the jittering and muttering, as though an issue had been identified. A moment later the idiots began to raise their arms and remove the posters affixed to the bulletin board near the punch-clock -- the workplace motivational posters, the fifth generation photocopied faxes stating the month's productivity numbers, all-caps threats composed by the plant manager regarding pilferage, workplace drunkenness, tardiness, solicitation, mopery and the use of firearms.

An impromptu verdict floated back from the idiots: "This signage has been improperly affixed! These were fastened with two pins per item, but should have been more properly secured with four pins."
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 666 sub-section 13(z): "Always, always, always, always -- no matter how pristine the workplace, no matter how competent and motivated and efficient the rabble -- always, always, always find something wrong with the place of work so that a visit may be concluded with a reprimand and promises from the rabble to try and work ever harder."

It takes a corporation to raise a child.

-- Pryvett

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Haris Pilton and the evaporating "Get Out of Jail Free!" Card

From POSTED: 0256 GMT (1056 HKT), June 8, 2007:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- She was taken handcuffed and crying from her home. She was escorted into court disheveled, without makeup, hair askew and face red with tears.

Crying out for her mother when she was ordered back to jail, Paris Hilton's cool, glamorous image evaporated Friday as she gave the impression of a little girl lost in a merciless legal system.

"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Hilton. "Mom!" she called out to Kathy Hilton, who also was in tears.
The sheriff later hinted at a news conference that Hilton had psychological problems, and said she would be watched in jail "so that there isn't anything that is harmfully done to herself by herself."
Yes, the soulless heiress of the Hilton fortune has a psychological disorder. It's called Affluenza, complicated with being a natural born cunt. To the sheriff who freed her (with probable hopes of receiving cash or a blow-job) Haris Pilton's response to jail is what is known in the business as "deterrence." If it was fun going to jail, who would obey the law? And we want people to obey laws -- even over-indulged skanks who have more money than many countries in this world -- because without abeyance to laws, we'd have anarchy.

Pilton's reaction to jail is how most of us would respond to anarchy. So, this little wretch does not get to reorganize our society to suit her whims, she must obey the law like the rest of us.

Special kudos must go to Rick and Kathy Pilton for giving the world this little trainwreck in high heels. The devil himself could not have created a more loathsome, self-absorbed cretin. This socialite-termite-parasite has taken up far too much space in our collective consciousness. All we can hope is that when her jail sentence is completed that she immediately reoffend and crash her BMW into a bronze statue of Zsa Zsa Gabor, wiping herself, Haris Pilton, out once and for all.

I wish every ill upon the house of Hilton. Every pox and affliction. This toilet spawn known as Haris Pilton will hopefully spend eternity in a hereafter inside a Dollar Store with no exits or cellphone coverage.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

bacon; charity

I was possessed by the Holy Spirit today at work -- realizing that my first anniversary is approaching, I got thinking that I'd like to mark the occasion in a special way. Going out for lunch with colleagues is always fun, but I'm the type who wants to leave this world a better place than how I found it, and one more Thai lunch in my system won't do much in the way of that. Then came an idea, which prompted me to write an email message:
To: cafeteria_person@workplace.yah

From: myself@workplace.yah

Subject: bacon; charity

I have what may seem like a strange question, but I am genuinely curious – how much would a stainless steel bin of bacon cost me?

I go to the cafeteria each morning for coffee and the smell of the bacon is unbelievable. My first anniversary is approaching and I would like perform a small charity event where I would eat a bin of cafeteria bacon in order to raise awareness.

If the cost is outlandish, I may have to rethink my small celebration.

The stainless steel bin holds, probably, a couple hundred strips of bacon. With the right amount of coffee, air conditioning and Grand Funk Railroad cassette tapes, I could eat the entire thing handily.

My idea is to expand the event somewhat and have local celebrities sit at the table with me in ten-minute increments. My personal picks would be news anchor Carolyn Clifford, former Detroit Piston Kelly Tripucka, sports commentator George Blaha, A-Channel weather woman Julie Atchison, newswoman Anna Vlachos, and D.O.C.'s famous Richard Goldman -- who would be most welcome to show up in a muscle shirt and do one-arm push-ups near the table.

My wife says that if I do perform this act of charity, I can't go home that evening. It amazes me that she even doubts I could eat a stainless steel bin of bacon. Actually, she doesn't really doubt that I could do, she's just not will to witness the consequences. But I don't foresee any unusual physical complications. I not only plan to work through the rest of that anniversay day following the bacon-charity-eat, but having lunch, as well. Maybe Thai food.

For some reason the binful of bacon is a greater distractor than I would have guessed. People who hear about my tentative plan are focused on the feat itself and not on the most important detail -- raising awareness for charity. As one wise friend and colleague stated today, "The awareness isn't going to raise itself." Too true, too true. If a binful of bacon and I can make some small dent in that, I would consider the feat a roaring success.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

God Created Yuppie Parents ... and Then Wept

Before he'd even had his first shit of the day, God already knew that he would create the universe and numerous worlds within it -- among them a particularly hemorrhoidal little globe whose inhabitants would name it "Earth." He also knew that Earth wouldn't really work out, that he would then use this pristine foreknowledge to pre-empt all the problems that would mar Earth, but realized the malicious psychoses of Earth's inhabitants would simply bleed around all the changes and amendments made to fix the problems. Finally, God just thought, "Fuck it."

During this fit of foreknowledge, God also saw that he would create a man named Job and would torment the hell out of him at the goading of Satan. God felt bad about this, thought of simply never letting the shameful episode happen, then came up with an idea to really poke a stick in Satan's eye: God would create yuppie parents, the most loving, giving, life-promoting, open-minded people of all his creation.

God was so caught up with sticking it to Satan that he believed his own momentary fantasy about them rather than his flat-panel-clear-foreknowledge of yuppie parents' true nature.

After flushing the toilet, God mixed his first Rusty Nail of the day -- the notion that one should never booze alone or before noon had not yet been created; God would create that last of all. He sat down at his large, cartoonist's drawing table and decided that he would create Earth that day.

Maybe it was the quality of his bowel movement, maybe the precise measurements of his Rusty Nail were off, or maybe God simply got carried away wanting to fuck with Satan. Whatever it was, God decided that he would create a pair of yuppie parents, right on the spot, to consult on the creation of Earth.

Upon gaining consciousness in God's workshop, the first thing Mackenzie and Brayden asked for was a low-fat grande green tea macchiato with a spritz of goat's milk, a venti half-decaf latte with no-fat milk and jasmine-flavored cereal bars.

God looked upon his creation. Rather than thinking "It is good," something in him wondered just what the fuck he had done.

He gave them each tumblers brimming with cloudy tap water and a bowl of shelled peanuts, instead.

(Although God did not create the child who was necessary to make Mackenzie and Brayden literal parents, he did implant in their minds the full knowledge and experience of their two year old daughter, Neveah, who was spending the weekend with her maternal grandmother.)

God sketched out the basic look and feel of Earth for Mackenzie and Brayden. Luckily, God was an excellent illustrator, so the yuppies caught on to his aesthetic very quickly. When God began explaining the physical laws governing Earth, however, Mackenzie and Brayden frowned and shook their heads.

God stopped. "What?" he said with more impatience than he intended.

A pained look came over Mackenzie's pixie face, "Well," she said -- more a whine than an actual word. She spoke with maddening hesitancy. "You know this 'gravity' that's going to keep everything stuck to Earth? I don't know if you really thought this through enough."

God stared at her, stunned, annoyed.

"I don't think you realize," said Brayden in the identical pussified tone of his wife, "that this 'gravity' might keep cars on the road, but it might also cause little Neveah to fall off a swing or off her bike. That would be dangerous."

"We can't have that!" Mackenzie burst in. "Children are the hope of the future!"

Brayden nodded and said, "Safety first."

As God explained the intricacies of the human anatomy and its numerous redundant fail-safe systems for balance and dexterity, Mackenzie interrupted. "Could we go back to how people will populate Earth in the first place?"

God gaped.

Brayden said, "I don't think you realize just how filthy some of our body parts really are. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy urinating through my penis immensely, but how are we ever going to explain to little Neveah all the workings of her vagina -- that monthly bleeding thing, gallopian tubes --"

"Fallopian," God corrected.

"-- and how boys are going to want to touch her breasts?" Brayden bristled. "Did you ever think how uncomfortable this is going to be for me and Mackenzie?"

God explained the need for strong sexual attraction among human beings in order for the race to perpetuate itself.

Mackenzie interrupted: "I think I got a little ahead of myself. The first thing of all we should discuss is 'death.' Yeah, that just doesn't work for me. I mean, life is precious, it's a blessing -- why would you want to kill a blessing? I don't understand."

Brayden opened his mouth and said, "I don't think you realize what it will be like trying to explain 'death' to little Neveah. Do you really want to create a world where she might see her beloved Nana lying dead in a coffin?"

"Yes, I must really object to that," Mackenzie said, tears coming to her eyes. "It's completely inappropriate for children, and very upsetting to me. Didn't you ever consider our feelings?"

"And if 'gravity' keeps cars on the road, and gravity keeps people on the ground," Brayden said, growing heated, "have you considered what might happen if the driver of a car doesn't see little Neveah crossing a street?" His voice broke as he said "street."

Mackenzie's hand flew to her mouth. She glared at God. "If a driver didn't see little Neveah, that would mean... oh goodness --"

"What kind of psychopath are you?" Brayden said to God.

"And what about disease?" Mackenzie cried. "What kind of degenerate would want a child to become sick? Possibly even sick enough to die?"

"Yeah," Brayden said, rubbing Mackenzie's thigh. "I think you're way off-base with this entire world."

God explained the intricacies and redundant fail-safe systems comprising the human immune system.

"I don't think you realize," Brayden said, "that Neveah could get a sniffle and innocently -- and so adorably -- wipe her nose with her hand --"

"As children will do!" Mackenzie blurted. "They're just children after all!"

"-- and how she could wipe bacteri-ites --"

"Bacteria," God said.

"-- on her nose. She could inhale these and the next thing we know she's got brain cancer!"

"What kind of monster are you?" Mackenzie screeched at God.

"You're no one I'd want within a hundred yards of little Neveah," Brayden said, putting his arm around Mackenzie's shoulder. "You've got some very sick ideas."

"Sick!" Mackenzie wailed.

"Killing children, ejaculation, afterbirth smeared on babies' heads, cancer, gravity," Brayden said, his voice rising with every word. "You ought to be locked up!"

"Somebody should put a microchip under your skin so we can track your movements," Mackenzie wept.

Brayden rose from his chair and helped Mackenzie to her feet. They walked toward the door. At the door, Brayden turned -- Mackenzie cowering brokenly against him. "Yeah, and by the way, those animals you're thinking of creating -- they look ridiculous. Walking around on four legs and covered with hair? They're absolutely pornographic!"

Brayden and Mackenzie showed themselves out of God's house.

God sat at his cartoonist's drawing table looking after them. He felt a sinus headache coming on. He was suddenly very glad he'd said nothing about his son, Jesus, to the yuppie parents.

God rose to make himself another Rusty Nail. Later he would go into his backyard, shovel up some dog shit and throw it over the fence onto Satan's property. That would have to suffice for revenge for the moment.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Persistence of Pryvett

Autumn in Windsor, 1982. Book-learning resumed on the university campus and history majors and film students were a-buzz with the viewing of Triumph of the Will, German director Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda documentaries on the 1936 Nazi Nuremberg Rallies. Anticipation was heightened by letters of protest appearing in the campus newspaper, The Lance, from a Jewish group denouncing the screening.

As with all such protestations against film and other art forms, the modest outcry against showing Triumph of the Will ensured every seat in the Lambton Tower auditorium was filled.

Among the audience was Pryvett Rawgers, pompadour in full fall bryl brilliance.

The mood in the auditorium was a mix of amped-up academic anticipation, a strange, silent solemnity and carnival gawkery -- the air charged like an electric fence being urinated upon by a dog.

The man making the presentation, Reg Hart, was renowned for his collection of underground films: racist Warner Bros. cartoons, surrealist works by Salvador Dali, as well as reels of raw propaganda. He was famous among repertory theatres throughout Ontario as much for his exhaustive collection as for his iron-clad contracts -- you hired one of Reg Hart's films, you get its proprietor and his introductions to the films. No negotiation.

"You don't like it," Reg was known to say, "I'll just take my film and go home!"

As repertory theatres disappeared through the 1970s, Reg eventually had audiences of strangers into his house to view his collection.

And on this occasion, the University of Windsor had brought him to town for a couple of days.

As Reg took the podium at the front of the crowded hall, a few latecomers straggled in. One of them was a girl with a half-shaved head; the stubble side decorated with patches of color.

"Hey man," Pryvett's friend muttered, elbowing Pryvett in the ribs, "is that a feminist or a cheetah? I can't tell!" To which Pryvett brayed laughter; the incendiary, suppressed laughter that threatens to break out at churches, during funerals -- wherever and whenever laughter is verboten.

Reg Hart glared into the audience, immediately picking out Pryvett. "You, in the third row!" Reg shouted. "Do you think Nazism is funny?"

"Of course not!" Pryvett said, slowly regaining his composure.

"I don't think you should be here."

"Hey, I paid my money," Pryvett said. "I've been waiting to see this film for a long time!"

"It's my film," Reg spat, "and I'm not going to show it to someone who thinks this is funny."

"Look, I'll move to the back so I won't distract you," Pryvett said, beginning to rise.

"Fuck you, Reg!" someone called out. "You're the fucking Nazi, trying to tell this guy what to do!"

"Yeah," other voices joined in.

Pryvett remained in his seat.

"Why don't you sit down Hitler and just show the goddamned movie?!"

At which point several people jumped to their feet, giving Nazi salutes, shouting, "Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"

Under the cover of the chaos, Pryvett left his seat and retreated further back in the auditorium. He laughed to himself thinking that the girl with the half-shaved head had no idea the commotion had all began with a joke about her peacock scalp.

Reg Hart shouted into his microphone, "If this doesn't stop right now, I'm taking my film and going home!"

The audience quieted and someone said, "Hey, see, the guy left, so you can continue."

Seeing the seat of the offending miscreant in the third row was, indeed, vacated, Reg Hart continued with his lengthy introduction and Triumph of the Will was finally shown.

The following day the headline on the front page of The Lance read: "Ruckus at Nazi Film Screening!" Classmates of Pryvett's asked him, "Was that you?" To which Pryvett replied, "Uh, no, it was some agitators from the Humane Society."

That evening Pryvett returned to the Lambton Tower auditorium for a screening of a Salvador Dali film. This time Pryvett wore a baseball cap over his distinctive pompadour. However, the moment he entered among the crowd, Reg Hart, standing by the podium, scrutinizing the audience, pointed and shouted, "You!"

Caught, Pryvett approached Reg and explained the nature of his laughter the previous evening. In the calmer air of the second evening's screening, he accepted Pryvett's explanation and they agreed to meet for a Löwenbräu at the campus pub after Dali's The Persistence of Memory.