So unfortunately my weekend was pretty bad, and I blame Shannon. She is my best friend since 1986, and even though we now have jobs and are not in high school anymore (to put it mildly), I see her almost every single day. So when she fell victim to the croup last week, I knew it was probably a matter of time before I was sick, too. And I was right. Coughing, dizziness — both were a part of my weekend, so I mostly just slept, and don’t have anything awesome to write about, weekend-wise. Except maybe my hair, which reacted to not being washed or brushed for three days with a remarkable otherworldliness that was quite amazing to behold.
But rather than write about my hair, I will instead take this downtime to share with you all an excellent way to spend your weekend, should you have access to a tiny friend with wonderful improv skills. I speak again of Shannon. When she told me before Halloween that she was going to be Samara from “The Ring,” I thought, Awesome! Samara scares the CRAP out of me, for real. At that point in time, all my brother Eric had to do to was pretend to be Samara coming out of the TV, and I would scream and flail about, unable to deal with my fears.
So although I was excited for Shannon’s costume, I was not prepared, not at all, for the complete transformation I was about to witness. We were spending Halloween at my local bar, Stingers. I had already arrived there with Babz (we were dressed as Sid and Nancy; I was Nancy) and a couple of other friends.
And then — THEN — in walks…SAMARA!!! There she was, Shannon, but not at all Shannon anymore. She was Samara, plain and simple. Her normally curly red hair was replaced by a wig in the form of Samara’s hair exactly, and she had on a little girl white nightgown. And what of her face you could see was pale and scary. All night long, she kept her eyes dead, and she walked haltingly, like Attack-Mode Samara. People were TERRIFIED. Drunk guys were trying to not let on that they were scared of the tiny girl jerking around the bar, and drunk girls were crying. I’m not kidding.
Fast forward to March 2005, when the magic of Samara was revived. And I’m not talking about “The Ring 2.” Although I sort of am, so never mind. Opening night, Shannon informs me that she will be reprising her role as Samara at the movie theater. I didn’t know whether to believe her or not, because although she did a bang-up job on Halloween, that was Halloween, and everyone was drunk. Shannon, growing up, was a very shy girl, and even now, though she is more outgoing, I did not expect her to go to a movie theater dressed in a nightgown and wig.
But she did! And the payoff was fantastic. She was greeted by millions of screams in the movie theater, which was packed for opening night. Everyone was asking for a picture in his/her cell phone, a request that she obliged silently. She did not break character ONCE. Did not speak, did not smile — NOTHING. We sat behind a 10-year-old boy and his father, and the boy leaned farther and farther away from us as the movie went on, and every time a scary part came, he gave us an apprehensive look. It was awesome.
Afterwards, not only did the manager refund our money, but he gave us his flashlight and told us to go scare the people in the later showing. Again, there was much screaming, but this time, applause as well.
Energized by the enthusiastic response, we decided to take the show on the road! We didn’t know if the people in the neighboring multiplex would let us in, but the security guard found us funny, if bewildering. He let us in the back entrance to a theater with 400 seats! The multiplex had four showings going on, and he let us into each one, and as the evening wore on, we’d developed an entourage complete with security guards, concession stand boys, and random girls who may or may not have worked there.
Each movie theater brought with it a new bout of awesomeness. Laughing, screaming…one guy flipped over the ledge to get away from Samara! We thought he was just being dramatic, but when we looked at him, he was staring straight ahead, trying to catch his breath. I think maybe he was high.
When all was said and done, a very fun night was had, and it was well worth the trip (Geddit — well?). I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. So again, if you or someone you know has the ability to stay in character all night long, take a trip to your local movie theater and scare some people.
© March 28, 2005