Anyway, I had an interesting day. First I had my second appointment for fillings, which was over quickly even though I was late--unfortunately I had wanted to break in the new cross-trainers that I'd bought, but I was having such a hard time wrestling with the laces and the crumply balls of paper inside the toes that I just said to hell with it and wore my ratty old sneakers. Then we blew way too much money at Let's Get Organized, walked the dogs, and went to the theater.
In fact, they opened the doors early for us, because they were nice enough to not make us stand outside in the heat, even though we're stupid enough to think the movie starts at one instead of one-thirty. So there we are, mistaken about the movie time and with half an hour to kill, sitting at a table in what might be loosely termed an "arcade."
"Hey--I think I just saw something--look, there behind the thing!" The thing being a game machine. I was the one who saw it: "Look--there it goes again! It's a rat, or--a chipmunk? It has stripes!"
So Mom went and got the manager, because, well, we figured they needed to know. But first she came back with a lesser employee off whom I am pretty sure I could score some weed if I wanted it.
DUDE: "Ma'am, you... you want a live animal? We don't... we don't have live animals here."
MOM: "No, YOU HAVE a live animal--look, back there! There it goes again!"
CLEO: "It has stripes!"
So he really goes and gets the manager ("Dude, we got a wild animal back here!"), who comes over and looks around and I tell him that the chipmunk ("I think it's a chipmunk." "Why would we have a chipmunk?" "It has stripes!") is currently cornered under the machine to the far left, and he goes off to prop one of the front doors open so that it can get back out. I personally think that this is not a very effective plan, as this leaves the chipmunk to choose between 1) popcorn and 2) gravel. And then I shriek (it was only a little shriek! a shriek of bestartlement!) because here it comes running right at me.
The chipmunk (and it is a chipmunk, and it does have stripes) immediately makes a U-turn and races down the hall. I'm in hot pursuit because no one else is around and I figure someone's got to follow and see where it goes, but I'm halfway down the hall when I basically trip out of my ratty old left sneaker, because I keep them tied really loose so that I can just slip them on and off. Well, I sacrificed my future as a chipmunk hunter for comfort, convenience and nostalgia, because I fell to my knees and lost sight of the chipmunk right as it ran towards the vestibule of a screening room, but I didn't see which of the two doors it went through, or if it even ran behind one of them.
Here's the thing. A lot of times when you're telling a story, you'll tweak the details so it'll be funnier, or scarier, or more shocking, or more effective. That's what storytelling is basically about. What I want you to know is that, hand to God, this is what actually happened:
The chipmunk ran into the theater for Over the Hedge.
The manager came running after me and was not happy when I told him that, while I wasn't sure which side of the theater the chipmunk was on, I was absolutely certain it went into or towards that theater, because I saw it well inside the vestibule. He looks at me and frets, "Awww, great, that's where all the kids are gonna be!"
Well, there wasn't anything I could do at that point, because I didn't think my leet chipmunk traxx0r skillz were going to do me any good in a large dark stadium theater. All I know is, there is a high likelihood that some kid's perception of reality was warped forever on the afternoon of May 23rd. "MOM THIS SQUIRREL CAME OUTTA THE MOVIE AND BIT ME COS HE'S HUNGRY! CAN I KEEP HIM?!!"
ETA: Have you heard the tiny moist hand story? It's way better.