Monday, October 06, 2008

Slice of life

One thing I actually retained from a class in French cinema about ten years ago was this: when film exploded, the early cameras, cinematographs, only had a short amount of film (46 seconds), so you could only do so much with your reel. A lot of those films were actualités, short slices of life, like a lot of blogs.

Here's what happened. I was out at the mall with Sarah, Alex, and a couple of grandparents. We had finished our swing through the department stores and were on our way out. Sarah's dad decided to duck into Eddie Bauer, which is right in front of a wishing well. I stayed with the stroller and helped Alex check it out without falling in. It's pretty, especially when the koi are in there. I didn't see them tonight.

While I was holding Alex, I noticed a couple of teens dressed in what I assume is the à la mode slacker/stoner fashion. I did not witness them doing drugs, but they might have earlier. It would explain a lot.

The one with long messy hair was fishing around in the fountain stealing coins, and picking them off the rocks. What happens to a wish deferred? I remember throwing coins into the same fountain (the part without the koi) when I visited for interviews, and later with Sarah on our house-hunting trip. The bleached blond dude might have been a lookout, but he wasn't doing much of a job.

I almost said something to the guys. Instead I stood there and thought about the example they were setting for my son. I didn't feel like they injured my sense of community... more like offended my sense of propriety. The nerve! I don't think Alex really understood though. No harm done.

Near the end, the guy stealing coins rolled up his sleeve at one point to put his arm way down in the muck. He looked through them for a second, then shook out the water and rolled the sleeve back down. Shortly thereafter, him and his friend headed towards Eddie Bauer.

From behind my left, two police officers appeared, following them, and motioned to three others coming from the right. They caught up with the kids right at the entrance. I didn't see or hear much of the conversation after that, but I did see them cuffing the blond kid as we left. I was surprised that it escalated to that level over what is basically pocket change. Maybe they were repeat offenders.

The part of the story that doesn't make sense to me is why in heaven's name they thought they would get away with it. If you can rely on people like me not to make an issue of it, that's one thing. But the fountain sits in the nerve center of the mall. It has 360 degrees of visibility on the floor and you can see it 360 degrees from the banistered walkways on the next floor up. It is next to the elevator to the food court. There is a lot of foot traffic.

Were they high? Maybe the blond kid got cuffed for possession?

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