Below me Reds

I used to work as a projectionist at a dollar theater
it was one of the best shit jobs I’ve ever had
I didnt have to be there until 1pm
I could be alone for a large portion of my shift
I was in the dark for 90% of it (barring a few cigarette breaks)
and once I started the next round of showings
I could sleep on the extra movie seats the other projectionists
and I had fashioned into a couch

but the best part of this barely over minimum wage nightmare
were thursday nights
a full night of work
building the new arrivals for friday

part of this elaborate construction process was that
after closing someone had to watch them all
to make sure that splices were in the right spots
and run upstairs to fix them if they broke
we had pretty crappy equipment
most of which was rigged together

so quality assurance was crucial for the next days business

we had little get togethers on thursday nights
we had full run of the theater
the ushers
the closing manager (who would normally get beer for those that wanted it)
we would all invite a few friends to watch whatever crappy movies had come in
thursday nights were awesome
a regular smoke filled mystery science theater

one thursday night in particular
a friend of mine when cornered with a particulary scathing insult
blurted out “my shoes are BELOW ME”
This was his usual response for when he knew he’d been bested.

This time
no sooner had the words left his mouth
his nose started bleeding profusely
as if someone had punched him squarely in the nose
everyone who was close enough to witness this spectacle
doubled over with laughter
in response
he quickly grabbed one of the collapsed cardboard popcorn boxes
in his own blood
scrawled the words

“too much caffiene, nicotine, and sodium”

then began dancing his best vaudeville softshoe
with his newly created signage
all the while
his head back
fingers pinching his nose to keep the blood from running out