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I have never arrived half an hour early for a movie. But for “The Waiting Room,” the first True/False film of the weekend, I did.
Yet I didn’t even get close to almost getting in.
Volunteers pointed me toward a line of patrons waiting for their reserved tickets; still, I shamefully crossed the lobby of the Tiger Hotel to the column with a huge ‘Q’ plastered to it.
But I was too late. The Q numbers had already been passed out. As show time grew closer, more and more hopeful audience members showed up, most holding green slips of paper with their Q numbers on them.
I sat in Velvet Cupcake next door, listening to the shop’s employees converse with their customers about the mass crowds of hungry movie-goers T/F had already started bringing in. When volunteers started admitting those in the Q, loud cheers, mixed with louder groans, resounded throughout the lobby.
Finally, when the last few lucky patrons had gone into the makeshift theater, those who hadn’t made the cut for the first documentary of the weekend poured out of the hotel.
One of these disappointed fans was West Junior High School science teacher John Jacobs, who arrived 45 minutes before the film. Unlike me, he actually got a Q number—number 97.
“Once we saw the number… I knew it was going to be pretty difficult, because they usually let 30 or 40 people in with Q system,” Jacobs said.
“They way over-Q’d, which is a little disappointing,” his wife added.
But the Jacobs weren’t really disgruntled with the Q system. He said they should have come an hour and a half before the film started.
“They have it down to a pretty good science,” he said. “This is only the second time in three years that we have not been able to get into a movie with the Q line.”
I didn’t know because I’d never been in the Q before. I guess a T/F movie just requires a four-hour commitment instead of the traditional two for any old movie. Then again, it’s only one weekend out of the year’s 52. I’ll spare the extra hours. Lesson one of T/F learned.
Also, it’s always better to opt for the tiramisu cupcake at Red Velvet. Absolutely not the rum-green-sprinkles-with-a-clover-on-top ones with the clever but forgettable name. Lesson two for this weekend’s True/False-ing. I added the green mini-cake to my list of “Good to Experience Just Once” cupcakes (s’mores and some other fruity abnormality were already on there.)
I didn’t get to learn about Oakland, Calif.’s hospitals, but at least I gained insight on which cupcakes are better than others.
By Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj