Sunday, June 22, 2008

Superhero training

Today I had a prepaid Greater Union movie coupon to be used up by the 24th, so I went off the most convenient of their cinema complexes (Parramatta) to see... whatever was on at a convenient time.

Hard on the heels of "Ironman", I ended up choosing "The Incredible Hulk", a sequel-of-sorts to the controversial (and expensive) flop of a few years ago, "Hulk". I say a sequel-of-sorts because the whole cast has been replaced. While I enjoyed Eric Bana's performance as Bruce Banner in the first film, I really enjoyed Edward Norton in this one! Ditto the new Betty, the former Lady Arwen of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Liv Tyler!

Also excellent were the many cameos and links to previous versions of the Hulk legend: the rejection of some purple pants; a clip of TV's David Banner, actor Bill Bixby, in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"; the return of TV's Hulk, Lou Ferrigno as a security guard; the cameo and name drop of a university student named McGee; and the poignant "Lonely Man" theme music that played during the TV series. Not to mention the sudden appearance of another Marvel character in the final moments, seemingly a harbinger of an eventual "Avengers" motion picture?

It was a worthwhile few hours spent in the dark.

Maybe I should have considered how wise it was to wear a silver-logo "Superman" jacket to a Marvel film, but I'd quite forgotten what was on the back of my jacket until my courageous rescue of a mother and her baby on the train coming home! When the train pulled into Parramatta Station, several people alighted and new passengers started to get on. Suddenly two women appeared in the vestibule area, essentially blocking my way in, but seemingly ignoring my suggestions that I assist them to dismount the train.

"Do you need help getting out?" I asked again, but no one was answering.

When it seemed obvious at least one of the women was slooooooooooowly attempting to get off the train, I got back on the platform to lift her pram out. Still she wasn't moving - were the two prams locked together? Why was I being ignored?

The guard announced that doors were closing and I had no choice but to lean on the door, keeping it open, and scream out "Two prams coming off!" in both directions, being unsure exactly where the guard's compartment was located on this particular train. After the third announcement, neither woman was making an effort to leave. Admittedly, I was essentially blocking half of the entrance, but that was all that was preventing the train from leaving, and there was still plenty of room to get out... if only someone would move! Eventually, I grabbed the pram nearest to me and pulled it towards me and the open door.

"But I don't want to get off," the owner of that pram said quietly.

"Well, you'll need to get out of the other woman's way," I replied, exasperated.

Finally the other woman allowed me to lift her pram out of the train and the other woman returned to her seat. The train was finally on its way. I guess the woman who wasn't getting off had tried unsuccessfully to get out of the other woman's way as they approached Parramatta, but I was flabbergasted that they had the survival instincts of beached fish. I recall my mother being extremely well prepared for train journeys in my youth, and she was never shy about getting off a train, being ready for her station, and/or accepting assistance from strangers.

As I entered the main compartment to finally choose a seat a disgruntled fellow passenger commented under his breath, "Have you finished holding up the train now? Can we close the doors?"

"Oh," he noticed as I passed (refusing to make eye contact with him and hoping not to exacerbate the situation). "He even has the right symbol..."

Yep, it's hard being a superhero.

Sunday's magic number: 94.0 - and so it goes...

No comments: