1. Staring out at images from decades gone by.
2. I was on cruise control and headed for a wall
3. His mouth was cotton balls and sawdust

“In the meantime,” the pudgy little man said, “please enjoy this recorded music. Our program will resume in just a moment.” He was lying, of course, but what was he going to say? Several of the people in the audience had already left by the time he got to this, the tenth rendering of the unwelcome announcement.

It was early days then, and we’d all been excited as hell to go watch a live television show. They’d warned us as we stood in line outside the theater that we might see a glitch or two, and “Droopsy’s Kiddie Klubhouse” wouldn’t have been my first choice for a program anyway, but we stuck it out and ended up in the fifth row. The auditorium wasn’t all that big, so Row Five meant we were about a third of the way back.

Row Four seemed to be filled entirely with little girls in green dresses and badge sashes, with a gargoyle similarly dressed guarding each end of the row.

Our view of the stage was somewhat compromised due to an abundance of large hats atop what appeared to be large women in the very front, but with some careful maneuvering, I found that I could see the spotlighted stage as long as I rested my left elbow on the armrest and my left ear on my fist. It wasn’t comfortable, and I didn’t hold out much hope for the content of the show, but it was an event, you know.

The first few minutes weren’t too bad, really, but at fourteen I was way past the kiddie stuff, and when “technical difficulties” caused the entertainment to take this long pause, I found myself looking around the theater and staring at images from decades gone by. There were a lot of lights ad cameras and other things I couldn’t identify, but my eye was caught more by the theater itself.

There were cherubs on the ceiling, for cryin’ out loud, and dark red draperies every place you could possible hang a curtain.

The proportions were all wrong, though. Once I thought of it, I could see that this little theater with its awkward seating and oddly-shaped stage, was a remnant of some older, more elegant place. I imagined opera singers or bawdy-hall comics here.