Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Watch Your Bag

This evening I was meeting a friend at one of the cineplexes on the Champs-Elysées to see Sex and the City. I didn't have too long a wait in line, thankfully. But just as I reached the ticket desk, a French woman with two young boys stopped by the side of the desk. I was worried at first that she was a line-jumper. Unfortunately not. "Excusez-moi," she asked the attendant, "but did anyone by chance find a cell phone in Salle 1? I was just watching a movie there and now my cell phone is missing."

The expected flurry of activity and exchanges took place. Did you go back to look for it? Are you sure you left it there, madame, etc etc. The mother replied "I turned off my cell phone as the movie was beginning and put it in my pocketbook. Then as we were leaving I went to retrieve it to turn it back on, and it wasn't in my bag. We returned to where were had been sitting but the phone wasn't anywhere."

Uh-oh. It reminded me that in some movie theaters an announcement comes on the screen prior to the featured film to warn theater-goers to keep their personal belongings on their lap.

I have a friend, a lifelong Parisian, who was at the movies this winter and absentmindedly set her firmly buckled pocketbook on the floor by her feet. When she left the cinema with her husband, she went to pay for the parking and pulled out her wallet. There wasn't a cent in it. She had bought the tickets earlier, and knew she had had at least 50 euros in her wallet. During the movie someone had sneaked under her seat, removed the wallet, taken the money, and replaced the wallet! Sadly, it's not an uncommon tale, but it leaves me baffled.

Do these thieves wear night goggles or something? How do they do it? How do they crawl so stealthily under the seats and not get noticed?

Needless to say, watching Sex and the City and all the Louis Vuitton pocketbooks and designer accessories it featured, I sat in my darkened cinema seat for two hours clutching my hum-drum pocketbook on my knees as if it were as precious as ... a diamond ring.


Victoria said...

good to know, but what did you think of the movie?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Although this was not a cerebral kinda movie, a couple of thoughts did go through my head as I watched.

I loved the series, and this was basically like a whole season in one sitting. So I hoped they didn't overspend the budget just because it's on the big screen.

It was a fun romp. But some of the plot-drivers and "tense moments" were implausible to me, maybe because I've been living in France an my attitude has changed?

Too much fashion product placement.

Mairi Campbell singing Auld Lang Syne moved me to tears.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh, still waiting to see the movie...must do that soon.

Can't believe the audacity of those thieves! Seriously, how do they sneak under the seats without being noticed??

Antonin said...

Yes. It happened to my wife too last winter. She noticed her bag had been looked in during the movie - which kind of wasted it.. With the cheap monthly movies pass, it is cheap to get into a relatively empty movie theater and sneak under the seats. The theater can get quite illuminated if the picture is full of whites...

Who is Mary Blake? said...

I think they use a long hook. It happened to me the night before my first one-person-show. I went to see "Lips of Blood" on Les Champs because one of my best friends had composed the music. There weren't more then ten of us in the theatre- family and me (I thought) so I wasn't worried about my bag. When the film was over - my bag was gone-also the spectators on the last row.
I've kept my bag on my knees ever since.
Besides loosing keys, passport, and the little money I had at the time, I still remember how embarrassed I was making the police report.
The inspector asked me what the name of the film was.
I said, "I don't remember.'
He opened up the news paper.
Eyes wide "He gasped,"Lips of Blood."

Anna said...

Sex and the City got very poor reveiws here in UK. One amused me - it basically said "What sex? ....or what passes for sex scenes in the puritanical US. Not a patch on how the French do erotic." (Not an exact quote.) Perhaps the "sex scenes" are played by the designer bags. Just a thought...

Samantha said...

I went to see this movie with my mom (we watch the show together) and she reminded me not to put my purse under my seat just as it started. I loved the movie but I also thought it was a bit too sad. It would have been better were it a little more upbeat.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Hi Mary,
I never would have thought about long hooks. But how do they put the wallets back?

You're right that the monthly pass is a ticket to ride for thieves. A bad side effect of an otherwise good program.

Anna and Samantha,
As for the movie, I did like it, but Samantha you are so right, it tries to be upbeat and happily-ever-after but is fundamentally sad and left me feeling mournful and empty. I just told a friend (in the throes of a divorce)to NOT go see it.

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