Curmudgeons on Parade: A Column by Hallie Dolin
I’m pretty sure that every Cleveland resident has spent the past two months strutting around, bursting with pride and boasting to everyone who’ll listen that the Captain America sequel is being filmed in our fair city. I should know; I did exactly the same thing until Morty the Campus Mugger got tired of my “yakking,” as he put it, and popped me in the face. One hospital visit and about $750 in co-pays later, I decided to direct my pride into a more productive outlet and see what else I could find out about the movie over the summer.
Unfortunately, no one’s biting. I tried everything from bribery to flat-out international extortion, but I couldn’t see anything interesting for love or money. I could stand on the sidelines and watch, but it turns out that filmed car chases are slow, fake, and really slow to get the ol’ adrenaline pumping.
Also, film crews kind of frown upon students writing messages on their bellies, yanking their shirts up like in The Dukes of Hazzard, and doing the Macarena in the middle of the street. I thought it would get me a position as an extra, but surprisingly it didn’t. No restraining order, though – there’s still hope!
It was a lot easier to just go on with my life and stop rubbernecking after that – or it would have been, had the stupid film crews not taken up every goddamn street from here to Tower City. Since I have, sadly, neither a driver’s license nor a car in which to put a fake license, I have to take the bus everywhere. The smell of the bus on a good day is a decent enough reason to avoid going places, but the filming made it much, much worse.
The Detours from Hell started at the end of May, when I needed to get to the Greyhound station (turns out they actually have a station in Area 51, so no taxis at destination, yay). Ten minutes away from East 14th Street, we had to detour onto Chester Avenue, of all places, so that the film crew could keep filming the same stupid car chase they should have finished the week before. The requisite fruit-stand festival happened to be taking place on Chester, so twenty minutes before my bus was scheduled to leave, I had to run all the way to the station.
Almost missed my bus too, which earned me a very strong lecture from Planet Qo’noS about professionalism in the workplace.
Since then, I’ve had to deal with Captain America-related detours when going to the grocery store, my work lab, and – of all things – the bathroom. Suffice it to say that seeing an attendant with a little red flag blocking the door, saying “We’re filming a very emotional scene in here” in the prissiest voice I can imagine, isn’t something I’d like to repeat. Hell, I still don’t know how they got into my apartment.
Screw it. If they insist on shoving Captain America into all aspects of my daily life and making transportation inconvenient, then I’m getting the army of moth supervillains ready. There are a few bugs I have yet to work out, but I think their salary negotiations will go through fine after they get a taste of battle.
Hallie Dolin is spending her summer in an entomology lab, re-defining the world’s use of the word “superbug.” She wants to change the world for the better, but isn’t yet sure how.