I knew that I was getting old but this is ridiculous. They say that “you’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken.” So to set the scene. I don’t often go to the cinema in Dubrovnik, in fact I didn’t really go when I lived in London, I guess it is a little like oysters you either love them or hate them. The only time I really go is when my friends or family visit Dubrovnik.
We have a couple of friends in Dubrovnik who like going with us; I won’t be offending them if I say they are slightly older than me. These friends had already picked out the film, the latest flick with Helen Mirren, sorry Dame Helen. The film and the time were agreed and we all met at Cinestar, in what must be one the ugliest and “out of place” apartment blocks in the Mediterranean. How someone got permission to build a giant sized Lego block in Dubrovnik I will never know!
Anyway we are moving away from the subject. “Let’s go in and get the tickets before the rush starts,” my friend said to me. As it was five o’clock in the afternoon and the film wasn’t a blood-thirsty blockbuster I didn’t really expect much of a crowd...I wasn’t wrong.
As we wandered up to the counter my friend produced his “Cinestar Senior Club Card.” I immediately took the opportunity to joke with him, to which he replied that “at least I get discounted ticket prices.” I waved my friend forward with a friendly, “ladies and elderly men first.” After he had got his senior discount I asked for four tickets, at which point my friend added “he is a senior too, he should get a club card.” The man serving looked at me for a few seconds whilst I smiled. I was waiting for the “yeah right, if he is a pensioner I am Oliver Twist” line from his mouth but instead he silently walked away and produced a Senior Club Card application form. Was he having a laugh? But then the sentence that my friend had said a fee moments before replayed through my mind...”I get a discount.” If this man serving was willing to give me a senior card then who was I to decline it.
To be honest he could have offered me a junior card, a pregnant card or even a new born baby card and I would have taken it.
“Just fill out your details here,” he said and peeled away my shining new senior card. Everything seemed quite straightforward until I came to the date of birth section, I can lie or I can write messily so that he could confuse a 6 with a 9 or a 9 with a 6...I wrote like a doctor on LSD! “Thank you Sir and here is your card,” he announced, thankfully to an empty cinema reception. “You will get discount on two tickets today and every Monday there is a special matinee showing of a film for your age group,” he continued. Well I was watching a film now at five o’clock in the afternoon so his suggestion seemed reasonable.
He then handed me a small brochure and that’s when I almost lost my control. The brochure was incontinence nappies from a company called Simbex! And then I looked down at my senior card and saw the immortal words “powered by Simbex.”
Needless to say the brochure I was holding in my hands was advertising nappies for adults! The opening line in the booklet read “We were the first to address the taboo issues in the field of incontinence, problems people so reluctantly talk about.” I looked down at the card, then the brochure and then at the stone face on the man serving me. Was I too embarrassed? Should I have owned up and given the card back? Did I need nappies? No, no and no! If you want to give me a discount I will take it.
I shyly moved away from the counter, thinking off reaching for my glasses to add to the overall picture and went out to be greeted by my parents, our friends and my mother-in-law. Needless to say my friend had already informed the rest of the group of my deception. „We can ask them to stop the film if you need to change your nappy,“ chorused the group. Followed by “we can sit near the front if you can’t see.” I didn’t care, I am in the Senior Club, at least until someone from Cinestar reads this!