If you are familiar with the work of pop culture analyst Chuck Klosterman, then you have no doubt mulled over some of his zany hypothetical questions that he accurately describes as “hypertheticals.” Last week, while roaming through the USC bookstore, a deck of 50 over-sized cards caught my eye. Written by Klosterman himself, the cards promised to contain “50 questions for insane conversations.” Recognizing the opportunity to incite some hilarious, drunken after-party debates over such questions as whether one would rather eat babies or elderly people, I decided to dish out some green for the cards.
After skimming through them, I chose one film-related hypothetical question to ruminate upon for the day. The question involves two “unauthorized” movies about your life that will soon be released to the public. One of the movies is an independent documentary that consists of interviews with your family and friends and personal archive footage. This movie is described by critics as “brutally honest and relentlessly fair.” The other movie is a multi-million dollar Hollywood biopic complete with top talent starring in the roles of you and your acquaintances and a script that wavers a bit from the truth for the sake of entertainment. Though audiences love it, the critical reception to this film is lukewarm at best. Klosterman asks which of these two movies you would prefer to see.
I have to admit the documentary sounds much more enticing to me if only for one reason; ever since the start of college, I have had this sneaking suspicion that my life is secretly being recorded by some elusive, diabolical film crew. I have been involved in far too many bizarre situations since I first stepped foot in Los Angeles for it all to be just a matter of random events. These situations include, but are not limited to:
Situation One: A Mexican hobo shitting his pants on the 81 bus while most inconveniently sitting next to me. Oddly enough, once the rest of the passengers caught wind of the defilement, I was the first passenger to be accused of the odorous crime. The situation was resolved shortly after and the true culprit was eventually asked to trudge slowly off the bus so as to prevent pant leakage.
Situation Two: An enormous loaf of bread violently falling from the sky and landing three yards away from me while I was waiting in line for the ATM at the Campus Center. I jumped three feet in the air in surprise, but the other ten people in line seemed to not notice the bread meteor shower. I immediately gazed up into the fig tree branches above me, hoping to see a pair of bickering squirrels or a Trader Joe’s grocery bag, anything to explain this puzzling event of bad weather.
The others remained blissfully unaware while I anxiously prepared for an inevitable peanut butter shower or baklava hail storm.
Situation Three: This event did not occur in Los Angeles, though I presume the mysterious film crew still meticulously planned it out anyway. While waiting near a bus stop with two friends after a late night sushi dinner in San Francisco, I noticed a tall, middle-aged man, about ten yards away, staring directly at us. Enthralled by the beauty of my two female companions and unfazed by the potential disapproving looks of his fellow pedestrians, the man slowly slipped his jeans down to his knees, then his boxers, and proceeded to beat his basilisk for the next three minutes, all while staring in our direction. I quietly guided my friends away from the exposed genitalia and into the safety of our car.
In short, real-life will always be stranger than fiction. I might not ever find out if there is an invisible film crew following me, but I do know this; the trailer for the documentary film of my life would be absolutely bananas.