I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I've seen on TV, in movies or even books a scene where, in a very public place, someone becomes hurt or injured or ill and another person, panic stricken, yells out, "Is there a doctor in the house?"
I assumed that was just a movie or TV thing honestly. I've been in a lot of crowds, a lot of public gathering places in my lifetime and while, yes, occasionally there is reason to call in paramedics it's usually done quietly. Unless you happened to be at ground zero of the event, most people do not even know that it happened at all. So I assumed it was just a silver screen dramatic device, right?
Apparently not. Tuesday night I was attending a play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". The set design was stunning, as it always is. The actors were all doing a very fine job. You know the play right? It's so very Tennessee Williams, all angsty passion and very southern dramadramadrama. Anyway, there we are, the audience, eyes riveted to the screen and suddenly, we hear, off stage, someone call out, "Is There a Doctor in the House?". Everything stopped. Initially, I thought it was part of the play. (Which was odd because I've seen it before and I didn't remember that part.) And then a split second later I realized that the actors were also frozen in place, looking out into the audience. Then I saw a man to my right, jump out of his seat and book it up the aisle.
After a few moments, the house lights came up and one of the actors stepped forward and said that the play would pause for a short time and to please bear with them. They left the stage. We stayed in our seats and talked amongst ourselves. It was clear that the action was in the balcony, but we heard no ambulance sirens so whatever the problem was, clearly it was, in some way, resolved and after a few more minutes, the play resumed. A bit of unplanned excitement.
But the one thing everyone was talking about during that unexpected intermission, was that none of us had ever experienced that, "Is there a doctor in the house?" moment in real life. On TV and in movies we had all seen it, but in real life we had not. Not one of us.
But honestly can you blame me for being surprised? So much of our entertainment has very little to do with reality. And that got me thinking about the many differences between real life and silver screen life. For example:
Never once have I, in an emergency, come screaming up to the front of whatever building I need to go to, and found a perfect parking space right in front. Happens every single time in the movies and on TV. In my real life, even if I did find one right in front (which I never have), I'd have to parallel park and we all know that ain't happenin'. What actually happens in my real life is that I have to park blocks away, I don't have proper change for the meter (because of course it's metered parking) and it's pouring rain. That's just how it works.
Speaking of rain. Every time I've been caught in the rain, and it does happen, I end up looking like a drowned rat. I have mascara all over my face, hair in my eyes and my clothes plastered to my body revealing every fat roll, I am very quickly soaked straight through to my skin and my sneakers make a squelching sound as I run, hell for leather, trying to get to an overhang of some sort, Worse, I have my hearing aides clenched in my fist which is in my pocket trying to keep them as dry as possible. My other hand is holding my sunglasses or reader glasses as I jog down the street and I fear that my phone, which is in my back pocket, is now ruined. On screen however, the female lead is still stunningly gorgeous, no mascara leaks, her hair, while wet, just makes her look like a beautiful mermaid, her clothes, though soaked still look couture and of course she needs neither hearing aids or glasses of any sort and there is no worry about the fate of a cellphone and the male lead finds this irresistible and they linger in the rain, smooching romantically. Nope.
Let's see what else? Oh, in the Hollywood version of life, whenever people turn on the television, first of all, they know right away where the clicker is. They never have to search sofa cushions or look under the coffee table to see if it fell on the floor. Then of course, the TV turns on instantly, the channel is the exact one they want and it's the news story they need to hear and it's the beginning of the news story. Not the middle, not the end. You don't have to stand there waiting for the story to come 'round again or click through to a zillion other channels looking for it. It's already there. Very Handy! A real time-saver!
On TV and in movies when people enter their restaurant or coffee shop of choice, there is always an empty table and it is always their favourite table. It is somehow always reserved for them. Can you imagine if your favourite seat in any of your most frequently visited restaurants and coffee shops was always saved for you and your buddies? That would be AWESOME! It wouldn't be realistic, but it would be very cool.
Oh! Here is another one that I always wondered about. Do any of you actually keep a spare key to your car tucked into the drivers seat visor? I know I don't. Tim doesn't. And in fact, I don't know anyone who ever did that. But it happens constantly on screen. If people really do that, no wonder their cars gets stolen!
This one, well I shouldn't even list this one because I am fairly computer-stupid and I don't know what I'm actually talking about here. But I have my suspicions so I will go ahead and put it out there. If I'm wrong, feel free to tell me so. Does it strike anyone, besides me of course, implausible, that literally any data, anywhere, can be hacked in a matter of minutes? Sometimes seconds. Need information? Call your computer guys and poof there it is. You can see what's going on, you can hear what's going on with anyone, anywhere and you can retrieve ANY data before the commercial break. I find that doubtful. Can anything be hacked? Probably. But I bet it takes longer than presented. Am I wrong?
I marvel at the marksmanship of the Good Guys on every cop show I've think I've ever seen. The Good Guys take out the bad guys one, two, three. Perfect aim every time no matter how much chaos is going on around them. Things are blowing up, stuff is on fire, the bad guys are shooting back, people are running around and yet, the bad guys are going down boomboomboom. The good guys, even if they are standing out in the open, might get winged, but bravely, they soldier on and continue to fight the good fight. And win. Of course they win. Unless it's a very dark drama, the good guys always win.
Also, nearly every car that crashes, blows up. Thank goodness that one isn't true. But if you judged real life by screen life, anytime you had a fender bender you would be running for the hills rather than getting out your license, registration and insurance information.
Here's one that always bothered me. Clark Kent and Superman were never suspected to be the same person even though his entire disguise consisted of combed hair, glasses and a change of clothes. That's it. Completely different. Nobody could tell. If that were true in real life, every time I came home from a hair appointment or wore a new outfit Tim would have to call the police to report a stranger woman in his house. I will admit that anytime Tim shaves his beard/mustache off, I do stare at him for days because he does look different. But he still looks like Tim. Just Tim with a new look. That glasses thing isn't just superman. Lots of the "disguises" that the main characters wear to fool people involves the wearing of glasses. Apparently glasses are the best disguise ever. Next Halloween send your kid out with wearing a pair of your old glasses with the lenses knocked out. Cheap costume and obviously will fool everyone.
Well you get the idea. I'm still kind of goggling over the fact that "Is there a doctor in the house" is a real thing and not just a movie thing. Huge surprise.
What are some other Movie things you have noticed that are absolutely NOT real life things?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.