Jason Fredric Gilbert
Pushing the boundaries of weird since 1978

A Night at the Theatre

Let me just preface this blog by saying it is a work of satire and meant to offend EVERYBODY. If you are not offended please say so in the comments and I will try to offend you.

Let me also preface this by saying I’m a total idiot.

Code 20/20

I would never, ever park in a handicapped spot. EVER. I see the assholes that do park in those spots so they can run into the kiosk and get a pack of smokes and I feel like getting all Clint Eastwood on them (more Dirty Harry and less old Republican talking to an empty chair).

“You’ve got to ask yourself one question: do I feel  lucky? Do ya, punk?” (apparently, he never says “do you feel lucky punk” and it’s one of the top 20 misquoted lines ever. Thanks internet!)

A colleague and good friend (and, most importantly an occasional reader of this blog) invited me to a theatrical performance at the Susan Delall performing arts center in Jaffa. It was a set of seven short plays in English, put on by a group called “The Stage” (which at first struck me as some silly theatrical revolutionary group). On the play bill they proclaimed themselves: “We are thespians. We are humans…”

Prove it, Lizard people!

So, being the “frugal” Jew that I am (mixed equal parts “not a freier” and “that’s way too expensive”) I asked if I could get a discount on the tix and my dear colleague gave me a code number.


This, apparently, is a code for friends and family of performers. What an honor! Finally, someone admits to being my friend in public! The price dropped from 65 to 60.

But, just as I was typing in the code, the thought occurred to me: what if I tried typing in 20/20? Would that also get me a discount?

It did!

Instead of 65 shekels it was 50. (30/30 didn’t get me any deeper discounts. Nor did 40/40 or 50/50)

Another colleague joins me, and we put it on his credit card. I pay him back in ten, five and one shekel coins (he refuses to accept the 50 agorot coins and quips, dryly: “How could anyone hate you?”) When he asks me how I got such a deep discount, I tell him that I used code 20/20 which, according to a quick glance on the website, put us in the senior citizen/handicapped category. I’m nearly 40 and my colleague is barely 30. Senior citizens we are not.

* * *

I probably should not have had a few beers.  I know, I know, it’s a phrase I have never uttered before in my life. “I probably should not have had a few beers”. Silly, really. You should have as many beers as possible. But, alas, I regretted my decision the moment we handed the usher our tickets and she proclaimed sternly: “The show is 90 minutes. No intermission. NO bathroom breaks Enjoy!”

How could I now?

No bathroom? Am I supposed to hold it in for 90 minutes? Pee on myself? I mean, I haven’t been to a show in a while (William Shakespeare was still alive and writing sonnets the last time I took in some theater). Had she never heard the famous story of astronomer Tyco Brahe who died from a burst bladder while dining at a royal banquet in Prague? (Google it). My colleague immediately announced that he had a condition known as AMS, which he explained quite indignantly, meant he had to pee once every 20 minutes on average (don’t Google AMS, it doesn’t really exist).

So, once again, he pulled out the handicap card.

I spent the next 20 minutes regretting the decision not to pee. I didn’t have to pee, I convinced myself. I’m fine. But then, doubt crept in. What if I have to pee in 20 minutes? What then? I could run out now, down the stairs, go to the bathroom and make it back just in time. So that’s what I did. I jumped out of my seat, ran down the aisle and to the bathroom, while the usher yelled at me that “We won’t let you back in!”

To hell with it. I was going for it. I ran to the bathroom and tried to pee but then realized that I didn’t actually have to go to the bathroom. I just stood there, like you do at the doctor’s office when the GP wants you to take a urine test. The pressure was on to pee and I couldn’t. For the longest time I just stood there in that awfully tight bathroom, holding my penis pondering how idiotic I was. Or OCD, which is a form of disability.

By the time I made it back to my seat I was so exhausted (and sweating) that I just had to drink. Big mistake. The minute I drank some more beer I realized that I now HAD to go to the bathroom. This was going to be a LONG show.

During the first play (something about a couple in therapy) I made a quip to my colleague about how it looked like the actress was jerking someone off. In all fairness the play’s producer (as I pointed out to my colleague to the chagrin of the lady next to us) is Guy Seeman (Get it. Guy semen. Meh.) When he whispered “what?” I said, louder than I realized “She’s jerking him off!”. At which point the whole row looked at me, and my colleague just shrugged his shoulders and said “Turret.”

I survived a night at the theater and quite enjoyed my colleague’s play. I forgot all about my bladder long enough to soak in some culture. My colleague, he of the AMS, made one bathroom run during the show. He was like Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape”. He timed it perfectly between shows. He crept down the aisle and to the exit in the dark, argued with the bathroom-Nazi usher and when the lights came on for the next play, I looked towards the exit and was relieved to find that my buddy had escaped.

I prefaced this blog by saying that I was an idiot. I am. But on the way home, stuffed on bus number 16 with all the foreign workers making their way to “the hope neighborhood”, Shchunat Hatikva, I gave my seat up twice for passengers who were carrying babies in flimsy, cloth wraps over their stomach.

I got off the bus a few stops  past “The Hope Neighborhood”.

Past hope.

Way past hope (I’m gonna hit you over the head with this)

But possibly (hopefully) not past redemption


See the show on Friday or Saturday.

About the Author
Jason Fredric Gilbert is a film and music video director, published author and acclaimed parallel parker; His Independent Film,"'The Coat Room" won "Best in Fest" at the 2006 Portland Underground Film Festival. He is also the author of two books of screenplays, "Miss Carriage House" and the follow up collection of screenplays "Reclining Nude & The Spirit of Enterprise" He currently lives in Or Yehuda and solves crossword puzzles in the bathroom. Please slap him in the face if you see him.