So off we went on the clackety old Johnsonville train into Wellington for a day of mischievous fun. After skulking around Cuba mall and smoking cigarettes at the Goblin cafe in James Smiths markets, we headed down to the now defunct Hoyts mid-city cinemas on Manners street.
Now there are a few approach options when sneaking/getting into an R rated move. Firstly you have plan A) The just go in all honest approach where you are so confident in your age that you just buy your ticket and waltz on in hoping you don't get I.D-ed, if you do, you either claim your school doesn't have IDs (Like if you're from Taumaranui) or you insist intently that you are of age but you just forgot your ID. Even recite your fake birthday for effect. It helps to dress older than your age too. Option B) is the fake ID which takes preplanning and skill, and means if you mess with your real ID and you get busted it could be confiscated. Then there's plan C) It's when you buy tickets for the film screening in the adjacent cinema and sneak into the R rated film when the ticket collector leaves. Some potential downfalls of this option are that you get caught, plead ignorance but end up having to watch the movie you bought tickets to, which may not be something you actually want to see. Also, when you go to sneak in, there's no knowing if there is a cinema attendant lurking in wait inside the darkened cinema!
Mariana and I decided to go for plan A) claiming we forgot our IDs. If it didn't work, we'd say: "Oh that's okay, we'll see something else then and come back another day with our ID's." Then we'd go to plan C and buy tickets for the film next door (hopefully starting at the same time) then sneak in when the cost looked clear.
Now it was time to buy our tickets. We approached the ticket booth and stopped. Suddenly all the wind had been knocked out of our sails. "You should do it, you're older." I said. "Whatever! You're taller, I look like I'm 12!" Mariana had a point. she did look 12, heck she looked 12 until she was 20! "Okay I'll buy them!" I submitted, "but first I need to go to the toilet." Yeah, I get nervous wees.
We were in cinema 2, which was down the stairs on the level below so we got on the escalator and headed on down. There were some young tweenage girls behind us whispering and giggling to themselves like hyenas. "OMG I thought, they are so immature! I'm sure I didn't giggle that much when I was their age!"
We trotted up to the cinema and were met with three ticket people. Two younger guys and, one older woman. This was suddenly quite intimidating. Lying to a younger person is fine, but to an elder! Eeek! They know. They see through lies like gossamer! "POPCORN!" I accidentally shouted. "We forgot popcorn, better go back up stars and get some!" I looped my arm through Mariana's and pivoted back the way we came. As we rode the escalator back up to the candy bar I looked back in the direction of the ticket people. They we're smirking at us. Bugger, they're on to us, I thought. But I refused to admit the gig was up!
At the popcorn station we re-grouped. "What the hell happened back there?" Mariana asked. "Sorry," I said. "I panicked. I think they may be onto us now. What should we do? Move to plan C?" "No." Mariana said whilst calmly nibbling on some yellow popcorn. "I say stick to the plan. We wanted popcorn that was all. We are 16. We just forgot our IDs. We can do this!" "Yes!" I agreed, "WE CAN DO THIS!"
So we marched back down the escalator and bowled up to the cinema. The ticket people we're still there. Standing guard. As she saw us coming the older attendant smiled a 'here we go smile.' I confidently thrust our tickets into her waiting hand, smiling back at her. My eyes darted to the name tag she wore pinned into her blue sparkly vest. Her name was Diane. Diane looked me up and down, narrowing her eyes slightly, then she looked at Mariana. She pursed her lips, and then she spoke. "Do you girls have ID?" Time to start lying. "No, I don't sorry. I left it at home. The girl at the ticket office said it would be okay." "Did she now? And what about you?" She said looking at Mariana. "No, no sorry, I don't have ID." "You forget yours too?" She said almost comically. "No, our school doesn't have ID." "Oh really, and what school is that?" "Taumaranui High School." Mariana answered quickly and calmly, her eye contact not faultering for a second. Diane raised her eyebrows, unsure what to say, she took a breath and said "Okay, how old are you girls? "16" We both chimed in. Then Diane sighed. It was the second week of the holidays and suddenly it dawned on me that this poor woman had been dancing this very dance all day, everyday, for the last 10 days. She was over it. The fight had been knocked out of her. "Okay then "She said with an air of exhaustion, "Can you both just give me your date of birth then please." I couldn't believe it. We had won. As I recited my (fake) date of birth, the Diane raised our tickets in her hands about to rip them, then as Mariana recited her date of birth she stopped ripping and froze. Her eyes wipped up to Mariana's quick as a cat "What did you say?" she asked. Mariana stared wide eyed for a moment then repeated "18th of July 1982." "18th of July?" Said Diane . "Yes. Why?" "Well, if you were born then that would make you fifteen. Until tomorrow. I's the 17th of July today." My mind was racing. How could we save this? There must be a way. But before I could think of anything. Mariana said. "Oh damn! You're right! I can't believe I just did that! Yep, the gig was up.
After we had cashed our tickets in for a refund, we wandered back down Manners Street. Mariana was furious with herself. "I can't believe I did that!" She kept saying but I didn't really mind. It was the thrill of the chase that I enjoyed. "Should we go and buy cigarettes from that place that sells them to minors?" I asked Mariana, "will that make you feel better?" "Yeah okay" She said. Mariana sat at a garden bench and I walked in front of her to go into the store for the dirty cancer sticks (that neither of us actually smoke anymore btw). As I walked in front of her, Mariana let out a strange screaming laugh "Lisette!" she managed through snorts of violent laughter. I turned around quickly to see what was wrong. Mariana was crumpled over laughing. Tears streaming down her face. She was having trouble breathing. She tried to talk but no words could come out. She tried to mime to something behind me but I couldn't see anything. I twirled around and around trying to see what was so funny. Then I saw it. Everyone saw it. Trailing out of the back of my pants was an enormous length of toilet paper. It was about 2 metres long. It was floating along behind me like a tail or like the train of some ridiculous wedding dress. I looked out at the street and saw that the people walking past we're staring and chuckling too. Suddenly it made sense. The giggling ticket girl. The giggling tweenagers. Christ even the smirking ticket people! They had ALL seen the toilet paper dangling from my pants! Mariana was slowly recovering as I yanked the tail out of my pants and jammed it into the nearest bin. I slumped on the garden seat and covered my beetroot face in my hands half laughing and half crying. "Hey!" Mariana said, "What about the cigarettes?" "You buy them!" I hissed. "But,' Mariana said, "I look 12!" And so it continues.