The Big-Vu [Repost]

Prompt: Regret

popcorn drawing

When they re-opened the Big-Vu drive-in movie theater, by the turn-off to the organic farm, people of all ages lined up in their automobiles to gain entry, park their vehicles in tidy rows in front of a massive screen, open the driver’s side window to allow placement of a speaker, and fetch popcorn and pop at the Snack Shack located in the centre of the lot.

The movie was Rocky II, which no one really enjoyed. The enjoyment was in sharing the novelty with neighbours and friends, and strangers too. Parents brought their kids already dressed in flannel pyjamas, ready to tuck into bed when they got home. Young couples snuggled and hugged and did what they dared. Jerry Plankton and his date, Dorito Samuelson, kept their seat belts on as they watched the film, happy to be able to discuss its merits and flaws in a normal, conversational tone without upsetting other movie-goers.

When the weather changed and the wind came up, and there was a smattering of rain and sleet, many patrons started up their cars again, and idled them as they felt the heat from the vents chase away the chill.

If you rushed to the Snack Shack to use the washroom, you could smell the exhaust fumes in the air. There was a line-up at the Snack Shack toilet, and no shelter from the rain, so Dorito Samuelson got wet. When she got back to Jerry’s Chrysler, she asked him to put the heat on, but gas was expensive, so he gave her a blanket instead.

Dorito Samuelson died that spring, of pneumonia. She was survived by her son Drago (Barbara) and two grandchildren, and would be missed by the Bridge and Optimist Clubs. There was no way to connect her death with the drive-in movie, but Jerry Plankton did anyway, and he regretted not turning on the car heater that night.

He wasn’t sorry when the Big-Vu drive-in theater closed again, after only eight weeks. Its time had come and gone, just like Dorito Samuelson’s.


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Somewhere

Prompt: Trust

Maria Jose Caceres

Somewhere, a child is sick and can’t breathe, can’t cry, won’t live, will surely die. Her lungs filled with fluid, she smothers herself.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children globally.

Somewhere a pharmaceutical company earns $6.245 billion in revenue from sales of the patented vaccine, PCV 13, that successfully treats this virus.

Somewhere a Pfizer spokesperson composes an email which reads, “Pfizer is committed to making vaccines available to as many people as possible.”

Doctors Without Borders refuse a donation by this giant pharmaceutical company. Donations of this kind, say a DWB director, “are often used as a way to make others ‘pay up.’ By giving the pneumonia vaccine away for free, pharmaceutical corporations can use this as justification for why prices remain high for others, including other humanitarian organizations and developing countries that also can’t afford the vaccine.”

Somewhere a number-cruncher calculates that Pfizer returned $13.1 billion to its shareholders.

Somewhere on the Internet, there is a summary of the annual salary, shares and bonus programs available to Pfizer executives, but I was unable to find it.

When is a seemingly generous donation actually a cynical ploy by a multinational corporation to increase profits at the expense of children drowning in their own bodily fluids?

 


The Big-Vu

Prompt: Drive

popcorn drawing

When they re-opened the Big-Vu drive-in movie theater, by the turn-off to the organic farm, people of all ages lined up in their automobiles to gain entry, park their vehicles in tidy rows in front of a massive screen, open the driver’s side window to allow placement of a speaker, and fetch popcorn and pop at the Snack Shack located in the centre of the lot.

The movie was Rocky II, which no one really enjoyed. The enjoyment was in sharing the novelty with neighbours and friends, and strangers too. Parents brought their kids already dressed in flannel pyjamas, ready to tuck into bed when they got home. Young couples snuggled and hugged and did what they dared. Jerry Plankton and his date, Dorito Samuelson, kept their seat belts on as they watched the film, happy to be able to discuss its merits and flaws in a normal, conversational tone without upsetting other movie-goers.

When the weather changed and the wind came up, and there was a smattering of rain and sleet, many patrons started up their cars again, and idled them as they felt the heat from the vents chase away the chill.

If you rushed to the Snack Shack to use the washroom, you could smell the exhaust fumes in the air. There was a line-up at the Snack Shack toilet, and no shelter from the rain, so Dorito Samuelson got wet. When she got back to Jerry’s Chrysler, she asked him to put the heat on, but gas was expensive, so he gave her a blanket.

Dorito Samuelson died that spring, of pneumonia. She was survived by her son Drago (Barbara) and two grandchildren, and would be missed by the Bridge and Optimist Clubs. There was no way to connect her death with the drive-in movie, but Jerry Plankton did anyway, and he regretted not turning on the car heater that night.

He wasn’t sorry when the Big-Vu drive-in theater closed again, after only eight weeks. Its time had come and gone, just like Dorito Samuelson’s.