A public scene has to be the purest form of entertainment known to man, doesn’t it?
There is no movie as memorable, no series as scintillating, and no musical composition as compelling as watching a good handlin’ unfold before your eyes.
Sure, you could sit and argue that our fascination with public confrontations, conflicts and meltdowns is a pathetic feature of an uglier part of our nature.
However, you could not articulate this argument whilst a public scene was actually playing out before you, because, let’s face it, you would be far too busy elbowing the person next to you and asking them to pass the metaphorical popcorn.
Just the other day, I witnessed an Academy award-winning scene take place in the middle of the town.
It was lunchtime, and the town said so; hungry people, soon to become happy people, formed queues for food in every deli, café and restaurant in Omagh.
Sat in a local sandwich shop, eating a local sandwich, I was half chatting with a couple of colleagues, half looking out the window and watching the world go by.
Suddenly, the door swung open with hinge-testing force, and in flew a furious female.
“I ordered my sandwich ages ago, and I am still bloody waiting on it,” said your woman, in a manner that suggested she was not up for a reasonable conversation.
I did not hear the young staff member’s exact reply, but if it was meant to appease, pacify or placate your doll, it failed miserably.
Further incensed by what had been said, or possibly by the sheer momentum of her emotions, your doll went off the deep end, roaring at the staff, “Get me the sandwich and get me the manager!”
Not dropping the mic as much as throwing it at the teenage member of staff’s head, the wrathful customer left and took a seat outside.
At this point, the entire place silently took the side of the staff.
Hushed whispers and surreptitious signals were passed between tables, as we all acknowledged that we had just witnessed quite the scene.
However, it was far from over.
Outside, beyond the big glass window, the unsatisfied customer consulted with a younger man and small boy, whom she had presumably met in town to grab a relaxing bite to eat.
After hearing what she had to say, the younger man came in and tried to apologise on her behalf.
Meanwhile, the woman sat outside giving the wee boy a play-by-play of what had just happened.
After enlightening the ten-year-old as to why she was losing the plot, she decided it was time for round two.
Back in she landed, a few degrees hotter than last time, and unleashed a tirade of bitter words, threats of legal action, before name-dropping a few friends who she said worked in sister stores in Dungannon and Preston, presumably, believing they were people of influence within the context.
By now, she had lost the run of herself and was simply livid.
I sat back, rapt by what was going on.
Some people scowled. Others laughed. Everybody watched.
The situation went on for about another ten minutes, with your woman demanding her sandwich, then demanding a refund, before eventually leaving for the final time.
Her sandwich was made, wrapped, and handed to the younger man, who apologised once again, before quietly slipping out.
What a show, I thought to myself.
While some forms of entertainment take effort to follow and appreciate, a scene is the opposite. It is hard to ignore, no matter how hard you try.
From an entertainment point of view, it is irresistible.
No conceit, no acting, no guiding hand choosing how the action unravels.
It is raw, real and completely spontaneous.
However, from a more empathetic, human point of view, scenes probably are not that great.
They are moments when people get so swept up by their emotions that they behave in a way that results in their public humiliation, either at the time, or when the steam cools later that day.
Like so many things, scenes are great to watch, but not to be a part of.
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