THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – The Case of the Fidgety Korean

“Should I answer chronologically or alphabetically?”


It is late December. Four friends are at the movies at Union Square, Manhattan. They arrived early because the film has only recently opened in order to find decent seats. They’ve all done this a dozen times. They know the drill.

They find seats halfway back with no seats directly in front. Success!

A theater employee enters several minutes later. It is only about ten minutes before the previews should begin. The employee states that they must clean the theater.

Pattern disruption. Last time something like this happened? Early 90s. Cleaning schedule is down to a science in these big chain theaters. Weird.

All but one of the four leaves their belongings in order to save the seats. The fourth has already noticed too many bizarre events to be so trusting. He is the last one out of the theater. He knows something is amiss.

He waits by the door with another of the group. The other two go to the restroom and concession stand.

While there, a Brit, thin, about 6′ 2″, early 60s, graying hair pulled back in a pony tail strikes up a conversation about dogs.

Is he referring to Cleo? Just blogged about that…

Then he brings up fire.

Kate, too. MI6? Why? What the f*** is going on?

Four pretends to not notice that Ponytail’s smile is friendly while his eyes are hostile. Doesn’t make sense. Four has done nothing wrong.

The theater manager is here now. She is on her walkie-talkie and pacing back and forth frantically.

Bomb threat. Must be.

Eventually they allow us back in. Ponytail and prop wife sit on the other side of the theater, just a row or two back.

There are new arrivals. Red T-Shirt and Blue T-Shirt. They appear to be both athletic and intelligent. Also appear to be trustworthy.

They arrive together but sit several seats apart.


A short asian man sits next to Four. He almost immediately makes a nuisance of himself. When Four pulls out a cough drop, the little Korean does so but with exaggerated movements. He’s mocking Four.

Four shows three the comic he just bought. It is from a series about corrupt superheroes who are kept in line by a small group of operatives.


Little Korean pulls out his book, again mocking Four.


Yet another new arrival. Long, dark hair. Also young and intelligent.

Possibly also NSA, or maybe something else.

Blue T-Shirt turns around and makes eye contact with Four. Four glances to Little Korean, quizzically.

Blue says something to Red who turns around. Repeat.

Long hair is on his phone now.

“I don’t think there are two together in the theater.”

Double meaning.

Thankfully the previews begin and eventually the film.

Should be quiet now.

Little Korean begins by hogging the arm between his and Four’s seats. Four ignores it.

Later, Little Korean goes as far as to extend his arm into Four’s airspace.

Four shifts toward Two.

Still later, Four glances over to see Little Korean’s finger stuck deeply into Little Korean’s nose, followed by Little Korean attempting to wipe it on Four’s coat.

Why isn’t Longhair noticing this?

Four pulls even further away, determined to watch the rest of the film. Nothing else much happens; it is nearly over.

As the credits begin to roll, Four gets up from his seat and stands by the wall nearest their seats.

Little Korean gets up and takes a few steps toward Four. Four glares at him, stopping him in his tracks in a comical way. Little Korean leaves.

Got witnesses. Must be sure they remember.

Here goes.

“Did you guys see any of that? That little Kim Jong Il looking guy picked his nose and tried to wipe it on my coat!”

Ponytail and Prop-Wife are laughing.

This continues until Four is certain that his companions and whoever else will remember the occasion.

He even continues the charade over to a nearby deli to get some anti-bacterial lotion.

One will later notice the pinkish/purplish rectangle on the back of Four’s parka. It will fade a few days later.


And that, ladies and germs, is your tax dollars at work. That’s right, you had the privelege of paying not only to ruin the filmgoing experience of a US citizen but also to prop up and protect criminals who are siphoning off more of your precious paychecks.

Welcome to Spook Country.



  1. […] so it was in December of 2009 when I rubbed elbows with some chap who was provably supposed to merely be observing (and/or […]

  2. […] show. An elaborate prank. Further pushed because there are on occasion actual pranks being played. That ridiculous Asian man in the movie theater, for […]

  3. […] I also noted previously, a Brit just outside the auditorium at the Union Square multiplex movie theater brought up both dogs … (referencing the Conway fire) in an effort to provoke me. Didn’t work, of course, because at […]

  4. […] “notice” these things and those around him do not, or do not think anything of it. The movie theater experience here is a good example. That place was full and my ex-partner was sitting right next to me and did not […]

  5. […] more on the kinds of things that happened, see the blog. “The Case of the Fidgety Korean” is a good one (generally, those things are under the Black Boot Diaries tag though sometimes […]

  6. […] of course, there was The Case of the Fidgety Korean where the goals were a bit […]

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