Photo of the Night, December 1, 2018 with bonus fire truck

Not something you want to see outside your condo.

It was Saturday night and I was getting ready for bed at the fashionably late hour of 12:45 a.m. when the fire alarm went off in my building.

The condo has two alarms, one in each bedroom, and if you think of a 747 on takeoff as producing a sound level of 10, these alarms produce a sound level of 10 million. The only way you would not hear them is if you were deaf and even then you’d probably still feel the sound waves blasting against your body. I put on my shoes, jacket and cap, grabbed my phone and headed out into the chilly 3ºC weather to gather with the neighbors I never see.

I noticed what looked like smoke coming from the back of the building, so walked around the side and discovered it was just a steam plume from the hospital. A few minutes later the first fire truck arrived and the firefighters gathered at the panel in the lobby that was flashing angrily. About ten minutes after that the panel was silenced and we were waved to head back in. I overheard some speculation that “dust” or something may have set off the alarm, which I kind of hope is not what happened, because dust is not exactly a rare thing. But it was confirmed that the alarm was not deliberately set off, as they didn’t have to reset it. With nothing on fire, I was safely tucked into bed shortly after 1 a.m. I was a bit concerned the alarm might go off again (because, you know…dust), but fortunately it didn’t.

Today I am happy there was no fire and my ear drums are not burst. Seriously, that alarm is loud enough to break bone.

Deadpool, false alarms and free movies

I saw Deadpool last night. I knew just enough about the character and movie to properly calibrate my expectations (vulgar, gory over-the-top violence, irreverent) and was pleased to find the movie was, in its own vulgar, gory and irreverent way, quite charming and at times pretty funny. Ryan Reynolds obviously has affection for the character/material and had a great time making the film–and it shows. As a bonus, you get to see him nude. As a special bonus, you even get to see his naughty bits. As penance for this, you see them after he has been transformed into a hideously ugly mutant.

About a quarter of the way through the movie a pair of small white lights began flashing, one on either side of the movie screen. It seemed like an alarm of some kind. Presumably they don’t have real alarms (the kind that pierce ear drums) to prevent that whole “yelling fire’ in a theater effect. I ignored it for a bit and then Nic finally said we should check it out so we went to the lobby and immediately got word that it was a fire alarm, but a false one. We returned to our seats and the lights kept flashing, which was more annoying now that we knew there was no inferno imminent.

A few minutes later a pair of employees came in and one gamely tried talking over the movie’s audio (Deadpool is not a film that employs subtlety in its audio–or any other part) and we got the gist: an apology for the alarm and an offer for a full refund or free pass.

After they left the film suddenly froze. It’s a digital projector so I’m wondering if the hard drive crashed. Would we get to see the world’s largest BSOD? No, it turned out they were setting the movie back to just before the disruption. I actually caught a piece of dialogue I had missed the first time.

When the movie ended we filed past someone who did indeed give us a pair of free passes (good until December 31, 2017, so good for the release of Episode VIII). We’ll likely use them for Zootopia, one of those anthropomorphic Disney moves that looks way better in the previews than it has any right to.

Overall, the disruption was relatively minor, didn’t detract from the experience (Deadpool is pretty much the perfect movie to experience a false fire alarm in) and we got a free movie out of it. I rate the evening 6 out of 7 Ryan Reynold’s fourth wall-breaking comments.