Dr. Strangelove: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Annihilation
Somewhere in the 90s.
The Ohio Theatre was going to have a showing of Stanley Kubricks', Dr. Strangelove that Sunday night. Alright! DS on the big screen. Had to see it. So I get off work, grab a parking space under the Statehouse & go in. Waiting for the flick to start, I look around & notice something familiar about the other patrons.
This takes a little telling. I had seen Strangelove back in '88 at the Columbus Museum of "Art" on a much smaller screen. The other attendees were of the "smart" set. You know. "Hipsters", parlor pinks, cocktail commies, etc. Needless to say, I was laughing along with them though for different reasons.
It was pretty much the same at the Ohio Theater except for one notable exception. Col. Jack D. Rippers' (Sterling Hayden) rant at Capt. Mandrake (Peter Sellers) about flouridation. I remember the '88 audience getting quite a giggle over that one. The threat of flouridation was stock in trade of the whacky right wing back then. So I was pretty much prepared for the "morally annointed" to break up over it this time around.
"Great. Here it comes," I thought.
Weird. Only a muted chuckle here & there, more of a reflex action being suppressed. The vast majority of the attendees were quiet. Even attentive. What the......?
It was the only "bad" part of an enjoyable viewing experience. I pondered it for days.
A couple regular customers at work clued me in after telling them about it: Between then & "now", government health studies found flouride to be a carcinogen. Guess Col. Ripper wasn't as much a whack job as originally thought. From commie plot to health hazzard. Who'd a thunk it?
Article copyright © Jay Agan
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