Being laid off in the fall of 2004 sucked. I went from the high of the Red Sox reversing the curse of the bambino on a Wednesday, to being unemployed the following Monday. This would be the first time I would be unemployed since I was 14, and it would be well into the following year before I found a new job.
However, something good did come out of being laid off those months: I was able to spend a lot of time with my friends. Basically, whenever I wasn’t filling out applications or going to interviews, I was hanging out with my friends Nick, John, Kee, Caitlin and her sister Ali. Hanging out with Ali was unique, because we both got laid off on the same day from the same place. So in a weird way, we shared something and were able to talk about stuff when we needed to.
Anyways, during this period of time we saw a lot of movies together. Some movies were part of our $5 Tuesday Movie Night tradition, while others we saw in the comfort of someone’s house. One day in particular sticks out for me, and it was a rare Sunday outing for the group. This early January day was the day we saw “Flight of the Phoenix” and “Resident Evil: Apocalypse.”
We “Flight of the Phoenix” at the General Cinema in Braintree Ma, and I’m pretty sure we were the only ones in the theater. The film is about a group of people who survive a plane crash in the Gobi Desert and must build a new aircraft out of the old one to escape. The film stars Dennis Quaid, Tyrese, Hugh Laurie, Giovanni Ribisi, and a bunch of other people I can’t remember.
I think it was Nick’s idea to see “Flight of the Phoenix,” not because we really wanted to see it, but because we had seen everything else already. And while I remember where I saw the movie, and who I was with, I actually don’t remember a whole lot about this movie. The only things I dow remember is that Giovanni Ribisi was kind of shady, and Tyrese plays the same character in everything he’s in. On the plus side, he didn’t sing.
Something else interesting happened that afternoon. Someone in the group bought an ice cream cone from a vending machine in the lobby. This might have gone unnoticed on any given Sunday, but not that day. That’s because the moment this person opened the wrapper, the top of the ice cream fell on his lap. We all found this funny of course, the person this happened to, not so much. But its one of those stupid silly things I remember.
After seeing “Flight of the Phoenix.” we decided to head back to my place and order some food. But first we stopped at Best Buy so Nick could buy his weekly stash dvds. Among the movies he bought was “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” which he suggested we watch as soon as we got to my place. Since I hated the first Resident Evil movie, I wasn’t too thrilled to watch the sequel. But the others seemed to like the idea, so I went along with it.
All I can say is we tried watching “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” we really did. But a combination of booze and Chinese food changed plans. I’m not sure how far in we got, but I do recall that as soon as the wall in the movie closed off the city, I had lost interest in “Resident Evil: Apocalypse.”
So had some of my other friends apparently, because before I knew it, the movie was forgotten and we were playing Trivial Pursuit on the living room floor. This was the moment when we all discovered Nick’s then girlfriend didn’t know who John Travolta was.
All in all, this was a very interesting day. Neither movie was my cup of tea, but it was just fun being with my friends. Later that night I realized that all the time we spend together those months would not have happened if Ali and I hadn’t been laid off. I guess in a weird way, it all worked out in a way.