Most of the staff at the Boulder Outdoor Cinema has been working together for more than a decade. We love movies, hanging out with each other, being outside and the seasonal nature of the gig. There's also something magical about working with big crowds — the collective enthusiasm, the shared experience under a summer night sky.

Sometimes though, event magic is dark magic, my friends.

And now I shall tell you one of our all-time favorite stories, a story we never get tired of sharing over post-movie beers. It is "The Story of Cat Toy."

This was maybe seven or eight years ago, on a warm night. The crowd was small and quiet and we were showing "Labyrinth." David Bowie was on screen, with his insane mullet, tight pants and that crystal ball of his, saying, "You remind me of the babe."

Jeanine Fritz
Jeanine Fritz

"What babe?" asks a goblin.

"The babe with the power," Bowie replies.

"What power?" asks the goblin.

"The power of voodoo."

I was sitting in the projection booth, listening to this, when suddenly, from the street behind me, a man yelled, "The power of voodoo!"

I figured he'd had his moment and would move along, but no. He yelled it again. And again. And again. In fact, he showed no sign of stopping, so I left the booth and headed to the back of the venue. There he was, standing on the other side of a short wooden fence, screaming, "The power of voodoo!" over and over, a small, red cat toy dangling from a string around his neck.


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One of the security guards was already headed back there, so together we went to confront Cat Toy. Josh was young and new at the job and as we approached Cat Toy, Josh shouted at him.

"Dude, shut up!"

"The power of voodoo!" Cat Toy shouted back.

"You want me to call the police? Get out of here!"

"The power of voodoo!"

"Shut the fuck up!"

Suddenly, Cat Toy, from the hill he was standing on, threw a punch. Josh leaned away like he was in "The Matrix" and Cat Toy's fist whooshed past, and rained the hurt down onto my face instead.

I turned around and went looking for the other security guard, but Big Mike was already thundering towards us, shouting, "What's wrong with you, hitting a girl?" He arrived at the fence, stepped up to Cat Toy, and got punched too.

By the time the police arrived, Cat Toy was gone. And in a terrible twist of fate, the cop was someone we knew — three of us had been taking karate classes with him and his family.

And so while Cat Toy ran free to share the gospel of voodoo and punches somewhere else, our cop buddy made fun of us for not leg-sweeping our adversary. The end.