A Fatal Night at the Movies

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It can happen to anyone?

Do we have more technology in our lives than is good for us?

A man in England has been killed by an “electric recliner seat” among the “Gold Class seats” at a movie theater (http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/20/man-dies-getting-head-stuck-vue-cinema-seat-retrieving-phone-7401134/). I’ve never been in a movie theater where they had any of this, so it took me a few minutes to understand the news report.

So, the guy accidentally drops his cell phone–why he needed to take it to the movies with him, who can say?–and when he bends down to retrieve it, the chair’s electronic footrest comes up and, well, his head gets caught. Before they could somehow get him out of it, he suffered a heart attack and subsequently died.

I would’ve thought one of the last things we needed was new ways to make it cost even more to go to the movies, but I guess I’m just old-fashioned. All I ask of a chair is that it be a chair. I don’t want my chair to get ideas: they’re going to be bad ideas. Betcha they call it a “smart” chair! And they charge you extra to sit in one while you watch the movie: hence “Gold Class” seating.

And where is it written that we have to have our cell phones with us everywhere we go? Well, OK, I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t want someone bothering me on the phone while I’m trying to shop for groceries. Or watch a movie.

I wondered what movie this poor guy saw, but that information isn’t given. Whatever it was, it wasn’t worth it.

One thing about plain old chairs with no computers in them: they never kill you.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

3 responses to “A Fatal Night at the Movies

  • UnKnowable

    One of the things people had to learn in the dawn of mechanization, frequently from tragic events, was that mechanized devices which were energized could harm you if you weren’t careful. If you work around mechanized industrial equipment, for instance, you tag a machine as out of service, shut off the power to that machine and lock the power switch in the off position before proceeding with any maintenance. Procedures like these have reduced workplace injuries considerably, but have to be strictly adhered to in order to be effective.

    But nowadays, there are all sorts of mechanized devices and they don’t have kill switches, lockouts or any other safety devices. If I pull the lever in my recliner and lean back, I can stop instantly, if I sense that I’m contacting something. If a recliner uses a motor, that’s another matter. The way many of these devices are designed, it’s as if they have a mind of their own; a computerized control which operates via electrical logic, but has no consciousness, no sense.

    When robotic equipment was introduced into factories, there were a lot of safeguards taken to keep humans safe and there are kill switches which can stop the robotic arm instantly. No such thing on this stupid chair.

    This probably won’t be the last time something like this happens.


  • thewhiterabbit2016

    That’s bizarre. Was it the chair that killed him or the heart-attack? Or did the anxiety from getting stuck in a chair trigger the heart-attack. If the victim had a good, strong heart would he have died? Just saying.

    I went to a theater with one of my clubs and they served us dinner during the movie – it was annoying. Popcorn okay, but steak dinners with all the trimmings? – go to a restaurant first, people.


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