Daily Animal Awesomeness

6 Everyday Places With Crazy, Behind-The-Scenes Secret Areas

Unless you’re something cool, like a weaponized airborne shark test pilot or perhaps a weaponized airborne shark, people generally don’t want to hear about what you do for a living. Most jobs are boring. But what if we told you that places of business you visit every day, like movie theaters and department stores, have secret areas most people never get to see unless they’re wildly (un)lucky? For instance …

6

Your Average Movie Projectionist Is One Dude Hurrying Along A Huge Hallway

Being a projectionist doesn’t seem like it should be a physically demanding task. What’s the worst that could happen? Popcorn sweats? But it turns out that film projection is one of the few jobs that technology has actually made more difficult. Automated projecting technology now means that entire multiplexes are often operated by one poor sap running up and down a hallway.

CTCrouch/Cinema Treasures
There probably is still some popcorn sweat, though.

As smaller theaters have been muscled out of business by big chains, it’s now standard procedure for a solitary lackey to zip up and down mile-long hallways to make sure everything’s in order and that we’re all getting the necessary dosage of cellphone, soda, and truck commercials. Indeed, unless you’re watching a sad high school AV club production or in some sort of Fight Club cosplay situation, the romance of the old-timey projection room has been replaced by a cardio-intensive ordeal that’s more akin to working in a narrow rectangular laundromat.

5

A Large Amount Of Department Stores Have Tiny Jails

When someone gets busted for shoplifting, mannequin groping, or defiling the display toilets in a department store, it can sometimes take a while for the police to show up. So what does store security do with perps in the meantime? Throw them into their own onsite mini jail, of course! These holding cells or detention units are no joke, and little different from the setup you’d find after getting hauled off to the genuine article.

There are whole areas in the backs of retailers like Macy’s (at least, until they were banned for malfeasance) which look like the booking sections of the local precinct. In such places, those wrangled by store security (including minors) might be subjected to body searches, interrogation, and handcuffing before the store decides whether they want to hand them over to the real police or disappear their shoplifting ass somewhere in the home and garden section.

4

Planes Have Secret Floors Where Flight Attendants And Pilots Sleep (And Fuck, Probably)

We’ve discussed before the tendency airline employees have for behaving like oversexed party weasels, and while we’re sure that those cases are the exception rather than the rule, were we to run an airline, we’d have at least some hesitation before building hidden boudoirs within our aircraft specifically for crew use.

It’s all done in the name of alertness, of course, and on long-haul flights, there is a justifiable case for it. And seeing as how snuggling up in those tiny toilets isn’t a very attractive option, airlines like Virgin Australia have installed sleeping areas for the crew. There are naturally strict boundaries to discourage unseemly fraternization — attendants are relegated to a space above the economy cabin, while pilots receive a cozy nook over business class.

And OK, we’re making a lot of childish insinuations here. These are all professionals. But clearly there have been at least some instances of midair baby gambling. Why else would they feel the need to prominently post a “one per bunk” rule on the wall?

3

All Cruise Ships Have Morgues

We’ve talked before how the cruise ship experience can be a lot grosser and deadlier than most people expect. But once the bodies start to pile up from all the outbreaks and dessert bar fistfights, what do you do with them? “Dump them overboard” seems like the obvious practical solution, but the ships have prepared for such eventualities with the much less illegal inclusion of onboard morgues.

This is comforting, in a way; you’d certainly hope there’s a better plan in place than wrapping your aunt in a tablecloth and tossing her to the barracuda. And there’s more! Because cruise lines don’t want to cause undue panic amongst their still-living umbrella-drink-guzzlers, they’ve come up with code words to use when discussing these situations. “Operation Bright Star” might be used for medical emergencies, and “Operation Rising Star” would be used when Neptune has claimed another soul for his briny retinue.

Do cruise ships ever run out of room in the fridge for their cadavers? Yes they do! There was one incident aboard a ship on a trip from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon after so many tourists died that the morgue filled, and they “had to start finding other places to put the bodies.” No word on where those other places were, so maybe on your next cruise, keep an eye out for any unusually sluggish-looking dancers during the nightly revue.

2

Dairy Farmers Regularly Look Like Futuristic Time Cops

The popular image of cow milking is pretty basic: a rustic sort of individual armed with a bucket and stool wrestling with ungulate teats. And while it can still look that way when you’re talking about an Amish farm or something, big state-of-the-art operations have turned the process of lactose extraction into something that looks a little more like an UFO abduction scenario.

GEA
“Stay calm, cows. This will all be over in a … however long cows normally live.”

Even small family farms have similar equipment, and that’s not the only way the dairy life can look more sci-fi than pastoral. For example, sometimes when a veterinarian shows up to check on the herd, they arrive looking like the damned Cattle Terminator:

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting
“Where is Sarah COWner?”

The cyborg headgear up there is part of an ultrasound imaging system, which mitigates the need to go shoulder-deep into unsuspecting bovines, thus saving time, money, and stress on the animal. And presumably the shoulder. And if that wasn’t enough (it is), the company that sells these things also claims that the gear “can make even overworked dairy farmers smile.” Again, because they’re not engulfed up to the shoulder in cow asshole.

One additional bonus: With large-animal vets in short supply and high demand, the prospect of getting to strut around like Johnny Mnemonic in hip waders might attract more people to the profession. You will still have to go shoulder-deep on a cow on occasion, though, so heads up.

1

The Super Bowl Sniper’s Nest Has The Best View Of The Game

What do the Super Bowl and the Korean DMZ have in common? Both places provide visitors with an abnormally high probability of having the crosshairs of a high-powered sniper rifle centered on their face. Yes, in addition to the hot dog vendors and jersey peddlers, it seems the NFL also includes the job title of “professional sniper” on the payroll.

Rowdy drunks probably don’t have too much to worry about here; no one’s getting shot center-mass for spilling their nachos down someone’s back. The snipers almost certainly won’t be called into action for anything less than a terror attack or another imminent Patriots win. (The drunks actually have something worse to fear: another behind-the-scenes gem called football jail.)

But yes, snipers. Forget your end zone, 50-yard line, or skybox tickets; the best seat in the house goes to a SWAT team member from the local PD. Which is probably the case at a lot more than just the Super Bowl. It’s a sad fact of life now that any event with this many people at it probably has some kind of security presence like this looming over it.

E. Reid Ross is the author of Nature Is The Worst: 500 Reasons You’ll Never Want To Go Outside Again, which is in stores now and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Also check out 6 Massive Secret Operations That Are Hidden All Around You and 5 Cool Secret Codes Hiding In Plain Sight Around The World.

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