It was only when a one-dimensional yellow man stepped out of a cinema screen and into a plush red theatre on George Street that audience members began to blink rapidly behind their 3D glasses.
The film from which the man had emerged was Return of the White Ninja 3D. Although the film was in 3D, the yellow man only appeared in 1D. He had been playing Stand-offish Ninja #13, part of a gang of 1D Stand-offish Ninjas led by a 3D white boy who had been raised by ninjas from birth.
In the middle of the closing scene, in which the ninjas had formed a circle and were bowing to the white boy with new-found respect, Stand-offish Ninja #13 had glimpsed light from the movie projector falling onto the heads of the audience. Curious, he had stepped towards the light and into the lap of a blond-haired woman – one foot landing in her supersized popcorn and the other on the spare seat beside her.
The newly three-dimensional yellow man stretched his limbs and tossed his hair. The audience gasped. He had a luminescent quality about him, having just stepped out of a celluloid dream.
He looked around.
Maybe life will be better, he thought, in three dimensions.
At first, the cinemagoers were calm. They shook his hand, starstruck, because they assumed he was a white actor doing yellow face. They thought his slit eyes, flat nose and jet black hair were just the work of a good make-up artist.
But when the man shed his ninja costume, strolled out into the foyer and began walking the streets of the island naked, they saw that he was yellow all over.
This could not just have been make-up, they concluded, because he had been clothed in the scene he had just exited. There would not have been, from a filmmaking perspective, any practical need to paint the balls of a white actor yellow.
Having realised that an actual yellow ninja was on the loose, the cinemagoers started screaming in horror.
Read the rest of this short story (with additional illustrations by Matt Huynh) at The Lifted Brow or in The Lifted Brow’s 3D Yellow Man Edition (Digital Edition, Volume 5 Issue 1), which can be downloaded via the Lifted Brow app.