Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shaddap, the movie's on

In my younger days, I used to go to the movies a lot.
We would often go in a pack and more than once we had seen every movie in town and had to decide which one was good enough to see a second time, or even a third time.
Now that I am all grown up and everything, I do not go nearly as often as I used to. We used to go at least once a week, usually on cheap night.
Now we go maybe once or twice a year.
The last time I went to a movie was in late December and I was quickly reminded why we don’t go more often.
It was the first time I have ever had to fill out a loan application to get into a theatre.
As if paying roughly $564 for two tickets wasn’t bad enough, the price of getting a snack was simply off the chart.
My wife and I got a drink, popcorn and some candy. For $17 more, I could have bought a car, and not a clunker, but a really nice set of wheels.
Since when is a small popcorn worth more than my wedding ring?
And unless the water used in the pop was from the Fountain of Youth, it was not worth what I paid for it.
It is no wonder theatre attendance is declining when it comes down to seeing a movie or paying the mortgage that month.
Once I recovered from the sticker shock of getting into the theatre, I had the pleasure of interacting with my fellow movie goers.
Most of them are respectful and conscientious of those around them, except for the people sitting behind me.
Those are the people who choose their snacks based not on price or product, but on how loud the bag is when they open it and how much crinkle noise it makes every single time they retrieve a piece of candy.
It would seem the louder-the-better is the packaging of choice.
But the ‘Crinklers’ pale by comparison to the ‘Guessers.’
At least the Crinklers have a legitimate reason for the noise (sort of). The Guessers are simply incapable of shutting up for two hours.
Guessers are the people who sit there and try to figure out what is about to happen and for whatever reason they cannot do this in their head.
“Is she going to open the door?”
“Is she going into the room?”
“Well, is the bad guy in there?”
“If they go in there, I bet they’re gonna get it.”
I will offer a little tip to the Guessers, whom I also call the Talkers, Yappers and Bone Heads, if you sit silently and pay attention all of those questions will be answered, meaning there is no need to ask them out loud.
It’s a movie OK, it’s not live action and you cannot influence the outcome by talking louder.
“Will she open the door?”
Here’s a plan, why don’t you wait two seconds and you will find out – just like everyone else in the theatre.
The person you are talking to has not seen the movie either, so odds are they do not know the answer, but feel free to ask the same question 2,000 times in a row.
I don’t know why, but the Yappers always seem to sit directly behind me so they can babble in my ear through the entire show.
I had to sell a kidney just to get into the movie, and I would like to watch it in peace.
It also used to be you went to the movies so you could get away from interruptions, such as phones calls.
Not any more.
There are more phones in a theatre than at a telethon.
The variety of ring tones sounds like a schizophrenic orchestra all playing different songs at the same time.
And of course there is always at least one guy who knows the call from his buddy is so important it trumps the need for quiet and he proceeds to carry on a full-volume conversation about what he plans on doing after the movie.
“Hello. It’s OK, I can talk. I’m just watching a movie. No, I’m not at home, I’m at the theatre. Hang on a second, it seems people are gathering pitchforks and torches and are walking toward my seat.”
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that why God created answering machines so you don’t have to talk in the middle of a movie.
I think the 11th commandment should be, “Thou shalt not talk on thy cell phone during the movie lest thee be thought a meathead.”
This is easy for me to say, because I don’t have a cell phone.
That’s right. I have not embraced the instant communication of carrying a phone with me wherever I go.
Why don’t I have a cell phone, because I don’t want people to be able get a hold of me at any time no matter where I am, especially when I am at a movie – that would infringe on my crinkle time.

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