Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bewitched (30Aug05)

It's interesting how our movie night has become a given. Tuesday night is Cheap Theater night now, and that's that.

This week, I had an employee meeting for my part-time job, and I was asked to work Tuesday nights when a coworker goes on vacation. I was the only one who could do it, so I agreed, but I was seriously annoyed. No one messes with my movie night and gets away with it.

Not even Hurricane Katrina.

The rain hit Ohio on Monday, and it just kept coming. It was still pouring on Tuesday night -- making it the perfect night to stay home, firmly planted on the couch -- but I was having none of it.

Shortly before 7, I told Paul it was time to go.

"Even in the hurricane?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied. "Why? Do you want to stay home?"

"Nope," he answered, and we went to bundle up in our raincoats and climb into our most rough-weather-friendly vehicle, my SUV (as opposed to his rear-wheel-drive Mustang). And off we went.

This week was the first Tuesday of the new school year -- and not even the tail-end of a hurricane could stop the joyous adults from flocking to The Cheap Theater on a school night.

Since it had been raining cats and dogs all day, I expected the theater to be empty (actually, I hoped it would be, since we were running late). But I was wrong. The first Cheap Night of the school year was much too momentous an occasion to let a little hurricane get in the way. So the parking lot was packed (though, admittedly, not as packed as it had been on some summer Tuesdays). We had to wait in line behind large packs of excited adults to buy our tickets. And when we stepped into the lobby, making our way to the ticket-ripper (who was looking more than just a little overwhelmed) was much like trying to make your way to the stage at a Nine Inch Nails concert. (It's all about holding your breath and using your elbows if necessary.) I think we may have cut in line in front of one of the few families in the theater, but hey -- in a crowd like that, you snooze, you lose.

We cut through traffic in the hallway, too, racing in front of a group of slow-moving retirees to get our seats. The back row was full, so we had to go elsewhere.

Paul chose two aisle seats in front of an elderly couple. Personally, I would have gone up a row, to give us that empty row between us (just in case the old guy was a seat-kicker or something), but I followed on behind. As soon as we sat down, thought, the woman, who was seated behind Paul, grumbled not-too-quietly, "I'll never be able to see over them." I expected them to move in a huff. Instead, they traded seats so she was on the aisle.

That's two weeks in a row that our presence has caused people to change seats. I'm starting to feel bad.

Then again...not really.

The chatter in the theater was as excited this week as it had been on the first Tuesday of summer vacation. The average age of people in our particular theater was probably around 45 -- but they were as noisy and giggly as a busload of 13-year-olds on a class trip. Fortunately, for the most part, they calmed down once the lights went out and the movie started.

And there wasn't a single child screaming in the theater. It was all quite refreshing...


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