Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Pacifier (2Aug05)

Sometimes I'm amazed by the things that happen around me in the movie theater. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me. Maybe I have Bad Movie Theater Karma. Maybe I ruined someone's movie-going experience once, back when I was in high school or something, and I've been cursed ever since. In fact, I do happen to remember seeing Son-in-Law with my friends and being excessively noisy. We most likely did ruin the experience for the other two people there. And then there was the time that my friend and I saw the Beavis and Butthead movie, and we decided to go to Denny's for a soda before returning to the theater and watching the next show. I'm pretty sure that the two of us giggling and quoting lines before they were spoken may have bothered a few people. And perhaps now I'm paying for it...

This week, the movie listings for The Cheap Theater were pretty slim. We'd already seen everything that really interested us -- except for one movie. For weeks, I'd been suggesting The Pacifier as an option. And for weeks, we'd ended up seeing something else. And while I'd started out pretty indifferent toward the movie, I eventually became obsessed with seeing it. And this week, I finally got my chance -- because there wasn't a single other movie that we were even remotely interested in seeing.

We raced up to the ticket window, and I walked past two older women who were discussing their options.

"I've already seen everything I wanted to see here," one of them told the other. Apparently we're not the only ones who have exhausted the theater's options. It's definitely time for some new movies. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

So we hurried off to the on-its-way-out theater -- a small theater that's so far out of the way that it's barely in the building. I expected it to be almost empty, but there were plenty of people in their seats when we got there. In fact, the back-row seats were already taken, so we had to look elsewhere. Paul chose the aisle seats in the next row from the back, behind a couple whom I'd place at just a little younger than my parents.

Last week, you may recall, I had a run-in with a teenage couple making out a couple of rows ahead of me, thereby leading me to suggest that the following reminder be added to the pre-movie reminders:

"Please remember that making out is to be done only in the specially-designated making-out seats."

The couple ahead of us had obviously not been notified of such specially-designated seats, since they had chosen rather visible seats -- in a well-lit, pre-movie theater -- for their make-out-fest. They fawned and petted and smooched and giggled, just two feet in front of me -- with no regard for the fact that I had just eaten and didn't have a strong enough stomach to sit there and watch them.

I looked at Paul and gave him my best "what the heck?" look.

"Maybe we should sit somewhere else," he told me. "That's a little...distracting." And as he began to point out various places where we could sit instead of behind these amorous seniors, I was suddenly struck with a serious case of the giggles.

I was just starting to rein in my giggles when a man walked past me, holding the hand of his prancing little boy, who was wearing light-up shoes (also see last week's entry). The giggles came right back in full force -- such full force, in fact, that I almost fell out of my chair.

It was then that I realized that these people -- with their cooing and smooching, with their prancing kids in light-up shoes, with their hay fever, and even with their cut-off shorts and high-heeled boots -- somehow follow me to the theater. It's gotta be just me. I've gotta have seriously Bad Movie Theater Karma.

As I sat there, contemplating what I could have possibly done to deserve this, a cell phone behind me rang.

"HELLO? ... I'M SITTIN' IN THE MOVIE THEATER! ... YEAH!" began the long, loud conversation, to which we were all invited to listen.

The couple ahead of us stopped making out. They both turned to shoot death-ray stares back at the phone-talker. Then they scowled and quietly grumbled about how rude he was, pausing occasionally to glare back at the man or to stroke one another's faces.

Fortunately, however, the phone-talker ruined the general mood for our aged lovebirds -- either that, or that movie was just that good -- because they detached from one another's faces long enough to see Vin Diesel save the day. And I was greatly relieved.


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