Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Why Are Ticket Sales Down? That's a Head Scratcher...

Well. Just got back from seeing Revenge of the Sith, but the action in the theater was threatening to become a re-creation of the rumble scene from The Outsiders. Just remember: Do it for Johnny, man!

The Mr. and I usually hang toward the back when we go to the movies. I'm not sure what his reasons are, but mine are that it's easier to spread out and put your feet up on chairs if you're so inclined. The downside is that the back tends to be the domain of theatergoing punks.

I don't hear all that well to begin with, but thankfully, Sith is loud as hell, so I wasn't having much trouble. During some of the few quiet scenes, I thought I could hear laughing and talking, but before I could discern whether I was just imagining things, Sith would pick up again and I'd forget about it. About an hour in, I finally heard it, loud and unmistakable: the couple behind us and to the right were talking like they were watching the movie in their living room. I asked the Mr. if they were ever going to shut up, then turned and said, "Shhhh!"

That's when their buddies on the left of us started acting up: dropping cups, rolling things on the floor. Kids today are so savvy. They like to be obnoxious in surround sound. How technologically advanced of them! I always hated the cheapy mono effect of just one person in the theater yapping incessantly. It was all somehow fitting for an effects-laden blockbuster, too.

Five minutes later, the right kids are still going. It's always a delicate balance in these situations. I've found certain people are more apt to pipe down when asked than others, such as kids under 15. Between 15 and 20, you're likely only going to encourage them further. After I decide whether to say anything at all, I decide how nasty I'm going to get. The kids tonight were late teens, so it could go either way. They were being so loud that it was difficult to just let this slide. So I figured firm, loud enough to be heard but polite and sans swearing rampage was the way to go.

I sat up and yelled, "Could you please be quiet?" That should do it, I thought. The Mr. didn't seem to agree, so he shot up and said, "Would you shut the f*** up!? I paid $8.50 for this movie, and you can either refund my money, or YOU CAN SHUT THE F*** UP!!" I heard someone in front of us let out a low "whew..." Hey, I liked it, though: he gave them options. He's all about freedom of choice, that guy. I know some of you who know the Mr., who is otherwise quiet and pretty mild-mannered, are thinking I'm making this up, but I swear to you, this happened. And this isn't even the first time!

What was almost as annoying as the yappers was the lack of support from the rest of the patrons. There was no reaction, no affirmation of support, no solidarity. Thanks, guys. If one of them had gone off on the kids, the Mr. and I would have let out a few cheers in a show of unity. That's just us, though.

I am, of course, thinking that after the movie, we are soooo dead and wishing that I owned some brass knuckles, maybe. Or at least that I had a helmet to absorb a few blows. I could curl into the fetal position while they kick and get away with my mental faculties still intact. And while they didn't make another peep, they did see fit to stare us down as they exited the theater. I kind of looked for a mystery object in my purse, while the Mr. stared back and said, "Yeah, hey, how you doing?"

As we went to get in my car, the Mr. said, "Look out for the red truck." "What? Why?" "Those are their friends. They might be coming after us." He says this as casually as "We might need to stop for some gas on the way home." Yes, this is how my life is going to come to a close: in a theater parking lot after episode III. I wish the Chili's salad and Jelly Bellys hadn't been my last meal.

I see them turn the corner and rev around behind my car. I didn't hear it, but the Mr. says they yelled "Bitch!" before peeling away. Ooh, aren't they tough! I had to laugh at that. Come on, that's nothing I haven't heard before!

On the way home, the Mr. said, "I hate to sound like an old person, but really, I wasn't like that when I was their age!" I started to say, "Yeah, me either!" when I remembered: I was worse. So much worse. My stepbrothers and I used to sit up toward the front, crack jokes through the whole movie, lick gummi bears and throw them on the screen. And nobody once ever asked us to shut up or to please maybe not stick candy on the screen. I don't know how we weren't permanently banned from the theater or carted off to jail.

Karma. That's the bitch, right there.