Monday, July 11, 2005

This Is a New One

We got off to a slow start movie-wise this year. Sometimes there are movies we really want to see, but they open here at an inconvenient time. The following week, when we're good and ready to go, the movie is already gone, and then it becomes one more line in our mental checklist of movies to rent at Blockbuster. Sometimes there are no good movies, anywhere, ever, and driving to Blockbuster is a total chore. We don't rent enough to justify Netflix. We actually do have a new video store down the street we have yet to use.

But things are now picking up, I'm going to the theater more, and I'm kind of starting to wonder when I'm going to have a pleasant experience. Not only was it not this bad back in my day, but I don't think it was this bad in 2004. If I made this a blog of nothing but my theatergoing experiences, it would not only be consistently entertaining, but I would have endless fodder.

I'm having conflicts over this most recent incident. Trish and I went to see Bewitched (it was the only thing we both could stand to see, and it was entertaining in a totally light and fluffy way). We walked in just as the movie began and took our seats. It wasn't long before it started. I'm kind of approximating here. Some of the words were nonsense, many of them were intelligible.

"WHOOO!"

Um. OK. Someone in the back row is very excited about this movie.

A minute or two later:
"YEAH! OOF!"

I turned to Trish. "What the hell?"
She shrugged. "I don't know."
We were both a little scared to turn around.

"AGHGHGAGA!"

Trish finally turned and looked at the person, then turned back to watch the movie without saying anything.

"OH YEAH! YES!"

OK. This is ridiculous. I turned around to get a look and do my standard assessment of the offender before deciding which course of action to take, and looking right at me was a girl who appeared to be mentally retarded and/or had Tourette's Syndrome.

Shit.

What do you do?! I wasn't about to yell at a kid like that. But she screamed like that for the entire movie at 5-minute intervals.

If anyone is a champion of the rights of disabled persons, it's me. My stepdad was a quadriplegic (very long, amazing story), I've worked at independent living centers, my brother had tourette's growing up (symptoms have since mostly abated) and any of my friends will tell you that I will bitch you out if you so much as think about parking in a disabled parking space. Even for a second.

This girl deserves a normal life, too, to see movies like other people. I don't know if she understood the film or not -- some of her comments were reflective of what was happening in the movie, so I assume so. But...she was screaming. I think everyone in the theater was able to suck it up because it wasn't exactly L.A. Confidential. It also wasn't the kind of talking we've usually encountered, by someone who should know better. Also, no one wanted to be the jerk who got the retarded kid kicked out of the theater.

My gut feeling on this is, insensitive thought it might seem, if you can't stay reasonably quiet, the theater isn't the place to be. No one would tolerate a screaming baby in a theater, or any number of other disruptions, regardless of the source or the reason.